Monthly Archives: April 2015

5 Minutes With PJ Thorndyke

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This is a chance to learn a bit more about P. J. Thorndyke, author of the steampunk adventure novel, Golden Heart.

Website: www.pjthorndyke.wordpress.com

Twitter: PJThorndyke

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pjthorndyke

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13647677.P_J_Thorndyke

About the Author

I started writing . . . I’ve always written. It was a major hobby as a child but I never really considered it a ‘grown up’ pursuit so I abandoned it a bit during my teenage years. When I was in my mid-twenties I began submitting short stories to magazines and online competitions and found some success in the horror market. It took a while for me to get the confidence together to tackle a novel, and now I’ve written several. Golden Heart is the first to be published.

What I love most about writing . . . The Freedom. There’s nobody telling you what you should be doing, when you should be doing it or how…

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Tea Time

My Heart Explodes

Tea_Time_title_card_01

Set in the fanatic alternate history of the 1800s, Tea Time is a comedy that follows a conflicted mad scientist. Elizabeth is in a proper and strict world where inventors are held in high regard, but only ones that fit in. Her work has been rejected (again) and she has had it. Her Aunt Judith wants nothing more than for her to give up this foolishness, marry a proper gentleman and get out of her house (taking her machines with her). This particular day Judith has a different potential suitor waiting for her. A man Elizabeth is somewhat familiar with…

Tea Time (2014) is an award-winning steampunk short written and directed by J. Derek Howard and starring Erin Heckel (Elizabeth), William Gantt (George) and Adrielle Perkins (Judith). The film was “was shot with $3,000 over two days with a Canon 5D Mark 3 and some very talented people.” Watch this…

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Darwin’s Lowest Moment

The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shewn by man’s attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman- whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands. If two lists were made of the most eminent men and women in poetry, painting, sculpture, music (inclusive both of composition and performance), history, science, and philosophy, with half-a-dozen names under each subject, the two lists would not bear comparison. We may also infer, from the law of the deviation from averages, so well illustrated by Mr. Galton, in his work on Hereditary Genius, that if men are capable of a decided pre-eminence over women in many subjects, the average of mental power in man must be above that of woman.

Charles Darwin asking for quiet

Quote from Charles Darwin’s The Descent of Man, proving that even a genius can be affected by the assumptions and discourse underlying his society and culture.

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Steampunk in art

Ginneys from nothing

I like clothes. I like Steampunk. And I love Disney. It’s a thing.

So when I see artists combine these things, I completely geek out. Usually I can keep my squeak of excitement internal.

But not always.

Anyway, Steampunked Disney Princesses. Are. Amazing.

And MecaniqueFairy on Deviantart has done some amazing work.

Like this Ariel:  

And if you were curious about a Steampunk Jasmine, this is amazing

And then on a non-Disney side, there’s Otto and Victoria who are fabulous.

Who can resist a napping octopus? 

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The Absolute Fun of Steampunk

A blog topic after my own heart.

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Steampunk Short: “The Alchemist’s Letter”

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The Airship Daimler – A Steampunk Vehicle

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via A Jug Of Wine, A Loaf Of Bread, And Virtual Thou • steampunktendencies: The Airship Diamler – A….

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Sir Henry Parkes ~ Father of Many

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Day 355 of Colourisation Project – April 27

Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication. 

He is on our $5.00 note. The Times during his lifetime described him as “the most commanding figure in Australian politics.”

Alfred Deakin, Australia’s second Prime Minister, described him a little less flatteringly, saying that despite having “numerous pettinesses, spites and failings, he was in himself a large-brained self-educated Titan whose natural field was found in Parliament and whose resources of character and intellect enabled him in his later years to overshadow all his contemporaries.”

Sir Henry Parkes Bef & AftPhotographer Unknown Sir Henry Parkes c1867 – Coloured by Loredana Crupi

We know him as the “Father of Federation.” –Sir Henry Parkes, Premier of New South Wales and one of the most influential advocates of the Federation of Australia.

He was a major proponent for self-governance and instigator…

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Woman in a Cage: A Steampunk Feminist’s Perspective of the Victorian Crinoline

A modern reconstruction  of a crinoline

A modern reconstruction of a crinoline

The basic structure of a crinoline is a cage, so a woman wearing a crinoline is actually trapped inside a cage, unable to run or move about freely. If there was ever a more powerful metaphor to sum up the restrictions of a Victorian woman’s existence, I can’t think of one. As both a writer and a feminist, to me the crinoline sums up worst behavioural excesses of the Victorian era.

Steel-cage crinoline circa 1858.

Steel-cage crinoline circa 1858.

Some styles of crinolines even resembled bird cages. What an image … thousands of women walking around inside their cages, unable to accidentally brush up against a fellow human being, struggling through doorways, constantly having to be aware of their surroundings in case they knocked over furniture or small children. I know I’d be on edge. as I am not the most graceful woman to start with. And oh … the issues with going to the toilet!

Bustle-cage crinoline worn with a corset

Two English crinolettes, circa 1872-75, from the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Two English crinolettes, circa 1872-75, from the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

As well, the crinoline couldn’t have come into use without the corset, as the corset helped support the weight of a crinoline more evenly and easily. The corset was another way of restricting and controlling a woman’s body and making it conform to society’s expectations. There is a good reason why ‘strait-laced’ means someone prudish or puritanical, rigid in their morals and beliefs.

Bustle-cage crinoline, circa 1868,  from the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Bustle-cage crinoline, circa 1868, from the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The Quintessential Clothes Pen  Crinoline without cover

Crinoline from the Quintessential Clothes Pen website.

The Quintessential Clothes Pen  Crinoline cover

Crinoline from the Quintessential Clothes Pen website.

Conversely, a woman who refuses to wear a crinoline might be seen as both a rebel or as a free thinker, or it might symbolize her youth. Corsets played a role in the plot of the 1950 musical Two Weeks With Love, where wearing a corset was the symbol of womanhood, and a corset-less girl was considered too young to woo; crinolines could play a similar role.

crinoline11-2008d

As for me, I am more inclined to see the freedoms allowable in a girl child being crushed into the conformity of womanhood. Crinolines were responsible for women wearing long-legged drawers -because crinoline were often hard to control and wind gusts and accidents happen. These drawers were the forerunners of bloomers, athletic trousers for women, so some good came from the fashion for crinolines.

Western women crinolines from approximately 1830 to 1860, when they were at the height of fashion. Then they started to be replaced by the crinolette, which in turn was quickly replaced by the bustle. If your Steampunk narrative in set in these time periods, take note.

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The Two Latest Science Articles for Paper Droids.

Earth and Moon (Ron Garan, NASA)

Earth and Moon (Ron Garan, NASA)

http://www.paperdroids.com/2015/04/14/nasa-discovers-another-lunar-particle-trail/

Image of Bird of Paradise flower from the website of Melbourne Botanical Gardens

Image of Bird of Paradise flower from the website of Melbourne Botanical Gardens.

http://www.paperdroids.com/2015/04/23/glogers-rule-expanded/

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