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
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…
“You know”, said Aristophanes Brown, walking arm in arm with Alexia Laplace along a quiet stretch of the Thames near Richmond, “this is had been the most appalling summer for bees I can remember. No wonder the flowers have been dismal.
The moon-a-muck, trailing behind Carina on a lead, in its doggy disguise, hooted to itself. It felt that songs, not bees, ought to be the key to a successful summer bloom.
Alexia admired the winter waterfowl out on the river, then looked up to take in the graceful sight of a swan in flight, no doubt searching for inspiration for her design and gadgetry.
“This is true Ari, although I’ve never figured you for a botanist. It’s been a year short of colour anywhere where our moon-a-muck hasn’t sung its song.”
The moon-a-muck skipped along, delighted to hear its name in conversation.
“Well, at least we won’t get stung” Aristophanes opined.
“That is small consolation for world starvation when all the crops fail, Ari.”
“Surely not, my dear?!”
“Surely too. Without these pollinating insects, we are, to be frank, bloody well doomed.”
Alexia adjusted her flaming hair, and lit a cigarette.
“Do we know what’s behind it?”
“No, I don’t. But if we don’t find out, then no matter how much our mucky sings, we are going to be eating each other in a few years.”
They walked on in silence.
Not so many miles to the North West, under the grounds of a family country estate just outside of Oxford, a man releases a thousand bees from an enclosure in an underground chamber where there buzzing echoes with apocalyptic feedback from the concrete walls. Then another thousand. And a thousand more. And he wades through the swarm, happily allowing himself to be stung as his mind homes in on the centre of the galaxy.
I was a latecomer to the monthly meeting of Newark’s Steampunk group last night; well, we do meet rather early and at my advanced age I worry about my ability to last the pace.
I understand that it was another excellent get together at The Flying Circus, with more newcomers meeting up with us, and other folk visiting from the Lincoln group. Topics of conversation; well the return of Jay after hospital was one, and obviously there was plenty being said before I got there.
The conversation I remember concerned film cock ups, started by myself and Steven remembering a beach bound piece to camera on Countryfile where the footprints in the sand indicated where the presenter had done three previous takes, and ending where we mentioned how Maximus’ farm in Gladiator is covered in tractor tracks.
Are you not entertained!!!
Ever since the strange animal with the musical nose trumpet had first mysteriously appeared, padding down the steps of the Poincare Machine in the warehouse lab of Lady Alexia Laplace and Aristophanes Brown, they had wondered about some of the creature’s odder quirks.
One of the oddest of these was its obvious great interest in any passing moth or butterfly that fluttered past is Cleopatra eyes. On its muzzle disguised walks, the sight of a red admiral would always cause it to emit a “hoo-heee-hoooooo” of joy. But now it was autumn, and butterflies were less numerous on the Embankment.
However, in the equinoctal nights, moths would flail in through open windows, and the moon-a-muck would behave very differentlly. It wouldn’t be excited, it would be as calm as a manatee in a warm ocean having its tummy tickled by a mermaid.
The cause of this was the night-time moths of autumn, the yellow underwings, the drinkers, the vapourers. They would swarm around the moon-a-muck, gently landing on its silvery-grey fur, and everytime one did so, the creature would gently croon “woooooo” until it fell asleep, more satisfied even then when it hooted up a whole bowl of crystals.
The moon-a-muck’s love of moths must mean something. But what?
Copyright Bloody Mulberry 09.09.15
I’d completely forgotten I’d taken these photographs of our July gathering at the delightful Flying Circus, so I thought I’d whizz them up for you. I still feel like a bit of an outsider as my literary interests and ability outweigh my dressing up ability, not to mention finances.
But luckily, other talented members of the group make of for this, and we always look a striking crew when we are doing our “Steampunk Outreach Work” – i.e. drinking in busy pubs. STeven in particular was keen to show off his spoon playing, although the photographs may be unclear in what he is actually doing.
I’m pretty sure it was spoon playing.