November 21st, 2012 | mobilesignals
November 20th, 2012 | FAQ
baffledjailbirdisin asked: Hi Warren, I was wondering if you know of or are talking about some alternative adaptation projects for Transmetropolitan? I understand that seeing it on the big screen is at present too big a budget to even consider, but do you have any thoughts on how you might like to see it adapted otherwise? If so, how good are the chances of this happening?
We don’t take TRANSMET out, but very occasionally persons in the film and tv industries request conversations with us about it. And I mean very occasionally, because it’s an obscure work. We haven’t, since the days of Patrick Stewart optioning it, met with anyone we’d consider the best fit for the material. TRANSMET is not a thing we sell options on for the hell of it. There are other works of mine that I’m happy to see other people adapt, just to see what happens. TRANSMET is not one of them. It’ll go to the people who will keep it intact, or it won’t go out at all, and either result is entirely acceptable to Darick and I. I don’t feel that any book has to be “legitimised” by film or tv for it to have been a successful work. And, at this point, the book is between ten and fifteen years old, depending on how you measure it, and enquiries as to the rights are growing ever fewer. So, you know, don’t hold your breath or anything.
November 20th, 2012 | brainjuice
November 20th, 2012 | stuff2012
I had the great privilege of meeting, speaking to and working with Rachel Armstrong this summer, at a think-tank in Eindhoven. I bought this book, a Kindle Single (also on iBooks), right after. It’s taken me months to finish it, not least because I had to sit down and think for a month after each chapter. If nothing else, this here is probably the manual for the next five years of science fiction “biopunk” novels, (Ah, if only they would stick with “ribofunk,” too!) with protocells becoming the new nanomachines.
Rachel said to me, “biology is the new engineering,” and the book is an expression of that thought. Put crudely, the idea is that manual-assembly construction of buildings and physical infrastructures out of inert materials that either grow more inert or corrode away entirely over time… is stupid and dangerous. Rachel illustrates (with occasional, thrilling speculative extrapolations) how buildings could be grown, and how existing architecture could be transformed, and how this new age of living architecture could achieve astonishing things. There is, in fact, the strong sense than even Rachel herself feels like she’s barely scratching the surface of the possibilities.
LIVING ARCHITECTURE is a wonderful read that puts fire in the imagination. I recommend it greatly.
You can find Rachel @livingarchitect .
November 20th, 2012 | brainjuice
I’m not sure why I keep blogging about this – which is why I’m timeshifting this post to the middle of the bloody night, actually – but it keeps bugging me.
It is, on some level, about inbound: tuning the world so that the good stuff comes to you without having to spend all day looking for it and grabbing it manually. It’s why you have news sources, and clever and curious people, in your Twitter feed.
I must say, I’m thinking about unlinking podcasts from iTunes on the desktop entirely. If Instacast (frequently recommended to me) syncs between iPhone and iPad instances, then I might make the break.
I’m trying Monocle Affairs because their podcasts seem to be under ten minutes in length. I like that idea. I’d probably have had a lot more subscriptions for a lot longer if there were a lot of good podcasts under ten minutes. Which probably just speaks to shattered attention span on my part, but fuck it. Dan Carlin tends to get saved for long periods of travel. (I would also say “long sunny afternoons in the back garden,” but we didn’t have any of those this year.)
I’m snapshotting this now because 1) it’s quicker than listing it 2) I’m going to find an hour this week to both prune and add to my podcasts list. I need more news analysis, more new music, and possibly a decent tech cast or two.
November 19th, 2012 | stuff2012
|THE TESTAMENT OF MARY approaches the frisson of full-on speculative fiction in places. It is a rigorously grounded monologue, this book, the unvoiced thoughts of Mary, mother of Jesus. It is a short and brutal volume. Toibin’s Mary is a rational, hardened woman, being essentially menaced by Jesus’ “misfit” Disciples for a magical narrative of her son’s life (the required Testament of the title) which she stubbornly refused to invent for them. She holds some of the legends around her son to be hoaxes, others to be fantasies or madness.
