Our Hopeless Future And Other Comedy

June 18th, 2012 | daybook

First off, this happened last Friday evening.

A CRACKED WISDOM TOOTH with a raging infection that resisted antibiotics so handily that it had to be removed on an emergency basis.  The dentist injected about a pint of drugs (including adrenaline) into my face and then said, “Nurse, give me the Cow Horns.”  At which point I decided it would be best to close my eyes.  Thirty minutes of hard manual labour later, the result is pictured.

And yes, I was getting on a plane the next day.  Which I did.

Also, yes, one of the bits does look a bit like a finger.

I have a lot of catching up to do, so I’m resorting to the daybook format for the rest of the week.

BEN HAMMERSLEY, presenting his new book, 64 Things You Need to Know Now for Then: How to Face the Digital Future without Fear.  The moustache is, in fact, embossed.  Much like Ben’s own.  We were on a panel together at the literary/philosophy festival How The Light Gets In a couple of weeks ago, along with the journalist/analyst Edie Lush and the radio journalist Paul Moss.  Ben and I had some fun messing with each other, but he always won the sympathy vote because of his dogs, which slept in his arms the whole time.  People thought this was cute, and did not realise they were merely biding their time until the perfect kill-strike opportunity presented itself.

(a crop of an original photo by Adam Greenfield)

HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN was a really, really interesting weekend for me.  I got to meet all kinds of brilliant people I’d never normally have access to.  And there’s some cognitive dissonance in sitting talking to Michael Nyman about Chingford.  I probably spent the most time talking to Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association (their sister org, the Rationalist Association, publishes The New Humanist, which I never get to read any more because Lili stole my copy so often that I eventually put the subscription in her name when she was 14 or so, making her possibly their youngest reader).

Also, this is the back garden of the place the festival put me up in:

That is in fact a giant iron, yes.

I was billeted at Great Brampton House, a fantastic and maybe a leeetle eccentric place run by some fantastic and maybe a leeetle eccentric people who were just incredibly welcoming to a tired old hack who really had no idea what he was walking into.   (Caitlin Moran was in the car that dropped me off there, and she expressed a curiosity as to whether I would be seen alive again.)  Have a little look inside:

You have no idea how grateful I am to Nancy at the festival, and to the wonderful Millers and their staff, and their drinks cabinet.  The drinks cabinet is where I met Andrew, plying Hilary Rose with martinis.  If it hadn’t been for him drawing everyone into conversation, I probably would have stayed at the table you can see above, hanging on to the whisper of wifi so I could finish writing a tv project outline.  Instead, I got to spend an evening talking with Hilary and Steven Rose.  Which is not an opportunity you get every day, and one that may never come again, just getting to drink and talk with and listen to two eminent and engaged scientists in their seventies.

Despite the horrendous weather, both the above-mentioned panel (about whether the internet was changing the way we think) and my one-on-one panel with the festival organiser, Vassili Christodoulou, was remarkably well attended, the latter fixture’s attendance being something commented on by another staffer.  Even though the rain almost washed me off the board:


Bookmarks for 2012-06-18

June 18th, 2012 | brainjuice

  • Exclusive Print ( Death Tarot ) on Vimeo
    Exclusive Print ( Death Tarot ) Upcoming exclusive Kickstarter print by Ben Templesmith and menton3 for 44FLOOD. The Kickstarter Campaign will start on June 25 2012, please keep your eyes out. video and all contents are © 2012 44FLOOD LLC Ben Templesmith
    (tags:ifttt vimeo video )

Who I Am And Where To Find Me (June 2012)

June 18th, 2012 | about warren ellis/contact

My name’s Warren Ellis. I write books and comics and articles and other things. 

I live in south-east England.  My next novel, GUN MACHINE, is due January 2013 from Mulholland Books.  The film RED 2, sequel to RED, based on the graphic novel I wrote, is due autumn 2013.  A film version of my GRAVEL graphic novels is in active development at Legendary Pictures.  I have author pages at Amazon and Amazon UK

My most recent original comics work was SVK, produced in partnership with the design & invention unit BERG.

I’m writing a new novel and developing things in film and tv, but am keeping an eye out for interesting things to do on the side. If you want to contact me about writing for print or web, please contact my agent Lydia Wills – her email’s linked in the righthand menu bar, too. I’m currently looking to write more articles and the like, to help keep me sane during the writing of this novel.

If you need to contact me about anything involving film, tv, games or other things that move and make noises, please contact my agent Angela Cheng Caplan using the link in the righthand menu bar.

Sometimes I speak at conferences, or do other kinds of talks and appearances.  I’ve previously been a columnist for WIRED UK and Reuters.  You can contact me directly about everything else, including interview requests, at my public email address: warrenellis@gmail.com (gets checked daily.)

I have a weeklyish newsletter, MACHINE VISION, which you can sign up for at this link.

@warrenellis on Twitter. I have an Official Facebook Page. Username warrenellis on Instagram (for as long as it lasts!) and This Is My Jam. I keep a notebook at Tumblr. I occasionally podcast.

I can next be seen in public in London on June 26th, where I’m introducing Greg Palast on the occasion of his new book launch.  Details here.

Back From Eindhoven

June 17th, 2012 | daybook

The silver FIELD NOTES book gets reserved for the serious business. The whisky was provided, with great kindness, by the estimable Bruce Sterling.

Just got back from Eindhoven a few hours ago, where I was on the public think tank for the science/art brainstorming that will inform the forthcoming UNDER TOMORROW’S SKY exhibition at MU Gallery there, on the subject of the city of the future.  Tomorrow I will try and unpack at least some of what happened there.  But I want to say that Bruce, the cracklingly intelligent biologist Rachel Armstrong, and the erudite and insightful Simon Ings were absolutely brilliant.  As was, as ever, my friend Paul Duffield.  And the digital painter, Ed, whose last name I now forget (for reasons I’ll get into tomorrow, I’m sure), was a revelation – even his unintended marks sparked stories.

Right now, I just want to thank Liam Young, Angelique and MU Gallery for arranging all this and hosting us, and to all the people who showed up and/or listened in on the Ustream.  It was a really entertaining, fascinating way to spend a weekend, and wonderful ideas were conjured, despite the massive drag factor introduced into the mix by my inclusion.

And now, I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in about nine days, so…

DEEP MAP PILOTS 2: by Eliza Gauger & Warren Ellis

June 15th, 2012 | deep map pilots

REHANI saw space before she saw the sea. When she finally stood at the edge of an ocean, at night, all she could really see was something black and chilly and sparkling, with the sketched suggestion of islands out in its deeps. Rehani was disappointed. She flies for Big Island, a great floating city that surfs the cloud-tops of Venus at two hundred miles an hour. It’s wider than the Central African Republic, and moves across a misty vastness you could lose every ocean on Earth in. And it spins in something that is blacker and colder and more sparkling than anything, anything she’s ever seen. It’s never disappointed her. It’s the only sea she needs.

[larger image] [original size image]

DEEP MAP PILOTS: A Series Of Five Pictures From Words

[process: I wrote five flash fictions for Eliza Gauger to produce a piece of accompanying art for each. The idea was to produce five little portraits of women in space, in art and words.]

Art © Eliza Gauger 2012. Words © Warren Ellis 2012