Schwerer Gustav German railway gun

Wonder Weapons of the Third Reich

As the Allies closed in on Hitler’s Germany in late 1944 and early 1945, a desperate Nazi regime turned to “wonder weapons” in a final effort to turn the tide in the war.

The best-known as the V-1 and V-2 rockets, which rained down on London by the hundreds but failed to demoralize the British. Others, such as the V-3 cannon and Schwerer Gustav railway gun, were barely used. Others yet, like the German atomic bomb and Die Glocke, either barely advanced beyond the drawing board or never existed at all.

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Nazi-occupied Europe map

Hitler’s Feared Invasion of the Middle East

In the spring of 1941, Nazi Germany controlled of all of Western Europe and the question was where Adolf Hitler would strike next? Would he finally attempt an invasion of Great Britain? Or would he move into the Middle East instead and grab the oilfields? (Few anticipated at the time he would break his nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union.)

Life magazine argued in March of that year that an invasion of the Middle East by way of North Africa was most likely. This would allow Hitler to avoid aggravating the United States on the one hand, which might get involved if Germany invaded England, and Turkey on the other, which had resisted German overtures for an alliance.

“The one little hitch is the open space of water between Italy and the African mainland,” the magazine wrote, otherwise known as the Mediterranean Sea. Continue reading “Hitler’s Feared Invasion of the Middle East”

Stepwise

Stepwise

RPM Orchestra describe themselves as Proto-Industrial Americana music with a dash of old-fashioned hiss and scratch, done in the spirit of free Jazz.


The orchestra composes and performs original scores to accompany films of the Silent Era, provides musical scores in collaborative multidisciplinary performances, records soundtrack music for contemporary films and regularly performs at various music venues.

The concept of “Proto-Industrial Americana music” intrigued me, so it was with some excitement that I started listening to Stepwise.

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Raphael Lacoste artwork

Lost Cities and Civilizations

Cities lost to time and half-remembered civilizations, discovered deep in the mountains of the Himalayas, the Amazonian rainforest or at the bottom of the sea, are a familiar trope in steam- and dieselpunk fiction.

Drawing on the expeditions of Percy H. Fawcett and Heinrich Schliemann, the writings of James Churchward and Theodore Illion and the esotericism of Helena Blavatsky, W. Scott-Elliot and Rudolph Steiner, both genres exploit the half-real and fully imagined tales of ancient races that supposedly roamed the Earth millennia ago.

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Tales From Beyond Tomorrow

Tales From Beyond Tomorrow
Tales From Beyond Tomorrow

What are you in the mood for? It doesn’t matter because you’ll get it with this release.

The author, John Paul Catton, is British, so I’ll put this in terms he can understand. This is a blinding book. I was chuffed with it.



In all seriousness, this is a really well-done series of short stories. Each one is almost completely different, so if you didn’t know better you’d swear it was all written by different people. Catton writes in a variety of styles, meaning you’re sure to find something you like here. Continue reading “Tales From Beyond Tomorrow”