Wow. Sorry for that.
“Demand Ecology” is about humanity’s mistakes. The earth is crap. Yeah, we did that. Animals are non-existent. We did that. So when the Galactics showed up and said that humanity does not deserve to join the intergalactic multi-species drama because we trashed our planet, no one was surprised. Well, the younger generation was not surprised.
The main character has a daughter. This daughter is very angry with her father and anyone her father’s age. See, she thinks that her father should have done something to save the animals and protect the environment. Novel idea! What is hard to hear is that he did do something. He protested and wrote letter. He attended rallies. He was member of the Green Party. This was not enough for the planet and not enough for his daughter. She wanted him to do more.
He gets his chance to do more. He is part of a space mission to collect a needed mineral resource. He was asked because he is a Green. It was in the best interest of the politicians to include a Green and appear balanced. He was not being listened to and humanity was going to make yet another grievous error. So, our hero, the Green becomes saboteur. He stops the mission, saves one of the Galactic races.
This is a great story about how humanity can change. How one person can make a difference and bring our species out of the mud from which we evolved. It made for good reading, hopeful reading. However, it took an act of subversive decent. How any of us are really prepared to attempt to bring about real change. I’m not. I’m comfortable. I’m part of the problem.
I sure hope there is someone out there that is ready to act, do what is necessary even when that act is not a polite letter of out rage, but more…
DeLancey, Craig. “Demand Ecology.” Analog. June 2008, Vol. CXXVIII, No. 6. P. 64 - 82
Published: April 21, 2008
Another sign of that it is getting warmer in Minneapolis is the return of the Bike Messenger. Some of the really tough stick out the winter, but the majority find other work November through February.
Just down the street from my building there is a Jimmy Johns. Jimmy Johns delivers. This Jimmy Johns employs at least four bike messengers to deliver their sandwiches. One of which is tough. I saw him out on the street in the bitter cold and snow fighting traffic.
I have always admired bike messengers. I love bikes. I almost left my office job to work at Erik’s this year. I would have, but the pay was not enough. It was good, but not enough.
Pedal is a book of photography and a film (see my review of the film: Here). The pictures are of New York messengers, bikes, and gear, as they mount up for the 2005 Cycle Messenger World Championships.
The photographs are of real people who make their living riding through traffic and delivering packages or what ever they can strap to their backs. They are lean, mean, and part machine, a different breed than most. Some messenger to stay fit tired of the office life while others, many others, come to messengering out of desperation.
There are a lot of good books out the on the subject. I’ve read most of them. I will review others soon. However, Pedal is one of the best. The text that accompanies the photographs is written by messengers without apology. It attempts to explain the messenger mind.
Whatever your take is on bike messengers, you should seek out this book and film; together they document an important slice of American culture.
Pedal. New York: powerHouse Books, 2004
Photographs and a documentary film by Peter Sutherland
Film produced by Ana Lombard
Texts by Zepher, Ken Miller & Swoon
I was surprised by how well the book was written. It was a clean fun read. The story is a continuation of the exciting life of Annja Creed world famous co-star of a Discovery Channel like program about archeology called “Chasing History’s Monsters.”
The archeology is sketchy at best. One of my good college friends is a co-owner of CIVITAS GALLERIES, a coin store in Middleton, WI. He is a true treasure hunter and archeologist. There is just enough science in these stories to make you believe that they are following the correct methods, but not enough. Their sites are disrupted and people get antsy and grab the goods. Still, the treasure hunting was a fun ride in the grand tradition of Indiana Jones and National Treasure.
What I really liked was the world building, or in this case the lack there of. This book is the 10th in the series. I’ve not read the others. I just might pick them up down the line. The story read like a comic book or serial should. It charges ahead unapologetic to non-fans, it assumes that you have read the other books and know the side characters and stories. The brilliance is that those moments really did not distract from the plot. So, they give the true fan something to think about while not excluding (too much) new readers that pop in the middle.
As a non-fan, the one thing that did get on my nerves was this sword thing. Miss Creed, for some reason that I’m sure was explained in a pervious book carries the mythical sword of Joan of Arc. Not only does she posses this relic, but she can pull it from tin air to assist her in her times of need (which are plenty and often). And so I struggled a bit letting that go, but by the end of the book it did not seem that out of place.
So, if you want a series of books to really dig into, I think that you would be best served by starting at the beginning with Destiny. I think that I will just have to pick it up myself.
Archer, Alex. Rogue Angel: Serpent’s Kiss. New York: Golden Eagle, 2008.
