02 June 2004


Lacking anything even remotely interesting to say, l'll point you to better places than here:

The current Village Voice has some good stuff in it, including a brief review of Nick Mamatas's Kerouac/Cthulhu novel Move Under Ground (which you can get at a good discount and possibly signed from Clamor Magazine). It's an interesting review in that it considers the novel along with some recent books about the Beats, concluding:
In fact, Kerouac's "bebop prosody" and the Cthulhu mythos dovetail nicely, and what seems at first like literary stunt-casting actually gives Mamatas room to recast the Beats' fall from grace in fanciful terms unhindered by their tricky psychology, the strictures of reality and realism -- or lingering platitudes.
Also worth reading in the Voice is Michael Musto's take on The Day After Tomorrow and other events:
The cuckoo movie of the week is The Day After Tomorrow, which is about the real problem terrorizing the world today--the weather! Not since SLY STALLONE's arm-wrestling epic have I been so not worked up by a film's subject matter. "Just use an umbrella!" you want to yell at the screen (and when the characters burn books to stay warm, you want to screech, "No! Give them to the screenwriters!"). Actually, Tomorrow has spectacular effects, though the tornado must have blown away most of the script. The clichéd characters--the cancer boy reading Peter Pan, the homeless black guy who eats out of the garbage--are barely established before the Northern Hemisphere starts getting devastated by giant ice cubes. At least when Hollywood gets creamed early on, you have good reason to cheer.
Thanks to Rake's Progress I discovered a long-winded-but-occasionally-illuminating roundtable discussion that essentially addresses the question of "Is there such a thing as avant-garde poetry anymore?" in response to a column by Joan Houlihan. I think there are a lot of parallels between contemporary poetry and contemporary speculative fiction, some of which are apparent in amidst the very dense discussion.

If you don't know what the speed of light is, and you want to calculate it using marshmallows and a microwave, there is now a technique for doing so. (via Improbable Research)

Finally, because they're always useful, some Stanley Kubrick links: Michael Ciment's "Stanley Kubrick and the Fantastic", Ian Watson's memoir, and Michael Dare on Kubrick, King, and the Ultimate Scare Tactic (the last three are all from the excellent text-based Kubrick Site, which has plenty of other interesting material, including the original reactions to 2001 by Ed Emshwiller, Samuel R. Delany, and Lester Del Rey).