Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Monday, 28 September 2009
We go around the blogosphere to find blogs that deal with very specific things, and uncover the best and coolest there are to see.
There's the inside track, and then there are those who pave the inside track. Attack of the Show gets you inside, underneath, around, and behind the newest tech, the hottest games, the fastest-breaking news, and the oddest oddities from the fringe.
Monday, 21 September 2009
I do not see the possibility of comparison between his (Wells) work and mine. We do not proceed in the same manner. It occurs to me that his stories do not repose on a very scientific basis. No, there is no rapport between his work and mine. I make use of physics. He invents. I go to the moon in a cannon-ball discharged from a cannon. Here there is no invention. He goes to Mars [sic] in an air-ship, which he constructs of a metal which does away with the law of gravitation. Ca, c'est tres joli, but show me this metal. Let him produce it.
There's a quality in the worst of my so-called "pseudo-scientific" (imbecile adjective) stuff which differentiates it from Jules Verne, e.g., just as Swift is differentiated from Fantasia—isn't there? There is something other that either story writing or artistic merit which has emerged through the series of my books. Something one might regard as a new system of ideas—"thought."
Thursday, 27 August 2009
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
"It was absolutely fantastic I enjoyed every moment of it. We reached nearly 140mph on the first run. All systems worked perfectly, it was a really good run. The second run went even better and we clocked a speed in excess of 150 mph. The car really did handle beautifully. The team has worked extremely hard over the last 10 years and overcome numerous problems. It is a privilege to be involved with such a talented crew, what we have achieved today is a true testament to British engineering, good teamwork and perseverance”
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
"He tells me he is now detained, night and day, in downloading every album he ever owned, lost, desired, or was casually intrigued by; he has now stopped even listening to them, and spends his time sleeplessly monitoring a progress bar. . . . He says it's like all my birthdays have come at once, by which I can see he means, precisely, that he feels he is going to die."
Thursday, 16 July 2009
The ensuing months will see a myriad of posts around the aether about the moon, about the mission, and about the verbal slip of Armstrong's on such a momentous occasion - although, to be honest, concentrating on not slipping down the ladder in order to make the first human impression upon an extra-terrestrial body with your foot rather than your backside is probably a good thing, overall.
The reinvigorated space missions, starting with GW Bush's statement of purpose in September 2004, promised to herald a new step in human space exploration, with robots and humans venturing into the solar system.
However, a main foundation of this new adventure - that of a permanent lunar base - is reportedly under threat. Detailed plans for a lunar base were developed in the 1980s , which would have seen semi-permanent bases established there between 2005-6. As per usual, however, other life events intervened.
Man is scheduled to return to the moon in 2020, and from there, push into the wider system, including Mars. Now, however, it appears that NASA is, due to the new financial climate, scaling back on its plans. The Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies of the House Committee on Appropriations heard in April that the moon may now be bypassed, with the concentration now on pushing out straight away. This will depend upon the 2010 budget. There are draft plans to delete the lunar base completely, and use manned asteroids instead.
That said, two new missions to the moon (LRO and LCROSS) are continuing, one objective being to determine the nature of any water on the moon. As we all know, water is vital for any exploration mission - it's crucial for survival, yet is bulky, heavy, and does not dehydrate! The more sources of water we can find in the solar system, the better the chances of humanity pushing out from this lonely and precarious ball of rock we call home.
In the interim, work upon the space station continues, as it also does upon the manned mars mission, including the spacecraft which will take our intrepid explorers to the Red Planet. Other organisations then NASA, including the Mars Society, MarsDrive, Haughton-Mars, Mars Institute, and Mars Foundation are pushing the envelope, as well as, reportedly, state missions including China, Japan, India, and Russia.
Our patron saints Mr Wells and M. Verne would be pleased to know mankind continues to view the stars and pursue ways of making their dreams a reality!
It could get crowded out there, guys!
Friday, 10 July 2009
In response to the discovery of lost Metropolis footage, issue #7 is dedicated to this 1927 classic of silent film and the metropolis in general.