My epic battle with DHL is now over and I’m in possession of a copy of “Truancy” by Fukui Isamu.
I will get around to reading it in the next couple of weeks. It looks and sounds really good, but I have a few things to get before I can really check it out.
If you can’t wait for my two-cents, check out the three part review over at Fantasy Debut:
Truancy - Initial Impressions
Truancy: Hard to Put Down
Truancy: Final Review
Or take a look at the really cool website: The Truancy.
Stuyvesant student Isamu Fukui is in a class by himself
BY NICOLE LYN PESCE
Saturday, March 8th 2008, 4:00 AM
All I have to say was that at 17, I was composing bad poetry, playing Nintendo and Sega, and trying to hold down a job. I wish would have been so fortunate to compete a book before graduating High School.
Fukui, Isamu. Truancy. New York: TOR, 2008
Sometimes, I like to Google-search EVIL CLOWNS and send a picture a long with an email. Evil Clowns always surprise and are good for conversation.
To this end one of my co-workers sent me this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clandestine_Insurgent_Rebel_Clown_Army.
Thank you, Chris.
The Clown Army makes a great 200th post!
It is the story of war, a war between two polar views of how humanity should or should not move into the future. The Greens want to progress with scientific advances and the Techno vigilantes believe that science will lead to humanities destruction.
In this specific story, two children escape a band of Techno vigilantes to a Techno Corporate Farm. (Munteanu likes to use the word Techno a lot. So, I’m not sure that the Techno vigilantes and Techno Corporate Farm are one in the same or not.) On the farm they find a hard refuge.
However, these children grow up to become educated members of society. One a Green Chaos theorist, the other will go to work for DIE (Department of Industrial Ecology).
What I like about Munteanu’s short fiction is that they are so long in time. They seem to mostly begin with children and end with adults that have join society. What’s weird is that I feel that I know how here characters get from one place in their life to the next without having to have seen it.
Check this story out! It was posted today: A Butterfly in Peking
Munteanu, Nina. A Butterfly in Peking
Anyway, “Taklamakan” follows Spider Pete, a Shadowrun like punk techboy spy want-a-be. Spider Pete loves his toys. He has all the latest military grade stealth and spy gear needed to get in and get the picture. See, the Spiders are a street organization that use guerrilla like tactics to disrupt or document government functions, blunders, and secrets.
However, this particular mission Spider Pete is working with the military to uncover the truth about a strange valley. This valley has never seen humans. It is inhabited solely by robots. Or that is what it seems like at first look.
There is a lot more to this story as there is to any Sterling adventure. My advice is finding them and read them. I can’t really do justice to The Chattanooga Stories here.
Sterling, Bruce. “Taklamakan.” Ascendancies: The Best of Bruce Sterling. Burton: Subterranean Press, 2007. p 409 - 445
Well, I'm done with Thesis 1. I have finished up the last three stories and will turn them in to my advisor this week.
Now for the readers. I hope to get a few of my friends to read through it and tell me what they think before I revise for Thesis 2.
I'm almost positive that my collection will be called "Keeping Watch." I will have to see what my readers think of that in the coming months.
Summer here I come!
Deep Eddy is a 22 year old spec user who belongs to a group called CAPCLUG (Computer-Assisted Perception Civil Liberties Users Group). It is a collection of like minded people that use spec to alter and enhance their visual perceptions. Think sunglasses that are able to show you the internet, allow you to process multimedia, including type as if a keyboard existed at the ends of you finger tips, and has the ability to color the world around you as you see fit (or as other spec programs see fit).
Deep Eddy lives in a world where the United States of America is no more, there is only NAFTA. NAFTA is the current government that controls and run all of North America, what were Mexico, the USA, and Canada. In this world politics are philosophy matter more than anything. Deep Eddy has been given the classic cyberpunk or post cyberpunk mission, data smuggling. It is Deep Eddy’s mission to travel to Germany and deliver a book that is hiding a data disk to one of the world’s greatest thinkers, who goes by the name the Cultural Critic and to protect it from his enemy the Moral Referee.
I have to say that I love Sterling’s stories, especially The Chattanooga Stories, I’ll get to the third and final story latter this week. They read like little novels instead of short stories. However, regardless of where they fall, they give me hope for my own fiction. Too many people have told me that what I write should be turned into novels. Typically this workshop code for, “you have too much going on and need to revise and scale down the scope.”
“Deep Eddy” is a great story. Find it read it, I have a feeling that we might soon be living in one of these stories.
