A Vision Of Tomorrow: ‘The Rim Of The Sky’

It is purely a painting. Such a thing could never move

The Rock, The Paper & The Shotgun occasionally calls into its employ a local vagabond, a wretched oik whose perpetual presence on the filthy streets of Bognor somehow enables him to catch wind of vital information one would otherwise not hear of. It was thanks to his disgusting contacts that we were able to bring you the first news of the Snakes & Ladders expansion set, Frogs & High-Chairs. It was he who advised us that the Colonies had devised a means of controlling a ball on a stick’s movement with the keys on a typewriter.

This week, however, has been a very quiet week for video games. Even our vagabond has failed to bring us news. Yet we needed something. Hence, we dragged the disgusting creature into our handsome office by his horrible ear, and forced him to smoke enough lithium that he began to hallucinate. We knew his rotten little mind would give us something. It did indeed: a vision of the far-future’s miraculous entertainments.

The little oaf has imagined for us electronic gaming, a series of flashing lights somehow arranged into remarkable scenes. These scenes may be controlled by an onlooker – the manner of achieving this was not revealed, but our best estimations have it that some manner of biscuit is fed into an nearby dog, with the resulting emanations causing the light patterns to fluctuate. The ‘player’ dictates the nature of these fluctuations simply by chooing which type of biscuit is next consumed by the animal.

Our vagabond refers to this particular vision as “The Rim Of The Sky”. He was able to recreate a few images from his prophecy via a strange form of tongue-painting. His eyes rolled heavenwards, showing only whiteness, and he seemed to no longer be present. Yet he repeatedly dipped his tongue, so delicately, into a series of paints made from the crushed shells of various insects, and captured these scenes.

It began simply enough:

A forest, a lake. Pshaw. Is that the peak of these futurefolk’s imaginations?

Next, a strapping fellow’s back, carrying some manner of fearsome blade.

How can this be a vision of tomorrow? This looks like the distant past, or perhaps contemporary Ireland.

Our strapping hero apparently intends to burn these wolves:

What a fool he is – that will ruin the pelts, and leave their bestial faces too charred to possibly mount upon the wall. What a hapless hunter this future-past gentleman must be.

Oho, this strange-faced blighter speaks of other worlds indeed:

I fear now that our drug-addled vagabond has strayed too far from the realm of accurate prophecy, and fully into lunacy. We shall have him beaten to within an inch of his life in penance. Again.

What next?

No! Murder must foul! Is this what passes for entertainment in the world of tomorrow? It is not proper. How can culture, standards, etiquette have crumbled so far?

This one, this one I can barely countenance. It horrifies me to the pit of my gentle soul:

Spectres now? This devilry! This is not of God! This ‘game’ must be stopped! Although not due for release, our vagrant claims, for another 138 years, we should start our lobbying against it now. Gentleman: write to your newspaper, your politicians, your local naval regiment. Ladies: leave the room. You are too weak to witness this monstrosity.

With that, the vision mercifully ended. Our urchin muttered strange words, partly in tongues, but the best of our translation yielded this “these six screenshots are new.” Then, he perished.

We harvested the body’s organs and threw the rest in the Thames.


  1. SquareWheel says:

    Hooray, real news!

    • Berzee says:

      Yes, now we know that Skyrim has swords.

    • The Army of None says:

      How you could support such lithium smoking and heresy is indeed beyond me, sir.

    • TH0TH says:

      Hurrah for the 4 headed axe-mace, a rambunctious rascal of a weapon if ever i saw one, let it not be said that you can have such a thing as too much weight or edges, more of this sort of thing!

  2. McDan says:

    I tell you sir, moving images will never catch on.

    • roryok says:

      Moving? Egads I must have missed that. I presumed these were merely painted scenes. How could one possibly take in all the detail of a moving picture when one can easily spend a half hour or longer staring at a canvas in the national gallery!

    • McDan says:

      These are the strange times we live in gentlemen, strange times…

    • Stompywitch says:

      Dear Sirs,

      It would take a gentleman of taste a full one and a quarter days to properly admire even a second of these “motion gallery experiences”, if they operate at the recommended rate of sixty paintings per second. This is not accounting for regular consumption breaks, discussion with like-minded admirers, and necessities such as sleep and grooming; if we accept this leaves eight hours per day for the connoisseur to spend in his gallery, this mere second would take over a week to fully appreciate.

      As I have heard that these “motion galleries” are supposedly to last for the unheard of length of at least eight hours, a full appreciation would take our gentleman over four thousand years to obtain. The bold claims of the painters that such an artwork could possibly be worthy of such a length of time, rivalling the wonders of antiquity, is simply preposterous.

