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Jay Lake
Date: 2008-07-10 05:37
Subject: [funny] A steampunk abecedary
Security: Public
Tags:funny, writing

From an email exchange this morning:

A is for airship which flies in the sky.
B is for bat which the evening brings by.

Let’s play a bloggy game. Per the above, put your suggestions for a steampunk abecedary in comments — next week I’ll distill them out, and we’ll have a poll for the coolest/funniest, with hardback copies of Escapement Powell's | Amazon ] as prizes. Then we’ll have a steampunk abecedary.

Bonus points for rhyming couplets or more complex formalisms.

Big bonus points for posting art to go with your letter(s).

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

Post A Comment | 24 Comments | | Flag | Link

User: selfavowedgeek
Date: 2008-07-10 12:59 (UTC)
Subject: Skipping C and D in favor of . . .
E and F:

E is for electrick which keeps lights on.
F is for fact'ry--by electrick run.
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User: threeoutside
Date: 2008-07-10 13:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
C is for Cog, without which, naught.
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Brian Dolton
User: tchernabyelo
Date: 2008-07-10 13:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
C is for Clockwork, crafted with love
D for Dirigible (see "Airship", above)

More later, if everyone else in teh universe hasn't beaten me to it.
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Kevin Roche
User: kproche
Date: 2008-07-10 13:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
G is for gaslamp, keeping nights bright
H is for helium, lifting ships to new heights...
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User: biomekanic
Date: 2008-07-10 13:46 (UTC)
Subject: probably more later.
A is for Anarchists, who want to tear it all apart

B is for Babbage, who gave the Engine its start

C is for chemists, and their clever concoctions

E is for the Empire, overwhich the sun never sets

G is for Genuises, who make it all run.

N is for Natives, whose rebellions did not fail

V is for Victoria, whose life gave this all a start

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Misty Marshall
User: mistymarshall
Date: 2008-07-10 14:27 (UTC)
Subject: Re: probably more later.
D is for their Dreams and innovations
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User: biomekanic
Date: 2008-07-11 14:05 (UTC)
Subject: Re: probably more later.
I is for inventors, whose dreams fuel the industrialized nations.
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Chang...  just Chang.
User: chang3002
Date: 2008-07-10 13:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
C is for coal which blackens the day

D is for death which takes life away.
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Rafe: bitter
User: etcet
Date: 2008-07-10 14:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
A is for Aether, which is fantastickal stuff;
B is for baubles, for some "too many" is seldom "enough."

C is for clockwork, with its millions of gears;
D is for dreadnoughts, which fill folks with fear.

E is for Edison, and his myriad smarts;
F is for flatulence, because Some Writers like farts.

G is for gears, without which we're stuck;
H is for the Heptapods in their seven-wheeled truck.

I is for ignition, the spark 'fore the flame;
J is for Jack - boots, "Spring-heel," and fame.

K is for Kliegs, which stab through the night;
L is for luminescence, which is classier than "light."

M is for mordant, the best wit there be;
N is for napkins, for pockets and tea.

O is for oscilloscope, a must for inventors;
P is for plastic, that toy of dementors.

Q is for quicksilver, that scene-setting liquid;
R is for rust, and all the bad that it did.

S is for springs, both bouncy and coiled;
T is for the twists in which heroes are embroiled.

U is for unguent, which treats scrapes and gout;
V is the velocipede you ride when you're heading out.

W is for witchcraft, in which no one believes;
X is for X-rays, showing us stuff that the eye does not see.

Y is for youth, and all its exuberance;
... and Z is for zippers, which constrain our protuberance.
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User: chrisbarnes
Date: 2008-07-10 14:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Here's a start:

A is for Alchemy, both science and art
B is for Brass, all gleaming and smart
C is for Clockwork, heart of machines,
D is for Dirigible, conveyance of queens
E is for Element, like phlogiston and potash
F is for Frock Coat, worn with a sash
G is for Goggles and also for Glove
H is for Hydrogen (refer D above).
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Ninjakitten: omg it's the future!
User: ninjakitten
Date: 2008-07-10 14:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:omg it's the future!
C is for cogs interlocking on gears.
D: difference engine, whence much math appears.
E is for ether, the carriage of light;
F for the fact'ries that buzz through the night.
G is for goggles, protecting our eyes,
and H for the horse, tail whisking off flies.
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User: lordofallfools
Date: 2008-07-10 15:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
A is for Airship is too nice a construction to start the abecedary with anything else.
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User: lordofallfools
Date: 2008-07-10 16:06 (UTC)
Subject: A is for Airship
A is for airship, and the Airmen who fly it;
B is for ballast; (we remembered to buy it).

C is for cyclotron that spins 'round and 'round;
D is for dynamos, that keep us off-ground.

E's for equipment, the tools and the gadgets;
F is for flightsuit, spangled with badges.

