January 2nd, 2014


[ANON POST] Sneaking into Whitehall without being seen

Setting: Dystopian London, 15 minutes into the future.

Research so far: Whitehall maps, Thames crossings, specific terrorist attacks (Downing Street mortar attack), far too much time on Google streetview trying to work this out. Now slightly worried about how my browsing history looks.

Three of my characters are trying to get from approximately Waterloo Station to Richmond Terrace, where they plan to break into a government office and steal something. Alas for them, the current government is a paranoid, surveillance-happy totalitarian dictatorship, so they can't just walk in. I'm planning to fudge over the details of the break-in itself, but I'm trying to get them across the Thames and past ridiculous amounts of security without raising too much attention.

The scenario that I've set up involves a few urban planning changes. Since the Tube is a haven for various dissidents, the government has poured cement through all of the tunnels in the immediate vicinity. There are checkpoints at each major crossing, barbed wire fencing, and extensive video surveillance, but not huge amounts of actual guards, as by this point in the story, the government is strapped for human resources and relies heavily on drone technology and CCTV, which these characters are experts in dodging.

My plan at the moment is to have them make their way across the Thames by climbing underneath Charing Cross Bridge, but I have no idea how realistic that is to do physically. (Said characters are in their late 20s to mid 30s, reasonably fit, but by no means experienced climbers.) Past that, I'm looking for a relatively inconspicuous route through the area. They've all spent a lot of time there, so they'd be familiar with back alleys and so forth.

It's also the middle of the night and there's a curfew on the city, so disguising themselves as tourists isn't an option. :( They can draw some attention, but I'd prefer it to be on the way out rather than on the way in.

Help? Thanks in advance.

[ANON POST] Illness Needed To Order

Hi, everyone!

I'm writing a story, set in the 60's in the UK, and I'm in dire need of an illness to bestow upon one of my characters. I've looked through some medical books, as well as wiki and WebMD (I've been looking primarily into heart and kidney disorders), but I can't seem to find anything that would match my requirements, which would be:

- preferably, a congenital disorder, or an illness that manifests itself in early childhood;

- something that would be, while not treatable, at least somewhat manageable in the time the story is set;

- something that might be lethal in the long run (though not necessarily), but with some possibility of survival until the character is in his twenties or thirties;

- might require frequent hospitalization, surgeries, medication, etc;

- doesn't have many - if any - neurological symptoms;

- something might progress with time and, preferably, with symptoms worsening due to smoking and/or alcohol use.

googled terms included: congenital disorder, chronic illness, chronic disease

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
marcus 2013

WW2 Bombs on London

This might be of interest to anyone writing about London during WW2 - a map of (modern) London showing the locations of bombs that fell in the Blitz. Some of the information is a little sketchy, e.g. the exact date and size of bombs is rarely available. It's been compiled from maps made during the war.


You can zoom in and out, overlay satellite views, a WW2 bomb map, and other information, etc.

Something to bear in mind is that most of the bombs shown were relatively small, 100kg or 200kg up to a maximum of around a ton towards the end of the Blitz, and a lot were incendiaries rather than explosive, so the impression of total obliteration can be a little misleading. For example, looking at my local area, the nearest bomb to my house was about a hundred yards away; I happen to know that it damaged four houses which were subsequently demolished, with the plots used for temporary housing into the 1950s then cleared to build flats, but there's no way to get this information from the map except by noticing that the modern flats were built where the bomb fell, and guessing that this might be cause and effect.

The real devastation was in the City of London and the area around the docks and the Thames, where there was heavy bombing and serious fires many nights of the Blitz.