Friday, July 11, 2014

Wide Open Anomaly episode 4



Absence has only sought to make the heart grow fonder now Commander Bob is back with his tales of the adventures of his eponymous hero Arthur Morgan: how has our hero fared? read on dear reader prepare to be amazed!

Reprinted by permission of Commander Bob
Originally presented on
Victor Sierra Official Facebook page

9-Wide Open Anomaly (The Boys from Potemkine-02)
by Commander Bob

"He wasn't a commander at all but we called him that because of his behavior, ha ha ha! He was an apprentice sailor at the time as we all were but yet he wanted to direct everything deep down in the bowels of the big ship. Ha ha.."
The driver keeps on laughing and speeding in the night.
Trying to curb his panic, Arthur Morgan doesn't understand how he can keep the car on the glistening icy road at this insane pace and he could barely see through the windscreen.
"But…"
"No more questions before we meet the boys, please Mr Morgan!"
All right, thinks the reporter, everything is fine, I live this kind of nightmare everyday…
"At least, can I know your name?"
"Yes, call me K, Joseph K."
"Okay, Mister K."
After half an hour of bumping and hopping in the Zim, they arrive at what Morgan makes out as a port because of the vague sound of waves hitting the wharf and the heavy smell of salt, when the young man stops and kills the engine and says: "Do you see it?"
The reporter strains to see something in the dark through the dirty frosted windscreen.
"What are you talking about?"
"Get out of the car and you'll see it."
He struggles with the door-handle and pushes the door with difficulty, suddenly he freezes at the echoing noise the grating has produced. Looking around he finally makes out the black painted side of an enormous ghost-like ship in the night.
"But… but it's…"
"Yes it's a ship!".
He shines the flashlight onto the ship's prow and big letters appear between patches of rust on the eroded black metal: "Потёмкин" (Potemkine).
"You're speechless Mr Morgan huh?"
"But is this the real battleship Potemkine?"
"What else? Yes it's the real one and Commander Bob was aboard with us when shit happened, believe me I wouldn't have risked bringing you here if it wasn't worth it. Come on, the boys are waiting for us."
They climbed a half-burned wooden ramp and Morgan moves forward very cautiously step by step for the creaks are amplified by the deafening reverberation on the side of the ship. Once on the deck, looking around him he realizes how the ship is decaying, boards are missing on the floor and he can't see any metal parts free of rust. There are still traces of harsh combats on walls and one of the chimney shows a big hole in its middle. No way this ship can sail, thinks the reporter, as he follows the man who leads him towards a metal door that clangs loudly open to a poorly lit gangway. Everything seems dirty and burned and he's overcome by the heavy smell of grease and petrol floating in the confined atmosphere. Morgan and K walk through several other gangways and security doors and as they pass by a cabin bearing a copper plate: "радиоприёмник"
("Radio"), he makes out the operator's back, headphones on his head in the feeble light, manipulating a model 1939 communication device's switch and rotary buttons saying: "Calling center… This is Battleship Potemkine calling center… requesting instructions please…over".
"Don't panic", K whispers, "some of us are partly living in parallel worlds!"
Morgan feels totally at lost wondering in which lunatic asylum he is, and after having stumbled one more time, he begins to hear shouts and laughs and the muffled sound of a radio… and someone singing:
"… Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler, if you think we're on the run…

Friday, July 4, 2014

Wide Open Anomaly episode 3



From the Top Secret Interdimensional Time Travel Police files:

Big Machine:   Keyboardist, sound engineer, intelligent walking computer and several other self contained electronic instruments for the  Steampunk band Victor Sierra, which is his daytime cover for her secret career as Chief Engineer and Weapons Master of The Hydrogen Queen  (interdimensional time traveling armed and armored mercenary zeppelin)....  Big Machine is fairly unique in that he is a self-made cyborg, constructed from parts of unknown origin, and a long time trans-humanist member of the Difference Engine League. He is the master of interpreting the future and past in any available time anomaly. 
Talks loud or shuts the fuck up -- nothing in between. 
Enjoys analogical lullabies and coffee black as night. 
Highly unsociable.


This week's installment arrives a little later - conversations with the Commander and a bottle of JD but be sure this episode has a twist mwahahaha!