G is for gyroscope, it keeps us upright;
H is for halon, shining bright in the night.

I is for icepick, if the weather gets cold;
J is for jumpsuit, (mine is new, yours is old).

K is for kites that we fly off the bow;
L is for lightning that we're gathering now.

M is for markers that show us the way;
N is for nimbus clouds late in the day.

O is for oxygen, all of us need it;
P is for petrol, and the pneumatics that bleed it.

Q is for queen, in whose honor we fly;
R is for racing up high in the sky.

S is for stars that wink, blink, and glow;
T is for tailwinds that helpfully blow.

U is for underwear drying off in the rigging;
V is for virus that you're hopefully not getting.

W's for warmth, for a cabin secure;
X is for xyclograph (what it does, I'm not sure).

Y is for you, getting us safely to ground;
Z is for zest and when we all shout out ZOUNDS!
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User: nolly
Date: 2008-07-10 19:08 (UTC)
Subject: Re: A is for Airship
Awesome, except...is oxygen steampunk, or post-steam?
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User: lordofallfools
Date: 2008-07-11 11:18 (UTC)
Subject: Oxygen and Steampunk
It depends. Oxygen was discovered in 1774; steampunk, if we're saying it's usually set in Queen Elizabeth's time, is significantly earlier.

However, airships (dirigibles/blimps) didn't make the scene until the early 1900s. (Liquified oxygen was produced in 1891; it incorporated into rocket fuel in 1923, a little before airships became popular in military use. I think.)

In the context of the poem, oxygen is referred to as a gas we need-- I was thinking of it in terms of being on a high altitude machine, and the occupants needing air. In this case, while I can't find an exact, definitive reference, Priestly DID observe the effects of O2 on humans and animals in 1774...so I maybe I fudged it a bit.

But hey, it's speculative fiction; in my fantasy, the riders of my airship knew all about the beneficial elements of oxygen. They're riding an AIRSHIP with a xyclograph for Pete's sake-- OF COURSE they know about O2.

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G. D. Falksen
User: squirrelmadness
Date: 2008-07-11 00:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
A for Academy, where science is keen
B is for Boiler, turning water to steam

C is for Coal, feeding the fire
D for Dirigible, floating higher and higher

E is for Engine, an invention quite droll
F is for Fireman, shoveling coal

G is for Gear, which guides the machine
H for Hydraulic, a power unseen

I is for Iron, companion to steel
J is for Jingo, an expression of zeal

K, Kilimanjaro, an adventure of worth
L, then, for Landship, dreadnought of the earth

M is for Motor, a gentleman's toy
N is for Nation, empire's ploy

O is for Oil, the future of fuel
P is for Pith Helm, to keep the head cool

Q is for Quarry, let the hunter engage
R is for Railroad, the jewel of the age

S is for Steam, driving it all
T is for Timepiece, in pocket, on wall

U for Umbrella, let none be without
V for the Vicar, let's hope he's devout

W for Winch, to magnify might
X, Xenophobia, I hear the French bite

Y is for Yellow, journalism of vice
Z is for Zenith, isn't empire nice?

Regards, etc.,
G. D. Falksen
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paulcarp: pic#67230600
User: paulcarp
Date: 2008-07-11 01:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Y is for YOU (gearing up to espouse
Z for, say, Zeppelins surrounding my house)
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User: mythusmage
Date: 2008-07-11 14:32 (UTC)
Subject: A Few Stanzas
The first is Aspire, which all thinkers do
The second Bemuse which rouses thought too

Next comes Coal which hurries the water
and Doilies the laying of which busies the daughters

See now Emory, which smooths rough metal
'Long side Fire that heats copper kettle

(And there I run dry for the nonce.)
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User: jaborwhalky
Date: 2008-07-14 02:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Do not end this till tuesday .
I have art I am all most done with to post..

It will be cool but do not close this and post them till tuesday so you can see.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-07-14 03:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I shall abide!
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Evelyn: pic#65240789
User: jaborwhalky
Date: 2008-07-14 11:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

You should be amused by this...Its your fault the art happened I just need to scan them in..

Oh when you get a second pop by my LJ and meet Mr Gone and tell me what you think if you can, do take it easy and take care of your self and let me know when your late gift gets to you as it was just put in the post.
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User: jaborwhalky
Date: 2008-07-18 11:53 (UTC)
Subject: Its done, this is all your fault JAY! ;-) ;-P
v v

and next time will you sing with me!
The clever words are by Mr G.D. Falksen
The Illustration by me..

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Evelyn: Snakes
User: jaborwhalky
Date: 2008-07-18 12:06 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Its done, this is all your fault JAY! ;-) ;-P

Oh and just in case thats too big here they are at small size
v v
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User: jaborwhalky
Date: 2008-07-18 12:09 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Its done, this is all your fault JAY! ;-) ;-P
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