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Monthly Archives: November 2012
The Pulp-O-Mizer: “THIS is why they invented the internet.”

Filed under Works in Progress

Pulp-O-Mizer sneak peek

That’s an actual quote from a tester who doesn’t even owe me money, so, you know, it may mean something.

This image is a sneak peek at the output from my upcoming addition to the Derange-O-Lab at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual. Another version of it will also go live at Retropolis because once you start Pulp-O-Mizing you just can’t stop.

The deal is, you have menus full of these science fiction pulpy backgrounds, and menus full of these retro science fiction pulpy people, and menus full of titles from the inspiring (Thrilling Tales of Wonder from the Radio Planet) to the amusing (Inadvisable Science) to the head-scratching (Hearts and Pistons).

And then you write your own titles, as you see I’ve done in this example. Which could be anything, and which might appall me, because in spite of what my tester thinks the Internet was invented to, you know, appall us. Or maybe that’s just me.

Pulp-O-Mizer's Most Interesting Man

So anyway, when you’ve picked your background and your characters and your title and you’ve added your potentially me-appalling text, then the system will render out a web resolution graphic suitable for Facebook posts, blog illustrations, and so on, but then it gets better and better because you can also get a high resolution version of the cover as a poster or on other merchandise like fliers, coffee mugs, and whatnot.

Because the other reason the Internet was invented was so that I could shake all the change out of your pockets. And the Pulp-O-Mizer will commence its shaking, well, pretty soon. Pretty soon.

Update: and now you can play with it on the Pulp-O-Mizer page.

Life’s Persistent Questions: Where is my Jet Pack? – now at Retropolis

Filed under Works in Progress

Where's My Jet Pack T-shirt

Now, at Retropolis: the question, if not the answer, that occupies all our thoughts: Where is My Jet Pack?

Because this is an area where the Future That Never Was has completely outclassed The Present That Really Happened. You can keep your iPhone; you’re perfectly welcome to keep your GPS and your full body scanners; you may enjoy your traffic cameras and your edible deodorants. I don’t know; somebody must be enjoying those, it’s just that I have no idea who they are.

You’re welcome to all of them. All I want, and all that any right-thinking person should want, is a jet pack. If you need to ask why then I feel truly sorry for you, but at least I guess I’ve narrowed down the answer to that that edible deodorant question.

Now I think we’ve been quite patient. Sure, if we got overexcited by the old Gernsback magazines then it’s possible that we cancelled our vacations in the Antibes and sat by the door, waiting for our jet packs to be delivered. That, I admit, was overly optimistic. But honestly! It’s been decades since then. Actual decades. And I don’t think that any of us is getting any younger.

So our jet packs have to be arriving soon. They just have to. And to make the wait more bearable, try these T-shirts and coffee mugs from Retropolis that make no bones about the fact that we want our jet packs now, thank you very much.

Send these Retropolis Public Library prints to your favorite library (and to mine)

Filed under Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual, Works in Progress

Retropolis Public Library prints

Late yesterday I launched the Indiegogo campaign that aims to send my upcoming Retropolis Public Library prints to your favorite library – and to about ten libraries that have meant something to me. The campaign’s pretty modest goal of $3200 is just enough to do that; but it’s when we meet and exceed that goal that things get really interesting.

That’s because for every 250 prints that we send to your favorite libraries I’ll be able to donate $1000 of actual cash money to my own local library. If we send off 500 prints, I get to donate $2000, and so on, up to… oh, wait. There’s no limit. That means that if we were to send 10,000 prints to your favorite libraries, I’d donate $40,000, which is an astonishing chunk of change even though I have to admit it’s not likely we’ll get quite that far.

I’m fond of my local library, but when I tell you that our town has a population of about 15,000 people in a region whose economy was once based on manufacturing, well… I think you can imagine what’s happened to every kind of local agency’s budget in the past few years in a series of reductions that – everywhere – often starts with the local library. So when I figured out what the stretch goals for this campaign might be I felt quite excited to think that I might be able to give a boost to my library’s budget.

Now of course that’s not the primary goal of the campaign. The primary goal is for people like you to do something nice, improbable and, just maybe, a little bit odd for your own local (or other favorite) libraries, by sponsoring a gift for them of one or both of these twenty by thirty inch archival ‘Public Library’ prints. When you sponsor that gift I’ll send the print(s) to your chosen library along with a letter that explains just how this happened and that you’re the one responsible.

the Public Library - a Retropolitan Promotional Poster

There are other rewards (‘perks’, in indiegogospeech) including getting the prints for yourself. But the real aim is to put these retro-futuristic promotional prints on the walls of as many libraries as possible. In about thirty days.

So go look! And, I hope, decide to dive in and do something peculiar and interesting for the people who also serve by standing, waiting, and then giving you the books you want to read. Please: stop and think about how wonderful and unlikely that is. No, I mean it. Really stop and think. Then, please, join in.

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Down in the Basement. Where it Strains Against its Chains and Turns a Gigantic Wheel of Pain, for all Eternity. Muahahahahaha.