Simon Stålenhag delivers an incredible fusion of mundane Scandinavian landscapes with Sci-Fi Mecha
When I saw these my eyeballs nearly popped out of their sockets. And I’m all flesh. I can’t afford that kind of organic damage. Not like one of these mecha beauties which could probably find replacements if they were still legal.
I don’t know what it is about Stålenhag’s work, maybe it’s my latent craving for a return to the place one half of me considers home – more likely it’s the tangible sense of reality that leaps off the screen. Life-like. Disbelief suspended and tossed over one shoulder into the trashcan. These scenes are quite literally just around the corner in the evolution of humans and our technology.
Mysterious machines. Not designed for killing but for commercial / agricultural purpose. Like the windfarms of today these things could be considered eyesores or pieces of working art.
Skip a few decades into the future and the world goes through the near-extinction event known as Yellow Dawn, ushering in the Age of Hastur. Very mythos (Cthulhu). Very monstrous. And during this time, robots become the bogeyman because of what happened with Dragonbreath AI.
FaBIAN militants now hunt machines which may or may not pose a threat to survivors. The truth is lost amongst the shredded remains of the communication network and a patchwork of badly recalled horror stories from the early days before the Infection really set in.
What’s certain in the aftermath of Yellow Dawn is that many robots survived and went into hiding – or took part in the mass machine migration to Australia. And there is a sense of that in this incredible visual work by Simon Stålenhag. Imagine an RB3 humanoid chasis running AI-Emulation software, independent and untethered to a corporate system, out in the wilderness and doing what it can to survive. What if it begins to adopt traits it has learned through its study of human history? What if these traits emerge as a form of alternative intelligence?
There is a book of his work but this is now out of print (and in Swedish). There are plans for a kickstarter campaign to produce an English language version. Find details and more on Simon’s website: http://www.simonstalenhag.se/
- Yellow Dawn – The Age of Hastur – (Click)
- Introduction PDF to Yellow Dawn – (Click)
- Dog Eat Dog – 1st novel to be set in Yellow Dawn universe – Paperback from LULU, Kindle for US, Kindle for UK,