Old Haunts — Vignettes and Visions from the City of Lovat

Old Haunts: Licensed Directory Agents

Unknown Warren, Level Three, Late Night

“The directory agents were a necessity born of desperate need in an ever-changing city. With so many businesses moving in and out all the time it was impossible to keep track of it all and even harder to inform every citizen. Instead of printing compendiums of information, the directory companies opted for agents placed around the city, offering location services for a small fee. It kept printing costs down and made them a hell of a lot of money.”

—Waldo Bell, Red Litten World


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Credits:

Audio from Freesounds, special thanks to: 15gpanskasupsakpatrik, bolkmar, hendmik, kyles, morgantj, nahlin83, o-ciz, rabbydaw, socializeddartist45, and theshuggie

Broll provided by Videezy


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Old Haunts — Vignettes and Visions from the City of Lovat

Old Haunts: Local Service

Martello Warren, Level Four, Mid-Day

“I leaned my head against the monorail window and watched buildings flash past. I felt sick, lost, and lonely. I was terrified. I had started to shake after collapsing into my seat. Too focused on fleeing, I had skipped buying a ticket. I hoped the conductor was feeling lazy and wouldn’t pass through the car.”

—Waldo Bell, The Stars Were Right


Visit Previous Haunts:
Study Related Ephemera:
Explore Distant Margins:

Credits:

Audio from Freesounds, special thanks to: emirdemirel, epicdude959, erh, ianstargem, kwahmah-02, miastodzwiekow, mycompasstv, nahlin83, nathan45100, trautwein, and yuval

Broll provided by Videezy


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Old Haunts — Vignettes and Visions from the City of Lovat

Old Haunts: Serenade on Two

Martello Warren, Level Two, Late Night

“Putting my failed telegraph behind me, I made my way to a small consignment store down the street. The waters that flooded the Sunk lapped against the edge of the pavement. Higher up, you’d find guardrails keeping citizens from tumbling over the edges of levels, but the police, politicians, and the more elevated class preferred to ignore Level Two’s existence altogether.”

—Waldo Bell, The Stars Were Right


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Credits:

Newsie: Will Munn

Other audio from Freesounds, special thanks to: benboncan, burghrecords, carminooch, ecfike, emirdemirel, jmehlferber, juskiddink, klangfabrik, kodack, nahlin83, and sean-sd2007.

Broll provided by Videezy


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Old Haunts — Vignettes and Visions from the City of Lovat

Old Haunts: Rhapsody

King Station Warren, Level Four, Early Evening

“Yes, I’m Hagen Dubois, and this is Saint Olmstead Religious Antiques.” He waved his hand around, moving automatically into his pitch. “We specialize in pre-Aligning antiquities, though we do carry all manner of holy and consecrated objects; for the more discerning customer I have access to all manner of items I can get delivered. Now, introductions out of the way, can I help you?”

—Hagen Dubois, The Stars Were Right


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Related Ephemera:

Credits:

“Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin

Other audio from Freesounds, special thanks to acclivity, larasark, mzui, qubodup, scream studio, straget, theshuggie, and zevcuk.

Broll provided by Videezy


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Old Haunts — Vignettes and Visions from the City of Lovat

Old Haunts: Lucky Star

Denny Lake Warren, Level Four, Midmorning

 

“The long-dead engineers who designed Lovat’s superstructure made its massive floors and ceilings hollow. A lot of these hollows are crammed with the things that make a city livable: sewer pipes, air ducts, electrical lines, generators. Others are empty intermediate spaces. Some are occupied with shanty towns packed cheek by jowl, some are filled with trash, some harbor narrow mushroom gardens, and a small number have become storefronts. Cedric’s operates in the latter. An in-between place for in-between folks.”

—Waldo Bell, Red Litten World


This vignette (and those that will follow) were initially created for my Instagram account (they loop a bit more seamlessly over there.) But, I’ve had too much fun creating these to hide them away on social media so expect to see them here as well.

If you like this and are hungry for more of the Bell Forging Cycle, there’s plenty more out there for those of keen mind and stalwart heart.


Credits:

“You Are My Lucky Star” by Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra

Other audio from Freesounds—special thanks to jrsandoval, kangaroovindaloo, ludwigmueller, nahlin83, splicesound, be-a-hero-not-a-patriot, kiloton, theshuggie, microsoftsam, kodack, craigsmith, and jackbhandersen.

Broll provided by Videezy


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Visual Inspiration: Syd Mead

Visual Inspiration: Syd Mead

On Monday, the legendary Syd Mead—easily one of the greatest illustrators/futurists of our time—passed away. He was 86. Normally, I use this series to highlight artists who I think need more attention. But I thought to take a moment to recognize someone who’s work influenced not only me but a generation of designers, artists, filmmakers, and architects to look forward and envision a better future.


“We don’t go into the future from zero, we drag the whole past in with us.”

—Syd Mead


Mead left an incredible impact and his legacy is enormous. So many speculative fiction properties were shaped by his neo-futuristic style: Blade Runner, Tron, Short Circuit, Star Trek, Star Wars, even Gundam and think how many of those have gone on to influence a new generation of creators. There’s a wonderful vibrancy to his work and it continues to resonate.

The city of Lovat in my Bell Forging Cycle, was heavily influenced by my experience with Mead’s paintings as a student—especially his work on Blade Runner. Something about his cramped and claustrophobic street scenes inspired me and they stayed with me years later when I set down to write. I’ve shared some of my favorites pieces below, perhaps they’ll inspire you as well. As always, you can click to view them larger.

You can see so much more of Syd Mead’s work on his website. There are several great art books that gather his work in the movies and as a futurist. I’d recommend starting with The Movie Art of Syd Mead: Visual Futurist or Syd Mead’s Sentury II.

Rest in peace, Syd. Thanks for everything.


If you like Syd Mead’s work, be sure to check out some of the other artists who I’ve found inspiring in the past. While there’s certainly a theme to the art that inspires me, you’ll find lots of different styles, tones, and moods.