bowie’s in space

It’s been fascinating watching people mourn David Bowie. There’s a sadness there that I suspect comes from more than just the loss of a major creative icon. I think we’re also mourning the loss of the conditions that created and supported that kind of icon. Bowie’s iconic status was a product of certain cultural and […]

Adam Nevill and Hari Kunzru meet the Process Church Uptown

Noted 60s cultists the Process Church of the Final Judgement seem to be popping up all over the place just now. I’ve just zipped through Adam Nevill’s horror novel ‘Last Days’ and Hari Kunzru’s literary novel ‘Gods Without Men’. The Process Church are a more-or-less buried presence in both books. And yesterday I found out […]

Tracking down the Mirage Men

Mark Pilkington is one of the few people I know who can genuinely say that they’ve broken people’s religions. He was an active crop circler in the late 90s and early 00s; his calm and careful descriptions of the truths of circle making has disrupted the reality of more than one person who’s built belief […]

On Britishness

I recently took part in the BSFA’s British Science Fiction & Fantasy survey, which led to the publication of a rather nifty little book comparing genre self-perception now and 20 years ago – more details here. The book was edited by Niall Harrison and Paul Kincaid; they’ve done an excellent job of picking out interesting […]

William Blake understood as a West London Shopping Mall

On Sunday, I went to the William Blake 1809 exhibition at Tate Britain, reviewed here in The Guardian. It’s absolutely fascinating; it restages his first and only public display of prints and paintings, and sets them in a context which helps explain their abysmal critical reception. I wanted to do a video review of it, […]

The return of the Entropy Circus

Well, it’s been a busy few weeks at allumination central; I’m packing the flat up ready to move, establishing myself as a freelancer, and (for various reasons) whizzing up and down the country between Hebden Bridge, Glasgow and London. So, alas, little time for weird pondering. However, there has been time for music – and […]

Batty falls from the stars

Screens in Blade Runner; for a movie that’s always been billed as a key cyberpunk progenitor, they are – for the most part – remarkably large, and remarkably one way. A core essence of cyberpunk is the hackable system, the two way engagement with the data stream, but there’s precious little of that in this […]