Thursday, January 18, 2007


Spirits of the Upper Air

Listen, if Jess Nevins didn't already exist, we'd have to invent him. Who else could dig up goodness like this?

Jess talked a bit about this early 20C Chinese science fiction (complete with airships and subservient European states) here:
"In this tale, Europe is a Chinese colony and it describes the Chinese government’s suppression of an uprising planned by European "restoration" rebels. The Chinese Emperor orders the generalissimo in charge of Europe, Wen Suchen, to suppress the rebellion with flying warships. Generalissimo Wen not only conquers all seventy-two European nations but continues on to the moon and Jupiter as well. The most marvellous part of this tale is that Jupiter is described as being covered completely with gold and abounding with flora and fauna–the perfect destination for migration. Wen is then appointed Governor of Jupiter. From then on, the means of communication and transportation between Earth and Jupiter is, naturally, by flying ship."

The story? Lu Shi'e's Xin Ye Sou Pu Yan (1909). A shame it will never be translated--I think it'd make for fascinating reading, if only as a counterpoint to the Victorian colonialist sf.
If you don't think that I'm going to use this stuff, whether in a Celestial Empire story or elsewhere (and at the moment, I'm thinking it might fit better in The Great Crosstime Airship Race), you're nuts. This is gold!

I can't help but agree, and couldn't resist thinking: if Chris doesn't use this, he must be clinically dead.

The illustration on your blog post immediately reminded me of the PS Publishing cover of "The Voyage of the Night Shining White" (and OK, I'll succumb and buy the thing...;-).

Looking forward to what you'll do with it!

What's the Great Crostimie Airship Race?
It's still in notional form, but think Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, but with dimensionally transcendent airships. A prize race across multiple dimensions. The cast so far includes Edgar Rice Burroughs, Aleister Crowley, Jack London, Mata Hari, Howard Carter, and Samuel Franklin Cody.
Thanks, Jetse. And I hope you dig Night Shining White!
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