Weekend links 597


Untitled art by Toshio Okazaki from JCA Annual 5, 1984.

• “Yeah, when I first started writing it, nobody knew what to call it at all. I mean, the publishers didn’t know what to call it. They thought that Tolkien was (writing about) a post-apocalyptic nuclear world. That’s the only way they could perceive an alternate world, in other words. And it was the same with Mervyn Peake… they’re all interpreted that way. The idea of putting ‘fantasy’ on a book meant usually meant that it was a children’s book. And if you put fantasy as the genre, they usually put ‘SF’ larger than ‘fantasy’ to show that it was what it was.” Michael Moorcock (again) talking to Derek Garcia about fiction, games, and (of course) Elric.

• “Non-payment, low payment, late payment and promises of jam tomorrow, or at some unspecified future date, bedevil the freelance life as they did five centuries ago.” Indeed. Boyd Tonkin on Albrecht Dürer, patron saint of stroppy freelancers.

• “All at once, Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret is tender, outrageous and daft.” Patrick Clarke compiles an oral history of Soft Cell’s debut album.

Yeah, it was kind of a media hype. In January [1967], the media said, [breathless] ‘Oh my god, San Francisco is the place to be. Come to San Francisco, wear flowers in your hair.’ So we had a meeting of the people in the Haight-Ashbury about how we were going to deal with so many people coming. The Diggers decided to kind of make it a university of the streets, an alternative anarchist culture.

We knew that all these people were coming to San Francisco, and we knew they weren’t going to stay. And we thought, well, the best thing we could do would be to kind of educate them about the kinds of things that are possible in society, and then let them go back to where they’re from, and they would carry these ideas. And that is what happened. We were quite successful in that.

Judy Goldhaft of the San Francisco Diggers talking to Jay Babcock for another installment of Jay’s verbal history of the hippie anarchists

• “What ‘impossible’ meant to Richard Feynman; what I learned when I challenged the legendary physicist,” by Paul J. Steinhardt.

• At Strange Flowers: part one of James Conway’s essential end-of-year shopping list, Secret Satan.

• Mixes of the week: Part II and Part III of the three-part At The Outer Marker series by David Colohan.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Olivia Duval presents…Suave: A History of Les Disques du Crépuscule.

Mystery and Truth of the Cthulhu Myth, a Japanese guide to the Cthulhu Mythos.

• Intimacy, Loss and Hope: Inside Florian Hetz’s beautiful 2020 photo diary.

• New music: The Tower (The City) by Vanessa Rossetto/Lionel Marchetti.

Nite Jewel’s favourite albums.

• RIP Stephen Sondheim.

Nothing Is Impossible (1974) by The Interns | Mission Impossible Theme (1981) by Ippu-Do | Impossible Guitar (1982) by Phil Manzanera

4 thoughts on “Weekend links 597”

  1. I was the deputy arts editor of one of the UK nationals for a decade as we resisted vainly the rising tide of the internet. I argued that our survival depended on being an intelligent ‘sieve’ of the great mass of digital data out there, and therefore intellectual integrity and artistic brio were everything if we meant to survive and even flourish. I lost the argument. It’s wonderful to find that people such as yourself John are fulfilling that function – unflaggingly – in the new digital landscape. Thanks.

  2. Many thanks, it’s always good to hear that people appreciate the posts. And it’s true that people value filters, whether they’re crowd-sourced (as with MetaFilter) or produced by individuals such as myself or the mysterious “we” at Things Magazine (http://www.thingsmagazine.net/).

  3. There is so much white noise on the internet that I appreciate “filters” such as yourself, John. In that spirit let me recommend the JF PTAK SCIENCE BOOKS site. At first blush a site dedicated to historical science publications might seem a bit dry but the place is a font of wonders. Check out posts with whimsical titles like “The Loneliness of Linoleum and the Psycho-Weaponization of Polygons, 1924” or “Invasion Scare Nihilism vs. Proto-World-Dominating Socialism vs. Pretty, 1893.”


  4. Thanks, Stephen. Your comment ended up in the bin for some reason. Lucky it wasn’t the spam filter since it gets multiple entries each day which I seldom check through before clearing them. I think my comment filters might be a little over-zealous.

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