Mittwoch, Mai 31, 2006

some favourite music bands

This time a list of favourite bands:
* Cephalgy
* Terminal Choice, Blutengel, Tumor, Seelenkrank
* And One
* Apoptygma Berzerk
* God Module
* Staubkind
* Cyborg Attack

Aren't German bands the best? I don't like intellectual music - although Cephalgy goes really deep; I was always fond of music that appeals to your inner instincts, belly-music in contrast to head-music, music you feel, not hear or listen to. That's why - for the classical fans - I prefer Liszt above Mozart. The German words on top of this page are from Cephalgy.

Donnerstag, Mai 25, 2006

Just a list of favourite SF books

Some of my favourite Philip K. Dick books:
* The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
It's a very amazing work in that you'll never know which character is which, and that even in the same sentence one person can become another.
* Dr. Bloodmoney
You'll never forget Hoppy, the phocomelus, Walt, orbiting the earth, Bonny, a strong woman, and Edie, her strange daughter. Some of Dick's best characters are in this book.
* Ubik
When you're dead, you're near death, and people can still visit you.

Some other favourites:
* The Sirens of Titan (Kurt Vonnegut)
* The Time Machine (H.G. Wells)
* Grass (Sheri S. Tepper)
* The Many-Coloured Land (Julian May)

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Dienstag, Mai 23, 2006

Free Will (1)

"Let me tell you a legend about God," Morgo said. "In the beginning he created an egg, a huge egg, with a creature inside it. God tried to break the eggshell open to let the creature - the original living creature - out. He couldn't. But the creature which He had made had a sharp beak, constructed for just such a task, and it chipped its way out of the egg. And hence - all living creatures have free will, now."

Philip K. Dick


Samstag, Mai 13, 2006

About racism

They stamp on any change: they close the way and keep the type fixed because they've got the arrogance to think themselves perfect. As they reckon it, they, and only they, are in the true image; very well, then it follows that if the image is true, they themselves must be God: and, being God, they reckon themselves entitled to decree, "thus far, and no farther." That is their great sin: they try to strangle the life out of Life.

John Wyndham


Vonnegut quotes about art and science

* If I hadn't learned to live without a culture and a society, acculturation would have broken my heart a thousand times.
* Those artsy-fartsy twerps next door create living, breathing, threedimensional characters with ink on paper, he went on, Wonderful! As though the planet weren't already dying because it has three billion too many living, breathing, three-dimensional characters!
* Science never cheered up anyone. The truth about the human situation is just too awful.

Kurt Vonnegut (Timequake)


Freitag, Mai 12, 2006

The wisdom of Kurt Vonnegut

Like Philip K. Dick Vonnegut, being a prisoner of war, has something with the Second World War. Like Dick, he isn't afraid to use german in his novels. You'll notice that when you read his first masterpiece Slaughterhouse 5. In this novel Vonnegut tells a warstory mixed with the abduction of the lead character to Tralfamador, a fantasy he uses in many of his books. Just imagine being locked up in a zoo like we do to animals, and a whole bunch of curious Tralfamadorians looking at everything you do. Not always bad if you're imprisoned with a beautiful female... We also meet Kilgore Trout, the alter ego of Vonnegut, also seen in many of his novels. In Slaughterhouse 5 Vonnegut poses a theory about time that's very interesting, because according to his theory we can die in time, but because time is relative according to Tralfamadorians, we never really die. Slaughterhouse 5, as good as it is, is probably not the best Vonnegut novel, although it did introduce a new genre to the world, a genre that can only be described as pure Vonnegut.
The first Vonnegut novel I read was The Sirens of Titan, and I consider that novel - in my humble opinion - the best ever! Like Douglas Adams, Vonnegut explores the ever pressing question of the human condition: "What's the meaning of life?" Unlike Douglas Adams, we'll get an answer. And it fits. But there is more. Vonnegut critisises many aspects of our human society, one of them being science and how we as human beings interpret our observations of life. There's also a war going on, very similar to the Second World War, but in another time frame. It is, after all, an SF novel. This book is really a page turner, it being wittier than any Philip K. Dick novel (and knowing Philip K. Dick is my favourite writer, this means something).
I haven't read all Vonnegut novels yet, but among the above I really enjoyed the following. Timequake you probably noticed already has a lot of wisdom in it, and most of my quotes I post are out of this novel. The strange thing about Timequake is that it's the second version of a Kilgore Trout novel, where the original was never written in the new present, but it was in the old present. Again, time is one of the main characters in the books. Also fun in this novel is Vonnegut's alternative version of the "Adam and Eve" story, among others. Bluebeard is also one of my favourites. It's not SF, but it goes deep into human relationships. It's about an old forgotten artist who has hidden something in his barn, and his 'housekeeper' wants to know what. You will not be disappointed. Finally, I've just read Slapstick, a novel that's a bit like More Than Human (T. Sturgeon), but full of wit and insight. It's about two ugly human creatures that need each other to have a joint intelligence that outstrips the most advanced computers.
Now I still got some five more unread Vonnegut novels on my bookshelf. I expect to be surprised reading each of them.


