Misc. Ratings

Books

‘Bird Box’,  by Josh Malerman — 4

‘Asylum’, by Madeline Roux — 3.5

‘The Martian’, by Andy Weir — 5 !!!

‘Friendship’, by Emily Gould — 3.5

‘Gun Machine’, by Warren Ellis — 4

‘Virtual Light’, by William Gibson (reread) — 5

‘Pattern Recognition’, by William Gibson (reread) — 5

‘Ready Player One’, by Ernest Cline — 4.5

TV

True Detective (season 1) — 5 !!!

Masters of Sex (season 2) — 4

Film

House of Wax — 3

Mama — 3.5

Not much to note; have been getting some good reading in. Cannot overstate how good ‘The Martian’ is, better than all the hype had even lead me to believe it would be. So incredibly smart, funny, and well paced. Ready Player One was as well, a book I wish I had gotten around to reading sooner.  Warren Ellis’ latest was everything I hoped for — the man simply doesn’t know how to put bad writing out into the world. He’s just so damn funny, in the blackest way possible, and simply knows how to write a good story. I was building my altar to him after ‘Transmetropolitan’ back when I was 17, and he’s never once disappointed me since.  There’s something incredibly earnest about how he approaches writing and his readers, he’s simply harsh enough on himself that he’ll never let a piece of shit out and tell you it’s worth your time. If he puts his name on it, you’re going to get him at his best.

Reread a bit of Gibson as sort of an old ritual, as he has his latest coming out later this month. I don’t really mark my calendar for any writer except Murakami and Gibson. Everyone is I love is insanely great, but those two are floating in their own universe, and  getting new novels from both of them this year feels like winning the lottery to me. Was thinking of rereading the entire ‘Blue Ant’ trilogy, but I’d really like to clear off some other pressing to-reads, as after finishing Gibson’s new ‘The Peripheral’ I plan to very seriously set aside most if not all of my reading to focus on writing again. I’ve had a couple ideas really eating away at my skull the last few years. Not sure which I’m really feeling right now, but I’m starting to lean a bit, having begun spending my time (via catching up on Ellis’ newest comics work) with comics again. We’ll see.

Stopped very early in the ‘Under 40′ alt-lit anthology just because…I don’t know. I feel the ‘alt lit’ ‘thing’ here and there, it never seems to quite sustain for long. Then I caught the slightest whiffs of all the mega cluster-fuckery going around Tao Lin ant HTML giant and everything and I just didn’t feel like it. There’s great writing in this anthology and I plan to come back to it down the road, it’s just not ringing my bells right now.

I’m working through Yerra Sugarman’s ‘The Bag of Broken Glass’, but I only read it in the late hours when I feel most focused, and it’s easily the most emotionally charged poetry I’ve read in a very, very long time, maybe ever. It’s a truly heartbreaking collection and I just can’t read it quickly, so it’ll take a bit.

I don’t know what to say about True Detective (season 1). Like Breaking Bad, I was sure it was good and had heard enough about it from people whose taste I trust that I knew it’d be good, but I had no idea it’d be the truly dark and strange and perfect beast that it is. Whatever big awards it pulls in (especially MM) it absolutely deserves without reservation. It took me to places I hadn’t felt since maybe Twin Peaks. I think it may have shot it’s own load though, I don’t know if any further seasons will ever match the voodoo that season 1 did, but I’m happy to be proven wrong. Easily, easily the best writing / acting / direction of any TV show since Breaking Bad, hands down, no contest.

Bruce Sterling’s ‘The Epic Struggle of the Internet of Things’

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This long essay from probably the most acutely insightful futurists of maybe even a couple of generations is completely a steal at $4. Get it on Amazon, like, fucking yesterday.

So the Internet of Things is not a coup d’état, it’s not Orwellian totalitarianism at work. However, it’s definitely about power, and also wealth and fame. Making your refrigerator talk to your toaster is a senseless trick that any competent hacker can achieve today for twenty bucks. It is trivial, but the Internet of Things is epic. It will entail a struggle — not for the Internet of Things, or against it — but inside, as it both grows and fails.

I HAD A SCHEME (a Warren Ellis blog post erasure)

I dreamed a Medium
that was nothing but the
apocalyptic, numinous future.

A Black Mountain
of the new normal.

The space within I’m feeling
the year I was born, NEW WORLDS
that contained a black-on-black graphic:

WHAT IS THE EXACT NATURE OF THE CATASTROPHE?

The answer is half of my brain
in deep. I have APOCALYPTIC WITCHCRAFT.

The Hunt as cover.

(God, what if it’s just The New Hauntology? “We are as ghosts and might as well
get good at it.”)

I’m a little ghost rattling on The Archaic Revival.

Anyway. I woke up and still dream.

MORNING, COMPUTER

TRANSMET01-WACHTER

There’s no writer / blogger / creator whose brain I most try to invade and shamelessly steal from as Warren Ellis.

Since 14 or so, every artistic obsession of mine (what I consume, what I want to create) is rooted in his varied, rich, visceral, staggering career.

Cityscapes, the dirty urban, the sprawling technet, the weird and shimmering PRESENT and all the ways it is tense, convulsing, reaching.

Rant over — but his scribblings over at are so beyond worth subjecting your eyeballs and feeble brains to.

Time for Dr Whisky and re-reading FreakAngels. Gnight dearest comrades.

Theory of Returning Daylight

Originally posted on Minor Steam:

Perform yourself. Circa this morning
2014. Assembled approximately
after 27 years. More or less erased and
then resketched. Your smooth escape
in and out of your own body.

A jawline of stubble to evoke a carnivore’s
contemplation. A pair of green eyes to express
a pair of sharpened scissors.

Face the wind. The sensation of
falling. Have another drive to work.

Find yourself, once again,
in the middle of the ritual; this is where
you become beautiful.

Have another look at the morning sky.
Don’t use the word: “Asunder”

Use the word: “Blossom.”

Bandage the bleeding sun.

This is the promise of each new day.
That every “good-bye” will become
meaningless.

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