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September 19, 2017
[knots] 5 New Ways to Tie a Tie … includes The Lovecraft… ‘Summon a nectie from its slumber deep within the gaping void of your closet.’

September 14, 2017
[books] Longtime Stephen King fans criticize new IT adaptation for not being bad‘While audiences and critics alike have praised 2017’s IT for its smart casting and big budget scares, the response from classic King fans has been scathingly negative. “Couldn’t it have been a cheap, PG rated primetime miniseries?” tweeted @AnnieWilkes45. Others criticized the popular new film for not including any demonic laundry machines, giant rubber bats, possessed big rig trucks, man ponytails, or Gary Busey.’
September 4, 2017
[king] ‘It was wonderfully scary’: Tim Curry, Rob Reiner and Kathy Bates on the joy of adapting Stephen King

TIM CURRY: I read It when I got the role and I thought it was wonderfully scary, because clowns are scary. It’s the exaggeration. Pennywise always understood what each character was scared of, and provided it. And I could see what fun it would be to be that scary. They came up with such a great makeup. There’s the classic scene where little Georgie floats his paper boat down the gutter and puts his hand down to try and get it back, and is grabbed by Pennywise, who says: “Down here we float …” The boy playing Georgie [Tony Dakota] yanked his hand away and said, “You’re scaring me!” I said, “I’m sorry, I’m supposed to.”

June 30, 2017
[books] Schulz: The 5 Best Punctuation Marks in Literature … funny list of some great moments in punctuation … ‘“Marley was dead: to begin with.” That is the opening line of A Christmas Carol, although it is less like an opening than like a train car immediately running into another train car. The sentence would be unremarkable if it read, “Marley was dead, to begin with.” The colon would be unremarkable if the sentence read “To begin with: Marley was dead.” But as written, this sentence is insane, or anyway destined to foment insanity in the grammatically prissy…’
June 2, 2017
[books] Drif Field, Raymond Carver, and the infamous Guide… a look at Drif’s Guide to All the Second-hand and Antiquarian Bookshops in Britain … ‘It all has the tone of a man about to bow out, and leave the blinkered inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah to their well-deserved ruin. And his prophesy has largely come to pass. The ranks of second-hand booksellers have thinned drastically. There are still some left in Sussex, but like antiques in general it’s a dying trade in which a very few discreet high-class niche dealers (without the overheads of a shop) might still do well, but most bookshop-owners won’t. The times are against them.’ [thanks Phil]
May 4, 2017
[books] OrderOfBooks.com – Complete List of all Book Series in Order … useful site to bookmark if you’re looking for the order of a particular series of books or an author.
April 6, 2017
[moore] Howard Philip Lovecraft – Utopia/Valhalla #1, April 1970 … As Providence #12 arrives – here’s Alan Moore on H.P. Lovecraft from 47 years ago … ‘Then apparently, another race drifted in from space. The star-headed CTHULHU, who came to Earth and waged war for a time on the Old Ones. But peace was made, and the children of Cthulhu were allowed to live in their frozen city at antarctica with their servants, the proto-plasmic Shoggoths. Eventually, they were defeated, and either imprisoned or banished by the elder-gods,. The basic theme for the Cthulhu mythology, is that it occurs when a mortal breaks the restraints placed upon him, upon which, the Old ones can operate both freely and terribly.’
April 3, 2017
[politics] Stephen King on Donald Trump: ‘How do such men rise? First as a joke’ … King analyses Trump with fictional characters …

These stories were written years ago, but Stillson and Rennie bear enough of a resemblance to the current resident of the White House for me to flatter myself I have a country-fair understanding of how such men rise: first as a joke, then as a viable alternative to the status quo, and finally as elected officials who are headstrong, self-centered and inexperienced. Such men do not succeed to high office often, but when they do, the times are always troubled, the candidates in question charismatic, their proposed solutions to complex problems simple, straightforward and impractical. The baggage that should weigh these hucksters down becomes magically light, lifting them over the competition like Carl Fredricksen in the Pixar film Up. Trump’s negatives didn’t drag him down; on the contrary, they helped get him elected.

