Month: July 2015

Pride and Prejudice in Space

Pride and Prejudice In Space is the predecessor of Blue Blue City, a bizarrely corrupted version of Pride and Prejudice.

I know I go on a bit about my Smashwords stuff on this blog, but I reckon someone would get a kick out of this text. I came up with a bunch of new words. Words like Saturcentury. My guess is that Saturcentury comes every seven centuries and is a great deal of fun. Just a gut feeling.

And here’s an extract:
The tumult of his scalp, was every later and then painfully great! He misunderstood how to support himself, but from actual weakness rolled down, get down, everybody down on the dance floor, but vomited for half-an- infinite amount of time!

The reason I went with Pride and Prejudice is that I felt completely neutral towards the text. Since reading it, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s basically Arrested Development in period dress. Not really my thing.

I have to warn you, there’s some pretty crude humour in this document. Word-replacement turns any text into a mad-libs game, and some crude words are just plain funny. So watch out.

There’s also another old version of Blue Blue City. Check it out, if you want. And as always, the canonical version of Blue Blue City is available from Smashwords.

My ambition with these texts is that they find an audience that will take them seriously. I’m thinking the Marina Abramovic crowd. Maybe get someone to read extracts out at an open-mic night, just to see the reactions. I’m telling you, internet, digital cut-up is True Art!

Cheap Ereaders

I try to do Ascii art on my Kindle, didn't really work. Creative Common 3.

For most of you, there’ll be one point in your ebook life in which you must pay money. That point is when you actually purchase your ereader.

I’m loyal to the Kindle brand. My first ereader was the bog-standard Kindle, which currently costs 69 dollars on Amazon. I’d recommend starting out with this model. It is cheap, has buttons instead of an irritating touchscreen, and with one gigabyte of storage you can still carry a thousand books in your hand.

I don’t advise leaning your hand on your Kindle as you stand up from a couch, as this was how I broke my first ereader. I’m currently using the Kindle Keyboard, which costs 139 dollars. The keyboard is impractical but it has four gigabytes of storage.

I’ve also had a play on the Kindle Paperwhite, 119 dollars on Amazon. The back-lit screen was neat, but I wanted more storage and the touch screen annoyed me. I’d recommend this model for the children of parents who are overzealous about bedtimes.

To put most free ebooks on your Kindle you’ll need cable with a USB head on one end and a micro USB on the other. These are sold with Kindles, and replacements only cost ten dollars.

The Shadow Out of Time – H. P. Lovecraft

ShadowOutOfTime

Fair use. Source

I had to go through some heavy academic reading for my thesis, but I knew that if I went from the brilliance of Wandering Stars to that I’d get awesomeness withdrawal. I’d been meaning to reread this story for a while, and this seemed like a good time for it.

As the title suggests, The Shadow Out Of Time is a story about sinister time travel. Admittedly, the Great Race of Yith, the time travelers in question, are fairly altruistic by the Lovecraft’s standards. They’re these weirdo aliens who settled the primordial Earth in the days long before abiogenesis, and disappeared sometime before the dinosaurs went extinct. A scholarly species, the Yith developed a means of time travel that relied upon possessing the bodies of creatures from any period in history. This technique was used mainly for scholarly purposes, although it makes for a quick evacuation plan whenever the local situation became untenable.

The protagonist of the tale is Professor Peasley, who is either a victim or a beneficiary of the Yith’s time shenanigans. When his body is stolen by a Yith scholar, his consciousness is summoned to an extremely prehistoric Earth There he encounters many wonders and anachronistic minds. (All in all, a pretty sweet deal.) Of course, as soon as he returns to his own time he returns as an amnesiac. Peasley takes up an interest in the psychological and the paranormal, attempting to figure out what exactly happened.

The nice thing about this story is that the Yith ruins end up in Australia. I’m not too keen on how Australian Aboriginals are depicted as stock superstitious savages.

This story presents a few interesting opportunities for derivative pastiches. The time period and focus on psychology suggest a drama about a war veteran’s Yith episode being mistaken for shell shock, something like Pat Barker’s Regeneration. (I’d love to see what a psychoanalyst would make of Peasley’s library dreams.) The Yith’s tendency to use time travel for historical research recalls the Last Men from Olaf Stapledon’s Last And First Men. Maybe the two can fight with possessed victims in the Middle Ages. What would happen if an Australian mining billionaire uncovered the ruins of the Yith? Sure, there’s probably some interesting tech there they could show to CSIRO, but I think it’s far more plausible that they’ll be possessed by some Yith guard. Would that be an improvement?

The next book on my list is Clive Barker’s Imajica. It’s a brick, about eight-hundred pages lot. So far it looks like a clear predecessor to Abarat. I have big expectations.