Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Trilogies of William Gipson

I don’t know where I was first introduced to Gipson’s work, but somehow I came across a copy of William Gipson’s Neuromancer. It was all so long ago. What I do remember that I had just went back to school to update my technology skills. We were in the age of the personal computers and C++. Mainframes, Minicomputers, and machine language weren’t going to cut it anymore or at least not for me.

I went on to read all three of Gipson’s Sprawl series and at the time these text really had an effect on me. They changed my whole philosophy and take on the Internet that had just a few years earlier had made its debut into society. The whole idea of being one with the Internet or as Gibson likes to refer to it Cyberspace perked my imagination.

I have since read a few additional novels by William Gibson, but did not know that he had written two other trilogies. Here are all three of Gibson’s trilogies:

The Sprawl

Neuromancer, 1984
Count Zero, 1986
Mona Lisa Overdrive, 1988

The Bridge

Virtual Light, 1993
Idoru, 1996
All Tomorrow's Parties, 1999

The Blue Ant

Pattern Recognition, 2003
Spook Country, 2007
Zero History, 2010

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The New Traveler’s Almanac

"The New Traveler’s Almanac is a 32-page section within the Volume II of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and includes the 32 pages of tightly packed text spread out over six chapters. The text describes an extraordinary travel log depicting some extraordinary locations and peoples .Within this text there are included several picture plates representing some of the locations, peoples, and circumstances.

Chapter Headings and Plates

Chapter One:

The British Isles: From the Streaming Kingdom to The Blazing World: Yalding Towers Garden, Hampshire; Miss A.L., 1871; Bellman Expedition sketch by Miss Beever, 1876; A peculiar breed of salmon, Glyn Cagny, Ireland; Tiny water-breathing humanoid form, reproduced by king permission of The Lancet; “Christian has gone…” (A full page plate).

Chapter Two:

Europe: From Aiolio to Zenda: The imaginary Isle; Cyrill Island; Les Hommes Mysterieux; Example of the extinct Siren Bird; Ruins of the Snow Queen’s Castle; The Castle near Lutha; The City of Dreadful Night.

Chapter Three:

The America’s: In the Rubble of Utopia: The Pirates’ Conference, Rose Island; The Marvelous Islands; Speranza; Goldfinger Expedition, 1928; Scientific Expedition to The Black Lagoon, 1930. No survivors; Orlando; Conversation with Edward Framingham, Lake La Metrie, Wyoming; Arkham.

Chapter Four:

Africa and The Middle East: Lights of the Dark Continent: Nacumera; Skull Island; Parthalia; Un-captioned image; a second Un-captioned image; Fantippo; A third un-captioned image.

Chapter Five

Asia and the Australias: Visions of Cathy: Uncaptioned: Mademoiselle being courted by a monkey dressed like a pirate; Bandelies; Laputa; Feather Island; Great Sage; Shangri-La; Xanadu.

Chapter Six

The Polar Regions: To the Ends of the Earth: Megapatagonia; Mounts of Madness; uncaptioned; Toyland; uncaptioned."

Volume II of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Walking Corpses

“So we all go,” She tells herself. “Even the richest and most powerful are only meat for cheshires in the end. We are all nothing but walking corpses and to forget this is folly. Meditate in the nature of corpses and you will see this.”

Emiko, Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi

Friday, October 11, 2019

Several Pages of Shacks, Sheds, and Shanties for your Viewing Pleasure

Model Railroad Forums has made several more pages of their members Shacks,Sheds, and Shanties. Most of them seem to be created using wood and quite a few of seem to be scratch built.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Riverworld, Volume Two, Epilogue

“Technological Note:

Potassium nitrate is prepared on Riverworld by feeding a certain type of earthworm human excrement. The end product of this diet is crystallized potassium nitrate, which, when mixed with charcoal and sulfur, makes black gunpowder.”

Riverworld, Philip Jose Farmer

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Miniature Steampunk Train

This short clip features a very awesome Steampunk themed model train layout. I especially liked the cargo that its flat cars are carrying.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The Fabulous Riverboat Forward

“For the unholy trinity Bobs: Bloch, Heinlein, and Traurig~
may I meet them on the banks of the River,
where we’ll board the fabulous Riverboat”

The Fabulous Riverboat, Philip Jose Farmer

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Paper Crafts

I have always been fascinated with the use of paper, especially using this medium to build things. I define paper as anything derived from a tree. So that runs the whole array of materials from paper, cardboard, and all products manufactured from paper.

In my pursuit of research I recently found three resources and sites that either display some astounding paper models or share some simple techniques to get you started working with paper.

This Insane Paper Plane Has Taken 10 Years to Build

Paperholm (here are four links feature the works of Charles-Young) Miniature city built from paper. Many of the structures include animated elements.

  1. Cool Things
  2. Yatzer
  3. Boing Boing
  4. Fine Print Art

Intro to Paper-craft: Structure and Detail (this two page PDF will introduce the reader into the art of paper-craft)

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Verse of John Collup

Lord, let the faithless see
Miracles ceased, revive in me.
The leper cleaned, the blind healed,
the dead raised by Thee.

Dull souls aspire;
Thou are not the Earth,
Mount higher!
Heaven gave the spark;
to it return fire.

John Collup

Riverworld: Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip José Farmer

Thursday, September 12, 2019

A Long List of Model Railroading Tips and Tricks for Scenery

The Scenery Tips page includes a few dozen tips and techniques you can use on your model railroad. I seem to remember visiting this site some time ago and the list seems to have grown some since then.

The Building and Design of a New Roco Model Train Locomotive

This short video documents the process of the design and manufacturing of a Roco scale locomotive.

Friday, September 6, 2019

The Riverworld Series

As I mentioned in my last post on this topic I have just started to read the first in Farmer’s Riverworld series. The book includes the first and the second novels in this series. The complete series includes these volumes:

To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1971)
The Fabulous Riverboat (1971)
The Dark Design (1977)
The Magic Labyrinth (1980)
Gods of Riverworld (1983; later published as The Gods of Riverworld)

For an overview of this series I found a useful article on Wikipedia and although I am not anywhere near ready to read other related stories about Riveworld I have found some Riverworld fan-fiction on the PJFamer site.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Riverworld #1

I recently watch the adaptation of Philip José Farmer’s Riverworld. I wouldn’t say that it was an extraordinary movie, but because of its use the Farmer’s text with its many well-known characters it was an enjoyable film. It wasn’t too long ago that I had completed reading through Farmers Grand Master and his Wold Newton Universe novels and was looking to start another one of Farmer’s series .Since all five of the Riverworld series are still available. I purchased the first and second volumes (they are combined into one volume) in this series.

“The door to the room had opened, and he had seen a giant, black, one-humped camel outside and had heard the tinkle of the bells on its harness as the hot desert wind touched them. Then a hug black face topped by a great black turban had appeared in the doorway. The black eunuch had come in through the door, moving like a cloud, with a giant scimitar in his hand. Death, the Destroyer of Delights and the Sunderer of Society had come at last.”

Riverworld: Your Scattered Bodies Go & The Fabulous Riverboat, Philip José Farmer

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

An Island of the Imagination

There have been plenty of fictitious islands, lands, and worlds created by fiction writers. Think of Dune, Middle Earth, and Kong Island, however how many of these islands made it to a real cartographic map? Or have been claimed my the British Crown. Frisland Island is one such island that was a figment of someones imagination that actually met both of these situations.