dispatches from terra incognita

Category: Archives

Ernest Glitch & His Lateral Science

I first discovered Roger Curry’s Lateral Science website (now blog) a decade ago. He would seem to be in the process of distilling it into a “novel” — The Ernest Glitch Chronicles. I have to let Roger Curry describe this one for you himself:

During the mid-eighteen hundreds, the Weardale savant Ernest Glitch performed scientific and technological investigations, little known to the present student of the history of science. An eccentric and volatile person, his pursuit of knowledge was accompanied by the sort of hedonism only the very rich can enjoy. The results of experiments he and his assistant Hodges undertook were never published. As he kept no log-book, the main record of the discoveries they made are the letters he wrote to Michael Faraday.

In this book, the letters to Faraday are presented, together with contemporary reports, a journal Glitch made of his expedition to Africa, and several narratives of his life. Also, reference is made to both his ancestors and, in detail, his descendants.

Contains very strong language. The letters and accounts of the work of Ernest Glitch are of an appalling nature in parts, containing references to animal and human experimentation, extreme violence, Victorian drug abuse, and complete disregard for the dignity of native peoples. 381 pages. 135 thousand words.

I don’t yet find evidence that an e-bookified version is available, but one can read it all online by foraging through the blog. Ripping inspiration for VSF technology and adventure.

From the Archives (Originally posted December 20, 2002)

Prufrock in Peril!

The Colonial Angle is a website devoted to miniature wargames (my new passion). It contains a photographic battle report of The Demise of Professor Prufrock, a tale of supernatural mystery and desert intrigue.

I didn’t realize in 2002 that the creator of the Colonial Angle was Steve Winter, a long time TSR employee. While the Colonial Angle no longer seems to be updated, Steve has added a link to the Alliterates homepage, a writing group of noted souls in the rpg community.

N.B.: The links are now curtesy of the Wayback Machine.

From the Archives (Originally posted on March 7, 2002)

Perry-Castañada Library Map Collection

The Perry-Castañada Library Map Collection is an invaluable resource for cartographers, this online map collection comprises numerous modern and historical maps, most in the public domain, as well as copious links to other cartographic resources. Two examples:

The Distribution of the Principal European Languages in 1914

Notable High Buildings of the World, 1896

From the Archives (Originally Posted on March 5, 2002)

Into the Archives

As I mentioned previously, I “blogged” (though people didn’t much call it that) from 2001 to 2009 in support of the roleplaying game I wrote, Terra Incognita. Aside from bookkeeping stuff (the game was reviewed here, blah, blah, blah, there’s a new supporting download, blah, blah, blah), the main goal of the blog was to explore the then-newish creation called the Interweb for material that Terra Incognita players might find interesting.

I’ve decided to trek into those days of yore and “rebroadcast” the Dispatches. This is partly an exercise in curiosity about what’s still available (I have no doubt that the Wayback Machine will occasionally be involved), partly a wish to remind myself of eight-odd years of daily research into weird stuff, and and partly a desire to utilize all the modern day tags and categories and such so that readers might actually be able to find what they’re looking for without having to scroll through everything chronologically (which you can still do, if you go in for that sort of thing).

Henceforward you can expect periodic forays into the mists of ætheric terra incognita

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