Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Can't Get There From Here

It is while out walking in the woods that he notices the silence; a silence missing from his everyday life where the hum of all the appliances, apps and passing traffic constitute the aural confines of his home.
He is overcome with a need to share this experience so he records it on his phone: 10 seconds of silence.
He txts it home.
On his arrival home his wife asks him:
“What was that thing you sent me?”
“It’s a recording I made in the woods” he says
“didn’t work… I couldn’t hear anything”

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

God is in the Wires

The walls around him bristle with countermeasures; his focus flits amongst their myriad; their filaments touch-sensitive to the defining vibrations of each and every one of the heaving connected mass whose utterance of a sensitive word or reference to a dangerous subject might deem them worthy of his attention. It takes more than a mere memory course in self-belief to summon up the armour required to perform tasks that, by some, could be construed as god-like in their effect on the lives of the herd.
Losses, when totalled and categorised into matrices of targets met against opportunities missed, can often appear onerous to the unskilled eye, but to those whose god decrees that their path is true, the execution of these acts is worn as a mantle of divine duty.

Tales for the attention deficit reader

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Lost Among the Rings of Saturn

Astronaut ~ Elisanth

My favourite R.E.M. album has always been Life’s Rich Pageant (1986); it spoke to this, then 24-year-old malcontent during the dying years of Apartheid when it seemed that the world would always be stuck in wrongness and I had but to listen to lines like "we cannot conform" to be assured that I was not alone.
Laugh if you will, but I am one of those guys that believes that cult bands lose their fire when they break the mainstream - so, no, 'Losing My Religion' is not their greatest moment for me.
Growing old(er) alongside some of those musicians has taught me that, while the above is true in general, it is important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
(more on that later)
I read today that Cassini, a dense package of very expensive space-junk, is now passing through the rings of Saturn. This coincidental fact has allowed me to complete this piece of jumbled nonsense that I started over the weekend after listening to R.E.M.'s 2001 album Reveal.
I think I started listening to it 2 or 3 years after it was released; I was writing The Aeon Calling at the time and I’m reasonably sure that some of it did entwine itself into the story, if not in detail then definitely in mood.
All the Way to Reno used to make my heart rise above the melancholic vein that I was tapping into to feed the story, still does but the effect is less since the difference between my state of mind and the song has decreased.
The album is part self-help manual and part an act of spiritual flight.
While not necessarily spiritual, W.G. Sebald's writing is certainly meditative, and reading his 'Rings of Saturn' a few years ago and found it to be immensely fulfilling in a way which I cannot explain. It’s not science fiction despite the title; in fact it’s not fiction at all as far as I can tell, yet it has about it an tinge of other-reality, or sur-reality.
It describes in various decrees of intensity areas of East Anglia (an area reasonably close to where I live) visited on long walks by the author. It also dives tangentially into a myriad of diverse subjects from the lifecycle of the silkworm to the life of the aptly named Major George Wyndham Le Strange.
Strange as in the title of the Wire song covered by R.E.M. on their (almost) breakthrough album Document. (tenuous link alert)
Track 6 on Reveal is 'Saturn Return' a song which should, in theory, be a piece of navel-gazing bullshit; but somehow isn't - it pulls you into its current and drags you downriver to a waterfall at which point it takes flight and soars among the planet's rings.
I realised over the weekend while listening to it after a break of maybe 10 years, that Reveal has become my new favourite R.E.M. album – It is a mature version of Life’s Rich Pageant, more suited to this 112-year-old malcontent.

Saturn is orbiting nothing
He's off on its own,
He's breaking from home.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Because You Deserve It

Decaying Orbits, more spaced than space opera, from the people who gave you Penumbra, Cabin Fevre and a shitload of other shit, is now available for consumption - read the first few episodes here

B.Y.O. antacids

The story will unfold over the months - keep your virtual eyes peeled for updates.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Be Careful What You Wish For

Charles Barsotti