Event Review: Elfia Arcen 2014

Elfia Arcen 2014 - steampunk group shot

Event: Elfia Arcen
What: fantasy fair
Where: Castle grounds, Arcen, The Netherlands
Price: varied, depending on your ticket and when you bought it, but generally prices start a little under € 20 all costs included for one day.

This latest edition of Elfia Arcen could benefit from a splendid organisation (that really took notice from last year’s edition and clearly improved upon it) and beautiful summer weather on the Saturday. We didn’t attend both days, so obviously we can’t speak for Sunday.
Unholy mud everywhere last year made the organisation really step up and make far better use of the pathways in the Arcen castle gardens to set up sections as well as market stands. Improvised pathways were spread out a little better and whilst they could have been wider, they were at least better laid out so that the left over mud from the rain on Friday wasn’t posing any real issues to people attending the fair.

knights passing through

Elfia Arcen 2014

Whilst there were quite a few of returning shops and food stands, a lot of new ones had also come to this year’s Elfia, making shopping diverse and a great range was on offer from craft supplies, all kinds of clothing, LARP supplies, contemporary culture and fandom bits and bobs and much, much more.

The food stands were also offering a good variety of meals, pretty reasonable in price, going from fast food such as fries to vegetarian and vegan falafel meals, garlic breads and meat on a stick. It was possible to eat under € 10 for a meal, but getting drinks was, as usual, slightly more of a hassle because of the fact that you have to front € 4 as insurance for your cup. Sure you get it back, but if you’re short on cash, it can be a right pain. Brining your own cup to fantasy fairs is thus really the way forward. We know we keep on saying this, but not everyone is a veteran fantasy event visitor, so not everyone knows. Continue reading

Book review: “Those Who Fight Monsters: Tales of Occult Detectives”

Those Who Fight Monsters

A collection of tales by different authors all of the same theme and genre surely is something that either appeals to fans of either of those two, a particular author included or those simply looking to find out a little more about the different franchises out there so they can pick and choose one to try for themselves.

I have to say that Those Who Fight Monsters: Tales of Occult Detectives is not the best choice when wanting to pick up a short story collection of this kind.

Originally I got it up because it includes a Nightside short by Simon R. Green, featuring the infamous John Taylor, as well as wanting to see what else is out there.

Whilst some stories were fun, and one was downright rather disturbing, most of it is a mixed bag and plain forgettable storytelling.

I feel like most authors, Mr Green included, didn’t bring their A-game to this book and most stories included are simply mediocre at best (or point blank badly written and boring). Well I hope that it was a matter of them not bringing their A-game, because if this is the best that most can do (I know Simon R. Green can do a LOT better, I’ve read those books and shorts, but I’m obviously not familiar with most writers included) it’s a sad state of affairs. In any case, neither stories included made me want into the other works of the author.

What is positive is that it’s a good mix of monsters and types of detectives (although the term should really be applied as broadly as humanly possible), ranging from human to superhuman, supernatural and demonic.

But sadly this fact isn’t enough to make this a compilation worth spending money on. Continue reading

Support Your Fellow Steampunk: Hullabaloo Steampunk Animated Film

“Hullabaloo is the story of Veronica Daring, a brilliant young scientist who returns home from an elite finishing school to find her father–the eccentric inventor Jonathan Daring–missing without a trace! The only clue left behind points Veronica toward Daring Adventures, an abandoned amusement park used by her father to test his fantastical steam-powered inventions. There she discovers a strange girl named Jules, a fellow inventor who agrees to help Veronica in locating her missing father and discovering the secrets of his work.”

Not only is Hullabaloo one of the upcoming 2D (yes, traditional animation, hurrah!) movies worth looking forward too, the creators are also trying to save the dying art of 2D. Something we at The Gatehouse can only support, especially considering that Hullabaloo promises to be a great new steampunk movie!

Want to know more and/or can spare some cash to support this project?
Click here!

Help Keep Dieselpunks Online

Dieselpunks front page

Dieselpunks front page

Every dieselpunk fan is probably familiar with Dieselpunks, the largest online dieselpunk community, founded by Tome Wilson and a partner website of The Gatehouse.

The community has existed for five years already and not only contains lively discussion and serves as a platform to bring dieselpunks from all over the world together; it is also, by now, an invaluable archive of dieselpunk articles, history, movies and music.

Dieselpunks need your help.

So far, it has been financed entirely by Tome and his team but the cost of covering the community’s hosting and music licensing fees is exceeding what they can pay to keep Dieselpunks online and alive.

To ensure the community’s survival, Tome has started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds.

He writes, “Running a network like Dieselpunks legally with no advertising or corporate sponsors costs real money, and this fundraiser will ease the burden considerably.”

If every member of the community or every one of its Facebook fans donated just one dollar, it would cover the cost of keeping Dieselpunks online and Tome would have funds left over to expand the site into new territory.

I would love to move away from our current host and onto a larger, more flexible platform. Any funds I receive over the goal of $3,500 can help me make this dream come true.

Please, click here to learn more and consider making a donation. We must not let Dieselpunks fall!