Of course there is a review of the original Metropolis, by Mr Marcius Rauchfuß, as well as an article about the 2001 anime of the same name, by Mr Sigurjón Njálsson. For the latest about what is going on in that other fine city, the Old Smoke called Londontown, we introduce Brigadier Sir Arthur Weirdy-Beardy of The Steampunk Club, while Mr David Townsend is off to farther realms once again, traveling by the Indian Pacific from Perth to Sydney, Australia.
We are also extremely glad to present an exclusive preview of Mr Toby Frost’s upcoming Space Captain Smith novel, Wrath of the Lemming Men!
And it almost goes without saying that this issue features all the columns and features that you might have come to expect from us: Ms Hilde Heyvaert writes her "Steampunk Wardrobe” about ethnic steampunk; Mr Craig B. Daniel dedicates his “Liquor Cabinet” to a story about beer, and Mr Guy Dampier is back with a Quatermass review. More reviews come from Hilde (Unhallowed Necropolis), Mr Trubetskoy (The Court of the Air and Outcry) and Toby Frost (Gormenghast).
Monday, 22 June 2009
"James grabs himself a gorgeous old Jaguar XK120 sports car while Richard chooses to torture himself on the brutal but rather fantastically named Vincent Black Shadow motorbike. Meanwhile, in an almost unprecedented move, Jeremy decides to take the train. But not just any old train; he's on the footplate of the Tornado, a brand new steam train built to the original blueprints used to create some of Britain's finest locomotives back in the heyday of the railways."
In the spirit of the 19th Century "Races to the North", BBC television's "Top Gear" programme threw down the gauntlet for the builders of brand new Peppercorn A1 Class Tornado and challenged them to a race from London to Edinburgh. On April 25th under the cover of some secrecy, in a thrilling contest that harked back to the great days of the 'fifties, the Cathedrals Express blasted away from Kings Cross at 7.30am on the 25th of April with Jeremy Clarkson on board. Meanwhile Richard Hammond, astride a classic Vincent motorbike, and James May, driving a Jaguar XK120, set off in hot pursuit on the A1 (road).
Wednesday, 3 June 2009
Thursday, 28 May 2009
Fellow enthusiasts upon the subject of space exploration will be aware of the meta-narrative: that, despite previous investigations upon the possibility of flight beyond the atmosphere, it was the experimants and achievement of engineers under the auspices of the Nazi regime and the achievements of Wernher von Braun with NASA in the USA which saw man first standing on the Moon. The Russian space programme took an alternative route, based upon home-grown talent, epitomised by the genius that was Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky, about whom I have previously written in connection with the Space Elevator.
V = Vj ln(Mo/ Me)
where: m0 is the initial total mass, including
propellant, in kg (or lb) ; m1 is the final total mass in
kg (or lb) ; ve is the effective exhaust velocity in m/s or
(ft/s) or is the delta-v in m/s (or ft/s).
The equation shows that rocket vehicle velocity is directly proportional to the rocket exhaust jet velocity. The latter is essentially constant for a given rocket design, propellants, and operating conditions. It depends upon the amount of heat energy released during combustion, the combustion pressure, the combustion products, and the nozzle for expanding the gases. It is this equation which enabled homosapiens to leave the confines of his home planet.
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
Friday, 8 May 2009
The esteemed Mr Amat's Steampunk Pics blog, up till now hosted at blogspot, has been relocated to a specifically designed and constructed extension to the Gatehouse.
Steampunk Pics joins the marvellously welcoming home of steampunk, dieselpunk and decodence, and actively engaging and exciting forums hosted by Mr Ottens at the Gatehouse. Mr Armat's new home may be found here.
Mr Armat is also starting a new dieselpunk blog, to be found here.
Please, take the portal through the aether and visit these new sites, else your steampunk experience be limited!
Thursday, 7 May 2009
A stalwart of Mel Brooks' films, and great partnerships with Burt Reynolds and Gene Wilder, his comic genius will be sorely missed. He was a real polymath, being an actor, comedian, chef, opera singer, and author.
Please, visit his official site and reminisce a life well spent!
Friday, 1 May 2009
In the words of the esteemed Editor, Mr Ottens:
You will also find plenty of the usual in this edition: Mr Daniel’s “Liquor Cabinet”; “Local Steampunk” in Antwerp this time; Miss Hilde Heyvaert's “Steampunk Wardrobe” about the mad scientist look; and Ella’s “Hammer Horrors”. And we welcome a new columnist: Mr David Townsend, “Gentleman Traveler”!
Some old faces return to contribute once again: Mr Toby Frost, author of Space Captain Smith and its sequel, God Emperor of Didcot, provides a review of the fourth Call of Duty video game and Mr Guy Dampier writes the first in a series of articles about the Quatermass franchise."
Thursday, 23 April 2009
Part of the Steampunk Myths and Legends competition over at the CGSociety site, Cliff Cramp's work in progress is a wonderfully insolent image of the triumph of Steam Technology and Ingenuity.
Pop over here for more details and the image itself.
Thursday, 9 April 2009
Ms Boron, as she settles into her new locale, invites you to join her and interact with her explorations and adventures. More details may be found on the adjoining site here, and her journal found here.
Tuesday, 7 April 2009
Railway Walks follows Ms Bradbury as she walks along the lines of now extinct and defunct railways which had formed part of the backbone of Britain, and the one of the foundations of the British Industrial Revolution.
Whilst the BBC programme may be viewed online via Ms Bradbury and the BBC iPlayer, those who may be interested in exploring some of the hidden treasures of the steam age may also find this site useful in finding where these old track-beds are. Alternatively, there are many books on local railway walks which are available through the aethernet.
What could be more pleasant now that Spring has sprung than to venture out from our soot-encrusted hovels and explore the wonders of a bygone age?
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
Pop over to Strange Dreams for more details and footage of the BBC's visit to the 'fest!
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
Nothing new to students of Utopia, now, a 'new frontier' is being opened up, stemming from this ancient obsession. Inhabitable land is decreasing, with the dual problem of climate change and increasing populations across the globe. If the latest research on global warming, as presented at the Copenhagen Summitt on 11 March 2009, is correct, and sea levels do indeed rise by up to 2.2 metres by 2100, floating cities may prove to be a solution - along with other measures, I would hasten to add! The above picture illustrates the 'Lilypad' concept of Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut.
Two organisations are currently exploring the viability of floating cities in very different ways.
The brainchild of Norman Nixon, Freedom Ship was established before 1999, with an amazing vision of a floating city which will repeatedly circumnavigate the world over a two year period. The original conception was seen very much in the guise of tax evasion, with the ship standing outside of the law, but Mr Nixon has gone out of his way to disabuse any investors or interested parties of these ideas. Unfortunately, Mr Nixon's company has recently been the victim of a fraudulent crime, resulting in the loss of a substantial amount of money.
The second drive is being guided by the Seasteading Institute, which seeks to determine the viability of alternative ways of living - "If people could create societies with different priorities - the environment, civil liberties, economic freedom, religious values - we'd be able to see how well these ideas actually work in practice. In some cases, certain approaches will work so well (or terribly) that everyone (or no one) will use them too. In others, it will turn out to be a matter of preference, in which case we'll be giving people the choice to choose to live in whatever small society is closest to their ideal." The manifesto "Dynamic Geography: Blueprint for Effective Government" outlines the vision of the Institute, which also has a competition for designs of seasteads.
Again, inspiration from the past is driving the solutions for the future...
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
The Asylum UK Steampunk convention is to be held between 11th-13th September 2009 in the wonderful city of Lincoln. The venue will be across three sites, but based primarily at "The Lawn", a former Victorian Lunatic Asylum in manicured grounds in the heart of Lincoln's historical quarter.
Costs as they currently stand are envisaged as a full "members" ticket at £30, allowing access to the gig on Friday night (music by Ghostfire!), the core venue on Saturday and the First Annual Empire Ball on Saturday evening. Sunday is more ad hoc and is therefore likely to be free. Individual elements for those unable to attend/afford the whole weekend are likely to be: Friday gig: £9, Day Ticket £8.50, Ball £16.50.
The weekend coincides with Heritage Open Weekend, whereby public buildings are opened to the masses, enabling some of Britain's unknown and hidden archictural heritage to be enjoyed by a wider audience than the civil servants who work in these buildings.
More details may be found here. This looks to be building up into quite an event which we should all try to attend!
