The Machine City


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You sometimes get a chance to look into a future that represents a past that hasn’t happened.

I guess that’s the point of Steampunk and other such confections. Diesel punk, Valve Punk, the term I seem to have coined based around the huge computers like Multivac envisaged by Asimov.

I think also of the account of Pittsburgh, a machine city found in the original novel of Logan’s Run – a film just waiting to be remade and I believe they have been trying for years – and I think of the automated factories of Terminators 1 and 2, or indeed Cameron’s Aliens as well.

Cities that don’t need a single human to survive, and the humans that do show are up are treated like infections by the machines, a bacillus to be removed with all extreme prejudice.

I’ve seen a workplace that hints at where things are going and I thought it was beautiful. Two automated cranes at work, sensor driven commands followed to put stock into location. There are people, but they are slaves to the machine will, they have headsets that tell them to go and pick things up like robots from high, caged towers reaching 5 stories up into a towering warehouse of grime and dust.

Other machines carry rubbish away…ski lifts that take cardboard boxes high into the sky and drop them into crushers, could probably do the same to people.

The people are thinking of striking back, the rubbish carrying ski lifts reckoned to be unreliable or even dangerous.

But will these machines allow the humans to retire tham so?

Copyright Mulberry Lightning 11.07.17


The Galaxy of the Wasp


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It was long ago reported in this journal of the extent to which exposure to the venom of a certain species of wasp caused people with the correct cerebral receptors to be able to internally warp time and space to find themselves drawn to the centre of the galaxy.

It had long been assumed that the galaxy concerned was the Milky Way, the barred spiral we call our home, but it is not. It is far further away than even the unimaginable distances to our own galactic centre.

The galaxy concerned is The Wasp Galaxy, where wasps are formed and transported to earth via portals into and out of the 11th Dimension.

This explains the human race memory that wasps have no evolutionary place on Earth. They are right. They are not from here. They are formed from giant galactic clouds of dust and gas and are in fact light years long. Strange relativistic effects and the dreams of higher dimensional creatures make them smaller in our universe. In other universes, they are the size of clusters of galaxies.

It is said the nature of people who can envisage the wasp galaxy through their venom is evil. This may not be true. They may just be different.

When a wasp stings you, you are being stung by a galaxy entire.

Copyright Mulberry Lightning 28.02.17



Visual Horror


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I am a great lover of Hammer Horror, and whenever I visit my favourite local late night establishment, I love to turn on Channel 70 on Freeview and seeing what’s on there.

As there is another Hammer lover who is a regular who can identify the movies by the music alone, it’s always good to be able to find a classic movie from the studio.

I like to take stills of the movies, with all of the random pot luck of how fast the shutter is, and the decor and surroundings. Here, I missed the scenes of Charles Grey bothering goats with a sharp knife, but got a car chase with his demonic eyes summoning a woman to an appointment with the devil…


Flying Steampunks


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The Newark Steampunks were joined by a few of our colourful colleagues from Lincoln, who gave a few lessons in parasol duelling to Tony and the rest of us!

It is so good to see a strong turn out at our meetings in The Flying Circus, even a latecomer like me who introduced my visiting sister to the group, who was much taken with Mr Frisby’s tales of tuneable bones.

So, some pictures of our colourful brigade of governors and detectives.







What is a Moon-a-Muck


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Moon-a-mucks are not real, but I wish they were and so does everyone who ever read about them.

I created them a long time ago, I think when I was studying a course on moons; our own Moon of course played a prominent part, geology thereof, vulcanism, impact crater formation, the Tycho rays stretching across the surface, glittering vitrified beads making the moon glow.

As interesting as it all was, I wanted there to be something alive up there, something making the moon more than just lava and dust. So I conceived the idea of the moon-a-muck, a creature that hoovered up crystals of quartz and assorted spars, and in return for this lunar nourishment it was able to sing, through a vacuum at that, to the moonflowers that deposited them as a sort of seed, and thus make them grow through a sort of quantum resonance process.

Then there was Lord Moth, who was the lord of all moon-a-mucks. He sent them across warps in space time to earth, and there the moon-a-mucks sang in dreams to people, for the gain of I know not what.

The joy of it, perhaps.

Then I realised this was all rather remote, and decided to team up a single moon-a-muck with Aristophanes Brown, my late Victorian sort of detective, inventor and theatre critic bon viveur and his companions Lady Alexia Laplace, and Carina, walker of moon-a-mucks. And in my London of then, they work together solving improbable crimes and doing improbable things.

Copyright Mulbery Lightning 05.01.16