Inferno News 1878

(with thanks to the London Times and various other worthy publications)

STONEVISION THE WAVE OF THE FUTURE   A new company, HB Engineering, has
been formed to administer the manufacture, distribution and content
creation of StoneVision boxes across the bulk of Europe, it was announced
this year. Fortunate citizens of Great Britain, France, Prussia,
Wilhelmsland, Italy and the Byzantine Empire will be able to 'tune in'
their mysterious black boxes to receive a variety of 'programmes' output by
local state-monitored companies in each territory, in their own language,
with much pan-European common content and of course a good deal of
advertising. StoneVision, a natural extension of the Stone Waves with which
we are all now familiar from our Radio and StoneaPhone sets, allows the
'broadcast' of live or recorded material to any number of 'viewers'. Truly,
we have seen civilization's future, and its name is Stone. (from our
Science and Technology Correspondent)

LEOPOLD LOVES APULIA   The playboy king of Wilhelmsland is spending his
holidays down on the Italian Riviera, along with so many of Europe's
glitterati these days. If you want to pick up a Royal bride or bridegroom,
pop down to Bari! (from How Do You Do? magazine)

Morgan decries raspberry-vendors. Yet was it not he himself who plied the
late King Otto with raspberry frappé? Out of his own mouth, he condemns
himself. Spare a thought for piteous royal twins Paul and Perdita, and for
that brave and noble man Regent Eisengrim, in these times of trial for all
Bavaria, which will surely soon be at an end." (from the Suddeutsche

CRACK TEAM SMASH BUBOS   An expert medical team led by Baron Klaus Wolfgang
von Poelzig, accompanied by Dr Charles Welmerdyke and Dr William S Bang,
aided by Dr James Dawson and Don somebody-or-other (complicated Spanish
name - check this before publication - ed.) has identified and eliminated
the source of the plague in the Yorkshire town of Whitby, a consignment of
rat-infested earth which arrived a few years ago from Eastern Europe. 'It
was all thanks to Dr Welmerdyke's antidote,' said the modest yet heroic
Baron. Drs Welmerdyke and Bang have been knighted by a grateful Monarch in
recognition of their efforts.

out his stall for the coming elections, offering tax cuts as a benefit of
Tory financial prudence. He pointed out that none of the other parties
could be trusted with government, although this sounded odd coming from the
man who appointed the head of the Steampunk Mafia (allegedly) to lead the
Home Office. Mr Southville also speculated as to whether rival parties had
gained their lead in the opinion polls as a result of unfair and illegal
access to advanced market information, so alien to the spirit of British

STONEAPHONE LAUNCHED   Mr William Stone, inventor extraordinaire, has
revealed a new application for Stone Waves, the Stoneaphone. Like the Radio
it transfers sound through the æther, but rather than 'broadcasting' it,
the user merely speaks into his own Stone box, an operator connects him,
and his voice emerges from the Stone box of his intended interlocutee. This
way a conversation can be sustained over distance in complete privacy
(assuming the operator does not listen in, of course!) What will the man
come up with next? (from our Science and Technology Correspondent).

PLAGUE BREAKS OUT IN LONDON   No sooner has the bubonic plague been
extinguished in Whitby than it has erupted in the metropolis, panicky
medical sources say. Scenes not witnessed since the days of 1665 have shown
Londoners barricading themselves into their houses, carrying bunches of
herbs around their necks, and playing ring-a-roses with manic abandon.

ARK AT YOU   Reports from Egypt are saying that a British party has
discovered the resting-place of the fabled Ark of the Covenant, taken from
the Temple of Solomon nearly three thousand years ago. The team, presumably
that sent by the Archbishop of Canterbury two years ago, has lost one of
its number to a freak lightning-like discharge, prominent local
archaeologist Dr Salah told reporters.

*** BAVARIA CONQUERS SWITZERLAND   The dread purpose for which King Morgan
has been stoking his army's morale is now apparent, with the rapid and
effective invasion of the peace-loving Confederation to his south. Military
experts have always deemed Switzerland 'impassable', but it seems Morgan
knows a thing or two about that, and with the aid of a variety of 'wonder
weapons' designed by Bavarian scientist Herr Roting he has conquered all
the centres of population for very minor losses - unless you count the city
of Geneva, which has been utterly consumed in fiery doom by one of the
egregious Roting's more devastating devices. The Swiss government has
surrendered, and the only resistance is from scattered reservist units in
the mountains.

