I am so sorry… Really…
This post is brought to you by my newest patron, Alexis Maddock-Tarleton.
Recently, I have started recording some let’s play videos, mainly Fallout: New Vegas,it has been a favourite of mine and it is wonderfully atompunk anyway. This is one of those let’s play videos, with German commentary, because German simply sounds more evil.
First, I go and hunt myself some Deathclaws (they respawn every few days anyway, no harm done. Deathclaws simply have an insane breeding rate).
Next, I go and make the Mojave wasteland a better place by getting rid of a party of Legion troopers who are out to get me.
Already a while ago, I got myself a copy of Elegy for a Dead World, a game which is aimed towards animating the player to write a story about worlds they explore. All the worlds have one thing in common: They are home to ruins of dead or abandoned civilization.
Yesterday, I played the game and immediately found that my love for the Cthulhu Mythos crept into the story. I took the role of an interplanetary investigator and this is the story, my log, so to speak, that I cam eup with. If you play Elegy for a Dead World, you will be able to guess, which world I visited:
A palpable sense of burned decay. Everything here is tainted red. Hard, geometric forms seem to want to stab the viewer, the earth, the sky.
Curious symbols, like the once found in the dreaded Necronomicon mark bookshelves. I start to wonder if the colonists made contact with the forces of the mythos, before everybody vanished.
There is another symbol, a central, big circle, drawn with a thick stroke, and another, smaller and thinner one in the lower left corner of the plaque they share. Maybe it signifies a gate. This is the only symbol with no shelf underneath.
I look for a key or a portal in this gap between the shelves, but nothing moves. It is only a gap. Nothing hints of the dark powers, eldritch might or alien tech.
Another example of weird geometry. A tower with a floating ball, or sun, suspended over its apex. The distant mountains and clouds form an eery backdrop. The sun is glaring down despite the thick cloud-cover. DId the sun burn the colonists? It is so bright here.
I have entered a tower. There is a sound of someone breathing but noone is here. The light is ofter and candles are burning. It appears to be a place of worship. The room is dominated by a glowing orb of the sun with broken stone sculptures of the same sun on either side. This is not a triple system, why the broken suns or why three times the sun, then? Are the spheres in their combination symbolize Yog-Sothoth? Is this the answer? Did the colonists all vanish through a gate?There is another stairwell. leading up. I continue my search. The breathing noise has ceased, replaced by a dull hum, like heavy machinery or turbines are running somewhere in this tower.
I found a room one floor up, containing cryo-chambers. One seems to be occupied, but I cannot open it. The other is powered down and I cannot look inside.
The other room on this floor leads to an inner room reaching far down. The sculpture of a giant head of vaguely human outline is here. Of the face, there is only a nose and maybe a symbolic eye on the forehead? Nyarlathotep?
Someone (a child?) has created a snowman-astronaut here. It is almost madeningly mundaine and quaint in this hellish frozen wasteland under the eclipsed sun.What? I exited the top of the tower. The landscape is completely changed and the top is actually sticking out of the ground of some other place. It is an icy waste. Broken machinery and the carcasses of space ships are strewn about. A giant black moon permanently eclipses the sun. The rotation of this planet has ceased or never was. I am returning to the point where I started.
I can only recommend Elegy for a Dead World. If you like writing and are rather casual about it, as I am, you will love this game!
There is a proverb, possibly American in origin (I never came across it in the UK anyway) and I first heard it on an early season of The Simpsons: „God does not close a door without opening a window.“
This proverb needs some adaption in the case of my situation but is still applicable. The adaption goes something like this:
Hastur does not close door without Cthulhu taking off the roof.
Let me elaborate:
If you follow my bog, you should be aware I recently changed carrers. I have gone bak into teaching after working online for the past 10 years.
Getting there was a bit of a struggle (teaching in Germany has a lot of bureucratic hurdles). For a while it even looked like that, although I had all the qualifications, I would not be able to start because the combination of my qualifications only made me eligible for a probationary teaching position wich was out of the question because the pay would have been about a third of what was getting at my last online job and thus by far not enough to support a family.
And then Cthulhu came and ripped the roof off.
I saw an ad for a teaching position online on a dedicated website and applied. Two days later (and about four weeks before the date the official interviews would begin, according to the ad), I got an email inquiering if I could com in for an interview straight away. That was odd, but a happy surprize. I happened to have a few days off at the time so I could come in, of course.
