Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Contest With No Prizes -- Lucky Winners Announced

Alas, there are no lucky winners. No one took me up on my generous offer of no prizes for figuring out the three word plays embedded in the short story "Murder on the Hochflieger Ost." For the curious, here are the answers.

You may recall that I said there were three embedded word plays. One involved an artifact, which I though everyone would get. One involved a location, which I thought would be harder. The last one, involving a character's name, I though would be all but impossible.

The Artifact
When explaining why the plans of the aether battleship are of no use to the French, Renfrew explains that they do not include the plans for the analytic engine which makes the ship so powerful. The analytic engine in question is the Improved Babbage, Model Three Hundred and Sixty.

IBM-360? Nobody caught that? Really?

The Location
Gabrielle's false business card lists the address of her appraisal firm as 13 Rue Madeleine, Le Havre, France. In the 1947 James Cagney World War II espionage film 13 Rue Madeleine, that is the address of Gestapo headquarters in Le Havre.  

The Name
Etienne Villon thinks of Gabrielle Courbiere as having the strength and majesty of a mountain, and when he thinks of her as Mont Courbiere he likes the sound of the name.

Francois Villon is probably the best-remembered French poet of the late middle ages, known probably as much for his remarkably adventurous life as for his writing, and his life formed the inspiration for Bertold Brecht's "Baal" and "Threepenny Opera," the Friml operetta "The Vagabond King", and the novel, play and film "If I Were King." Villon's birth name was probably Francois de Montcorbier.

He liked to sprinkle his poems with hidden jokes.


  1. It seems like almost a lifetime ago, that I bought "Space 1889" as a much younger "creative" guy and game player. What got my attention was the multi-aspected notions of the game... here was a substantial RPG... here was a game system that was supported by pewter figures, follow up books, research, and air battles. In all of that was a story anyone could tell and create... GENIUS!!!! It was, at the time one of the few game systems that was brilliantly supported and the game grew. i bought a ton of it, and over these long decades, I still will pick up more air ships and add them to the airships I have, I will pick up more ship mats and more pewter figures, and create more battles. i cannot express how limitless this system was and how it inspired me to not only write some fiction, but expand the game into further and further realms. The only real problem came in that it "seemed' to die out, though I knew there were acolytes out there... I recently wrote a note to Fantasy Flight Games... they are good at the big box, miniatures, and game book thing... it's TIME for "Space 1889" to re-emerge and take its proper place!!!! It's time for new heroes, more romantic notions, and to release the imaginations of hundreds, thousands who did not have the joy of this concept!!!! Thank you Frank for such a bountiful gift, and that gateway to an unlimited universe. For what it's worth... I'm still a 'fanboy", though I'm in my 60's, and still believe in this game... like "StormBringer", the only other RPG I loved as well as "Space 1889", I'm still trying to invent new scenarios and heroes. It's time we went back to Mars once more... Venus, and maybe Jupiter and Saturn as well. IF a satellite (sp) can make it out there, why can't a board game? I'd love to make that investment once again... better mini's, mounted boards, and a boundless RPG...

  2. ...Guess I forgot... on Kickstarter, recently, some fresh thinking started up TSR once again... and I backed the new "Top Secret" modules... great ideas can resurface and live anew... just saying.

  3. I cannot believe I just found this site, I fell hard in love with Space 1889 when I saw a derelict copy of the HB rulebook on a dusty Post Exchange self on Ft. Greely about 1988, couldn't help but buy it, took Two weeks babysitting and lawn mowing... what a delightful world, a gift to the imagination of a lonely kid! Thank You! And the IBM pun is priceless by the way!