A tribute to sci-fi author Jeff Lint (“the burst sofa of Pulp”) by Steve Aylett (Arthur, 2002)

Jeff Lint: The Burst Sofa of Pulp 

by Steve Aylett 

Originally published in Arthur No. 2 (December, 2002)

Pulp sci-fi author Jeff Lint has loomed large as an influence on my own work since I found a scarred copy of I Blame Ferns in a Charing Cross basement, an apparently baffled chef staring from the cover. After that I hunted down all the Lint stuff I could find and became a connoisseur of the subtly varying blank stares of booksellers throughout the world. 

Born in Chicago in 1929, Jeff (or Jack) Lint submitted his first story to the pulps during a childhood spent in Santa Fe. His first published effort appeared in a wartime edition of Amazing Stories because Lint submitted it under the name “Isaac Asimov.” “And Your Point Is?” tells the story of an unpopularly calm tramp who is pelted every day with rocks, from which he slowly builds a fine house. The story already reflected the notion of ‘effortless incitement’ which Lint would practice as an adult. “Jack was fantastic,” says friend Tony Fleece. “Went around blessing people – knew it was the most annoying thing he could do. A dozen times, strangers just beat the hell out of him.” Lint perfected the technique when he stumbled upon the notion of praying for people. 

Lint’s first novel was published by Dean Rodence’s Never company in New York. The relationship between Rodence and Lint was one of complete mistrust, rage and bloody violence. When submitting work in person, Lint insisted on appearing dressed as some kind of majorette. “He was a large man and clearly wasn’t happy at having to do this,” explains Fleece. “He blamed Rodence, was resentful. I still don’t know where he got the idea he had to dress that way when handing his stuff in.” 

The first novel with Never was One Less Person Lying, in which Billy Stem must tell the truth or be transformed into the average man. Rodence persuaded Lint to change the title word ‘Person’ to ‘Bastard.’ On a night of pre-press jitters, Rodence then partially re-wrote the final sections of the book so that Stem puts on a spacesuit and goes berserk, killing an innocent stranger with a large rock. The book was published as simply One Less Bastard. In the 25 years of their association Lint never forgave Rodence for the incident, and often alluded to it by repeated use of the word “bastard” when speaking to him. 

Around the time of his second published novel Cheerful When Blamed, Lint met his first wife Madeline, who was attracted to him by a knife scar which led from below his left eye to his mouth. This was in fact a sleep crease and Lint managed to maintain the mistake by napping through most of the marriage. But after five months a bout of insomnia put paid to the relationship and left Lint with nothing to occupy his time but his writing–luckily for the world of literature, as he produced some of his best work at this time, including Jelly Result, Nose Furnace, Slogan Love and I Eat Fog, all of which appeared on Rodence’s new Furtive Labors imprint. Turn Me Into a Parrot took issue with the fundamentalist notion that the world was only a few thousand years old and that dinosaur bones had been planted by god to test man¹s faith. Lint asserted that the world was only sixty years old and that the mischievous god had buried sewers, unexploded bombs and billions of people. In my own book Shamanspace I make it clear that humanity arrived eons ago but, like a man standing in front of an open fridge, has forgotten why. 

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STEVE AYLETT on the whole Matrix bollocks (Arthur, 2004)

The Mattress Has You

Steve Aylett pulls you from the pod 

Originally published in Arthur No. 8 (May 2004)

Reviewed: The whole Matrix bollocks.

There was a time when bone-white-fellas-in-long-black-coats-and-shades like myself could enter a lobby without everyone screaming and hitting the deck. But then, over a decade after the heyday of cyberpunk, The Matrix launched the lite version.

By the time a subculture surfaces all clean in the mainstream it’s been simplified to a couple of notes–look at Goth in the timid world of Buffy–but by keeping it simple, the first Matrix also kept it precise and consistent (except for the tapped phone before the meeting at the bridge and all the battery nonsense). There was just enough story to stand up–newbies spoke of “wheels within wheels” but in truth it was only a two-wheeler, the simplest “reality inside a reality” plot. Compared to the works of Greg Egan, The Matrix was Where’s Spot? and left the cyberpunks in the audience waiting for a twist that never came. Harlan Ellison had no mouth and had to scream years before Neo.

