Thursday, September 29, 2011
CoastCon, the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s science fiction, fantasy, horror & anime convention will arrive in only six months. It will be held at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi MS, 16, 17 and 18 March 2012.
The media guest is Lindsay Wagner, the original Bionic Woman, who has appeared on television and in movies for decades including recent shows such as Warehouse 13 and Alphas.
The writer guest of honor is Timothy Zahn, a Hugo winner and prolific writer of several series including the Black Collar series, Cobra Series, Conquers Trilogy, and Star Wars. He has also written short stories and novellas one of which, Cascade Point, won a Hugo in 1984.
Please visit the CoastCon.org website for more information about the convention and for updates.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Make your own Unspeakable Cthulhu Codex
I love a good prop or fake, but when one tries to sell the item as original, then that goes beyond a hoax and into the area of criminal fraud. When these appeared earlier in 2011 with a lot of press hoopla, I had strong suspicions about them being fake. Somehow, they just didn’t fit in with finds of that period, but I held my tongue while actual experts viewed the images since my Hebrew and Aramaic is pretty shaky. Most of the text was lifted from other sources and many of the images were as well.* Well, we can learn something even from counterfeits and fantasy objects.
Please note that these are not intaglio (carved into) the lead, but they are convex, which means they were cast from a master mold. I think it would be an easy matter to make a Cthulhu Codex using the same method. I don’t encourage you to use lead it has toxic fumes. You might try making the reversed master out of plaster, carving it while wet. Then use Femo or another polymer clay to make an impression. You need only paint and age and you have a page for your Unspeakable Codex. You could try casting with a metal such as zinc or safe casting metals, but be careful of getting burned. Frankly, polymer clay is a better idea because you can tweak up the impression for more detail.
*For example the head of Helios and Alexander as found on Greek coins and the star bursts are common on Hebrew coins, see the so called Widows Mite. Check out some of these links about the lead codices and some legitimate scholarly criticism:
Check out this YouTube video:
Monday, September 26, 2011
Insanity, delusion, amnesia, guilt, and wealth
Found recently is an early image of Captain John Cater, CSA who after the Late War, prospected in the Arizona Territory, finding a vein of gold and perhaps something else. He later retired to a small house in New York State along the Hudson River, dying on 4 March 1886. He left a peculiar will behind and a quantity of documents, which were discovered over the course of years. Among many peculiarities of his life was his tomb, which was specially constructed while he was alive to be unopenable, except by a mechanism located within the tomb itself. suggesting he also had a fear of catalepsy along with the delusion of time and space travel.
|John Carter, Circa 1862|
He claimed to have been chased into a cave in Arizona while prospecting by marauding Apaches where he astrally projected himself to another planet he called Barsoom. There is some conjecture that Barsoom was actually Mars a half million years ago, which meant that he believed he not only projected himself over millions of miles but over hundreds of thousands of years in the past. Carter also had selective amnesia, claiming to have no memory of a time before the Civil War.
Being wealthy, he avoided being sent to a sanitarium and hid away in his cottage in a remote area until his premature death in 1886. His death certificate has disappeared as well as nearly all records of his life outside of this photograph and some military records with the Virginia cavalry. Carter obviously had an accomplice who destroyed documents, dropped off packages of documents over the years and sometimes masqueraded as Carter “Uncle Jack” after his death.
Outside of his well written delusional dreams, which were subsequently published as fiction by Edgar Rice Burroughs, a few records, and this photo, there is no proof that John Carter had even lived. His birth, baptismal, and most military records and, most curiously, his death certificate disappeared. There have been rumors that John Carter became an immortal, not just on this world, but also on several worlds over a huge span of time. That conjecture dwelled upon too deeply might just land you a billet in the Arkham Sanitarium. This image is part of an exhibit at the Rhode Island Museum of History about the history of mental treatment of delusional persons.