It's Boxing Day, which means that it's time to put a bunch of Eruditorum Press books on sale until New Year's. This year I've gone with something relatively simple. All four in-print books are on sale on Smashwords for $2.99 instead of their usual $4.99. You can get them at the links below, using the coupon codes listed.
Neoreaction a Basilisk: CC25E
I've also, because I've been slow getting them back into print, put my out of print books temporarily back in print in their deadnamed editions for anyone who missed them and is desperate to catch up. I've set them all at "name your own price." I set a recommended price of 99 cents because they made me set one, but you should please consider the name your own price a tip jar. Do not feel bad about naming a price of free. All I'll ask is that if you do grab them for free, please consider paying for them when they come out in upgraded editions over ...
Right. Posting schedule for the next couple weeks is this. Next week, my post will go up mid-to-late week and be a review of Resolution. Then I’m gonna do a Cultural Marxism post that I’d meant to get done today but then this thing I was throwing together for Patrons got out of hand and I got busy with holiday travel and preparation and I just decided fuck it, this is a blog post now. (Patrons will be getting a draft of an essay on magic and psychogeography very soon though.) Then on January 14th I’ll be going back to TARDIS Eruditorum with a Pop Between Realities post on Blackstar. That’ll run into the summer, at which point we’ll probably start up Boys in Their Dresses: A Psychodiscography of Tori Amos. Because I’ve never done a song-by-song blog, and I’m due.
Also, you’ll want to clear some time on December 30th to be in the Discord server, where Jack and I are planning on doing a live Q&A to round out 2018.
For now, however, my 2018 highlight reel.
Weirdly the category I have the most options in. The honest answer is probably some Seeming demo I’m not ...
CW: rape, sexual assault, violence against women, transphobia, and homophobia. This chapter contains multiple NSFW images.
Previously in The Last War in Albion: Yeah, it's been a bit. Maybe you just want to read the chapter. If not, it was mostly an analysis of Rorschach's role in the narrative.
There is, however, another important sense in which Rorschach represents a myopia within Watchmen and, more broadly, Moore’s larger artistic vision. As mentioned, a crucial part of Rorschach’s psychology is his tortured relationship with sexuality. Sex is a major theme of both Watchmen and Moore’s career, and one that he has much of value to say about, but there is something unseemly about the directness with which Rorschach’s disgust with sex is pathologized, not least because it’s a character trait inherited from his underlying relationship with the apparently asexual Steve Ditko. More broadly, there is something oversimplified and unsatisfying in Moore’s approach to sexuality—a flaw intimately connected to his persistent inadequacy on the subject of sexual assault. This would be a relatively minor issue were it not for the awkward fact that the relationship between superheroes and sexuality is one of the comic’s major themes.
The theme of ...
I'm pleased to announce that, just in time for the holiday season, the third volume of TARDIS Eruditorum is officially back in print. Covering every story of the Jon Pertwee era and then some, the book is the most comprehensive take on early 70s UK culture ever to use the words "Gel Guards," "Venusian Akido," and "Pertwee death pose." And it includes my mildly legendary essay "This Point of Singularity (The Three Doctors)," a pataphoric Blakean odyssey that Paul Cornell once read out loud at a convention to an audience including what I can only assume was a deeply puzzled and slightly alarmed Terrence Dicks.
Speaking of Paul Cornell, the book has been spruced up with a new essay on Paul Cornell's Third Doctor comics for Titans, a way better name on the cover, and some minor improvements to the typesetting (as well as the removal of a line about making Doctor Who great again that had... not aged well). It's the perfect gift for the most glam Doctor Who fan in your life. And if you don't have a glam Doctor Who fan in your life you can read it on public transport until someone with ...
The folks at Mad Norwegian Press were kind enough to send me their preposterously monumental 4th edition of Ahistory. This now three-volume set, which began as Lance Parkin's A History of the Universe for Virgin twenty-two years ago and has been periodically and extensively revised with help from Mad Norwegian publisher Lars Pearson is... completely insane. I mean, I'm the author of a six volume and counting history of Britain through the lens of Doctor Who, but I look at these things with a mixture of trepidation and awe. They are sublimely, gloriously useless, and I absolutely adore them and recommend them to anyone for whom the admittedly considerable price tag of three large paperback volumes is not prohibitive.
What Ahistory sets out to do is simple: provide a complete in-universe chronology of every Doctor Who story. But by "every Doctor Who story" I do not mean some relatively easy and straightforward task like all of the television episodes. I mean all of it. Every television episode through Twice Upon a Time is in here along with the televised spinoffs, the Virgin and BBC Books lines, Big Finish, the comics... all of it. This is a book series ...
So, contrary to those who feel it's become 'too PC' (a misprision that is interesting by itself), Doctor Who these days looks increasingly like it is taking a reactionary turn - albeit one of a complex kind - as it seems to drift from being an "accidental critique of milquetoast liberalism" (as Kit Power put it) into an outright accomodation with the systems it has found itself unable to effectively struggle against. This makes Chibnall's show, in its own way, a mirror to Moffat's, which was also deeply concerned with the limits of resistance to systems.
This is a space for analysing the political attitude found in the content. But there is also reason to look at what the form tells us, what it assumes, what it permits, etc. As we've already talked about elsewhere, the form and content are actually inextricable.
Let's take a detour into Brechtian 'Epic Theatre'.
Brecht’s theatre ...
For the last of our Series 11 podcasts, I'm joined by Niki Haringsma, author of the forthcoming Black Archive book on Love and Monsters. Have a gander here.