File this under “Really Cool Stuff The Web Makes Possible But Doesn’t Make Possible Quite Soon Enough To Be Truly Useful To Me.”
Or, if that won’t fit on the file folder tag, just call it, “GAHHH Why Didn’t I Have This Three Years Ago?!?!” for short.
So, as you may know, I spent several years writing a fantasy/sf alt-history trilogy that primarily centers on the Second World War. And much of that story takes place in London. Which, as you might also know, got bombed to hell and back. There was this little thing called The Blitz, for instance. So I tried to do as much research as I could (or as was feasible) to try to imbue the story with a modicum of verisimilitude. But since I was writing a story with, let’s face it, Nazi superheroes and British blood mages, I didn’t go so far as to delve into the British National Archives to pinpoint the historical accuracy of every bomb blast referenced in the story. That would have been overkill, not to mention back-breaking.
But now that I’m completely, entirely finished with any and all writing work on that trilogy, to the extent that it is completely impossible for me to incorporate new information into the forthcoming third and final novel, an incredibly awesome website has come online. The Bomb Sight is an interactive map of the complete WWII bomb census data from the National Archives. It’s also available as an Android app, apparently.
This is amazingly cool. I’ve just spent an hour clicking around, and could easily see this becoming a whole-day rabbithole.
Not that it helps me, per se. But I’m really glad that while I’m pulling my hair out, the folks behind The Bomb Sight are doing really wonderful work to preserve history and make it accessible with new technology. My hat comes off to them.
And, hey, this’ll sure make life easier for the next person who comes along to write an SF/Fantasy WWII novel. (I wasn’t the first, I won’t be the last.)
Sometimes, the universe has a perverse sense of timing. GAAAAHHH.