Analogue Recording and Hauntology

accda-omega4

From Celluloid Wicker Man, here is Adam Scovell writes “There seems to be an overt connection between analogue recording technology (of both the visual and aural varieties) and the narratives surrounding paranormal activity in 1970s British fantasy television.” He goes on to say:

Of course, there are no doubt connections between the interest in such activity (with the genuine events surrounding the Enfield Haunting for example, recently made into a drama on Sky) and the technological means of the period with which people thought they could capture such activities but, in hindsight, the relationship goes far deeper than mere necessity.  Instead, a better and more interesting way to view this technology is through the aesthetics of physical electronics and how the presence of such material in attempts to find paranormal activity in fictional narratives finds a natural link with reel-to-reel recording equipment, motion sensitive flash-bulb cameras, oscilloscopes and endlessly huge thermo gauges.

Read More

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Didion on Burroughs

TheSoftMachine

1966 is calling.

At a site called The Beat Patrol, I found a good review by Joan Didion, an author I really like, on William S. Burroughs, another author I really like. Originally published in 1966 in Bookweek, NOT the modern Book Week for children’s books), it begins:

There sometimes seems a peculiar irrelevance about what is claimed for William S. Burroughs, both by those who admire him and those who do not; the insistent amorphousness of his books encourages the reader to take from them pretty much exactly what he brought to them. Burroughs has been read as a pamphleteer for narcotics reform. He has been read as a parabolist of the highest order. He has been read as a pornographer and he has been read as a prophet of the apocalypse. The Naked Lunch I read first on a beach in the Caribbean and the Naked Lunch I reread a few weeks ago in a hospital in Santa Monica, the book I read once when I was unhappy and again when I was not, did not seem in any sense the same book; to anyone who finds Burroughs readable at all, he is remarkably rereadable, if only because he is remarkably unmemorable. There are no “stories” to wear thin, no “characters” of whom one might tire. We are presented only with the fragmented record of certain fantasies, and our response to that record depends a good deal upon our own fantasies at the moment; in itself, a book by William Burroughs has about as much intrinsic “meaning” as the actual inkblot in a Rorschach test.

Read More

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

30 Years of Future: Essential Cyberpunk

iO9cyberPic

Via iO9, Diana Biller writes:

It’s now been over three decades since cyberpunk first exploded, and in that time we’ve seen gorgeous movies, read fascinating books, and seen dozens of offshoots like steampunk (and my new favorite, deco punk) develop. Here are the 21 cyberpunk books you absolutely must read.

Read More

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Murder in the Cathedral

beaver_street_baptist

I’ve always thought this church looked cool, but I had no idea of its scandalous past. Here’s a great article by Tim Gilmore about 1963 skullduggery and scandal. Woodstock Park: Beaver Street Baptist Church / Jacksonville Baptist Temple / Cathedral of Faith.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Don Lee is a Rock Solid Fan

Don Lee at the final resting place of Richard Sharpe Shaver, displaying some of the many books dedicated to the Shaver Mystery

Don Lee at the final resting place of Richard and Dorothy Shaver, displaying some of the many books dedicated to the Shaver Mystery

Here is one of the best articles about Richard Shaver that I’ve seen in a long time. All the older Shaver articles are great and sometimes I reread them, but here’s a guy who recently went out and did something. This is up-to-date. The guy’s name is Don Lee. He also publishes a newsletter called “Real Weird.” You can order a copy for $5.00 or offer to trade your own zine by writing to: Don Lee, 185 N. Main St # J, Eureka Springs, AR 72632

Richard Toronto introduces the piece like this:

It’s rarer still, that a fan drives to nearby Yellville and the old Layton Cemetery to put flowers at the Old Man’s grave, but that’s what Arkansas fan Don Lee did on April 11, 2015. Which is why Don has been named Shavertron’s “Fan of the Year.”

Click here to read more

Beautiful pictures, by the way…

Don Lee Shaver House

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Parallel Blog Effect

Parallel book cover    Time Heist book cover

There is a blog called Red Eagle’s Legacy, and on that blog, there is an interview with Anthony Vicino, who has a blog called One Lazy Robot. Anthony Vicino is also the author of a novella that I enjoyed reading, called Parallel. I thought, why don’t I route the blog with an interview about a book and another blog through my blog – maybe the end result will be atomic fission. Or maybe not. Time will tell.

 Here are a couple of excerpts from the interview:

REL: I really enjoyed the framework of the parallel dimensions. This sci-fi conceit has been used plenty of times by many different authors and screenwriters, but you used it in a very accessible way. Did you have any inspiration for this?

AV: If I’d written Parallel forty years ago it would’ve been a solid twenty pages longer filled with dense info-dumping. Readers back then simply didn’t have the frame of reference for it. I’m lucky that in the past twenty years there have been a lot of great television shows (Sliders and Fringe) playing with this very idea. As a story device it’s been flushed out enough in popular culture that you only have to lay the barest groundwork and people can jump right in and hit the ground running.

REL: Speaking of well used tropes which was written completely naturally, the Aurora/computer integration. Felt like this was one of the strongest parts of the story background. Your concept of the data integration to the mind just seemed obvious, but I’ve never quite seen it presented this way before. To me it felt like the natural step to where the future of technology is headed. Is that how you see it? Are future humans going to have more interconnection with computers? What’s the basic breakdown of your thought percentages? (i.e.. 5% to breathing, 40% to getting food, 50% wondering if the Marvel universe is actually good or just better than most low brow entertainment the public is fed, etc.)

AV: Oh man, my thought percentages would be so peculiar. I have pretty severe ADHD so I don’t multi-task very well. I work best when I focus one hundred percent on a single task until it’s finished and then move onto the next thing.

The thing I find fascinating about computer integration is that progress in this area is all about improving efficiency. We already interact with our computing systems (smart phones and computers), but we lose so much potential productivity simply as a consequence of how we’re interacting. The logical step is to remove the barrier between computer and brain, creating a symbiotic relationship between the two.

I deal with this concept a lot in my book Time Heist, because the possibilities are limitless. Researchers have already shown such amazing progress in the field of neuroprosthetics (cochlear implants, motor neuroprosthetics that restore movement to individuals with motor disabilities, visual implants) that it’s hard imagining a future where this technology is not as common place as current smart-phones.

P.S. Let me know when you figure out whether or not Marvel is actually any good. This question keeps me up at night. We might need Aurora on this one.

Read the Entire Interview

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

For a New Novel: Reading Robbe-Grillet by Fred Skolnik

Robbe-Grillet The Erasers    Robbe-Grillet For a New Novel

Via Sein und Werden, here’s a good article by Fred Skolnik called Reading Robbe-Grillet. It begins:

Alain Robbe-Grillet came to the attention of fiction readers in the 1950s with a series of extraordinary novels whose declared aim was to take the modern break with the traditional narrative a step further and help create a “new realism.” The line of development with which he associated himself included Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Proust, Kafka, Joyce, Faulkner, Beckett. Other representatives of the New French Novel included Marguerite Duras and Nathalie Sarraute (Tropismes, Portrait d’un inconnu).
Robbe-Grillet’s own novels appeared in regular succession during the Fifties: Les Gommes (The Erasers) in 1953,
Le Voyeur in 1955, La Jalousie in 1957 and Dans le labyrinthe in 1959; then the screenplay for L’année dernière à Marienbad in 1961 and the theoretical essays of Pour une nouveau roman in 1963.
The novels made a very strong impression on me – they were unique and certainly intriguing . . . A novel, he wrote, should no longer be a contrivance setting out “to illustrate a truth known in advance” but something that invents itself and in the process finds its own meaning.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized