Man Beaten Unconscious over Top Hat

Posted By on March 24, 2015

The Chap is launching an appeal to replace the top hat of a man who was viciously attacked by youths on a train.

Jacky Pautonnier, 54, who is from Normandy in France, was returning home on a train in London, when a youth aggressively asked to try on his top hat. Mr. Pautonnier had bought the hat for £45 in 2008 from the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London. When everyone said it suited him, he took to wearing it every day, not realizing what trouble it would get him into.

When Mr. Pautonnier refused to allow the thug to wear his hat, he was followed on to a train at Catford Bridge station by the youth and two of his friends. They continued to taunt him on the train, but he steadfastedly refused to allow them to try on his hat. The next thing he knew, Mr. Pautonnier came to in the train at Charing Cross, covered in blood. He had been beaten unconscious by the three youths. It took reconstructive surgery to repair Mr. Pautonnier’s skull, which had been fractured in three places. The top hat was a write-off.

The Chap is keen to replace Mr. Pautonnier’s top hat with a similar one. Please send a donation to the button below and we will purchase him a new topper, donating any remaining funds to assist his recovery.

A Fistful of Nothing Turns 1!

Posted By on March 18, 2015

To commemorate the 1 year anniversary of the publishing of A Fistful of Nothing, the eBook edition is currently only $1 on Amazon! Snag your copy before the discount ends, as I’d naturally love even more feedback from the amazing retro-futurist community on the dieselpunk noir novel through Goodreads, etc. while I continue work on Book #2 in the series. Be well, all – and thank you for the overwhelming support this past year, I feel very blessed.


The Great Depression never ate the country alive. WWII refuses to put out its raging fires. Every major city across fifty states has been blown sky-high by blitzing.

This is 1952, America.

The only choice the denizens of a war-torn Los Angeles have left is to plunge into the deep dark of the metro tunnels and make a new life in the ruins of the subway rails below—with elbow grease, neon, and blood. In the crumbling catacombs beneath Hollywood, an ex-private eye named Jim “Jimbo” Maynard scours the dead, dark underworld for payoff on a gamble gone wrong, but stumbles instead on a subterranean metropolis divided by vice, vendettas, mysteries, and murder plots. In order to hunt down the butchers of two seemingly unrelated corpses, Jim will come up against warring mob bosses, backstabbing bookies, mad inventors, tin titans, bootleg rum-running, corrupted coppers, and electromagnetic revolvers.

Welcome to The Hollywoodholes. Welcome to your chrome coffin.

For more info, visit or check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

Protocol! (Edited transcript)

Posted By on March 16, 2015

Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Fraulein Bookworm, if you might start with the general introduction.

Bookworm Hienrichs: Welcome, everyone, to this month’s Aether Salon! Today, Duchess Liz Wilner and Wizardess Oriella Charik will teach us about proper protocol when out and about in the Steamlands.  Before we get started, a few housekeeping items:

1) To ensure you can hear the speaker, stand or sit on

Protocol! (Unedited transcript)

Posted By on March 16, 2015

[14:04] Baron Klaus Wulfenbach (klauswulfenbach.outlander): Fraulein Bookworm, if you might start with the general introduction.

[14:04] Bert (bert.nuubert): Greetings mr Mayor

[14:04] Bookworm Hienrichs nods.

[14:05] Bookworm Hienrichs: Welcome, everyone, to this month’s Aether Salon! Today, Duchess Liz Wilner and Wizardess Oriella Charik will teach us about proper protocol when out and

Pilsner’s Picks, On The March!

Posted By on March 4, 2015

Okay, so I couldn’t think of a better headline… anyway, it’s March, so here are the March Pilsner’s Picks. If Nat Shilkret’s 1926 “Manhattan Serenade” sounds familiar to you, that’s because it was later adapted as the musical score to one of the best Tom & Jerry cartoons, “Mouse In Manhattan” (1945). So if you’re a classic Hollywood animation fan, you just might have heard it.

Soviet Assault Dart Gun

Posted By on February 25, 2015

Through the history of modern small-arms development the concept of ultra-high velocity ammunition has risen to the top of designers in both East and West. An example of the ultra-high velocity ammunition is the flechette.

A metal dart, the flechette is often sabotted in single rounds to be fired out of individual rifles. More beastly variants are container rounds- hundreds of flechettes packed into tank rounds. But it is in the assault rifle that the flechette has seen periodic development.

One such weapon was the AO-27- a 1961 designed Cold War flechette rifle. A select-fire gas operated assault rifle, the AO-27 was a fairly conventional rifle with removable 30 round magazine. What went into the magazine was something else.

The sabotted round as a dart in a typical brass case. However the dart was wrapped in a two piece sabot which allowed it travel down the barrel of the rifle as a normal round would. When the sabotted flechette reached the muzzle, the sabot would peel away from the flechette allowing the dart to continue forward to its target.

Contemporary American efforts into flechette developments produced similar results in the SPIW which fired steel darts at velocities over 4,600 feet per second. For reference modern small-arms ammunition reach velocities of 3,500 fps. These high velocities and simple hardened construction was also an attribute desirable to soldiers who sought a round that could penetrate barricades or dense foliage, and then continue on towards the target. Another bonus for the infantry carrying the flechette ammunition was it had a reduced weight.

An important footnote to the development of flechette ammunition was its legality on the battlefield. Questions as to whether the flechette would maim have been raised by human rights organizations.

While flechette development has occurred on and off, it has never reached the battlefield in rifle form.

