Catching an internet meme with the End of the World and Mythos apocalypse – UTOC Public Safety Notice

A Yellow Dawn kind of Morning

Interesting morning.  Checked my blog traffic stats and saw a 700+ spike from last night and another 700+ so far this morning.  Everything feeding off this article I posted back in March 2012.

davidjrodger.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/post-apocalyptic-wallpaper-utoc-public-safety-notice-from-early-days-of-yellow-dawn-infection-warning/

Then I had a text from Ben Chapman, the artist I commissioned to create the poster for my RPG, Yellow Dawn – The Age of Hastur, way back in 2008. I wanted a poster to help catch eyeballs at a gaming / writer convention I was attending.  Ben did an excellent job. You can see it behind the Stormtrooper. Made a good T-shirt, too.

Follow Ben Chapman on Twitter (The Sprezz)

david_j_rodger_yellow_dawn_sci-fi_literature_games_convention_stormtrooper_unit_2

David J Rodger and a new Imperial Fan

Yellow Dawn is basically the shared universe of my fiction novels twisted through an apocalyptic event; the result of machinations of the Cthulhu Mythos. You’ve got a new wilderness, like the badlands of Mad Max; infestations of non-human species and Great Old Ones taking a hold now that the majority of Earth has been left dead… or to the undead. Things that have been mistakenly described as zombies by survivors. And you’ve got survivors, living out in high-tech luxury within the Living Cities or slithering around in poverty and squalor (think D&D adventurers ripe for setting off on their first desperate adventure), forced to rely on crude weapons and old technology, scavenging in the ruins of a former glory or braving the mind-warping horror of the Dead Cities

Ben was super excited because he’d found the image trending on Imgur, with a lot of comments bubbling up on Reddit.  He sent me the links.

http://www.reddit.com/r/WTF/comments/1cxxgc/if_you_discover_a_dead_body/

and

http://www.reddit.com/r/WTF/comments/x385g/welcome_to_the_end/

It’s pleasing, flattering even, but more so it’s really interesting and rather exciting to see an idea take off on its own; other people, other minds taking it and doing their stuff with it. (Although a credit to Ben and myself is always appreciated).  A couple of very cool examples of this are below:

UTOC Warning Notice - If you discover a dead body - Zombie Apocalypse within Cthulhu Mythos Yellow Dawn Age of Hastur

UTOC Safety Notice – Copyright David J Rodger – Image taken by Oli Mortimer

Image source: Oli Mortimer, visit his website here.

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Warning Notice if you discover a dead body photo by Thomas Hiscox

Photo by Boothy – click for full size

Image Source: Boothy, view his photographic work here

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Dog Eat Dog - sci-fi dark fantasy novel set in the post-apocalyptic cthulhu mythos horror universe of Yellow Dawn

Available in paperback or Kindle

Paperback : from LULU & kindle: US ($), UK (£), DE (Euro)

DOG EAT DOG { novel } takes place in the near future, after the Earth has been devastated by a viral pathogen unleashed when a corporate cargo hauler crashed into the atmosphere; breaking up as a fireball across the sky, it showered Southern Europe and North Africa with a deadly rain of infected debris. Ten years later, over seventy percent of the human population is dead and only a handful of cities survive intact. So called ‘Living Cities’. The vast majority of human habitation is abandoned to the undying creatures left mutated through a brutal twist in the infection. Greed and corruption are left hovering over this bleak and brutalized domain and a cosmic horror is now free to infiltrate the remote abandoned corners of the Earth. Above this, the orbital colonies spin within artificial gravity wells, impartial observers, unaffected by the shocking events below. Within this mix the lives of two survivors collide: a renegade intelligence agent and a cold-blooded master of violence, shaping events with their virulent hunger for money and desire to carve their name onto this new world.

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Make your own sign

You can download a good res copy of the sign here.