Why did the first Matrix work, when the story was so old? Virtual reality is old hat–William Gibson moved on from it when the first Matrix was a mere gleam on the shiny vinyl arse of Carrie-Anne Moss. The Matrix marked the first time VR had been done well on screen–the technology had finally got to the point where real images and CGI were genuinely indistinguishable. Compare this to Wild fucking Palms

The Matrix’slook is a mix of Dark City, Hardboiled, Blade, Accion Mutante, Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles and my own “Beerlight” stuff, but it established a cool of its own, working from the theory that the more blank faces there are on the screen, the fewer there will be in the audience. An actress like Fairuza Balk, whose face can really move, would have upset the whole deal. The blankness worked great, though, for Agent Smith, who would be hilarious just reciting from the phone book. In keeping with the “more quantity, less quality” scheme of the sequels, Smith uncoupled himself from the Matrix in Reloaded and duplicated himself hundreds of times. His “now it’s personal” thing went too far–Hugo Weaving’s restraint was what made him funny, and many characters and concepts fall apart when uncoupled from the rules–when Pinhead became a free agent in the third Hellraiser movie, he was no longer Pinhead, just a declaratory tosser. (In fact, Hellraiser III: Declaratory Tosser was one of the titles mooted for that sequel.) In Matrix Reloaded the balanced repartee of Weaving was taken up more successfully by Lambert Wilson in the character of the Merovingian, for whose scenes I woke up briefly. Even his girlfriend (Monica Bellucci) was a nice departure, in that she appeared to weigh more than a kilo. Meanwhile the good guys, two-note characters in the first film, were reduced here to a single robotic note–to the extent that the blank Keanu and stonier-than-thou Fishburne were often replaced with CGI stunt borgs. 

The Matrix movies have opened up “meaning-spotting” to the casual viewer, with a few very deliberate meanings and the most impressively inadvertent ones since Willem Dafoe’s 9/11 prophecy in Faraway, So Close and the characters Mac and Windows in Carpenter’s The Thing (which one contains the nasty bug? which one will last longest and operate most creatively?). The “there is no spoon” notion of changing the Matrix by thinking differently about it is meant to push the Buddhist/postmodern folly that believing something makes it so, thus removing the expectation of having to physically do anything about it. “There is no fact” is beloved of government because it helps people to accept anything that’s done to them. And it’s more glamorous to talk about evil machines (or aliens, demons, vampires, Satan …) than it is to deal straight with the utterly bland human bastards who actually fuck us over. Real evil is too crass and low-res to work as an industry pitch. This is the problem with science fiction–the more compelling the world created on screen, the less likely that anyone will translate it back into an active meaning in the real world. So this remains a story about energy-battery humans plugged into VR, and not about the constant re-examination of thought premises leading to practical action.

I liked the first Matrix okay but I wish it was braver and more specific. The IRS is mentioned in passing but not the PNAC–such surgical opportunities are regularly missed. Fans look for rabbit references–Night of the Lupus is on TV in the Oracle’s apartment–it’s a safe little parlor game. Maybe the Matrix trilogy will make mental activity glamorous by making it synonymous with kicking the hell out of people, but in doing so it may remove people’s understanding of how and when to physically do so.

I briefly hoped that Revolutions might throw some folds into the cyberpunk lite routine, with Smith ending up as a deadpan stand-up comic in the style of Richard Belzer. The “humans and machines should work together” bit–obvious enough to be unavoidable even for the arch-evaders directing this mess–could in fact have been dodged at the last minute in favor of a splodgy, wading pie fight like something out of The Great Race. Get in there, Monica! But no–the requisite lusty enthusiasm and flushed, giggly humanness would have been a universe out of place. 

I was hoping that at the very least the wasteland and Zion could turn out to be another digital reality inside another inside another etc all set up for the amusement of the cat which Neo saw twice in the first film–the cat is called Ramone and is having the time of his life. “And that’s what I did for the weekend,” the sock-puppet cat says in the final frames of Revolutions, and smiles open-mouthed like Kermit the Frog. Fade to black. Instead we have Smith the Terrorist, designated villain, ultimate cop-out distraction from the real manipulators. 

Like Nebuchadnezzar, the namesake of Morpheus’s hoversub, viewers will always evade what the dream really means, for fear of having to actually do something about it. Don’t really get out from under, just pretend you’re Neo and that you could any time you wanted. It’s a portable adventure you can carry anywhere and superimpose over any situation as a prophylactic against real action. There will be no Revolution. You’re still asleep, smartass. The mattress has you.

Steve Aylett is the author of Slaughtermatic, Atom and Shamanspace

Visit http://www.steveaylett.com


Jason Leivian writes:

It wouldn’t have happened without THE CATERER.

Arthur ran a two page sample of Steve Aylett’s bizarro masterpiece in one of their back issues and I thought it was hilarious. Years later after opening my own comic shop I contacted Steve to see about reprinting THE CATERER in vintage comic form. I also emailed Jay and mentioned the project to him. A lightbulb must’ve gone on in Jay’s head. He put together that I was the publisher of Diamond Comics, a free comics newspaper anthology and he emailed me a few weeks later asking if I’d like to be comics editor for Arthur Magazine.

