Hindenburg airship over New York

Never Was: A New Beginning for an Old Steampunk Site

The Gatehouse first came online almost ten years ago, in 2008. A lot has changed in the steam- and dieselpunk scene since then. The former has arguably gone mainstream. The latter is now recognized as a genre and a subculture in its own right. We have seen blogs and webzines come and go. The Gatehouse itself underwent many changes (read our history here). Now it’s time for the next chapter.

With a new name and a new domain, we are upping our game. Continuing in the tradition of The Gatehouse, Never Was will be more of a magazine than a blog, with long-form stories about architecture, history and genre theory as well as the event, book and movie reviews you have come to expect of us. Continue reading “Never Was: A New Beginning for an Old Steampunk Site”

Faisal I of Iraq

Changing My Mind About Victorientalism

This website, then known as The Gatehouse, gained some notoriety in 2010, when we dedicated an issue of our webzine, the Gatehouse Gazette, to “Victorientalism”.

I subsequently defended this choice in a blog post that now strikes me as insensitive and in some places wrong.

My assumption — that it is safe to recreate stereotypes from colonial times because those stereotypes, and the power imbalances they sustained, have gone — was flawed. I have learned that such stereotypes and power imbalances are in some cases still with us and in others have a lingering effect. I should have listened to the people (of color) who tried to tell me that eight years ago. Continue reading “Changing My Mind About Victorientalism”

Günter Radtke artwork

Günter Radtke’s World of Tomorrow

Günter Radtke was a German illustrator who mostly did work for Stern magazine.

He also illustrated various science-fiction stories, including Ulrich Schippke’s Zukunft: Das Bild der Welt von Morgen (“The Future: An Image of the World of Tomorrow”) (1974), which shows self-driving cars, skyscrapers in the sea and various imagined forms of public transportation. Continue reading “Günter Radtke’s World of Tomorrow”

The Hague Peace Palace design by Willem Kromhout

Designs for the Peace Palace in The Hague

In 1903, the American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated $1.5 million (almost $40 million in today’s money) for the construction of a Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. The building would become known as the Peace Palace and eventually house several international courts.

An architectural competition was held for the design. Renowned architects from around the world, including the Netherlands’ own Hendrik Petrus Berlage and Willem Kromhout, submitted ideas. France’s Louis M. Cordonnier Neo-Renaissance palace won. Continue reading “Designs for the Peace Palace in The Hague”

Soviet Arctic dam map

The Soviet Plan to Thaw the Arctic

These days, we worry the Arctic is getting too hot. Half a century ago, the Soviets wished it was warmer — and they thought of a way to thaw the frigid North.

Popular Mechanics reported in June 1956 that Soviet authorities were considering building a 55-mile dam between Alaska and Siberia. The barrier would keep icebergs and arctic currents out of the Pacific, allowing warm southern currents to sweep unchecked up the eastern shore of Siberia and down the western coast of North America. Warm water from the Pacific Ocean would be pumped back into the Arctic and transform the once-frozen region into a “blossoming landscape”. Continue reading “The Soviet Plan to Thaw the Arctic”