Friday, January 8, 2010

great. more neo-Victorian zombies

While this blog did not actually spawn the Victoriana monster that is Mild Colonial Boy, Esq., he is feeding me, the primary monster. Many thanks to him for directing my attention to more Victorian undead sources, despite his shared dislike of the mangy dreadfuls.

The first is George Mann's novel The Affinity Bridge.  I have never heard of George Mann, but he appears to be a writer of steampunk novels.  The description of The Affinity Bridge from Amazon is as follows:
Welcome to the bizarre and dangerous world of Victorian London, a city teetering on the edge of revolution. Its people are ushering in a new era of technology, dazzled each day by new inventions. Airships soar in the skies over the city, whilst ground trains rumble through the streets and clockwork automatons are programmed to carry out menial tasks in the offices of lawyers, policemen and journalists. But beneath this shiny veneer of progress lurks a sinister side. For this is also a world where ghostly policemen haunt the fog-laden alleyways of Whitechapel, where cadavers can rise from the dead and where Sir Maurice Newbury, Gentleman Investigator for the Crown, works tirelessly to protect the Empire from her foes. When an airship crashes in mysterious circumstances, Sir Maurice and his recently appointed assistant Miss Veronica Hobbes are called in to investigate. Meanwhile, Scotland Yard is baffled by a spate of grisly murders and a terrifying plague is ravaging the slums of the city. So begins an adventure quite unlike any other, a thrilling steampunk mystery and the first in the series of "Newbury & Hobbes" investigations.
 Sounds like a very interesting story, actually.  Must. Resist. Purchasing.

The next is a roleplaying game called Unhallowed Metropolis.  The description of this game from the game's website:
Set two-hundred years after the advent of a zombie Plague, Unhallowed Metropolis is an apocalyptic Neo-Victorian dystopia written by Jason Soles and Nicole Vega. Inspired by the works of Mary Shelley, Edgar Allen Poe, and Robert Louis Stevenson, and painstakingly researched by the authors, Unhallowed Metropolis provides a rich role-playing experience steeped in alchemy, mad science, and undeath.

Never having participated or even watched a roleplaying game, I have no idea how this works.  I assume it's a LARPing game where players dress up in some conglomeration of Victorian and steampunk and just plain made-up garb, select roles for themselves in this Neo-Victorian world, and have at it with battling the twisted elements of this society. I would like to see a demo of it.

For more information on Unhallowed Metropolis, check out this interview with the games' codesigners Jason Soles and Nicole Vega, who discuss the finer points of their created world.


  1. I was somewhat tired when I first made those suggestions - so I failed to mention another Steampunk novel that also has zombies (called rather cleverly "rotters") in it.

    That is Cherie Priest's "Boneshakers" which was reviewed at BoingBoing ( )

  2. Most RPG books like that are meant for sitting around the table with pen, paper, character sheets, the odd dice, and at the game master's discretion, props, mood lighting, music...

    I used to run an RPG at my grandmother's house when I was allowed to stay there for a couple of months while they were travelling around Europe. We had a Victorian themed murder mystery, and sat playing in the music room of a house built in 1879, with the interior being all period... It's also doubled up as a set for some old dramatised documentaries set in the Victorian or Belle Epoque era, so it really was worth it.

    (I'm an RPG heavy geek, I have done LARPing, though I was always in it for the costumes over anything else... It does help to be married to a game designer, and having him try push me into the games industry, too... Gamer geek love <3)