Thursday, April 19


It is done, reader. The black and white balls of the “Unforeseen Forty-Ones” have been counted and recounted, and the winner is:

Peterswarden: the man behind the mitts

Yes, reader- Dr. Ole Peterswarden, the 51 years-old polar explorer and former Dean-Director of the Academy for Arctic Anthropology.  Some may still remember him as a close councillor of the Council of the Seven with a direct responsibility in the infamous Inuit People's Ice Palace scandal that had provoked their downfall.  Dubious as these credentials are, they were still convincing enough for the Unforeseen. 
If the victory over Pieter Van Reimerswaal is not a triumph (only 24 white balls out of forty-ones), it is still a masterpiece of networking strategy from the underdog. It would seem that his knowledge of the Inuit has been put to good use, for the Inuvik members of the College of Chance & Choice, who everyone thought supportive of the administration that has granted them civil rights, have apparently, and a bit inexplicably, swung over to the Peterswardenite side, thus causing a fatal landslide in the otherwise divided Sectors.
As we had a chance to say before, Peterswarden's platform strangely looks like a return to the old ways of the Council. It suffices to say that amongst his staunchest supporters were Simon Isbary, from the Boreal Bank, that former Council of Seven stronghold. We may expect a few changes in that direction during the months to come, though all observers agree on the fact that they would have to be cautious. The rival faction around His Most Serene Highness (if for a few days) Brentford Orsini is still a force to be reckoned with, even if the oncoming reshuffling of official positions may disorganize it.
HMSH Brentford Orsini himself had adressed his congratulations to the winner, wishing him to “remain loyal to spirit of the Seven Sleepers”, while our beloved Dauphin-Doges, whose position at the moment is not the most comfortable, have remained silent on the event.
The Wedding of the new Regent-doge with the Frozen Sea, will take place aboard the Dukedominion on the day of St-Mark, after a canalcade through the city. It promises to be a festive event.

For some.

Saturday, April 14


It is not for us to say whether it is a coincidence, but the announced release on paperback of all-time New-Venice  “litertainment” bestseller “Aurorarama” in these hours of poletical tension, seems to be rather well-timed.
It would be not be the first time that the powers that be would use works of art to trigger, steer, or distract from the public debate, the Council of Seven’s past patronage the Cliquot’s Cub Clubbers or last year’s Elphinstone Exhibition being famous cases in point.
Accordingly, some voices are quick to denounce the fact that the novel (notoriously suspected to have been written by one of our citizens under a barely credible french-souding pen name) originates from the very close circles around the Regent-Doge, who is the transparent hero of this heady saga.  An epic of the city’s refoundation, it is, to its critics, nothing less than a work of vile propaganda for the current regime.

 In a brave effort to remain anonymous, “Jean-Christophe Valtat”,
and his bottle of compressed English.

Or so says, Pr Corkring, a Full-Fledged fellow at Doges College in an interview for the Arctic Illustrated News  : “ This rather bloated penny dreadful has no other purpose than to blacken the memory of the Council of Seven and of its loyal servants and to extoll the dubious merits of the Orsini clique.”
The Doges’ entourage has been quick to refute this allegation, through Gabriel d’Allier, the current Prime-Preceptor for the Dauphin-Doges, who answered our queries through pneumatic post. “ I seem to remember than Pr. Corkring is a literature teacher. His first degree reading is a sad indictment of the current trend in Higher Education. It is well known books worthy of that name has four levels of meaning, and he did himself justice by picking the most blatantly vulgar one.”
As to the recurring rumours according to which he would  himself be the author of “Aurorarama”, Mr d’Allier dismissed them unambiguously  as “fiction.” 
However, as a gesture to appease these “futile debates”, the Cultural Council of the Commonwealth has announced that “Aurorarama” will be only available from May one – two weeks after the results of the poll.

Thursday, April 12


Where have we been, dear reader ?  Working for you and the community as the Regent-Doge’s Cultural Councillor. And what a fascinating year it has been.
But now, a few days away from the election of the new Regent-Doge, we felt it our duty to revive the New Venice News and cover this important event, a “feast of all firsts” for our beloved city. 
I know, dear reader, that the results are not in your hands anymore. The Council of the Sectors, for which you have voted last year, has now delegated its elective powers to the Unforeseen Forty-Ones of the  College of Chance and Choice. The last two candidates, Pieter Van Reimerswaal, current Exchequer for Exceptional Events & Every day Entertainment,  and Dr. Peterswarden, current Dean of the Academy of Arctic Anthropology, have been designated for the final race. It is the outcome of this seemingly aleatory process that we now expect, but not without, it has to be said, a certain anxious helplessness.
The system, indeed, does not seem as airtight as promised, and rumours of pressures abound in the corridors and lobbies of power. Nothing, of course, bubbles up to the surface, but it would seem that the eternal scourge of New Venice, all these clubs, lodges, secret societies, and so-called churches are giving free rein once again to their conspirative tendencies. And we all know, don’t we, where it ultimately comes from : the Forty Friends, our “Sleeping Partners” who, from their foreign haunts, dream of bringing us back to the days where they did their underhand business with the Council of Seven –peace be on their souls. That Dr. Peterswarden used to be involved in the Inuit People Ice Palace’s scandal, says enough, we think, about who is pulling the strings. 
Dr. Peterswarden’s program speak volumes in that respect : we all know what  “tightening the bonds with our historical partners” or “valorizing the assets of our immediate environnment” means : obeying the pressure, not to say blackmail, of the Forty Friends, whose only aim is the right to exploit our natural resources to their own ends.
Should we remind the reader what the Orsini administration, now rooting for Mr Van Reimerswaal, has brought to the city during its brief government ?

- The restoration of a line matrilineal descendants of the Seven Sleepers, and the building of the Seven Sleeper’s Memorial Mausoleum to house the effigies of our founders, thus legitimizing and ensuring the continuity of power in our city.
-       Universal suffrage, including women, for the Council of the Seven Sectors – a premiere in New Venice.
-       Equal rights for the Inuit citizens and creation of their own sector.
-       The creation of the Boreal Beadle Brigade for “daylight duties” in the Sectors, so as to counteract the power of the Gentleman of Night.
-       Restoration of the Winter Carnival, which has been a success despite a few unfortunate incidents.
-       Suspension of last years’ “Drug Decrets” which denied free access to self-knowledge to the citizens of New-Venice.
-       The “Chessboard City” Reform of the Arctic Night Light Act, ensuring equal hours of all illuminations for all citizens.
-       The “Heaven Harvest” program, with more than 200 balloons exploiting electrical power from auroras and storms.

Of course, it has not been easy, but this was only the beginning of a more ambitious project aiming at  giving to the city a complete political and economical autonomy. We all agree that there is still a lot to be done. The Boreal Bank, which has recently drifted away from the Arctic Administration, comes to mind as a target for  urgent reform. Justice, reduced to poverty as it is by years of neglect, must likewise be adressed as a priority, for what is a city without justice ? 

Wouldn’t it be a shame to see these painful but necessary efforts stalled and squandered by a return to the old, obscure ways of yesterday ? So, more than ever, fellow-citizen and citizenettes, it is time to speak your mind aloud and explain to those around you why the current administration deserves to be given the chance to finish what it has started last year. 

Maybe, who knows, your voice will reach the “isolated” members of the College of Chance and Choice.

Keeping the dream alive:
The new Seven Sleepers ' Memory Mausoleum off Symmes' Spit.