Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Online steampunk fiction, novels, writing ad infinitum

I really should come up with a proper title for these updates on steampunk fiction on the web. Anyway, about time we had another rummage around the aethernet for new fiction and new authors.

First up - kids, look away now! - and akin to the wonderfully titled Steamypunk (being the fanciful erotica of a steampunk world) - is the new Like a Corset Undone for those who like their punk very steamy indeed...

All the trappings of steampunk society--corsets, airships, and 'leaping technologie'--meet the simmering undertone of sexuality so well-hidden by Victorian morality in LIKE A CORSET UNDONE, Circlet Press's third volume of erotic steampunk stories. By turns kinky and romantic, the stories in Like a Corset Undone explores all the reasons to unlace, whether to rebel, or for more intimate purposes.
This is the third title in the series from Circlet Press - "The Intersection of Erotica and Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Futurism", previous collections being Like Clockwork and Like a Wisp of Steam. More titles may be found at the homepage, which also includes new stories. Vinne Tesla's Ontological Engine is also available via mp3, for those who like their steam via aural means.

More prosaically, over at Booksie, ("Share Your Poems, Short Stories, Novels, and more with the world"), we find Incorrigable by 'chopetov13', a new young writer from Russia:

Will Forthright faces the opposites of neglagence and faithful service after the boiler on his ship explodes.
This appears to be the second of his steampunk stories, the previous being Goggles and flames .

A revolutionary rails against the injustices of the system as a factory mechanic finds shelter in his labor.
Also present on the site are 'Acid Varrakin', whose first draft of their entry to the 2010 Somerset Novella writing competition, To Destroy a Symbol promises a

steampunk-themed story, based on the premise that the 1970s punk revolution happened in Victorian England. It follows the adventures of the squeamish, womanizing D.I. Tril Henderson in his struggle to put an end to the violence.
and 'Ati's' Hounded: A Tale of Baker Street, whereby the Hound comes to Baker Street...

The cobblestones rolled like drops of rain under the metal paws of the Hound. The sky had a sick yellow pallor, and glowed weirdly. The cobblestones, slick with fresh rain reflected the yellow light grimly. The world took on a different hue around the Hound. Smiles, what smiles there could be on such an unnatural day shriveled like poisoned trees. Open doors shut, and shades came down on windows. Groups of people dispersed, and people vanished indoors. The Hound continued it’s bizarre walk, each stride the twin of the last, every dull yellow gas lamp gleaming over it’s chrome skin and morphine fangs the same as the one before.

The Hound had come to Baker Street.

As an aficionado of all thing Sherlock Holmes, I shall dive into this one with relish!

Finally in this brief round up, a visit to the Writer's Symposium ("Our mission is to "Help Writers Write."), a collective of 20 professional writers and editors who usuall come together at the Gen Con Game Fair. News from their blog reveals that Paul Genesse - author of The Dragon Hunters - will be writing a piece for Jean Rabe's anthology Steampunked:

I was fortunate enough to be asked to write a story for Jean Rabe’s next DAW anthology, Steampunked. I’ve been working on a story idea and have come up with a setting that I think has not been done before in this genre. I don’t want to say what it is now. However, I was able to attend a panel on Steampunk at the World Fantasy convention a few weeks ago and it got my mind going.
Worryingly, it appears that Mr Genesse has only just got to the Vendermeer's Steampunk, so we shall see what emerges from his pen...

'Ultramarines' WH40K movie in production

Yes indeed! After years of anticipation and frustration, finally, the first Warhammer 40,000 movie - Ultramarines - is in production.

Games Workshop (GW) first produced the table-top miniature wargame fantasy version of Warhammer back in the 1980s, creating a futuristic version - Warhammer 40,000 or WH40K - in 1987 (based upon an idea for a Rogue Trader game, which became incorporated into the first titles before a refocussing of the game). Originally intended to replace the dependence upon US titles such as Dungeons and Dragons, both Warhammer and WH40K have become the mainstay of GW, with books and computer games based upon the original table-top miniature game.

