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Author Topic: need history for 3000bc to 1bc for alternate timeline "damascus steelpunk" novel  (Read 702 times)
newjack
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« on: May 17, 2019, 11:14:52 pm »

greetings all. prepare yourself for a really long topic (or don't) that's a summary of 2 pages of ideas for a novel and replies in an history forum that proved useless.

i'm looking for help learning about the state of ALL cultures prior to the burning of the library of alexandria. i want to write an alternate timeline "steampunk" story in which the dark ages never happened and technology takes off earlier. i could just fake it and go with my basic ideas, but i'd like to really do some research to make the story more plausible and maybe even interesting to the sci-fi fans here.

i got frustrated with trying to research the topic when i first came up with my ideas as history books are generally too specific, and i don't want to have to read 200 books to write 1, know what i mean? i DID manage to find one book i did like though that was a global timeline, but that was a bit too general and regarding specific events like battles with few of the juicy kind of "slice of life" details i'm looking for.

trying this question in an history forum was a waste of time too. i'm hoping that maybe this concept is exciting for the steampunk/history buffs here even if my alternate timeline story is 4000 years before the victorian era and has little to do with standard steampunk other than being sci-fi/"low tech"
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newjack
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 11:16:21 pm »

after having a steampunk dream just before the (aircraft) "carrier" series on PBS inspired steampunk battleship ideas in my head and combined with my dream, started my idea on which i've placed a lot of thought over the years inventing technologies, coming up with the plot basics, and envisioning environments like a giant neon "3rd world blade runneresque" street market in athens (?) featuring fusions of recipes and ingredients as people ate back in those days. (along with detailed sights & scents only a novel can convey) i think that the fascinating PBS NOVA? Episode called “Ancient Computer” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5_29GTY-ls about the "mysterious" Antikythera mechanish (ancient greek steam punk gears yo!) might have been the 3rd seed for this idea.

what i'm looking for is

- cool "obscure" (to us non-historians, at least) facts about the times to pepper the story with eg. india inventing the #0, the prosperous (until famine) secular trade city that lived in harmony, roman addiction to lead, damascus steel (no brass!!!! LOL), or maybe that lost sex cult (Mithra?)
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newjack
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 11:16:52 pm »

- info on technologies, foods, and mindsets of ALL of the worlds cultures to create antagonists & (utopian socialist) democratic "UN" protagonists to be able to who's who on each side of the good vs evil conflict, though the MAIN antagonist in my story will be a corrupt & greedy rome... integrating current events into the context of those times. this WILL NOT be another eurocentric story!!! rome will be a proxy for all of the evil of the US & the psychopathic greed of capitalism. if you're an hardcore "conservative", this story will be an harsh criticism of YOU, so you won't want to contribute to this story. this is NOT a story for victorian era "pride of the white race" fans by a longshot!!! in fact... native americans kick anyone who effs with them's buttocks. if you can't handle that... this thread isn't for you. (for sake of full disclosure so as not to "trick" anyone into "aiding the enemy"... namely, everyone who ISN'T a rich white christian male.

the "good guys" in this story will be democracy loving, tree hugging, pseudo-hippy, psychedelics ingesting buddhists. that isn't up for debate! the history forum i originally sought help at offered little but arguments instead of the juicy and interesting historical details i want to pepper this story with so that it's incredibly credible (except maybe for the alternate technologies in the story, namely the anti-grav that allows heavily armored aerial battleships to fly)

- really good history books that answer the kinds of "vibe, tech & politics" questions i'm asking.

- any resources that would better serve me eg. a history Q & A forum

- surprising bits of knowledge i don't even know to ask about that would either add flavor, or fill in details of various cultures chosing to either go "group hug" UN (good) or militant narcissistic propagandist fascist empire.
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newjack
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 11:18:17 pm »

i'm looking for details to fill out the history before my story to explain how things got to be the way they are along with grounding it in facts. if anyone can recommend specific books that'll give me good ideas to incorporate, i don't mind heavy lifting homework at all as long as i don't waste my time on irrelevant and "uninteresting" details. what i'd REALLY like is a conversation with you steampunk + history buff fans to get straight to "the good stuff" IF any of you would enjoy having your brains picked for this. experts are better than search engines any day! (unless you go to an history forum and look for anti-euro ideas for FICTION.... hahahaha)

i'm hoping to find surprising new info that might even take my story in new directions or add sub-plots. i'm hoping too that THIS TIME, appealing to potential readers of my novel will get all kinds of hard (or wet) to get their knowledge or ideas into this story i dream of as the "star wars of steam punk".


