March 29th, 2011 | bookmarks

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BookFast forward
in the COVER section of The Times Literary Supplement

See this item on

History is now skidding by so fast that the only image of the present is the future.

Note: Terry Eagleton quote: not #atemporality as such:

Shared on March 28th, 2011 from Kindle

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notebook 28mar11

March 28th, 2011 | notebook


Bookmarks for 2011-03-28

March 28th, 2011 | brainjuice

  • Hickman, Pitarra Introduce "The Red Wing" – Comic Book Resources
    "Set in a future where the best fighter pilots in the world not only have to master their craft and perfect their skills, the heroes of THE RED WING also have to learn how to navigate through time. Described by Hickman as "the greatest battle in the history of the history of three worlds"…"
    (tags:comics )
  • The Kill Team | Rolling Stone Politics
    "There, in a nearby poppy field, they began looking for someone to kill. "The general consensus was, if we are going to do something that fucking crazy, no one wanted anybody around to witness it," one of the men later told Army investigators."
    (tags:war )
  • Scientists trace violent death of Iron Age man
    "Scientists say that fractures and marks on the bones suggest the man, who was aged between 26 and 45, died most probably from hanging, after which he was carefully decapitated and his head was then buried on its own."
    (tags:history )
  • The comeback of the comic book | Life & Style
    A bit on SVK.
    (tags:press )
  • Japan brings artificial intelligence to rockets
    "In order to look at trimming costs when it comes to rockets, researchers in Japan are looking to create a ‘smart’ rocket. With the use of artificial intelligence, they hope to create a rocket that can diagnose, and in some cases even repair, its own system malfunctions."
    (tags:space comp )
  • Lionsgate UK Remaking ‘The Professionals’ –
    "The UK arm of Lionsgate will start pre-production on its big budget remake of cult 1970s British TV series The Professionals this fall." Can't be any worse than the tv revival of some years back. Just remember, Liongate: Cowley had all the best lines.
    (tags:film tv )
  • Memory device holds key to green gadgets
    "Conventional methods use electronic devices to convert data into signals that are stored as binary code. This latest device uses a tiny mechanical arm to translate the data into electrical signals."
    (tags:tech nano comp )

    (tags:covers history )

  • Biosensors: Hormonal attractions
    "Estrogen receptor (ER) proteins play a major role in controlling the transcription of genetic information from DNA to messenger RNA in cells. Understanding how ER proteins interact with specific DNA regulatory sequences may shed new light on important physiological processes in the body, such as cell growth and differentiation, as well as the development and progression of breast cancer. Guo-Jun Zhang at the A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics and co-workers have now developed a detector that uses silicon nanowires (SiNWs) to evaluate these interactions."
    (tags:sci tech med )
    new sf. my favourite sf mag
    (tags:sf web magazine )


March 28th, 2011 | people I know

Most print copies of the magnificent COILHOUSE magazine sold out long ago.

Therefore, the Coilhouse Crew* have released, for a limited time, the back issues of COILHOUSE as PDFs, for a tiny USD $5 a pop.

I recommend these unreservedly.

* Mer shouts at me when I call her, Nadya and Zo the Coilhouse Coven. And then they curse me. Whatchagonnado.

Radiation Communism

March 28th, 2011 | brainjuice, Work

This is how my keynote talk for the Cognitive Cities conference in Berlin last month began.  


I’m mostly a science fiction writer. Steven Shaviro, in his book CONNECTED, talks a bit about the Russian sf novel ROADSIDE PICNIC, saying that it, like all science fiction, actually exists to cast a shadow over the present.

He says of science fiction, "It shows us how profoundly haunted we are by what has not yet happened.”

In the specific case of Roadside Picnic and Tarkovsky’s film adaptation STALKER, what had not happened yet was the Chernobyl disaster. The alien impact region called The Zone in STALKER has crossed over into reality to become Chernobyl’s actual Zone Of Alienation, and the guides who take the curious into it call themselves Stalkers. In 2007, a videogame called S.T.A.L.K.E.R explicitly associates Roadside Picnic and STALKER with Chernobyl and The Zone Of Alienation, to the point where photography and footage of The Zone Of Alienation became the basis for the visual depiction of The Zone.

According to a 2003 report, there are two "cafes" inside the Zone that serve vodka described as "good from strontium." The report, preserved on a message board, also notes:

Bread and vodka remained as “currency" for Chernobyl till now, where long ago is built its own, radiation communism

Which I mention purely because I love the term "radiation communism."

I’m currently expanding it – which is at least in part a case of putting back a lot of stuff I had to cut to make my thirty-minute running time – with an eye to making it a small, cheap POD book.  A little manual for urban digital hauntology.  Only probably not as good as that sounds.