In the years since we’ve published work by dozens of incredible artists, interviewed folks, shared trippy animation and hopefully given a sense of what’s good and interesting in the international art comics scene. Will started collaborating with me later and introduced the full screen Greenermags format which I really dig.

We’re going to transfer all the Arthur Comics to my store’s website and I plan on curating more “Arthur Comics” there in the future.

I wasn’t able to get the link set up by the March 15th deadline, but you will be able to find us soon at – http://floatingworldcomics.com/comics

I’m also excited to announce that I’ll be publishing a chap book with Arthur contributor, Anthony Alvarado, of his DIY MAGIC articles in May or June.

Thanks again, Jay, for helping us find the others.

ARTHUR'S ASTROLOGY by Steve Aylett (Arthur 12/March 2004)

By guest astrologer Steve Aylett

first published in Arthur No. 12 (March 2004)

(August 23 – September 23)
You will develop the frictionless face of a dolphin and thus enter the bar at greater speed. All present will address you as a “bottlenose bastard.” Incapable of human speech, you will not be able to order. The anecdote will flourish on the rubber-chicken dinner circuit, bringing precious little benefit to you, Virgo. Yet in September your huge button eyes will fall upon a new love and romance will blossom. Understand that this is a time of regeneration. A man who believes in a billion things has a billion used tickets to sell. A clean slate awaits the squeak of a lie—don’t blow it, Virgo!
Reading: Whatever it purports to be, if everyone stops to watch, it is not advisable to drink it.

(September 24 – October 23)
Arriving at work in early July, you will remove your coat and calmly push it into the mouth of your employer. Congratulations! Sympathising with their arrogance might encourage them to rule over you. Evade your responsibilities in September by mounting an adroit display of wasting sickness. A tip: cotton wool soaked in red dye looks like guts! Atone for your work by hurdling gravestones wearing a tail like an arrow. But beware—sooner or later the Supreme Court will have you by the legs. The scales of justice mirror those of your own sign, Libra. Make a freakshow of your tears and tell them a fire-breathing wren told you to do it. This is the sort of nonsense of which courts are disposed to take a tolerant view. They’ll send you away with pity and laughter. Unguarded remarks about Larry Hagman will earn you a smack in the mouth. Keep digging the tunnel.
Reading: Never refer to a large dog as a friend—he is in custody and he knows it.

(October 24 – November 22)
One of your henchmen will betray you to the fuzz. Saturn in Gemini in your second house leads to the confiscation of illegal earnings, which is how you could afford the second house in the first place. Traitors, all in rare form, are straining every nerve to keep from sniggering. In the festive season eleven bullets will unexpectedly take up lodging in your back. From your wounds the ballistic route will be triangulated to the fuzzy image of your mother, caught in the background of a tourist’s snapshot. She is holding a rifle and has never looked so fulfilled. The corpse of your first victim will be dug up on a nutmeg plantation. A deposit of Iron Age snot will also be detected. In court your shouts of explanation will stray off the charted edges of the alphabet. “Our only option was a grisly disposal at midnight” is no defense, Scorpio. Begging for leniency, you will come to regret that you have only two knees upon which to crawl. I see you in a turmoil of mistrust, weak amid a crowd of cheesy quavers. When you can’t find your pants but can find the front door, a message is being sent. Abandoned by all, you will spring off a building wearing a Hawaiian wreath of donor cards. Closed coffin if you get my drift.
Reading: Knives delight in a snug enclosure—for them it’s freedom.

(November 23 – December 21)
Saying “Advantage mine” when overtaking someone on the pavement is not a winning attitude. Your pursuit of notoriety comes of the duty to compare. Your ideas end where most people’s begin, Sagittarius. Picture after picture buries your real face. You kiss only the superior graves. You pretend to be a populist by fainting near a barricade. Serenity is painful for you. Status looks outward so unremittingly its heart may stop without concern. Pretty soon you’ll be batting at invisible serpents. A faked photo of you with a smile and yacht bevy will be the last your friends hear of you. An obscure East End chef will serve an elaborate sugar sculpture of your arse. The first incision will reveal that the real arse rests within. Yet even this display of your charms will only reach the latter pages of the tabloids. Disintegration is the constant season.
Reading: Your contribution is condemned to the crowd.

(December 22 – January 20)
Put it all on Deathbed Pioneer in the fifth—it’s a lock. The optimist sees the future as a rabbit sees the oncoming truck—getting bigger, not closer. No sense getting all steamed up about things. Remember the philosopher Pandemal who went to hell with the words, “Fatal place, have another bit.” Impish devilry is the order of the day, Capricorn. Attend the theatre in a waterlogged box jacket. Flick a poison spider into the orchestra pit. Slap a musician on the back so he gets his face caught in the thin end of the trumpet. Stare through a grating and frighten the children. Then sit and watch the money roll in.
Reading: Snack in a sniper’s nest —calm before the storm.

