May 20th, 2013 | photography
I still love Instagram. Find me there.
May 20th, 2013 | brainjuice
May 19th, 2013 | spektrmodule
44 minutes and 13 seconds
If you don’t know what you’re looking at: SPEKTRMODULE is a podcast of haunted, ambient and sleepy music I compile for my own amusement.
Feel free to tell other people about this podcast for sleepy people if you like it.
2. “Nord I” – Montag (album: Hibernation)
3. “Tidal Wave” – Grouper (album: Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill)
4. “Floating Around” - Firetail (album: Learning to Cheat)
5. “Late Night” – Belong (album: Colorloss Record)
6. “Untitled 3” - Eddies In The Water (album: Untitled)
7. “The Slave Quarters” - Moscow Abandoned Hotel (album: The Salem Witch Trials Vol. 2)
8. “Porta Vox Umbra” - Black Seas Of Infinity (album: Amrita – The Quintessence)
9. “The South Sound” – British Sea Power (album: Man Of Aran)
May 16th, 2013 | guest informant
Rachel Rosenfelt, editor, The New Inquiry
I’m planning to read Brad Gooch’s Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor alongside her collected short stories.
I’m also planning on Woman Hating by Andrea Dworkin, and Albertine Sarrazin’s Astragal.
James Moran, screenwriter (Doctor Who, Cockneys vs Zombies)
I always feel guilty when asked what I’m reading, as for the past 4 years or so, I’ve had something I quite wankily call Reader’s Block – I can’t seem to read prose fiction anymore. I always used to read, a lot, several books a week, but lately I’m completely unable to concentrate on them. I’m fine with non-fiction, also comics, TV shows, movies, magazines, etc. Just not prose fiction. After half a page, my attention wanders, I start picking it apart, seeing the construction of the fake story, and my brain says "I don’t give a shit, this isn’t real, who cares?" It’s really, really annoying and upsetting, because I’ve got a stack of books that I know I’ll never read. I think it’s a visual thing – if there are visuals to focus on (TV, comics, movies) I can let myself be swept up in a story. But bare text, it has to be something real or I wander off. I’ve heard the same thing from a lot of other writers who work primarily in TV or film, so it must be an occupational hazard. Or information overload. I don’t know. But I get very guilty and defensive about it. It feels wrong, like I’m an incomplete person, and a fraud (as usual). On the bright side, I’m discovering a whole world of non-fiction which, for some reason, I had avoided for most of my life. Anyway. Currently in my (all non-fiction) pile:
Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements. I’m in the middle of this right now, it’s loads of fantastic stories and trivia about the elements. It’s fascinating, surprising, and genuinely magical – the best popular science books fill you with a sense of wonder while educating you, and this is no different. And now I badly want my own collection of elements, in a wooden display case, so I can touch them and smell them and lick them. Except the ones that would kill me, of course.
Them: Adventures with Extremists, and Lost at Sea, both by Jon Ronson. I’m very late to the Jon Ronson party (what an odd but brilliant party *that* would be), and just finished my first one, The Psychopath Test, so I grabbed these immediately afterwards. The topics are almost beside the point, I just enjoy going along for the ride with him and meeting lots of people who are really, really, really mad.
Confessions of a Conjuror, by Derren Brown. I really enjoyed his first book, Tricks of the Mind, and am sure this will be more of the same. He’s passionate about what he does, the history of it, debunking those who prey on the vulnerable, and rambling on about nonsense. He’s a lot of fun, and great at what he does.
Shockwave: The Countdown to Hiroshima, by Stephen Walker. Interviews with witnesses, flight crew, scientists, and victims, about the events leading up to (and directly after) the dropping of Little Boy. I’ve had this for a few years, and keep putting it off, given the subject matter, but am determined to read it soon. Maybe.
Jason Howard, comics artist, Super Dinosaur, Scatterlands (back next week)
Do audiobooks count? I tend to listen to a lot of audiobooks while I work. Lately it’s been mostly sci-fi and fantasy fiction.
Currently in the middle of Down These Strange Streets, an anthology of short urban fantasy stories edited by George R.R. Martin.
Next on the list are-
- Shadow’s Edge by Brent Weeks. I enjoyed The Way of Shadows quite a bit, looking forward to this sequel.
- The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. Another sequel book, this time to The Name of the Wind.
- Acaia by David Anthony Durham. Don’t know much about this one, saw it recommended online, liked the premise and added it my list to read.
May 16th, 2013 | researchmaterial
I remain peculiarly fascinated by certain kinds of marketers. And, as a writer who still lives and dies by social awareness, I’m always watching the changing seasons of social media. (Even though I can feel the required energy for it ebbing away daily.) This post by Guy Kawasaki caught my eye. It’s a supercharged, super-expanded version of some of what I do/did, but he has nothing to sell but ads. It is, presumably, just a way to keep a bucket of social capital topped up. Which, one way or another, seems to turn into money.
May 16th, 2013 | music
I lost track of the early witch house act Mater Suspiria Vision for a while there. Turns out that while I was gone they’ve mutated to the point where they’re now releasing vast drone suites. I find this an excellent progression, and ATEM is wonderful. G’night, all.
