Hello, Beautiful


Luna ~ by Evelyn De Morgan

Alas, EDM’s beautiful painting isn’t a proper Full Moon image…

“Blue Moon” Friday—Last One Until 2015

A bright “blue moon” will grace skies this Friday—the last one until July 2015. The last time sky-watchers were treated to a blue moon was New Year’s Eve 2009.

Astronomical AND Editorial Explanation of the 13 Moons! At Nat Geo.



“Rod, you holding anyone good, man?” [nsfw, 17+]

“Well, who you looking for, kid?”

“The dream girl. I’m still looking for the right dream girl. From a story. Jesus, I come every Monday.”

“Oh, right, you. Hey! Weird cat trying to groove on the feel-bad babes. That’s a special crowd, boy. What’s the matter, kid? The other stories no good? Those sad tragic dames still don’t do it for ya, huh? Huh? Huh punk?”

“She keeps changing. In my head. I keep looking. It’s strange. So, Admiral! What’s the op? You holding any good merch this week or not?”

“I only move quality. But for you? This week, we’re moving some Drax, Simon Drax of the dooom-punk and the Dormammu. First up, whoa, she’s a pistol! Mori Kim Marr from Exit Vector. She’s a handful, tiger! Happy only when blind stinking drunk with the VODKA. Very bad attitude and real, real easy on the mass-destruction trigger-finger, she destroys Heaven by accident, and that ain’t half. Mori’s a pistol. Good price, too. Mori comes for free. Just like death.

photo manip W Ryder by The Creep in the AD 

“Not bad, pops. Who else you got?”

“Ooh, we’re going to have to go up several floors for our next tragic dream story lady, you jazzy brat. Our next girl’s very high maintenance. Gloriana Blitz from DOOMTROOPERS has the weight of a broken world on her bare shoulders! Another big drinker. Daughter of a GOD! Leader of the last kids on Earth! My god, when this girl cuts loose, you’re going to need to run, you’re going to need a bomb shelter. On Pluto.”

illustration by Jo Chen

“She seems a little a bright and loud.”

“Well, yes, she’s a cartoon. But a very heartfelt cartoon, friend.”

“Anyone else?”

“The best. A Saint, touched by God and the whole hot sticky Catholic mess. Catherine Marie Merrin from A Very Fast Descent into Hell.

And the crazy beat behind the counter in the shop of bottled dreams continues, “Catherine from Descent is the best heroine and the best dream girl, because clearly, she’s too good to be true. She really is a Saint, and consequently a little daft in the head, but we’ll get to that. Catherine is generous and brave and heroic and clever and cunning and loyal and she has an exceptional high tolerance for pain. She will not eat the last cookie. She will let you control the remote. She will give you more than her share of the blanket. She will be mindful to never hit or hurt the twitchy weak spots in your flimsy male ego. She has consideration for all, even obnoxious, terrible people nobody likes. There is something wrong with Catherine’s brain.”

He taps his head. “Neurologically. Something wrong. Like a psychopath, only reversed. Catherine can’t shut off the empathy. Her sensory input is like the ocean. She had a difficult childhood. She was massacred on the playground. Her mother was afraid. Her father wasn’t there. Everyone thought Catherine had a learning disability. She stayed inside and read a lot of books. She stayed back twice. It did not help. She decided she would become a Nun and give herself to God. But that didn’t work out, because the world went to Hell, fast! And it was literally in that free fall of total societal collapse that poor chemically-impaired Catherine Marie Merrin underwent a seismic and irreversible change: the girl learned the word ‘No.’ And not just a schism of character, an irreversible before-and-after—no, no, not just that, my young friend—she found a mission. Saint Catherine found a mission. Saint Catherine must slay the Hollow Priest. She must overcome everything, even when all are against her, even when she’s tied and burned at the stake on the first page of this bottled bad dream, later beset by a demon, and finally flung on a slow tidal wave of undying flesh—”

“Hey, heavy! Very Dormammu. How much is she?”

2.99 @ amazon. And the usual joints. But this one…”

“Relax, old man. Sold.”


Yes, it’s only a commercial. Apologies to the Shade of Rod Serling.

Links Love Drax Music

“Tonight, I want to talk to you about love.” Kids, THIS is What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

O my dearest, nothing but shadow there | ghoulnextdoor | 8tracks
image: dihaze

Track List:

Night Time, The XX | Half Awake, Widowspeak | Noise On The Line, Darkness Falls | Garden Grow, Our Broken Garden | In bed with you, Korouva | I Tend To, Therese Aune | The Book, Anna von Hausswolff | Cliffs, Mirroring | Where I Can See the Sun, Winter Took His Life | The Twilight Hour, Still Corners | Home, The Burning Leaves | Late Summer, Seapony | Angel Star, Chrysta Bell

It is my humble opinion that this mix will become a classic. Now, if I were a young maker of records for audiophiles to enjoy…


Ashtray Chat Links Photography

Well, it’s a Beautiful Morning on MARS, at least…

Landing Site Panorama, with the Heights of Mount Sharp

This color panorama shows a 360-degree view of the landing site of NASA’s Curiosity rover, including the highest part of Mount Sharp visible to the rover. That part of Mount Sharp is approximately 12 miles (20 kilometers) away from the rover.

