New Dead Families

Musician/writer Zack Wentz has started a new online SF literary journal called New Dead Families.  They have already featured short works by Blake Butler and Colette Phair.  With this outlet Zack intends to share an “exceptional selection of stories and visual art by a variety of writers and artists I both admire and enjoy.”

In some alternate universe there is my ideal periodical:  a cross between H.L. Gold’s Galaxy, and Gordon Lish’s the Quarterly, and/or Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds and Bradford Morrow’s Conjunctions.  In the 70’s there were a number of original paperback anthologies that came close: Damon Knight’s Orbit series, Judith Merril’s numerous SF bests, and Harry Harrison’s Nova.

But where are those sorts of literary venues now?  Where could that kind of work go now?

Perhaps New Dead Families is that periodical, in that place, and by some quantum trick I have pushed/pulled that alternate universe into my own.  This.


We can certainly try, can’t we?

Sunday, September 27th at The Cinefamily Silent Movie Theatre in L.A.

José Antonio Sistiaga: Ere Erera Baleibu Icik Subua Aruaren
(w/ new live score by Savage Republic)

“Basque abstract artist José Antonio Sistiaga painted directly onto film with homemade inks to create this silent 1970 feature. But Sistiaga’s strangely titled work… is different from the films of Stan Brakhage, who didn’t come to film from painting and had his own rhythm. […] [I]ts combination of color and 35-millimeter ‘scope (with about half an hour in black and white) yields the kind of spectacle one associates with musicals and [science fiction] epics.” — Jonathan Rosenbaum

A hand-painted masterpiece of the 1970s; a legendary band of the 1980s. Sistiaga’s rarely-screened ere erera baleibu icik subua aruaren is a work of uncompromising beauty that absolutely deserves a wider appreciation. Savage Republic, one of the unrecognized godfathers of post-rock, formed roughly three decades ago in the midst of the Los Angeles punk rock scene and abruptly disbanded in 1989. In recent years, they’ve reformed and their unique sound (somewhat akin to a Middle Eastern surf band backed by the rhythm section from Joy Division) is as compelling and inexorable as ever. Original members Ethan Port and Thom Fuhrmann, joined by Alan Waddington and Kerry Dowling, will perform their newly commissioned score to Sistiaga’s prodigious work (presented in a stunning 35mm print from Paris.) DJ Michael Stock of Part Time Punks will be on-hand to man the decks, spinning tunes during the pre-show!

Sunday, September 27th – 7PM
The Cinefamily Silent Movie Theatre
611 N Fairfax Avenue / Los Angeles, 90036

Buy tickets here.

Today's Autonomedia Jubilee Saint — Thomas Disch

July 5– Thomas Disch
Gay American science fiction writer, dystopianist, suicide victim.

Mallarmé drowning
Chatterton coughing up his lungs
Auden frozen in a cottage
Byron expiring at Missolonghi
and Hart Crane visiting Missolonghi and dying there too

The little boot of Sylvia Plath wedged in its fatal stirrup
Tasso poisoned
Crabbe poisoned
T.S. Eliot raving for months in a Genoa hospital before he died
Pope disappearing like a barge in a twilight of drugs

The execution of Marianne Moore
Pablo Neruda spattered against the Mississippi
Hofmannsthal’s electrocution
The quiet painless death of Robert Lowell
Alvarez bashing his bicycle into an oak

The Brownings lost at sea
The premature burial of Thomas Gray
The baffling murder of Stephen Vincent Benét
Stevenson dying of dysentery
and Catullus of a broken heart

Tom Disch

*Tomar, Portugal: Fiesta do Tapuleiros begins. An elaborate harvest fiesta, featuring 600 girls wearing 30-pound headresses made of bread, as tall as the girls and decorated with flowers, with Maltese crosses on top.

645 — Flint-Sky-God K accedes to Mayan throne of Dos Pilas.
1857 — German radical feminist Clara Zetkin born, Widerau, Saxony.
1861 — Lincoln suspends habeus corpus, leading to 18,000 “subversive” arrests.
1889 — French surrealist filmmaker Jean Cocteau born, Maisons-Lafitte.
1894 — Pullman Strike starts in Chicago; federal troops will kill 34 unionists.
1932 — First prisoners arrive at Bolshevik prison-labor camp, Kolyma, Siberia.
2008 — Dystopian American science fiction writer Thomas Disch dies, New York City.

Excerpted from The 2009 Autonomedia Calendar of Jubilee Saints: Radical Heroes for the New Millennium by James Koehnline and the Autonomedia Collective

Philip K. Dick: The Orange County Years

So have you all seen the new issue of Orange Coast magazine yet? You know, “the magazine of Orange County”? Yeah, us neither. But thankfully LA Observed checked it out and hipped us to this decent article about Philip K. Dick’s final years of ducking the spotlight, having profound religious experiences and munching on Trader Joe’s grub down in the OC, basically living a life quite similar — minus the amphetamines he’d mostly left behind — to the goners of A Scanner Darkly. An excerpt:

Dick moved from Fullerton to downtown Santa Ana, where he rented a two-bedroom apartment that he later bought when the building went condo. As a bohemian hipster whose work depicted future people oppressed by life in their monstrously huge, regimented, soulless “conapt” complexes, Dick couldn’t escape the irony that he lived in a condo. In a 1980 Slash magazine interview, he denounced the condo association’s resident meetings as creepily intrusive.

In truth, Dick’s new residence was in some ways ideally suited to him. His building had an elaborate security system, which assuaged his latent paranoia. For the agoraphobic author, the apartment was within walking distance of the post office and a Trader Joe’s, where he could pick up roast beef sandwiches and frozen dinners.

Read the whole of “The Unending Tale of Philip K. Dick” at Orange Coast, or right here after the jump.

Continue reading

Todays Autonomedia Jubilee Saint – GORDON CHILDE

Gordon Childe
Australian Marxist archeologist and prehistorian.

*Dreams of Reason Feast Day, dedicated to discarded scientific theory and science fiction futures.
*Good Friday
*Pan American Day

1865 — U.S. President Abraham Lincoln shot by John Wilkes Booth.
1828 — Noah Webster copyrights his first Dictionary.
1874 — American communalist Josiah Warren dies, Boston, Massachusetts.
1892 — Radical anthropologist Gordon Childe born, North Sydnet, Australia.
1912 — The unsinkable mega-ship Titanic sinks, hitting an iceberg.
1956 — First videotape demonstrated, Chicago, Illionoise.
1964 — American ocology writer Rachel Carson dies, Silver Springs, Maryland
1966 — Swiss pharmaceutical firm Sandoz discontinues production of LSD.
1970 — Two students fatally shot in anti-war protest, Jackson State University, Mississippi.
1986 — French philosopher and feminist Simon de Beauvoir dies, Paris, France.

Excerpted from The 2009 Autonomedia Calendar of Jubilee Saints: Radical Heroes for the New Millennium by James Koehnline and the Autonomedia Collective