Star-Begotten was first published in 1937. As in The War of the Worlds, the villains in the story are Martians who are trying to survive their dying planet. Their MO, in this case, isn’t an in your face invasion. Instead, they're altering the genes of humans so as to create a new super race with the goal of achieving domination of the Earth.
I admit that I haven’t read the book yet. However, I can say that I find the year and subject of the book intriguing. One can’t help but suspect that Wells was inspired by the events in Nazi Germany in writing this novel.
I hope to publish a review of this book soon. Like so many of Wells’s work, it’s a small book so I don't expect it will take very long for me to read. It's length is what today we would call a novella rather than a novel.
Stay tuned for more.
The Great British Bake Off (GBBO) is currently in its 10th season. GBBO, which is produced by Love Productions, began in the UK on BBC One and is now carried by Channel 4. In the US it was originally carried on PBS but is now exclusively on Netflix.
Episode 5 of the current season saw a tribute to the Jazz Age with the Roaring Twenties as a theme. Each dish created by the contestants had to have a tie-in with the 1920s. However, some media critics, and some viewers like myself, thought that they stretched the 1920s theme a little far. As the web site Eater.com wrote,
The baking tests: shortcrust pastry; custard; decoration with a 1920s theme???
The two most Jazz Age-themed challenges were the “Signature” where the contestants show off their favorite recipes and the “Showstopper” where they’re tasked with making something spectacular. In the Signature challenge, the contestants were tasked with making custard pies, which was popular in the 1920s. One of the contestants went with a decidedly Lovecraftian theme with something that (vaguely) resembled Cthulhu. In the Showstopper, they were tasked with baking cakes based on prohibition cocktails, which was a reference to prohibition in the US during the 1920s.
In 1924 the US Army authorized what would become a legendary military uniform. Known as the “pink and green” for its tan-pants with a light rose hugh (“pink”) and it’s olive-colored jacket (“green”) this uniform was Army standard until 1948. The pink and green uniform was completely phased out by 1958.
Now, as we approach the twenties of the 21st century the pink and greens are coming back.
On November 11, 2018, the U.S. Army announced it would adopt a new uniform patterned on the pink and greens although the Army brass insists on calling the new uniform “Army Green”. The plan is for the uniforms to be phased-in beginning in 2020 and to be completed by 2028. The blue Army uniform will return to being purely for ceremonial.
The official Dark Horse web site describes Tommy Gun Wizards as “Mobsters, magic, and mayhem in the Prohibition era!” It goes on to say:
“Eliot Ness and his team of Untouchables work overtime taking on dangerous criminals that hide in the seedy underbelly of 1930s Chicago. Except in this world, Al Capone isn't dealing in alcohol, but in magic. With Lick, a drug that grants magical powers to anyone who ingests it, mobsters become wizards, ordinary men become monsters, and darker secrets than Ness can imagine lie at the heart of it all.”
Tommy Gun Wizard was created by Christian Ward and Sami Kivela. Sami Kivela is credited with the art while Christian Ward was responsible for the cover art.
The artwork is excellent and the storyline and characters are interesting. It’s a lot of fun and I highly recommend Tommy Gun Wizards.
Issue #1 of Tommy Gun Wizards was released August 28, 2019.
This year’s edition, which features 19 women decked out in 1940s vogue — veterans representing all five branches of the military — marks the 14th year the company has endeavored to raise morale while simultaneously shattering stereotypes about women in the armed services.
For those unfamiliar with Pin-Ups for Vets organization it was started in 2006 by Gina Elise. She had seen stories in the news about how older veterans would go long periods without visitors. Also, how veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were struggling with injuries and sickness. She remembered how her grandfather had served in World War II. So she decided to do something to help.
Elise decided she would make a calendar with a 1940s pin-up theme. The proceeds of the calendars would be be donated to help hospitalized veterans. In addition, sick and injured veterans along with those currently serving abroad would receive the calendars as gifts of appreciation.