Interview with Anders Blixt: Dieselpunk Pioneer

Posted By on February 21, 2015

Most people know that Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876. However, most don’t know that many credit Antonio Meucci for also inventing it. The origins of dieselpunk follows a similar pattern. In most dieselpunk literature, Lewis Pollack is credited with coining the term ‘dieselpunk’ to promote the RPG Children of the Sun in 2002. It turns out this is only half the picture. In a posting on the excellent Facebook page Dieselpunks HQ I met an gentlemen by the name of Anders Blixt who independently coined the term ‘dieselpunk’ for his RPG the same year as Pollack. What follows is an interview with Mr. Blixt that he kindly granted me.

Anders, tell us a little about yourself.

I am a middle-aged chap who lives with wife and three children in Stockholm, Sweden. Since a few years, I earn my living as a tech writer, and in my spare time I write science fiction and role-playing games.

I grew up in Gothenburg in the 1960s and 1970s. In those days, that city was Sweden’s maritime nexus and its seagulls, ports, wharfs and merchantmen made me fall in love with the sea.

My mother had been an elite Lindy Hop dancer as a teenager in the 1940s and still owned a large collection of big-band records on 78-rpm discs. So she infused the first drops of diesel in my blood through the music of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and the Dorsey brothers.

When I was eight, my father gave me Twenty-thousand Leagues under the Sea with the comment: “I liked this book when I was a boy”. I was mesmerized by it and I still remember the sunny afternoon on my uncle’s porch when I read about the Nautilus getting trapped beneath the polar ice. That book opened the gate to the literary universe of science fiction – my everlasting thanks, dad.

AEther Salon: Punishment! (Edited Transcript)

Posted By on February 16, 2015

Bookworm Hienrichs: Welcome, one and all, to this month’s Aether Salon! Today, New Babbage’s own Tepic Harlequin will regale us with tales of Punishment in Victorian times.  Before we get started, a few housekeeping items:

1) To ensure you can hear the speaker, stand or sit on the patterned carpet.

2) If you do not have a wearable chair and wish one, please contact myself or the Baron.

AEther Salon: Punishment! (Unedited Transcript)

Posted By on February 16, 2015

[13:58] Bookworm Hienrichs: We’ll be starting in a few minutes. We always wait for stragglers.

[13:58] Bookworm Hienrichs smiles.

[13:58] Steadman Kondor beams, i cant wait to hear about this criminal topic!

[13:58] Garnet Psaltery: Hello Ceejay

[13:58] Bookworm Hienrichs: Ceejay! Good to see you!

[13:58] Avariel Falcon: No Babbager left behind!

[13:59] Avariel Falcon: Except that strange

Sir Round-a-Sound — Little Heart

Posted By on February 15, 2015

This little beauty plays iPods (with a lightning connector) and also USB sticks!

The shiny buttons on the front are for volume control.  What you can’t see below the grill is the play/pause button.  The button on the top left is for turning on the amp and switching between players.

The USB player with on/off switch to the right.

Why to Keep Humidity Levels Low in your Home

Posted By on February 14, 2015

The impact that humidity poses on your health is of significant importance. Just like clean air is important to your health, the right level of humidity will help you and your home be safe and healthy as well. If the level of humidity in your home is too low, it can result in dry skin, itch in your eyes and there are a lot of chances of you getting flu and cold.

Keeping humidity too high isn’t good either. If the humidity level is too low, then it can result in some serious allergic diseases and can also permit mold to grow in your home. Where there is high humidity, there will be a lot of moisture; which will ultimately lead to fast development of mold.

High Humidity

Screenshot_3In most of the cases, the humidity level is too high. It can be too low sometimes though, so it’s really important that you measure the humidity level in your house. The humidity levels should be around 30-50 percent indoors and the ideal humidity level is around 45 percent.
Most of the times, you are more likely to face high humidity levels inside your homes and you would want to lower it because high humidity levels aren’t good for your health. That’s why in most instances, the right humidity level is low (as the title suggests).

Methods to Reduce Humidity

So, below are the two ways through which you could lower the humidity level in your home.

The first method through which you can lower the humidity level is a bit expensive. It is done by placing exhaust fans wherever you suspect the humidity level to be high, for example, kitchen, laundry room and bathroom.

The second method is less expensive, which is the use of dehumidifiers. A dehumidifier is a household appliance which is able to reduce the humidity level in your home by removing the surplus amount of moisture from air. If you want to obtain the best results from your dehumidifier, then you should regularly empty the water from it.

Dieselpunkette Published!

Posted By on February 5, 2015

I am super excited to announce, my short story (which is a dieselpunk story) is forthcoming in the anthology Athena’s Daughters Volume Two, published by Silence In The Library Publishing.

It’s a science fiction and fantasy anthology of all female authors and all female protagonists. I picked up the first anthology, and I’ve read a few of the stories, and they’re great. There’s a lot of diversity in both anthologies, stories from authors all over and protagonists of all races and ages.

My contribution, The Maelstrom At The End Of The World, is a story about an aging airship captain, evacuating refugees from floating islands being sucked into a raging storm. They’re all starving, so when the encounter a skywhale, one of the most beautiful animals in their world, her first thought is how many mouths it could feed if they can kill it.

The anthology was kickstarted through December and January, and did spectacularly well (to the point of paying me royalties already!) You can still pre-order the paperback or e-book from the publisher, so hop over to the publisher’s store to order a copy! It should be printing in a couple of months.