Saturday Waffling (February 6th, 2016)

I've just gotten to the final section of the book I'm now calling Neoreaction: A Basilisk. Plans for release exist, and it'll be out sooner than you think. Indeed, probably sooner than Last War in Albion Book One, though I got the first set of pages for that off to Jane this week as well. Now to confront the horror that is "Fearful Symmetry." 

Anyone done their Hugo ballots yet? Post what you've got in comments. 

Oh, fine, three shorter-than-a-sentence excerpts from Neoreaction: A Basilisk:

Gödel, Escher, Bach, which is what nerdy teenagers in the 1980s read instead of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, largely to their credit.

the contemporary pagan community, which includes a white nationalist strain in the Nazi occultist tradition, of turning to European folklore to escape the corruption of Jew-tainted Christianity in amidst the NPR-listening Wiccans with artisan granola businesses

what other terms can Satan’s rebellion be described in besides “dude took the red pill hard?”

Neat Little Analogy, Huh? (The Last War in Albion Book Two Part Twenty-Five: Scenes from The Nativity)

Figure 923: The signatures upon the contract that led Dez Skinn to go to a seedy bar to pick up a couple thousand dollars in cash.

This installment of The Last War in Albion contains graphic images of childbirth below the cut

Previously in The Last War in Albion: In a comedy of errors, Alan Moore's Marvelman series, originally published in Warrior, was republished under the title Miracleman by Eclipse Comics in the US. But with the reprints running out, Eclipse had to clear the way to commission new material from Moore, which required appeasing Dez Skinn.

Eclipse’s solution, ratified in a new contract dated February 1986 (the same month that Miracleman #6 is dated), was to buy the right to produce new Miracleman material from Skinn for a further $8000, payable in three installments, one of which Skinn recounts was given to him at a meeting “with Jan Mullaney - Dean’s brother - in New York, in some really seedy bar. He turned up looking like a real hippie with a couple thousand dollars in cash in a brown envelope. And I’m sitting there, this sort of funny Englishman in this really scary place and he comes ...

Pex Lives 29: The Tribe of Gum/The Face of Evil

Kevin. James. Daniel Harper. Za. Orb. Xoanon. Brilliance.

Get it here.

No, I'm not drunk-queuing posts, why do you ask?

Forward, to the Past! - Episode III: Rebel Yell

Or ‘American History X-Wing’


Yes, it’s the third and concluding episode in my trilogy of posts about Star Wars. I’m going to be making all sorts of generalisations about ‘America’ in this post. Please bear in mind, I don’t mean them to apply to all American people. Far from it. I’m talking about mainstream historical narratives, and the culture industries, and ideology, and so on. Also, in keeping with tradition, I’ve included an unnecessary and irritating (but also rather cute, if you’re honest) teddy bear. Oh, and in twenty years time I’ll come back and reissue these posts with crappy extra passages edited in for no good reason.


Three political categories dominate the Star Wars galaxy: Republic, Empire, and Rebellion. This is the arrangement in The Force Awakens just as much as in the original trilogy. Indeed, it is the apparent impossibility of telling a Star Wars story in which the galaxy is arranged any other way which determines the inevitability that The Force Awakens will be, and has to be, a ‘structre’ (as covered in previous episodes).

Galactic politics is in a constant state of fluctuation, but the fluctuation is between these ...

Comics Reviews (February 3rd, 2016)

Mercurty Heat #7

A really strong issue that continues the momentum from the end of the first arc, is genuinely funny at several points, and has a thoroughly fascinating cliffhanger, not just for the double-page spread/reveal (which is a great hook) but the issue's final line, which takes the reveal and puts it in a new light that's full fo questions, all of them good ones. Really quite excited for this arc. So why is it at the bottom of the list? Because of that fucking awful pun on the issue-ending title page, of course.

Batgirl #48

As with many Marvel books in 2015, this is suddenly much harder to enjoy knowing that Rebirth is coming to reboot or relaunch or whatever this title, presumably with something that isn't the Fletcher/Stewart/Tarr team or, for that matter, the attractive $2.99 price point. Anyway, it hangs over this perfectly adequate issue like an unpleasant cloud. Liked the end twist here, but this was oddly structured, and it's tough to get invested in the current arc, not least because the book itself is forced to admit repeatedly how much of a retread of an earlier ...

Let's Kill Hitler Again

Hi all, sorry about the extended time away. Think of it as a winter hiatus, a polar opposite to, say, the summer hiatus preceding Let’s Kill Hitler. Anyways, I'm back!  And I've six thousand words to share.

I just happened to rewatch Series 6 recently with very good friends, so it’s on my mind, esepcially Let's Kill Hitler. It’s one of those episodes that, for me, gets better every time I watch it – it’s very amenable to esoteric exploration, and being so familiar with all its beats, I no longer notice the tonal whiplash and the jarring pace. “Plus, she’s a woman” still sticks out like a sore thumb, but still, that’s a relatively minor complaint compared to all the wonderful stuff going on in this story, and even more so in the context of its production.

For those unfamiliar with the production schedule for Series 6, many of the stories were shot or placed out of order. Black Spot, for example, was repositioned to the first half of the series, switching places with Night Terrors. Let’s Kill Hitler, on the other hand, started production after they’d already filmed ...

A Very Rough Initial Take on Rabid Puppies 2

Back in August, in response to Vox Day crowing about how his Xanatos gambit had come off so perfectly or something equally stupid, I made a stab at predicting how he'd play things in 2016:

I think we can safely assume that the Rabid Puppy slate in 2016 is going to consist of five nominees in every category, to try to maximize the number of categories with no non-Puppy nominees. I suspect he's also going to pointedly include nominees that exist to dare the left to vote against them.

Vox is, of course, nothing if not banally and irritatingly predictable, having just released the first chunk of his Rabid Puppies slate for the year, his picks for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. And sure enough, his five picks include not only a writer whose sole publications have been through Castalia House but Andy Weir, author of The Martian, who would have been on the ballot last year were it not for the Puppies, and who I've had penciled in on my balloting spreadsheet since November.

First of all, then, my sincere sympathies to Andy Weir, who I'm sure had absolutely zero desire to be ...

A Brief Treatise on the Rules of Thrones 3.04: And Now His Watch is Ended

Daenerys sees the tower through the trees

State of Play

The choir goes off. The board is laid out thusly:

Lions of King’s Landing: Tyrion Lannister, Cersei Lannister, the Hand of the King Tywin Lannister

The Lion, Jaime Lannister

Dragons of Astapor: Daenerys Targaryen

Bears of Astapor: Jorah Mormont

The Direwolves: Catelyn Stark, Bran Stark

Roses of King’s Landing: Margery Tyrell

The Kraken, Theon Greyjoy

Direwolves of Winterfell: Sansa Stark

The Direwolf, Arya Stark

Archers of the Wall: Samwell Tarly

The Stag, Gendry

Stags of King’s Landing: King Joffrey Baratheon

The Dogs, Sandor Clegane

Spiders of King’s Landing: Varys

Bears of the Wall: Lord Commander Jeor Mormont

Winterfell is abandoned and in ruins. Riverrun is silent. Harrenhal is barren.

The episode is in eleven parts. The first runs three minutes and is set in the Riverlands. The opening image is of Jaime Lannister’s severed hand hanging around his neck.

The second runs four minutes and is set in King’s Landing. The transition is by family, from Jaime to Tyrion Lannister.

The third runs three minutes and is set at Craster’s Keep north of the Wall. The transition is by image, from Varys closing ...

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