Dieselpunk is characterized by, among other things, fanciful machinery and vehicles. Those gadgets must, however, originate in some place. Well, here it is: the archetypical dieselpunk engineering lab with, where you see Doctor Zarkov being busy with developing the repulsor device. (Those are used in cloudships in my novel The Ice War.)
Artist: Colton Dubell. Click on the picture for a much larger version.
This battered desert vehicle will definitely make some sort of appearance in one of my dieselpunk stories in the alternative 1940s timeline of The Ice War (link >>> ). It could also appear in my campaign outlines — both Red Sand and New Era — in the Swedish space opera RPG Sci-Fi!
The World Dream Bank is a great resource for people wanting develop alien worlds or alternate Earths. It provides several well-reasoned planets with maps and texts, including terraformed Mars and Venus. Link — >>>
The example below is a future Earth where the polar icecaps have melted with an accompanying rise of the oceans — useful for postapocalyptic campaigns. Click on the map for a larger version.
NASA has recently published the book Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication, in which more than a dozen scholars analyze what challenges mankind will face the day Earth gets in touch with an extrasolar civilization. The 300-page book looks, for example, to archaeology and anthropology for clues to decoding extraterrestrial messages. Editor Douglas A. Vakoch explains what issues that might entail:
“Like archaeologists who reconstruct temporally distant civilizations from fragmentary evidence, SETI [Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence] researchers will be expected to reconstruct distant civilizations separated from us by vast expanses of space as well as time. And like anthropologists, who attempt to understand other cultures despite differences in language and social customs, as we attempt to decode and interpret extraterrestrial messages, we will be required to comprehend the mindset of a species that is radically Other.”
The book can be download for free in three formats here — link >>>