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Admiral Kohlhammer's beer fridge

Posted May 9, 2016 into Books by John Birmingham

One of the things about going back into the Axis of Time series is the frustrating delight of contemplating all the technologies I missed. We didn't get fusion stacks. Instead of Posh we got Siri and Alexa. We did get flexipads, but we got them in the form of mobile phones.
Still, I don't see any point in slavishly adhering to the canon. So in Cairo we read a lot of detail about the mil-grade cell phones being used by Harry, Julia and Viv. I'm not sure flexipads are mentioned, and I'm certain that data slates are not. Nobody has complained yet.


So one of the things I'm enjoying as I return to the series is finding stuff that I can sneak in under the retcon radar. This bio-gel refrigerator concept for Electrolux, by Russian designer Yuriy Dmitriev is a great example.

Bio gel technology gets a few mentions throughout the original novels, enough to let me get away with putting something like this in the later books. Of course you can't build something like this with 1950s augmented technology – or at least I don't I think you can – but the nice thing about well-made refrigerators is that they run for years. And this bad boy doesn't even have any moving parts to break down. I can totally see Vice President Kohlhammer having a big green beer fridge just like this in his office. He couldn't keep his Heinekens in there, though. You'd never be able to find them.

19 Responses to ‘Admiral Kohlhammer's beer fridge’

Barnesm reckons...

Posted May 9, 2016
yeah this reads like a great idea, someone in marketing pitches the idea to the CEO who then turns to the poor techy/engineer who is busy trying the get the latest 'brilliant' product to work as its meant to and is then told "this is a top priority'.

and what exactly is the design specification? "Demitriev notes that the cooling agents are the 'Bio robots' inherent in the gel use luminescence - light generated in cold temperatures (WTF? since when is that luminescence?)" Even in the article it says "Dmitriev doesn't really explain how it will work". REALLY.

This is why a lot of these designer types grind my gears. Systems that work best in nature tend to subscribe to the idea of form follows function, not ooohh lets build that, it looks cooooool.

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insomniac puts forth...

Posted May 9, 2016
Who's gonna care that it doesn't work in real life. If it's in a book it's gonna work in our minds, and it's gonna be cool (no pun intended).

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Murphy_of_Missouri has opinions thus...

Posted May 9, 2016
I suspect Kolhammer is probably a beer snob. Heineken just won't do.

Does lead me to wonder how many garage brewing nuts came back through the Transition who leave the service and start up their own craft breweries?

Dirk is gonna tell you...

Posted May 9, 2016
I concur. As your Dutch advisor i would point out that Heineken over here is seen as regular. Grolsch or specialized Dutch or Belgian beers would be more appropriate. A few i like are the following:
https://www.speciaalbierwinkel.nl/bieren?id=403
http://www.biernet.nl/bier/merken/karmeliet-tripel
http://www.achouffe.be/nl

Apart from the fridge, a dyson handcleaner/blower would fit nicely in a mensroom, as would this:
https://medium.com/@maxbraun/my-bathroom-mirror-is-smarter-than-yours-94b21c6671ba#.7ertvoc2r

GhostSwirv mumbles...

Posted May 10, 2016
I reckon Kolhammer would be a Grolsch fan, especially the cap seal bottles - I could see them also being used by Harry and Jules as a makeshift Section Six Molotov Cocktail ... or is that a Smedlov Slider?

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WarDog mumbles...

Posted May 9, 2016
I wouldn't write off fusion stacks yet.

I reckon there's about a 50% chance of something commercial coming of this in the next 5 years http://lppfusion.com/

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Marzuk mutters...

Posted May 9, 2016
I love looking at the things you mentioned in the book and reflect on what we actually have. Clinton is running for president the timing my be off and then again since the US doesn't name ships after living people she has to get elected and then die in the next few years. Im still waiting for my inplant that releases drugs and meds. wonder if red bull would partner with them so it can just dump taurine into my system, instant redbull boost For that matter surely one of the ships at some energy drinks on board. VP Kol would totally be at the front of the line for augmented tech, trying to grab as much to get that feel for home. I imagine him as an import drinker. Something he picked up a taste for in a port he visited in his earlier career.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted May 9, 2016
I reckon Redbull would be all over your implants, once they got your credit card details.

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Turlogh Dubh O'Brien puts forth...

Posted May 10, 2016
Important beer-related thought -- If Munich is in Sov hands, will they still allow Oktoberfest? Obviously no visitors from the West.

Just as the East had a lot of Western guilty pleasures (Levi's jeans), does the West have Eastern guilty pleasures? I'm thinking of Baltika beer. Pretty decent stuff. Russian made but owned in OTL by Carlsberg (do the Sovs control Denmark too in AoT?), it sells pretty well on the European market.






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Guy is gonna tell you...

Posted May 10, 2016
It would be good to see a map which shows exactly which bits the Russians have occupied and which bits are still free? Perhaps at the front of SH:Paris?

Turlogh Dubh O'Brien puts forth...

Posted May 11, 2016
I second that. I love me a good map.

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Marzuk asserts...

Posted May 10, 2016
No Oktoberfest? Time to build Popes wormhole machine and travel back in time (again) with a new fleet and better prepared this time. Must save Oktoberfest!

insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted May 11, 2016
That is an interesting question. Would they rebuild it? Could they do it using Temp/Augmented technology? Or will it be consigned to the circular filing cabinet of history?

Turlogh Dubh O'Brien mutters...

Posted May 11, 2016
They rebuild it, use it and.....end up in the Without Warning universe, where they are promptly accused of causing the Disappearance...and voila, we have our crossover.

Don Bagert asserts...

Posted June 2, 2016
JB has hinted a big twist at the end of Stalin's Hammer: Paris. At first, I thought it was that Dan Brown would still be alive (and that still might happen), but another possibility is that a new time-traveler is revealed. After all, even if time travel is not rediscovered until several centuries after the 21st, someone can still travel back to the mid-20th.

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Marzuk puts forth...

Posted May 11, 2016
Perhaps Stalin will think of this, since he knows his USSR fails and falls apart. Perhaps instead of destroying the world he will travel back and jump his technology decades ahead

Turlogh Dubh O'Brien has opinions thus...

Posted May 11, 2016
He does, ends up in Sydney circa 2000 something, one of his bioweapons accidentally gets released....and causes Here Be Monsters. I got more crossovers than Allen Iverson.

In all seriousness, how far back would he want to go? The October Revolution? Russo-Japanese War? The 1920 Battle of Warsaw? Peter the Great's Time? Mongol Invasions?

GhostSwirv would have you know...

Posted May 12, 2016


As long as someone goes back and stops Boney M's 'Rasputin' then all this mucking about in hyper-timelineyness-ness will have been worth it!

Anthony mumbles...

Posted May 13, 2016
And make sure Justin Beiber's parents never meet.

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