Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Those Things That Come In Threes

After visiting the Cold War exhibition at the V&A, I've been fighting my way through Resistance: The Fall of Man, very much alt. Cold War SF. And I've just spotted this, posted on Bruce Sterling's blog: atompunk. (Ian McDonald and I were talking about Cold War SF as an alternative to steampunk at the Gollancz party a few months back; it must be in the air, like strontium-90 when I was but a baby).

Just in: cool Soviet Cold War snowmobiles via io9.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cold War SF usually comes under the label of dieselpunk. Have a gander here:

There's quite a bit written on it and a fair few ideas. The forums on that site are full of goodies.

Charles Stross has written a few Cthulu meets the Cold War stories that fit the vein quite well.

December 05, 2008 9:10 pm  
Blogger Paul McAuley said...

Thanks for the link, Guy. I think I may have accidentally committed dieselpunk once or twice (eg 'A Very British History', freely available over in the fiction section of the website).

December 06, 2008 2:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"accidentally committed"

I'm not sure anyone will come round your house and do you for it. ;)

Reading 'A Very British History' it feels rather like Warren Ellis's 'Ministry of Space' (which was of course inspired by the Quatermass serials and so forth).

I can't really dislike anything which features the phrase, 'hepcat hippie rebels'.

Its a bit fannish but I'd like to thank you, 'The Invisible Country' got me through my Biology GCSE.

December 08, 2008 12:57 am  
Blogger Paul McAuley said...

'Ministry of Space is serious fun, and looks great; 'A Very British History' shares some of its genome most certainly, but it was published a bit before it and takes the Dan Dare/Clarke notions of British hegonomy in a very different (ie utopian) direction.
It started out as a talk for some space enthusiasts, who proceeded to tell me all kinds of great stuff about the British space programme in the 1950s and 1960s, which I promptly borrowed for my fell purposes.

Once upon a time, of course, it wouldn't have been alt. history, but actual prognostication. So it goes.

You're kidding about the Biology GCSE right? If not, I'm going to have to come up with a new disclaimer :)

December 08, 2008 10:54 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well more in terms of keeping my interest up. ;)

Science GCSE's were at the time amongst the most tedious, badly put together courses in history. The whole Chemistry course was actually scientifically wrong and did a 180 at A-Level.

Didn't help either that the answers in exams were (hilariously) politically vetted- so any answer, even if right, might be on the political 'wrong' list and therefore lead to you failing that question.

If we were really lucky it wouldn't be alt history but reality...We can but dream.

December 08, 2008 12:38 pm  

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