Does anyone else get Bad Signal? Its Warren Ellis' e-mail journal. Instead of a blog, Ellis sends out his thoughts to a mailing list. He is usually entertaining, if not thought provoking (though he spent much of last week complaining about tech problems).
You can subscribe here: http://www.flirble.org/mailman/listinfo/badsignal
I thought it might be interesting to have a discussion thread about Bad Signal, in order to give readers a chance to discuss.
This is today's:
Officially Running On Empty again,
I think. The Copenhagen trip can't
come soon enough for me -- these
things are the closest thing I get
Comps of PLANETARY 25 arrived
today, so I'm assuming it's out on
Wednesday. You'll know it by its
Russian propaganda-poster style
cover. The episode ties up a couple
more things and introduces a twist.
Lost a chunk of last night to re-reading
WAITING FOR GODOT. Beckett leaves
you with such a sense of bloody
misery that you forget the funny
moments. As did, of course, most
of his imitators. On one level -- and
the more you think about it, the
more disturbing it gets -- GODOT is
Laurel And Hardy In Hell. Very post-
modern, for a modernist. He's
instructive reading for a speculative
fiction writer. I think it's EMBERS --
the one in the house by the sea,
but there is no sea? -- that always
put me in mind of William Hope
Hodgson's HOUSE ON THE BORDER-
LAND. A very Irish kind of apocalypse.
I'm thinking about apocalypse a fair
bit right now for this new project.
Apocalypse in comics has become
a fairly cuddly thing of late. "You are
only being born" is the thing I like
least about Grant's INVISIBLES: the
message being that we are absolved
of responsibility for the awesome
fuckups of the last ten thousand
years because we were silly,
naughty children. It wasn't our
fault. The surprise of Alan's
PROMETHEA is that he let's the
story go where it wants to, and it
doesn't transcend its pulp origins --
the enlightened post-apocalypse is
a place where people hug, see dead
people and have new and interesting
consumer goods to buy.
These are nice ends of the world,
where the living don't envy the dead
and there is no state of awful, brain-
crippling fear. The world we knew
is over and everything's going to be
It's nice that there are happy endings.
But it shouldn't be forgotten that
Pol Pot thought Year Zero was a
happy ending. But the somewhat
challenged society of Cambodia at
the time, the borders of whose
country must've seemed very like
the edges of the world, could be
forgiven for thinking it was the
apocalypse. They were quite
literally sent back to the Stone Age.
That's what societal paradigm
shifts look like. Piles of bodies.
That's what I'm writing about today.
Interesting comments on others' views of the end of the world. I haven't read either the Invisibles or the end of Promethea (couldn't get past the first couple of trades), so I don't know the specifics.
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