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Post-Apocalyptic Music Video by How to Destroy Angels: How Long? from Welcome Oblivion

How to Destroy Angels

Trent Reznor, Mariqueen Maandig, Rob Sheridan, Atticus Ross - How to Destroy Angels - create post-apocalyptic music video for How Long

Mariqueen Maandig, Trent Reznor, Rob Sheridan, Atticus Ross

Former NIN frontman Trent Reznor has crafted a new album with the razor-edged talents of How To Destroy Angels; a collective that includes his wife and singer Mariqueen Maandig, art director Rob Sheridan and composer Atticus Ross. The album is called Welcome Oblivion, released this month, and includes the mournfully melodic track How Long.  Complete with Joy Division bass twangs and a slow-time beat and shuffle.  On its own the track is almost gentle, but combined with the video it packs a subtle punch with a simple message. How long do we have left?  Or How Long will the human race actually survive in the wake of the apocalyptic events that will eventually consume the current paradigm of the planet?

The video could initially be an observation of primitive man exploring the uncertain boundaries of a world that is dark and brimming with mystery.

But then it switches up a gear and you can see the aeon-old struggle about to be played out.  The strong survive and the weak are meat.

For me the video plunges deep into the heart of my vision of Yellow Dawn (The Age of Hastur). A post-apocalyptic universe for some of my novels and a setting for the role-playing game with the same title.  Out in the new Wilderness, survivors have reverted to primitive states of existence, their descent occasionally interrupted by the arrival of travellers who bring fragments of a former, high-tech world with them.

How Long, indeed?

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the-black-lake-a-ghost-story-within-the-cthulhu-mythos-by-british-sci-fi-dark-fantasy-author-david-j-rodger

Available in paperback or Amazon Kindle

Paperback: LULU & Amazon Kindle US ($), UK (£), DE (Euro), FR (Euro)

THE BLACK LAKE: The Earth has been ravaged by an event known as Yellow Dawn. Ten years later, survivors are putting lives back together and probing the frontiers of a new Wilderness; whilst overhead the orbital colonies slide across the sky, removed and unaffected. Five men leave the fortress island of Malta on an expedition to the sub-Arctic waters above Scotland. They intend to undertake scientific observations of an alien meteorological phenomenon that has followed the apocalyptic event. What they find is a cosmic horror that seethes amongst the shadows of a shattered Earth. It is a story of escape and wonder, of madness and terror. David J Rodger’s trademark unforgiving rendering of harsh reality, and relentless narrative pace, are here in palm-sweating abundance, delivered in a novel that tears open a rent in the boundary of reality, providing a nerve-jarring glimpse of the Outer Chaos and the horrors that lurk just beyond the threshold of our fragile, human existence.

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Under the World – Sci-Fi Apocalyptic #wallpaper – open to interpretation

Under the World

Under the World - Sci-Fi Apocalyptic Wallpaper - open to interpretation

Under the World – Image by The Saladman – All Rights Reserved – Click Full Size

Part of a series of images from the liquid metal, carbo-plastic, hydrogel and permacrete core of visual creators on the Internet.  Images that stir my senses and evoke plots and concepts for what I’d like to see (or fear) in the future.

This is a great image composite by TheSaladMan. In one respect, pretty wallpaper good enough for a large format screen. In another respect, open to some interpretation. The vibe for me is that this is the view from a man-made habitat (or part of the Borgendrill Corporation machine colony) about to depart the orbit of a doomed planet Earth. The moon – in the background – has become stained red through the cosmic upheavals, of a biblical proportion, in the process of taking place.

Or is it the Sun in the final phase before swelling to consume all inner planets? If so then not sure how to interpret the lens flare – maybe a Zubrin mirror array or part of a now defunct orbital solar energy grid.  Or reflected flight coming off another habitat.

This is the last glimpse any Earth-born will have of the planet that formed them – from which dust and minerals they were created.

Like a futuristic Ark, perhaps? Everything organic or mechanoid or data-centric has been gathered together for preservation.

