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Hello, Deviantartists!

April 6, 2008 at 11:26 am

We're seeing a bump in traffic today, thanks to people who have come from deviantART to check out the wonderful wallpaper that my ultra-talented web designer/visual artist/programmer/jack-of-all-trades friend Richard created as part of this website. Hello, and welcome! Please look around and enjoy your stay. Feel free to leave comments if you'd like to introduce yourselves.

The wallpaper is featured as one of the Daily Deviations for April 6. I've spent the past hour wandering through the deviantART site, and I just know I could spend the entire day there, if I'm not careful. The steampunk-inspired stuff alone is worth the visit, and that's just a tiny fraction of what's there. There are some really amazing works-- man, are people talented. I'm not a visual artist, so while I've come across the site from time to time, I haven't really taken the time to explore it until this morning. But now I'm making it one of the few sites I visit regularly. It's just so damn neat.

I had planned to use today's blog post to detail the mountain of evidence I've amassed in support of my theory that the internet runs on a monolithic mainframe computer at the center of our hollow world, powered by the Earth's telluric currents, maintained by gnomish lava men. But I'll wait a little while longer before blowing the lid off that particular conspiracy. Assuming the lava gnomes don't get to me first.


Type your name here April 6, 2008 at 4:48 pm
I love the working site even more than the static piece on DA. I would die happy to have that calendar. -Gary Watts Seattle
Ian April 6, 2008 at 6:34 pm
Hi, Gary! Thanks for stopping by.

I'd die happy if I had my own Giant Atomic Robot. Maybe we can arrange a trade. Then again, if you already have a Giant Atomic Robot, you could just send it over here to kill me and take whatever you want... Hmm. Please let me know when your site is up and running-- I'm intrigued.

Ashley April 6, 2008 at 10:52 pm
There is just something about ornate science equipment which is so compelling! I could stare at that calendar for hours (goes into hypnotic-like state).
Ian April 7, 2008 at 7:35 am
Hello, Ashley! Thanks for visiting. I'd be lying if I said I don't play with the orrery for long periods of time... I'm glad you like it :) At some point in the not-too-distant future I hope to set up a mini-ARG or easter egg hunt through the website, using the calendar, the homunculus, and other tidbits. Hmm. Someday.
Ty April 7, 2008 at 10:30 am
I happen to know that it is a gigantic HP3000, running the MPE/ix operating system, and the Image hierarchical database. I make changes in reality by running Suprtool scripts.
Ian April 7, 2008 at 10:40 am
You worked for the lava gnomes for a number of years, didn't you, Ty? That was before you were kidnapped by the Reptiloids, of course. I presume they have a separate machine that randomly injects new memes onto the internet every so often.
Melinda Snodgrass April 7, 2008 at 6:49 pm
I followed the link over to DeviantART. Really wonderful work. I adore the visual arts (I'm the person always taking the hike up Canyon Road just to see what's new in the galleries), but I can't make a circle with a compass. I got forced to take an art class at summer camp one year. I kept telling the instructor I couldn't draw and I had no talent. She was Italian and in that beautiful lilting accent she said, "Nonsense, everybody's got talent." At the end of the six weeks she looked at my pathetic display for parents day, and she said, "You're right, you've got no talent." Even at ten years old I thought it was really funny. And you are so wrong about what's at the center of the hollow Earth. It's the golden horses of the sun with their flaming manes and tails. They're stabled down there waiting to pull the sun into the sky every morning. Lava men! Really!
thunderror April 7, 2008 at 8:01 pm
I came across your site after I saw your wallpaper being featured on dA. you've done a great job on the website, the attention to detail is great (even your page not found is so cool) and the design is top notch...
Ian April 8, 2008 at 7:35 am
Yeah, I'm really impressed with the work I've seen on the deviantART website. I could spend all day browsing through that immense virtual art gallery. I really admire people who have talent for the visual or musical arts; I don't have an ounce of it. Thank goodness for writing, otherwise I'd have no creative outlets at all. I'm not sure I buy the golden-horse theory? How do the horses get past the lava gnomes twice a day, every day, without being captured? Besides, everybody knows that the sun is just a big hot rock in the sky. It's about 20 miles across.
Ian April 8, 2008 at 7:40 am
Thank you very much! Richard went above and beyond the call of duty when he designed this site. We had long discussions about the kinds of imagery we both like, and the tone we wanted this site to have. It became something of an art project for the both of us. You're the first person to comment on the Page Not Found page. I'm glad you like it :)
Richard April 9, 2008 at 6:17 am
Melinda: these days you wouldn't be able to stroke a circular selection in black with your shift key and the oval marquee tool. I guess you could use a compass, but it might crack your LCD. Re: dA: Ian, you're being too modest. Those long discussions were mostly you coming up with really creative ideas for the site and me writing them down.
Type your name here April 9, 2008 at 8:07 am
Hello! I'm Aimee, aka 'Foxfires' - the one who suggested Richard's wallpaper for the 'Daily Deviation' on DA. I, of course, fell in love with the website he created for you the moment I set eyes on it. Total website envy. Someday I may have to obtain Richard's talents for my own little webpages! I've been exploring all of the details here, and have so much more to discover. It has been a true pleasure!
Ian April 9, 2008 at 9:06 am
Hello, Aimee! Thank you so much for suggesting the wallpaper as a Daily Deviation on deviantART. We received quite a bump in traffic and many kind comments about this site and Richard's artwork, so we're pretty chuffed about the whole thing.