May 15th, 2013 | brainjuice
“It is the creation of art through the curation of time.”
Curation, curation everywhere. And what of photographers? The curation of moments. Of perspectives. Of angles. This has always been so, although the technical limitations of primitive photographic technology falsely imposed a performance art aspect on the medium, a "dance" if you will. The notion that a large part of the creativity of the medium was the ability to recognize and capture moments in real-time was the central conceit of the Decisive Moment. But in fact, much of what Cartier-Bresson describes is not about the art, but mainly about the tools that he had access to…
May 15th, 2013 | Work
“It is very important,” Mister Sun said, lifting the hammer again, “that we pulverise the teeth and facial bone structure as well as possible.” Crunch. “If we are caught in ten minutes, then, yes, we are standing over a dead body in the bath tub.” Crunch. “But we will, by god, force them to do a DNA test to identify the body. This purchases us useful seconds.”
“What about fingerprints, though?” Amanda said. “They won’t need DNA. He has fingerprints.”
“Well,” said Mister Sun, as the hammer’s impact reports degenerated from crunches to sounds like glass dust being pounded into pork chops, “that’s why there’s a thirty-dollar brulée torch in my bag. We will need some air freshener, by the way.”
DEAD PIG COLLECTOR is a long short story that will be released by Mulholland Books as a digital ebook single on June 15.
It is a love story. It is also about killing people and effectively disposing of their bodies.
Further details to follow.
May 15th, 2013 | guest informant
Molly Crabapple, artist, writer
John Richardson: Picasso- 1906-1917
Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung
My Apprenticeships: Colette
Hitchens: Why Orwell Matters
The Naked and the Dead
Simone de Beauvoir: The Mandarins
Baratunde Thurston, author, comedian, CEO
Writing My Wrongs by Shaka Senghor. Shaka is a friend. We’re both Director’s Fellows at the MIT Media Lab. He spent 19 years in prison for second degree murder. He was guilty. This book is the story of how a kid growing up wanting to be a doctor ended up on the opposite path and how writing helped him heal and atone.
I’ve bought these books on Kindle and should probably get to reading them. It’s so easy to buy, and reading is hard!
CivilWarLand in Bad Decline: Stories and a Novella: Saunders, George
Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization: Khanna, Parag
Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity: Dawkins, Marcia Alesan
Lizz Free or Die: Essays: Winstead, Lizz
May 14th, 2013 | brainjuice
May 14th, 2013 | guest informant
Ben Hammersley, author, speaker, non-executive director, trainee trapeze artist
Present Shock, Douglas Rushkoff (for the immediate second time to grab all the googlable references out of it. Is good.)
Bursts, Albert-László Barabási (which is driving me slightly batty)
The Portable Dorothy Parker
On Craftsmanship, Christopher Frayling
And Aleks’ book, Untangling The Web, which I’ve read at every stage, but really look forward to reading in full when the copies get in at home.
Stoya, columnist, performer, aerialist
That’s what I’ve got lined up for the next couple of weeks:
Professor Elemental, aka Paul Alborough, purveyor of fine chap-hop
In memory of the neutering of John Constantine, I’ve just started reading my way through the entire run of Hellblazer. Working through the early Jamie Delano issues at the moment, is a bit like having a some kind of fever dream brought on by too many psilocybin ‘shrooms. How nice.
There’s nothing I like more than a good anthology, so I am determined to finally finish off ‘Stories‘ edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantino. Sarrantino edited my favourite horror anthology ever (entitled ’999′) and like all anthologies, this is a mixed bag- but the high points pack more of a punch than your average short story.
Likewise, I working my way through the superbly angry, although slightly repetitive ‘Chav’ by Owen Jones and fully intend to read Tony Benn’s Diaries this year. I was lucky enough to see him speak the other day and he left me all fired up and inspired.
Comic wise- having long given up on DC, I am very happily romping through Marvel’s renewed titles: Daredevil, Uncanny Avengers, Hulk and especially Thor are all floating my boat at the moment. Might get to that ‘Marvel comics: The Untold Story‘ too. Likewise Mark Millar‘s cinematic treats and any of the noir flavoured tales that Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips put out are always right up my alley.
Not a comic, but should be, are Toby Frost‘s Captain Smith books. All cups of tea, space adventure and elder gods I have just started them and they share some common ground with some of my stuff. I shall work hard not to steal any of the excellent ideas.
I’ll also be dipping into ‘the incomplete Tim Key‘ for a spot of poetry, likewise The point of Inconvenience by A F Harrold is waiting for me to read at the moment, like a special treat. He is always very heartfelt and my favourite poet ever, can’t recommend him highly enough.
Oh and finally, somehow, someway I am going to track down the out of print, ‘I stole Freddy mercury’s birthday cake‘ , the autobiography of Malcom Hardee. Nothing like a biography of an eccentric to inspire and energise.
…I will also be reading a lot of old Plastic Man & Ambush Bug comics, probably in the bath or late at night, when no one is looking. But that, frankly, is none of your business.
