Sunday, 8 November 2009

We shall not forget them

With No survivors now living who witnessed the Great War, all I can do is witness that this generation will not forget them! I am proud to English, and I am proud of our British Forces, and deeply sadden for all our losses from that Great War to this day.

It is no longer that “War starts at midnight”, or that it stops for tea, nor is it a Grand Adventure to go off to fight! For the Internet and Video Game generation, there is NO medi-pack to bring you instantly back to life, there is NO Re-spawn after a fatal wound, War is a horrid thing and we all have a dept of gratitude to our country's Armed Forces.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

In to a parallel distant future, that could have been dreampt by, Hans Pfaall.

Upon reading the collection short stories (Kipling's Science Fiction ISBN 1-84677-128-5) from the master storyteller Rudyard Kipling, best known for the works of the Jungle Books and Kim. In witch by the year 2000, submersibles carry freight, and Aeroplanes are still just a bit of a reckless fad! Entitled 'With the Night Mail '(1905) and 'As Easy As A. B. C' (1912), Aeroplanes are the heaver than air coffins that only the most courageous of adventures would use to mount the stratosphere in a world governed by the 'Aerial Board of Control' and AirShips are the lords of the skies. Among other delightful tales are, 'The ship that found Herself' (1898) and '.007 - The Story of an American Locomotive ' (1897), giving a soul to an Iron ship, and a voice to an Iron-Horse, while 'Wireless' (1902 ) explores the new scientific apparatus of wireless telegraphy,. These are some of my best-loved stories.

This is not intended as a book review, more of a nod to the enlightened reader.

Seek out this book!

The Steam Brigaider

Thursday, 9 April 2009

The evaluation and manipulation of SteamPunk!

SteamPunk is the 'Age of Invention', with the absence of electronics.
That 'Age of Invention' also known as the Victorian era, saw industrialization and mechanization, on a grand scale, which has inspired Authors from the 19th., 20th. And 21st. Century to create some subtle or delicate and more portable gizmo's, others to envisage more grandiose machines to convey people. These machines have become Iconic focal-points, and have gone through several transformations over the years, interpreted via different media.

From the written word (which fires the imagination), from the accompanying prospective of the engraved illustrations, depicting an art-Deco feel and style, to many of Verne's wonderus machines far away from a future of steam and rivets. With the advent of the motion picture, and visual effects pioneered by the directors of the silent films, helped to give a mass audience a group memory of what the machines looked like.

This group memory has again entered in to modern society, in the mid 1950's, and the prolific 1960's, and up until end of the 1970's, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells inspired family films (the lighter side of SteamPunk) solidified people's imaginations.

The Iconic Balloon from 'Michael Todd's Around the World in 80 Days' was never in Verne's original novel, and so far (as I write this) I have yet to see on celluloid the Steam powered mechanical elephant (a play on the nickname for the Standard gauge six wheeled Locomotive, with its chimney coming out from the front) that was also in the novel, and Walt Disney's '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' interpretation of the 'Nautilus', with its Victorian retro look has survived as the modern Iconic submarine, in which all Vernesque submersibles are now taken from, you could say “it's a true SteamPunk marvel”. Even one of Jules Verne's most revered characters 'Captain Nemo' was not always portrayed as the Indian Prince of Dakkar!

So popular was this 'Age of Invention' to the Hollywood movie makers that, films like ‘The Assassination Bureau’ (1969), and 'The Island at the Top of the World' (1974 ), with its beautiful Airship were taken from the novel 'The Lost Ones', Written in 1970 by Ian Cameron, and set in the 1960's and ‘The Assassination Bureau Limited’ was started in 1910 I am told, by Jack London, and then finished by Robert L. Fish in 1963 were made to fit the era, and thus show how a good story can be given a SteamPunk makeover and survive in people's memories to this day. Now these things all SteamPunkers can see.

Looking at the wealth of 19th. And 20th. Century Science Fiction to be portrayed on film, what about the mediums of today, Television (and its press) and the Internet communities, and Forums, how have they changed the vision populous have of Steampunk?

While I am not a great supporter of Mr. Verne nor of Mr. Wells (I prefer the less travelled roads of Mr. E. A. Poe (the father of Science Fiction), Mr. Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Mr. M Moorcock), but I can see now, in this age of communication so rapped and ever changing that George Owell's 'Newspeak' (am reading 1984) will, in its way change how people see and remember SteamPunk, and that the pioneers will be a forgotten thing of the past and lost to us all.

Looking back to the past, and the future.


The Steam Brigadier

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Back in December 2008, I tried my best cybersleuthing to find out what the hell had happened to the next instalment of 'Jasper Morello', finding only old leads that lead to dead-ends, I took to posting to groups and forums with the cry of "Where the Hell is Jasper!"

You can see, an example bellow, from 'Dreams of Gears and Steam'. Thank to all who replied, and thank you so much Anthony Lucas.

Look, I may as well go off on a rant now.... With thousands SteamPunkers out there, someone must know somebody, who knows what's up!
Jasper Morello and the return of Claude Belgon ( The second voyage)
Jasper Morello and the Ghost of ALTO MEA ( The third voyage)
Jasper Morello and the Ebeneza of Gothia ( The forth voyage)

Melbourne-based director and co-writer of The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello - Anthony Lucas, back in 2005 was later reported to be working on two more shorts in January 2007, and the possibility of a feature film (Animated or live action), but all I can find is his latest little film 'My Rabit Hoppy' in May 2008 – Anyone with any more news!?

Dear Steam Brigadier,

Mark Shirrefs wrote two more scripts for the sequels to Jasper Morello, which went down well with SBS, BBC and other investors.
But regardless of the scripts, SBS has decided that they wont get behind the project, as it "wasn't a priority for the station".

To give you a snapshot of what you missed out on... willian Claude Belgon comes back a changed man, Jasper's wife Amelia has passed over, succumbed to plague, but her presence lingers and Claude's sister Wilhemnia Belgon has plans for her bother.

My animated feature film though, "The Aeronaut" is still in development with a script poised to be finished shortly.

stay tuned!

Anthony Lucas