Weekend links 121


Title spread for The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities (2011) edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer.

I was surprised this week to find myself nominated as Best Artist in the World Fantasy Awards. The results will be announced at the World Fantasy Convention in November. Among the books nominated for Best Anthology is the Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities for which I provided title page designs and some illustrations. Editors Ann & Jeff are well-represented (and ought to win for their landmark The Weird anthology), and I’m pleased to see Mark Valentine receive a nod for his excellent Wormwood magazine. Mark and Roger Dobson published my first Lovecraft adaptation, The Haunter of the Dark, in a large-format edition under their Caermaen imprint in 1988.

I remember having a conversation with my father about it. I told him what I’d really have liked to find, in my exhaustive search of the canon, was a gay superhero. You know: fucking dudes, saving the world. Never mind the fact that superheroes, with their notoriously contour-hugging apparel, are usually assumed gay by default. I wanted something that had existed, something from history. My father considered my criteria.

“I think what you want is Gore Vidal.”

Henry Giardina on Gore Vidal’s Bully Republic at the Paris Review.

• Appreciations and memorials for the late Gore Vidal continue to surface: “He was punk rock with a traditional, smooth exterior. But there was nothing traditional about him, not really. He defied singular category,” says Aaron Tilford at Lambda Literary. “Jokes course through Vidal’s entropy-heavy commentaries like a warm, reviving current. They, more than the barbs to which they form a counterpoint, are what make his essays a continuing pleasure to read,” says “J.C.” at the TLS.

• “Winterson’s opposition to strict realism is less an artistic critique than a cultural one. She uses the term ‘realism’ to describe an entrenched way of viewing the world, which it is the writer’s duty to challenge.” Hannah Tennant-Moore on Jeanette Winterson at n+1.

The Ghosts of Bush by Robin The Fog: “A final hauntological perambulation around the hidden corners of Bush House, Aldwych, London, June 2012”.

• “For everything that is not shown, the filmmaker counts on the power of imagination of his viewers.” Lebbeus Woods on Chris Marker and La Jetée.

Joseph Burnett on “Rainbow Ambiguity: Defying conservatism in mainstream LGBT culture”.

• Leigh Brackett book and magazine covers at Golden Age Comic Book Stories.

BLDGBLOG visited the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London.

Stilled Life: A collection of photography by Thom Ayres.

• Underground subversion: Stickers on the Central Line.

Andrei Codrescu on five favourite Fantastical Tales.

Vangelis performs an analogue synth freakout for Spanish TV in 1982 | Oro Opus Alter, a track from the forthcoming album by Ufomammut | New World, a track from the forthcoming album by The Irrepressibles. Can’t wait.

7 thoughts on “Weekend links 121”

  1. Congratulations, any justice and you’ll walk it!
    Noticed that Tim Powers is up for a writing award, too.

  2. Best of luck with that nomination. Considering the usual book cover fare I see whenever I actually step inside a book store any more (there aren’t a whole lot of admirable, old-school bookdealers in Des Moines, Iowa), well, then, you really ought to win. That anthology has gotten a lot of notice lately, and its not as though most prominent book publishers pay as much attention to aesthetics as, say, Centipede Press. If you don’t win this, I’ll be interested in knowing who in fact did, and likely be outraged by it. I am actually kind of afraid of looking at who else has been nominated.

    On the subject of your youtube posts, I am really glad someone still knows who Vangelis is. Of course, given your ongoing enthusiasm for atmospheric electronic esoterica, I shouldn’t be surprised that you would have discovered this. A lot of people are surprised that I like or even know of him, given what I usually listen to. Yet it was Vangelis who composed one of my favorite soundtracks to one of my favorite movies, Blade Runner.

  3. Thanks, everyone. I was surprised since the Best Artist category is usually filled by people who are painters rather than designer/illustrators which (for want of a better label) is my job description. That’s not a complaint, just the way things are done in the genre book world where the cover artist is still a significant figure.

    Wiley: One of my recent Lovecraft pieces should be on the cover of a new Centipede book soon. Not sure when but I’ll post the news here when I know more.

    I’ve got a lot of time for Vangelis, especially the Blade Runner score. The film would have been diminished without his music. I like his early albums a great deal (and that berserk 666 album he did when he was in Aphrodite’s Child), especially China which points the way to Blade Runner in places. Always thought the way he combined synths with percussion was very effective.

  4. Congrats on the nomination, and on the beautiful work! And thanks for the Stilled Life link! (I’ve tried to send an email but have been repeatedly bounced back.)

  5. Thanks, Thom. Sorry about the email trouble, it’s been a bit sporadic at my end as well. No idea why. I’ve sent you an email with my other address (assuming that gets through…).

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