LIBERAL-EQUITY PACT AGREED   Intense meetings between the leaders of
Britain's two progressive parties have ended in agreement on a unite front
against the Conservatives. Liberal and Equity candidates will not oppose
each other and thus split the anti-Tory vote, instead standing down in each
other's favour in their respective areas of strength. Political analysts
are calculating that if voters play along, we could see the Conservatives
reduced to the smallest of the three parties come the election. (from our
Political Correspondent)

NAPOLEON DAUGHTER REAPPEARS, WEDS   Princess Amalie of France has
reappeared safe in Spain, where the rest of her family also are, awaiting
(vainly it seems) the restoration of order in their country. In the
meantime the Princess has married prominent Prussian financier Mr Peter
Darkenford - does this signal a Prussian-French liaison?

HOME SWEET HOME FOR DEROTHSHIRE   Mr James Derothshire, long thought to be
the PM's political soul-mate, ha accepted the role of Home Secretary. In a
brief speech from the steps of Number 10 he announced "I am honoured that
such a position in the current government has been offered to me and I
accept the post of Home Secretary. I will serve the country to the best of
my ability. There are several problems currently undermining this great
country and I will do all I can to solve them. I will immediately be
bringing in a number of initiatives to combat the rising crime which will
in turn mean a fall in vigilantism. I will serve the country first and
party second. I hope the results of my actions will repay the faith shown
in me. The streets of Britain will be safe in my hands."

ALBERT TO BECOME KING   In a measure which is sure to be popular with the
electorate as well as being (in this newspaper's opinion) the right thing
to do, Mr Southville has announced that the Prince Consort is henceforth to
be known as King Albert, and to rule alongside our dear Queen. It has long
been known that this reward for their long marriage is close to the heart
of the Monarch herself, and that she was denied it by both Mr Disraeli and
Mr Gladstone during the last decade. Long Live King Albert!

EARLY DAYS LOOK GOOD FOR DEROTHSHIRE   The new Home Secretary has shown
himself a firm hand at the tiller, with the appointment of new special
constables / guardian angels purging the streets of the various crime
syndicates that have infested them for so long. 'Zero tolerance' is the new
watchword of the administration.

STONEVISION THE WAVE OF THE FUTURE   A new company, HB Engineering, has
been formed to administer the manufacture, distribution and content
creation of StoneVision boxes across the bulk of Europe, it was announced
this year. Fortunate citizens of Great Britain, France, Prussia,
Wilhelmsland, Italy and the Byzantine Empire will be able to 'tune in'
their mysterious black boxes to receive a variety of 'programmes' output by
local state-monitored companies in each territory, in their own language,
with much pan-European common content and of course a good deal of
advertising. StoneVision, a natural extension of the Stone Waves with which
we are all now familiar from our Radio and StoneaPhone sets, allows the
'broadcast' of live or recorded material to any number of 'viewers'. Truly,
we have seen civilization's future, and its name is Stone. (from our
Science and Technology Correspondent)

PRUSSIAN GOVERNMENT REORGANIZED   Chancellor von Essen has appointed Herr
Heinrich von Seedorf to the new post of Chief Minister, to serve at his
right hand to deputize for him while he is off commanding the armies of the
Third Reich. Von Seedorf is a very capable and experienced politician,
having served under Brodenbach in the old days. Von Essen has also created
a new Ministry of Information, under Herr Peter von Mendelssohn, and in a
wider reorganization has appointed regional Gauleiters to oversee the new
Prussian holdings of Austria, Tyrol, Bohemia and Moravia, all local men.

