Dean Carnegie has been an illusionist since 1995. To quote Dean: Illusionists are a special breed who deal mostly with large scale props involving people, like ‘Sawing a Person in Half’, ‘Levitating Someone In the Air’, ‘Causing People to Vanish’ or ‘Appear from Nowhere’. His mysteries (isn’t that a wonderful term?) are on a grand scale. He was drawn to the Steampunk genre by the aesthetic, the industrial look, such as big rivets, brass parts and gauges.
Dean had experimented with a range of styles, and slowly realized that the style he was after was the Steampunk Aesthetic. Steampunk allowed – and allows – him to use props and devices that many modern magicians can’t use, because the props make sense within the context of his show. With Steampunk, there is an instant theatricality that comes from the props, the costumes and the overall theme of the show. His props would seem out of place in more modern acts. The Steampunk theme of his act creates verisimilitude, because of its association with Science Fiction, Jules Verne and other fantastic visions supplied by Steampunk’s Neo-Victorian Retro-futurism. The theme make it easier for him to present crazy concepts and have the audience accept them.
As an example: Who has a time machine in real life? No one. But Dean has one in his show, and so harks back to both H. G. Wells and Doctor Who. He also have a teleportation device in my show, which relates back to the traditions shown in Steampunk movie, The Prestige. Dean has a lot of contraptions that look like they came out of a Jules Verne novel, and when the audience sees them their first reactions are amazement and admiration. The magic has already started to work.
The Steampunk Illusionist isn’t active in his local community, but he is active online. Dean is also historian of the craft of magic. He reads 100 year old books to discover what magicians from the Victorian era were doing, and then recreate it or update it for modern audiences. He lures the hearts and minds of his audience into another century.
Steve: I'm pretty picky about my Steampunk - I don't belong to the "oh anything can be Steampunk" group - I like to use the term Neo-Vicwardian Retro-futurism. So it's Victorian/Edwardian culture, and science-fiction as they would see it.
Like many of us in the Steampunk community, Steve’s first introduction to the genre and the aesthetic was Disney’s version of ‘20,000 Leagues Under The Sea’ by Jules Verne. He fell in love with the Nautilus (don’t we all). Then as an adult writer, Steampunk found him rather than the other way round.
Steve: “Up until three or four years ago I wasn't even really aware of it (Steampunk). I was writing a contemporary SF web serial for a director friend, Chris Payne, and we weren't too happy with it, so he said "How about making it steampunk?" because he'd been working on a steampunk feature script and wanted to put it in the same universe. So I said "OK" and wrote The Lazarus Machine script and that was the first story I wrote in the Voidships steampunk setting. But I've always loved history and science fiction so it's a match made in heaven for me.”
Do you have a local Steampunk community?
Steve: Yes, Cottonopolis Coglective, actually run by someone my daughter knew at school. But I've never attended an event, unfortunately my current lifestyle precludes much in the way of social interaction. There is a massive steampunk movement in the UK, and because the most populace areas are no more than a couple of hours apart we can get huge numbers to events. And do.
The City of Manchester is the home of Steampunk. It was the powerhouse of British invention, and the Industrial revolution - including all the bad stuff, which I never gloss over.
Do you plan to produce any Steampunk-inspired works in the coming year?
Well this year I'll be publishing 12 Steampunk books so I guess the answer is "yes". I just released the first one, which is the fourth in my Maliha Anderson series, I'm just wrapping up editing on the second Frozen Beauty novella, and almost finished writing the first of my Harriet Edgbaston series ("A girl's own steampunk adventure") which is out in March. A romance set during the Siege of Lucknow in April featuring a character from the Maliha Anderson books. The fifth Maliha Anderson book in May ... and so on.
In addition, I'm editing an Anthology of steampunk stories by various writers (some known as steampunk authors and some new to it) due out in October. What's interesting is that all these stories will also be set in the same Voidships universe as my work.
And I have a comic book version of The Lazarus Machine being worked on, the first issue will hopefully be out this year as well. As mentioned The Lazarus Machine was originally written as a web serial (serial = fixed length story) and I really want to have that made at some point. Plus I also have a feature film script with a xeno-botanist as the protagonist (she beats the bad guy with plant knowledge), and that too is set in the same universe. Ultimately I want that made too.
So, as you can see, Steve is making a large contribution to the Steampunk literary genre. If you interested in seeing Steve in action:
Steve Turnbull on Amazon (geolink): http://viewauthor.at/SteveTurnbull
His website: http://steveturnbull.me
Voidships website: http://voidships.com
Photographs by James Niland
Lynne Lumsden Green
Ged Maybury is a fixture of the Steampunk scene in Southeast Queensland. Not only does he attend events in a range of colourful and flawless costumes he has designed and made himself, he makes his own gadgets, and he writes in the Steampunk genre. When Ged sets his mind to a task, his boundless enthusiasm and creativity make things happen.
He is the author of Across the Stonewind Sky, a windswept adventure that rollicks around a setting of floating communities, airships, pirates, mad scientists, more pirates, spies, and a hapless hero born under a lucky star. It started life as the setting for a computer game, but when the game failed to eventuate, Ged couldn’t help but populate the setting with his imagination. And what an imagination! Reading the book leaves me breathless, as we rush from one wild situation to the next.
Ged has also composed a song set in his Stonewind Sky universe, and there is a clip on Youtube with lots of Steampunk goodness. When the book was launched, Ged had fellow Steampunk writer, Michael Pryor, act as his presenter.
This book alone would confirm Ged Maybury’s importance to the Australian Steampunk community, but it would be remiss not to mention his classic Steampunk ‘Hello Kitty’ costume, his modelling of a bustle, his seminars at libraries and conferences, and his general enthusiasm for the community.
Find him on Amazon here : http://www.amazon.com/Ged-Maybury/e/B00JL8DKAY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1422750521&sr=1-1
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