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29 February 2024
[books] Today, I learned… Apparently the Brontës all died so early because they spent their lives drinking graveyard water. ‘…There was the graveyard—which sat on a hill, right in front of the parsonage where the Brontës lived—which Babbage found to be overstuffed, badly laid out, and poorly oxygenated, so much so that the decomposing material from the graves had filtered into the town’s water supply. The long-term exposure to harmful bacteria would have made the Brontës weaker, shorter, and more susceptible to other diseases.’
21 February 2024
[comics] Moon and Serpent Rising… John Couthart delivers some insider information on the long-awaited The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic written by Alan and Steve Moore. ‘The Bumper Book may superficially resemble a children’s annual but this isn’t a book for children. The essays include discussion of the use of drugs and sex in magic, and there’s a lot of nudity (also a fair amount of sex) in the illustrations. The book is a serious study, but not, I hope, a boring one. Several of the features are presented in comic form, with eight of the pages being among the last works of the late Kevin O’Neill. Ben Wickey has done a fantastic job for the fifty pages of Old Moores’ Lives of the Great Enchanters which runs throughout the book and covers the entire history of Western magical thought from the Stone Age to the present day.’
22 January 2024
[scifi] All the Types of Science Fiction … Amusing list categorising science-fiction. ’22. The franchise equivalent of findom.’
11 January 2024
[books] Neonomicon – Moore, Alan, & Jacen Burrows – 2011 … And people say I’m hard to shop for… 😂 ‘£1,750.00’
2 January 2024
[comics] Wyrd Britain: Moorcock and Moore in conversation‘This video shows Michael Moorcock and Alan Moore engaged in a wide and free roaming conversation about Moorcock’s life and work that takes in his post-war childhood, his editorship of ‘New Worlds’, modernism and the modern author, Jerry Cornelius, being left wing in Texas and of course, due to the occasion, Colonel Pyat and the holocaust.’
6 December 2023
[books] Remembering Iain Banks: a prolific, terrific talent … A look at the legacy of Iain Banks. ‘Ten long years without a new book from him seems illogical, bizarre. After his rug-pulling debut The Wasp Factory brought him early notoriety in 1984, Banks averaged roughly a novel a year for almost three decades. Though he clearly relished switching up his approach to genre, consistent elements of his often swashbuckling style – notably caustic wit, a weakness for wordplay and unwavering socialist politics – made the annual ritual of catching up with the new Banks feel like an ongoing conversation. I miss it. I miss him.’
23 November 2023
[books] The Composites … A Tumblr page that showcases composite sketches of literary characters created using law enforcement software. Below is Annie Wilkes, from Stephen King’s book Misery.

Annie Wilkes Composite

13 November 2023
[lovecraft] Phoning It In: 4 Times H.P. Lovecraft Tried To Describe An Unspeakable Cosmic Horror But Basically Just Described A Goose‘It walked upright like a man, yet it was clearly a beast. The thing’s leathery feet did not have the normal five toes that we humans have. It had FEWER than that. It had THREE toes. And yet, I hesitate to even call them ‘toes,’ for each digit was connected to each other by some sort of skin-like film. It was like some perverse spider had spun webs between each toe for some inscrutable reason known only to the mad gods that dream their furious dreams on the remotest fringes of forgotten galaxies.’
9 November 2023
[funny] Antidepressants or Tolkien … Can you guess if a word is an antidepressant drug or a Tolkien character? [via jwz]
31 October 2023
[moore] Recent two-part Alan Moore interview done after the release of his paperback lluminations…

Interviewing Watchmen co-creator Alan Moore: “It’s one thing to quit comics, a different thing to stop thinking about them”

“The Superhero Dream Is Essentially Fascism”: Alan Moore Eviscerates Superheroes & Fixes Pop Culture in In-Depth Interview (Part 2)

“The comics medium is perfect. It is sublime. The comics industry is a dysfunctional hellhole. So why did I want to return to it in this story? Like you say, it’s exorcism. As one of the characters finds in ‘Thunderman’ it’s one thing to quit comics, but quitting comics is a different thing to being able to stop thinking about them. Writing this got an awful lot out of my system. It said a lot of the things that I’d always wanted to say but I’d never really had the right context to say them in.”