The interview went very well and the headmaster of this school was apparently so impressed with me (for whatever reason) that he made a few phone calls, pulled a few strings and managed to get a special permit for me, so I could start in a better position straight away.
So, for the past three weeks (coming up four) I have been working as a teacher again. Although two of my classes are rather tough, I have not been so happy at work ever since my days working in an assistant data research position at university (that was in 2005, go figure).
Also: The teaching experience now is vastly different from what I experienced in Bavaria. The teachers are more friiendly by several magnitudes, they are more supportive and the kids are great as well.
So far, things are starting to look brighter and during the summer holidys I will have some real time to do some serious writing. A win all around.
Praise be to Cthulhu!
Over the last six months I have been working on my novel Das Obsidiantor, which I wrote in German, my first language and just self-published over a Amazon. While I was in the final stages of finishing the novel, I parallelly wrote a short-story for a sword-and-sorcery anthology in English.
Das Obsidiantor is set in something akin to the middle to late bronze age of its word, the short story (the name of which I cannot mention at the moment because it has been submitted and stuff) is set in something akin to the iron age, i.e. a few thousand years later. Then I gave the setting of the short-story a little bit more thought and am actually writing a second short-story featuring the same sword-and-sorcery characters as the first one right now, and I thought:
Given the temporal gulf (✓Lovecraftian term inserted), there is no reason both set of characters, i.e. from the Das Obsidiantor and the short-story, are living in the same world in their own time. So, this is the map found in Das Obsidiantor:
and the sword-and-sorcery short-stories are now set to the east of the lands above, and Vereste (port city just above the three islands on the eastern coast) is mentioned in the second story. It appears to me, the world is growing naturally, maybe my mind finds it comfortable to stay in one world for all of my none-steampunk fiction or whatever the reason is. In any case, the world is growing and I think that’s just great.
Oh ye Great Old Ones! My most venerable friend Matthias (who is also one of the pillars of Austrian Steampunk) just submitted a project to Lego Ideas that deserves a big Iäh!
The Call of Cthulhu as a Lego Set!
Yes, you heard that correctly! If this project takes off, it will be even easier to corrupt your spawn and turn them into loyal followers of Great Cthulhu. It would also look magnificent on your mantelpiece, I can imagine.
Here are some images to convince you to lend your support (more are on the project’s page):
Also: Supporting this will not cost you a penny! All you have to do is vote! Come on, what are you waiting for? You can sign up and lend your support straight away!
The good news on Star Wars in the real world does not cease. After one of the Mars rovers clearly spotted the Mos Eisley Cantina Band, it now also seems like a planet like Tatooine might actually exist.
Tatooine famously orbits a binary star (see header image) and it was thought that binary stars could not have planets because the gravity of the binary star would prevent planets in the habitable zone from forming. But now it seems that our telescopes have actually spotted evidence which hints at the existance of rocky planets around binary stars in their habitable zone.
Yes, Tatooine might be out there, but so far, things are not as great as they sound. but the gentleman here can explain this much better than I can:
Header image © Lukasfilm / Disney, fair use
In today’s episode of the Non-Euclidean Æthercast I have the great pleasure of chatting with one of my oldest international contacts in the Steampunk scene: Jo Lima from Portugal. Since we have known each other for quite a while, a lot has happened and Jo is no longer active in the Portuguese Steampunk scene.
Real life has „forced“ her to become a planetary scientist (to my everlasting envy) and she is currently working on her PhD thesis in Madrid.
Our chat mainly concerns astronomy and planetary science, please enjoy!
Let’s face it, most if not all of us have at one point or another searched our own names on the internet, just to see if and how we are represented there.
As a matter of fact, I recently updated several online profiles and websites of mine and wanted to check if any of these changes have been indexed already and if that had had any other effects (i.e. ranking fluctuations, updated images already being shown etc.) and when I checked out Bing for a search of my name, my legal name, that is, I got this result on the first page:
As a dedicated Lovecraft fanboy and Cthulhu cultist, I am obviously extatic about this result, even more so since it was produced without me being logged in to Bing (i.e. Bing knowing it is me). I am fairly certain this image of Lovecraft next to mine is transient and will vanish ver time, but in the meantime, I revel mindlessly to the piping of insane flutists in this moment of digital glory. Iäh!