Or just a pretty wallpaper image…
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Dog Eat Dog - sci-fi dark fantasy novel set in the post-apocalyptic cthulhu mythos horror universe of Yellow Dawn

Available in paperback or Kindle

Paperback : from LULU & kindle: US ($), UK (£), DE (Euro)

DOG EAT DOG { novel } takes place in the near future, after the Earth has been devastated by a viral pathogen unleashed when a corporate cargo hauler crashed into the atmosphere; breaking up as a fireball across the sky, it showered Southern Europe and North Africa with a deadly rain of infected debris. Ten years later, over seventy percent of the human population is dead and only a handful of cities survive intact. So called ‘Living Cities’. The vast majority of human habitation is abandoned to the undying creatures left mutated through a brutal twist in the infection. Greed and corruption are left hovering over this bleak and brutalized domain and a cosmic horror is now free to infiltrate the remote abandoned corners of the Earth. Above this, the orbital colonies spin within artificial gravity wells, impartial observers, unaffected by the shocking events below. Within this mix the lives of two survivors collide: a renegade intelligence agent and a cold-blooded master of violence, shaping events with their virulent hunger for money and desire to carve their name onto this new world.
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Photography: harbinger of the apocalypse, calcified caped dove by Nick Brandt.

photograph of Calcified Caped Dove Lake Natron Africa  Copyright Nick Brandt 2010

Icon of a dead planet. Image: Nick Brandt - All Rights Reserved

Nick Brandt  is probably best known for his wonderfully developed photographs of the wild animals of Africa caught in a state of existence (rather than action shots of them splashing through water or diving dramatically through the sky).

However this image struck me as iconic of something beyond wildlife photography.  It could be an icon of a dead planet.  The final curtain call of environmental change or the consequences of something catastrophic like Yellow Dawn: the image would not be out-of-place in a Mad Max movie. Those who have survived would walk past things like this every day, but sometimes, they are going to encounter sights that will punch through their brain-shocked desensitivity. And make them stop. And stare. And remember.

I think Brandt has captured this raw, gut-wrenching emotion of the absolute end of things.

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If you like his work, check out Nick Brandt’s website.

He also has a stunning hardback book available:

On This Earth, A Shadow Falls
Photographs by Nick Brandt
Big Life Editions, 2010. 192 pp., 90 illustrations, 13¼x15½”.

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2010 by:

  • Anne Kelly
  • Elizabeth Avedon

View here: http://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?Catalog=ze223

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UK sci-fi author David J Rodger - Dog Eat Dog - cyberpunk crime thriller set in post-apocalyptic world of Yellow Dawn

I am promoting a novel - click me

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Cyberpunk Culture Today: The Yes Men strike again. Who is Alessio Rastani – a harbinger of total financial collapse or an identity correction artist?

Cyberpunk Culture Today: The Yes Men strike again. Who is Alessio Rastani – a harbinger of total financial collapse or an identity correction artist?

It’s either a bold move in the David & Goliath game  of a few versus the mighty, of people versus the social injustices of large corporations and global financial power-houses; or, it’s a rare moment of absolute candid honesty from a trader:

Governments don’t rule the world. Goldman Sachs rules the world. Goldman Sachs does not care about the rescue package and neither does the big funds.

Inferring that these big players have already taken moves to protect their assets.

He then goes on to say:

The first thing people should do is protect their assets. Protect what they have.  Because in less than 12 months my prediction is, that the savings of millions of people is going to vanish. And this is just the beginning.

So is he a hoaxer?  Portraying the “corrected identity” of one of the financial villains involved in the slow-motion supertanker crash that’s unfolding before our media-saturated eyes?  Is this a mock-glimpse of the truth, shaded in colours of irony and bravado?  Or is it actually reality?  It can be so hard to see through the blurred lens these days.

Watch for yourself:

Alessio Rastani on BBC News 24

The Yes Men is the progeny of Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno.  An active cell linked into numerous supportive clusters of like-minded thinkers and social artists.  They’ve been established for over a decade and specialise in stunts designed to cause embarrassment to the “guilty parties”: the people and organisations they parody.

Very cyberpunk. Very today.

On a related note; check out this track and rather wonderful, mildly subversive video by Innerpartysystem (loose association to Orwell’s classic Nineteen Eighty-Four).

Enjoy!

Don’t Stop – Innerpartysystem

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EDIT (29th September 2011):

Yes Men formally deny Rastani has anything to do with them.

In a way that seems to make the BBC interview even more shocking.

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US Health Officials post advice about preparing for zombie apocalypse

US health officials post online about how to survive zombie apocalypse

Photo: David J Rodger

There’s no need to blink furiously and rub your eyes. It’s true. An official US government website had told its citizens how to prepare for a zombie apocalypse. It’s a sign-of-the-times and another clear indication of how the swelling fascination with the Walking (or in my case sprinting and screaming) Dead have become so zeitgeist.