March 16, 2017
[books] The Complicated Friendship of H. P. Lovecraft and Robert Barlow, One of His Biggest Fans‘Barlow didn’t invent Cthulhu. He lived in Lovecraft’s great dream, but he never became a great dreamer himself. Until he got to Mexico, he was a serial abandoner of projects, who set out to do everything but left most of it unfinished. He was also too interested in reality: where Lovecraft had sublimated his fears and desires, Barlow had sex and saw the world. Rather than imagining dreadful Others, he took note of what other people were actually like.’
March 13, 2017
[books] A Glorious Mythology of Loss: Alan Moore’s “Jerusalem” … The L.A. Review of Books on Moore’s recent novel … ‘In the novel’s final pages, Moore reveals the magnitude of what he has set out to accomplish — his novel is a metatextual ritual that aspires to overturn the fundamental economic mythology built into the social fabric of late capitalism — yet the author displays a wistful humility concerning his project’s ultimate efficacy.’
March 7, 2017
[books] Three days with The Dice Man: ‘I never wrote for money or fame’ … Tanya Gold interviews Luke Rhinehart (aka George Cockcroft) author of The Dice Man … ‘He says he has no idea why he began writing. He read outsiders, and men who railed against belonging: Tolstoy, Kafka, Hemingway. His first attempt at fiction was about a young boy who is locked up in a psychiatric institution because he thinks he is Jesus Christ. He abandoned it after 80 pages, but one chapter featured a psychiatrist called Dr Luke Rhinehart. “He was a minor character,” Cockcroft says, “but there he was.”’
February 22, 2017
[books] Fictional characters make ‘experiential crossings’ into real life, study finds … a look at the power of fiction on readers’s inner lives … ‘The term covers a wide range of experiences, from hearing a character’s voice to feeling one’s own thoughts shaped by a character’s ideas, sensibility or presence, he continued. “One respondent, for example, described ‘feeling enveloped’ by [Virginia Woolf’s] character Clarissa Dalloway – hearing her voice and imagining her response to particular situations, such as walking into a Starbucks. Sometimes the experience seemed to be triggered by entering a real-world setting similar to one in the novel; in other situations, it felt like seeing the world through a particular character’s eyes, and judging events as the character would.”’
February 15, 2017
[books] Xenu’s Paradox: The Fiction of L. Ron Hubbard and the Making of Scientology … interesting overview of L. Ron Hubbard’s writing career and how it influenced Scientology …

The story itself, which has become more familiar than Hubbard or any of his disciples ever intended, revolves around the figure of Xenu, the tyrannical dictator of the Galactic Confederation. Millions of years ago, Xenu, faced with an overpopulation crisis, threw hordes of his own people into volcanoes on the planet Earth—then known as Teegeeack—and blew them up with atomic bombs. Their spirits, called thetans, survive to the present day, clinging to unsuspecting humans, and they can only be removed through dianetic auditing, a form of talk therapy that clears the subject of its unwanted passengers.

One of the church members who read this account was screenwriter and director Paul Haggis, who was a devoted Scientologist for over three decades before resigning in an ugly public split. Haggis told Lawrence Wright, the author of the seminal New Yorker piece that became the exposé Going Clear, that after finishing the story, he got the wild idea that it was some sort of insanity test—if you believed it, you were kicked out. When he asked his supervisor for clarification, he was informed: “It is what it is.” Haggis read it again, but the same thought continued to resound in his brain: “This is madness.”

Hubbard himself had another term for it. In an insertion to the original manuscript, squeezed between two lines, the author left his own description of what he had written: “Very space opera.”