the rest of this post is excerpts from my failed history forum thread, so there will be some repetition and awkward continuity where i answer other peaple's questions trying to further explain my concept, even though i'm loathe to reveal MOST of my (hopefully very original) story concept.
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newjack
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2019, 11:19:18 pm »

greeks are the "good guys" when they double down on democracy and humanism after early contact with native americans, hopis (their name means "the peaceful ones") turn explorers onto peyote and trigger a sort of "hippy" revolution that catches on to create a utopian socialist democracy. one of the nagging problems i need to resolve is exactly how greeks abandon slavery. i just learned that recently. i can't see ANY society that CLAIMS to be a democracy holding slaves! i want to celebrate human, animal & mother earth rights/harmony. as i know that at least SOME native american tribes captured slaves too... for now, buddhism (surprisingly 5000 years or more old!) is my best idea... though i need to learn more about that too. the buddha documentary i watched a while back was only a biography without much discussion of the tenets of buddhism. i did learn though that buddha abandoned his wife and child which isn't cool in my book... pun intended! HAHAHAHAHA!

when i say "steam punk"... i'm not at all talking about purism... titanium and SOME modern tech will be in the story and, as part of the progressive nature of the "UN" in the story, they use clean burning hydrogen to power their steam GENERATORS while the empire uses dirty coal... global warming is an issue... overall, it will be a tome against the kind of greed and corruption destroying the planet today, but in a new timeline setting. greek battleships will use anti-gravity to fly, though there will also be trains and dirigibles, as seen in my dream where a dirt burning bi-plane gets chased off by pursuing anti-grav fighter craft
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newjack
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2019, 11:20:20 pm »

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Rome time for technology
maybe a family of rogue genius Chinese enters the Roman (or Byzantine) orbit and works with extant to create industrial revolution

everyone in general is more saavy & has tech because science kept progressing in my story. i DID definitely want to add china to the story, but as UN allies, although was china isolationist then?  and what about that HUGE fleet they sent out? that might be a source for early backstory. the story takes place long after alexandria because its knowledge gets preserved. so far, my idea for the "cause" of the timeline is movable type, so as with us, information reaches a critical mass where ideas build on ideas. so.. .by the time "alexandria happens" people have access to books so there are no disgruntled commoners to torch it.
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The Middle Ages are a product of the Christianization of pagan Europe...

as i see the church as the CAUSE of the dark ages... yeah... christianity is a non-issue in the story... science and rationality prevail. if i DID portray christianity... it would be part of the roman empire and just as toxic as religious bigotry is right now. REALLY the whole story will be losely based on current events, just in a new setting with new characters. so far... romans and aztecs are the bad guys in the story. that might change though as i think south americans were still small communities that far back and hadn't lost its mind to human sacrifices and barbarism yet. THIS is why i need help from people who know more about history than i do. i get REALLY annoyed reading stories by lazy hacks who write about stuff they know nothing about... oh... like the writers of "the core" and their absolute ignorance of basic physics/science!
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newjack
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2019, 11:21:13 pm »

i'm still debating video/film tech for the story, but have an idea that rome broadcasts both Colosseum events as well as aztec/inca sacrifices, much like the US is the host to porn & the dark web. rome is corrupt, polluting and sells addiction... the "righteous" chose mind opening hallucinogens which makes people mellower and more empathetic as well as less depressed. it won't go as far as the summer of love... but same idea. along the way... i'd like to read up on naval & WWs 1 & 2 military tactics.