Set in the 41st millennium, most of the major storylines that provide the backdrop and history span over millennia.

The popularity of WH40K can be seen by just a brief perusal of the aethernet. Home movies, often produced by remashing footage from the computer games, or by stop motion animation, are a popular way of sharing enthusiasm, and can be found on youtube.

Probably the greatest disappointment came when Damnatus, a non-commercial low-budget movie made in Germany by fans and for fans, set in the WH40K universe, was blocked following ruling over copyright conflicts in England and Germany German copyright law confers the intellectual rights of created works to the people that created them, and thus Games Workshop would lose the rights to the intellectual property of Warhammer 40,000, on which Damnatus was based. GW has thus far refused to allow it to be shown, and has not changed this position despite online petitions and requests from the filmmakers. As a result, Damnatus was ended indefinitely on October 15, 2007. However, some footage was available online earlier in 2009 via Pirate Bay, and the trailer (and more) may be seen via here :

However, GW has now announced that an official WH40K movie is in production. Entitled Ultramarines, this has been greeted by fans of all ages enthusiatically.

On 5 October, London-based production company Codex Pictures announced today that it is in production in the UK and Canada on Ultramarines, a feature-length movie on DVD/Blu-ray set in Games Workshop’s futuristic Warhammer 40,000 universe. The sci-fi thriller, which is employing CGI and state-of-the-art animation production techniques, is being produced by Codex Pictures in association with Good Story Productions Ltd. The Canadian co-producer is POP6 Studios. The producers are Bob Thompson of Good Story Productions and David Kerney of Codex Pictures.

The film has been financed by Aramid Entertainment BV, POP6 Medias Inc and the Wales Creative IP Fund. The team behind Ultramarines were producers of the original, highly successful and multi award-winning DVD BIONICLE®, made for the LEGO Company. “We are delighted to be working with Codex Pictures on the first ever feature-length DVD movie set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe,” says Andy Jones, Head of Legal and Licensing for Games Workshop. “The talented team at Codex has a wealth of experience and are very passionate about Warhammer 40,000. We are confident that Ultramarines will deliver a fantastic visual and narrative experience.”

"We are thrilled to have been chosen to produce a feature film based on such an iconic global property - much sought-after by many other studios and producers over the years," says Vanessa Chapman, MD of Codex Pictures and executive producer of Ultramarines. "It's an important part of our company strategy going forward and marks the return of many members of the award-winning team behind BIONICLE®. Considerable time and research has gone into developing an authentic yet fresh approach to the design of the film. We hope it will be the first of many such projects."

Upon DVD release, there will be both a collector’s edition and international version.

Key to note here is that, unlike the perception at Game Day, the movie will have a DVD, and not a cinematic, release.

The director is Martyn Pick, whose credits include the 2009 film 'The Age of Stupid', on which he was animation director; London 2012, the promotional film commissioned by Film London and the London Development Agency which was
premiered at the Beijing Olympics; the 2001 US Budweiser NBA commercial; and the celebrated BBC promotional trailers for the Euro 2004 soccer tournament. Martyn was chosen to direct Ultramarines for his renowned and highly distinctive ability to fuse live action and animation and the fluid, rich painterly style of his film-making.

The screenplay has been written by someone who needs no introduction to Warhammer 40,000 fans – best-selling author Dan Abnett. Dan has penned more than 25 books for Games Workshop’s Black Library, with total sales in excess of 1.2 million copies. He also works regularly for 2000 AD, Marvel Comics and DC Comics
and has recently seen publication of the first of three novels for HarperCollins' new sci-fi, fantasy and horror imprint, Angry Robot.

Despite concerns about the director's lack of feature film experience, the presence of Abnett as screenwriter seems reassuring.

Video of the news release:

More information may be found at: http://codexpictures.com/news.html and http://ultramarinesthemovie.com/

As to what this means to steampunks?