December 28, 2016
[space] The Wold Newton Meteorite … the history behind a meteorite that crashed into Yorkshire in 1759 and later fell into fiction … ‘In addition to almost killing a farm labourer and kickstarting the modern scientific study of meteorites, the “EXTRAORDINARY STONE” which fell to Earth two centuries ago was also the catalyst for some of the most inventive and influential crossover fiction of the twentieth century. If you’re are a fan of Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula novels, Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, or even Bryan Talbot’s Grandville, or Showtime’s Penny Dreadful then you have the Wold Newton Meteorite to thank. All these worlds filled with characters from different novels, films, and TV series owe a huge debt (acknowledged by both Newman and Moore, I might add) to the writing of Philip Jose Farmer…’
December 12, 2016
[people] Lessons from My Father … Powerful piece of writing from Joe McGinniss, Jr. on the downfall of his father‘The subject of his book “Fatal Vision,” the convicted murderer Jeffrey MacDonald, upset that the book portrayed him as guilty of the crime, sued my father for fraud. The contract for the book granted my father the freedom to tell the story as he saw fit, but the jury deadlocked anyway, and a mistrial was declared; the case was settled out of court a few years later. A few years after that, a famous piece in The New Yorker, “The Journalist and the Murderer,” by Janet Malcolm, took the case as emblematic of the moral compromises made by writers. Few in the publishing world came to my father’s defense. His reputation was in tatters, and he wondered aloud whether he’d ever write another book. If he’d ever crawl out of the dark black pit of depression. If he’d see fifty-five, sixty? His freezer was filled with bottles of gin and vodka. He’d pour drinks and stir them with an index finger, suck it dry. Have a bottle of wine at dinner, a second. Then he’d call. If I answered, it was to listen, and I knew before he completed his first sentence.’
December 7, 2016
[mystery] The Unsolvable Mysteries of the Voynich Manuscript … decoding the hidden meaning of a famous coded medieval manuscript‘Readers will probably never stop forming communities based on the manuscript’s secrets. Humans are fond of weaving narratives like doilies around gaping holes, so that the holes won’t scare them. And objects from premodern history—like medieval manuscripts—are the perfect canvas on which to project our worries about the difficult and the frightening and the arcane, because these objects come from a time outside culture as we conceive of it. This single, original manuscript encourages us to sit with the concept of truth and to remember that there are ineluctable mysteries at the bottom of things whose meanings we will never know.’
November 14, 2016
[comics] Midlands metaphysics … The Financial Times reviews Alan Moore’s Jerusalem … ‘Unquestionably Jerusalem is Moore’s most ambitious statement yet — his War and Peace, his Ulysses. The prose scintillates throughout, a traffic jam of hooting dialect and vernacular trundling nose-to-tail with pantechnicons of pop culture allusion. Exploring a single town’s psychogeography with a passionate forensic intensity, Moore makes the parochial universal, the mundane sublime and the temporal never-ending.’
November 1, 2016
[moore] A Working Class Mythology: Alan Moore's Jerusalem Reviewed‘Actually, I think there’s every chance that for future generations Moore will be remembered primarily as the author of Jerusalem; as a genuine working-class genius and world-class writer who just happened to get his start in comics because there were no other avenues open to him.’
September 23, 2016
[moore] If you read only one Alan Moore Jerusalem interview, make it this one … extensive must-read profile/interview with Moore on Jerusalem and Northampton …

It’s a strange experience, walking the streets with this bearded compendium of knowledge. Every corner provokes a reminiscence, such as the graffiti which he recognises as the work of Bill Drummond of art-pop group the KLF, who came round to his house to show him the film of them burning a million pounds. Do they regret it now, I ask?

“It’s not so much that they regret it, but I think it haunts them. I heard a brilliant definition of haunting: ‘That which haunts us is that which we do not or do not completely understand.’ And I thought, that makes sense. Often we don’t understand our own actions. And certainly, if we’d gone to the Isle of Jura and burned a million quid, we would have a lot of questions!”

