Friday, September 02, 2011

Think I'm turning Viennese, think I'm turning Viennese...

Wow there's a lot that happened between Febuary 1326 and July 1698, which I had already figured before I started reading more into the events within these points in time about eighteen months ago. You see in 11 Feb 1326 the very first hand-held weapon powered by gun-powder was displayed in the city-state of Florence and on 2 July 1698 an engineer fired from the English Navy, Thomas Savery, was able to patent a steam engine that would be used for industrialized applications. The time in-between these two events, I call," the Age of Powder," and I like to delve into a fantasy with it to make a forthcoming Powder Punk setting. I have to laugh, most of the people that have heard me use either of the phrases assume I am speaking of the powdered wigs.

The most fun of this process has indeed been just all the historical research. I didn't realize the gaps I had in world history even my degree in History. For all the ignoring that the US education system does of the whole cultural schisms there is a lot of stuff that would be nice if our foreign policy makers knew about obscure places with far off sounding names, like Canada. One cannot ignore that the great ethnocentric struggles of the last millennium have shaped where we all are today. We often overlook the Muslim/Christiandom antagonism, the whole Catholic versus Orthodox, and then the Protestant versus Catholic, usually skipping from the Magna Carta to Lincoln's address at Gettysburg, PA, leaving the rest for people getting a PHD or making a BBC channel 3 documentary. And the history is about as punk-ish as I can make it, St. Josaphat of the Catholic and Othodox faiths is Buddha dammit!

And besides Alexandre Dumas's story of d'Artagnan, a cycle taking over six years in serial form to complete, which would become known to the English-reading world as The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, and the Man In the Iron Mask; there are plenty of works to draw from in popular culture for my Powder-Punk 'research." Russia and most of the former Soviet Bloc seems to be infatuated with the 14th through 17th centuries. The movie 1612 is about the rocking-est thing I have seen from the era. And then there is whole pirate craze in our own western climes, which is, for the most part, pre-Steampunk. I suppose the cosplay crowd at the conventions will be drawing upon the Showtime series The Tudors, which is a music video recounting of the Henry the 8th gang.

All the study itself would have been great if I stopped just at the siege of Antwerp and the various sieges of Vienna.

1 comment:

Paul Ingrassia said...

Tom, sometimes I think we are cut from the same stone. I am VERY much looking forward to where you take this!