At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ends. Germany signs an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiégne, France. It should have been the end of the Great War. It was in fact the beginning of more troubled times.Continue reading “Armistice”
Never Was is proud to announce a partnership with Sarah Zama, author of four books and many stories set in the diesel era. She most recently published Living the Twenties, a nonfiction e-book about the decade. Sarah also maintains an active blog, called The Old Shelter.
In 2018, she blogged about the history of Weimar Germany in an A-to-Z challenge: 26 entries, one for each letter of the alphabet. We’ll be republishing those stories in the coming months. The first one, about the 1918 armistice that ended World War I, just went up.Continue reading “Partnership with Sarah Zama”
David Holland is a British digital artist, whose cyberpunk cityscapes combine Blade Runner and BioShock influences.Continue reading “The Art of David Holland”
They don’t make movies like Otto Preminger’s Exodus anymore. It’s one of those epic historical dramas with bombastic soundtracks that make me regret being born in a time when only Star Wars has such scores. (Listen here.)
It runs in the ballpark of three and a half hours, so it’s by no means an easy watch. Making it even less easy is the controversial subject matter: the founding of the modern state of Israel.
As a story, the film works magnificently. It earns its behemoth runtime. No scene is wasted, and the story naturally takes that time. It feels properly epic; about a people who have survived the unspeakable and their odyssey to find a new home.Continue reading “Exodus”
The year is 2039. Princess Catharina-Amalia, heir to the Dutch throne, has married Prince George of Wales, nine years her junior, creating a personal union between the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Two ambitious prime ministers propose to go further: unifying the kingdoms on the North Sea, thus making it possible for Britain to reenter the European Union by the backdoor.
It may seem far-fetched, but it almost happened before — thrice.Continue reading “Anglo-Dutch Union”
Red Storm Rising (1986) is a classic of the World War III genre. Tom Clancy’s second book, coming on the heels of the enormously successful The Hunt for Red October (1984), depicts a NATO-Warsaw Pact war in the mid-1980s fought entirely with conventional weapons. (Although the risk of nuclear escalation is present.)
The book opens with Azerbaijani terrorists destroying the main Soviet oil refinery at Nizhnevartovsk. The Politburo, split between a war-wary general secretary and a warmongering defense chief, decides to seize the oil fields of the Persian Gulf to avoid economic collapse. Fearing that the West would intervene in such an attack, the Soviet leaders determine to eliminate NATO first.Continue reading “Red Storm Rising”
For the final installment in our fashion history catalogue book series, we are examining the pages of the era that is probably best known when people think about retro fashion: the 1950s.
When 50s fashion is mentioned, most will think of pin-up styles, sexy tops and pencil skirts, victory roll hairdos and big circle skirts. And greasers à la James Dean and Mutt Williams.
Or skirts with poodle appliqués and cute little cardigans, in soft pinks and whites and pastels of movies such as Grease.
If that is your view of the 50s, and you were hoping to find page after page of the such styles, you might find this book well, a little disappointing, because it will set you straight in no time.Continue reading “Everyday Fashions of the Fifties”
I was looking forward to Wonder Woman 1984. The last movie was amazing. Gal Gadot is perfect for the role. And this one would be set in the 1980s!
Sadly, it disappoints on all fronts.
Unlike 2017’s Wonder Woman, the plot of this movie is discombobulated. The main villain, played by Pedro Pascal of The Mandalorian fame, is a cartoonish version of Donald Trump. His sidekick, played by Kristen Wiig, is even more predictable.
There is a detour to Egypt that is almost entirely irrelevant to the plot. As is the opening act on Woman Woman’s home island, Themyscira. Action scenes go on for too long. Wonder Woman attains not one, but two new powers. Dialogue is often puerile. Gadot is given little to work with.Continue reading “Wonder Woman 1984”
Flavio Bolla is a freelance illustrator and environment concept artist. Many of his land- and cityscapes are set in the fictional country of Osmadth. Others have a clear steampunk inspiration.Continue reading “The Art of Flavio Bolla”
In certain political science (or political shit-posting) circles there is a term “accelerationism”, referring to a belief that the problems of society should not be ameliorated but rather exacerbated in order to cause the collapse of a preexisting social order so that something else may be built on its ashes. The justification for this is simple: anarchy is a blank slate upon which any enterprising political elite can realize their dreams should they put the proper work into it and persuade the right people.
One such form of accelerationism comes forth in the writings of the Argentine Marxist writer J. Posadas, who advocated for nuclear war, which would destroy the capitalist order and, among the ruins, provide a way to build Marx’ classless utopia.
Posadas also believed in the necessity of contacting aliens who, by virtue of their technological advancement, must be more advanced according to Marx’ dialectical theory, a notion which has him painted as a loon by certain political science (or political shit-posting) circles on the internet.
However, he was not the first writer to put forth a similar idea.Continue reading “The World Set Free”