September 1, 2016
[moore] Alan Moore and literature’s fascination with the fourth dimension … a look at Alan Moore’s conception of time in Jerusalem and earlier comics … ‘In Jerusalem, Moore makes these mysterious topographies known. Here, the fourth dimension is both temporal and spatial—as much a way of seeing as a thing unseen. Moore’s fourth dimension is both conceptual (i.e., a collapse of temporal moments, like Vonnegut’s “beads on a string” or Dr. Manhattan’s “intricately structured jewel”) as well as a material plane, called Mansoul, invisible to the naked eye, home to all manner of mystical and supernatural creatures. It’s very much the stuff of escapist high fantasy, like a 4-D Narnia. The extra-dimensional level of Jerusalem is place of “twisting crystals” and “ghost-seams” and afterlife academies, where characters use the made-up word “wiz” as linguistic copula that refers to something happening across the caved-in tenses of past, present and future. Back on the solid, three-dimensional footing of Earth, an eccentric artist called Alma Warren attempts to represent this mystical, magical realm, informed by recollections from her brother, who was transported there as a child.’
July 26, 2016
[moore] Creating Jerusalem: Alan Moore on the most important book he has written … Moore interviewed about his new novel called Jerusalem… ‘When we talk about history we talk about the history of church of state and maybe a dozen families. What about the rest of us? Weren’t we doing anything while all that was going on, or were we minor players in their drama? This is insisting that everybody has their own drama and mythology and story, and it is also insisting that if eternalism is a real thing that changes everything. It makes everywhere the eternal city, it makes everywhere Jerusalem and perhaps particularly the poorest meanest basest places.’
June 9, 2016
[books] Real Book Thieves: Most Commonly Stolen Books… from Libraries and Book Stores … ‘Graphic Novels. The majority of book thieves are young, white males, and this is what they read.’ [via Kottke]
May 19, 2016
[books] H. P. Lovecraft in 1919 … What was H. P. Lovecraft up to in 1919? … ‘Much of what we know of Lovecraft for this year comes from his amateur publications and his few surviving letters—only a handful have survived from this period—but it was a quietly formative year in his life. The discovery of Lord Dunsany gave shape to his experiments in fiction, and he began to find his own voice and preferred style, while the hospitalization of his mother gave him an unexpected freedom, living alone for the first time.’
May 17, 2016
[comics] Philip Pullman: Why I love comics‘Their importance for children should not be underestimated. Pullman recalls visiting a school in Swindon in the early 1990s and noticing a copy of Watchmen, the now iconic comic-book series deconstructing the superhero genre, that was created by British writer Alan Moore, sticking out of a boy’s schoolbag. “I said to the boy: ‘So you’re reading Watchmen,’ and he said yeah, in the tone of ‘another adult’s going to patronise me’. Then we had a discussion that was analogous to literary discussion. Children take to comics naturally and are able to talk about them with great freedom and knowledge.” Did he let his two sons, both grown up, read comics? “I was shoving them into their hands!” He remembers in particular Judge Dredd.’
April 5, 2016
[books] In Hindsight, an ‘American Psycho’ Looks a Lot Like Us … one more look back at American Psycho … ‘With time, the book itself has picked up a good deal of grudging respect, too. It’s seen as a transgressive bag of broken glass that can be talked about alongside plasma-soaked trips like Anthony Burgess’s “A Clockwork Orange” (1962) and Cormac McCarthy’s “Blood Meridian” (1985), even if relatively few suggest Mr. Ellis is in those novelists’ league. I read “American Psycho” for the first time recently, and this is certain: This novel was ahead of its time. The culture has shifted to make room for Bateman…’
March 25, 2016
[books] Swansea Oxfam charity shop asks women not to return used Fifty Shades of Grey‘An Oxfam bookshop in Swansea is inundated with so many copies of the erotic novel – ‘literally hundreds’ – that they’ve started begging women to stop bringing them in. The shop now has so many copies of the book, they’ve built a fort out of them.’
March 22, 2016
[books] Some Kind Of Abstraction: Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho 25 Years On … Another look at American Psycho‘We’re a world away from the wry, toothless, plot-driven 80s satires of Tom Wolfe or Martin Amis here. In American Psycho we’re shown a tiny social circle in its antiseptic habitat. Not much of note happens outside of Bateman’s uncorroborated excesses. But refracted through his inner world, and thanks to Ellis’ gift for, well, writing, the tour we take is tense, energetic and – surprisingly, given what we’re shown – emotionally resonant.’
March 18, 2016
