Archive for March, 2007

Note on Length of short stories

Someone asked us what should the length of a submisson be, so here is a suggestion on the length based on the definition of  short story (taken from Wikipedia) – “In contemporary usage, the term short story most often refers to a work of fiction no longer than 20,000 words and no shorter than 1,000.”


Dissertation on Medieval Automata

Elly Truitt of Harvard University’s Department of the History of Science is doing a dissertation on medieval automata in Western Europe, 1100-1550. This should serve as a good source material for people looking for background knowledge on automata of the times for use in Clockpunk.

Rise of Legends

The Rise of Legends is a PC game set in fantasy world and is similar to the Rise of Nations game, the main difference being that there are three factions – one technological, one magical and one is demi-god like. The technological faction is called the Vinci and is inspired from Renaissance Italy, thus the relevance to Clockpunk. While some of the technologies featured in the game can only be put under the banner of Steampunk, the designs of machines are heavily influenced by the Italian master and the Vinci civilization seems to be an alternate version of Renaissance Italy. Many of the units are based on Clockwork. A ‘pure’ Clockpunk themed game has still to come out.

Clockpunk Anthology Project

One way to get people to delve deeper into the Clockpunk genre would be to get an anthology out. So here is the plan: People can submit their short stories to be published online first over here. Once we have enough material we can release the best stories as an anthology and get a publisher to notice us and we can get the collection published in printed format as well. I should mention that the license will be the Creative Commons license and you retain the rights to the story.
So start typing away (speaking of typing, a “medieval typewriter” sounds like a good idea!) and send in your stories to davinciautomata [at] gmail [dot] com

Clockpunk Wooden Gear Clocks

Someone suggested this link on wooden gear clocks gears. These deisgns seem to be straight out of a Clockpunk movie (there is none so far but one can always hope.) Check it out at this URL.

Faust by Michael Swanwick

Thanks to RobW for pointing out this novel. Michael Swanwick retells the story of Faust but with the twist that Mephistopheles is an alien instead of the devil and the knowledge that he offers Faust is scientific and technological. Mephistopheles’ hope is that humans will use this technology to destroy themselves. In a very short span of time, industrial revolution is unleashed on the world. Faust never thinks about the consequences about the consequences of his technology, Europe is littered with industrial pollution and there is a very real prospect of weapons of mass destruction. The novel thus explores how the Renaissance’s ideal of relentless pursuit of knowledge could easily have been perverted.

The Memory Cathedral

The Memory Cathedral: A Secret History of Leonardo Da Vinci is an alternative history novel which explores the possibility that what would have happened if Da Vinci’s flying machine had built some of the devices that he had sketched. In this setting however Da Vinci goes to the Eastern Meditteranian and end up working for the Arabs! Da Vinci’s weapons are then unleashed upon the world and cause much destruction.  It is interesting to see famous historical figures meet and interact who actually did not meet in real history. Columbus, Botticelli, Machiavelli and Lorenzo de Medici also make an appearence.

March 2007
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Knowing and Doing

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“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” - Leonardo Da Vinci