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Steampunk Science


One of the most important things about the Inferno world is, of course, the technical innovations and inventions that are changing the face of society, and making everyone's life better. But what can and cannot be done? And what great innovations have the past few years seen?

The essence of steampunk science is that Big is Best. None of your micro-technology here – the paying public like to see what they are getting for their guineas and florins. Creations must look impressive, as well as being magnificent – if this means that they must have vast spinning fly wheels, thousands of brass knobs and pipes, thundering pistons and choking clouds of steam and coal smoke – then so much the better. Tiny, subtle, inventions just don't get a look in. Even the scientists of House Taurus – taken from the world's greatest creators of gadgets – know the value of size in an invention: an adding machine may well be included into a wrist time-piece, but note also the interconnected boxes of workings hanging from the belt, the convenient power source in the inside pocket of the gentleman's jacket, and the steam pouring from his trouser-legs.

In the Inferno world electricity has been abandoned as a useless scientific curiosity, which, although it may be included as a small part of a design, has no real use. The only exception to this is that telegraph wires appear to work using electricity – or at least that is the best explanation that anyone has come up with as to how they do work. But they work, so best not to worry too much about the exact whys and wherefores.

As for civilian transportation, the Steam Train is the greatest means of mass transport (lines are being laid in most countries). Although steam cars are beginning to appear they remain mostly a 'fun' vehicle for the well-off young. Air-ships are being seen more and more, but are still very expensive, and relatively slow. Many steam cruisers plough the waves, and have now completely replaced sail boats.

It should be understood that science in Inferno does not work as it does here. Almost anything can be achieved with technology – except those things that are easily achievable here. Don't bother messing with electricity, petrochemicals, or internal combustion engines – they just aren't going to work. But if you build it big, and build in a steam engine, you will find you can achieve almost anything.


Inferno sampler
Contents


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