3 October 2023
[lovecraft] McCallum reads Lovecraft … Three albums of David McCallum reading H.P. Lovecraft stories recorded in the 1970s. ‘As a reading it’s pretty good, slightly edited but with the novelty of allowing you to hear McCallum recite the famous “As a foulness shall ye know them” passage from the Necronomicon. These commissions no doubt came about simply because McCallum was available but his Lovecraft recordings gain a deeper resonance in the light of his later exploits with Joanna Lumley in the haunted corridors of Time. Some of the malign forces that Sapphire and Steel face aren’t so distant from Lovecraft’s interdimensional “Old Ones”…’
29 September 2023
[truecrime] A Postmodern Murder Mystery … A great true-crime story from Poland with a useful rule-of-thumb: If you commit murder don’t write a book about it. ‘He made note of the fact that the narrator murders a female lover for no reason (“What had come over me? What the hell did I do?”) and conceals the act so well that he is never caught. Wroblewski was struck, in particular, by the killer’s method: “I tightened the noose around her neck.” Wroblewski then noticed something else: the killer’s name is Chris, the English version of the author’s first name. It was also the name that Krystian Bala had posted on the Internet auction site. Wroblewski began to read the book more closely—a hardened cop turned literary detective.’
22 August 2023
[moore] An Interview With Alan Moore … an hour-long interview with Alan discussing Northampton with some talk of comics towards the end.
16 August 2023
[web] Anna’s Archive … A search engine for huge semi-hidden collections of books and written material on the internet. ‘📚 The world’s largest open-source open-data library. ⭐️ Mirrors Sci-Hub, Library Genesis, Z-Library, and more. 📈 21,278,536 books, 86,614,441 papers, 2,451,043 comics, 508,999 magazines — preserved forever.’
17 July 2023
[funny] “I’m just a Poe Boy…”

13 July 2023
[alan] Alan Moore’s Fortean Times Reviews from 1994 to 1997 … A nicely scanned collection of book reviews from Alan published in the 1990s.
5 July 2023
[books] The Only Good Culture War…

3 July 2023
[books] Where to start with: Iain Banks … A beginners guide to the novels of Iain Banks. ‘The one to drop into conversations about AI – All Banks’s Culture novels feature Minds, hyperintelligent mirror-surfaced ellipsoids that run starships and other large engineering structures. But in Excession, the Minds become the primary protagonists, as they debate what to do about the titular phenomenon – an inscrutable alien artefact that seems to be older than the universe itself – and about a barbarous competing civilisation that glories in the name “the Affront”. As Minds are persons, they are not obliged to be open and honest with one another or anyone else, and some conspire to allow “gigadeathcrimes” on utilitarian principles, rather like crazed effective altruists.’
22 June 2023
[fiction] Fictional Brands Archive… A collection of fictional brands created for films, TV and video games. ‘NERV (German for “nerve”) is a special organization that was put together to combat the Angels after the Second Impact and is the organization responsible for the creation of the Evangelions. NERV is an international organization with their center of operation located in the city of Tokyo-3, Japan. More specifically, they run the majority of their research and operations out of NERV Headquarters, a large facility located in the GeoFront.’NERV
21 November 2022
[moore] Fantasy Must Be Sharper: An Interview With Alan Moore ‘Davey Jones is a genius. I’ve only ever had brief contact with him, back in the 80s when he was working with an anarchist concern called, I think, Blast and I was briefly in touch with them and then I noticed his work coming out in Viz where he’s the author of so many of my favourite strips. I’m genuinely impressed that there’s such an incredible standard of craftsmanship throughout Viz, blinding cartoonists, writers, and creators on that book. I must admit that the only problem I have with Jones’ work — and it’s not any fault of his, it’s purely me — it’s Tin Ribs; the ghastly physical torture that is visited on Mr Snodgrass. Every issue he’s having slices of his skin ripped off [laughs] it’s a bit rich even for my blood!’
11 August 2022
[lovecraft] H.P Lovecraft’s very bizarre hatred of Red Hook and Brooklyn Heights … TL;DR – Lovecraft was racist. ‘He seemed to filter all his untethered anxiety into the very building at 169 Clinton Street. “I conceived the idea that the great brownstone house was a malignly sentient thing — a dead, vampire creature which sucked something out of those within it and implanted in them the seeds of some horrible and immaterial psychic growth.” Yet Lovecraft saved his greater fantasies for the neighborhood south of here. He eventually funneled all this tortured and deranged hysteria into his horror writing with the publication of “The Horror at Red Hook,” a story that literally depicts the neighborhood as a gateway to Hell.’
7 July 2022
[books] Eric Clapton’s Bookshelf … An amusing forensic examination of Clapton’s bookshelves and what they say about his character.