the REAL difficulty with the story for me is human nature. i'm ALMOST inclined to think human nature is too busted for this to work, but, that one ancient city mentioned in the final disc for the PBS "trade" series supposedly lasted a long time BECAUSE it was secular, and maybe combining that with peyote & mushrooms with a good dose of native american (an independent UN ally in the story) "matriarchy"

i've given this a lot of thought over the years, solving problems or finding alternate paths, trying to stay close to history & current events. so many books throw stuff that's hard to swallow for me in them. that's why i'm here. i want to "do the math" so to speak and have everything make perfect sense as well be interesting.
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newjack
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2019, 11:21:56 pm »

one of the things i neglected to mention is that i'm also interested in weird, especially if it's funny, trivia to pepper the story with. it MIGHT have some comedy (greek theater reference) in it but in small doses, though something might click to let my comedy freak fly. i'll save my comedy ideas for a comedy. i'm looking to combine exotic steampunk environments with compelling action and serious social commentary which hasn't been done yet in any of the steampunk movies i've seen yet. steampunk isn't my favorite genre. i'm more of a modernist cyberpunk space opera fan, but i consider THIS potential story to be my most original and challenging idea. my ideas for rebooting forbidden planet, for example, are far simpler to come up with than carefully researching a terran story rooted in reality.


my timeline takes place in the middle ages because the dark ones never happened. any tech from then on in the story would have to be explained, like my comments about katanas. new timeline = new slate, though some things, like movable type are eventually bound to happen in a technologically progressive world. actually, for me, tech is the easy part. i need historical details to solidify the plot and environment. like bagpipes, i'm not at all a fan of ancient england (or greece really even if i studied it some in art history class... doric, ionic... corinthian. (pillars) katanas, as much as i admire their technical brilliance probably happened long after my timeline. BTW... the working title for my ideas, for now, is DAMASCUS STEEL... sorry kids... no brass here! HAHAHAHA titanium? absoltely!

that's another topic i really want to research... resources. if memory serves me right, most titanium deposits are in russia, so i'd have to figure out where mongols fit in the story.
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newjack
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2019, 11:23:01 pm »

that's one of the cool, to me, things about my idea. it won't be pigeonholed into "victorian steampunk purist" aesthetics, except for the technologies (and limits thereof), will lean towards functional minimalism and a modern feel... more like blade runner or 1984 than, say, the golden compass. i prefer futuristic sci-fi and want to drag steampunk into it kicking and screaming and whizzing cosplay purists off. HAHAHA! nope... no jules verne here, though i WILL include derigibles in minor roles.

WHEW! now i've got to copy and paste everyone's skimmed comments and digest all the details at home as i start taking notes.

minimalist & modern... my battleships will be way more modern than frilly purist steampunk fodder and more in line with my functional engineering ideas. when it's done, it would cause debate whether or not it's even steampunk. so many people can't wrap their heads around genre crossovers like whoever lost their mind when i added 1984 & avatar: the last airbender to a steampunk movies list despite the fact that there's a steam train in 1984, a bomb is called a STEAMER and the aesthetics are kind of 1940s and airbender has STEAMSHIPS (argued as NOT steamships and powered by fire bending) and after seeing the full series... lots of steampunk tech with the sequel having a 1910 aesthetic featuring primitive internal combustion cars.

my mind works the OPPOSITE of calculatus eliminatus thinkers. i keep my mind open and actively look for less than obvious connections and refuse to have my thinking boxed. i will argue with anyone to the last breath that techinally, religion, superheroes and fantasy are ALL subgenres of science fiction because they all FICTIONALIZE SCIENCE... pretty literal and obvious to me... boxthinkers hate my insolence challenging their world view pretty much the same way i want to stretch the definition of steam punk.
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newjack
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2019, 11:24:04 pm »

BTW... my loose definition of the genre is "science fiction with primitive technologies or set far in the past".... steam engines, brass, goggles, trenchcoats, victorian opulence (BLECH!!!) and dirigibles ONLY is both far too confining and not as exciting as modern minimalism.

real quick... christianity CAN'T be part of my story because the new timeline predates jesus by 1000 years. i'm not trying to cheat continuity. only things that happen before the new timeline are set in stone. as everything is taking a new direction, EVERYTHING is open for revision... you know... butterfly effect. nothing that happened in this timeline exists after the new direction. heck... the change in history prevents future emperors from even being born, though i'll seek inspiration from them in a sort of "rome is rome" style. i would have loved to bring alexander the great into the story.

the whole idea is to create a whole new world where anything REASONABLE is possible as long as it doesn't contradict facts.

