Back on the topic of Mythania, I’ve recently added two new stories for your reading pleasure, “The Duel” and “The Mines of Nuram”. Both are action packed, and should keep you sufficiently glued to your screen for the duration of the stories.
If you’re just tuning in, please visit Mythania.com to read more of my steam-fantasy stories and learn more about the world of Mythania.
I recently stumbled upon this nifty new blog, humbly called “Steampunk Pics”, not too long ago. It’s been around for a few months now, and displays some very interesting items. Just thought I would post a link for anyone who might want to take a look!
The first new major release of OpenOffice.org in three years is finally here! From the looks of it, OpenOffice.org 3.0 promises to deliver some serious competition to Microsoft Office, and not simple because of its fabulous price (which is free). Indeed, the popular open source office suite arguably has as much going for it as MS Office 2003, and only lacks some of the more advanced features of MS Office 2007. OpenOffice.org 3.0 also lacks many of the horribly annoying features of MS Office 2007, such as the atrocious “ribbon” interface and a rather narcissistic disposition.
I am a writer, as well as professional programmer, so I spend a copious quantity of my time on computers, both at home and at work. The only items I have ever found lacking in OpenOffice.org 2.x have finally been incorporated in 3.0, these being native MacOS support and the previously inadequate Notes system. But the new OpenOffice 3.0 brings in even more features and capability than these little fixes, all for the same low, low price of just zero dollars and zero zero cents (at 0% down and 0% APR).
Alright, this would simply be the most ridiculously stupendous accessory to a steampunk costume I’ve ever laid eyes on. If I just had $6,000… we’ll, I would probably save it in this economy… But if I was completely loaded, I would buy this piece at the drop of a bowler hat! Plus, it’s designed by those notoriously creative fellows at WETA Workshop (yes, the specially effects gurus who brought “Lord of the Rings” to life).
There seems to be a really cool new Victorian era comic books series in the works called “Mathema”, by one Amy Pearson, which emphasizes mathematics and weird science, and gives it a dash of steampunk flare. It also appears to have some very intriguing fantasy, magical, and occult themes. Check it out now at Zudacomics.com (the comic pages are big, so view in the “full screen” mode if you can).
I’m looking forward to seeing how this project develops!
The venerable Bruce Sterling, sci-fi writer and co-author of “The Difference Engine” (with William Gibson), has written a marvelous little essay on the subject of steampunk, not only speaking to the literary genre fans, but to the craftsmen, costumers, and lifestyle practitioners as well! He also mentions the social and technological values of embracing the steampunk “do-it-yourself” mentality.
“Steampunk’s key lessons are not about the past. They are about the instability and obsolescence of our own times. A host of objects and services that we see each day all around us are not sustainable. They will surely vanish, just as “Gone With the Wind” like Scarlett O’Hara’s evil slave-based economy. Once they’re gone, they’ll seem every bit as weird and archaic as top hats, crinolines, magic lanterns, clockwork automatons, absinthe, walking-sticks and paper-scrolled player pianos.”
I just returned from Dragon*Con 2008, in Atlanta. If you’ve never been, or never heard of it, Dragon*Con is one of the biggest sci-fi/fantasy conventions in North America, with over 30,000 attendees in recent years. This year had people from “Battlestar Galactica”, “Firefly”, “Farscape”, “Star Trek”, “Star Wars”, “Lord of the Rings”, “Harry Potter”, and even a few from good old “Babylon 5”.
But this year showed a growing interest in the genre of steampunk. There were a lot of people dressed up in steampunk regalia, ranging anywhere from just a pair of goggles and duster, to full-on gizmo-ladden explorers and gadget-wielding gentry. There were also several dealers in the dealer’s room (or should I say “dealer’s multi-acer floor”) selling a few steampunk-ish items such as modded goggles, Victorian-esque clothes, and flintlocks to holster at your side. Abney Park was also at Dragon*Con this year, in concert, as was a group called ArcAttack who use Tesla Coils and robotic drums to create a truly unique techno-musical show (seeing Tesla coils sing the “Doctor Who” theme song is priceless!). Finally, there were two discussion panels on the steampunk genre, although I only made it to one of them. Micky Dolenz (of the Monkees), who also had a panel there, spoke of the “steam-powered guitars” used in the olden days, although his reference was more in jest than an intentional reference to steampunk itself.
Of course, the rising steampunk interest only constituted a tiny fraction of Dragon*Con. Still, it was nice to see the growth of this fascinating sub-sub-sub genre first hand.
The following page shows the geographic maps of the world of Mythania. These maps are shown in quarters of the world, beginning with Tarrona, then the Sea of Isles, and finally Celaphania. The forth quarter, being nothing by the wide expanse of the Vast Sea, is not depicted.
Please allow a little time for the images to load. You may click on the individual maps to pop-up a larger map.