Analog Incarnations – Journal of Neo-Victorian Studies

Below are additional materials associated with the publication of “Analog Incarnations: Steampunk Performances across Time” for Journal of Neo-Victorian Studies.

Analog Incarnations:
A One-Woman Time-Travelling Adventure

AY-LEEN THE PEACEMAKER, mid-20s: A Tonkinese Buddhist Assassin-for-hire
REVISIONIST HISTORIAN, mid-20s: A Vietnamese woman of unassuming nature who oddly resembles Ay-leen in many ways (particularly without her reading glasses).
BAC HAI: (Uncle), mid-40s: A Confucian scholar turned mercenary airship pirate. Works for the Black Flag army
SENSEI MECHAMOTO, unspecified age: The Master Tinker of the Clockwork Dojo.

All roles are meant to be played by one actor.

The Peacemaker – a prototype Chinese aethertic single shooter
A Linguistic Transmodulation Apparatus – a wrist-held “verbal translator”
Small Vietnamese ancestral altar with incense.

Revisionist Historian
Reading glasses
An assortment of hand tools, engine parts
A curved length of bamboo
Two Nerf Mavericks, one painted black, the other painted blue, white and red.
Slideshow, with the description of slides included in the script
Video screen (For scenes between AY-LEEN and the REVISIONIST HISTORIAN. It is up to the production, however, to decide how to stage a scene with both characters appearing simultaneously)

Bac Hai
Thatch Cape
Cloth sack and various packaged items

Sensei Mechamoto
Japanese tea ceremony set


A brief and accurate timeline of the history of Vietnam 1624 – 1896

1624 – 1630 French Catholic missionary Alexandre de Rhodes travels throughout Cochin China and Tonkin and eventually was expelled from the region by Emperor Trinh Trang for his missionary activities. Rhodes did develop, however, Vietnam’s modern Latin alphabet when he created the first Vietnamese-Portuguese-French dictionary.

Early 1700s – Warfare among various tribal factions in the Vietnamese region, including the destruction of the Hindu Champa kingdom and its integration into Vietnam. The final Champa territories were absorbed into Vietnam during the reign of Minh Mang in 1832.

1788 – Nguyen Anh drives out a renewed Chinese invasion.

1789 – First fleet of French mercenaries arrive in southern Vietnam and allies themselves with Nguyen Anh.

1802 – Nguyen Anh establishes Vietnam’s last dynasty, and takes on the new name Emperor Gia Long.

1847 – First French military intervention at Da Nang.

1862 – Emperor Tu Dac cedes Saigon and the surrounding region to France.

1865 – The Black Flag Army, a group of pirates and mercenaries lead by Liu Yongfu, travel from China to the Upper Tonkin region.

1867 – All southern Vietnam submits to France. Insurgent resistance from native groups will continue for the next 30 years.

1873 – The Black Flag Army hired by Vietnamese mandarins to defend the Tonkin region from the Chinese and the French. Their first victory is the defeat of the French invasion lead by Francis Garnier in December 1873.

May 1883 – French officer Henri Rivière led another invasion of Tonkin and was resoundedly defeated by the Black Flag Army during the Battle of the Paper Bridge. Rivière himself was killed in the fighting.

December 1883 – The Black Flag Army suffered a major defeat at the hands of Admiral Amédée Courbet in the Son Tay Campaign.

End of 1883 – Central and northern Vietnam officially submit to France.

August 1884 to April 1885 – The Sino-French War, during which the Qing Dynasty, the Vietnamese renegade groups, and the French all fought for control over the northern region of Vietnam.  A series of losses to the French weaken the Black Flag Army.

June 1885 – The Black Flag Army was officially disbanded at the end of the Sino-French War.

1894 – Paul Armand-Rousseau appointed the Governor-General of Indochina.

December 10th, 1896 – Governor-General Armand-Rousseau dies in his home in Hanoi.


A brief and speculative alternate timeline of Vietnam 1624 – 1975

All events listed here occurred in addition to the historical events of Appendix I.

1660 – The First Nexus Point. An epidemic of foot-and-mouth disease swept across the Mekong river delta, killing off  95% of the bovine population. In reaction, the Vietnamese farmers developed a new technology of steam & kinetic energy propelled “winding buffaloes.”

December 10th, 1896 – The assassination of Governor-General Paul Armand-Rousseau.

June 1st, 1897 – The Second Nexus Point with the prevention of the death of a Tonkinese woman known only as Ay-leen the Peacemaker.

1898 – The aftermath of Armand-Rousseau’s assassination was the breaking point for the French Government’s involvement in Indochina. After several decades of insurgency fighting, millions of francs spent, and thousands of soldiers sent and killed for duty – not to mention political rivalries with the British Empire and the Kingdom of Siam – the French declared it would pull out of the region and abandoned all plans to pursue an empire in southeast Asia.

1900 – The creation of the Prosperous and Equal Asian Countries Endeavor PEACE, an alliance formed between Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and the Kingdom of Siam.

1905 – Months after defeating Russia in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, the Japanese join PEACE and becomes a dynamic force to the alliance, sharing its modern technology with the region and helping to modernize southeast Asia.

1906 – Empress Dowager Cixi agrees to have China join PEACE. Japanese and Chinese rivalry and its hostilities are put aside to combat the European threat.

1906 – 1920 – With Japanese advanced technology with southeast Asian fuel sources, they developed the most efficient fleet of airships in the region. PEACE elected not to ally with Britain during World War I, though they did broker several trade agreements for use of their advanced airship technology in the war.

1932 – The 13th Emperor Bảo Đại takes the throne of Vietnam. His reign is one of stability and peace as he continued to strengthen political alliances across Asia. The monarchy remains in this alternate history, and the Viet Minh become a minor anti-monarchy Communist group, instead of an anti-imperialist one. Their political movement is quickly subdued by the government, though their popularity scared the monarchy enough to initiate several domestic social and political reforms for women, indigenous hill tribes and other ethnic minorities, and the working class.

1939 – In this alternate history, Japan never formulates its plans for establishing a Japanese Empire as part of the East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere, since it already has maintained a decades-long political and economic alliance with most of Asia. Instead, PEACE decides to join the Allies in World War II.

1960 – Japan establishes Asia’s first intergalactic space program in competition with the Soviet Union and the United States.

1962 – With help from Japan, China launches its own space program in Beijing.

1975 – The first space shuttle program is launched in Vietnam in Hanoi.


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Carné, Louis de. 1871. Travels in Indo-China and the Chinese Empire. London: Chapman and Hall.

Fitzgerald, Frances. 1972. Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam. New York: Little Brown.

Garnier, Francis. 1994. The French in Indo-China: With A Narrative of Garnier’s Explorations in Cochin-China, Annam and Tonquin. Bangkok, Thailand: White Lotus.

Hervey, Harry. 1928. Travels in French Indo-China. London – Thornton Butterworth.

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