The “traction city” of London in Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines (2001) and its 2018 film adaptation is probably the best-known example of a city on wheels. But it’s not the only one! In fact, there are enough examples in steampunk to call this a genre trope.Continue reading “Cities on Wheels”
Robert Theodore McCall (1919-2010) was an iconic illustrator of the Space Age. He created concept art for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) and was hired by NASA to document the history of the Space Race.
He also painted many scenes of what the future of space exploration might look like.Continue reading “The Art of Robert T. McCall”
Andrew Suryadi is a digital artist from Indonesia, who specializes in cityscapes and scenery. Some of his artworks are the perfect setting for a steampunk story.Continue reading “The Art of Andrew Suryadi”
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Norman Bel Geddes was an American industrial designer and futurist who had a major influence on the streamlined Art Deco design of the 1930s and 40s.
Geddes started out as a theater set designer before opening his own industrial design studio in 1927. His early work included such consumer products as cocktail shakers and radio cabinets. He quickly moved on to more ambitious projects, including a teardrop-shaped car and the amphibian Airliner Number 4.Continue reading “The Design of Norman Bel Geddes”
John Malcolm is a British artist whose portfolio includes several steampunk pieces.Continue reading “The Art of John Malcolm”
In the real world, airships weren’t successful weapons of war. Zeppelins were terrifying but inaccurate. Navigation, target selection and bomb aiming were difficult under the best of circumstances. In darkness, at high altitude and amid the English clouds, accuracy was too much to ask for.
German zeppelins were initially immune to attack by aeroplane and anti-aircraft guns. As the pressure in their envelopes was only just higher than ambient, holes had little effect. But once incendiary bullets were developed and used against them, their flammable hydrogen lifting gas made them vulnerable at low altitudes. Several zeppelins were shot down in flames by British defenders. Others crashed on the way to England. The Germans started flying higher and higher, but this only made their airships even less effective.
The zeppelin campaign proved to be a disaster in terms of morale, men and material. Many pioneers of the German airship service were lost.
But why let such facts stand in the way of a good story?Continue reading “Airships of War”
Hethe Srodawa is a virtual designer from Los Angeles, who has worked on the video games Grand Theft Auto V, L.A. Noir and Max Payne 3, among others. His personal work includes a few steampunk pieces.Continue reading “The Art of Hethe Srodawa”
An American military base on the Moon, defended by nuclear grenade launchers. If that doesn’t sound like an atomicpunk fantasy, I don’t know what does.
Except it was a real plan.
A 1959 feasibility study, codenamed Project Horizon, argued for a lunar outpost, manned by about a dozen soldiers, to keep the Moon out of Soviet hands.Continue reading “Defending a Moon Base with Nuclear Grenades”