the m john harrison blog

Month: October, 2011

how to be farmed

This seems like an apt metaphor for everything that’s happened since 2008. A corporate–the enabling fiction of its relationship with you being that it provides a “service” –takes your money, reneges on the deal, then severely limits your freedom of action; if you get within a mile of doing something about it, they call the police. Remind you of anything ? I was once stuck in a plane for two hours after landing. There wasn’t even any fog. Even as it was happening I wondered why I sat there & did nothing but bleat a bit to the sheep in the next seat along.


Identify the psychodramatic parallels in these two articles from yesterday’s Independent: War of words: major authors launch rival to ‘low-brow’ Booker & Gunman kills eight in California salon massacre.

the colour

John Coulthart reviews Die Farbe, with a link to the trailer, here.

I’m reading Bonjour Tristesse and A Certain Smile, which I bought–along with a Lee Child thriller–on the way to Valencia. Not a patch on Colette’s Ripening Seed, but good. I wonder why I never read Francoise Sagan in the 60s. I think we were already bored with that bourgeois existentialism of hers. Meanwhile, Lee Child is as reliably Lee Child as ever; & Jack Reacher stands in exactly the same relationship to Westlake’s Parker as Sagan stands to Colette.

ballard’s ghost

Observed recently near the Playa de Patacona, Valencia

postpomo & the righting of ancient wrongs

Generic fantasy never really postmodernised, B says, because it never really modernised. It remained resolutely premodern, fossilised in postures of rejection from the 1920s. Because fantasy never really modernised or postmodernised, she says, it aches to put itself forward as a postpomo contender. It aches to claim, like hardcore sf in the Reagan era, “We’re the New Wave now.” But picking an old scab doesn’t change the world–ask any Jacobite. Postpomo, B predicts, can only develop as the result of a lively casting-about in many different directions. “It’s not going to be the Return of the King. Except in fantasies. Want some more wine ?”