LANGLEY STORM HOME   "... and so the Langley team, sponsored and trained by
Dr William S Bang, have made it through the long haul of the championship
to be presented with the Salisbury League trophy, thanks to outstanding
stamina and strength levels - these superb athletes left other teams
gasping in their tracks, even the mighty Newcastle West End. The 'Toon', as
they are for some reason known, were at last triumphant in the Salisbury
Cup, though, once again defeating Salop United, this time in the final.
They really are a delight to watch, for the connoisseur. The beaten
semi-finalists were the Harlequin Globetrotters, making the most of a
rather flukey cup run, and the Christian Rovers, whose revolutionary
tactics of last season have now been thoroughly adopted by their rivals,
thanks to the new Cinematograph technology. This year's new team Wimbledon,
backed by disgraced politico Mr James Derothshire, played like the Artful
Dodgers you might expect, and while they will win no prizes for skill, they
did gain many friends for their cheeky-chappie antics." (from our Sports

THE PRINCESS AND THE THREE   The church bells rang in celebration in the
tiny Kingdom of Liechtenstein, as missing Princess Arabella was escorted
back to her sickly father by a multinational team of rescuers comprising
Comte Bertrand, Mr William Tamworth-Smith, and the mysterious Masked Man.
An extra half-day holiday was declared at the famed Liechtenstein blanket
factory, and all three rescuers were given large shiny medals and a slap-up

*** NEW GOVERNMENT FOR ITALY   As befits such a new nation, the Italian
General Elections were carried out in a spirit of cooperation and
compromise, all three major parties advancing very similar policies.
Minister d'Aventine's progressive La Equità Italia (LEI) party performed
well in Venice, Slovenia and the Tirol, while the
equally-progressive-but-in-a-slightly-different-way Italian Democratic
Party (IDP) carried the South and Florence, and also did well in the Papal
States. The most conservative (but still rather progressive by British
standards) party, the Christian Democrat Union (CDU), scored respectably
right across the country. Adriana Grand Duchess of Piedmont, the Prime
Minister, waited until close to the election before declaring that she
would stand for the LEI, and the final result saw the new Senate comprising
approximately 43% IDP, 33% LEI, 20% CDU, the rest various fringe and local
parties. Ensuing negotiations saw the new government emerge as a coalition
between IDP and LEI, with Adriana as Prime Minister, and d'Aventine as
Minister of War and of Foreign Affairs. The IDP has the Ministries of
Finance, Health, Education and the Interior, and among its Senators is the
enigmatic Comte Henri Bertrand, early supporter of the revolution in
Florence, who now represents Vicenza. The new Government was sworn in by
King Cosimo, accompanied by His Holiness the Pope, in a brief but moving
ceremony at the national capital Florence.

*** FLORENCE-BERLIN AXIS FORMED   Behind-the-scenes negotiations came to
fruition early in the year as Italy and Prussia signed an alliance. Under
its terms all technology of either country is to be open to the other, and
Prussia is ceding Italy those parts of the South and East Tirol where
Italian is the native tongue. Seasoned Euro-watchers quake at the prospect
of the bellicose Prussians gaining free access to Italian military tech.
(from our Diplomatic Correspondent)

convulsed the nation this week, the shocking news that Home Secretary James
Derothshire is in fact the boss of the notorious Steampunk Mafia gang that
has plagued London for so long. Incontrovertible evidence, gathered with
great bravery and skill by an anonymous investigator, conclusively links
Derothshire with known Steampunk lieutenants, and demonstrated that his was
the hand behind its operations. The Government is in turmoil - what price
'zero tolerance' now? To call for Mr Southville to demand Derothshire's
resignation is surely moot - we should be calling for the entire Government
to resign, and Derothshire to spend the rest of his mortal days in what is
colloquially known as 'the slammer', or to be transported to Australia. But
no doubt the British electorate will do that for us, as they go to the
polls in just two weeks' time: it was already looking unlikely that the
Tories would survive, and this is surely the last nail in the coffin of
this discredited administration.

WITCH DOCTOR? THAT DOCTOR!   Residents of Hampstead have been baffled yet
entertained by the appearance I their midst of a group of West African
witch-doctors, who resolutely wear their colourful tribal garb even in the
face of an English autumn.