› View full size
› View raw image

The images were obtained by the rover’s 34-millimeter Mast Camera. The mosaic, which stretches about 29,000 pixels across by 7,000 pixels high, includes 130 images taken on Aug. 8 and an additional 10 images taken on Aug. 198. These images were shot before the camera was fully characterized. 

Scientists enhanced the color in one version to show the Martian scene as it would appear under the lighting conditions we have on Earth, which helps in analyzing the terrain. A raw version is also available. 

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS



Monday Quick Links 8/27/12

The mighty Matthew R. Bradley‘s loving remembrance of Ray Bradbury will be reprinted in the new issue of Filmfax

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This enhanced ebook written by a seasoned and well travelled kayaking instructor, gives paddlers lessons aided by 28 HD videos. Starting with lessons as simple as sitting in your kayak and finishing with advanced rolling techniques, Enlightened Kayaking takes you through a progression of skills to help you become a skilled and safe kayaker. Using a combination of classic techniques mixed with lessons taken from martial arts and zen Buddhism, this book offers a unique perspective on kayaking. BUY IT @ iTUNES

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The Book Trailer for Lavie Tidhar’s OSAMA hits planet Earth

Book info HERE. Beautiful writing from a beautiful writer. Not blown away by this novel, however…

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Alex Pecci is not only burning down her kitchen, she’s serving great grub every month in the pages of EVERY DAY w/ RACHEL RAY

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Two must-see posts from John Coulthart: chute libre science fictionRaymond Bertrand’s science fiction covers

And that should keep you quiet till the next commercial. Enjoy.


Links Love Drax Photography SPACE

Hail and Hex for Neil Armstrong, First Human on The Moon

All the tributes paid Saturday, after his death at the age of eighty-two, took care to stress his modesty, and he certainly belongs to that chastening group of beings whose capacity for heroic action is outstripped only by their reluctance to make a big deal out of it, let alone a profit. But it would entirely wrong to cast him, on the grounds of his natural diffidence, as a hermit; he retreated to no grotto, but became a teacher—still the best way to find, and use, your public voice without being forced to raise it. Nothing is more typical of Armstrong, or more estimable, than his decision not to go into politics; heaven knows what the blandishments, or the invitations, must have been. That is not to deprecate the service rendered by, say, John Glenn, but simply to remind ourselves that political ambition, like our other passions, is in the end a low sublunary affair; and that Armstrong, by dint of being the first man to tread not upon terra firma but upon the gray dust of terra incognita, rose above the fray and stayed there.

Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

Neil Armstrong aboard Apollo 11.

Goodbye Neil Armstrong, dead at 82 – first man on the moon and a true pioneer. It was said in the obituaries that Armstrong never dreamt of the moon. Luckily, he had Ballard to do his dreaming for him.*

In ‘Neil Armstrong Remembers His Journey to the Moon’, a 1991 story for Interzone magazine (well, vignette, actually – it’s tiny, just three paragraphs), Ballard attempted, seemingly, to do just that. According to former Interzone editor David Pringle, who published the piece, ‘it seems to be narrated by Neil Armstrong, the 50,000-year man. Ballard never explained it, but I took it to be a transcription of a dream that he’d had. After all, he and Armstrong were of the same age cohort, born within about three months of each other in 1930. Both could remember their boyhoods during World War II. Both probably saw the same Hitchcock movies as they grew up.’

Here’s the vignette in full, complete with reference to Hitchcock’s Spellbound:

by J.G. Ballard (Interzone #53, November 1991)

I remember the white nightclub where we were asked to wait, for reasons that I never understood, and the ceiling that seemed to be carved from ice, but this was long after we came back from the Moon. Everyone sat around the white tables, the frost shining on their tuxedos, and clearly expected me to make a speech. But no-one from NASA was there, and I felt that I had nothing to tell them that they would want to hear. Luckily, the band struck up, and an old man in top hat and tails began a mime act. He went through a series of make-believe conjuring tricks that had the audience smiling, but I knew that these were really in-flight emergency drills and that there was nothing very funny about them.

Read the rest at Ballardian.

Buzz Aldrin and the Lunar Module on the surface of The Moon

Photograph by Neil Armstrong


Ashtray Chat

The Fucked-Up and Totally Strange Art of Jeffrey Johnson, Empire State Building Shooter, 8/24/12

Gun Pirate Ship In a Secret Cove
This shallowly submerged ledge along the cliff’s edge, has led you to the secret cove where a pirate ship is hidden at anchor.
keywords: secret ship cove pirate gun
I’m also fond of the variant, with angry ghost plane:
Much more weirdness here:  “St. Jolly’s Art.”
Art/Roots Ashtray Chat

WEIRD TALES: a vintage gallery, a page of rage

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These days, the Unique Magazine is in “the center of a storm of controversy.”

