Archive for the 'Clockpunk' Category

Clockpunk Plane

If you ever thought what a Clockpunk plane would look like but could never quite figure it out, Kenneth Rougeau answers this question for you in Flights of Fancy.

Knowledge and Automata in Twelfth-Century French Literature Elly Truitt

For people who are interested in the pre-history of automata here is a link to a fascinating article by Elly Truitt whose dissertation I have previously mentioned on this blog. Given below is an excerpt from the article.

What is more remarkable than the presence of these metal people in this romance is the fact that automata in human form were found frequently in the pages of twelfth-century French romances—copper knights and damsels, golden archers, children, and guardians of tombs. The early twelfth-century chanson de geste Le voyage de Charlemagne contains a description of the emperor of Constantinople’s palace, upon which two golden children blow ivory horns and laugh in a lifelike manner when the wind blows. In Le roman d’Eneas, written around 1160, a metal archer ensures that the sanctity of Camille’s mausoleum remains inviolate. Another midtwelfth-century romance, Le conte de Floire et Blancheflor, mentions the speaking, moving statues of the eponymous lovers erected on Blancheflor’s mock tomb. The Roman d’Alexandre, completed around 1180, features two golden youths, made by augury (par augure) and enchantment (enchantement), armed with maces, guarding a drawbridge. In addition, two copper boys, armed with shields and pikes and made by enchantment (enchant) guard the tomb of the emir of Babylon. The First Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval, completed in the first decade of the thirteenth century, has two figures guarding the tent of Alardin, an “Eastern” potentate, who can discern knight from churl and maiden from nonvirgin, and then bar the entrances of the latter to the tent.

Alchemy of Stone

Here is a Clockpunk novel, Alchemy of Stone, that I came to know of recently. The novelist, Ekaterina Sedia is a US novelist of Russian origin. I loved the tagline “A novel of automated anarchy and clockwork lust.” Clockwork lust? Where was I when they invented that? Here is the product description from Amazon.

Mattie, an intelligent automaton skilled in the use of alchemy, finds herself caught in the middle of a conflict between gargoyles, the Mechanics, and the Alchemists. With the old order quickly giving way to the new, Mattie discovers powerful and dangerous secrets – secrets that can completely alter the balance of power in the city of Ayona. However, this doesn’t sit well with Loharri, the Mechanic who created Mattie and still has the key to her heart – literally!

Clockwork Photoshopping Contest at Worth1000

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Link via BoingBoing, Worth1000 is having a phtoshopping context for Clockwork Art. The basic idea is to infuse Clockwork in everyday and non so every day situations. Here is the link.

The Jacobian Space Program Revisited

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[Image: Steampunk Deathstar]

I mentioned the Jacobean Space program some time back. Jake Lake also pointed out that he has a short story on an early 19th century story about the space program evolving out of steam powered technology. I was recently revisiting the story which got me thinking that indeed what would a space program look like if steam powered technology as well as steel and related alloys were missing. Would even be possible to talk about such a thing? Gun powdered had been around for a long time. Thus the question is, how far could such a project have gone if technology had advanced but without advancing into the Steampunk era?

Stephenson’s Rocket by Jay Lake

Da Vinci Automa on the Facebook!

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I have finally given into the temptation, Da Vinci Automata is now on the Facebook under the current alias (what else Da Vinci Automata). I have also created a Clock group on the Facebook. Here’s the link to the profile and a link to the group. Add me if you get a chance. It can be a good place to get all the Clockpunkers together. Keep clocking!

Robot Carnival

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Robot Carnival is a Japanese Anime anthology with many elements of Clockpunk. Especially the following short (excerpted from Wikipedia is of much relevance to Clockpunk.

Presence: Directed by Yasuomi Umetsu. This segment (featuring dialogue) tells the story of a man who has an obsession with a robot girl he has been secretly constructing in an attempt to compensate for the lack of any close relationship with his wife and family. The setting seems to be British and of the early twentieth century, but also suggests another planet or a future which has attempted to re-establish a former social structure. When the robot takes on a personality of her own, far beyond what the man had programmed, he smashes her in a fit of panic, and leaves his secret laboratory for what he believes is the last time. Twenty years later, the man has a vision of his robot appearing before him, but then blowing up before he can take her hand. He returns to his shed to find the robot still sitting smashed in a corner, just as she had been left years earlier. Another twenty years elapse, and the robot appears again before the man. This time, he takes her hand and walks into the distance with her, before vanishing in front of his shocked wife.


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Knowing and Doing

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“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” - Leonardo Da Vinci