Never Was Lounge: New Online Community

Never Was Lounge
Artwork from Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Syd Mead. Collage by Nick Ottens.

Never Was is launching an online community for alternate history, retro-futurism and science fiction: the Never Was Lounge.

The community consists of discussion areas for the steam, diesel and atomic eras as well as the far future, a place to share your own creations, and a “speakeasy” for everything else.

I hope you’ll join us!

Why a new community?

When Never Was was still The Gatehouse, we launched one of the very first steampunk communities, and the first with a separate dieselpunk section — first at Nov-Net, then the Smoking Lounge. (The Smoking Lounge has been archived in the Never Was Lounge.) These were eclipsed by The Steampunk Forum at Brass Goggles and, but the former is frequently down and currently inaccessible from some countries while the latter is inactive.

There are plenty of retro-futurism groups on Facebook, but Facebook has limitations. It will hide some replies in longer discussions, showing only the most “popular” ones by default. Few Facebook groups are moderated effectively. Some are abandoned by their creators. Users too often have to put up with bad behavior. And Facebook isn’t exactly known for taking the privacy of its users seriously.

Message boards have additional advantages, from allowing users anonymity to better formatting options to a vastly superior search functionality. Try finding an old discussion on Facebook.

Message boards are also more likely to foster a sense of community, because they aren’t strictly about one topic. You probably wouldn’t share memes, or have a political discussion, in an alternate-history group on Facebook, but you can in the Never Was Lounge — and that’s how you get to know people.

How to join

If you were a member of the Smoking Lounge, your user account has been transferred to the Never Was Lounge — but you will need to reset your password.

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