Monday, November 26, 2012

Weekly Update #81

Editor's Note

Sorry about not posting last Friday. I guess I needed more time to recover from Thanksgiving than I thought. Holidays can be a lot of crazy fun, especially at the Mitrovich household.

This week we have more reviews, including two comics and a review by a new contributor. Remember, if you would like to contribute to Weekly Update, just check out our Contribute page for more information. Weekly Update is a community blog and we are powered by the reviews and essays sent us. If you contribute Weekly Update can help you out by promoting your website or project. Thanks in advance.

And now the news...

Preview: Steam Patriots
Noble Beast is developing Steam Patriots, a series of five fictional stories that merge steampunk with the story of the American Revolution. In this alternate history the War of American Independence is fought by flying airships where soldiers exchange cannon fire far above the fray of steam-powered tanks, smoke-belching steamcycles and soldiers with semi-automatic muskets.

The Steam Patriots story follows Felix, a young man who crosses the thirteen colonies battling Red Coats while meeting some of the most important historical figures in American History. Felix becomes the protegee of Benjamin Franklin, a spy for George Washington, and a boon companion to the patriot-pirate John Paul Jones. Everything the Founding Fathers experienced in the pursuit of Liberty presents itself to Felix in a very personal way. Felix suffers horribly at Valley Forge, fights valiantly at Yorktown, and witnesses the formation of a new nation.

"Steampunk set in the American Revolution has never been done before, but we've got a fantastic story, remarkable art, and the drive to see it through,” said Noble Beast producer-director, Richard Monson-Haefel.

The Steam Patriots series will be published on multiple platforms including ebook, iPad app, printed book, audiobook, web app and Braille. The Steam Patriots book apps will include engaging features of animation, diagrams, interactive maps and audio, along with social features that allow readers to share comments within the story with other readers. Noble Beast aims to make American history cool for readers who may not otherwise be drawn into learning about the Revolutionary War.

If you are interested in Steam Patriots, support the book app project now on Kickstarter. The 30-day Steam Patriots Kickstarter campaign has a funding goal of $100,000 and will end on December 16, 2012. Rewards for pledging to the Steam Patriots Kickstarter campaign include:
  • Access to the Steam Patriots ebook for pledges starting at $3
  • Limited edition signed art prints by artist Patrick Arrasmith
  • Digital music download of Liberty or Death by Parisian steampunk band Life’s Decay
  • Interactive book app of Steam Patriots
  • Noble Beast or Steam Patriots t-shirt
  • Illustrated print edition of Steam Patriots provided by Antoon Taghon of Uptown Fine Art Printing Studio
You can also help educate people on history through Steam Patriots. Noble Beast, LLC is working in conjunction with the Museum of the American Revolution to help fund the construction of the new museum in Philadelphia. Built into the Steam Patriots iPad application and web book will be a non-intrusive link that allows readers to donate to the $150M comprehensive campaign that is now underway to build the museum.

The Steam Patriots project will include a catalog of curated steampunk art, clothing, jewelry and other items called Noble Beast Emporium, Purveyors of Unique Curiosities. It will be accessible online and through the Steam Patriots book app. Allison Nowlin Ward, designer and previous owner of the vintage store Madame Fortuna in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is curating the collection.

The future of publishing brings us an imaginative tale of the past. Sounds good to me.

Update: War of the Roses

Hear ye! The first in a series of monthly content updates for War of the Roses, the medieval brawler from Paradox Interactive, has arrived. The update introduces a wealth of new armaments to every knight’s arsenal, including the Kingmaker sword, a finely crafted piece of steel brandished by legendary English nobleman Richard Neville, otherwise known as Warwick the Kingmaker. A new suit of heavy armor will also be available to choose with different paint options to customize one’s fearsome look. One new helmet, four new visors, and seven new weapons, including the Gothic mace, the halberd, and the horn-spanned crossbow, will also join the fray.

Players will also be introduced to a new game mode, henceforth known as “Pitched Battle,” which challenges knights to take greater care with their lives – since, in Pitched Battle, death is final.

Pitched Battle mode will begin an Open Beta when the update arrives, and all War of the Roses players are welcome to join. Simply find a game in the server browser that is listed as being in Pitched Battle mode, and join the game normally. In Pitched Battle, each knight has only one life to risk on the battlefield per round; when a combatant perishes, he cannot return to the fight until the next match. Bandaging one’s wounds and reviving teammates will be crucial to victory, and executing opponents to keep them out of the fight will decide which is the last team standing.

New Releases

Paperback


Grantville Gazette VI edited by Eric Flint
The sixth rollicking, thought-provoking anthology of tales set in Eric Flint’s phenomenal New York Times best-selling Ring of Fire series—all inspired and edited by the creator himself, Eric Flint.

Madame Delaine: The Case of the Daring Girl Detective by Marilyn A. Hudson
It is a different world where airships soar through crystalline skies, clockwork machinery run industry, and seemingly impossible strange inventions defy imagination. A clever and mysterious woman who touts herself as a world-renowned mentalist, Madame Delaine, travels widely.

A Steampunk's Guide to Sex by Professor Calamity
Your guide to the sexy side of steampunk, covering everything from kinky Victorian sexuality to contemporary subcultural sex. See a review by Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing.

Links to the Multiverse

Articles

Across the Universe: Beyond 'Red Dawn' by Don Gerard Kaye at MSN.

Hitler’s forgotten attempt to build the world’s largest Olympic stadium by George Dvorsky at io9.

Longing for the old plantation by Ian C. Racey.

Rise of the Machine: Steampunk vs. Cyberpunk by Cara Murray and Rosie Mujica at The Elm.

Vanished Kingdoms – Byzantion by Oldcat at Kilobooks.

Books

"Beast of the Bosporus" Covers: What Might Have Been by Matthew Quinn at The World According to Quinn.

EMPIRE STATE is SciFiNow magazine’s book of the year 2012! by Adam Christopher.

The Fantasy Adventures of Alexander the Great by Howard Andrew Jones at Black Gate.

Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl - catalog copy by David Barnett at Postcards from the Hinterland.

Review of Blades of Winter by G.T. Almasi at SFFWorld.com.

Review of The Coldest War by Ian Tregillis at Alt Hist.

Review of Dreamwish Beasts and Snarks by Mike Resnick at Thinking about books.

Review of The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow at More Than a Reading Journal.

Review of Liberating Atlantis by Harry Turtledove at Yahoo! Voices.

Review of The Martian War by Kevin J. Anderson at SciFiChick.

Review Of ‘Steampunk: An Illustrated History’ Plus A Steampunk Cosplay Gallery by RoboPanda at Gamma Squad.

Steampunk Primate Action with New Novel Ack-Ack Macaque! by dwgrampus at Geek Syndicate.

There’s a Little Real History in my Alternate History #1 by M. Fenn.

Comics

COMIC REVIEW: League of Volunteers by Dave W at Geek Syndicate.

Games

Gameplay trailer for Cities in Motion: London.

Steampunk platformer Chronovolt to launch on Vita this week by Shaun Prescott for CVG Australia.

Salem Streaming Highlights by Paradox at YouTube.

Music

One Track Sunday: Rhett & Link Want You To Spot The Differences by Jessica Rawden at Pop Blend.

Podcasts

The Dieselpunk Radio Hour (Act 1 Demo) at Dieselpunk.

Show 9: Deep City, part I of Twilight Histories.

* * *

Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update and a volunteer editor for Alt Hist magazine. His fiction can be found at Echelon PressJake's Monthly and The Were-Traveler. When not writing he works as an attorney, enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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