Here is a good detailed review of the entire collection, Ascendancies:
Ascendancies by Bruce Sterling
Reviewed by Nader Elhefnawy
28 March 2008
Sterling, Bruce. “Deep Eddy.” Ascendancies: The Best of Bruce Sterling. Burton: Subterranean Press, 2007. 345 - 378
When Aaron Christopher put the post card for his new play, American Apathy, in my hand at work, I thought, “Here is the opportunity.” I went online to Urban Samurai and got tickets. I was familiar with only the comedy routines that he and Ian Swanson put together to entertain the bigwigs at work and relieve stress in Customer Service.
American Apathy is a show that should not be missed. It is timely commentary on the current state of the American consumer mentality. Christopher’s slick dialogue and potent scenes of domestic dystopia are an eye opening mixture of economic blunders, shaken, not stirred with marital misfortunes.
I just couldn’t help but see a little of myself in Judy Cummings (played by Melissa Bechthold) and Ron Cummings (played by Nate Hessburg) as they try to pretend that everything is alright in the world. When the situations teeter toward the edge, toward having to admit that not everything is okay, go shopping. My weakness is ebags. When I’m stressed out and need to escape, I shop for messenger bags. As a result, I have closet full of them.
However, the Cummings have much bigger problems. Not only do they try to keep up with the Joneses Elaine (played by Marcia Svaleson) and David (played by Ryan Grimes). Elaine and David have their share of problems. They solve everything through a new purchase. David even admits that the best way to turn Elaine on and “she opens like a pair of salad tongs” is to remodel something in their home. Remodeling being ultimate expression of love, not because he knows Elaine would like to remodel, but because it is expensive will shut her up for at least a week.
In between each powerful scene, as the set is changed, a slideshow keeps the audience's attention. These slides are commercials for products and feelings mentioned in the play. There are several for pills that claim to provide happiness. Others for two-for-one chainsaws - don’t be caught with only one – or Hummers or products to help with whatever ails you. The point, you can buy happiness, if you spend enough.
As you can see, I’m quite excited about American Apathy. Here are the details, don’t miss your opportunity to see Christopher’s apocalypse of the American way of life.
Now Playing at:
CLICK HERE TO ORDER TICKETS!
This time I brought home several good looking short story collections, including Bedbugs. The cover caught my eye, old school black and white pencil, bugs and icky things, and a big raven out the window (referencing everyone’s favorite poem by Poe).
I flipped though the book and it is filled with these types of pictures in front of every story. I love pictures. It made me feel like a kid again with one of those haunted-I’m-not-going-to-sleep-tonight books.
The first story that jumped out at me was “The Sources of the Nile” because it was only five pagers and I was tired, wanted sleep, and had a big crazy day a head of me. It was great. It was more than great, it was exquisite. In five pages, Hautala established character, plot, and gave up some crazy details that made me squirm and put the book down and exclaim, “Wow! Hang on! What just happened?”
Not to spoil it (well, I’m going to spoil it), but this story is about a guy, a private Dick. He has been hired to spy on her husband and discover the truth, is he cheating? Well of course he is. We join the story at the point where the Dick is revealing his pictures to the wife.
The wife begins to cry! The Dick gets turned on, not because she is Kate Beckinsale hot, but because she is crying. See, he loves tears. He loves to taste, lick, and suck on women’s eyeballs, consuming their tears; yup, consuming their tears, and he sucks so hard that her eye pops out into his mouth.
It just gets better from there. You need to check out Hautala’s short stories. They are crazy good.
Hautala, Rick. “The Sources of the Nile.” Bedbugs. Abingdon: Cemetery Dance Publications, 1999. p 131-136
Humanclone is a slide show artist. His work is crazy. Check out some of his sites:
Fashion & Arts Slideshows
Hot & Cool Stuffs Slideshow
Pets & Animals Slideshow
Celebrity SlideShows for your Blog
Food & Drink Slideshows
Slideshows for your Website & Blog!
Travel & Places Slideshows
Technology & Gadgets Slideshows
NO OIL PAINTING by Gary Fry
REGENCY SPRITE by Dave Freer
FERRET AND RED by Josepha Sherman
THE BOY IN ZAQUITOS by Bruce McAllister
BLANKENSHIP & DAWES IN THE ISLAND OF IGNOMINY by Jens Rushing
THE RUINS by Scott Smith pt 1
THE RUINS by Scott Smith (Finished)
Extra Extra (from Attack of the Movie Watchers)
Balls of Fury (2007)
Ping Pong (2002)
No Reservations (Movie 2007)
Constantine (Movie 2005)
Doomsday (Movie 2008)