(January 21 – February 19)
You will celebrate Christmas Day under a fallen door. “Freeze on day of purchase”—there’s a grim double meaning there, Aquarius. Hesitation at the crucial instant releases mayhem, attacks by a screaming chimp, all poise lost. Feeble cries will bring eventual rescue and recovery in time for the multiple tragedies of the New Year.
Reading: A poet can often be found in a block of tar, still expressionless.

(February 20 – March 20)
The grim task of wedding a loved one is endured amid prolonged silences. This absurd and demeaning farce will take its toll on you, Pisces. A flower is coloured silk in the dirt, not a symbol. Cross the threshold of pity; can’t get back across the armature. How to compensate for giving up a whole human in bits and pieces? Medication enters your mind like a sinner through the gates of heaven. Starvation is portable almost to the end. Able to do anything, you merely answer the door. Talk of “suction rhythm” will be met with a revolted silence. Escape, Pisces. Don’t even make a scene. Punching a clown makes it hard to steer.
Reading: We bring death and those who claim to be our rivals bring death also. It’s investing everywhere.

(March 21-April 21)
You appear to be worried about your plan to steal from the company, Aries. Do not be concerned. You will be fired before the opportunity arises. Collect those crumbs from your eye—they’re trying to tell you something. Despite bearing more than a passing resemblance to a hen, you are despotic and surly. The world has already lost patience with you and your so-called “mystery ears.” Broke in a tux, you impress nobody. Your diatribes send passersby recoiling in disinterest. Yet believing the patronising words of a professional, you will change your name by deed poll to “Babylon Tiger” and wear some sort of wrestler’s cape. In early Fall you will slam into a bar full of mirrors, ferns, frogstands and icy women, vomit against the indoor water feature and wake up naked in a wild bird reserve. Your hoselike nose and tubular morality will not help you then.
Reading: Lady luck means to feed.

(April 21 – May 21)
In September your head will twist open like a flower revealing a small platform upon which a puppetlike drama will unfold, toy maidens dancing about a well which is in fact the stump of your spinal canal. One of the tiny figurines will have the face of your father and as it shuffles across the platform it will whisper “Never to forgive.” And this is only one of the bounties awaiting you this autumn, Taurus. Efforts of the past few years will finally pay off, as an eye defect will superimpose the image of flamingoes in surgical masks over everything you see. This will make your moods unpredictable and often dangerously explosive, the influence of Mars pissing about in the usual way. You may learn that you can justify any atrocious act by connecting it with several years of a stranger’s success—no-one condemns altruism.
Reading: Hang up the phone on a vampire—the definition of carefree.

(May 22 – June 21)
Your crime will be discovered through carelessness. A single omission lays waste to many precautions. Not all publicity is good.
Reading: Fractured masks, the house empty.

(June 22 – July 22)
Put aside all doubts about your sexuality—the spaniel in question is The One. Yet an entrepreneurial enterprise which is close to your heart requires further consideration. There are no such things as “Deluge Pants” and there never will be. Remember the tale of the man who, watching evenly-matched nuns in a bare-knuckle fight, bet on the one with the scariest face. Sharp bones are brittle! Consider every angle before making an announcement. You have shown taste and split-second timing before, Cancer, as when you pushed that waiter against the passing student.
Reading: Only the English clear heaven for dignitaries.

(July 23 – August 22)
Couples: when feeding a guppy, spread the work—one to sprinkle the food, one to frown. You value domesticity, Leo, but sometimes you have to kick your heels and fire a gun randomly into a crowd. A brawl in a sawmill will leave you shaken and drenched with aviation fuel. Friends find your rage unfathomable and frightening—why not make amends? Avenge all wrongs against them, arriving unannounced and fluttering, orbiting the foe in jittery trouble, punching, punching. Take no credit for the vengeance. They will hear of their enemies’ misfortunes and privately bless an angel. Love is granted before we know it, like an escaping bird. Respect is more slow, like a tired badger.
Reading: Tinsel on a man—happiness is dead.