4 July 2022
[books] Holmes’ sweet home … A literary search for the real 221B Baker Street. ‘Where Holmes and Watson lived was surely in the midst of the grime and bustle of late Victorian London, much closer to Oxford Street. And so it proves. Baker Street in the 1890’s was much shorter than its modern version, and ran south from the junction with Paddington St. The modern section north from Paddington Street to the Marylebone Road was then named York Place. So “221B” – one should discount the actual number, however resonant it has become – was situated on Baker Street somewhere between Paddington Street and Portman Square. The evidence for its whereabouts is secreted in one of the best Holmes short stories…’
27 June 2022
[books] AIs named by AIs … How good is an AI at naming Iain M. Banks Culture Ships? … ‘Absently Tilting To One Side. ASS FEDERATION. A Small Note Of Disrespect. Third Letter of The Week. Well Done and Thank You. Just As Bad As Your Florist. What Exactly Is It With You? Let Me Just Post This. Protip: Don’t Ask’
25 May 2022
[media] Pop Culture Has Become an Oligopoly‘So why might people be more open to experiencing the same thing over and over again? As options multiply, choosing gets harder. You can’t possibly evaluate everything, so you start relying on cues like “this movie has Tom Hanks in it” or “I liked Red Dead Redemption, so I’ll probably like Red Dead Redemption II,” which makes you less and less likely to pick something unfamiliar.’
17 May 2022
[covid] Michael Lewis: ‘We were incentivised to have a bad pandemic response’ … An update with Michael Lewis from last year about his latest book on Covid-19. ‘Each December, Dean would write her new year resolutions on the back of a photograph of her grandmother. On 20 December 2019, she wrote down two things. “1) Stay sober. 2) It has started.” She had a kind of sixth sense that the viral pandemic she had long been expecting had begun. By coincidence, and rather oddly, at about the same time, Lewis put forward the idea, in a conversation with the Observer, that the only thing that could wake America up to Donald Trump’s governmental negligence was a pandemic. He now plays down his clairvoyance, explaining that he gave that example simply because it was a situation that would affect everybody. “Rich white people would be scared too,” he says. In the event, many Americans followed Trump’s lead in denying the danger of Covid-19 and the virus has remained a highly divisive and contested subject. “If it had killed twice as many people and killed kids,” says Lewis, “you wouldn’t be seeing these revolts in Oklahoma. You’d be seeing the New Deal.”’
8 April 2022
[books] He Was an Ex-FBI Serial Killer Profiler. Then His Lies Caught Up With Him. … Another story (Previously) of a fraudulent serial killer expert this time based in the UK. ‘The relationship between Harrison’s falsehoods and the apparent obliviousness of his audiences and publishers raised a number of still unanswered questions. Why had no one before Robin Perrie bothered to check the claims in such a colourful CV? And what does this web of strange deceit say about the nature of true crime fandom and the cottage industry surrounding it?’
7 April 2022
[books] The novelist who wrote “How to Murder Your Husband” is now on trial for murdering her husband.‘A few years after Nancy Crampton Brophy—a self-published romance novelist—wrote an essay called “How to Murder Your Husband,” her husband was found shot to death in his classroom at the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland. While that essay might have been a little bit of a red flag to investigators, the trial judge has deemed it inadmissible as evidence on the grounds it might prove prejudicial (you think?).’
5 April 2022
[books] What if H.P Lovecraft wrote the Mr Men & Little Miss Children’s Books?

4 April 2022
[podcasts] Alan Moore and Brian Catling Discuss The Power of Imagination … A fascinating podcast hosted by Robin Ince.
30 March 2022
[crime] Charles Graeber’s top 10 true crime books‘Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders, by Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry — You can’t deny the all-time bestseller of the genre, or the detail-driven dive into the world of Charles Manson and his addled cult known as “the family”, written by a prosecutor of the Tate-LaBianca murders with access to all the grim details, partnered with a solid historical writer in Gentry.’
11 January 2022
[books] Infographic of Words Invented or Coined by Shakespeare … Shakespeare invented the word fap? Really?