8-Wide Open Anomaly (The Boys from Potemkine-01)
by Commander Bob

Reprinted by permission of Commander Bob
Originally presented on
Victor Sierra Official Facebook page

Marshall Trepper shows Morgan to the door saying:
"My advice: don't get lost in the maze of this huge post-soviet administrative mess because there's no way out. Actually nobody is commanding anymore but a bunch of schmucks and they keep it secret to the people…"
Peering at the empty corridor from the open door and seeing nobody, he resumed:
"… remember… I haven't told you anything. If asked, just answer that you came to visit me because you're crazy about airships, they will then think you're as a fool as I am. We are still running useless experiments here because no one in Staliningrad asked us to stop. They've just forgotten about us! (he shackles) And if you finally find this bloke "Big Machine" ask him about Colonel Gagarine, I would be glad to know what happened to the old rascal.
A glickekhe rayze." (*)
Outside the building, the night has fallen and temperature has lowered, Morgan thinks about the fact that some hundred kilometers to the north people have to stay at home six months oaf the year because the cold can freeze the tears in their eyes. There still are airships and aircrafts in the sky and he's stricken by the beauty of these ageless flying vehicles training to protect an empire that doesn't exist anymore. "It's like a movie set, you can be lured by what you see but there is nothing behind the fake walls." he thinks bracing himself as he makes his way back to the control tower in the wind because it's obvious the shuttle service is now closed.
Half-way from the huge grey building he hears car tires screeching on the road and turning back he sees a Gaz-12 Zim speeding towards him. Even in such a cursed place Morgan thinks the car seems incredibly out of time - It was your typical official vehicle back in the Red Empire glory days - as it screeches to a halt right beside him in a terrible brakes noise. The passenger door opens and a man with a grinning face leans and yells at him in thick russian-accented English:
"You're the reporter?"
"Yes" replies Morgan, worried it could be someone from the NKVD (the powerful political police totally out of control these days, he's been told).
"Get in the car, me and some friends want to talk to you!"
The reporter hesitates.
"Who are you?"
The driver lowers his tone and whispers:
"We are the Boys from Potemkine! Come on, I don't want any opposition here."
Leaving fear behind him, Morgan jumps in the car and slumps in the sagging passenger seat while the man immediately revs up on the road. He firmly grips the door handle to keep balance and looks at the driver: young, blonde hair under a typical soviet cap, sharp features and apparently his permanent grin. The airport quickly fades away behind them in the night as they rushed in the middle of the cold desert.
The car heater has clearly become a memory of the past, Morgan reflects, as almost every buttons, commands or whatever can be found on a dashboard is missing.
"Where are we going to?" asks the reporter.
"To the ship" replies the driver.
"What ship?" asks Morgan aghast.
"Battleship Potemkine!"
"Ba…ttle…ship Potemkine…". The reporter is completely lost. "What the hell for? and does it still exist in the first place"
The blonde guy doesn't bother to answer about the ship.
"My friends and I have information for you. We heard you look for people. And we've used to work with one of them a long time ago. Marshall Trepper told you about Big machine…" He laughs. "He thinks nobody knows his secrets the poor old guy! But ourselves, we've known another one we called Com… Чёрт! Дерьмо (f*ck) !"
He cursed loudly for the car had swerved on the icy road but his hands firmly gripping the wheel he succeeds in controlling the skid and goes back to normal as far as normal driving on a road - probably unknown to any roadmap of the region - can be. Arthur Morgan is terrified.
"What… what n… name were you saying?
"Commander! Commander Bob! Ha ha ha!" the man bursts out laughing and the car swerves again.

(*): "Travel safe!"


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Steampunk Invasion comes to Dallas Sept. 2014!




Steampunk Invasion  is a new Steampunk specific convention in the heart of Dallas, Texas.  It will be presented, for 2014 anyway, in the historic surroundings of the Dallas Heritage Village which will make this a far more immersive touch of history than any convention hotel  could provide.  

It is planned to be quite unique in another way as well.  The plan is for the convention to be adopted by the Steampunk community in south central US and be hosted in different large cities every year, making a venue for the skills, talents, and educators of the Steampunk Community in that host city that year. It will be in Dallas for 2014 and 2015, but is available to start rotating locations as early as 2016 if the steampunk community in the local south central area is ready to take the reins at that time.