Steve Aylett is the author of cybersatire classics Slaughtermatic, Toxicology, Dummyland and Shamanspace. http://www.steveaylett.com

2010 Arthur Magazine Gift-Giving Guide, approximately

Here’s a short list of recent gift-worthy work by folks who have either contributed to Arthur through the years, or been covered in the magazine. Promotional text for each item is in quotes, with order links at the end of each item’s entry, as close to the source as we could find. This list is not meant to be definitive—just some stuff that’s caught our attention recently that we thought Arthur folk might dig…

THE BEAUTIFUL & THE DAMNED: Punk Photographs by Ann Summa
Edited with an introduction by Kristine McKenna
Foreword by Exene Cervenka
Foggy Notion Books/Smart Art Press
Hbk, 9.25 x 12.25 in. / 112 pgs
“When photographer Ann Summa arrived in Los Angeles in 1978, the city’s punk scene was still fresh, diverse, smart, utterly original—and fertile territory for a young photographer. The Beautiful & the Damned is a collection of her portraits of the musicians, artists and fans who made Los Angeles such a crucial part of the history of punk. Taken between 1978 and 1984, the images mostly revolve around L.A.’s first punk generation, and include portraits of the Germs, the Screamers, X, the Cramps and the Gun Club, among many others. From there, the book expands its scope to accommodate the cross-pollination that took place between L.A.’s punk scene and the fine art community, (at the time, the audience for avant-garde artists such as the Kipper Kids, Johanna Went and Laurie Anderson was primarily drawn from the underground music scene), and the two other cities—London and New York—that played a central role in the birthing of punk. Photographed during their first U.S. tours are U.K. groups the Clash, Magazine, the Fall, the Slits, Bow Wow Wow and the Pretenders, among others. Visiting dignitaries from New York include Television, James Chance, Lydia Lunch and Talking Heads. Also included are portraits of artists who served as an inspiration to L.A. punks—Captain Beefheart, Iggy Pop and David Bowie, among others—plus candid shots of unidentified audience members. Includes 95 previously unpublished images.”

From the introduction…
“Everyone knows that punk rock is rude. What’s less known is that during its first incarnation in Los Angeles, during the late 70s, it was ecstatically beautiful. At that point mainstream culture hadn’t yet detected the scent of money on this newly-born music, and punk hadn’t yet been hijacked by adolescent boys bent on transforming themselves into human cannonballs. Punk was an intimate affair then. Nobody was watching or judging that original band of outsiders, because there was no money to be made, and nothing much to be won or lost at all. There was no reason for those people not to cast off the rules that had governed their world up until that point. And so they cast off the old rules, and made themselves a new world that was entirely their own. And, for a brief, glorious period they operated in a zone of complete freedom.
“The taste of freedom can be startling — you can see that in the faces of many of the people who appear in these pictures. They were surprised to find their tribe — surprised to discover they actually had a tribe. Surprised to learn they could be themselves and be embraced for it. Surprised to find they could create beauty, and live without the comforts of the middle-class homes they came from. What made all of this possible was the simple fact of community. Most L.A. punks of the late 70s were poor, many were high a lot of the time, and everyone was a little crazy. Nonetheless, they supported and shared with one another, and they saw the brilliance in each other.”
Info: http://www.beautifulandthedamned.com/book.html
Buy: http://www.artbook.com/9781935202271.html

HOW TO WRECK A NICE BEACH: The Vocoder From World War II to Hip-Hop—The Machine Speaks
by Dave Tompkins

Stop Smiling Books
Color, 336 pages
“The history of the vocoder: how the Pentagon’s speech scrambling weapon transformed into the robot voice of pop music. How to Wreck a Nice Beach includes interviews with:
Afrika Bambaataa, Ray Bradbury, Florian Schneider of Kraftwerk, Peter Frampton, Laurie Anderson, T-Pain, Teddy Riley, DJ Quik, ELO, Rammellzee, Arthur Baker, Michael Jonzun, Midnight Star, Lester Troutman of Zapp, Holger Czukay of Can, Donnie Wahlberg, Egyptian Lover, Fab Five Freddy, Forrest J. Ackerman, Man Parrish, Cybotron and Wendy Carlos, composer of A Clockwork Orange and The Shining.
$25.00 ($10 off the cover price)
Info/blog: http://howtowreckanicebeach.com/
Buy: http://www.stopsmilingstore.com/howtowreckanicebeach.aspx

by Dame Darcy

“This multimedia pink 3 ½ in. doll cake is really a little round box containing pink powder puff and magnetism glitter body powder to puff over your skin after bathing. Rose love potion bubble bath, Mini-Chalice, instructions for moon water and a magic wand for stirring your bath. Draw your true love to you now and forever!”
Info/buy: http://www.etsy.com/listing/63883739/love-doll-cake-spell-draw-your-true-love

