Mad Max: Furiosa in Pharaonic Style

Internet artist Takumi has made a retelling of Mad Max Fury Road as an ancient Egyptian wall painting. When I was a youngster, I was interested in Egyptology and I consider his work to be a well-rendered pastiche. Read more about it here — link >>>

Click on the picture for a larger version.

Space 1889: A Trading Post on Venus

This picture was originally a piece of concept art for a Disney project (link >>> ), but when my gaze reached it, I immediately saw a human settlement along a Venusian river in Space 1889. I suggest that you also take a look at this Venusian post — link >>> — and this one — link >>>

Get a larger version by clicking on the picture.

Steampunk Lego Nautilus

Today one of my buddies showed me a tentative Lego set with captain Nemo, the submarine Nautilus and other stuff from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, though visually based on the old Disney movie. It is currently a project proposal at Lego’s website and it needs a few more supporting clicks before Lego considers manufacturing it.

Check it out here — link >>>


Review: “City of Shadows: Part 1”

I have earlier reviewed a few of Jack Conner’s Atomic Sea books. Now he has provided me with a free copy of Part 1 of his new series City of Shadows for an honest review.

We are back in the Atomic Sea world, though this story is separate from the earlier storyline. There are only a few passing references to the Octunggen aggression. Instead we arrive in the city of Lavorgna, where the protagonist Stevrin ekes out a precarious existence as a low-life teenager living in an orphanage run by a brothel (it makes sense in context and the facility is not what one would think at first glance). Lavorgna is a crapsack place where the rich prey on the poor and where conspiracy and violence is a part of everyday life — a case of Dickensian misery on steroids.

However, recently matters have gotten even worse in Lavorgna, with people disappearing mysteriously and earthquakes tearing down buildings and opening chasms in the ground. A Lovecraftian doom appears to be imminent. Jack Conner walks firmly in the footsteps of HPL, even though his fiction is grittier than the old master’s. The reader encounters a Frankenstenian reanimator of corpses (possibly one of the better characters in town), a nasty alchemists’ guild, an evil cult sacrificing people to eldritch horrors, gun-toting gangsters, jazzy brothel parties, sneaking and skulking in the shadows, assassinations and kidnappings, and much more. (I am deliberately careful with spoilers.)

Conner’s writing has improved since the Atomic Sea books. The editing is tighter, and the prose less purple and less gory. It is an adventure story that delivers what it says on the cover. The main characters are not deterred by the frequent encounter of horrors; most are teenagers and display thoughtless impatience and reckless daring appropriate for that age. The badguys are as amoral and maleficent as they should be. The story works fine for Conner’s fantasy world. My sole complaint is that the plot moves ahead a bit too slowly for my liking.

What If Mao Failed in 1949?

Alternate history is always an exciting mind game for me. The Economist magazine has written an interesting piece on what could have happened if the Nationalists had won the Chinese Civil War after World War Two. Read it here — link >>>

Hint: China would probably have been a better place for the common people without Mao’s mass-murders, man-made disasters and ideological obsessions.

Review of “The Ice War”

Swedish blogger Jonas Bengtsson writes about science fiction, games and other nerdy stuff at Barrikaden. Today he has published a favorable review of my dieselpunk spy novel The Ice War. An excerpt:

I think that the book is very straight-forward when comes to storyline and discussions. What you read is the essentials, told without side plots or padding. The book is only 132 pages, but the content is without gaps. I have read somewhere that Anders Blixt (who among other things developed the Drakar och Demoner role-playing game in the 1980s) is busy writing a new dieselpunk tale. I hope that it is a continuation of The Ice War, because that world and those characters possess a lot of unused potential.

Read the full review here (in Swedish) — link >>>

The Ice War is available at Amazon as an ebook and on paper .