23 April 2012

"R" is for...

RUSSIA





  In the playing of the Great Game, Russia was historically the Big Bad Bear from the British point of view. Being a massive Eurasian empire, and poised oh-so-near to precious India, it was Russia that Britain most wanted to stop from expanding. As a result, the Crimean War was fought. Russian and British interests collided in Afghanistan and Turkey as well.

Something the British never wanted to see in the Khyber Pass!
[Strelets' Cover Art for Winter Uniform Russians]

   Russophobia was even the catalyst for a serious naval building program in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to counter the two next-largest fleets (French and Russian, who were allies). Now imagine this conflict, or imperial rivalry if you prefer, to the rest of the inner solar system in Victorian Science Fiction. The new Space: 1889 novels have done so, with a mad Russian conducting infernal experiments for the Tsar inside a lunar crater.

   If you are looking for a good counter to British colonialism, but are reluctant to use the more common Prussian/German enemy model, give the Russians a look. There are a LOT of them, and history is really on your side here.

3 comments:

Elderac said...

Hmm. Cossacks mounted on gashant. Something to keep in mind for future exploration.

J Womack, Esq. said...

Oh, absolutley! Or on raptors on Venus! Cossacks would love raptors!

Elderac said...

Interesting that they should have Cossacks on Raptors on the front of the GASLIGHT Compendium.

I learned something from this post! I did not realize that the new Russian flag isn't really all that new, but was used in the 19th century as well.

Mark