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The Pinocchio Theory

"If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

Last Build Date: Sun, 01 Oct 2017 23:21:25 +0000


Ken MacLeod – The Corporation Wars

Sun, 01 Oct 2017 23:19:01 +0000

Ken MacLeod’s Corporation Wars trilogy — which I just finished reading (the final volume came out this past week) — does well what MacLeod usually does well. It takes familiar science fiction tropes (here, robots, virtual reality, xenobiology) and subgenres (here, military fiction, which I am not a big fan of overall) and gives them … Continue reading "Ken MacLeod – The Corporation Wars"

Atopias, by Frederic Neyrat

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:17:16 +0000

Frédéric Neyrat is a French philosopher who has published extensively in French; but the first English translation of one of his books has only just appeared. ATOPIAS:MANIFESTO FOR A RADICAL EXISTENTIALISM is an important book, and a good short introduction to Neyrat’s ideas. I had the pleasure of being asked to write an Introduction to … Continue reading "Atopias, by Frederic Neyrat"

Jerry Lewis

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 17:28:40 +0000

Jerry Lewis is a figure who has haunted me — or, who has played a major role in my Imaginary — for most of my life. In 1963, when I was nine years old, my parents set up an extended vacation and took me and my brother on a cross-country tour. On a hot summer … Continue reading "Jerry Lewis"

Jeff VanderMeer’s BORNE

Sun, 09 Apr 2017 20:22:06 +0000

Borne is Jeff VanderMeer’s first new novel since his Southern Reach trilogy. I was stunned by reading it, and I am not sure that I can really do it justice. The novel is set in a post-apocalyptic landscape: a nameless city that was first transformed by a biotech enterprise known only as the Company, and … Continue reading "Jeff VanderMeer’s BORNE"

Tade Thompson, ROSEWATER

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 20:33:58 +0000

WARNING: numerous spoilers, since I cannot really discuss the novel without them Tade Thompson’s extraordinary new SF novel Rosewater is the second recent book I have read with the premise of extraterrestrials arriving in Nigeria. The first is Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon, equally wonderful, but in an entirely different way. Both novels go explicitly against the … Continue reading "Tade Thompson, ROSEWATER"

Favorite SF of 2016

Sat, 31 Dec 2016 19:57:43 +0000

I am usually not very good at top ten lists and the like; there is always too much stuff that I haven’t seen, read, or heard. But I think that I have done a lot better than usual with new science fiction / fantasy / horror / speculative fiction than usual. So here is a … Continue reading "Favorite SF of 2016"

Canavan on Octavia Butler

Wed, 28 Dec 2016 01:15:50 +0000

Gerry Canavan’s new book on Octavia Butler is smart and useful. It gives a good introduction to Butler for people who have never read her before, but it also provides much food for thought to those who (like me) have already read all of Butler’s published works, and know them well. This is the case both … Continue reading "Canavan on Octavia Butler"

Ray Brassier on Nick Land

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 18:32:13 +0000

This is a brief (and quickly written) commentary on an old talk by Ray Brassier, about Nick Land, dating from 2010. The questions around speculative realism, accelerationism, and Land’s current politics are all still with us today. Brassier describes Land’s philosophical project, its impetus, its originality, and why it ends in an impasse that Land … Continue reading "Ray Brassier on Nick Land"

Alain Tanner, JONAH WHO WILL BE 25 IN THE YEAR 2000

Fri, 07 Oct 2016 03:07:31 +0000

I really like the Francophone Swiss director Alain Tanner, and I wish to see him recovered from his current oblivion. I originally saw some of his films in the 1970s, the only period when they were released in the US with English subtitles. They are long since out of circulation in the English-speaking world, but … Continue reading "Alain Tanner, JONAH WHO WILL BE 25 IN THE YEAR 2000"

Frank Ocean, ENDLESS — first thoughts

Fri, 19 Aug 2016 18:30:20 +0000

Frank Ocean’s Endless contains lots of gorgeous music, though it is difficult to take it all in on first listen. The music is mostly low-key, soulful r&b, but mutated with a lot of electronica and various fuzz effects. (While Ocean’s music sounds very different from that of Dawn Richards, they can both be described as … Continue reading "Frank Ocean, ENDLESS — first thoughts"