Entertainers are being brought in from well outside the area, as evidenced by the flyer above, but are also using local musical talent as well as local panelists.  To learn more go to their website at the following link.


Friday, June 27, 2014

Episode 2 of Wide Open Anomaly


From the Top Secret Interdimensional Time Travel Police files:

The Legendary Converted Princess, Anouk Adrien: 
 Lead singer of the Steampunk band Victor Sierra, which is her daytime cover for her secret career as First Mate of The Hydrogen Queen (interdimensional time traveling armed and armored mercenary zeppelin).   Mysterious voyager into the unknown. Loves poetry of the living past. 
Enjoys Rum, distorted guitar sounds and oceans of every hue. 
 Creator of fabric from the breathe of steam engines 
She is a worthy opponent to the commander -- enjoys challenging him with intelligent arguments. 
 Always wears Chinese red lipstick. 
Highly reliable.


It is late and getting later - what does the Commander have for us this evening - draw near ...draw ever near and harken to his words...

3-Wide Open Anomaly (Easy Writer)
by Commander Bob

Reprinted by permission of Commander Bob
Originally presented on
Victor Sierra Official Facebook page

Arthur Morgan feverishly writes line after line, his eyes fixed on his writing pad. The pilot's face wrinkles as he lights a cigarette and blows the smoke toward the cloudy ceiling.
"Were they carry anything with them? Luggage? Equipment? Devices?"
"Not that I recall but it was normal because we never saw them stay in town. They walked empty-handed. All their stuff probably remained aboard the Hydrogen Queen, their airship."
The journalist raises his eyes:
"An airship of which class?"
The old man sighs and his shoulders slump.
"You ask a lot young man… not of a class I knew at the time. It was a mix of old and new I dare say. Typical Zeppelin skin but the engines were atomic, I'm positive about that although I only caught sight of it a few times.
It was a bit like "THE THIRD MAN", the Cyborg, it was there and not there, a mystery just like everything about them. At the time I was still flying in the Force, I wasn't here that much… But wait a minute, something comes to mind now: they had this book… The guy from Enco, Dennis the gas station attendant, told me about it."
The former pilot searches his mind and his eyes are blurred by the smoke of his cigarette.
"He said they stopped by at dusk one day. They were in a Duesenberg. The "Cyborg" was at the wheel. Commander Bob was riding shotgun and was holding a strange book on his lap. The kind you only see in museums."
"Hmm… " Morgan waited.
"He said the book looked antique - leather-covered - one but he couldn't read the title because it was printed in an alphabet unknown to him. You got a match?"
He had let his cigarette go out.
The journalist searches his pocket for his zippo slips it and lights the cigarette. It weakly lights up the wrinkled face, he draws on the stub and exhales a blue cloud.
"There was something odd about the book and young Dennis told me that it seemed to open on the wrong side."
"What do you mean? " said Morgan, a bit startled.
"Well… from left to right and not the other way around."
The journalist suddenly realized that most of the customers had left the place. The night has fallen, the village seems to be totally dead outside and except the music from the juke-box everything was apparently dying in the bar as well.
"Is this Dennis still in the neighborhood?
"Oh no! he left many years ago, relocated to Hollywood I recall"
He laughs and slams the table.
"Yeah… he wanted to be a movie star! I still can see him with his Enco cap always on the side, typical rebel and he was a very handsome boy."
Arthur Morgan scribbles furiously and raises his eyes:
"And young Dennis had a family name?"
"Yes Sir! Hopper, young Dennis Hopper... Lad liked motorbikes".


Friday, June 20, 2014

Wide Open Anomaly (steampunk fiction by Bob Eisenstein)


From the Top Secret Interdimensional Time Travel Police files:

Commander Bob Eisenstein: Guitarist and leader of the Steampunk band Victor Sierra, which is his daytime cover for his secret career as The Hydrogen Queen’s Commander (interdimensional time traveling armed and armored mercenary zeppelin). 
He doesn't like to be disturbed when flying high in the currents of inspiration. Likes Bourbon and conversations where questions are the answers to questions
Likes to convert improbable ideas into impossible visions. 
His lyrics remain obscure because the obvious is boring. 
Highly unpredictable.

