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Delayed Linkage: Greg Brotherton’s Dystopias, and Atomic Rockets

Filed under Found on the Web, Hodgepodge

I spend most of my days inside my own head. I admit it. I’m not ashamed. But usually I make the time to pop my metaphorical head above the waters, notice interesting things, and jot them down in here.

Lately I’ve been keeping that head down a bit more than usual because what I’ve been immersed in is not a metaphor: it’s just a great big project that I hope to finish soon. Ish. So today, here are a couple of things I’ve meant to share… but haven’t. After which – head down, full speed ahead, silent running.

Greg Brotherton’s New Museum Show

Greg Brotherton's Dystopian SculpturesI’ve written before about Greg Brotherton’s sculptures, which are remarkable pieces that combine found objects with new metals, wood, and other materials.

His newest work is now on display in a show called Discoveries in Dystopia at the Oceanside Museum of Art, near San Diego in California. The new work concentrates on dystopian views of workers in fascinating but forbidding settings: cubicles, desks and machines that enfold their laborers in Sysiphean toil.

Like Brotherton’s other works the textures and their contrasts are lovely to the eye and there are occasional grace notes (like the "Back Space" typewriter key shown here) that reward the careful observer. Wonderful stuff!

The museum’s show runs through March 19, and there’s a "Meet the Artist" event on February 6.


If you’ve seen my own work, you may have guessed that of all the things I may be about, scientific accuracy is, well, absent. If I can fool you into thinking that a thing might work, well, job done, right? Because things like open cockpit roadster "rockets" aren’t the most practical or likely sort of vehicles in the first place.

Atomic Rockets!On the other hand, I appreciate scientific accuracy in science fiction (which is not exactly what I do, anyway). Authors can get away with fooling me, too, but they have to work at it a bit if what they’re doing is cast in a realistic mode.

So I was delighted on a couple of levels when I discovered the Atomic Rockets web site. It doesn’t hurt for me to get a little better at fooling you, after all, and the material’s pretty interesting in its own right.

Because Atomic Rockets is a large and growing compilation of information about how spaceships and related technologies actually need to work, and why. The examples are a mix of real aerospace experience and research with science fiction examples – good, bad, and ugly – from decades worth of fiction and movies.

And there are plenty of equations to help you to calculate whether your own space ship is going to be able to make that trip to Neptune. If not, you can research some of the other types of propulsion!

So I’ve made plenty of discoveries there already and look forward to more. The site is the ongoing project of Winchell D. Chung Jr. – have a look!

6 responses to “Delayed Linkage: Greg Brotherton’s Dystopias, and Atomic Rockets
Winchell Chung says:
January 22nd, 2010 at 12:04 am

Thank you for the link to my website. I’m glad you enjoyed Atomic Rockets!

Bradley W. Schenck says:
January 22nd, 2010 at 12:08 am

My pleasure entirely! I noticed enough odd similarities between your life and mine that I’m thinking one of us may be the other one’s evil twin.

Winchell Chung says:
January 23rd, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Or maybe we could simultaneously be each other’s evil twin.

What sort of odd similarities have you noticed?

Bradley W. Schenck says:
January 24th, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Well, it may not be that many – we were both born in California, within about a year of one another – which, I admit, would have made for a pretty long labor (sorry, our mom!); we each did illustrations for tabletop games when we were in our teens (you, Ogre; me, Wee Warriors and Arduin); we’ve both been interested enough in Norse legends to read the Eddas; read both Robert Anton Wilson and Philip Bonewits; and, of course, there’s the science fiction thing.

Jill @ Liv'nGood Jewelry says:
January 27th, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Once again you’ve turned me on to an incredibly amazing artist in Greg Brotherton. Thank you thank you – and please keep posting them.

Bradley W. Schenck says:
January 27th, 2010 at 11:40 pm

Yep, those are really something, aren’t they?

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