Soledad lets Gabe do the introductions because most strangers see him as the more respectable sibling. His attentive green eyes stare from under thick lashes, and his hair lies flat even when it’s desperately in need of a cut.
“We want Queen Mary’s protection,” he says, brazen as anything. Soledad tries not to stare at the ground. Gabe squeezes her hand.
“What can you give her?” the man at the door asks. Huge firearms dangle from his sides.
“We got guns, for one thing. And we’re mechanics. We can fix things. Bikes.”
The bouncer taps a finger against his forearm. “What kind of bikes you mean? Motorcycles or the other ones?”
“No engines,” Gabe says, firm and deliberate. “The kind that’ll last when there’s no gas left.”(Continue Reading…)
Today we’ve something a little out of the ordinary for you: Kulturkampf, a story of music, warfare and battling composers. It was first published in the Immersion Book of Steampunk from Immersion Press, UK, in 2011.
The author is Anatoly Belilovsky who was born in what is now Ukraine in time to watch the tanks roll into Czechoslovakia in 1968. He came to the US in 1976, learned English from watching Star Trek reruns, and is now a paediatrician in Brooklyn, NY, in an area where English is the 4th most commonly spoken language. He finds it fascinating that most of his SF sales so far have been to British and Commonwealth publications such as Nature Magazine, Andromeda Spaceways, Immersion Book of Steampunk, Ideomancer and Kasma. He believes this may be due to the influence on his work of great classic British writers of the past century, such as John Cleese, Graham Chapman, and Eric Idle.
Your narrator is Hans Fenstermacher who was born in front of the Iron Curtain in Munich, Germany. He grew up in the crosshairs of the Cold War in Berlin. With that kind of provenance, what else could he do but study Russian? Despite the tutelage (read: learning swearwords) from his T.A., Anatoly, and after a stint really deep behind the Iron Curtain in Leningrad, Hans managed to graduate with a degree in Russian. He went on to a lengthy career in localization (if you have to ask what it is, you don’t need it) and language-related exploits.
Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.