How much do I like steampunk? Well, not enough to buy a pair of anachronistic goggles (though I had many opportunities at Wizardworld Chicago this year) but I'm still a big fan of the genre, both as a literary category and a roleplaying style. And this month sees the release of the Gatehouse Gazette, a newsletter devoted casting a critical eye on the burgeoning steampunk/dieselpunk movement.
It's a sharp-looking document that illustrates just how specialized web publishing has become. Used to be, to even produce something like the Gatehouse Gazette and have it reach its intended audience, the chronically understaffed editorial team would have to cough up several hundred bucks (minimum!) for printing and distribution -- and then hope readers would pluck off the shelf of their local alt bookstore. Not anymore! The first issue is available as a free download and includes (among other things) a lengthy interview about exactly what constitutes 'dieselpunk' as a sub-genre of steampunk. Hint: it's considerably darker and more pulpy than traditional steampunk.
From a roleplaying perspective, this newsletter has a handful of juicy RPG bits, but I'll be the first to admit that some of the topics delve a little deeper into the genre than I'd care to go. Nevertheless, I'll eagerly await the second installment.