by Steve Aylett

Scar Garden Press
122 pages
“Collects 19 stories including ‘The Man Whose Head Expanded’, the prophetic ‘Download Syndrome’, ‘The Burnished Adventures of Injury Mouse’, the full text of ‘Voyage of the Iguana’, the last ever Beerlight story ‘Specter’s Way’, ‘Horoscope’, and the closest thing Aylett has ever written to a traditional SF story, ‘Bossanova’ (featuring a robot and two spaceships!) There are also animal-attack-while-writing reminiscences in ‘Evernemesi’ and top-of-the-line declarative bitterness in ‘On Reading New Books’. Snails, whales and cortical drills. Aylett’s last collection.”
Info: http://www.steveaylett.com
Buy: Amazon

by Trinie Dalton

Madras Press
“The story of Candy, a candy-addicted witch who resents her inherited lifestyle. After a fire burns down her gingerbread house, she leaves the forest and ventures out in search of the excitement of a more urban environment. Along the way she encounters a self-mutilating puppet, tastes meat for the first time, and falls in love with Death, a skeletal woman with a shoe fetish. Proceeds benefit the Theodore Payne Foundation.”
Trinie Dalton blog: http://sweet-tomb.blogspot.com/
Info/buy: http://www.madraspress.com/bookstore/sweet-tomb

by Stacy Kranitz

Square 80 pgs Premium Paper, lustre finish
Cultural ethnography by photojournalist Stacy Kranitz.
Hardcover with dustjacket, $100
Stacy Kranitz: http://www.stacykranitz.com/
Preview/buy: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1752353

PURE COUNTRY: The Leon Kagarise Archives, 1961-1971
Text by Eddie Dean
Process Media
9.5” x 9.5” • 204 pages • 140 Color images
“Throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s, many of country music’s biggest stars played their favorite shows on the small backwoods stages of rural America’s outdoor music parks. These intimate, $1-a-carload picnic concerts might have been forgotten if it hadn’t been for the documenting eye of music lover Leon Kagarise, whose candid photographs of the musicians and their fans provide the only surviving window into this long-vanished world. Kagarise captured dozens of classic country and bluegrass artists in their prime, including Johnny Cash and June Carter, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Bill Monroe, Hank Snow, The Stanley Brothers, and many other greats. Pure Country presents this collection of rare color images for the first time, revealing an archive considered by historian Charles Wolfe to be one of the richest discoveries in the history of American music. Foreword by Robert Gordon.”
Preview/buy: http://processmediainc.com/store/books/pure_country.php

“We have all your favorite colors, as long as your favorite color is black.”
$24 tshirt, $40 hoodie
Info/buy: http://defendbrooklyn.com/

Subculture Books
208 pages
“A collection of the important essays that helped define the bioregional movement and established Berg as an icon in the environmental community. Spans three decades of Berg’s life work, combines the candor, humor and vision that helped shape the sustainability revolution.” Don’t let the unfortunate cover throw you off. This has some classic San Francisco Diggers-era Berg pieces from now-unobtainable broadsides and posters in addition to the aforementioned pivotal bioregionalist texts.
Paperback $11.69, Kindle Edition $8.99
Buy: Amazon

Informational video: Arthur blog

NOMAD CODES: Adventures in Modern Esoterica by Erik Davis
Yeti Verse Chorus Press
352 pages
“In these wide-ranging essays, Erik Davis explores the codes—spiritual, cultural, and embodied—that people use to escape the limitation of their lives and to enrich their experience of the world. These include Asian religious traditions and West African trickster gods, Western occult and esoteric lore, postmodern theory and psychedelic science, as well as festival scenes such as Goa trance and Burning Man. Articles on media technology further explore themes Davis took up in his acclaimed book Techgnosis, while his profiles of West Coast poets, musicians, and mystics extend the California terrain he previously mapped in The Visionary State. Whether his subject is collage art or the ‘magickal realism’ of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, transvestite Burmese spirit mediums or Ufology, tripster king Terence McKenna or dub maestro Lee Perry, Davis writes with keen yet skeptical sympathy, intellectual subtlety and wit, and unbridled curiosity, which is why Peter Lamborn Wilson calls him ‘the best of all guides to modern American spirituality.’ Cover artwork by Fred Tomaselli.”
Buy: http://www.buyolympia.com/q/Item=erik-davis-nomad-codes

HOWLIN’ RAIN “The Good Life” EP
Ethan Miller from Comets On Fire’s other, earthier acid rock band. Features two originals sandwiching a daring cover of the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Burning of the Midnight Lamp.”
Preview/buy: iTunes

TED LUCAS “Ted Lucas”
Beautiful wise hippie folk music from 1974.
cd $12
Preview/buy: http://yogarecords.com/artists/tedlucas/

