linkmachinego.com

August 11, 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.’
July 7, 2022
[books] Eric Clapton’s Bookshelf … An amusing forensic examination of Clapton’s bookshelves and what they say about his character.

July 4, 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…’
June 27, 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’
May 25, 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.’
May 17, 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.”’
April 8, 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?’
April 7, 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?).’
April 5, 2022
[books] What if H.P Lovecraft wrote the Mr Men & Little Miss Children’s Books?

April 4, 2022
[podcasts] Alan Moore and Brian Catling Discuss The Power of Imagination … A fascinating podcast hosted by Robin Ince.
March 30, 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.’
January 11, 2022
[books] Infographic of Words Invented or Coined by Shakespeare … Shakespeare invented the word fap? Really?

Partial Infographic of Words Shakespeare Invented

December 2, 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…’
November 30, 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.’
November 22, 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.’
November 9, 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.”’
October 28, 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.’
October 4, 2021
[books] The deep state… they thought the could get away with it. But they never prepared for the…

Boomer with a Computer

September 27, 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.’
June 28, 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.’
June 22, 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.’
June 21, 2021
[people] Be Glad You’re Neurotic Contents … Amusing book contents spotted via Twitter. ‘Your Compulsions Are Calls For Help’

June 17, 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.’
June 15, 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

June 14, 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.’
May 14, 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”…’
May 4, 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”.’
April 29, 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.’
April 28, 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.’
March 9, 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.’
March 1, 2021
[books] The Culture War: Iain M. Banks’s Billionaire Fans … Why do Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk love Bank’s Culture novels so much? ‘And this is ultimately the challenge of attempting to base your own real world plans and aspirations on fiction: reality is rarely so straightforward. The Culture has a great deal of qualities that we lack, or regrettably possess—they’re less vicious, more thoughtful, and just overall more pleasant. Banks created an ideological playground by waving a wand and removing the trickiest barrier to any utopia: basic human shittiness.’
February 2, 2021
[comics] The Old Gods Died… Michael Chabon discusses Jack Kirby with Abraham Riesman. ‘Darkseid is pure evil. He has no virtues. The world seemed like a dark place to Jack Kirby because of how he grew up, in poverty and fighting a lot and having to be a scrapper, and then serving in World War II. By all accounts, the little I’ve read, it seems like he was … I mean, I can’t make a diagnosis. It would not surprise me if he had some post-traumatic stress consequences, given the little I know about what he saw and did, serving under Patton in World War II. He had this really dark, almost nihilistic vision, and it gets increasingly so as he worked through the ’70s. I think I absorbed some of that.’
December 3, 2020
[movies] Misery at 30: a terrifying look at the toxicity of fandom … A look back at one of the best adaptions of a Stephen King novel. ‘Misery was different. In placing a bizarrely childish, mad spinster in the spotlight, it had more in common with the campy Grande Dame Guignol movies of the 60s and 70s than it did with the sleek, sleazy chillers popular at the time. Grandmothers aren’t supposed to be killers, yet the knife-wielding biddies of hagsploitation cinema proved otherwise. Likewise Annie, a virginal nerd who refuses to swear, shoots a bullet through a sheriff’s belly and smashes Paul’s ankles with two strokes of a hammer without ever blinking an eye. Thirty years on, Misery’s gleefully demented union of innocence and brutality still captivates…’
October 22, 2020
[books] Alan Moore’s Book Recommendations … A wide-ranging book list compiled from a number of interviews over the years.
July 9, 2020
[covid] The Coronavirus and Our Future … Kim Stanley Robinson on the Coronavirus. ‘I’ve spent my life writing science-fiction novels that try to convey some of the strangeness of the future. But I was still shocked by how much had changed, and how quickly. Schools and borders had closed; the governor of California, like governors elsewhere, had asked residents to begin staying at home. But the change that struck me seemed more abstract and internal. It was a change in the way we were looking at things, and it is still ongoing. The virus is rewriting our imaginations. What felt impossible has become thinkable. We’re getting a different sense of our place in history. We know we’re entering a new world, a new era. We seem to be learning our way into a new structure of feeling.’
July 1, 2020
[books] We Can’t Ignore H.P. Lovecraft’s White Supremacy … Powerful look at Lovecraft’s racial bigotry, comparing with racism today. ‘But the need to “save” a man dubbed the “horror story’s dark and baroque prince” by Stephen King is itself questionable. His legacy is firmly planted. His cosmology sprawls from popular culture to niche corners of scholasticism. Complaints of a potentially tarnished reputation are more concerned with bolstering the illusion of Lovecraft as a sacrosanct figure. Even further, to divorce his racism from his literary creations would be a pyrrhic victory; what results is a whitewashed portrait of a profound writer. And from a criticism standpoint, what’s lost is any meaningful grappling with the connection between Lovecraft’s racism and the cosmic anti-humanism that defined his horror.’
June 5, 2020
[books] H.P Lovecraft on 1918’s pandemic – Spanish Flu … Some interesting snippets on Lovecraft’s view on the big pandemic of his time. ‘H. P. Lovecraft to Lillian D. Clark, 2 December 1925 – Influenza has not yet struck the east this winter, though it probably will before long. With freely accessible railways, one can’t segregate maladies of this sort nowadays. It’s odd, but despite all the repeated epidemics of the past decade, I’ve never had influenza. No doubt the gods are saving a deal of picturesque suffering for my very last days!’
May 18, 2020
[books] BusinessTown … Richard Scarry’s BusyTown updated for the 2020s.

