Not Stevens

The only artisan is the artisan of ice-cream.

The only emperor penguin is the emperor penguin of ice-cream.

The only Ute Lemper is the Ute Lemper of ice-cream.

The only God-Emperor is the God-Emperor of House Atreides Dune™ Melange-Ripple Ice-Cream.




I’m hopelessly addicted to Kai Krause’s Frax app. (More of mine here.)

The Causal Angel

Hannu Rajaniemi

The conclusion to the Jean le Flambeur trilogy which started with The Quantum Thief. I enjoyed this as much as the first two books, although for me, nothing really capped the moment in The Fractal Prince when we discover the true nature of the Aun, as breathtaking a piece of meta-(science)-fiction as I’ve read in decades. The Causal Angel has a society which uses quantum entanglement as currency/politics, entertaining intertexts, especially the Finnish ones, and just enough explanations of the backstory of Rajaniemi’s posthuman solar system to not spoil the mystery. In principle, I frown on the “computational turn” in contemporary sf, but this disapproval wilts in comparison to the pleasure I get from stories that throw you in at the deep end and expect you to keep pace with a bewildering array of strange terms and situations. What we might call high modernist science fiction.

Coincidentally, I was reminded the other day of Cyriak’s bizarre manipulation/animations: I don’t think the world of Jean le Flambeur could really be filmed but this animation made me think of Rajaniemi’s Sobornost.

Help publish Materiality: SURFACE!

Now you can help fund the next issue of pinknantucket press’s excellent themed journal Materiality. SURFACE is due to come out in September this year. Like the previous issues, BOOK, TIME and PRECIOUS, SURFACE will include lots of great fiction, non-fiction, poetry and graphic art about the intersection of materials and culture. My contribution to this issue is an interview with my brother about the mysteries of the family business: electroplating.


Not Montaigne

Of coaches
Of diverting or diversions
Of digressions
Of another matter, &c.
Of love-making
An apology of Raymond Sebond
A retraction of Raymond Sebond
Of a monstrous child
Of the inconstancy of our actions
Of a subject that has naught to do with the title under which it is presented
A sullen look of Raymond Sebond
Of the Cannibals
Upon some verses of Virgil, the which shall be disregarded for the better part of the essay
Of head-lice
Of political correctness
Of my own character and temperament, which is a fickle patched inconsistent thing, but withal still pretty good
Of what-you-will
A passive-aggressive dinner invitation of Raymond Sebond
That to philosophize is to learn how to diet
That to philosophize is to learn how to spell
Of complaining
Of age
Of my library, which is on the third storey of a tower, and which you would really like if I were to permit you to visit it; which I will not
Of boots
Of the art of entitling essays

Berlin Alexanderplatz

Alfred Döblin

Excellent 1929 novel which is often referred to as the German Ulysses: its author shares with Joyce an enthusiasm for all registers of language, from trashy advertisements to the Bible, but it’s got much more of a knockabout picaresque feel and is much more interested in character and storytelling. I’m going to track down the Fassbinder miniseries when I get a chance.

Worth following up if you like Brecht and/or Weill, Pynchon, Russell Hoban, expressionism, politics, black comedy, drunkenness, crime, Fassbinder, or even if you are sick to death of hearing about the Weimar Republic.

Antisocial August Again

It’s a thing! That… at least four of us are doing!

I’m having a break from Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook. Mostly from Twitter, because that’s the one I get obsessive about.

If last year is anything to go by, I anticipate three or four days of intense FOMO, followed by a relaxation in my dopamine cycle and a renewed ability to concentrate on boring tv again. I’m also hoping to get more writing done.

I’ll still be blogging book reviews and reading my email: spike dot lynch at gmail dot com. See you in September. Or here.