Partial Infographic of Words Shakespeare Invented

2 December 2021
[books] The Origins of Raoul Duke… How Hunter S. Thompson created his alter-ego. ‘Although Duke played no real part in this breakthrough book about the infamous motorcycle gang, his name was casually included in a list of outlaws near the end. Readers at the time must have been baffled, as this was the first time Thompson had ever used that name. However, it was not the first time that the words “Raoul Duke” had appeared next to each other in print. The improbable appellation had popped up in a series of articles in December 1965—a month when Thompson was furiously scouring newspapers from across North America in search of material for his book, which he considered a meditation on the media as much as the biker gang. In the midst of his press binge, he more than likely stumbled upon a series of stories about an unassuming businessman from Calgary by the name of Raoul “Duke” Duquette…’
30 November 2021
[comics] Neil Gaiman on Desert Island Discs … On Books: ‘My dad, always my dad… would literally pat me down because I had been known to hide books under my jumper and he would lock them in the car. And it never really worked, because wherever we were, I could normally find something to read. It just wouldn’t have been what I wanted to read, but suddenly… I’d be off in the corner reading The Joys of Yiddish by Leo Rosten or something, because it was the book that I found.’
22 November 2021
[books] Why Stephen King keeps coming back … A look at the longevity of Stephen King. ‘Even though I’ve been thinking about him and reading him for years, it wasn’t until a couple weeks ago, reading the 2003 foreword to The Drawing of the Three, the second book in his Dark Tower fantasy epic, that I think I finally got Stephen King. There, King writes about what led him to create the series, which at that point was five books in, and would rapidly conclude with two more a year later. He’s trying to figure out why he wanted to write these books. He chalks it up to the American in him: the urge to “build the tallest, dig the deepest, write the longest.” This, I think, is King’s lasting influence, and why generation after generation comes back to him. It’s his Americanness — not the lived reality of America, which many have claimed is what perennially draws people to his work, but its fiction, made flesh.’
9 November 2021
[books] On the Trail of a Mysterious, Pseudonymous Author … The fascinating story of a piecemeal novel sent in the post by an unknown author. ‘Why not get it published? Why send it to a seemingly random and relatively small group of recipients? (Prickett has sent copies to five or six hundred people.) “The worst thing about writing,” he told me, “is how long you spend working on something before you get to show it to people. It’s a very lonely way to work. You spend three or four years on a book and then it takes months to find an agent, months for the agent to find a publisher, and then it’s another year or more before the book comes out . . . The literary industry is just not much fun.”’
28 October 2021
[books] How to Get Your Mind Blown by H.P. Lovecraft and Alan Moore in 7 Epic Steps‘If you get this far and you still haven’t had enough, go even deeper down the rabbit hole. (This is where I’m currently at) Read S.T. Joshi’s biography of Lovecraft, I Am Providence. It’s over 1600 pages long. It’s IN-DEPTH. Realize that you didn’t actually know anything about the life and works of Lovecraft. Read each Lovecraft story again as you go through the biography and now you will understand the context of each story as you fully digest them. Then read the Moore books again. Get lost in the abyss. It was never a rabbit hole, it was a portal through time and space where your mind and reality melt and warp.’
4 October 2021
[books] The deep state… they thought the could get away with it. But they never prepared for the…

Boomer with a Computer

27 September 2021
[moore] How Alan Moore ripped James Bond to shreds … A deep dive into Alan Moore’s loathing for James Bond. ‘I admire how completely Moore vivisects the iconography of 007. The Craig films tend to get discussed as darker or more humane variations on the James Bond theme, but he’s still a guy who saves the world, leaving a trail of weird foreigners and attractive corpses behind him. I’ve noticed a general growing tendency in film criticism to give every reboot several benefits of doubt, with a baked-in assumption that any three-decade-later legacy sequel or recast reboot is obviously expressing something thoughtful about a franchise’s troubled legacy. With Jimmy, Moore seems to say: Cut the crap. This stuff is rotten, and making it look young and cool again won’t make it any less rotten.’
28 June 2021
[moore] The Craft: An Interview with Alan Moore by Daniel Whiston … Long interview on writing, comics, magic and much more from 2008. ‘There does come this point when characters start talking to you. They’ll start telling you what they want to do, you’ll know what they would say and what they wouldn’t say. I mean when I started writing Watchmen , I’d got no idea that Rorschach was gonna be dead by the end of it, it was just by about issue three I started to know the character and I thought: “he’s got a death wish”… he’s so self-destructive, he’s clearly… he wants out. There’s no way that he’s gonna live through this, he wouldn’t be able to live with any sort of moral compromises, so he’ll have to die. But it was the character himself who told me that, after two or three issues. I’d got no idea when I started it.’
22 June 2021
[books] Douglas Coupland on Generation X at 30: ‘Generational trashing is eternal’‘This discussion of brains and generations is important because around 2010 my own brain started feeling truly different. I realised that I was never going to go back to my old, pre-internet brain: I’d been completely rewired. Ten years later I don’t even remember what my pre-internet brain felt like. I find comfort in the fact that brains all over the planet have been rewired similarly to mine. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that our species has never been as neurally homogenised as it is now.’
21 June 2021
[people] Be Glad You’re Neurotic Contents … Amusing book contents spotted via Twitter. ‘Your Compulsions Are Calls For Help’