May 13th, 2013 | brainjuice
May 13th, 2013 | guest informant
This week, some of my friends are telling me what they’re reading right now.
Mary Anne Hobbs, DJ, BBC Radio 6
I’ve just read ‘The Driver’s Seat’ by Muriel Spark which was recommended to me by Nick Cave and is thrilling, so strange and utterly unique.
Also.. ‘The Decisive Moment’ about how the brain works, which I’m interested to learn. The author Jonah Lehrer was discredited for lying in a subsequent text.. but he has owned-up and apologised, and I forgive him.
I’m currently reading Tracey Thorn’s book ‘Disco Bedsit Queen’ and i will follow that Lavinia Greenlaw’s ‘The Importance Of Music To Girls’.
John Rogers, writer/producer, LEVERAGE, ARCANUM at Thrillbent
These are not all new books. Coming off running a show, I’m just now, 6 months later, beginning to engage that massive Kindle roster. Mostly a mix of research and new fiction:
ABBADON’S GATE by James S. A. Corey (not yet released) — third in a giant sci-fi series, great characters, twisty political plots, and Very Big Ideas. It’s "wide screen" (as a friend of mine would say) action set in a nice, grimy science fiction world.
DIRTY WARS by Jeremy Scahill — The hot buzz book of the moment, the first in-depth examination of the covert forever war and the integration of targetted assassination as an instrument of policy for the United States government. The days of Henry Kissinger cutting a side deal with friendly Chilean generals is long past …
THE DORTMUNDER BOOKS by Donald Westlake — yes, all of them. They’re the defining texts in the comedy-heist genre, and it’s been a while since I pillaged, um, referenced them. Easy weekend reads.
DRUGS AND DRUG POLICY by Mark Kleiman — I very much enjoyed Kleiman’s examination of the American criminal justice and prison system, WHEN BRUTE FORCE FAILS. I consider another book he contributed to, MARIJUANA LEGALIZTION by Beau Kilmer, to be the best introductory text I’ve found on the subject. Just a smart, cynical but reformist take on modern punishment.
FIRE AND BLOOD: A HISTORY OF MEXICO by T.R Fehrenbach –part of my muddled crusade to learn Spanish, and hey, it’s a giant country that’s about a five-iron away from my house. I should know more about it.
THE HONOR CODE by Kwame Anthony Appiah. His book COSMOPOLITANISM, about universal ethics in a multicultural world, is one of the base texts for whatever you’d call my personal ethical system. This book is about how moral revolutions evolve to overthrow traditions. He’s always a joy to read, and as a big part of my job is to just have obscure stuff in my head, it’s a two-fer.
THE HUMAN DIVISION Series by John Scalzi — His serialized story set in the OLD MAN’S WAR universe. Read the first two, fell behind, going to deep-dive the whole series this summer.
THE INFORMATION by James Gleick — just never quite crossed it off the list.
THE INTERNATIONAL BANK OF BOB by Bob Harris — Bob Harris — writer, game show winner and adventurer — goes on a trek to meet the people to whom he made micro-loans through Kiva.com. Fun writer, interesting concept and he’s done some nice activism/coordination through the Kiva infrastructure.
LONDON FALLING by Paul Cornell — the reviews on this "hidden world" supernatural thriller are stellar, and Paul’s a filthily strong writer in general. I plan on reading this and then punching myself in envy.
THE POISONER’S HANDBOOK by Deborah Bloom — the rise of toxicological forensics in the Jazz Age, framed around famous cases. It’s an older book, but it has so many recommendations from friends I’m finally going to get to it..
REDEMPTION IN INDIGO by Karen Lord — amazing reviews, new voice. We’ll see if I dig it.
Wil Wheaton, actor, writer, presenter
I’ve been on a Joe Hill binge. I’m currently finishing Heart Shaped Box, and planning to go directly into NOS4A2 when it’s finished. Joe’s writing is very easy to read, and I love the way he tells a story. I’m very late to the Joe Hill party, but I can see myself reading his entire — what’s the literary equivalent of a discography? Library? Whatever that is — before the summer is over.
I’m also reading book three of A Song of Ice and Fire, and even though everyone I know who has read it raves about it, I’m just not finding it that amazing. There are bits that I enjoy, but it hasn’t grabbed me by the face and commanded my attention the way GUN MACHINE did. I’ll finish it in time, but it’s not the highest priority. This makes me feel a little sad, like maybe I’m missing something wonderful that everyone else can easily see, but it’s just been a lot of work to read it and
stay in the story.
Every summer, I end up reading something from the classics that I was assigned in school but didn’t fully appreciate because I was young. I don’t know what it will be this year, because I never know until I walk into the book store and see them all on the table, but I’ve just now given consideration to Fahrenheit 451.
May 13th, 2013 | station ident
This is warren ellis dot com. Good morning. This week I will be publishing some early-summer reading lists from my friends. Even though it is, according to the weather forecast, going to be eight degrees and raining when this posts. Here’s a photo by Ellen Rogers, who’s going to give away a print to someone at the end of the link if you follow these directions.