IASOS “Realms of Light” dvd
Inter-Dimensional Music
“Iasos has created heavenly visuals to accompany the celestial music on his Realms of Light album. There are visuals for all 8 pieces on the music cd. The visuals are synced with the music with delightful precision. Like the music, some of the visuals are stimulating, and some are relaxing. And all are heavenly, uplifting, beautiful, and celestial. It took Iasos 4 years to learn video special-effects, and then another 3.5 years to actually create the 65 minutes of visuals to go with this music. But finally, here it is! Underlying Purpose: Music is capable of inducing Divine Emotions. Visuals are capable of inducing Divine Thought-Forms. When these two work together synchronistically & synergistically,their combined influence can trigger or “ignite” expanded States of Being. THAT is the Intention behind this DVD.”
Preview/buy: http://iasos.com/detalist/rol-dvd/

EARTH ”A Bureaucratic Desire for Extra Capsular Extraction”
Southern Lord
“For the first time the debut recordings of Earth are available in one concise, beautifully documented capsule. All 7 tracks have been carefully remastered by Mell Dettmer to make a more burly, mammoth and crushing audio experience. Includes liner notes from Dylan Carlson with artwork by Simon Fowler and package design via Stephen O’Malley.”
CD $10, 2xLp $18
Preview/buy: http://blog.southernlord.com/?p=297

ROTARY SIGNAL EMITTER 12-inch picture disk LP by Sculpture
Not even sure if these are even still available—they only made 300 of them—but…gee whiz. Coolest low-cost audio/art object since the Buddha Machine? Yes.
Preview/info: Arthur blog

2011 calendar and poster by RON REGE, JR.
Little Otsu
“Experience the mind-blowing combination of colors and drawings that make up this incredible 2011 fold-out calendar & poster by the talented Ron Regé, Jr. On the calendar side, the amazing devolving drawings form a comic-like linear backdrop to the twinkly bars of dimensional months. Turn it over to find a detailed panoramic scene of hot-air balloons and mountains and lands surrounding a giant inverted triangle of “abracadabra” magic. So at the end of the year, you can flip over the calendar and still have a great poster to hang on your wall, giving this calendar a second life.
Measures 8” wide x 9” tall folded and 24” wide by 18” tall when unfolded. Printed in Hayward, CA with vegetable-based inks on 100% post-consumer recycled 80# cover stock.”
$12.00 USD
flat poster (limited ed. of 50) for $16.00 USD
Preview/buy: http://shop.littleotsu.com/products/2011-calendar-poster-by-ron-rege-jr

“A full colour calendar comprising all-new artwork in a psychedelic interpretation of Through the Looking-Glass and what Alice found there. The 1860s collide with the 1960s in lurid efflorescence!”
Preview/buy: http://www.johncoulthart.com/pantechnicon/lookingglass.html

32 pages, 12 x 16 inches, saddle stitched
“Hundreds of radical cultural and political heroes are celebrated here, along with the animating ideas that continue to guide this project – a reprieve from the 500-year-long sentence to life-at-hard-labor that the European colonization of the “New World” and the ensuing devastations of the rest of the world has represented. The Planetary Work Machine will not rule forever! Celebrate with this calendar on which every day is a holiday!
$9.95 / Pay for two, and we will send a third calendar for free!”
Preview/buy: bookstore.autonomedia.org

“Plastic Crimewave, creator of the Galactic Zoo Dossier magazine for Drag City, proprietor of the Galactic Zoo Disk reissue label, leader of spacepunkers Plastic Crimewave Sound, and general music historian/head has reached the end of the fifth consecutive year of his Galactic Zoo Mix Tape Club, and will be taking subscriptions again with another year of Mix Tape-age starting in December. You get six 90 min. tapes (one every other month) with exclusive artwork and the sounds of rare and populist psychedelia, glam, acid folk, prog, boogie, power pop, soft rock, shoegaze, protopunk, hard rawk, experimental, bubblegum, etc. for a mere $30.”
Info: Arthur blog
Paypal at plasticcw@hotmail.com, or send a check or cash to 1061 N. Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60622.

BLACKOUT Arthur mixtape
49-minute compilation curated and sequenced by Arthur editor Jay Babcock to stimulate or simulate a sweet blackout, featuring music by Moon Duo, White Hills, White Noise Sound, Lords of Falconry, Endless Boogie , Masters of Reality, Messages and Enumclaw. Mixed by Bobby Tamkin (Xu Xu Fang), with cover artwork by Arik Moonhawk Roper. All proceeds go to Arthur Magazine. Pay-what-thou-wilt digital download starting at $4.20…
Preview/buy: https://arthurmag.com/blackout/

A tax-deductible donation of any amount may be made to Arthur by going here: http://www.arthurmag.com/donate/

Happy season,

The Arthur Goofs
Austin * Marfa * Joshua Tree * Portland, Oregon * Greenpoint * wherever you are

Dodgem Logic: a new underground magazine edited by Alan Moore



Forty years after the uproarious heyday of the alternative press, writer Alan Moore is launching the 21st century’s first underground magazine from his hometown of Northampton, a community that is right at the geographical, political and economic heart of the country; one which has half its high street boarded up and is at present dying on its arse, just like everywhere else.

