Steam Tanks, Attack Robots from a World of Black Ice

Unicorn tank illustration by Roman Papusev. Larger here.

These steam-powered unicorn tanks belong to the world of “Black Ice Heart” a Russian novel-in-progress by Leonid Alekhin. The plot of the book is not yet fully known; Alekhin releases only snippets of scenes and dialogue on his journal. From what I’ve been able to translate, the story takes place on the fictitious continent of Akemon, which is devastated by technological revolution. The continent’s technology runs on a combustible mineral called Phlogiston, and its scientific secrets are based on the learnings of four ancient tribes. The inheritors of this knowledge became the houses of four different territories (Diamond, Emerald, Ruby and Sapphire), and each house developed its own pattern of technology as a result. The steam tanks belong to the Diamond territory, and they use it to defend themselves against aggression from the south (from the Ruby and possibly other territories).

Another take on The Unicorn by Boris Kharlamov. Larger here.

Most of the novel’s illustrations come from the talented Roman Papsuev. Here are the other illustrations from the story so far:

This looks like it’s going to be an interesting story! The atmosphere reminds me of what Philip Pullman created for the amazing His Dark Materials Trilogy, on which the film The Golden Compass was based. As Alekhin reveals more of the story, I’m really hoping to see some interesting female characters as well.

4 Responses to “Steam Tanks, Attack Robots from a World of Black Ice”

  1. Zoetica Says:

    Holy damn.
    This is making me giddy, especially the look/feel of the art.
    I want to see a collaboration between him and Andreas Hofer!

  2. Ben Morris Says:

    Very cool illustrations, my favorite is definitely the diagram, I have an inordinate love of detailed diagrams of non-existent things.

    In our world, phlogiston was a theoretical element alchemists used to explain combustion and oxidation, when something burned the phlogiston was released and highly flammable things contained lots of phlogiston. In 1756 Mikhail Lomonosov did an experiment that proved it didn’t exist.

  3. Vivacious G Says:

    Oh amazing! Really love this.

  4. Tequila Says:

    Cool stuff…the idea seems a fun one to play with for the creator. Hope it gets an English translation. My inner geek digs the bottom design…you’ll see stuff like that pretty regularly in the Warhammer 40K community.