the story would include the INEVITABLE discovery of evolution. as science progresses to where there's antigrav tech, evolution would have to be discovered, if not on the galapagos, then through observation or even DNA family tree sequencing. human ideas don't matter, but science can't be avoided.
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newjack
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2019, 11:25:11 pm »

the story's definitely not intended to be "for historians", so i can see experts taking issues with some of my ideas. what i'm trying to do is create a credible atmosphere. this is fiction, and science fiction at that, so of course much of the story will break from this timeline's reality and i'm sure there will be details that i get wrong (fewer of them with your help, hopefully) but overall, i want to capture history a little bit more believably than say "300" except for the technologies which are kind of the point of the story. i'd hope sci-fi/history buffs find the story relatable and that the details make suspension of disbelief (no story will ever satisfy EVERYONE) and that the details i'm seeking ground the story as well crafted and not merely entertaining.

an interesting tidbit about rome (not the human rights advocates the "UN" is by a longshot in the story) i'm debating on including because it's just so hideously brutal are the parties where slaves would be burned alive inside metal oxen with open mouths so the EVIL party goers could hear their dying screams. (curse you Kurt Vonnegut for putting that image that can't be forgotten in my head!)

i'd HAVE TO include a mention of vomitoriums though. THAT is the kind of fascinating details i'm looking for besides understanding where the world's cultures would fit in the rome vs UN struggle. i'm looking for other corrupt/vicious cultures to add to the axis of evil. the dichotomy in the story will be pretty clear cut and simplified. i don't want to write another star wars: the phantom menace bogged down with grey areas and boring political manoevering... a simple good vs evil story as told by the flight crew of an airship.
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newjack
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2019, 11:25:47 pm »

before war breaks out... the characters wander the street markets on shore leave where i can just do easier details... the neon, smells of food & imported wares, artisans, & hustlers etc. for me, the hard part of the story is coming up with motivations beyond the UN not approving of the empire's "corporate & humanitarian crimes" without oversimplifying everything so much as to do that annoying believability stretch that annoys me in others' books. wherever possible, i want to adapt current events eg. the empire has its own propaganda ("foxnews") network and relies on satellite allies for raw materials.

back to religion... i think i'll bypass christianity altogether and go with its more benign (?) pagan roots with the new timeline starting around 1-2000bc with "current events" around 1000ad.

back to china, they are to be the source of much of the tech in the story. hopefully, fireworks are 3,000 years old, but china was pretty far ahead in the curve in ancient times. that giant fleet of boats they built that possibly made it to america so far back blew my mind when i saw it in a documentary. i think that might be too modern for the timeline and i'll have to look the great wall up for a date but china will be a big player in the story. early on... i pictured their warships as anime looking egg shaped craft with red kanji markings vs the flat rectangular & heavily armored UN battleships. i've given a lot of thought to the tech for UN battleships eg. the steam from clean burning hydrogen STEAM generators gets vented into heating ducts at high altitudes. the evil empire embraces dirty coal in comparison.
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newjack
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2019, 11:26:24 pm »

as you may know from history, arabs were really ahead of the curve in science before wars with europe, so they'll be a source of tech too. i'm pretty sure mohamed is fairly recent hisory, so islam wouldn't factor in the story either, BUT... i recently learned buddha actually predates jesus by a millenia. right here and now... i'm thinking he could be a major player in the story and another source of utopian idealism. yeah... i like that! the new timeline could start "in isolation" while he's still alive and his legacy could be current events at the birth of the information explosion. i like that idea a lot. buddha would NOT be fictionalized though eg. causing an earthquake by poking the earth with his finger, but an inspiration through his teachings... heck... like here... (originally posted in an history forum)
there could be historical debates about the true story.  Wink

russia (mongols?) would have to be integrated into the story as that's the source of most of the world's titanium if i remember right. fertile land & sources of other raw materials will have to be integrated into the story and help define alliances. i'm thinking lack of access to north american farm land helps level the playing field as the empire can't be too outmatched bt the rest of the world. the corrupt empire lusts after the resources in north america that natives share with their UN allies. i'm PROUD to be 12.5% native myself (if not as much being half greek... which isn't why they're the good guys here BTW) and demand that they be autonomous and respected in the story. (i'm a tree hugger too)

i'm imagining that natives barter food for weapons & materials to defend their territory as they are NOT a conquered people in the story and stay true their culture which inspires sprituality & environmentalism.
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newjack
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2019, 11:27:10 pm »

the world has a lot of ingredients... i'm trying to figure out how to blend them and what they taste like here, so to speak and make sure to find all of the major players' niches and what they contribute to their side.

