The Imaginary (and Utopian) cities of Jack Kirby

‘Asgardian street scene’ by Jack Kirby
‘New Genesis’ by Jack Kirby

Via 70s Sci-Fi Art 1 + 2


My 2nd set of Denver library system reads

‘Archangel’ by William Gibson

An alternative-history, counter-factual sci-fi, graphic novel. Certainly, not my favorite work of Gibson, but a pleasant and brief diversion.

‘Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade’ by Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, John Romita Jr. and Peter Steigerwald

A 21st century take on the 20th century, ne plus ultra graphic novel. Didn’t love the drawing style and the storytelling was so-so (aka a “disappointing reading experience“)  with the necessary cliffhanger (prequel) ending.

‘Bloom County: Brand Spanking New Day’ by Berkeley Breathed

I have dim but nostalgic memories of my first encounters with the original Bloom County strip. Was definitely one of the first comics I read, in the early/mid 1990s, that wasn’t at least on the face of it for kids (ie: Garfield and the like). Had an awareness of the 2015 Bloom County relaunch but hadn’t gone out of my way to find it. Particularly enjoyed it’s riff on MAGA and the Trump 2016 campaign. Overall I liked it, but perhaps due to my age, the absurdism seemed a bit less fresh than in past.

‘Autonomous’ by Annalee Newitz

Used to be a regular reader of I09 and heard good things about this. Kept me as enthralled as Snow Crash, Neuromancer and the like. A heady blend of bio-tech, post-warming climate fiction and human vs cybernetic AI love story. Nice mix of dialog, internal narrative and narrative exposition with a coherent syntax, universe and voice.

my own Dear Abra

Dear Nam,

time travel is an acquired skill but youthfulness is a gift. You can feel young and old depending on circumstances and both of them are necessary states of what we call our life on earth. Biological age is relevant to wrinkles on your skin but your joy of life is relevant to your state of mind.

Rumi said this, “what you seek is seeking you” perhaps meaning, maybe your youth is also looking for you.

All the best,


via Archinect

Makoto Kawabata re: pop music

Via V. Vale’s RE/Search Newsletter #127, which features an interview with Makoto Kawabata of Acid Mother’s Temple

 I do like some pop music. I like Abba a lot. They are the best. No one in the future will be able to play pop music better than Abba. So, I don’t need any more pop music than that.

VS: ABBA is the pinnacle of pop?

MK: Yes, they overdub all the instruments, and overdubbed the vocals and they changed the tape speed a little bit, that’s how they got that amazing sound.


re: writing about sex – 2

Austin based author Bill Cotter in an interview with Scott Cheshire Paris Review.

“Make it fun!” This is good theory in general, and, I think, especially important when it comes to writing sex. Sex, the act itself, when viewed without eros, is very silly business, what with all that snuffling and shuddering and pinguid gymnastic theater. It doesn’t look like much fun at all. It is the job of the writer to make it fun on the page, and the only way I know to do this is to subtract sentimentality and add humor. Tease the characters a bit, distract them with jolts and surprises, juxtapose them with highly unerotic fixtures, assign them curious peccadilloes that impede or amplify performance, maybe throw in a shockingly graphic detail or two, to keep the readers on their toes. Make it fun!

deepwater soloing on Oman’s Musandam Peninsula

Photograph by Jimmy Chin To make this first ascent, Honnold not only scaled the towering, jagged pinnacle but also climbed back down the exact same way—an even more challenging task.

A six-person team (including young climbers Alex Honnold, Hazel Findlay) searched the Musandam Peninsula in northern Oman for climbing opportunities amid sea cliffs and crags, they documented the expedition via @natgeo