Here’s your chance to buy a cool dieselpunk item and to help a good cause at the same time. Visit the Pin-ups for Vets web site and buy yours today.
According to IMDb,
A young girl Abigail lives in a city whose borders were closed many years ago because of an epidemic of a mysterious disease. Abby's father was one of the sick - and he was taken when she was six years old. Going against the authorities to find his father, Abby learns that her city is actually full of magic. And she discovers in herself extraordinary magical abilities.
However, the IMDb article doesn’t capture the style of the movie. According to Wikipedia,
Shootings will take place in Saint Petersburg, Moscow, and in the historical part of Tallinn, Estonia. The visual image of the fantasy city will be created on the basis of ancient buildings and narrow streets of Tallinn and Saint Petersburg, and finalized with the help of computer graphics.
Principal photography was completed in Tallinn will be transformed into the streets of the fictional city Fensington, in which, according to the plot, fairy tale events take place. The scenery combining the images of the 1930s.
Filmmakers of Abigail have developed an original conception of magic and a stylistics of closed fantastic city that combines steampunk and atmosphere of the early 20th Century Fox. There were created the unique images of the suits of city residents, rebels and their enemies - inspectors of the Security Division.
Note: The wording of the Wikipedia article is odd. I transferred it exactly as it was written.
Is it Dieselpunk, Steampunk or a fusion of both? Check out the trailer and decide for yourself.
Abigail is scheduled for release on August 22, 2019.
Let’s go back to 1936 when the US and Canada suffered an equally bad heatwave. To add to the pain of the time this occurred during the height of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. The death toll was horrifying in that it exceeded 5,000. To add insult to injury, the 1936 heatwave was followed one of the coldest winters on record.
So as we try to stay cool let’s listen to the advice of George Olsen from 1929 ‘T’ain’t No Sin to Dance Around in Your Bones.”
According to Amazon:
From the bestselling author of the Sandman Slim series, a lush, dark, stand-alone fantasy built off the insurgent tradition of China Mieville and M. John Harrison—a subversive tale that immerses us in a world where the extremes of bleakness and beauty exist together in dangerous harmony in a city on the edge of civility and chaos.
The Great War is over. The city of Lower Proszawa celebrates the peace with a decadence and carefree spirit as intense as the war’s horrifying despair. But this newfound hedonism—drugs and sex and endless parties—distracts from strange realities of everyday life: Intelligent automata taking jobs. Genetically engineered creatures that serve as pets and beasts of war. A theater where gruesome murders happen twice a day. And a new plague that even the ceaseless euphoria can’t mask.
Unlike others who live strictly for fun, Largo is an addict with ambitions. A bike messenger who grew up in the slums, he knows the city’s streets and its secrets intimately. His life seems set. He has a beautiful girlfriend, drugs, a chance at a promotion—and maybe, an opportunity for complete transformation: a contact among the elite who will set him on the course to lift himself up out of the streets.
But dreams can be a dangerous thing in a city whose mood is turning dark and inward. Others have a vision of life very different from Largo’s, and they will use any methods to secure control. And in behind it all, beyond the frivolity and chaos, the threat of new war always looms.
You can read Cory Doctorow New York Times review here.
The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey is published by Harper Voyager and can be purchased now.
Boosting! For the fifth year, the Airship Ambassador is hosting Steampunk Hands Around the World.
Check out the link list & follow along on social media all month long!
Welcome to the fifth year of sharing the unity, camaraderie, and amazing creativity of our global steampunk community!
This year, we’re taking to the roads and rails, the seas and the air as we head around the world on a steampunk road trip!
Follow along here for the daily link updates.
Follow on Twitter, using the hashtag #SteampunkHands
The Firefox and Chrome browsers have a built-in, right click menu option to translate selected text of a page using Google Translate.
Begin your travels here!
Airship Ambassador – Welcome!
The Countess – Steampunk Hands Around the World Eads Bridge (YouTube)
Karen J Carlisle –
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