[people] When Benny Hill met Anthony Burgess… Craig Brown remembers the odd meeting between the writer and comedian … ‘The two men met for the first time shortly after the review appeared. I was lucky enough to be present at this bizarre meeting. Both of them were remarkably like they were on television. Hill arrived first, as perky as can be, apparently over the moon at having been driven by a female taxi driver (“Oooh, I said, you can take me anywhere, my love!”). Burgess – histrionic, loquacious, with deep voice and furrowed brow, putting the emphasis on unexpected words – behaved just like a slightly hammy actor playing the part of Anthony Burgess. The two of them were full of mutual admiration, but never quite found common ground. All in all, it followed a similar pattern to T S Eliot’s meeting with Groucho Marx: the author wanted to show off his knowledge of comedians, while the comedian wanted to show off his knowledge of authors. By the end of the dinner it seemed to me unlikely they would ever meet again, and, as far as I know, they did not.’ [thanks Phil]
March 15, 2016
[books] American Psycho Author Bret Easton Ellis Tells Us Where Patrick Bateman Would Be Today‘There was the possibility to hide during Patrick’s ’80s reign that there simply isn’t now; we live in a fully exhibitionistic culture. Because he wasn’t a character to me as much as an emblem, an idea, I would probably approach him the same way now and address his greatest fear: Would anyone be paying any attention to him? One of the things that upsets Patrick is that, because of a kind of corporate lifestyle conformity, no one can really tell the other people apart (and what difference does it make, the novel asks). People are so lost in their narcissism that they are unable to distinguish one individual from another (this is why Patrick gets away with his crimes), which ties into how few things have really changed in American life since the late ’80s; they’ve just become more exaggerated and accepted. The idea of Patrick’s obsession with himself, with his likes and dislikes and his detailing—curating—everything he owns, wears, eats, and watches, has certainly reached a new apotheosis.’
January 12, 2016
[facts] The Best Facts I Learned from Books in 2015‘Speaking of preachers, the word “poltergeist” was coined by Martin Luther. (From Philip Ball’s “Invisible: The Dangerous Allure of the Unseen.”) Thirteen years after he posted his famous ninety-five theses on the doors of a church in Wittenberg, Martin Luther wrote a pamphlet listing a hundred and fourteen grievances against the Catholic Church. The fifth item—following close on the heels of indulgences—was just one word long: “poltergeists.” (He objected to the way the Church used ghost stories to frighten congregants into holding multiple masses for the dead, supposedly to quiet their souls.)’
January 7, 2016
[truecrime] Serial thrillers: why true crime is popular culture’s most wanted … a look at the rise of True Crime … ‘Even now, true crime magazines tend to be displayed by newsagents closer to porn titles than the Economist. In publishing, a market leader is John Blake Books – a firm whose lists are unlikely to come under scrutiny by judges of the Man Booker prize. Currently touted Blake titles include Doctors Who Kill and The Yorkshire Ripper: The Secret Murders. But an almost universal fascination with the extremities of human behaviour means the loftier parts of the arts also push through the police tape at crime scenes. In the 1930s, the New Yorker, the most literarily pristine of American magazines, began to profile killers of the sort that obsessed pulpier rivals. Next month marks the 50th anniversary of Truman Capote’s book In Cold Blood, which investigated, in a manner that has clearly influenced Serial, a mass killing in Kansas.’
January 5, 2016
[books] William Gibson on the Individual: ‘We do tend to have this unexamined assumption that the individual is a huge fucking deal. Because it feels to use that we are. Because our neurological equipment seems to demonstrate to each of us that we are quite obviously the exact center of the universe. Just as we are all, subjectively, politically quite sensibly centrist. The key to racism is that racists literally don’t know they are. They think it’s a specious category invented to shame them for simply being sensible.’
December 18, 2015
[books] Tell me about your favorite nonfiction ‘mysteries’! … Some of Ask Metafilter’s favourite non-fiction mystery books … ‘Nonfiction books I’ve read that scratch the “mystery” itch include The Cuckoo’s Egg (computer programmer tracking down a hacker), All the President’s Men (needs no introduction), and Black Mass (Boston reporters on the trail of Whitey Bulger). I’m looking for more like these — well-written, smartly paced accounts of intrepid investigators getting to the bottom of some convoluted problem…’
December 9, 2015
[comics] Ian Rankin’s Favourite Comics‘Elektra Assassin – Miller again but this time with jaw-dropping art by Bill Sienkiwicz. Even when the story seemed to make no sense to me, I could just stare at those pages, bathing in their use of colour, the psychedelia of it all. Great comics stimulate the eye and engage the brain. That’s why I love them.’
November 9, 2015
[books] The flyaway success of the Ladybird art prank … the story behind the spoof Ladybird book We Go to the Gallery‘The artwork for the original Peter and Jane series was produced by collaging photographs and overlaying them with a watercolour wash. So Elia needed child models to remake hers. Her search for “the right sort of children” took her to a modelling agency in Yorkshire because “London children just didn’t look right”. She sourced period clothes from a costumier friend who worked on the recent Kray twins film Legend, making pictures that replicated the look – “red lipstick for Mummy is important” – while creating something subtly different.’
October 21, 2015
[tv] A Young Hunter S. Thompson Appears on the Classic TV Game Show, To Tell the Truth (1967)