DUCHESS DOWN AND OUT IN PARIS   With all the other troubles France is
having, it will come as small consolation to her people to know that at
least the crime war in Paris is over. The alliance of Union Corse and
Steampunk Mafia has utterly destroyed the organization run by 'the
Duchess', and this mysterious individual has disappeared from the Parisian

ATLANTIC OCEAN LOWERED   Marine scientists are baffled by the curious
behaviour of the Atlantic Ocean, which has lowered by three inches - this
may not sound a lot, but considering its vast area it means a colossal
amount of water has gone missing. What is even more puzzling is why the
level has not equalized with water flowing in from neighbouring seas.

samples showing them as trailing in third place, the Conservatives have
managed to squeak home again with the narrowest of majorities, just five
seats. Mr Southville, who must have been already preparing his resignation
speech, has instead visited the Queen and been invited to form the next
Government. While the nation gazes at its newspaper headlines in horror,
and the opposition parties wail and gnash their teeth, we must all it seems
resign ourselves to another five years of Conservatism, unless by-elections
eliminate the Tory lead altogether. Among key figures to lose their seats
were disgraced James Derothshire, bafflingly still at liberty, although the
disappeared Sir Derek Ross's seat of Hampstead was held for the
Conservatives by new-to-politics His Reverence Professor Sir James Moriarty
- although quite how a bishop, with a seat in the Lords, can also be an MP
is one for the constitutionalists to puzzle over. Even the swing seat of
the Isle of Wight was lost to the Tories, despite the campaigning efforts
of Mr William Tamworth-Smith - many wise Tory heads are saying that this is
the man who should ideally be serving his nation as Home Secretary. As it
is, we must wait to see who Mr Southville appoints to this crucial role. On
a more positive note, the strong showing of the Equity Party, and the
success of their pre-election pact with the Liberals, means that for the
first time for many years we should see a capable, strong, progressive
Opposition, and perhaps the question of female suffrage will at last get a
fair hearing in the House. (from our Political Correspondent)

ITALY PIONEERS NEW 'FILM' INDUSTRY   The voluble and melodramatic Italian
people have taken quickly to the new artistic possibilities presented by
broadcast technologies, and Campania-Calabria has become Europe's capital
of 'film' production, with 'studios' springing up all over the place, aided
by generous State investment. Bible stories, great classics of literature,
plays, ancient myths and legends, as well as 'animated' adaptations of the
popular Teen Angels comics directed by Mr Vittorio de Sica (the episode in
which Uriel slays a gang of bicycle thieves is particularly fine, in this
correspondent's view). The public of this backward region have rapidly
become enthralled by the new 'cinemas', and are ready prey for the
advertisements that book-end each 'feature'. Both King and Prime Minister
have honoured the premiers of important films by their presence, and with
translated material available it seems clear that Italy will lead Europe in
the production of visual 'edutainment' for the foreseeable future. (from
our Arts Correspondent)

GIRLS CAN READ TOO   ... such is the philosophy of the new Minerva Girls'
Magazine, supplement to Lady Chelmsford's Minerva Times, also edited by the
able Miss Edie Torial and aimed at members of the admirable Minerva Girls'
groups. The Minerva 'stable' has done more to advance the lot and condition
of women in Britain than any other force, and we should all be grateful to
Lady Chelmsford for thus enriching the lives of all subjects, male or
female. (from our Media Correspondent)

PRUSSIA GETS PIST   Count von Essen has opened the new Prussian Institute
of Science and Technology (PIST) near Cologne. This hugely secure site,
like a small fortified town, is the home of the finest brains in the Reich,
and it is whispered that the egregious Mr Henri Giffard will be sharing his
secrets of mass destruction with them.

STEAMING AHEAD   The enigmatic Comte Bertrand's Steam Inc has prospered
mightily this year, sending a team to the Stone Science Fair to demonstrate
rocketry, an exhibit much applauded by the children present. The company's
secret-yet-obvious base near Venice saw a steady stream of Moon missions;
carrying what, no-one will admit to knowing.

