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We’re always excited when talented locals make good on the national stage. A new, locally-developed iPhone-only pulp magazine called Steampunk Tales was just released by Colorado Springs-based programmer and engineer John Sondericker and it’s already gotten over a thousand links on Google, including a write-up on one of the biggest Mac blogs in the known universe, The Unoffical Apple Weblog.
Full Disclosure: The Big Something‘s Noel Black is among the ranks of the first issue’s 10 authors (and we’re mighty proud), which include a variety of locals and some big names in the genre like Jay Lake, Catherynne M. Valente, and G.D. Falksen. The magazine is an iPhone-only application that seeks to reintroduce the Penny Dreadful (cheap, pulpy fiction) to the growing audience of digital readers.
It seems as if every author we ask to contribute to the zine not only says “yes” but has said it quite enthusiastically. Everyone wants to be on the iPhone, and the “penny dreadful” brought into modern day is a cool concept. Our formula will be 10 stories for $2.
Steampunk, for those who aren’t aware of the genre, is a kind of retro-futuristic hybrid of science-fiction and revisionist Victorian techno-history, though it sometimes delves into the purely fantastical. Wikipedia has a good entry on the genre’s origins and practitioners HERE, but if you’ve ever read any Jules Verne or Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or seen movies like Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky or Caro & Jeunet’s City of Lost Children, you get the idea.
To create the magazine, Sondericker had to develop his own iPhone reader that offers the look and patina of old papers and real pages turning. Readers can also change the fonts, font-sizes and “papers” to suit their preferences, but we think Zapfino suits the genre nicely:
The magazine, which sells for $1.99 at the iPhone app store, isn’t yet available in any other formats, but will be in a couple of months. We’ll keep you posted.
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