Friday, September 12, 2003
ENDBLOG
posted
6:06 AM
LAST POSTCARD FROM COSTA DEL BLOG

Time for me to get back to my day job, which means that it’s time for me to stop blogging.

I’ve found blogging to be a low-impact activity, mildly narcotic and mostly quite convivial, but the thing I’ve most enjoyed about it is how it never fails to underline the fact that if I’m doing this I’m definitely not writing a novel – that is, if I’m still blogging, I’m definitely still on vacation. I’ve always known, somehow, that it would get in the way of writing fiction, and that I wouldn’t want to be trying to do both at once. The image that comes most readily to mind is that of a kettle failing to boil because the lid’s been left off.

The bits and pieces that Joseph Cornell assembled in his shadow-boxes wouldn’t have seemed nearly as interesting if he’d simply left them arrayed on the bench of some picnic-table –- and they certainly wouldn’t still be there.

I crave the sweet and crazy-making difficulties that can only be imposed by the box, the Cornellian stage, the frame, of a formal narrative.

So I’m out of here, as of this installment, and wish to thank everyone who in any way furthered my ‘tween-books holiday. It’s been ludic, as the anarchist says.

Perhaps I’ll be back, one day, somewhere on the far side of whatever it is I’m about to start writing.

Adios, then, to all.

And onward!

Thursday, September 11, 2003
9-11-03
posted
7:53 AM
SEPTEMBER 11, 2003






"Liza! What was it yesterday, then?"

"It was what it was."

"That's impossible! That's cruel!"

--Fyodor Dostoevsky, DEMONS

[quoted by Haruki Murakami at the start of AFTER THE QUAKE]










Tuesday, September 09, 2003
NEOLOGORRHEA
posted
11:33 AM
STERLINGIAN, WALDROPIAN, TROGDORIAN...

I've always delighted in ironic neologorrhea (it was also a cyberpunk subcultural tic, I seem to recall) and "Gibsonian" continues to strike me that way.

MORE RIGHTS
posted
6:58 AM
IT AIN"T ME, BABE

"I find it ironic that someone that writes so elegantly about characters raging against the 'machine' would make [it] so difficult for people to adapt his works so others can enjoy them."

Uh... In the case of "The Winter Market", I do still own the rights. The problem is that someone else has been paying me sums of money on a regular basis (this is called "having an option") to retain the exclusive right to buy those rights. (For about five years now, as I recall.) The way the business of film rights works, I can't take that money in good faith, as I've been doing, and then sell (or even give) the right to make a film (even a short, determinedly uncommercial film) to someone else while that option agreement is in place. I would argue that this is not some perversely ungenerous quirk of character on my part, but simply the reality of how things are in the business of film rights. Writers, if they can, like to pay part of the rent with option money -- which often proves to be "free" money, as options can lapse without the rights having been bought.

That said, this is probably as good a time as any to say that Pattern Recognition seems to be more or less on the brink of being optioned, though experience has proven (and has it ever) that this, were it to happen, and it hasn't yet, would not necessarily mean that there's ever going to be a film of Pattern Recognition.


Monday, September 08, 2003
SQUID
posted
5:07 PM
HOMELAND SECURITY FINDS ITS OWN USES FOR THINGS

The SQUID, a la Johnny Mnemonic, detects terrorists packing concealed hypodermic needles:

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/09/07/1062901944054.html

ACQUIRED SITUATIONAL NARCISSISM

You already knew this, but now you have something to call it:

http://www.talentdevelop.com/acquired.html





Sunday, September 07, 2003
RIGHTS
posted
11:42 PM
MAKING SHORT FILMS BASED ON STORIES OF MINE

Someone mentions planning to do this. Actually this is not such a good idea, as the film rights to most of those stories were sold long ago. What this means is that not only can I not grant anyone any sort of permission (because those rights are no longer my property) but in some cases they have long since been resold by the original buyer, so I don't even know who currently owns them and have literally no way of finding out.

The smarter thing to do is write your own screenplay and make up your own title, and if the result is after the manner of my early short fiction, I'm not sure where that might get you in 2003 but good luck.


