(11 replies, posted in Ætherscope)

From your reactions and others I've read I'm supposing this is rather more a children's movie if anything else, for a young adult audience nonetheless, as were the books I understand.  (Haven't read them though.)  The images look nice, so I suppose there'll be at least some nice stuff to see...

Oh--and welcome to the forums, Mr. (I'm presuming here; a fox is rather a masculine creature after all) Chasefowl!


(775 replies, posted in The Diogenes Club)

It's good to see two more familiar faces here, and someone new. Welcome all, and as for Mourning; I'm glad to make your acquaintance.


(10 replies, posted in Forum Affairs)

I was thinking that for now the "Astounding Tales!" forum could suffice, but I quite agree that for a more elaborate game we surely require a separate board.

I would quite enjoy another RPG, and am very open to suggestions as what our setting and storyline should be. Personally I'd prefer a somewhat more pulp-like/noir setting, but something adventerous nonetheless.


(4 replies, posted in Forum Affairs)

Today the "Smoking Lounge" opens its doors!  A forum for all things Steam, Diesel, and Pulp, it is my hope that the "Smoking Lounge" will serve The Gatehouse as community for the darker side of Steampunk.

The forum features four main message boards: "Ætherscope" for discussions related to Steampunk; "Out of the Past" for everything Dieselpunk and Pulp; "Astounding Tales" for discussing literature and posting one's own prose and poetry; and the "Diogenes Club" for real-life talk and debate, including recent events, politics, religion, science, sex, and pretty much everything else.

Leave your thoughts about the "Smoking Lounge" here.  I'm always interested to learn what people thing, and am open to suggestions!  (Regarding the Ranking-system, for example, which is yet to be devised.)


(11 replies, posted in Ætherscope)

I'm going to see The Golden Compass with friends next week--though I can't say I had much to say in regard to the choice of film wink

So, anyone seen it yet?  Opinions?


(15 replies, posted in Café Metropole)

Many have probably seen the titanic plans drawn up by Albert Speer and Hitler for the reconstruction of Berlin into the monumental capital of the German Reich--Germania.

Less people know of the Soviet equivalents to these plans, for under Stalin's leadership equally monstrous designs were considered to make Moscow the proud capital of International Communism.

I've recenly updated the OTTENSHistory page on Stalinist architecture, which can be found here.

My favorite's design is one for the "People's Commissariat of Heavy Industry" by the three Vesnin-brothers (picture below) which would have featured a radical reconstruction of the Red Square area with a gigantic building arising across the Kremlin in commemoration of the great industrial accomplishements of the Soviet people!


More at OTTENS.architecture | Soviet architecture.


(775 replies, posted in The Diogenes Club)

Welcome Mr Archer!  We are thankful to have you with us and should be quite able to facilitate your journey into the fascinating world of Steampunk!


(775 replies, posted in The Diogenes Club)

Welcome to the Smoking Lounge.

Please, pull up a chair and introduce yourself.


(13 replies, posted in Startling Stories)

Only recently did I finally buy some of the volumes of Frank Miller's Sin City series and, of course, I immediately fell in love with them.  Sin City's one of the most fantastic comic series I've ever read, or at least "The Hard Goodbye" and "That Yellow Bastard" are; those are the only two I've written so far.  I've ordered volumes 2 and 3 already and am anxiously awaiting their arrival.

Anyone else read the series?


(0 replies, posted in Startling Stories)

The early paragraphs of a noir-styled story I began on writing some time ago but never finished:

"The girl sat lonely on the ground, her back against the wall, her arms folded around her knees, her gaze determined onto nothing particular in front of her. The only light in the room came through the opened window, through which a beam of light radiated from a lamppost outside. It cast a bright line across her face, but it didn't shone in her eyes which had adjusted to the darkness. For the past five minutes she had been contemplating on whether or not to get up and turn on the lights, if only to divert her focus from the thoughts which assaulted her mind.
"She didn't know why she bothered, yet she continued to annoy herself by thinking how stupid people were. But not just stupid; ignorant, blissfully so, and they didn't even care. Others would argue that they couldn't know how ignorant they were, but she thought that was a lame argument: people were just too damn pretentious to educate themselves, and the less they knew the more they thought they knew. She supposed she shouldn't care so much, and reminded herself not too. Why did she care so much about people's shortcomings.
"She couldn't help but ponder on the uselessness of it all. There wasn't anyone who could understand anyway. The thought saddened her, and only greatened her reluctance to stand up. She had to get up sometime; she hadn't eaten for the entire time that she had just sat there. It felt as if she were having a conversation with herself. And nearly always, the pessimist won--or "cynic" actually: just because one doesn't have faith doesn't mean there can't be fun to it. Faith, in what? People? No, she most certainly didn't believe in other people. She knew herself, and she knew that she was selfish and self-centered and she could think of no reason why others wouldn't be worse. Faith in God? She laughed to herself at the mere thought. Faith, in righteousness? She had no reason to believe in good, and for all she cared the world was filled with only evil instead. Well, that wasn't quite true, of course, but it accounted to most people anyway.
"She remembered a philosophy class from a few years back when she was in high school. Her professor had taught her, and the rest of the class but she doubted whether any of her classmates had ever bothered to pay any attention at all, that aspiring to righteousness, aspiring to do good, was, according to some grand old man whose name she couldn't remember, the ultimate purpose in life. She had thus decided that doing herself good would be her purpose in life, and had figured that as long as someone is benefitting from your actions, you're doing good. Even if that "someone" is yourself. Still with some slight faith in humanity at that age, she had raised the suggestion in front of her class and had been met with a bombardment of utilitarian remonstrance from her professor's side and nothing but approving roaring from the rest of the class.
"Now she asked herself why one would care to do good for others, as her professor had argued, if one doesn't care for others. What was the point in trying to help those people who were too proud to allow themselves to be helped, and ungrateful of any help offered regardless. Blessed be the ignorant; no point in educating those who didn't want it. Besides, she only needed look at herself to see what cleverness does to a person to be discouraged of any effort to enlighten to simple-minded. Not that she'd rather be stupefied, but at the very least she felt safe to conclude that intelligence and happiness were hardly equivalent--perhaps even to the contrary.
"Suddenly it occurred to her that the music had long stopped. She bend over and picked up the record, holding it up against the light and rereading the names of the songs for the so many-th time. She continued to stare at it until the uselessness of the act became apparent to her. Skipping La Vie en Rose because it had memories for her, she put the needle down at the beginning of Avril au Portugal. The sorriness in her eyes seemed to fit the music, of which the tunes poured out of the window onto the streets. She imagined how the music flew on the winds throughout the dark city, gently touching everyone it encountered with a prescient sense of loneliness."

Comments are of course welcome.