October 20, 2015
[books] ‘This Goes All the Way to the Queen’: The Puzzle Book that Drove England to Madness … a look back Kit Williams’ Masquerade and how the book and treasure hunt caused a huge outbreak of apophenia‘Masquerade sold two million copies in the first few years, and readers went mad—sometimes literally—trying to suss out the location of the golden hare. Based on hunches, resonances, illusory references, coincidental results from imagined codes, and genuine mistakes, “Masqueraders” dug up acres of countryside, traveled hundreds of thousands of miles, wrote tens of thousands of letters to Williams, and occasionally got stuck halfway up cliffs or were apprehended by police while trespassing on historic properties. Masquerade’s simple, elegant puzzle was couched in a lush landscape of visual symbolism and wordplay, and as it turns out, there’s no better way to distract people from a genuine plan than by concealing it inside a bunch of random noise. Given enough unrelated, unnecessary information, human brains will construct the decoy patterns all by themselves.’
September 7, 2015
[funny] Errors Commonly Made by Inexperienced Murder-Mystery Novelists … by Tom Gauld

Errors Commonly Made by Inexperienced Murder-Mystery Novelists

September 1, 2015
[books] Can a Novelist Be Too Productive? … Stephen King discusses prolific and unprolific writers … ‘As a young man, my head was like a crowded movie theater where someone has just yelled “Fire!” and everyone scrambles for the exits at once. I had a thousand ideas but only 10 fingers and one typewriter. There were days — I’m not kidding about this, or exaggerating — when I thought all the clamoring voices in my mind would drive me insane. Back then, in my 20s and early 30s, I thought often of the John Keats poem that begins, “When I have fears that I may cease to be / Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain …” I imagine it was that way with Frederick Schiller Faust, better known as Max Brand (and best known as the creator of Dr. Kildare). He wrote at least 450 novels, a feat rendered more remarkable by his ill health and premature death at the age of 51. Alexandre Dumas wrote “The Count of Monte Cristo” and “The Three Musketeers” — and some 250 other novels. And there’s Isaac Asimov, who sold his first short story at 19, hammered out more than 500 books, and revolutionized science fiction.’
August 12, 2015
[books] Necronomicon for Children – a lesser known work of Abdul Alhazred …