      Yours Sincerely,

      Colonel Gerald Staughton

    • Bret says:

      Eight hours?

      Pshaw! It can take years for opium addicts, vagabonds, and other miscreants to produce a single image! Are you suggesting that there could be regular production of two million such paintings?

      It would be sheer devilry to attempt it!

      Ah, bother. I must cease my natterings. A box of some sort has appeared outside my abode and a fellow of the medical persuasions is saying something about “historical anomalies” or somesuch.

      Honestly, I cannot understand how a distinguished profession would allow itself this gentleman’s membership. He is clad in the headgear of the heretical turk! Most unbecoming.

  3. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Awww wolfies :) Can we give them bones and make them emit wub hearts? Or do they just eat you in this one?

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Sorry its meant to be all victorian isnt it .. hang on … Aha! Canis Lupus! Perchance might it come to pass that we confer onto them a gift of marrow, such that we may acquire their limitless esteem and loyalty? Or are we to be subjects of their wild and untamed appetites? Forsooth etc. Is it ok to talk normally yet?

    • cjlr says:

      Normalcy? Normalcy, dear sirrah, is the splendoured language of Shakespeare, of Dickens, of Swift, and of our gracious Queen, long may she reign. Or would you rather have the tongue* of an indolent Spaniard? A dour, imaginationless German? Perhaps the ravings of a Chinaman?

      Lacking the ability to maintain discourse with the men of Castle Shotgun would suggest in me the urge to remain silent, lest I make a fool of myself with such crass, uncouth dialogue.

      *cjlr rushes to assure you that he is no holder of such opinions, but in the spirit of the hour was attempting to draw satire from the nonsensical prejudices of the era.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Worry not, for I live in Scotland, where we have the square sausage and battered mars bar. I abandoned any inclination towards normalcy or decency many years ago.

    • The Tupper says:

      Mr cjlr:

      I like the cut of your jib, sir.

    • cjlr says:

      Col. Tuppington (ret.):
      I am honoured, my good man, by your compliment. May I take the opportunity to reciprocate the admiration? Should we find ourselves in each other’s hospitality at any point in the future, I do believe a sampling of the finest brandy and cigars to be well in order, indeed.

      And, may I further compliment you on your service, while under arms, to the Empire.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Sir Francis Galton has the following to say about wolves in his excellent book “The Art of Travel”.

      The Swedes put fulminating-powder in a raw shankbone, and throw it down to the wolves; when one of these gnaws and crunches it, it blows his head to atoms

      I would suggest that anyone intending to visit this “Rim of Sky” avail themselves of Sir Galton’s book beforehand.

    • JFS says:

      Herr cjlr, whatever inappropriate sort of name this might be, I must insist that you, good sir, do not speak ill of the German language! It has been a language of culture and thought, from the Dark Ages to nowadays glorious age of steam which I must not remind you is minted by your queen Victoria who herself is of part German descent. And which upstanding Englishman would want to soil the heritage of his own royalty? Unthinkable! Wit the error of your ways, sir, before it’s too late.

    • cjlr says:

      I assure you, cjlr is but a convenience adapted to suit the telegram.
      Clifford John Leslie Rodger, Esquire, in full.

  4. Sarlix says:

    This is the devil’s work.

    • Xocrates says:

      Quite so, my dear sir.

      Indeed, I would go further as to suggest that the vagabond in his drug-addled trance saw not a vision of some disturbed form of future entertainment, but a vision of events set after the Rapture wherein the world was taken over by Demons and the sinful, causing our society to decline into a less enlightened age.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      And also be flooded with water and random audio tapes

  5. HermitUK says:

    This is outrageous! The annual cost in canines alone could set one back tens of pounds! And how will one even begin to understand which breeds offer the best quality entertainment? Any pauper can find a mongrel on the street, bathe its mangy fur in the Thames and then pass it on to members of our society who are left confounded by this new-fangled sorcery.

    I shall be contacting my local Member of Parliament forthwith to ensure pursuits of this nature are harshly dealt with in our courts.

  6. Sergey Galyonkin says:

    Meanwhile, Space Rangers 3 announced

    link to royalquest.ru

    • Anthile says:

      Dear gods, please don’t let this be some April’s fools joke.

    • frenz0rz says:


      If Rangers of Space The Third is a mere joke designed to fool those on this annual day of jest, then I shall eat my extraordinarily large top hat!

    • Veritaas says:

      OH MY GOD


    • Tuco says:

      It is just a joke, isn’t it?
      Sad face.

