(0 replies, posted in Forum Affairs)

To join the community:

  • Email me at n.ottens [at] gmail.com with your preferred username. (Replace the "[at]" with an "@".)

  • I will manually create an account for you for with a placeholder password that you can change after your first log-in.

We've had to disable automatic registrations due to the high level of spambots. Every day, we got dozens of fake accounts.

Sorry for the inconvenience! It will usually take only a few hours to create your account.


(6 replies, posted in Ætherscope)

There's a difference, though, between politics in steampunk and steampunk as politics.

The former, I think, is totally fine. Whatever the focus of the story or creation.

The latter is problematic. As you say, steampunk isn't a movement, much less a political movement. Some people tried to turn it into one, and it didn't work.


(64 replies, posted in Ætherscope)

Here is the story!

Retrostacja disappeared recently.


(1 replies, posted in Never Was Magazine)

There we go! We are now live at patreon.com/neverwasmag.

There are three contributor tiers:

  1. Æthernaut: $1/month

  2. Sky Captain: $2/month

  3. Zeppelin Overlord: $10/month

We also have three fundraising goals:

  1. When we reach $500 per month, we'll be able to publish two stories each week, or eight per month.

  2. When we reach $750 per month, we'll be able to publish three stories each week, or twelve per month.

  3. When we reach $1000 per month, we'll be able to publish three new stories each week and pay one or two freelancers for additional stories each month.

Let's make this happen! Click here to access the page and become a patron of Never Was.


(1 replies, posted in Never Was Magazine)

I'm busy creating a Patreon page for Never Was.

Patreon enables people to financially support projects and creators.

Never Was, and before that The Gatehouse, has always been a hobby project, but if we're able to make a bit of money from it, that would go a long way to making the magazine sustainable in the long term.

Click here to see a preview. I would welcome any ideas and suggestions before the page goes live.



(0 replies, posted in The Diogenes Club)

A Voice Of the People poll has found (PDF) majority support in the United States for introducing ranked-choice voting.

Also known as instant runoff, it would allow Americans to vote for third-party candidates without wasting their votes. Maine is the first state to consider it.

Another way to break up the Democratic-Republican duopoly would be to consolidate congressional districts, something I've written about at the Atlantic Sentinel.

I would support either. The two-party system has polarized Americans. We see in Europe that multiparty democracies are better at managing tensions.


(0 replies, posted in Forum Affairs)

Verification emails weren't going out, which prevented people from finalizing their registrations. This has now been fixed. Sorry it took a while!

If you tried to sign up and didn't get the verification email, please try again. It should work now.

Digitized from issue 13:


(1 replies, posted in Ætherscope)

The online fandom has died down a little. Many of the websites, blogs and communities I frequented in the heydays of 2006-10 have disappeared. (I'm actually working on a story for Never Was about old steampunk sites.) The Steampunk Forum used to be far more active. Steamfashion is dead. The Steampunk Empire has disappeared.

There does seem to be quite a bit of activity on social media, but it's hard to gauge.

Offline, we still get a steady stream of steampunk books, movies, art and music, but it does seem the hype has passed and now steampunk has become a "normal" genre.

I'm not sure about events and meet-ups, because I was never into that aspect of the steampunk community to begin with.

What are your experiences? Does it feel things have slowed down? If so, is that a bad thing?


(0 replies, posted in Never Was Magazine)

I've written a history of The Gatehouse that includes browsable archives of previous iterations of the site.


It all got started in 2004-05, when I added steampunk content to my personal website. Click here or on the picture above to browse that version.


The name The Gatehouse premiered in 2008. I also bought my first domain that year: ottens.co.uk. Click here to browse an archive of the 2008 version.

In 2009, we switched to a blog. Up until then, the site had been hand-coded.

Most of the content from the first blog has been lost, because we later switched to a different software. I'm working on restoring some of that content, though, using the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine to retrieve posts.

Between April 2010 and October 2011, The Gatehouse existed as a picture blog on Tumblr.

Everything since October 2011 is now available at Never Was.