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
Updated windmills may provide energy, sustainable woodland may provide fuel, companion planting of crops may remove the need for pesticides and increase yields, as well as increasing wildlife, and airships are making a comeback, whilst plans for an alternative to a new runway at Heathrow include a floating runway in the Thames estuary.
"The Future Isn't What it Used to Be" (originally published as "Changing Travel Demand: Implications for Transport Planning", ITE Journal (Sept. 2005, Vol. 76, No.9, 27-33) by Todd Litmann, published by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute looks to the past for inspiration to solving the transport problems of the immediate future, drawing conclusions from the trends of the Twentieth Century for the issues of the Twenty-First.
An intruiging, practical-academic paper which raises some interesting questions...
Thursday, 26 February 2009
For those who are already using the progeny of this discovery, apologies, but for those of the current continuum who are unaware of this device, I shall elucidate.
Researchers at the UK's Reading University have developed a model, based upon a lexicon of 200 words, which tracks how word usage changes over time, and when words diverge. According to Prof. Mark Pagel, "You type in a date in the past or in the future and it will give you a list of words that would have changed going back in time or will change going into the future. From that list you can derive a phrasebook of words you could use if you tried to show up and talk to, for example, William the Conqueror."
The algorithm also predicts which words are likely to become extinct in the future, negating the old problem, encountered by Time Travellers whose passion is the future, of sounding decades, even centuries, out of date when in conversation with contemporaneous denizens of, say, the year 2303AD.
More (immensely greater) detail may be found here; Prof. Pagel's research here; and more layman information here.
Monday, 23 February 2009
The keynote speaker of the conference is that scion of SF, Frederik Pohl, who is to receive the Eaton Lifetime Achievement Award. More pertinent to 'punks and 'punkettes, however, are the Steampunk sessions, Steampunk Verne and Steampunk after Verne, along with the presence of those Stempunk Leviathans Greg Bear, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Tim Powers, Rudy Rucker, Jeff VanderMeer, and Ann VanderMeer on the Steampunk and Extraordinary Voyages panel.
Whilst unfortunately unable to attend this exciting event, I will be keeping my eyes and ears open for any news, information, papers, or other media which may be forthcoming.
The programme may be found here, where you will find details of papers and presentations on topics as varied as Hollow Earth Theory and Mole Men to Michel Verne and film, Magritte and Verne to Warlords of the Air and Thomas Pynchon. Please, visit the site, and, if you are able to attend this serious but enjoyable academic conference, contact the organisers.
The Jules Verne broke up on re-entry on 29 September 2008, after 6 months of missions re-supplying the International Space Station. The death of this pioneering craft was captured on video by NASA via cameras attached to their aircraft, launched from Tahiti and French Polynesia to film the event.
"Commemorating the anniversary of the birthday of Jules Verne, the Gatehouse Gazette celebrates “Extraordinary Voyages” this issue!
Read an interview with the extraordinary fashion designer Miss Vecona and learn more about the adventure look from Miss Hilde Heyvaert’s “The Steampunk Wardrobe” column. She also tells you just how to be a good villain, that is, in a review of the book that does. So if you are scheming any evildoing some time soon, be sure not to miss out on it!This issue also sees the addition of two new contributors to the Gazette staff: Miss Ella Kremper with a review of Hammer Film’s 1958 film Dracula and Mr Marcius Rauchfuß who writes about all of interest to the steampunk enthusiast in the city of Munich. And this edition sees the third and final part of Mr Piecraft’s “History of Dieselpunk.” Read how dieselpunk and punk relate in his concluding installment!"
Download the Gazette in pdf here.
Friday, 20 February 2009
A key inspiration for the development of art and science during the twentieth century, Futurism was born as a reaction to Romanticism. Its embracement of the modern, technology, youth and speed, brought with it unforeseen perils - with its rejection of the past, and its advocation of violence, Futurism had both anarchist and fascit elements. Il Duce embraced the movement, and Filippo Marinetti moved from the left to the right, becoming an active supporter of Mussolini, with his dream of dragging Italy into the new twentieth century.
Thrilling and dangerous, the Manifesto's 11 points celebrate rejuvination and vivacity, the embracing of the new, and the holistic nature of Futurism:
1. We want to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and rashness.
2. The essential elements of our poetry will be courage, audacity and revolt.
3. Literature has up to now magnified pensive immobility, ecstasy and slumber. We want to exalt movements of aggression, feverish sleeplessness, the double march, the perilous leap, the slap and the blow with the fist.
