Category Archives: predicting the present

separation anxiety

If a slow accumulation of time is necessary to completely separate you from an event or condition of the past, a single moment is often all that’s necessary to drag you forward and into the present. Suddenly, a time that still seemed close–almost revisitable, like an annex to now, so fresh in the memory–is re-sited forever. It is irreducibly past. Before that moment, it could still be touched in some way. It still seemed accessible: now it isn’t. Even the illusion of accessibility is over. The past is the past. This frees you to move forward, at least into the present. (Although if you aren’t careful–and you feel, for instance, “liberated” as opposed to liberated –it’s easy to mistake that movement for the beginning of a journey into the future you’ll never reach.) Perhaps because I can live in a vanished present for two or three years before something tugs me out of it, the whiplash attendant on this process–this fallacy of a sudden acceleration and a simultaneous catching up with yourself, as if you had moved ahead and left part of yourself behind–always both astonishes and delights me.


Filed under predicting the present



February 25, 2014 · 8:00 pm

best wishes as ever

Southern England just doesn’t seem as nice as it did, dear, so your father & I are moving north before Thames Valley prices drop even further. We were thinking of somewhere in the Harrogate area. Above 100m, obviously, and with a bit of ground for the dogs. It will be such fun for them, especially Pinnie. The fact is, darling, your father and I are rather surprised that this has happened to people like us. You do see why some of the Somerset people complained, don’t you, but I think we’ll always vote Tory. Anyway, best wishes as ever, and I’m sure you’ll do well with your little wellington boot shop.


Filed under predicting the present, the disaster

earth advengers

As soon as we get the alien starship I will be known as Ms Jet, or Lady Jet. You will be Lemmy. Other members of the crew will be Spike, Smork, Cookie & The Crow. & we will have jokes, for instance in any bad situations–like we are running out of ammunition & surrounded by enemies–I will always say, “Cookie, this is the worst porridge you ever cooked up!” & we will all have a favourite weapon. Spike’s favourite weapon will be his rusty Earth .40 snub. & I will say, “Seriously Spike you expect to hit anything with that, anyone is always better with the four inch barrel & the adjustable backsight.” & Spike will always say, “Captain Jet, a four inch barrel is for vermin control.” & I will say, “That’s what we do here in space, Spike.” Then I will give him a significant look & add: “We control vermin.” & everyone will laugh and Spike will admit ruefully, “Guess you got me there, Ms Lady!” Spike makes his own bullets & has Outworld hair. Cookie is always “Fat Cookie”. My special weapon will be a fifteen petawatt proton gun which only I can lift, aimed telepathically through advanced radio telescopes distributed in the Cat’s Eye Nebula & accurate to less than one Planck length. Our main enemies will be: Bizarro Nazis and The Junk. Our signature will be: Earth Advengers!

Is that understood?


Filed under predicting the present

vague heart: a science fiction novel of the near future

Project Trap: Project Trap was never completed. Project Soul Gem was a project to collect “evidence-free innuendo”. Soul Gem was wound down in 1945 upon the birth of the resource (see notes). Several similar projects wound down naturally with the resource itself. Eat Cake, a hardened version of Soul Gem 2: the Eat Cake abstract promised abjection, violence, denial. Eat Cake was unlisted. Various other projects: Project 121 (see appended material). Mex Lite, Max Eight & Lite Core were clean product generated during varied initiatives and test runs. “Initiative B” ran successfully until 1978, when it was replaced under the Dark Stork programme. Project Veil Grain was an unsuccessful add-on to the Main Stem series. Vague Heart: Project Vague Heart remains partially operational but is identified under recent initiatives as “2014″. Resource appears to have retained motility & limited function.

Project 92 is the shadow of something much larger. 


Filed under predicting the present, unforthcoming work

keep watching the walls

Beige Ops team: we fade into the background. Beige Ops are in the walls. They are in the paint on the walls. Beige Ops are so secret & so pivotal they are in the paint itself. They are in the grains of pigment, and how the grains of pigment arrange themselves. No one sees a Beige Op. No one ever knows if they were part of one. Ask yourself if you are a part of the paint on the walls. There’s no answer to that question. We are all in the most comprehensive Beige Op ever staged. The whole of the 1950s was a Beige Op, run out of a livingroom wall in Harrow. Beige Ops are a decision made by the visible spectrum. Unpredictable but inevitable. Beige Ops are galactic. They are nationwide. Keep watching the walls.


Filed under predicting the present, the Theory Cadre at the Ambiente Hotel

a pretty weird year

rief, it was a pretty weird year in brief, it was a pretty weird year, in brief it was a pretty weird year in brief, it was a pretty weird year in brief, it was a pretty weird year in brief it was a pretty weird year, in brief it was a pretty weird year, in brief it was a pretty, weird year in brief it was a pretty wierd year in brief it was a prety, werd year in brif, it was a prety werd yar in brief it were a yaer in b


Filed under predicting the present

the way back home

Danny MacAskill is essentially an entertainer. That’s how he earns his living. The combination of technicality, discipline & sheer joy of living he displays in this video leaves most popular fiction–100% a form of entertainment–looking sludgy & banal, even in its own terms. Why doesn’t popular fiction encourage writers as entertainingly skilful as this? Because we do not value the skillset itself, only the story it mediates. We long ago separated the skillset out and donated it to literary fiction. Danny MacAskill doesn’t tell a story. He just is. Indeed, by the look of it, he just is the skillset. As a result I cry every time I watch him perform, because the performance is so much more intense than anything I’ve ever made.


Filed under lost & found, predicting the present

sorry to have to say this again, but

Science fiction survives on its metaphors, catching an echo from the human context then rifling current science for an image or chain of images to act as a correlative. The rationales behind this project (including the rationale that it’s all rational, the claim that the project has, or should have, more in common with scientific discourse than poetic, philosophical or political discourse) are less important to the general reader than the excitement of the found image. Science fiction is not read as a form of peer-reviewed publication.


Filed under predicting the present, science fiction

john gray: empty space: hermetic doubt

    …the Kefahuchi Tract is outside time; if it enters the world it does so in a perpetual present tense. Rather than projecting human meaning into the scheme of things as Kurzweil’s Singularity does – by promising deliverance from decay and death in the manner of monotheistic religion – Harrison’s Tract appears in the form of unsettling epiphanies, which act to disrupt any meaning that human beings may have found or made. Yet the Tract is far from being only a symbol of senselessness, for it suggests the possibility that humans may find a way of living by falling away from the meanings to which they cling. –John Gray on Empty Space, Climbers and Viriconium, in the current issue of New Statesman


Filed under light, predicting the present