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Gang Roundup – October 2019

I’m so sorry I disappeared, but work sucked up all of my time these last two weeks. I’ve been working from down to sunset… and I’m starting to feel it. I hope things will soon wind down. But for the moment, I need to hold in it.
This doesn’t mean I will keep being disappeared! I can at least put together the monthly Gang Roundup, which – it dawned on me this morning – it’s already overdue.
So, here’s a small selection of articles. Hope you’ll enjoy it.

Illustration by trejoeeee/deviantART
Illustration by trejoeeee/deviantART

Dieselpunk for beginners: Welcome to a world where the ’40s never ended

This is one of the best introductions to Dieselpunk I’ve read. It gives the definition both on the surface (which is what we usually get) as well as more in-depth, concerning not just the aesthetics of Dieselpunk, but also the potentials in terms of themes.
I do think Dieselpunk can offer a lot more than it’s doing at the moment and this article accurately asserts it.
It also explores the debate which has surrounded Dieselpunk in the last years, concerning its supposed praise of the nationalistic ideas. I’ve frequented the dieselpunk world for quite a few years now, and I have to say that, although dieselpunks indeed tend to be politically aware and outspoken, they to lean rather on the other side as opposed to nationalistic anything.

Dieselpunk airships by Iron-grip
Dieselpunk airships by Iron-grip

19 Best Dieselpunk Books

A nice collection of dieselpunk novels, covering a wide range of themes, eras, both World Wars, and touching on made-up worlds that only have the aesthetics and feel of the diesel era (late 1910s to early 1950s).
I might have compiled a slightly different list, but I do appreciate that this is a good place to start reading Dieselpunk, if you feel so inclined.


EDITH CAVELL (1865-1915) was a British nurse, working in German-occupied Belgium during the First World War. She helped hundreds of British, French and Belgian soldiers escape the Germans and was arrested, tried and executed in 1915. Edith was born in the village of Swardeston, Norfolk.10 things you didn’t know about Edith Cavell, nurses & Mary Lindell

English nurse Edith Cavell has gone down in history for saving soldiers on both sides of the fence and helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during World War I. On 12 October 1915, Edith was murdered by firing squad after being arrested and accused of treason. Peter Hore uncovers some little known facts about this heroine, nurses and Mary Lindell, who was inspired by Edith Cavell.

I’m quite pleased by this new trend in history – at least in the history of WWI – that is exploring different aspects of the Great War. When I studied WWI in school, some three decades ago, it was all about the soldiers. WWI – maybe even more so than WWII – presented a male face, where men and boys lived first-hand the event and women seldom entered, if not as an ideal, an ethereal, far away, certainly not very real person.
Recently, I’ve seen so many stories of nurses emerging in the discourse of WWI. Sure I’m new to this part of history, which I’m only now exploring for myself, but I’m pleased to see that other protagonists are entering this history. Women, in the first place, social attitudes, technical evolutions, psychology, and even the role of animals. For me, WWI is shaping up as such a groundbreaking event in our recent history, that I’m shocked we don’t get to hear about it more often.
Although very essential and not too in-depth, this article helps to see a face of WWI that has long been hidden: that of the fiercely brave battlefield nurses.


1917

I might have heard about this upcoming film somewhere, but I’m not sure. Surely, when I stumbled upon the behind-the-scenes video on Facebook I was hooked!
I’m fascinated with that idea of the ‘one-shot’ sequence, it must bee such a different experience in terms of film-watching. And the film itself looks absolutely stunning in terms of historical setting and visuals. Sure, the story might not be unique and new, but the premise and the filming innovation alone have already hooked me.


A MATTER OF LOVE AND EATH (Carmen Radtke) Adelaide, 1931. Telephone switchboard operator Frances' life is difficult as sole provider for her mother and adopted uncle. But it's thrown into turmoil when she overhears a suspicious conversation on the phone, planning a murder.A Matter of Love and Death: A Jack Sullivan mystery by Carmen Radtke

Adelaide, 1931. Telephone switchboard operator Frances’ life is difficult as sole provider for her mother and adopted uncle. But it’s thrown into turmoil when she overhears a suspicious conversation on the phone, planning a murder.

If a life is at risk, she should tell the police; but that would mean breaking her confidentiality clause and would cost her the job. And practical Frances, not prone to flights of fancy, soon begins to doubt the evidence of her own ears – it was a very bad line, after all…

She decides to put it behind her, a task helped by the arrival of their new lodger, Phil. Phil takes her to a nightclub, where she meets charming but slightly dangerous club owner Jack. Jack’s no angel – prohibition is in force, and what’s a nightclub without champagne? But he’s a good man, and when Frances’ earlier fears resurface she knows that he’s the person to confide in.

Frances and Jack’s hunt for the truth put them in grave danger, and soon enough Frances will learn that some things are a matter of love and death…


GANG ROUNDUP (October 2019) What is Dieselpunk? There's a good answer in one of these links and a list of novels, to start to sink our teeth in the genre.

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