between which worlds?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #47 Between which worlds is the man the depicted hand belongs to travelling?     Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the 'Leave a comment' at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it's the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I've approved a comment, your next ones won't be held, but published immediately by the system.] UPDATE and solution (31 October 2012): This … Continue reading

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mountains of madness

Panel from page 89 of ‘At the Mountains of Madness’ (Lovecraft & Culbard 2010). Back in late 2010 we had scottish illustrator and graphic designer ↑Murray Groat‘s wonderful ↑Tintin-↑Lovecraft ↵crossover covers [check out Murray's ↑blog, ↑portfolio and ↑deviant art page—there's more Lovecraftia to discover]. Matchingly enough in the same year a wonderful graphic novel version (Lovecraft & Culbard 2010) of H. P. Lovecraft’s ‘↓At the Mountains of Madness‘ (1936) by ↑I. N. J. Culbard was published—drawn in the best ↑ligne claire tradition. For the full experience you first might want to read Poe’s ‘The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of … Continue reading

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why technologies fail

Boingboing’s Maggie Koerth-Baker has written a fine column for the New York Times Magazine called ‘↑Why your car isn’t electric,’ investigating the question ↑why some technologies fail, and others succeed. For a deeper understanding of the matter at hand and and the examples used, I recommend Pinch & Bijker 1984 and Pfaffenberger 1992. PFAFFENBERGER, BRYAN. 1992. Technological Dramas. Science, Technology, & Human Values 17(3): 282-312. PINCH, TREVOR J. UND WIEBE E. BIJKER. 1984. The social construction of facts and artefacts: Or how the sociology of science and the sociology of technology might benefit each other. Social Studies of Science 14(3): … Continue reading

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archæology of steampunk

Just a minute ago I pre-ordered ‘Steampunk: kurz & geek’ (Jahnke & Rauchfuß 2012) after I had read ↑Kueperpunk’s review (he has a reviewer’s copy). It reminded me of Ekaterina Sedia’s introduction (Sedia 2012) in ‘The Mammoth Book of Steampunk’ (Wallace 2012): With the recent release of ↑The Steampunk Bible (ed. Jeff VanderMeer and SJ Chambers [2011]), it seems that steampunk as a genre finally came into its own and has grown enough to demand its own compendium, summarizing various parts of this remarkably protean movement, and pointing out interesting things happening in its DIY culture, cosplay, film, literature and … Continue reading

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who is exchanged?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #44 Here is a fine noir Cold War scenario. Right at the Iron Curtain government officials are waiting for an exchange of prisoners. But who is exchanged?     Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the ‘Leave a comment’ at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it’s the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I’ve approved a comment, your next ones won’t be … Continue reading

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cybernetic science fiction

  It simply is astounding what a collection you amass on your hard drives over time—and about how many of the collected things you simply forget. I just refound an unfinished draft version of Patricia S. Warrick’s ‘↑Cybernetic Imagination in Science Fiction‘ (1980). Don’t ask me how I got that … I simply can’t remember. Fact of the matter is that I never got the finished book, although it may well contain tons of water on my mills.     On the other hand there is the possibility that I jettisoned ‘Cybernetic Imagination’ on purpose, because I do fear that … Continue reading

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more nuclear follies

  This is a kind of a follow-up to Japanese artist ↵Isao Hashimoto’s chilly time-lapse map depicting the 2053 nuclear explosions having taken place between 1945 and 1998. I again embedded it above because it’s quite a testament. When I watched these horrific quarter of an hour for the first time at a certain point I thought: They are speaking with each other. There are segments in the animation when suddenly the frequency of nuclear blasts e.g. in the USA speedens up. After a short pause the answer comes as a rapid succession of nuclear fireworks within the Soviet Union. … Continue reading

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proto science fiction

As the faithful reader might have noticed, I am, among other things, fond of early science fiction—of course always on the hunt for elements of ↵the cyberpunk discourse, and for entries to my ↵according list, where I strive to furnish downlod links as far as technically and legally possible. Now, in the wake of a recent panel on Victorian and Edwardian science fiction at ↑Chicon 7, over ↑at Wondermark there’s a list of according science fiction with download links. The post also hints us at the fine anthology ‘Science Fiction by Gaslight’ (Moskowitz 1968), and a commenter added the two … Continue reading

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william gibson interviews

  Earlier this year his collection of non-fiction texts, ‘Distrust That Particular Flavor’ (Gibson 2012), was published—now there are some fresh interviews with ↑William Gibson around: the one with io9 above, and a ↑three-part interview at Wired. GIBSON, WILIAM FORD. 2012. Distrust that particular flavor. New York: Putnam Adult. io9-interview via ↑entry at ↑kueperpunk … Continue reading

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assassin’s creed framework

Although the main plots of the ↑‘Assassin’s Creed’ games have historical settings—during the Third Crusade (Ubisoft Montreal 2007), the Renaissance (2009), and the American Revolution (2012)—the narrative as a whole bows down to ↵the cyberpunk dicourse. The story which delivers the framework decidedly is cyberpunkish: In the present day, or 20 minutes into the future, the evil corporation ‘Abstergo Industries’ abducts one Desmond Miles. In a secret appartment hideaway he is made to connect to the ‘Animus,’ a computer able to revoke ‘genetic memory.’ That way Miles is able to experience the lifes of his ancestors as interactive virtual realities … Continue reading

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