NEW COLUMNIST APPOINTED   Readers will be delighted to learn that The
Observer has scored a notable coup in securing the weekly services of the
renowned Lady Athena Chelmsford, who will be providing a column on women's
issues - the first such column, incredibly enough, to be established in a
major newspaper. How is it that the affairs of half the population have
been ignored for so long? Ignored, that is, but for the sterling work of
Lady Chelmsford and her Amazonian cohorts at the Minerva Times, and thus it
is that we hope to bring our readers a meed of that magazine's gems. (from
The Observer)

DARWIN'S LUNAR SEA   Mr Charles Darwin accompanied his series of talks on
life on the Moon with actual Cinematograph footage taken in the Sea of
Tranquillity, depicting accurate and vivid images of the two lifeforms
native to the Moon, the lunar fungus and the Selenites. Mr Darwin's
entertaining voice-over informed the footage considerably, bringing out the
way that these quaint creatures are just like little humans really: one
particular group, thought to be a family, whose members Mr Darwin referred
to as 'Tiny', 'Small', 'Major' and 'Mother', truly seemed to show
individual personalities as they went about their daily tasks of gathering,
eating and defecating upon the string-like Lunar fungus. Mr Giffard was
also at the Science Fair, a popular venue this year, elaborating further on
details of Selenite ways.

POETRY - THE NEW MUSIC-HALL?   The growth of interest in popular poetry
continues unabated, with regular readings on the Imperial Network, and a
new spate of omnibus publication. Rather less this year, though, of the
work of people's favourite Mr Rudyard Kipling, who we understand has left
to seek his fortune in her Majesty's service in the India colonies, after a
romantic disappointment.

HERESY COMMITTEE GOES TOO FAR   The new Parliamentary Committee on
Religious Orthodoxy, spawned by last year's Act, has surely overstepped the
mark in its investigations of the Tatley Cathars. What started as a simple
accusation that a group of miners were denying that the physical Jesus
Christ also partook of divine nature as Son of God has now escalated to
draw in local vicars, an assortment of London businessmen, two Peers of the
Realm, three MPs, the Bishop of Lancaster and even Prince William of Teck.
The Times calls for an end to this madness now - the Heresy Act is being
used as an excuse for witch-hunts and skeleton-exposings of the worst kind.
We add our voice to that of Lord Hamilton, when he called in the Lords
yesterday for a return to Christian understanding and tolerance, for a
broad Church, and for the repeal of the Act. When, oh when, will Mr
Southville make the Government's position clear on this matter? (from our
Religious Correspondent)

EE! IT'S MC2!   Colonel Sir William Maguire has founded MC2, the Maguire
Cinematograph Company, for the purpose of producing narrative, entertaining
stories, factual items and news, in the new 'film' medium. These are
distributed nationwide and 'played back' in special meeting-halls for the
purpose, named Cinemato-mas, where the public may come to be astounded,
informed, and above all entertained, at a most reasonable price. Critical
opinion, though, ranks MC2's productions considerably below the new Italian
'films' in artistic and technical quality, and their restriction to black
and white colours must surely hold them back. Is Maguire's technology dead
in the water before it has even taken off? (from our Science and Technology

RADIO WARS HOT UP   The two rival stations have moved to differentiate
themselves further, with Mr Stone's Radio One gaining ground as it varies
the goods whose commercials it carries - advisedly steering clear of
alcohol and tobacco -  and making much of its non-doctrinaire tone. The
young seem to be responding particularly well. Meanwhile the Imperial
Network continues to rely on 'John Bull' for its popularity, this trenchant
individual making no secret of his disparagement of the Heresy Bill.

MARS SHINES BRIGHTLY   Amateur astronomers have been delighted with the
fine display the planet Mars is putting on at the moment, shining larger
and brighter than anyone can remember. Freak atmospheric conditions are
being blamed for this optical effect.

SALISBURY TAKES UP POST   Everybody's favourite Marquess has now set up
properly in Washington, DC, as Ambassador to the USA, and already his
parties are the talk of the town - the usual glittering array of social and
cultural luminaries, including Mr Mark Twain, Mr Stephen Foster and Mrs
Mary Baker Eddy.

