Monthly Archives: February 2014

Part of a Thing I Love: “Detours on the Way to Nothing”


Something I’m really digging this week is one of Lightspeed’s reprints for February, “Detours on the Way to Nothing” by Rachel Swirsky. It’s short, fragmentary, beautiful, erotic, and very dreamlike – appropriate, since one of the thematic centerpieces is the power of fantasy.

You will never know how I am possible. My philosophy—my cult, as you called it—is old and secretive. We have no organization, no books of dogma, no advocates to harangue passersby with our rhetoric. Each initiate finds us alone, deducing our beliefs through meditation and self-reflection. Only the magic of our sacrificed tongues unifies us.

Our practices have few analogues in Western thought, though you could call us philosophical cousins to the Buddhists. We believe there is no way to lose the trappings of self so completely as to become someone else’s desire.

If you see me again, I will not be a bird. I will be a figure made of jewels or a woolly primate with prehensile lips. My skin will be rubber. My cock will be velvet. Each of my six blood-spattered breasts will be tattooed with the face of a man I’ve killed. The goal is endless transformation.

Music for stars

Been going through a difficult time, but there is a news post on the way and it’s all good. In the meantime, enjoy a music video that I’m digging right now, from one of my favorite electronic artists. A lot of BT’s instrumental stuff makes me think of stars/space, so it’s often very good music to science-fiction-and-fantasy along to.

This features some beautiful weather and Milky Way timelapse film.

Part of a Thing I Love: “Fragments of a Hologram Rose”

I haven’t done linkdumps in a while and for a variety of reasons life around these parts sucks a lot right now, so instead let me start something that might be a series, where I post a passage of something that I either love from way back or am reading currently and adore. Because happy things are good.

And we’ll start with this, because I’ve been going back through Burning Chrome, and I just can’t even with this story.

Parker lies in darkness, recalling the thousand fragments of the hologram rose. A hologram has this quality: Recovered and illuminated, each fragment will reveal the whole image of the rose. Falling toward delta, he sees himself the rose, each of his scattered fragments revealing a whole he’ll never know – stolen credit cards – a burned out suburb – planetary conjunctions of a stranger – a tank burning on a highway – a flat packet of drugs – a switchblade honed on concrete, thin as pain.

Thinking: We’re each other’s fragments, and was it always this way? That instant of a European trip, deserted in the gray sea of wiped tape – is she closer now, or more real, for his having been there?

She had helped him get his papers, found him his first job in ASP. Was that their history? No, history was the black face of the delta-inducer, the empty closet, and the unmade bed. History was his loathing for the perfect body he woke in if the juice dropped, his fury at the pedal-cab driver, and her refusal to look back through the contaminated rain.

But each fragment reveals the rose from a different angle, he remembered, but delta swept over him before he could ask himself what that might mean.

– William Gibson, “Fragments of a Hologram Rose”