Sucked in Again

An article I’m supposed to be writing sent me back to reacquaint myself with the ineffable delights of David Levy’s Love and Sex with Robots. Wherein, Strangers, you will find gems like this:
“Clockwork vibrators, for example, tended to run down rather quickly, and often just at the moment when the woman needed them most, while a stem-driven vibrator invented in the United States in 1869 was inconvenient for doctors to use because they repeatedly had to shovel coal into its boiler.”


In Memoriam

As my pub date approaches, and Strange Flesh bursts forth to be fruitful and multiply, it feels appropriate to spend a moment to commemorate the thousands of sentences that perished in its at times gruesome fight for survival. Here then, I exhume a few valiant snippets to honor the dead:

I can’t help stopping to listen, but it appears that the proceedings have been waylaid by a debate about whether the league’s mandate covers exclusively poetry written in PERL or whether it also includes using PERL to write poetry in other languages, such as Old Elvish. Chairs were set up for a much more ambitious turnout than they received.
– – –
“So the guy was no Van Gogh right. Who checks himself out with untold millions in the bank?”
“Kurt Cobain?”
“That was murder dude. And I never saw Billy hanging around with any psychopathic coke whore.”
– – –
“Given the utter sterility of the stage in the nineties, I elected to pursue my interests in interactive automata.”

Ave brave phrases! Your sacrifice was not in vain.


Gray Goo

A high level Stranger recently sent me an autographed copy of this marvelous book. Whipping through it, makes me wonder whether Mr. Gibson is particularly adept at pushing my mental buttons, or whether he installed the panels to being with.

Hard to otherwise explain the unaccountable delight at turning a page to see the chapter title: Will We Have Computer Chips in Our Heads? [Jan 19, 2000].  Apparently a question frequently asked of him…

His answer boils down to “No” :

“It has to do with a certain archaic distinction we still tend to make, a distinction between computing and “the world.” Between, if you like, the virtual and the real.

I very much doubt that our grandchildren will understand the distinction between that which is a computer and that which isn’t.”

But I doubt they’ll lose the distinction between “the world” and “themselves.” That one’s refrigerator might one day recite The Inferno, doesn’t much signify to me. I want to know detailed biographies for every extra in The Big Lebowski in the same way I know that I love Chardonnay. “Be they glass or goo” I still want the Wet Interface I was promised.


Nice Review

Here is a nice review from Eva van Emden, an editor in Vancouver:

Like the rest of the world, I am an avid consumer of internet ailurophilia, so I find it quite exciting to see SF’s cover model being ogled by this particular feline. It is well known that cats, being sensitive to tenebrous mystical forces, are astute cultural arbiters. So I’ll consider this a propitious sign.

From our Friend Donatien

As someone whose book deals extensively with the Marquis de Sade, I’m always surprised when I find quotes I haven’t run across before. Today this little delight:

“All, all is theft, all is unceasing and rigorous competition in nature; the desire to make off with the substance of others is the foremost – the most legitimate – passion nature has bred into us and, without doubt, the most agreeable one.”

“Make off with the substance of others” feels like a particularly lovely turn of phrase.