Necronomicon for Children

July 31, 2015
[stories] Neil Gaiman on How Stories Last … edited transcripts of a Neil Gaiman talk on stories. The full version can be found here‘We will do an awful lot for stories — we will endure an awful lot for stories. And stories, in their turn — like some kind of symbiote — help us endure and make sense of our lives. A lot of stories do appear to begin as intrinsic to religions and belief systems — a lot of the ones we have have gods or goddesses in them; they teach us how the world exists; they teach us the rules of living in the world. But they also have to come in an attractive enough package that we take pleasure from them and we want to help them propagate.’
June 23, 2015
[books] Grey by EL James … a digested read from John Grace‘I instruct her in the basic rules of our relationship. I will buy her a laptop, a BlackBerry and a new car and in return she will sign a contract promising to allow me to abuse her in whatever way I want. She has two days to consider my proposal. The two days pass in agony as my enormous cock waits for its answer. Even when I am donating billions of dollars to charitable causes in Darfur, I can barely concentrate. I have to have her. She is the ONE. My enormous cock concurs.’
May 18, 2015
[books] Favourite shelf of my fictional book collection…

Garth Marenghi Bookshelf

May 13, 2015
[herzog] Werner Herzog’s memoir Of Walking in Ice, reviewed … a book about that time Werner Herzog walked from Munich to Paris to visit a friend’s deathbed …

The voice too is the one we know so well from the films and summons the familiar face: lugubrious, disheveled, and beetle-browed, perennially squinting as though against the blinding light of the universe’s final catastrophe. No detail is too small to depress him: “The teenagers on their mopeds are moving toward death in synchronized motion,” he glumly writes. “I think of unharvested turnips but, by God, there are no unharvested turnips around.”

March 12, 2015
[books] The Poke updates Ladybird Books for a new generation

Offending Internet People

February 26, 2015
[hst] Hunter S. Thompson, Existentialist Life Coach, Gives Tips for Finding Meaning in Life‘Let’s assume that you think you have a choice of eight paths to follow (all pre-defined paths, of course). And let’s assume that you can’t see any real purpose in any of the eight. THEN— and here is the essence of all I’ve said— you MUST FIND A NINTH PATH. Naturally, it isn’t as easy as it sounds…’
February 24, 2015
[books] Our Dear, Departed Books… By Tom Gauld.

Our Dear Departed Books

February 20, 2015
[books] Non-Fiction Books Everyone Should Read Infographic … from David McCandless’ Knowledge is Beautiful

Non-Fiction Books Everyone Should Read

January 31, 2015
[books] Charts and Diagrams Drawn by Famous Authors … fascinating collection of diagrams authors have used to plan their work … ‘Writers often use plot charts to organize the threads of complicated stories, but they’ve also been known to crank out diagrams of the travels of other people’s characters, chart-style teaching tools, and even hand-drawn maps.’
January 25, 2015
[lovecraft] HP Lovecraft’s ‘The Colour Out of Space … a look at how H.P. Lovecraft foresaw the future in one of his short stories …‘Lovecraft’s creature is a symbol of something that, at the time he wrote, was just coming into being. The prophecy develops through a number of rifts in the text, some of which align the extraterrestrial entity with technical innovations still nascent at the time the novella was written. For one we learn that the meteorite fell in 1882, which happens to be the year Thomas Edison switched on the world’s first commercial power station in New York City. Furthermore the scientists who study the meteorite discover that its chemical composition bears an affinity with silicon, a metalloid that, unbeknownst to Lovecraft, would enable the development of the semiconductor, without which there would be no digital age. Finally, the effect of the preternatural color on plants and wildlife is eerily prescient of radiation sickness—the radioactivity of electronic devices being common knowledge now. Through these and other elements, the story connects the advent of alien light and color to wider technological processes that have transformed the landscape.’

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