17 June 2021
[politics] Vladimir Putin’s most unforgettable quotes. … Vladimir Putin used a Tolstoy quote after meeting Joe Biden yesterday: ‘At the press conference after the meeting, a journalist asked Putin whether the summit had helped build trust between the two men. In response, he turned mysterious. Putin quoted Russian writer Leo Tolstoy: “There’s no happiness in life, only a mirage of it on the horizon.” Putin clarified that there is no “family trust” between Biden and him, but he has seen the “mirage” of it.’
15 June 2021
[gonzo] The Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Board Game, Inspired by Hunter S. Thompson’s Rollicking Novel … An amusing art project / board game that should come with a health warning. ‘Baldwin’s game is not to be taken seriously…or taken orally. It’s actually a one-of-its-kind piece of art that can be purchased for $3,500. Drugs, like batteries, are not included. You must supply your own, possibly through your attorney.’

Hunter's Case

14 June 2021
[books] Review: Malcolm Gladwell’s New Book Is a Fantasy of War From the Air … A scathing review of Gladwell’s book The Bomber Mafia. ‘The Bomber Mafia is adapted from an audiobook, which means that what sounds conversational and engaging on tape can sound garrulous on the page, but it also allows Gladwell to telegraph his breathless fascination with these men. “I worry that I haven’t fully explained just how radical—how revolutionary—the Bomber Mafia thinking was,” he says at one point, before launching on a long digression about chapel architecture.’
14 May 2021
[books] Today I Learned: The 422 Words That Shakespeare Invented‘Compiling a definitive list of every word that Shakespeare ever invented is impossible. But creating a list of the words that Shakespeare almost certainly invented can be done. We generated list of words below by starting with the words that Shakespeare was the first to use in written language, and then applying research that has identified which words were probably in everyday use during Shakespeare’s time. The result are 422 bona fide words minted, coined, and invented by Shakespeare, from “academe” to “zany”…’
4 May 2021
[books] ‘I’m bursting with fiction’: Alan Moore announces five-volume fantasy epic … Alan Moore comments on his new series of books. ‘Speaking about his book deal, Moore said that he was at a moment in his career when he was “bursting with fiction, bursting with prose”.’
29 April 2021
[books] Illuminations, Long London 1: books are coming… More details revealed about Alan Moore’s new books to be published by Bloomsbury. ‘Illuminations is an astonishing, rich and broad collection of short stories, each featuring some kind of illumination or realization. From ghosts and otherworldly creatures to the four horsemen of the apocalypse to the Boltzmann brains fashioning the universe at the big bang, Alan Moore’s Illuminations is a series of beguiling and elegantly crafted tales that reveal the full power of imagination and magic.’
28 April 2021
[books] Literary Critics Praise Unpublished Salinger Novels As Good, But Not ‘Go Out And Shoot A Celebrity’ Good‘Unfortunately, would-be assassins will likely find that the novel’s tendency towards the maudlin and a muddled narrative fail to evoke the passion required to take down a singer or presidential candidate.’
9 March 2021
[moore] The Bookseller teases Illuminations and Long London – new books from Alan Moore‘Wills recently signed the bearded comics legend Alan Moore, writer of Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell, among other landmark works. Moore has never had an agent, and given his famous public disagreements with filmmakers on how they have adapted his stories, perhaps he should have. At any rate, Moore has written some prose works—a collection of short stories and Long London, a series of speculative novels—which at this writing Wills is auctioning in the UK.’