Commander Bob has decided to tell us of the adventures of the Hydrogen queen's crew. He will weave his magical yarns of derring do over the coming weeks. He begins today with how it all began so pay attention my dears pull up a chair... pour yourself a drink... settle down and prepare to be amazed!


Wide Open Anomaly (From here to eternity)
by: Commander Bob

Reprinted by permission of Commander Bob
Originally presented on
Victor Sierra Official Facebook page


April 1958… Scientific publications from around the
world comment on very special events that occur in "Area 52" in Arizona, USA. UFOs, flying saucers, soviet spy-aircraft? No one knows but people talk about three strangers who were seen there. One woman and two men disembarking from a gigantic unidentified airship or what could be one.
The weather forecast had warned of a huge blizzard. It was almost impossible to see what was really happening.
Later an elder from the neighboring village said he heard brass from the military base calling one of the men, the tallest one: "Commander Bob! Please this way…" Others talk about the woman they call "some kind of Princess" and the other man "looking like a Cyborg"…
Then suddenly everything had disappeared. As in a dream…
Three days later the sky was much clearer and from behind the barbed wire fence one could see a portal carved in a rocky hill. But no traces of the airship nor of the three people.
Foreign reporters kept asking around and little by little villagers proved unable to hold their tongues and told them numerous stories involving those three individuals… Each week expect a story some will amuse, some will shock some may even terrify but prepare always to be thrilled!



2-Wide Open Anomaly
(Аргументы и Факты - Argumenty i Facty)
by Commander Bob

The joint is crowded with locals of all ages. None of them blinked when Arthur Morgan came in from the cold outside although he is obviously from anywhere but the neighborhood. Part-time investigator and part-time journalist, he's one of those modern bounty hunters and over the phone he convinced a former US Air Force pilot to meet him. He left the choice of the place up to him and now they sit face to face in a booth in the background of the deep brown walled bar.
The old man puts his glass back on the dark oak table. He's preoccupied digging deep into his past. He speaks with a deep gravely voice. Morgan can't place his accent.
"It was in 1958 right after we lost Alaska one night I was having a shot of … at Lost Souls Bar and then they stood. The tall guy… the one the others called "Commander Bob" was obviously in a bad mood. It was almost dusk and the light in the bar was very weak because of the power limitations we had at the time and I couldn't see them very well. He and the woman had been arguing about something… but tell me Sir… what did you say your name was?"
"Arthur Morgan"
"Didn't you give me another name over the phone? Hmmm…. Forget it. My hearing is pretty bad now. Sorry about that. "
Arthur leaned forward scribbling on his writing pad then casually ask the former pilot:
"And the argument? what was it about?"
The old man looked like he plunged into a deep pool of scattered papers and photographs that is his memory. He frowns and his left index absent-mindedly rubs the rim of his glass. He is remembering an encounter one that has left him for so many years with unanswered questions.
"Ah… it looked like it was about the band they use to have together or something like that… Their language was scattered of strange words I didn't know… except when they used the aviators code: like "victor" and "sierra". You bet I know these terms after all these years handling the control stick! Commander Bob seemed to be a heavy drinker! Bourbon that is… Believe me I know what I'm talking about! A very unpredictable man, take my word…"
He winks at Morgan who smiles in return to encourage the pilot to keep talking.
"…All of a sudden he switched languages! I recognized Spanish because I learnt it in Barcelona during the Spanish war and then another one… perhaps Old German with bizarre words in it…"
"And the woman, how was she? who was she? "
The old man grins and his eyes sparkle.
"Ah Mister Morgan… the others called her the Legendary Converted Princess… She was wearing Chinese Red Lipstick. I know that for sure because my first wife wore it as well. And actually she looked like a real princess with what she was wearing… Red hair, green eyes, few people could stand her gaze… a hell of a woman!"
"And the third man?"
"What? the Cyborg? We all called him that because of his mechanized right arm all made of cogs rivets and rods… Though he was massive it was hard to see his face. He didn't wear a mask but it was as if he was there and somewhere else at the same time, as if parts of him disappeared and came back to sight. We were frightened of him."


Friday, June 13, 2014

Facinating African Sci-fi/Steampunk Art