The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether


Seattle Steam

Ah, Seattle- home to Starbuck's, the Space Needle, and 5th Avenue Theatre. But just below the tourist-attraction surface is a vibrant steampunk hub. Let's come together as Seattle punks and celebrate it together!

Location: Seattle
Members: 71
Latest Activity: Nov 4

Discussion Forum

FYI: Seattle Sword Workshop, March 26th

Started by William Elder Jan 31, 2011. 0 Replies

I just got this from the Salle St. George newsletter and, while longsword is really more medieval, it seems like there's enough…Continue

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Comment by EngineRmRaphi on July 11, 2011 at 3:47pm

    I am a 5th generation Seattleite.  My SP persona is related to my life in consensus reality-- that of a well-read blue collar worker.  I'm a product of both the literary genre and of my actual experience with steam machinery.  I have volunteered on the Virgina V with its 1902 triple expansion steam engine.  I also worked in the engine rooms of the state ferries.

    I graduated from the UW at age 50 with a degree in botany, forest ecology minor.  I know the geology, cultural history, and marine life of the region.  I do Pacific NW Indian wood carving.  My ancestors helped provide the timber to rebuild Seattle after the 1889 fire.

    So I thought I'd enjoy Boneshaker.  Especially since two of the recommendations on the wonderful cover are by the graphic novel writers Mike Mignola and Warren Ellis, whose writing I appreciate.  The 1st clue to the contrary was the rather defensive note at the end of the book.   Where Cherie Priest explains to us simple-minded backwater natives that yes, she knows her chronology is different from the real timeline.  And that SP is about alt history.  Well duh.  We know that.  However in this case, the objection is that it seems to serve no other purpose than to tie into the next book.   

    I'd bet I'm not the only reader with objections similar to these:  clunky similies.  Less than fleshed-out characters.  Cute for the rotters (zombies) not so much for the others.  Elements not really necessary, but that serve as a check off list for SP.  Like zeppelins, goggles, mad scientist, plucky independent heroine.

    Most appalling is the apparent lack of any real knowledge about Seattle.  Goes to show that living here doesn't automatically confer depth.  There are repeated annoying bits in the dialogue referring to "the ocean."   We are on Puget Sound; an estuary and a fjord.  The actual ocean is about 140 miles away. 

    Another piece of evidence is the "old oak" in the yard of the lavender house.  Oaks aren't native to Seattle.  (The Garry oaks of Sequim and Ft. Lewis are relicts.)  An oak would have to have been planted-- and even in the alt timeline Seattle was a new city.  Thus no time for it to get old.  Why not a Douglas fir or better yet, a western red cedar?  Cedars are also the main tree for Native use.

    There is no feel for how the geography influences us who are really at home here.  Mt. Rainier is shoe-horned in.  A character even remarks that another character says it's a volcano.  Implying that was new information.  It wasn't.  The old surveys like Lewis & Clark and the earlier voyages of exploration mention the volcanoes.  Even Glacier Peak, tucked into the Cascade range and so not obvious like Rainier, Baker, St. Helens, etc. was recognized by 1890. 

    No acknowledgement of a unique Pacific NW culture nor that of the 1st Peoples.  One of the characters mentions not being sure what kind of Indian Angeline is.  I know.  So would any early resident.  That's the name of Chief Seattle's daughter.  He was Duwamish and Suquamish.  One tribe along the river named for them, the other directly across the Sound.  Other related Salish tribes are some distance away.

    No mention either,  of the complex and checkered labor history of an emerging port city.  Some quite radical-- like the Wobblies.  Or the coal miners across Lake Washington.  Some regrettable; the anti-Chinese riots.  Like current events, where whites fear corporations will hire low paid immigrants to drive down wages. 

    I've got more.  But you get the point.  If the real stuff, which gives this area its character and its colors:  green and red... if you get what I mean... is so easy to ignore, why use the city at all?           


Comment by Gary B. Watts on June 20, 2011 at 9:22am
I recommend connecting with the Seattle Steamrats there is always something going on.
Comment by Ms. Eleanor Wycliffe on June 18, 2011 at 10:39pm
Hallo my fellow steamers! I'm moving to Seattle this summer for adventure, sights, and of course, for the antiques! I pose a question to you though: Are there many steamers such as yourselves out among the din of the city? Or am I doomed to be looking down dark alleys hoping to spot one of you?
Comment by Sepiachord on April 17, 2011 at 4:34pm
Tonight in Seattle: Movits!, Miss Mamie Lavona

Sepiachord will be out on the town tonight checking out this show:
Miss Mamie Lavona the Exotic Mulatta & Her White Boy Band
The Moonspinners
At The Tractor Tavern

8pm 21+ 12$
Comment by Coal City Steam on March 23, 2011 at 4:20pm

Hi! I'm heading to Seattle as part of my summer Pacific Northwest Tour with the newest book in the Brofman series: The Gospel According to Verdu. I am looking at a coffee shop for the book signing in Seattle Sunday June 27th - does anyone know anything about Victrola Coffee House? Would that be a good place? Can anyone suggest another that would be better for a Steampunk Meet-up, reading?

thanks for any direction and hope to see you soon,

Emilie P. Bush

Comment by General Skyfire on March 13, 2011 at 10:46pm
have you guys ever shopped at a store called Mishu in capitol hill?  amazing.
Comment by William Benson on February 21, 2011 at 7:12pm
I am across the state, in Spokane!  Anyone playing in my locale?
Comment by Kelly Green on January 30, 2011 at 3:17pm
Hi there I am no tin seattle but love seattle and steam punk and iM wanting to perfom at events and why not in my favorite city!  ;)
Comment by Frau Weiss on January 29, 2011 at 7:05pm
We are interested in the tea dance!
Comment by Queen Morrigan on January 28, 2011 at 8:16am
I would like info on the Roving Tea, please

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