  7. Soon says:

    *Monocle pop*

  8. Mario Figueiredo says:

    It has been experimented in some literary circles across the ocean — literary circles of which I will make no further comment — that a more effective means of exposing one’s mind while still retaining a modicum ability for discernible logic involves the use of opium mixed with an extract of wormwood, known as thujone; in a 20 to 1 part of this extract.

    Experimenting with absinth hasn’t produced the same results, so do not be tempted by using thujone in that form. I’m, as such, inclined to believe the use of lithium destroyed this poor soul ability to discern truth from falsehood and removed his ability to employ logic as a means to control the flow of imagery and being effectively selective of the envisions, particularly which ones he could discard as preposterous. This man brain adopted an automata response to any external impulses and the results must be discarded.

    If you gentleman can find another subject, I suggest the aforementioned method and will gladly provide any assistance you deem necessary in the preparation of said drug.

  9. Grape Flavor says:

    I say this madness is not native to the British Empire at all. Rather, it is ultimately the work of that vile drunkard Grant. This scoundrel has not only saw fit to unleash those wretched Negroes amongst the decent white folk of our despoiled country! No, now his corrupt administration has doubtless even encouraged them to forsake the Christian God and partake once more in the Vooduu magics of darkest Africa.

    It is surely through these ancient rites of evil that they have managed to infiltrate the minds of those dwelling in unspoilt England, as a ruse to conceal their satanic treachery!

  10. jack4cc says:

    Which console game ist this ?

  11. Navagon says:

    Clearly futurefolk are able to attach a sword to their back through magic and devilry alone. This doth paint a most distressing picture of the future.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      Indeed, the idea of a sword that can fasten itself upon the back of a man without any means of support is truly frightening. What, pray tell, would be the outcome should your enemy turn his back to you in cowardice only to be unjustly rewarded by finding your sword leaping from from your hand to rest at their back? We must resist this scabbardless magic should it choose to betray us.

  12. Kevin says:

    Wonder if we can see a post from Tim Stone on the newest chimney sweeper simulator out.

  13. trooperdx3117 says:

    Why sir I do object to you painting that man as being from contempary Ireland, I have lived there for many a year and I can assure that the swords that men carry are twice as large!

    • Bobzer says:

      Indeed, and what sort of horns are those on his helmet?

      Did he slay a goat? Bah!

    • frenz0rz says:

      “This looks like the distant past, or perhaps contemporary Ireland.”

      I apologise in advance my dear Irish fellow, but I could not help but stifle a snigger upon reading our famed journalist’s most witty of jests.

      That is not to say, however, that I dislike your fair isle in any particular way! (Or indeed, in any particular war!)

      Twas only last year that one of your foremost literary geniuses, the good Sheridan Le Fanu, did release his most terribly wonderful yet positively frightening collection of short stories, “In a Glass Darkly”. Tis, as far as I know, the foremost example in all the world of a lesbian vampiress appearing in any such writing!

  14. MajorManiac says:

    I say. These heretical images are as impressive, and dare say disturbing, as the old Ob-Livington images conjured up some years ago.

  15. TsunamiWombat says:

    Sirs! As a man of god I find your experimentation with prophetics as nothing short of heretical! That you would listen to the words of the great serpent, whispered with forked tongue through the drug addled mouth of a man of low quality. It is little wonder the images presented to you were so dire, so uncouth, so terribly Irish as to defy description. I encourage you to partake in a cleansing round of Laundanum draughts and confessional.

    Friar John P. Pepperwillow

  16. Daniel Carvalho says:

    I was ushered in by a visage of natural beauty, which beneath lied terrible horrors. Nightmares manifested in the cloak of darkness. Twisted silhouettes blocked my passage, seeking my life in exchange for their emptiness. I had to look through their hollow eyes to see my goal. Memories of feral beasts who’s gnarling once tore at my very spirit, now served to bestow me strength. With the promise the light up ahead granted, I will do what I must. Pierce my adversaries and face creatures of ineffable countenance, I will do what I must.

  17. Lambchops says:

    Now that we’re back in the present I would contend that this is the was the best retro RPS since last April when all the news was from the 90s (I can’t remember the specific year and it may have even been 2000 so I’ll hedge my bets!). 1873 is even more awesome than aforementioned year..

  18. Fathom says:

    What is this demonry?

  19. Brendy_C says:

    Bedad! It looks not a thing like my fair √Čireann. I resent these insults against me firm, beautiful country, which was not made foul until the English dogs took it over. I’ll tip me cap no longer to ye big city English-folk.

    I swear by the almighty if we don’t get Home Rule soon I’ll be away fer to join the Irish Republican Brotherhood.