DOUBLE-BARRELLED BLAST FROM DARWIN   Controversial scientist Mr Charles
Darwin has at last published his tome 'The Origin of Species', suggesting
that modern animal and plant life 'evolved' from more primitive forms
rather than being created by God. His results have immediately been decried
by the popular press and other commentators, but The Times is sticking to
its open-minded line on this matter. Mr Darwin also published a popular
treatment of the material, entitled 'The Shellfish Gene', which uses very
clear and simple analogy to get across the salient points: this book has
been walking off the shelves, retailers report, in the manner popularly
associated with freshly-baked confectionery. (by our Science and Technology

*** BAVARIA CONQUERS SWITZERLAND   The dread purpose for which King Morgan
has been stoking his army's morale is now apparent, with the rapid and
effective invasion of the peace-loving Confederation to his south. Military
experts have always deemed Switzerland 'impassable', but it seems Morgan
knows a thing or two about that, and with the aid of a variety of 'wonder
weapons' designed by Bavarian scientist Herr Roting he has conquered all
the centres of population for very minor losses - unless you count the city
of Geneva, which has been utterly consumed in fiery doom by one of the
egregious Roting's more devastating devices. The Swiss government has
surrendered, and the only resistance is from scattered reservist units in
the mountains. The Italian government sent troops to help the Bavarian
advance, with it is thought the Prime Minister acting over the head of her
Minister of War.

DAWSON FILES SUIT   Dr James Dawson has filed a patent for the new
'biohazard' suit he has invented, which protects the wearer from all known

AN ADVERTISEMENT   Radio One, the one for the independent free thinker.

PRUSSIANS IN ECSTASIES OF JOY   Scenes never before witnessed at the
Kaiser's birthday celebrations, as the Prussian people's beloved leader
paraded slowly through Berlin to the Brandenburg Gate. Truly it must be
said that even our own dear monarch is scarcely more popular with her
subjects. Press, government and people are all united in singing the
praises of Wilhelm and the prosperity and success his reign has brought to
Prussia. (from our Foreign Correspondent)

 to friends whilst in a different part of the country. Exciting
developments in communications now mean you can talk to your friends
instantly whilst not having to wait days for a letter or have to travel to
see them. Buy a Stoneaphone today,  receive your unique dialling number to
call your friends on,  full demonstrations will be given at this years
Science Fair where you can buy your Stoneaphone at a reduced price. Calls
will be charged by the minute and every 3 months you will receive a bill
with the cost of your calls on it. The price I am sure you will agree will
be very reasonable. Remember,  talk is cheap,  so why not do it more?"

A CARTOON   King Morgan is shown hiding behind a wall of his castle, a
basket of raspberries at his feet. He is commanding young Bavarian soldiers
to march forth into a battlefield upon which they are cut down bloodily. A
badge on his chest reads 'Morgan Leman', and the word 'von' has been
clumsily handwritten above and between these two words. His face is a mask
of guile and cowardice. (from the Suddeutsche Zeitung)

ALIEN VISIT IMMINENT?   The Committee to Welcome our Alien Friends has
moved into preparation for what its members believe is an imminent visit.
Spokesman Mr Wolfgang Shrewda said "The prophecies of Nostradamus, Mother
Shipton and other wise seers all point to 1879 as the year that we can
expect to receive a visit from 'God's other children'."

*** PRUSSIA INVADES BAVARIA   The mighty Prussian juggernaut has rolled
southwards into its smaller neighbour, in a move seasoned Fritzy-watchers
were describing as inevitable. Count von Essen executed another of his
trademark 'Donnerkrieg' advances, with lines of MATAVs rolling forward
under the cover of a steady artillery bombardment. The plucky Bavarian army
did their best but could but ill resist the Prussian advance, although this
had since bogged down in the Bayerische Wald - confusion and contradictory
orders seem to be the problem, not to mention heavy losses to the new
Bavarian fiery death and other weapons. Bad news for Prussia, though, as
Italy tears up the new alliance - the Queen of Bavaria is the daughter of
Italy's Prime Minister.