Eventually all of the little doohickies on this site will become fully interactive, as the release date of my first novel gets closer, including the portable letter-press on the "Words" page and the aetheric electro-imager on the "Links" page. We're still trying to educate the homunculus so that it becomes a better conversationalist...

I spent a lot of time on Sunday studying your steampunk articles on dA. Like you, I love steampunky stuff (can you tell?) and so I really enjoyed all of the pieces you pulled together on dA.

Thanks again!

Type your name here April 9, 2008 at 5:24 pm
Ian, I am sharing in the chuffness that you checked out my steampunk articles! I was pleasantly surprised to see so many people on dA delving into it. I can't wait until the release of your book now! I'm completely intrigued. Speaking of Steampunk goodness, you should visit the Abney Park website. Their music is perfect inspiration for all things Steampunky. :D I am finishing up some artwork for them tonight in fact. I have been doing all the band portraits which are featured on the site, and it has been so fun! I know I will be pointing them here to your website as well... they'll love it! Their website is: I was wondering when that spiffy homunculus would start chatting me up... ;) Aimee
Ian April 10, 2008 at 8:10 am
Aimee, I hope you find the time to do more steampunk articles in the future! A friend of mine here was recently ruminating on just what exactly steampunk is, and I wish I'd known about your articles then. Sometimes it's hard to describe, but the visuals really drive it home for me. Thanks for the music recommendation! I'm eager to check out Abney Park now-- can't wait to get home tonight. I'm always looking for new music to listen to while I'm writing. And thank you for the kind words about my book :) I'm very excited about it, with brief periods of terror...
Type your name here April 10, 2008 at 10:09 am
Ian, I keep chuckling to myself, imagining those brief moments of terror sparking through your otherwise normal day. The mental image I get is a sort of author environment-tourettes... where papers go flying, the laptop combusts, and the coffee pot explodes, all to the sound of maniacle laughter! (..and they say I have a vivid imagination. *heh* ) As for Steampunk, I find that once you fall in love with the whole genre/scene, there's simply no going back. Even in day to day life, a trip to the thrift shop takes on a whole new meaning. Light fixtures become possible weapons components, and busted watches are now prime scavanging material. In fact, I just had a wonderous revelation yesterday. I was sorting through some photographs I had taken at an abandoned farmhouse last summer, when I spotted a photo that I had snapped of the floor. It was literally buried in piles of old farm equipment remnants. Gearworks, washers, bolts, wiring... everything you can imagine, all rusted and oxidized from decades of harsh weather. At the time, it was merely a curiosity and the change to take a rather abstract picture. But as I sat there looking at the photo, I nearly fell out of my chair as I realized it was a Steampunk costume goldmine! The only thing better would be to have carte blanche access to a Lindt chocolate shop! So, you can well imagine that I am going on a treasure hunt this weekend. ;)
Ian April 10, 2008 at 3:03 pm
That's not entirely far from the truth. Especially the flying papers. (And almost the laptop, too, in fact. I had one of those bum laptop batteries from Dell a couple of years ago.) The maniacal laughter comes from my imagination, which likes to torment me with visions of public ridicule after my first novel debuts...

Lately I've been thinking that steampunk is an aesthetic movement far more than a literary (sub?)genre (which is where I first encountered it), and your take on the whole thing underlines that for me. A goldmine, indeed! I hope your steampunk treasure trove is still there when you get back to that farmhouse. :)

I read an interesting book a while back, The Victorian Internet by Tom Standage. It's about the telegraph system, and he makes the case that many of the things we associate today with the internet actually had their precursors in the days of telegraphy. I yearn for Twitter over telegraph, or IM over pneumatic tubes. I do have a pocket watch, but sadly no zeppelin on which to wear it.

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