i see african culture as a source for olympic athletes and musicians in the story with diamonds being its most valuable resource, much like today, but without the labor abuses. diversity & cultural autonomy are celebrated by the UN and attacked by the empire.

thinking about how laid back, environmentally aware & fair minded most of europe is today, a slightly more utopian emergent culture isn't hard to imagine. really, i think that most people would choose to be good, but it's the ruling elite that corrupt the masses the same way corporations are destroying not only the planet, but civilization itself.

this story was intended to be a "do the right thing & DESTROY authoritarians" commentary from the beginning disguised as entertainment. it's also intended to bypass the corporate stranglehold on information and inspire people to ask the questions the (big brother corporate propagandist) 1% don't want asked.

along with greed comes psycopathy... that makes it easy to design villains that mirror today's enemies of democracy.

the UN utopia demands that news & politics etc. serve citizens and that lying gets fact checked and called out in public. a well informed electorate will tend to chose the greater good, i believe, IF it doesn't fall to apathy as current events show.

there's a new way to frame the story... history repeating itself backwards!

i've decided to give it a working title... "damascus steel", or just damascus for short... hmmm.... maybe i can work that into the source of the conflict... the UN corners the market on steel which drives the empire into its last gasp desperation.
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newjack
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2019, 11:28:02 pm »

another diversion i wanted to make was how the olympics help bind the UN together with new events eg. wrestling becomes MMA (WITH RULES!!!) i want to research ancient sports & fighting techniques as pretty much all of the current ones are less than a thousand years old as far as i know. i'm thinking that simply having other cultures participate creates a NEW fighting science. i'd like to add other ancient sports, but so far, the only 2 i know of are aztek/inca "football" (meaning NOT soccer if you're not american HAHAHAHA) and native american stick ball. i planned on working empire banning or boycotting into the story to add weight to the tensions... i'm thinking shore leave will be because of olympic games.

Quote
The consumption of hallucinogens was also part of ancient Mediterranian culture, keyword Eleusinian mysteries and other mystery cults, as well as in the Orient and in the Far East. You don't necessarily have to add Indian drugs to the story for this purpose, even if it's an interesting and, in my opinion, constructive idea.

it's important to me to establish native americans as the rightful owners of america in the story and that they are integral to the story. i have a keen interest in peyote and long to go on a vision quest myself. i have agendas with my ideas. i myself am half greek from my father and 37.5% euro mutt, but am proud that my great grandmother was native american as a tree hugger. it's also a way for me to thumb my nose at eurocentric victorian era steam punk. (hate all you want "purists")

as native americans belong to, not own, most of the fertile farming land on the planet, they have to be accounted for and i will not have them subjugated in my story. besides that... don't forget that THEY are where most of today's common vegetables come from and that THEY re-taught "advanced euros" agriculture.
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newjack
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« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2019, 11:28:40 pm »

actually, i have another alternate timeline story idea in my head where someone time travels back and gives natives modern weapons like machine guns and rocket launchers to repel white devil invaders from invading. i want this to be a critique of eurocentric revisionism so i'd rather go with native americans here than keeping everything euro. besides, i also believe in the strength of diversity so making it central to the story gives everything the weight of a melting pot of ideas precisely where no-one is excluded from the discussion. white nationalists will hate my story, but eff 'em! i'm proud my 50% literally red-skinned native american granpa bagged three nazis in world war 2. i digress. REAL patriots embrace DEMOCRACY and fight fascist loving nazis and russian influence in my world.

if you're not familiar with it... this quote from chief seattle is deeply inspiring to me as a tree hugger...
"The land doesn't belong to the man,
the man belongs to the land"

THAT is the exact anti-capitalist sentiment i'm after here. it's destroying mother earth and this is MY WAY to fight back. there's reasons behind my ideas. i've been refining this idea for i don't know how many years, but my ideas stop at the brick wall of the history i know little about. native american respect for nature is ESSENTIAL (and not debatable) to my story.

thank you in advance for ANY feedback and especially juicy hystorical tidbits that are perfect for THIS "the rules of steampunk gotta get broken some" story. maybe too i'll get an idea if this is either a delicious new flavor steam punkers want to taste or a waste of time. if you're STILL reading... i think not. it would break my heart to give up on this. i won't write it as a lazy history ignorant hack faking it and annoying history aware readers. i don't mind whizzing jules vernesque steampunk purists (or neo-nazis)
off though. HAHAHAHA!
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newjack
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« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2019, 11:30:54 pm »

this is the best way i can think of to make the world a better place by raising consciousness. BTW... IF I ever do get the background info i need, this will ONLY be an E-book. i'll not harm a single tree... nah uh. well... MAYBE if i can get it printed on 100% recycled papyrus with soy based inks. i can't see any publisher$ yielding to that demand though.

anyone on board?

i just learned a valuable lesson today... i should NEVER get a twitter account! i'd wind up wearing a straightjacket!