Friday, September 05, 2003
THE WORDS, THE THINGS, THAT CAN BE SOMETHING OF YOU
posted
10:18 PM
OR THE THINGS IN HIS AMBUSH OF THE PERIPHERY

A pretty damned peculiar thing happened to my mediated persona's biorythms, today...

http://www.facade.com/celebrity/William_Gibson/

Fortunately, I had my Babelizer handy, in a Kydex shoulder-rig, and cored this out before they could get any on me:

The words, the things, that can be something of you, "Bridge, I film it, expenses incarnent I am, Harem, the head, Miami, the switch, prozession, Zen". Words, people or the things in his "Ambush of the periphery, anonymity, attention, body, scato, proprietor, exact, who is chaos, incarnent selected, to cloud, agreement, cramoisi, density, dictionary, Emissary, enthusiasm, retirement, furrow, stewed, future, the gangster, girl, gram, guides, to the intruder, sky, hero, jewel, labyrinth, freedom, alcohol-ill person, mercy, mirror, film, Krake, work, Overlord, the parliament, Phoenix, arms, victim, halting, Psychedelic, radiation, draining, satisfaction, savage, Scorpion, sky, song, alcohol, it fights, Succubus, to fill, tatuaggio, theory, grippa the end to the subject, Syzygy, screen, being getlteman, Warm".

Forget numerology, folks; the Babelizer is *deep*.

Thursday, September 04, 2003
NEURO DATES
posted
5:41 PM
NEUROMANCER: THE TIMELINE

Since this has come up in a thread...

I was indeed born in 1948.

Terry Carr commissioned a first novel, for his second Ace SF Specials series, shortly after the Denver worldcon, 1981. Some of my fellow Ace Specials first-timers were Kim Stanley Robinson, Michael Swanwick, and Howard Waldrop. I don't remember whether Terry asked me in 1981 or early in 1982, but I do remember that I had a year in which to get it done, and managed to be six months late. So that would mean that I probably wrote the bulk of it in 1982/83. I can't remember how long it took to be published, from submission of the completed manuscript, but it probably seemed like several decades.

MULTIBABEL OVERDRIVE
posted
9:30 AM
"IT WAS A VOICE OF THE ABANDONED POSITION
AND A JOKE OF THE ABANDONED POSITION"

Bruce Sterling just showed this to me:

http://www.tashian.com/multibabel/

The sky over the gate was the color of the television, grants a dead
guidance. "It as if I do not employ, " The case intended
someone, in order to say, because it supported its way by mass around
the door of the discussion. "It like my body this solid drug
developed deficiency." It was a voice of the abandoned position
and the joke of the abandoned position. Chatsubo was a staff for the
professional expatrie; They could drink during one week there and
never not hear two words on the Japanese. Ratz pulled the staff, its
prothetisches monotonously discharges the arm firmly, while it plate
of the glasses of the Kirin outline filled. It saw the case and
smiled, its teeth a work of the eastern-European steel sequence and
brown weakening. Case found place with staff, between which not very
probable acid number on one the Dirnen of the zone of Lonny and the
constant of a Marineknir large African, with whom those had touched
paumettes with boys with Joe, " Ratz indicated, one outline by
the staff W oppressive.

Part of the fun here, such as it is, is figuring out that, for instance, the machine reads "Sprawl" as "abandoned position". Some days, I'm awfully easily amused.




Wednesday, September 03, 2003
THE WORM!
posted
6:55 PM
LOVESAN WORM ACTIVITY ANIMATION

http://www.hackerwatch.org/map/?special=rpc1

Hat tip to Bruce Sterling

HUMMER
posted
1:50 PM
HUM THIS

"You know what? There's just something inescapably bland about Hummer's slogan: 'Like Nothing Else.' It doesn't really capture the macho essence of the company's singular vehicles. If you ask me, they'd have been better to go with something more to the point like, 'See, You *Can* Be More of an Asshole.'"

--Scott Feschuk, NATIONAL POST, September 2, 2003


AFTER LABOR DAY
posted
7:26 AM
ALAS, WORLDCON

That Globe And Mail piece, plus an experienced friend's more subtle reportage, reminds me why it's been a long time since I went to one of those.

For that matter, it reminds me how unlikely a blossom cyberpunk was, in terms of that particular soil. In those days, of course (puts on geezer hat) it was still more or less about books. The "dealer room" at a worldcon, then, consisted almost entirely of books and magazines, most of some considerable age and some of genuine rarity. If nothing else, you could browse fields of otaku-grade pulp. Watching the dealer room colonized, over the course of the couple or three worldcon's I attended, by Star Trek and Star Wars bumf, I recognized the thin edge of a wedge that would shortly move me right out of there, thank you.






Tuesday, September 02, 2003
HUMBLE FUTURISM; DEAD CYBERPUNK
posted
8:53 AM
HUMILITY AND PRESCIENCE

Someone asks (rather charmingly): How do I maintain such humility in the face of my evident prescience?

The answer is that I know that any illusion of prescience on my part is the result of the reader's complex apophenic projection on the text. No kidding.

Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you. Eating the bear, for me, in terms of seeming prescient, might best be illustrated by Rydell's beloved Cops In Trouble show, which was a simple satiric extension of the first couple of seasons of Cops, but which has subsequently, with the advent of reality tv, acquired a different, post-Survivor resonance. Someone may eventually accuse me of having "predicted" Survivor, et al, but really I didn't. Being eaten by the bear? That would best be illustrated by the Soviet Union, looming monolithic in the background of the world of Neuromancer. (One of the things I sniggered over, as I wrote Neuromancer, was that it would be impossible to prove, from textual evidence, that the USA still existed as a nation-state. It never even occurred to me that the USSR might not.)

ON THE OVERNESS OF CYBERPUNK

I just read that Neil Stephenson interview in Wired.

When cyberpunk wasn't over, I had a lot of Joy Division albums, on Factory vinyl.

So definitely over in that sense.

Though in another sense I don't think it can be any more "over" than punk, or the hardboiled detective story. These things are modalities of some kind, and become part of the cultural palette. Which is what I think has happened with cyberpunk.

One of the really refreshing things about the Pattern Recognition tour, though, was how markedly infrequently the word "cyberpunk" came up in interview-questions. It was as though it was finally, in what I take NS's sense of it to be, over.






NETWORKS AND...
posted
12:04 AM
NETWAR

http://www.securityfocus.com/news/6807


Monday, September 01, 2003
EDGE OF GIRL!
posted
4:35 PM
THEY ARE NATURE

Will be summer soon They are nature
and the season which exposes the skin.
There are some persons
who have gone to already engrave an engraver's place,
and probably, there is still a man in an idea.
then, you large emit a flash by cooperation of many tattoo artists
as from now on refer, and it is.

--from TATTOO THE LIFE vol. 03, 2003, p. 23

Below this poem are five pieces of flash (design sketches for tattoos). None are particularly remarkable except for the randomly chosen English words provided in place of whatever name or heartfelt slogan a client might want. On the traditional name-or-slogan ribbon scrolling around an equally traditional skull-piercing dagger: "CD SELL BOOK RENTAL". On the flank of a pink, cigarette-smoking bunny seated on a hotrod flame: "EDGE OF GIRL!".




DAMIENOID LOFT
posted
2:38 PM
THE WET ROOM

"Excuse me. I just have to use, er, 'the wet room'..."

Someone points this out as a Damienoid bathroom:

http://londonloft.users.btopenworld.com/wetroom.htm

It is, though the scale seems industrial.

My idea of Damien's flat was that it isn't very large, even by London standards. He'd rented the place when he'd just started to make a bit of money, and eventually bought the lease on the entire building. He then has the same not very impressive space renovated, but in a spare "designer-free" mode that's roughly the equivalent of Cayce's dress-sense.

This loft is more like the place that Malcolm Stonestreet hopes to move into.

ALIEN 3 AGAIN
posted
9:25 AM
I NEED A FAQ PAGE...

Someone asks about the ALIEN III script, yet again.

Yes, I did write that, albeit to a "story" by Hill, Giler, and the other guy, whose name momemtarily escapes me. They suggested the Marxist space empire, and I happily elaborated on that. In spite of its almost instant archaism, I found it fun. I couldn't recall a single piece of Cold War space opera in which the other guys were commies.)

At the time, Ms. Weaver seemed doggedly unwilling to participate, so I was instructed to keep Ripley in stasis throughout. This was the first screenplay I'd written, and as far as I know the only one on the net today, or otherwise in circulation. Any others you might encounter are almost certainly not by me but have had my name added.

The ALIEN III script as it turns up on the net is about thirty pages shorter than the version I turned in. It became the first of some thirty drafts, by a great many screenwriters, and none of mine was used (except for the idea, perhaps, of a bar-code tattoo).

Hardest thing about the job? I was still working on an Apple IIc, and there was no screenwriting software available, so I had to do all that centering and spacing and whatnot *by hand*. This is probably why the net version is short; nothing ever circulated but the printout, as nobody in Hollywood wanted my IIc floppy.

CYBER-SUMMER
posted
9:11 AM
SPOKEN LIKE A LAW-LAWYER, SIR

"With this arrest, we want to deliver a message to cyber-hackers here and around the world," said U.S. Attorney John McKay in Seattle. "Let there be no
mistake about it, cyber-hacking is a crime."

[thanx to poster Colin.]

The first time I went to Tokyo, in the wake of NEUROMANCER's Japanese translation, I happened on a department store with a window-display of dull, mini-checked, summer-weight sportscoats. "CYBER-SUMMER", declared the huge banner behind them. Trembling with soul-delay, I experienced the uneasy conviction that the future would be like *this*.

Now here we are, and it is. A rare incidence of actual prescience on my part.

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