Except for one. And it is a thrilling intrusion of the utterly alien into the prosaic and primitive world. The resurrection of Lazarus from the dead. A luminous manifestation of the supernatural as it should be: genuinely disturbing, almost sickening. The flesh crawls at Lazarus jerking and kicking in his exhumed grave as the earth seems almost to need to expel him. A raw wound of a book, told simply and elegantly, with a thorn of The Weird in its guts.
November 19th, 2012 | brainjuice
November 19th, 2012 | daybook
So, back in August, I proclaimed that I had cracked New Book, a thing that had been fighting me every step of the way, announced that I’d nailed down the first thousand words, and that forward progress was inevitable. I had crushed the book, driven it before me and heard the lamentation of its women.
I am, of course, a fucking moron.
Three months of writing, rewriting, giving up and walking away, coming back and burning out the rot with fire, walking away and hitting things followed. This book is fighting me. It wants to be written, but it does not want to make it easy.
Therefore, after throwing away everything but the first 800 words and starting again, I give you the return of the DEATH BAR:
In which there is a riot, and an interrogation of sorts, and I show you how to do something really fucking horrible with a pencil.
The NEW HUMANIST, of all magazines, sent me this book to review for them. I have to finish it this week, somehow. I haven’t read any of Seth Grahame-Smith’s other works, and know them only by reputation. So far, I can say that, to this point, it’s a Ripping Yarn of considerable charm, and that Grahame-Smith does know his way around a sentence. It’s also, a hundred pages in, a lot more traditionally Christian than I was expecting, and stands in some contrast to Colm Toibin’s THE TESTAMENT OF MARY, also released in the last month, and which I’m going to write a little bit about later today.
Incidentally, NEW HUMANIST has for you some free downloadable Christmas Cards by the famous British political cartoonist and illustrator Martin Rowson. Go and take a look.
(It’s the British Humanist Association that I’m connected with, not the Rationalist Association that runs NEW HUMANIST. But we’re all in broad agreement
that Satan is real.)
Also in today’s (re-)reading, from the Futurist Manifesto (as found in 100 ARTISTS’ MANIFESTOS, ed. Alex Danchev):
Back on the air. Also, the website redesign should be complete within the next week or two.
And that’s it from me this week. Back Monday. Things are a hair less crazier here, so the site should be more active from Monday morning, and there are some things planned for the near future of the place.
As ever, if you’ve got something you think I should be featuring here, warrenellis at gmail dot com gets me in the end. I’ve been way out of touch with things over the last few months, and have a lot to catch up on.
Anji Cheung made RITUAL, one of my favourite records of last year. She and collaborator Beard Closet are playing me out with a piece from their new record together, STONEMAKER. Subterranean and supernatural, devotional and doomed. Which is how we like it, here at Ellis Caves. Click through to get the whole thing for free. Have a good weekend.
I am a great admirer of Jon Mueller’s record THE WHOLE, so when I saw this link posted by Miasmah on Twitter, I was all over it. An album that comes with a manifesto, in fact. DEATH BLUES lives up to its name, and this will set you up good for some cursed, oppressive and cobalt-coloured dreams about running away from things you can’t escape. Good times. Click through to buy the download for five Yanqui dollars.
November 15th, 2012 | brainjuice
November 15th, 2012 | Work
On Friday, recording commences on the GUN MACHINE audiobook. (I believe this to be the initial Amazon.com page for it.) We locked the voice actor to read the book a couple of days ago. I had a short list, and his name was on top of it. My agent is a marvel.
Reg E. Cathey agreed to read GUN MACHINE.
Motherfucking QUERNS from OZ. And, of course, since you are all educated people who have seen THE WIRE, the magnificent Norman Wilson:
So what we have here is a crime book read by one of the best actors from America’s best crime television series. More details as I get them, but, basically, I couldn’t be happier. I mean, good god. Reg fucking Cathey. That’s a hell of a man to have associated with your book.
November 14th, 2012 | brainjuice