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newjack
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2019, 01:37:41 am »

i've ALREADY found inspiration here in chicar's "can steampunk be dirty?" thread!

while i had already intended to include global warming, pollution & roman addiction to lead in my story... thinking specifically about grime... i can really find a lot of ways to incorporate the concept into my story and get even further from the "bright shiny steampunk past" aesthetic which will DEFINITELY add "cow manure in the streets & stench of dusty grease" flavor to the story... just the kind of stuff that helps with the suspension of disbelief.

i just watched "identicals" a couple days ago and was furious at how terrible the continuity is and how far from believable the characters and their motives are. it did to plot what "the core" did to science. HAHAHAHA!

yeah... steampunk grime... it's an "essential ingredient" for a realistic pseudo victorian era setting. the industrial revolution was a dirty, grimy DANGEROUS time.

thank you chicar!
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Cora Courcelle
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« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2019, 12:14:21 pm »

So basically you'd like us to do your research for you ...
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You have to tread a fine line between avant-garde surrealism and getting yourself sectioned...
RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2019, 04:29:18 pm »

i got frustrated with trying to research the topic when i first came up with my ideas as history books are generally too specific, and i don't want to have to read 200 books to write 1, know what i mean?

A well researched nonfiction book may contain citations to hundreds of previous books and articles. If you are serious about your work, you will have to research many, many sources.
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newjack
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« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2019, 10:39:42 pm »

Quote
So basically you'd like us to do your research for you ...
ABSOLUTELY NOT!

i WOULD appreciate help targeting books, movies and websites that have the kind of info i'm looking for without wasting time on pointless "...and theocratis begat maximilian who begat ajax blah blah blah" tomes or lists of battles etc. i would be more than happy to do my own research. i'm asking history experts to point me in the right direction OR share tidbits of interesting stuff like, say, alexander the great's (too late for MY timeline) mother made a (jesus inspired?) immaculate conception claim to cover up for her being a tramp.

believe it... if there's anything i'm knowledgeable about, i go out of my way to help others. i've spent an hour or more researching topics for others dozens, if not hundreds of times. it's just that i'm very ignorant when it comes to history because i DESPISED social studies which always asked who, when & where in test questions and never WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED... you know, the IMPORTANT PART. along with ALWAYS having a form of name & numbers dyslexia, i have brain damage from a bike accident and am getting on in my years with a failing memory. heck... just yesterday i spent an hour or more tracking info I'M FAMILIAR WITH, like dr fate's steampunk car in "the great race" to share here. i love helping others... until they mistake it for being submissive, act the fool, and get told to go eff themselves.

i'm hoping to find others who would do the same for me on THIS SUBJECT. share a tidbit i can follow up on or a resource rich with the kinds of stuff relevant to my ideas i can dig into myself. i just don't even know what questions to ask when it comes to history. back to the antikythera (or damascus steel), those are needles in a huge haystack no amount of googling would ever find as i wouldn't know to ask about them.
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newjack
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« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2019, 10:41:40 pm »

i'm hoping to find others who would do the same for me on THIS SUBJECT. share a tidbit i can follow up on or a resource rich with the kinds of stuff relevant to my ideas i can dig into myself. i just don't even know what questions to ask when it comes to history. back to the antikythera (or damascus steel), those are needles in a huge haystack no amount of googling would ever find as i wouldn't know to ask about them.