Donnerstag, Mai 11, 2006

Suicide is homicide

St Augustine said if you were a pure, innocent person suicide was twice as bad because then you were guilty of murdering a pure, innocent person.

John Sladek (Roderick)


Sonntag, Mai 07, 2006

When idiot meets innocent

The following is something special. Although I didn't really like Sturgeon's novel, it had some wisdom in it:

"Ask Baby what is a friend."
"He says it's somebody who goes on loving whether he likes you or not."
"Ask Baby can you be truly part of someone you love."
"He says only if you love yourself."
"Ask Baby what is a grown person who can talk like babies."
"He says, an innocent."
"Ask Baby what if an idiot and an innocent are close together."
"He says when they so much as touched, the innocent would stop being an innocent and the idiot would stop being an idiot."

Theodore Sturgeon


Vonnegut quotes about men and women

Within a few days I'll post my thoughts and remarks about Vonnegut. Here are some quotes to get started. You can find them in Vonnegut's Timequake novel.

"There is no way a beautiful woman can live up to what she looks like for any appreciable length of time."

"Men are jerks. Women are psychotic."


Samstag, Mai 06, 2006

Aren't we all in some sort of prison? (2)

While there is a lower class I am in it, while there is a criminal element I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.

Eugene Debs

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Aren't we all in some sort of prison?

Again, it is a question of attitudes, my dear. Is the prisoner a prisoner because he lives in a cage or because he knows that he lives in a cage?

Michael Moorcock


Freitag, Mai 05, 2006

Whatever becomes of man, love cannot die

And I have by me, for my comfort, two strange white flowers - shrivelled now, and brown and flat and brittle - to witness that even when mind and strength had gone, gratitude and a mutual tenderness still lived on in the heart of man.

H.G. Wells


H.G. Wells: typewriter versus modern technology

Some writers just deserve a short introduction before I post anything of their work. Among them are Philip K. Dick and Kurt Vonnegut. But today I'll start with one of the early and in some ways forgotten writer H.G. Wells.
The thing about H.G. Wells is that he still wrote in a Victorian style, and in my opinion it is almost unique to find that beautiful old English of R.L. Stevenson or O. Wilde in a so-called Science Fiction book. It's a pity he only managed to write one earth-shocking masterpiece: The Time Machine. Some will disagree and say The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man or The Island of Dr. Moreau are also great. In my opinion, they are fun, not great. Unlike J. Verne's predictions of the future, H.G. Wells wrote one book that nowadays is totally outdated and therefor fun: The First Men in the Moon. Not one scientific fact in that novel is in agreement with our scientific knowledge of today.
The Time Machine
is now widely known by the public: a few years ago a second movie was made out of Wells' novel (Guy Pierce, remember?). But none of the movies have ever captured my mind like Wells' novel that was written in 1895. The 29 year old Wells succeeded with a single typewriter where modern technology failed (twice). Maybe it is true that the world we create within our minds when we read novels cannot be equaled by any modern movie.
Many writers of today are influenced by Wells. One of them for sure is Michael Moorcock. Moorcock's work is always just over the top in that he mocks the Holy Mary or parts of our "descent" society. Last year I was lucky to find a copy of The Complete, Uncensored Saga of Jerry Cornelius in Canada (yeps, sometimes you have to travel to the other side of the world to find a book like that), a book that was once banned in most catholic countries. When I've read it, I'll surely post something about it. But back to Wells: for people who want to know a bit about Wells, but don't like reading biographies, just read Moorcock's The Dancers at the End of Time. The historic H.G. Wells is one of the characters in the book.


Donnerstag, Mai 04, 2006

Was bilden wir von unserer Welt?

This is your world. These are your people. You can live for yourself today, or help build tomorrow for everyone.

Das ist deine Welt. Das sind deine Mitmenschen. Du kannst heute für dich leben, oder für alle die Zukunft von Morgen aufbauen.

C'est ton monde. Ce sont tes gens. Aujourd'hui tu pourrais penser qu'a toi, ou aider à construire un lendemain pour tous.

VNV Nation


What's this blog about?

This blog is about touching words, about lesser known writers or bands who had that fingerspitzegefuhl to say something meaningful, but are forgotten or neglected in popular society. Feel free to comment, or say something in someone else's words. Use the language you like.

Kalte Liebe

And he remembered thinking then that if she died, he was certain he wouldn't cry. For it would be the dying of an unknown, a street face, a newspaper image, and it was suddenly so very wrong that he had begun to cry, not at death but the thought of not crying at death, a silly empty woman, while the hungry snake made her still more empty.

Ray Bradbury


Fathering a robot...

Dents. Yes, well you know the way we take out a dent? We put one in the other side. We dent the dent. Then if it still ain't smooth, we dent that dent too, and so on. Seems like so much of life is just denting the dents in the dents...

John Sladek