I write things and am nominally in charge here. Below are my most recent posts.
The bulk of my work is in a style I have, in an act of mild narcissism, named psychochronography. Psychochronography, an offshoot of the artistic concept of psychogeography. Psychogeography is a practice originally developed by the Situationist International as part of their efforts to forcibly dismantle the established social order. Psychogeography is the study of how physical spaces impact social, cultural, and personal lives. Its central technique is what is called the derivé, or drift, in which one wanders through an urban area according to some idiosyncratic logic that causes one to cut against the usual lines and paths traced.
Psychochronography applies this notion to our internal landscape. Taking seriously Alan Moore's notion of ideaspace, psychochronography suggests that we can wander through history and ideas just as easily as we can physical spaces, and that by observing the course of such a conceptual exploration we can discover new things about our world. Topics I've applied this approach to include Doctor Who, British comic books, and Super Nintendo games.
Just wanted to remind everyone that we're now in the final day of the TARDIS Eruditorum Volume 8 Kickstarter. We've blown through most of the stretch goals—all of them, actually, and I've ended up adding a few more. At the time of writing we're just under $15k, which will be the trigger for another War Doctor essay looking at short fiction and comics stories featuring the character. And then at $16k, I'll throw in an essay on Titan Comics' 9th Doctor comics. All of that's very doable with an even modestly strong final day. So if you've been meaning to back, now is your chance. And please, do make a mention of it on your favorite social media channels. This is within sight of being my most successful Kickstarter ever, and I'd be very delighted if we manage to nick that record.
Once again, the Kickstarter is over here. And I'll be back in literally just a couple of days with a long awaited book launch announcement. :)
It is not news that Alex is one of my most beloved friends in the world. Nor is it news that his band, Seeming, is my favorite band. These things are not separable. And as with all of his albums, this is one I saw coming together, giving my opinions on demos, agitating in favor of songs when Alex’s faith in them faltered, and generally giving my input and perspective, just as Alex has weighed in on countless bits of Last War in Albion and Cyberpunk: The Future That Was. I care too much about his work, in the wonderful, heady way that one cares about art that one truly loves. Anyway, he has a new album coming out on Friday,The Birdwatcher’s Guide to the Apocalypse. It is of course brilliant. You should buy it. At the very least, you should be sure to swing by your streaming service of choice and give it a listen. Four tracks are up now, the other six on Friday. Let’s talk about it some.
From day one, when talking about how he’d follow Sol, Alex said he was going to avoid going bigger, recognizing that simply always doubling down on epic grandeur ...
A quick Kickstarter update before we begin: we're about 1/4 of the way to the stretch goal where I write about George Mann's Engines of War, in which he attempts to do a Time War novel. We're also only three pledges from 300 backers.
Now for this post: a taste of my current project, The Future That Was, which I'm writing the first five chapters of before I go back to Last War in Albion for a bit. It's the first (or arguably third) volume of a projected trilogy of books about the history of science fiction, focusing, as the title suggests, on cyberpunk. Beyond this preview, this book will be 100% Patreon exclusive until it's finished and published. The second chapter and beginning of the third are already available over there.
City Lights, Receding: Neuromancer
There were of course antecedents; a thing such as cyberpunk could not just emerge sui generis. Some have pointed as far back to Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination. More credible was the New Wave of Science Fiction heralded by writers like J.G. Ballard and Michael Moorcock in the UK and Harlan Ellison and Ursula K ...
Christine has been busy actually moving into that studio apartment you all bought her, so will be getting you a blogpost later in the week. So I figured I’d hog her slot with a Kickstarter update. Which, first of all, you know that the Kickstarter for TARDIS Eruditorum Volume 8 is running, right? Over the last week we managed to hit goal and get through the two Now My Doctor stretch goals. More to the point, though, I found myself thinking about Paul McGann over breakfast on Saturday, and so opened up my laptop and proceeded to have one of the most efficient and painless essay writing experiences of my life as I, quite unexpectedly, wrote “Now My Doctor: Paul McGann.” So I did the obvious thing and posted it as a Kickstarter update. It is, if I may say so, one of the best things I’ve written about Doctor Who in recent memory, and it’s yours to read if you back the Kickstarter at any level. Meanwhile, by the time you read this I’ll probably have had breakfast again, and who knows what might happen with all these thoughts about Christopher Eccleston in my head…
Meanwhile, well, a ...