It’s certainly a canny and deft move by the assistant surgeon general, Ali Khan, to capture the public imagination in regards to the serious subject of planning for any “apocalyptic” event – such as major floods, earthquake, terrorist strike using WMD or… perhaps, the release of a bio-engineered retro-virus that destroys the personality centres of the brain and recodes genes to produce a violent pathological rage.

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Preparedness 101

KHAN: There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for.  Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this.

This isn’t about selecting the best weapon for taking down your mother-in-law who suddenly wants to chew your face off rather than just bitch at you.  It’s about serious and practical steps for dealing with any major emergency.

KHAN: You should sit down with your family and come up with an emergency plan. This includes where you would go and who you would call if zombies started appearing outside your doorstep.

Plan your evacuation route. When zombies are hungry they won’t stop until they get food (ie brains), which means you need to get out of town fast! Plan where you would go and multiple routes you would take ahead of time so that the flesh eaters don’t have a chance!

Case Study: RASPiX

This is from an undisclosed source regarding a report into an incident that occured this year. It has nothing to do with the US Government.

  • The medical community refer to the Pathogen as RASPIx: Rapid and Selective Prion Infection.  The X refers to the unknown component that leads to a perpetual state of animation.
  • The initial identification of prions has been challenged; but the terminology still holds as a valid concept for study.  If they’re not actually prions, then they’re very similar.
  • There are two formally recognised phases of the Infection.  PHASE I occurs after onset and is defined by the heart still beating, prion-release and destruction of the frontal-lobe and higher brain functions.  PHASE II is defined by total organ failure and jellification of blood into a mutated substance.
  • RASPIx is not a virus, as many media commentators have erroneously stated. It is a bacterial infection containing viral components, and prion-like material.
  • Vaccine trials have consistently failed.  The bacteria produces an exotoxin which destroys the antibody response.  Attempts to use a live attenuated vaccine have also failed as the bacteria is able to repair any alterations to its DNA (source code).
  • Furthermore, the early – and rushed- vaccine trials were a disaster because as the live vaccine morphed back into shape, as  all DNA damage was repaired, it resulted in trial-subjects (people) being Infected by the vaccine itself.
  • The prion-like proteins are delivered within the bacterial payload – these unpack upon successful invasion of the host and begin a highly accelerated Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification (PMCA) reaction.  They’re able to exploit existing protein channels to cross the blood-brain-barrier.  They specifically target the brain’s frontal lobe and other areas associated with higher-brain function: this is not normal prion behaviour.  Within hours, there are spongiform changes to these parts of the brain.
  • There is slight widening of the sulci (gaps between the complex convoluted folds of grey and white matter) but otherwise the humanoid brain has what appears to be healthy neural tissue.  Except where the “prions” have been at work.
  • Within twenty to sixty hours after spongiform changes have occurred in the targeted areas of the brain, increased adrenaline levels and surging heart-rate cause the neuronal vasculature (vessels that bring blood to the brain) to burst from prolonged pressure. This is consistent with the targeted areas of the brain displaying immune response, as if fighting off the infection; this immune response is yet another unusual characteristic of the “prions” involved here. The result is physical destruction of the parts of the brain associated with what is means to be human.
  • Most parts of the brain remain preserved and functional (such as the thalamus, hypothalamus, cerebellum, brain stem and occipital lobes to mention only a few) even after entering Phase II, marked by total organ failure, baffling the whole medical and scientific community.
  • RASPIx is certainly engineered.  Several contagions share the same infection vector and demonstrate a symbiotic partnership – co-operating to achieve what they’ve been programmed to do: including jellification of the blood and developing a membrane around cells to protect against other Earth-based infections and necrosis of damaged tissue.
  • Neisseria meningitidis has been identified as a foundational component with blood coagulation toxins and secreted prion-like proteins as innate function of the infection; but this has been modified to deliver something else. Front-field researchers believe this could be the elusive x.

A worrying glimpse into one of the potential threats facing Humankind? Maybe. Just maybe.

- Djr -

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