Drawing upon an overlooked and energetic pool of local talent as well as numerous friends and co-conspirators from comic books, the arts or entertainment, Dodgem Logic sets out to provide a splash of subterranean exotica in a bleached-out cultural and social landscape. Published every other month by counter-culture veterans KNOCKABOUT, Dodgem Logic is a forty page full-colour spectacle that, in addition, has an eight-page local section in each issue, thus inviting other areas to publish regional editions by providing their own inserts.

As cheap and beautiful as a heartbreaking teenage prostitute, Dodgem Logic has a cover price of £2.50, with its content similarly tailored to the fiscal toilet-bowl that we are currently engaged in sliding down. Regular columnists provide delicious, inexpensive recipes, wide-ranging medical advice, simple instructions for creating stylish clothing and accessories from next to nothing, guides to growing your own dinner by becoming a guerrilla gardener, and, in the first of Dave (The Self-Sufficient-ish Bible) Hamilton’s environmental columns, a bold experiment in living with no money. The same approach to helping readers deal with socio-economic meltdown and a blitz of repossessions is there in upcoming features on the present-day resurgence of the squatters’ movement, or in our communiqués from the Steampunk/ Post-Civilisation gang on how to start rebuilding culture and society before those things have broken down completely and our children are reduced to battering each other to a bloody pulp with their now-useless X-Boxes in a dispute over the last tub of pot noodles.

Not only seeking to give practical advice on getting through a rough stretch, Dodgem Logic is also committed to alleviating the attendant sense of anguish and despair by brightening the world with the astonishing cartoon-work of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’s sublime Kevin O’Neill or that of underground legend Savage Pencil; the musings of Father Ted, The IT Crowd and Black Book’s own Graham Linehan or of the nation’s sweetheart, the implacably positive Josie Long; even a delirious commemoration of the lunar landing’s anniversary by the masterful Steve Aylett. In addition to a variously-hosted women’s column launched by Lost Girls co-creator and erstwhile underground cartoon artist Melinda Gebbie, Mr. Moore will himself be contributing a lead feature on the history of underground subversive publishing from its origins in the thirteenth century, along with various illustrations and words of advice. All these and many other sterling features, including a free CD of magnificent home-grown Northampton music over fifty years, will be contained in the historic premiere issue, sporting an hallucinatory  front cover by digital artist Tamara Rogers and debuting this November. Wake up and smell the fairground ozone! No ramming!

Via Moore & Reppion.

Congratulations to HOWARD WALDROP—first American to win the prestigious Jack Trevor Story Memorial Cup!


above: the winner!

Press release from Michael Moorcock:


The committee awarding the Jack Trevor Story Memorial Cup for humorous writing this year presented the cup to an American for the first time.

Meeting at its traditional venue, L’Horizon, rue Saint Placide, Paris, the Committee consisting of Iain Sinclair (UK), Michael Moorcock (US/UK), Lili Sztajn (France), Jeff VanderMeer (USA), Fabrice Colin (France), Lisa Tuttle (Scotland) and Sebastian Doubinski (Denmark) unanimously agreed to give the Jack Trevor Story Memorial Cup, together with a $1,000 prize to Howard Waldrop, author of Them Bones, The Texas/Israeli War and several collections of short stories including Dream Factories and Radio Pictures and Heart of Whiteness. (All available from Amazon)

The Cup was presented to the winner by Michael Moorcock during a special ceremony at the Doubletree Inn Hotel, Austin, Texas on Friday 14th August 2009.

The usual conditions will apply: that the money be spent within two weeks and the recipient have nothing to show for it by the end of that period. This recalls Story’s remark to a bankruptcy judge when asked what had happened to money from his films The Trouble with Harry and Live Now, Pay Later: “You know how it is, judge. Two hundred or two thousand. It always lasts a week to a fortnight.”

A regular columnist for The Guardian during the 1960s and 1970s, Story also contributed to Punch, The Evening Standard, Sexton Blake Library, The Listener, The New Statesman, New Worlds and many other journals. Milton Keynes’ Writer in Residence, he wrote series for TV and radio as well as many other films and died in 1991 at his typewriter, having written ‘THE END’ to his final novel Shabby Weddings.

Previous winners of the JTS Memorial Cup include Fred Normandale and Steve Aylett.