Oh My.

I am positively giddy.

A word from the man himself:

Spanning the period between the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I, this novel moves from the labor troubles in Colorado to turn-of-the-century New York, to London and Gottingen, Venice and Vienna, the Balkans, Central Asia, Siberia at the time of the mysterious Tunguska Event, Mexico during the Revolution, postwar Paris, silent-era Hollywood, and one or two places not strictly speaking on the map at all.

With a worldwide disaster looming just a few years ahead, it is a time of unrestrained corporate greed, false religiosity, moronic fecklessness, and evil intent in high places. No reference to the present day is intended or should be inferred.

The sizable cast of characters includes anarchists, balloonists, gamblers, corporate tycoons, drug enthusiasts, innocents and decadents, mathematicians, mad scientists, shamans, psychics, and stage magicians, spies, detectives, adventuresses, and hired guns. There are cameo appearances by Nikola Tesla, Bela Lugosi, and Groucho Marx.

As an era of certainty comes crashing down around their ears and an unpredictable future commences, these folks are mostly just trying to pursue their lives. Sometimes they manage to catch up; sometimes it’s their lives that pursue them.

Meanwhile, the author is up to his usual business. Characters stop what they’re doing to sing what are for the most part stupid songs. Strange sexual practices take place. Obscure languages are spoken, not always idiomatically. Contrary-to-the-fact occurrences occur. If it is not the world, it is what the world might be with a minor adjustment or two. According to some, this is one of the main purposes of fiction.

Let the reader decide, let the reader beware. Good luck.

currently playing: David Bowie – Modern love

My Influence

When I started work last December, there were no Linux machines anywhere on campus. Now, there’s four servers, eight client machines installed this morning, and at least three more servers on the way! Muahahahahaha.

currently playing: Girls Aloud – Girls Allowed

I Don't Want A Cake And I Don't Want To Eat It

As a follow-up to Saturday’s post, I have to recommend HMV.co.jp. I ordered on Saturday, it was shipped Monday, and it arrived here this morning! And, to add to the recommendation, it came with a Johnny Boy badge and, yes, a lyric booklet. In English and Japanese! Some things are a little clearer now…

currently playing: Thom Yorke – Skip Divided

Don't Forget To Salt The Bones

Today, Microsoft finally plunged the stake through the heart of a most-likely illegal tying of two products designed to kill off superior competitors, at last killing the DOS bloodline. It took four months to write, but the terrible legacy of QDOS has hung over the personal computer industry ever since. It may be fifteen years too late, but Microsoft has realised that a security model is actually quite useful. And hey, they’ve also remembered that they have a web browser! And they’re going to fix it! You’d think Firefox might have a 15% share of the browser market in America or something.

Let’s not celebrate too soon, though. There’s still millions of copies of Windows 98 and the horrific Windows Me (even Microsoft disowns that mess) out there on the Internet, ready to become zombies in the botnets that circle the globe. Thanks, Microsoft. Really.

Moving on? Why not skip off the Microsoft treadmill? Apple’s treadmill is shinier, but they make you pay for it, while Ubuntu is not quite as flash, but costs as much as a blank CD…

currently playing: Girls Aloud – No Regrets

How I Learnt To Stop Worrying And Love The Who

A détente, then. My sister came to terms with it a long time before I did, but Who is never going to resemble what I want it to be: an imaginative, tightly-scripted and plotted telefantasy show. Like its previous incarnation, you have to accept that it’s often going to be inconsistent, often incoherent, and plotted like a monkey on a sugar high.

The opening thirty minutes? Teh awesome. The Cybermen / Dalek bitchfest was simply wonderful. The Daleks backing off when Rose mentioned the Doctor. The Doctor and his sonic screwdriver - a cheer. The secret of the Genesis Ark? Genius (Although I was screaming ‘it’s the Hand of Omega!’ just before the prison TARDIS was opened). Lady Torchwood overriding CyberControl? A good stiff upper lip, just like the Brigadier.

The final emo ten minutes? Funnily enough, I think that one of RTD’s weak points is that his Who scripts just never pack the emotional punch that he aims for; there’s always a repeated joke that he uses to lighten the mood, and then run that joke into the ground for two minutes to make sure we get it (most obviously in Love And Monsters, but shown here in Jackie’s “how rich?” routine), and he never manages to capture emotions in the way that Sorkin, Whedon, Sherman-Palladino, McGovern, or a host of other writers do. But, it’s adequate, it’s not going to change, and the last bit of the Rose/Doctor exchange was good. So I’ll take the flashes of greatness and try not to get annoyed at the dumb bits in the future.

(also? His Dark Materials?)

Having said that, the final thirty seconds made me want to rip off his arms and beat him to death with them, but hey, I guess that was his intention.

currently playing: The Flaming Lips – It Overtakes Me / The Stars Are So Big … I Am So Small … Do I Stand A Chance?

Big In Japan!

Number 19 with a bullet!

(If you’re torn, then I’d suggest picking the Japanese copy over the Swedish issue - it contains the remix of You Are The Generation… and the probably quite rare Johnny Boy Dub, previously only available on their Boobytrap single (but don’t bother ordering it from Boobytrap, because despite what their store pages say, they don’t have any copies left. Can you tell I speak from bitter experience? I knew you could. Aha, they’ve updated it now. Well, I’m still sulking). £17 from Japan isn’t too bad for an import. Oh, and it has the video for You Are The Generation… as well!

currently playing: Patti Smith – Land: Horses / Land of a Thousand Dances / La Mer (de)

Funnily Enough, I Was Just Thinking About This Today

The reason why Courtney Love won’t be invited back to Glastonbury any time soon. But boy, did I wish I was closer to the stage at that point.

(Later on, she appeared in a heat-induced vision I had between The Other Stage and The Main Stage. Which was interesting)

currently playing: Primal Scream – If They Move, Kill ‘Em

I Can't Wait To Hear The Radio Edit!

Jarvis Cocker is back! Back! BACK!

currently playing: Laura Nyro – Stoned Soul Picnic

O America

You know I love you, but you are a little bit strange and freaky and disturbing sometimes…


currently playing: The Arcade Fire – Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles)

Johnny Boy @ The Luminaire

Contains unrestrained fanboy gushing and swearing, yet, surprisingly, I wrote this Johnny Boy review completely sober…