hey... if you ever need help with stuff like chess openings, stuff that supports the theory of evolution, what the 80s were like, new wave/punk music, what hip-hop REALLY is, astronomy, or even the sci-fi genre. i'd be happy to share ANYTHING i know with you. i've seen almost every sci-fi film i can since the 70s. if someone were to ask, for example, about steampunk movies, i would list everything i know including the kind of "thinking outside the box" stuff that's steampunk to me. (low tech sci-fi) eg, 1984, metoroporisu, the elephant man or the assassination bureau, leaving no stone unturned no mater how many genre purists disagree with my wide ranging "add anything CLOSE" way of thinking that's the opposite of the rigid exclusionary thinking of others. the way I THINK... fantasy, superheroes and religion are ALL subgenres of sci-fi because they FICTIONALIZE SCIENCE.

i ATTEMPTED to research this story some 5 years or more ago and got NOWHERE as none of the history books i could find in the library had ANYTHING helpful. the "slice of life & vibe" kind of info i'm looking for is NOT what MOST history books are about. i don't care about people or events, save the stuff i'm steering the story to avoid, namely the burning of the library at alexandria and the rise of christianity which caused the dark ages when science was suppressed.
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« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2019, 10:42:30 pm »

i want to know... what what the chinese MINDSET 2000bc? what were people eating around the world? what cultures would most likely embrace democracy & the greater good and which would most like embrace greed and totalitarianism? these are not things that are easily researched. that's why i'm asking for help from experts who've read enough to know where "the juicy bits" are buried or just share them up front like the ONLY reply i got at the history forum about the antikythera mechanism

which i was already familiar with.

i don't need long replies full of details about anything... if i wasn't already aware of the antikythera mechanism, just a mention of it by name would be all i need to go and do my own research on it for all of the kinds of details that would fit in my story. i only want to sift through the 99.99999999999999999999% of historical junk that doesn't answer my questions to find that one (imaginary) way out of the mainstream books "2000bc: menus around the world" or "what were the world's citizens thinking 4000 years ago?"

see what i mean?

i was hoping that this topic would be EXCITING for some who'd like to see their knowledge integrated into the most awesome steampunk novel ever and their name/handle in the attributions. so far, this is proving as impossible to research with tight lipped historians as it is long winded history book writers who never ask the same questions i'm asking.

it's looking like the only way i'm going to research is just to watch every history DVD i can at the library and hope for stuff i can use, like, the long lived ancient trade city that flourished peacefully without a government or religion, at least until famine struck in the last of 4 DVDs about world trade i watched a couple months ago. it only took 4 hours to find that juicy tidbit.

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newjack
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« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2019, 10:46:27 pm »

this shouldn't be so hard to research.

is it just me, or are historians the most uptight information hoarders in existence?

i LOVE sharing info about ANYTHING i know about myself. what's the point of knowing something if you don't share it? i also love using my world class (thinking outside the box, non-linear, "92% innovative") problem solving abilities any chance i can. that's just me.

UPDATE:

i just spent about an hour going through this library's 615 history subject DVDs and reserved or "for latered" about 50 titles about ancient civilizations and oddly enough... found a "history of food" title! i like the idea of DVD research as the information moves so much quicker as everything's summarized. i've found too that other history DVDs i've watched all contain random nuggets of unexpected knowledge like learning about the mithra sex cult in a show about archaeological sites. i should find a lot of good stuff in multiple shows about ancient greece, rome & mesopotamia etc. if not maybe correlations with how they all interacted with each other at specific points in history. i'm hoping too that i find new areas to investigate as they reveal themselves. i might not find everything i'm looking for, but i'll know in minutes if a title is going to help or if it's something i should get ready to take notes on.

anything else anyone who WANTS TO share, even if it's just a highly relevant book title i should read, i'm still grateful for any help or suggestions, though i won't agree with everything. i'll make a point of dropping in and sharing the stuff i learn that i will incorporate into the story's skeleton to flesh it out, so to speak.

until just a couple weeks ago... i always thought spartans were greeks where in fact they were adversaries along with persians. that's the kind of information i don't to trip over and ignorantly fall on my face. i'm going to check out the history section here too and see if any books look promising, though so far... that's been a waste of time.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 01:35:41 am by newjack » Logged
von Corax
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« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2019, 05:06:23 am »

I see what you're asking for, and am sorry I can't be of more help. I can say (if I recall correctly from my one semester of Classical Studies) that in pre-Roman Greece there was no "Greek" state, nor anyone who self-identified as "Greek." Rather, the people were citizens of the various cities (get it? city → citizen) which dotted the coast of the Greek peninsula, and which were continually at war with one another.
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