BusinessTown - Frontline Medical Worker

May 13, 2020
[books] Best 250 Adventures of the 20th Century … Great list of Adventure books and comics. ‘Neil Gaiman’s occult fantasy comic The Sandman (1989–1996) …As he searches for his lost objects of power, Morpheus genre-hops — from myth to pulp fiction, and everywhere in-between. Also, Gaiman inserts pop culture and literary references and jokes into nearly every panel. It’s a dazzling display of high-lowbrow literary fandom… one leaving even the most well-read fan wishing for extensive, Chester Brown-esque footnotes… which, thankfully, are now available via annotated editions. Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Jill Thompson, and others contributed appropriately eerie and amusing art, with lettering by Todd Klein and covers by Dave McKean.’
April 9, 2020
[books] Stephen King Is Sorry You Feel Like You’re Stuck In A Stephen King Novel … Stephen King on the COVID-19. ‘He gets it when fans say experiencing the COVID-19 outbreak feels like stepping into one of his horror stories. “I keep having people say, ‘Gee, it’s like we’re living in a Stephen King story,’ ” he says. “And my only response to that is, ‘I’m sorry.’ “A pandemic like COVID-19 was “bound to happen,” King says. “There was never any question that in our society, where travel is a staple of daily life, that sooner or later, there was going to be a virus that was going to communicate to the public at large.”‘
March 9, 2020
[disease] Fever dreams: did author Dean Koontz really predict coronavirus? … The Guardian has a look at fictional pandemics. ‘[Dean Koontz’s] novel The Eyes of Darkness made reference to a killer virus called “Wuhan-400” – eerily predicting the Chinese city where Covid-19 would emerge. But the similarities end there: Wuhan-400 is described as having a “kill‑rate” of 100%, developed in labs outside the city as the “perfect” biological weapon. An account with more similarities, also credited by some as predicting coronavirus, is found in the 2011 film Contagion, about a global pandemic that jumps from animals to humans and spreads arbitrarily around the globe. But when it comes to our suffering, we want something more than arbitrariness. We want it to mean something. This is evident in our stories about illness and disease…’
February 17, 2020
[books] Literary Alternatives to “Ghosting” at Parties‘EDGAR ALLAN POE-ING – Die in a gutter before the party starts, probably from consumption (with a hint of alcohol poisoning).’
January 16, 2020
[books] William Gibson: ‘I was losing a sense of how weird the real world was’ … Another interview with William Gibson. ‘One character suffers something we’ll all recognise – a “momentary pang of phonelessness”. And, hilariously, Agency prominently features a kickass combat drone – like a sort of R2D2-size Swiss Army deathknife, but the heroes have to spend the whole time lugging its battery pack and charger around after it. “That’s a part of my kit as well,” says Gibson, patting the smartphone resting on a spare battery pack by his coffee. “I don’t want people to forget about the charger. You’re lugging it around. You’d be lost without it.”’
December 12, 2019
[books] How William Gibson Keeps His Science Fiction Real … William Gibson profile. ‘Futurists he knew had begun talking about “the Singularity”—the moment when humanity is transformed completely by technology. Gibson didn’t buy it; he aimed to represent a “half-assed Singularity”—a world transforming dramatically but haphazardly. “It doesn’t feel to me that it’s in our nature to do anything perfectly,” he said’
November 27, 2019
[books] The 50 best nonfiction books of the past 25 years … Slate’s list of the best nonfiction. David Carr’s Night of the Gun: ‘For The Night of the Gun, Carr applied his reporter’s eye to his own story, digging into those lost years and uncovering painful and frightening truths about the man he was while in the throes of addiction. Released into a post–James Frey, post–JT LeRoy era when skeptics found memoir increasingly unreliable, Carr’s live-wire combination of autobiography and journalism explores not only the secrets of his own life but also the ways in which the stories we all tell ourselves evolve into the versions we can live with. The Night of the Gun makes plain how hard, and how necessary, it is to face the past with diligence and humility.’
October 21, 2019
[Funny] The first page of H.G. Wells’s novelisation of Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds

War of the Worlds First Page

October 1, 2019
[books] The cult books that lost their cool … A list of books that have not aged well. ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, 1970 – So, yes, Jonathan Livingston Seagull really is a seagull, but he’s a seagull with aspirations, a non-conformist who yearns to soar above the flock and up into the heavens, just as the book itself conquered the bestseller charts back in the day. Its saccharine idealism isn’t made any more palatable by learning that Richard Nixon’s FBI director, L Patrick Gray, ordered all his staff to read it, and a 1973 movie adaptation, complete with Neil Diamond soundtrack, did it no favours either.’
August 27, 2019
[books] My Favorite Anti-Semite: H.P. Lovecraft … A well-written attempt to square the circle of being a Jewish HPL fan whilst dealing with his prejudices and bigotry. ‘Why did he at once obsess over spreading Jewish influence in the media and then encourage and enable young Jewish authors? Why did a man who believed in the evils of Aryan “mongrelization” marry a Jewish woman? If he believed that the only good Jew was an assimilated Jew, why did he admire the traditional Jewish imagination? I have no answers. Like so much of the forbidden knowledge and alien monsters that fill Lovecraft’s stories, bigotry is by its nature irrational, contradictory, and more than a little insane. His anti-Semitism seems illogical because it was illogical, the product of personal factors and frustrations about which we can but speculate.’
August 23, 2019
[king] The best Stephen King movies … ranked!‘Carrie (1976) -It didn’t take long for Hollywood to realise the prolific King was the equivalent of discovering a new oil field when it came to horror movies: his debut novel was in cinemas within two years of publication. Brian De Palma turned King’s tale of horrendous high-school bullying and psychokinetic wrath into something like a high-school heist movie, with mean girl Nancy Allen patiently plotting disproportionate revenge against Sissy Spacek’s browbeaten, willowy wallflower. Despite the 2013 remake, De Palma’s bloody blowout remains the definitive version.’
August 19, 2019
[books] Go Look: Stephen King signing Christine the at Forbidden Planet bookstore in 1983.