Thursday, 31 December 2009

Year in Review 2009

Welcome to our annual Year in Review, a rundown of our favorite articles from throughout 2009. We celebrating our official second anniversary of this weblog, supplying resources for fans of Victorian-Edwardian Scientific Romances, Gothic Horror, Imperialist Adventure and Retro-Futurism. We also created the Voyages Extraordinaires Anthlogy, a year-long project in which we posted chapters from the great classics of the genre. Then there was the Steampunk Anime: Scientific Romances in the Land of the Rising Sun lecture we gave at OtaFest 2009. On top of that, we found time to fulfil a lifelong ambition by taking a trip to Japan.

The year got underway, as they do by routine, with our chronological run-down of episodes and audio-dramas featuring the first, original and greatest Doctor Who. In a few days, our next round will get started, so it is a good time to catch up by reading our past entries. Provided you're a so-called Whovian. If not, well, see you in February!

Last February was "Scientific Romances in the Magic Kingdom", where we joined the Disney blogosphere for a month. Thank you to the large numbers of Disney fans who frequent this weblog and have adopted us as an honorary one of your legions, even if we stray for the better part of the year! Of note this past year was our exegesis on form and content in Disneyland and a handful of posts stemming from our January, 2008, visit to Disneyland Paris: Space Mountain: Mission 2, Les Mystères du Nautilus and a suite of DLP attraction posters.

A review of Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire segued nicely into a "Davy Jones Locker" theme month focusing on the legend of Atlantis, derivatives like the Vincent Price vehicle War Gods of the Deep and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in silent film and amusement park incarnations.

During our Japanese-themed month, Rei Shaw gave us an extended weekend look at the Sakura Wars franchise and, on weekdays, we featured a handful of our most favorite anime, including Galaxy Express 999, A Night on the Galactic Railway, Iblard Jikan and Simoun (not to mention sniping at Steamboy). Speaking of favorites, just prior to that we reviewed The Prestige, The Fountain (having to give actor Hugh Jackman his own category) and the 1909 silent film Battle in the Clouds.

Heading into the celestial spheres, we took a look at Orson Welles' classic War of the Worlds broadcast from 1938 and the Great Moon Hoax from 1835. Heading into the distant past - in time for the Darwin Bicentennial - we looked at the early era of dinosaur fiction, including our favorite novel and favorite film, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World. Since this same year was the centennial of the Burgess Shale discovery, we snuck in some legitimately educational content (after which we immediately launched into some controversial theological subject matter).

We took a look at Orientalism in August, took a break in September, and returned with a French horror-themed October. Among the topics were Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol and the Decline of Horror, the cabarets Néant, Ciel and l'Enfer, and two more favorite films, Vampyr and Beauty and the Beast.

From French Horror in October to French Scientific Romances and Retro-Futurism in November. The main focus of our annual anniversary month was on the 1900 L'Exposition Universelle and its own Gothic Revivalism. This included footage from Thomas Edison, reports from Làquarium de Paris, the Celestial Globe and Albert Robida's Le Vieux Paris. Also courtesy of Robida: Locomotionisme, The Extraordinary Voyages of Saturnin Farandoul and its silent film adaptation. This in turn led us to December's Fairy Tale month and the Victorian Era Arthurian Revival.

There is still plenty to look forward to in the coming year. The VEx Anthology has reached its conclusion but remains online for those who have yet to peruse its content. Meanwhile, back here, we'll be enjoying further travelogues from our exploits in Japan, as well as the Weird West, California the Golden, Pulp-Era Scientifiction, and Old Dark Houses. Leave the dials of your electrotelegraphical engine untouched!


C.K. Dexter Haven said...

Happy New Year!

As for Doctor Who, I measure how great a Doctor is by how well he can say "Gallifrey." :D No one spoke that name better than Tom Baker.

Cory Gross said...

That's not fair! The First Doctor didn't even know he was a Time Lord yet, let alone from Gallifrey!

Dr. Rafael Fabre said...

Excellent synopsis, sir!
A Happy New Year to you!