Hello! If you missed it, the Kickstarter for TARDIS Eruditorum Volume 8 began over the weekend. We hit goal in 24 hours, but are still $500 away from the first stretch goal, and frankly, I'll be pretty sad if the book doesn't get most of its stretch goals, cause some of those are pretty big essays. So please, if you haven't yet, head over and back the Kickstarter.
With that said, the grand finale of The Last War in Albion Volume 2.
It must be said that Moore was in no way prepared for this development, and indeed would be both slow and reluctant to adjust to the reality that he was now engaged in an elaborate magical War. As discussed at length, he reached the end of Watchmen with a sense of entirely understandable exhaustion, given that it was the culmination of a genuinely staggering period of nonstop deadline-based productivity. But even if one were to take Swamp Thing, Marvelman, V for Vendetta ...
At long and wearied last, it's time for the Kickstarter for TARDIS Eruditorum Volume 8, covering the Paul McGann and Christopher Eccleston eras of the series. The Kickstarter is over here waiting to accept your money. The base goal is a somewhat higher than before $5000, largely because I've learned my lesson about shipping physical rewards. Also, there's a lot fewer physical rewards. But all of this is technical shop talk, and this should be about publicity, so let me change hats and be a proper hype woman for myself.
This book will cover the two attempts to bring Doctor Who back—the ultimately disastrous US revival in 1996, and the massively successful UK one in 2005. It begins with a lot of hope and ends with a lot of hope, and everything in the middle is one of the most gloriously tangled messes in the history of the series, comprising multiple irreconciliable timelines, feuding lines, and a lot of very, very daft shit. If Volume 7 is a story about how to get cancelled and still be a triumph, Volume 8 is a story about how to score an absolutely massive and medium-changing hit television show despite ...
Quick update on Christine's Patreon. There's been a tremendous response, but she's stalled at around $208 at the time I'm writing this on Saturday. Financial security for her really needs about $300, so if you're at all interested in her amazing Kate Bush work, please check it out. Also, she's got fun intermediate goals: at $225 she'll be doing a podcast with Daniel Harper, and at $250 another with Jack Graham about Alien and The Shining. So please, help my daughter afford an apartment via her Patreon.
And so at last the story returns to where it began. Grant Morrison has, of course, been ever-present. As already discussed at length, his first professional credit predated Moore by five months. But he has been a shadow presence in the narrative, lurking at the edges, occasionally contriving to intersect it, waiting for his moment to take the stage in earnest. And now at last he arrives having always been here, and it becomes necessary to trace the story backwards, figuring out who he has been all this time.
This is, of course, a strange moment in which to observe Morrison, as he remains resolutely unspectacular ...
In order to understand Moore’s transformation it is necessary to fully understand precisely what Watchmen was and what it did. And to understand this it is necessary to appreciate one of its major thematic concerns, the prospect of nuclear annihilation. This aspect of the War entered the scene approximately one picosecond after the creation of the universe, when the electroweak force, unable to cohere once the universe cooled below 1015 K, split into the electromagnetic force, which would go on to underpin more or less the entirety of communication, and the weak nuclear force. This latter force was responsible for a phenomenon called beta decay, in which a neutron can transform itself into a proton by expelling an electron, along with other forms of radioactive decay. Together, along with gravity and the strong nuclear force, they create a delicate mathematical balance in which matter and life are possible. And yet within that crucial weak force is a terrifying implication.
|Figure 1109: The equipment upon which Hahn and Strassman first generated nuclear fission.|
This implication (and indeed the weak force itself) went unnoticed for approximately fourteen billion years, until German chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman first achieved nuclear fission ...