A BRIEF SUMMARY OF VISUAL TECHNOLOGIES   As we approach the last decade of
Victoria's Century, the British public has been staggered by not one but
two rival technologies for producing moving visual images. First there was
Colonel Maguire's Cinematography. This uses specially-prepared strips of
cellulose, impregnated with mysterious substances which the Colonel is
keeping firmly under his hat, through which light can be shone onto a
screen to replay the events which were taking place when the film was
'exposed'. So far, so good. But now comes Mr Stone's StoneVision
technology, which works on the poorly-understood principle of Stone Waves,
just as your Radio set and Stoneaphone do. Here the events to be filmed are
recorded on a Stone box, and are transmitted through the æther (either
'live' or later, after editing) to any number of 'receiver' boxes, which
can then be used either to watch the film in the comfort of one's own home,
or projected onto a screen as in the Maguire system. Stone's system is in
colour rather than monochrome, is far sharper and clearer, and allows for
remarkable flexibility when filming, including a wide range of 'special
effects' - plus it is cheap enough that every working family can afford a
box of its own. It looks very much as though the good Colonel will catch a
bad cold from his heavy investment in Cinematography.

*** NWO OFFERS SOUTHVILLE A PACT   In a move that has shocked the nation,
twelve MPs have resigned the Tory whip and, joined by eight MPs from the
Liberal benches, have declared themselves a new party. The MPs, all
associated with Lord Hamilton's Nouveau Wealthy Order group, have offered
their support to Mr Southville in return for Cabinet seats and the
immediate repeal of the Heresy Act. If these terms are not met they will
vote with the Opposition and bring down the Government, which with their
withdrawal is now in a minority. Mr Gladstone for the Liberals has already
declared that he is happy to meet the NWO terms should he be in a position
to do so, and so has the Equity leadership in the House. Who would have
thought that the closest election in living memory would result in the
Government poised on a knife-edge, its destiny in the hand of this small
group of representatives of industrial-technological interests?

*** FRENCH TAKE FURTHER LEAVE OF THEIR SENSES   Our tormented neighbours
continue to go from bad to worse. This year saw a counter-putsch from
retired Marshal Rene Gade, who attempted to re-establish control over the
Army, but backed only by a motley force of postmen, firemen and milkmen he
stood little chance against the well-trained if hideously-undisciplined
Army. Junior officers revolted and overthrew and executed Gade, and the
country can no longer truly be said to exist as an organized entity -
instead it is being administered by brutal and uncoordinated military force
on a local basis. The woes of the citizens are untold. Such is the bitter
hatred between political and military groups now, it is difficult to see
how stability can every be achieved, unless it is imposed from outside.
There has been an attempt to launch a new newspaper, Vive La Republique!,
in an attempt to appeal to soldiers' patriotic loyalty, but it seems
largely to have fallen on stony ears.

AN ADVERTISEMENT   Radio One - we don't want to subvert your thinking, just
play some music.

VAMPIRES OF VIETNAM   "... and another local curiosity here is the recent
plague of vampires. Vietnamese vampires are much like those in the West, it
seems, fanged leeches of the night, and they have been causing a great deal
of trouble in these parts of late. I heard that retired French General
Louis Perisson was in the area, and sought to discuss the subject with him,
and perhaps gain his views on the turmoil in his native land, but to no
avail, he had disappeared up the Mekong, into the deep jungle there." (from
our South-East Asia Correspondent)

THEATRE INVESTMENTS PERFORM WELL   There has been a spate of new investment
in theatrical endeavours both in the West End and on New York's Broadway,
with entertainment seemingly still booming in Britain and the United
States. But how well will it stand up to the threat of the new Cinemas?

FORTESCUE RETURNS   In a move that has shocked Church-watchers up and down
the realm, the Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace Anthony Margulies, has
stepped down from the post, which has been resumed by his predecessor,
Fortescue Smyth-Carruthers. Readers will recall that Archbishop
Smyth-Carruthers resigned only a few months ago, but clearly the rest has
done him good, as he was in typical form during the Easter service.
"Christian folk of England... normal service is resumed. In line with the
laws of our land I pronounce the following individuals heretical... the
individual hiding behind the proud name of John Bull and any who continue
to propagate or promote his heretical messages, Sir Parsifal von
Schwartzlich, Sir Jean de Noisette-Etang and all so-called Knights Templar,
though not the temple of Christ, Sir Arthur Scoggins, Mr Frederick Jenkins
(prominent anti-heresy MPs)... other opponents can be forgiven at this
stage for being misguided. All have 24 hours to be outside the territorial
waters of this United Kingdom, its colonies and dominions, or face the full
wrath of our Good Queen's Law, forfeiture of all goods and chattels and
imprisonment... now my children let us pray." At this stage all church
bells across London pealed out in chimes of rejoicing for the return of
Christian leadership. However, as year's end rolls round, there is no sign
of these sentences being carried out, and it may be that the political will
to push such actions through is lacking, with the anti-Heresy NWO seemingly
holding the whip hand in Parliament. A knotty problem for Mr Southville and
his new Home Secretary, whoever he may be. (from our Political

