Sunday 27 May 2007

VSF Spider Robot

I picked up a nifty VSF spider robot the other day, from the Star Wars collection. Its a "Guild Homing Spider Droid" - minimal conversion required only IMHO. Just add a smokestack for steampunk!

Friday 18 May 2007

Victorian Names For Heroes, Cads & Others!

If you’re looking for an authentic name for your Victorian-era characters, heroes and cads, here are a couple of sites that may be of assistance:

“Victorian Era Names circa 1840’s-1890’s Being a compilation drawn from old census and vital statistic records” offers a lengthy list of the same

This site also has some crackers!


Tuesday 15 May 2007

The Martian War

The other book I read while touring the Kingdom of Thailand was this:

The Martian War: A Thrilling Eyewitness Account of the Recent Invasion As Reported by Mr. H.G. Wells
by Gabriel Mesta (AKA Kevin J. Anderson)

This is a very different take on the WOTW concept, one in which all of Wells's stories are based on factual events. Working for the secret Imperial Institute in London, he cannot divulge his adventures in any fashion other than fictional stories for the paper. Cavourite spheres, invisibility potions, germ warfare, lunar beings, tentacled Martians, battle tripods, Professor Huxley, Dr Moreau, Percival Lowell - it's a grand cast of period characters and materials.

The plot of this book is therefore a completely different one to the traditional WOTW stories and I found it quite enchanting. An easy read in the Victorian period literary style, I found it quite compelling and hard to put down.

I give it 9/10

You can read other reviews of this book at Amazon here:

Sunday 13 May 2007

War of the Worlds: Next Millenium

War of the Worlds: New Millennium
by: Douglas Niles

I just spent 10 days in the Kingdom of Siam, enjoying this book that Maksim, fellow White Wine Saucer and ace reporter, most kindly sent me as a gift a few weeks ago. Thanks awfully, old boy, and to thank you, here is White Wine Sauce's first ever book review!

The traditional WOTW story translated into a contemporary context, but it is NOT a novel of the recent Tom Cruise film. Think more Wells with Tom Clancy techno-military detail.

Its a very easy read with a fast paced and engaging story, though some technical blunders along the way do marr it just a little (...then again, VSF'ers aren't normally too interested in such nuances!).

Almost all the plotlines of the original Wells masterpeice are represented here including the Battle of Maybury Hill, the Artilleryman, the Thunderchild, etc. but are not the same as the original. Spotting the similarities was fun. The only one I couldn't see was the parson episode and being trapped under a cylinder. Without spoiling the plot, the ending also has a nice twist on the original.

Overall, an absorbing and enjoyable read which stays true to the spirit of Wells.

I give it 7.5/10

You can read more about it here:

Thanks again, Maks! I haven't read a novel for ages and this was just the tonic I needed for a bit of R&R!

Thursday 3 May 2007

Zeppelin Raid Safety Tips

I'm off for a week or so on Her Majesty's service, so I'll leave you to ponder this safety tip in the meantime!

When the Zeppelins Come

The following rules of what to do in case of a Zeppelin raid are given on the authority of the Home office:-

Get indoors as soon as you hear the first bomb fall or the first gun fire, and stay there until the firing is well over.Find the best cover you can. Go down to the lowest floor-the cellar, if you have one. Keep away from the window. Flying splinters of glass are highly dangerous.

Make sure of a plentiful supply of water to put out fires due to incendiary bombs. Dry fine sand and dry fine soil are useful for putting a fire out, but water is the easiest and best safeguard.

Never touch an unexploded bomb or shell.

If you are in the street when a bombardment begins keep cool and make for the best cover you can find. Excitement and thoughtlessness are as bad as fright. If no shelter be available and bombs are dropping near you, throw yourself down on your face. You thereby reduce the mark for rising splinters, and you have a better chance of saving your face.

Do not be in a hurry to come out of your shelter. Remember that even when the Zeppelin had passed over you a shell aimed at her miles away may conceivably drop missiles into your street.

[Shropshire Archive reference: Shrewsbury Chronicle, 16 February 1916]

Hollow Earth Theory

The Hollow Earth Theory, long discussed by the cleverest minds of our time, but never proved by anyone who came back that it, has been patented!

United States Patent 1096102:The Hollow Earth Theory
by Mark Harp

More on Hollow Earth theory here:

Wednesday 2 May 2007

VSF Rules Updated

Patrick's draft VSF rules have been updated:

"I have some a few more tweaks to The Colonel and Co. located in the shed annex. Mostly just some streamlining of the turn sequence and fiddling with the morale charts. I also separated the templates from the charts.Check them out if you get a chance and let me know what you think.We need another play test, though. I might enlist the boy to help me tonight."

Patrick's Hobby Shed: Updated VSF Rules

If you try them be sure to drop Patrick a line and let him know what you think

Tuesday 1 May 2007

The Land that Time Forgot

Bored? Run out of holiday amusement?
Give this cracking read a go!


by Edgar Rice Burroughs
© Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. ~ Tarzana, California

You can find a free online version here:

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!