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Random Geek Culture Finds Thread

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Just wanted to share a couple of random things I've found while exploring the internets since I've been away.

(And encourage everyone else to add fun stuff they've found).


Of course, everyone and their cat has a favourite podcast these days - and being in audio and working with 'em, I should listen to tons.

I listen to exactly one: Edith Bowman's Soundtracking, which is all about one of my favourite things - movie music.

And has an absolute, 100% killer guest list - Keanu, Jon Favreau, Ryan Coogler, Edgar Wright and Sparks... who the hell is her booker and what does she have on all their agents?



Also on the music side: when I was very, very bored and tetchy about not travelling in lockdown, I started exploring via Radio Garden - listening in to other cities around the world and some of the very random stuff out there. There's also a bunch of great nerd-oriented stations:


Sci-Fi Radio: http://radio.garden/listen/krypton-radio/7YQbboZa


SoMA FM Secret Agent Station: http://radio.garden/listen/soma-fm-secret-agent/rPcRkBBQ

(Oh, and check out all the other SoMA stations - pretty much something for everyone, but this is my fave)


So what have you lot found?


Look out for me as: Miss Dream Weaver (Psi/Emp), Ranger Emily (AR/Devices), Dr Amy Weaver MD (DP/Emp), Dr Regan Sprungler (Beam/Ninja), Agatha Heterodyne (Robots/Devices)


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  • 1 month later

Personally, I'm a big fan of Dieselpunk, Atomic Punk, Retro-futurism, pulp-era heroes, and movie serial sci-fi.  Pretty much everything from 1920s to the mid-1960s, from Doc Savage to Flash Gordon to Johnny Quest.  Many of my game characters reflect this.  


So I was thrilled when I discovered Retropolis: the Art of the Future that Never Was.  The link is a store selling T-shirts, posters, coffee mugs, calendars, and other things with retro-futurism art work and catchy titles and quips in the vernacular of the time.  The site is always fun to look through and the verbal gags are a hoot.  "New, improved Science! Now with Death Rays!".   It also has a Pulp Magazine Cover Generator which is fun to tinker with, as well as a Pulp Sci-Fi Title-O-Tron, where you can randomly generate bargain basement titles like The Mines of the Alligator Gypsies and Imprisoned by the Moto-Men of the Death Ray!


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15 hours ago, InvaderStych said:


Not so much found, as this is from more than 10 years ago, but it is a sci-fi gem that I'm not sure got the attention it deserved in real time:




I like it. Looks like a nice 50s pastiche done on a budget that would make a 70s-era Doctor Who crew give rise to pity, but restrictions just make you more inventive about what you can do and how you tell stories.


Speaking of which... an actual 70s microbudget classic for you, which has a tiny story of my own attached.

If you like, watch it first then read the spoiler.


My first media gig was working for a local British TV station - Anglia TV (which is now, sadly, a tiny part of the ITV conglomerate and isn't allowed to contribute its own shows to the network any more).  But back in the day, it specialised in science and documentaries, as well as the surprisingly dark Roald Dahl's Tales Of The Unexpected.


One of its shows was the extremely worthy, Very Serious Science show Science Report. And back in the 70s, the earliest notions of climate change were entering the public consciousness, as well as the "brain drain" - scientists and engineers leaving a stagnant UK for the US, Australia, and even Russia. But neither story was exactly capturing the public imagination - so how to tell them? And also, hadn't they been a little too serious?


So they came up with an idea to do an April Fool's edition called Alternative 3, inspired heavily by Quatermass. It's done in a straight fake-documentary style about 4 decades ahead of Blair Witch and the like. Suitably eerie music was provided for free by an unknown young local composer called Brian Eno. For a zero-budget production, it's very fun and effective. And there it should have rested.




Back in the 1970s, there were a lot of national strikes, particularly coal, electricity and journalists.

On April 1st 1977, an electrical strike cut power to most of the grid. So the doc wasn't shown the day it was supposed to.

Later that summer, a journalist's strike meant that the top-rated show World In Action (think 60 Minutes) wasn't delivered in time.

And TX Control in Manchester frantically hunted around for any tape that would fill that hour.


So with no warning, an apocalyptic drama spelling the end of the world, a massive secret evacuation project and possibly the end of humanity was shown in primetime.

This tiny TV company had pulled an Orson Welles on the UK, completely by accident. The phones went crazy, questions were asked in Parliament, and the papers were furious. So it was only ever shown the once. And there the matter should have rested.




Fast forward about 25 years. I'm writing up some PR stuff celebrating an Anglia anniversary, 25 years after that show comes out. So I do a few neat X-Files looking releases, press packs and webpages and send around and upload a few clips.


Next day, my inbox and our general address is full of aggrieved mail from around the world, including threats on my life and those of other staff. A few days later, physical mail follows that's worse. (One genuinely in green crayon, written on the inside of a packet of waffles).


Both the show and the book were banned in America - ostensibly because of the public panic, probably because of the politically distasteful references to climate change. So because it's banned... people start believing Alternative 3 is real. The clips I uploaded got ripped and reuploaded to other conspiracy sites as evidence the show existed, some annotated with Bible quotes to prove their authenticity and support for other conspiracy theories - and still are.




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Look out for me as: Miss Dream Weaver (Psi/Emp), Ranger Emily (AR/Devices), Dr Amy Weaver MD (DP/Emp), Dr Regan Sprungler (Beam/Ninja), Agatha Heterodyne (Robots/Devices)


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