WOMEN MARCH IN HYDE PARK   Midsummer's Day saw a peaceful march by
supporters of the women's movement, from Hyde Park Corner to the Marble
Arch, attended by some several hundred women. The sobriety, restraint and
general common-sensicalness of their protest, at the persistent denial of
rights of suffrage and of property to them, was greatly admirable. More
marches are planned throughout the year.

NEW SHIPS FOR NAVY   The British Navy has invested in a squadron of
underwater warships, from the Armstrong works, superior to anything seen in
other nations. Lord Armstrong has also laid the keel for the Britannic II,
larger than its predecessor and more secure.

PRINCESS DIES IN CHILDBIRTH   Those bits of France which have access to
news media are in mourning at the news that Princess Amalie, the Emperor's
older daughter, has died giving birth to a son. Her family, and husband Mr
Peter Darkenford, are said to be distraught.

is dead, slain by an anonymous assassin who overcame both the King's
personal guard and a variety of unusual alarm and protection devices about
his person. Morgan's body has been paraded through Munich, mourned by many
yet reviled by others. The Bavarian government at once surrendered to the
Prussian invaders, who seemed to overcome the chaos and inertia which had
becalmed their advance and thrust forward towards Munich. The Prussians now
have to decide whether to incorporate Bavaria into a Greater Germany, to
allow the Queen to rule it in her own right (as the Italians are
demanding), or whether to allow the late King Otto's nearest living
relative, Grand Duke Magnus Eisengrim, to take the throne. And what of the
Bavarian possession, Switzerland? - will Prussia take that too, or will it
restore it to its ancient freedoms as it did Liechtenstein last year?

WE'RE CLOUDBUSTING, DADDY   Audiences at Mr Ferdinand Lancelot Gaboon's
famed Flying Circus have this year been amazed by the mastery displayed
over the forces of nature - using his Cloudbuster machine, which looks
rather like a cross between a rocket-launcher, a ThunderTrap and a church
organ, Mr Gaboon is able to dispel clouds, quell storms, banish fog, and
create rainbows, all to order and to coincide with the shifting dramatic
moods of his renowned acts.

BYZANTIUM ENDURES   The new Empire has remained steady as a rock this year,
despite the national tensions within it, and Magister Militum Niels Graaf
has busied himself integrating, cross-fertilizing and upgrading the rag-tag
of former national armies that he has brought together. Speculation as to
the Emperor's peripheral role in the nation's administration was fuelled
this year, as he was absent from Constantinople for several months without
any noticeable effect on government.

WYLDE AT HEART   The Hon Auberon Wylde has published a sequel to his
popular 'Sarah's Adventures in Wonderland': the new volume, entitled 'Sarah
through the Needle's Eye' is a much darker, more mature work, which is far
from suitable for young children. All the same, it is selling remarkably

LILITH WHERE?   Renowned mystic and friend of angels Dame Lilith Fair has
been absent from the scene this year, with none of her usual entertaining
mass rallies.

LONDON CRIME ROUNDUP   This year saw a marked improvement in the London
crime scene, with the Steampunk mafia drawing in its horns - Mr Derothshire
presumably not daring to add insult to injury! His new Special Constables
also seem to be having an effect in keeping down petty crime. The Slasher
was once again completely absent, as was the mysterious blood-draining
killer, although a second (or possibly a third, depending on if you think
there were one or two last year) blood-draining killer has commenced
operations - this one, rather than slashing the throat, merely makes two
net punctures through which the blood is extracted. Vigilantism also seems
to be in downturn, with both Sabre and the Masked Man finding themselves
with little to do. Of course, it may be that it is the plague which is
keeping criminals off the streets. (from our Home Affairs Correspondent).