4. We declare that the splendor of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing automobile with its bonnet adorned with great tubes like serpents with explosive breath ... a roaring motor car which seems to run on machine-gun fire, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.
5. We want to sing the man at the wheel, the ideal axis of which crosses the earth, itself hurled along its orbit.
6. The poet must spend himself with warmth, glamour and prodigality to increase the enthusiastic fervor of the primordial elements.
7. Beauty exists only in struggle. There is no masterpiece that has not an aggressive character.
8. Poetry must be a violent assault on the forces of the unknown, to force them to bow before man.
9. We are on the extreme promontory of the centuries! What is the use of looking behind at the moment when we must open the mysterious shutters of the impossible? Time and Space died yesterday. We are already living in the absolute, since we have already created eternal, omnipresent speed.
10. We want to glorify war - the only cure for the world - militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of the anarchists, the beautiful ideas which kill, and contempt for woman.
We want to demolish museums and libraries, fight morality, feminism and all opportunist and utilitarian cowardice.
11. We will sing of the great crowds agitated by work, pleasure and revolt; the multi-colored and polyphonic surf of revolutions in modern capitals: the nocturnal vibration of the arsenals and the workshops beneath their violent electric moons: the gluttonous railway stations devouring smoking serpents; factories suspended from the clouds by the thread of their smoke; bridges with the leap of gymnasts flung across the diabolic cutlery of sunny rivers: adventurous steamers sniffing the horizon; great-breasted locomotives, puffing on the rails like enormous steel horses with long tubes for bridle, and the gliding flight of aeroplanes whose propeller sounds like the flapping of a flag and the applause of enthusiastic crowds.
With much which is laudable, Futurism also entails much which is anathema in today's world, as well as the early twentieth century, such as its advocation of violence and war, and its rejection of feminism. A lesson for those who embrace and desire what may be possible without considering the moral perils of making it possible...
Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Evolving from previous forums, including nov-net and delta.place, the Lounge is a forum “for all things Steam, Diesel, Retro and Pulp”, and everything within the scope of steampunk and dieselpunk, as well as retro-futurism, pulp fiction and film noir is welcomed.
With a warmly welcoming atmosphere, friendly and cordial denizens who are not afraid of respectable disagreements, the Lounge is a meeting place for those who wish to dabble in Steampunk and related sub-genres, as well as those who like to take their steam more seriously. Constantly updated, with on-going conversation on a wide range of topics (from appropriate attire for celebrating Mr Verne's birthday to the burning rage of Christian Bale via the allure of dirigable versus steamship travel and how nuclear fission is based upon Victorian science), the Lounge is currently divided into:
The Ætherscope , for discussions about Steampunk.
The Cafe Metropole, for all things Diesel and Pulp.
The Emporium, for fiction, fashion, and art.
Startling Stories, for role-playing games.
The Diogenes Club, for off-topic talk and debate.
I have been a member of the Lounge for less than a year, and have been made heartily welcome, and contributions, ideas, and general chat between members gives the Lounge an atmosphere reminiscent of the Salons, Coffee Houses, or Gentlemen's Clubs of bygone centuries.
If you are not a member already, we hereby invite you to kindly consider joining the Smoking Lounge.
To persuade you further, we present you this wonderful promo featuring Miss Hilde Heyvaert. Besides her sits the Lounge's official mascot, Shinto, atop an old Remington typewriter!
Saturday, 7 February 2009
Given that I suffer from vertigo, I have great admiration for those brave souls who worked on their construction with little thought to the death-defying tasks to which they dedicated themselves.
To say nothing of what the pioneers of cinematic comedy put themselves through!
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
This is by no means a student movie! The production team includes the producer of Lars von Trier's Dancer in the Dark, Tero Kaukomaa, and best-selling author Johanna Sinisalo, so PLEASE visit their site, help if you can, buy the t-shirt, listen and watch the Signal (presented by the stunning Mariel Mettälä) and be part of what looks like being a phenomenal piece of work.
More images in Strange Dreams