Saturday, May 16, 2009

Marc Bolan. Why?

Another explanation.
Marc Bolan (1947-1977), born Mark Feld, the famous of all glam rock icons, released his Metal Guru in 1972. In the Strangers' world he is not a star yet, but a kind of underground hero. Mark Toma while staying in London goes to his club gig in Soho - quite unexpectedly with even less expected consequences.
Here's another one by Feld / Bolan - Spaceball Ricochet, also recorded and performed in 1972:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Arrested development factor

We owe you some explanations, so let's start with something really important.
Saunders-Roe (SARO) SR.45 Princess flying boat
In brief, the Strangers' 1972 looks rather old-fashioned compared to OTL 1972. Here are some points of interest. Feel the difference.
  • Flying boat is still a popular way to travel between the North Sea and Baltic ports.
  • Pneumatic mail is still widely used, and not only for in-office communication.
  • Transistor radio is a novelty. You've got television, but cannot enjoy satellite transmission - there are no satellites. And nobody has landed on the Moon yet (no 'Good luck, Mr. Gorsky!'). Actually, nobody has entered the Space.
  • Nuclear threat is pure science-fiction - the Bomb hasn't been tested, it simply doesn't exist.
  • There are battleships in different navies, some of them completed not so long ago.
  • No Japanese cars in the Western world. Japanese cameras and home electronics are illegal, but you can purchase them from a trusted vendor - in case you are a trusted customer.
  • And jazz festivals are held every summer in Fiume, which is still Fiume and not Rijeka. The map is different. Very different from real 1972, very much alike a prewar one.
The pace of progress is slower. Something has never happened.

Image: (Global Aviation Resource)

Walther HP / P38 / P1

The Walther P38 is a 9 mm pistol that was developed by Walther as the service pistol of the Wehrmacht at the beginning of World War II.
Its earliest version was called Heeres Pistole (HP). A slightly modified version of the P38 called the P1 was adopted by the Bundeswehr in 1957 and remained in service until the early 1990s.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Austin-Healey Sprite Mark I. Why?

This small sports car powered by Austin-A 948 cc engine was advertised as a low-cost model that 'a chap could keep in his bike shed'.
Mark I Sprite, aka Bugeye or Frogeye, is Mark Toma's personal mount for at least four years. Its fate is sad - smashed by drunken owner on a December night in 1971, hastily repaired and sold. But Mark is still proud: long before others he spotted the trend and opted for a British roadster when everyone was buying German cars. In OTL it was in production from 1958 through 1961. Arrested development factor (explanation to follow) places it in the mid-60s. So if you see a Sprite in our text, please associate it with the first model and forget about less spectacular Marks II-V.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

First Step to the Project

Let us begin.
The main action takes place in 1972. Now the artifacts start making sense, don't they?
But here and there are memories of the past: 50s, 40s, even 30s. Memories of what never happened in our world. Memories of our world, but unheard of in the world of Mark Toma.
Typical flashback, from the Prologue:

Near the post office my tram slowed down. A neon slogan happily shined through the evening dusk: 'With Deutsche Lufthansa - to Munich Olympics!'. Myriads of red and yellow bulbs twinkled right above the slogan forming the shape of jet-propelled Junkers.
Then I moved through fifteen hundred yards of luxury: best hotels, most fashionable shops, brand-new posh cars. And girls, dressed after future summer fashion.
Once again came a memory of things that never happened. Strange year when we didn't go to Lago di Garda and spent the whole summer in a country house. For hours my father was sitting beside the radio - usually not his favorite device.
And sunny September day, when lessons were suddenly canceled. My classmates and I stood on department store roof watching the Germans. Nobody looked for us. And we looked at the troops marching through this luxurious boulevard. Rolling in half-track carriers. To Hell the carriers, they had half-track motorcycles, fantastic machines we'd never seen before! Now we looked and looked... A huge piece of cloth was pouring from the roof right to the pavement. Red cloth with a swastika inside a white circle.

Illustration: Vienna, 1938. © Bundesarchiv. Cropped image, full version here.

Dedicated to (Real) Munich Olympics, 1972

France Gall - Ich Habe Einen Freund in München

Olympic pop song performed by evergreen Mlle Gall. Many of today's Frenchmen can not believe she ever sung in German. But she did.

Real 70s. For background only