Reprinted entirely from The Guardian, by Alison Flood, Tuesday Aug 21 2012

Racism row over SF novel about black ‘Coals’ and white ‘Pearls’ — Weird Tales magazine’s decision to publish an extract from Victoria Foyt’s Revealing Eden has provoked widespread outrage

The eminent US fantasy magazine Weird Tales‘s decision to publish an extract from a young adult novel featuring a minority white race called the Pearls that is dominated by the black race of the Coals, which has been widely described as racist, has been attacked by readers, reviewers and authors.

Victoria Foyt’s self-published novel Revealing Eden: Save the Pearls Part One is set in a dystopian future where solar radiation means the Coals (with dark skin) can survive better than the fair-skinned Pearls. Pearls cover their white skin with dark make-up, and the black love interest of the 17-year-old white heroine Eden – shown in blackface make-up on the front cover and in promotional videos – is described as a “powerful, beastly man”. At one point, Foyt writes: “Eden flinched. One of them was touching her. White-hot light exploded in her head. Before she knew it, she blurted out an incendiary racial slur. ‘Get your hands off of me, you damn Coal!'”

The novel has been the subject of widespread attacks across the internet, with readers criticising it as “incredibly racist to pretty much every reader. Especially readers of colour”, and as a “white supremacist fantasy”. “The coals/pearls contrast is itself offensive: after all, coal is dirty and cheap, whereas pearls are beautiful and valuable,” wrote one blogger. Some readers have said they are considering boycotting the magazine.

Foyt, who self-published Revealing Eden but has previously been published by HarperCollins, has defended herself on Facebook and in blog posts, saying that she “abhor[s] racism”, that the book has received many positive reviews, and “if you ask if all these reviewers are white then consider that you have a racist point of view”.

When Weird Tales, America’s oldest fantasy magazine, ran an editorial by Marvin Kaye last week defending the novel as “a thoroughly non-racist book” and announcing its intention to run an extract, it prompted a huge backlash from readers and writers. The author Jeff Vandermeer said he would never submit to the magazine again while it was run by the current editorial staff, describing himself as “just quite frankly livid and utterly enraged”, as did the writer NK Jemisin, hitting out at Weird Tales’ “brave commitment to racism” in a blog post entitled “This is how you destroy something beautiful”

Ann Vandermeer, the former editor of the magazine who was pushed out when it was sold to new editor Kaye, resigned from her current position as contributing senior editor (her husband Jeff said she was“personally devastat[ed] given that the new vision for Weird Tales seems to be so against everything that she envisioned for the future of the magazine”).

Now the publisher of Weird Tales has weighed in, removing Kaye’s original editorial from the site – it remains cached on Google – and issuing a blanket apology for the piece. “I deeply apologise to all who were offended by our association with this book. I am offended by it. I fully respect those who have been writing negative things about us today. You are correct,” wrote John Harlacher. “I have not read the novel, but have gone over its online presence today. I have no need to read it. I saw the blackface video and read the excerpts the author and publisher chose to make available. I must conclude that the use of the powerful symbols of white people forced to wear blackface to escape the sun, white women lusting after black ‘beast men’, the ‘pearls’ and ‘coals’, etc., is goddamned ridiculous and offensive. It seems like the work of someone who does not understand the power of what she is playing with.” 

Kaye, said Harlacher, believes that “if you read the whole book, [Foyt] explains her use of this imagery, and it ends up as a plea for tolerance”. 

“I say, so what,” Harlacher continued. “And that is the position of Weird Tales — and upon reviewing the video and other materials, Marvin is in full agreement.”

Text © The Guardian, Alison Flood


Ashtray Chat

2001: A Space Odyssey [2012 Trailer Recut]

“Duh—Michael Bay! Michael Bay!” Yeah, and half the filmmakers on the planet, too. EVERYONE HAS THE SICKNESS.


Thanks to Daniel on the Google Plus

HEXES the sunday spectra

HEXES the better late than never edition 8/21/12

Aug. 17th, 2012

Seven forty-three pm – “PUTIN lit fires” – FOR SINGLE SENTENCE OF PUSSY RIOT

The Pussy Riot Livejournal


Free Pussy Riot Poster by Molly Crabapple

Download Hi-Res Here.  Print, post, mashup, share

Suggestions on use:

print it out.  Wheatepaste it around town.  Print it on an iron-on and make it into a tshirt. Wear it to a demonstration. tape a copy outside the Russian embassy.  Print on sticker paper.  Wallpaper a wall. 

Don’t slap it on for-profit tshirts and sell them on ebay. That is lame. 

But as long as you’re not using it to make a buck, it’s yours.

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MARTIN AMIS: Lionel Asbo: State of England

And the shitty reviews are in! WSJ  NYT  Guardian

UK Edition Cover Design (Which the Creep loves)

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Leonard Cohen 2009-04-13, Oakland CA Paramount Theater

Full concert for download from Waves and Wires

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Warren Ellis: SPEKTRMODULE 12 Dispatch Render Ghosts

On a new computer, and trying to remember how I do this.  A short uninterrupted mix to begin season 2. — WE


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LEIGH BRACKETT (All covers from Golden Age Comic Book Stories

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Always more at NASA