Archive for the 'Literature' category

The End of 2015, the End of The Inkbottle

As this year comes to a close, I am also going to bring this blog to a close.  It’s basically been closed for a while, since I’ve not posted much here over the past few years.  But now I’m making it official: this is it.  If you want to find out what I’m up to in the future, then follow @hauntedink on Twitter or visit https://hauntedink.bandcamp.com (which is the name I’m using from here on out for music) or soundcloud.com/mheumann.  Of course, everything I have posted here–along with everything in The Library and the other sites connected to hauntedink.com–will be around as long as I’m around.

I started writing online back in 1995–20 years ago.  Back then, there were (relatively) few web sites and fewer voices focusing on music.  I created the first web site devoted to Tricky; I spent years writing music reviews both here and for a few different online journals.  As the years have gone on, and as my life has gotten busier and busier, I have found that both do not have the time to post here nor the inclination.  There are so many different outlets for musical discussion and analysis now, and I don’t really think my voice alone warrants its own site.  So I will continue to write, but I will seek to post this information elsewhere (again, check @hauntedink for future details).

Now, I didn’t want to end this blog with just a good-bye, so here are a few thoughts about 2015:

  • Pye Corner Audio.  Damn, that guy just keeps on making wonderful music.  He released Prowler towards the end of the year, after many publications had already created their “best of” lists.  I’m sick of lists, so I don’t want to make one, so I’ll just say that Prowler is the best music I heard this year.  It might be PCA’s best work–which is saying something.  It’s much more groove oriented than his Black Mill Tapes works or his work for Ghost Box, and that’s a change that seems entirely appropriate.
  • Other great music I heard this year (in no order whatsoever): Joanna Newsom’s Divers (yet another amazing work from this essential artist), The Orb’s Moonbuilding 2703 AD, Chemical Brothers’ Born in the Echoes, Thundercat’s The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam, Pole’s Wald, the Ghost Box compilation, A Seance at Syd’s, Kode9’s Nothing, and everything created by fellow Bandcamp artists Chonyid, The Hatcliff House Tapes, and The Owl Service.
  • My favorite musical event this year was watching Glastonbury on the BBC’s iPlayer (thanks to a handy proxy-server app).  There was some great music performed there this year, but (oddly) my favorite performance was Belle & Sebastian, who were adorable in their happiness (something that was in short supply this year).
  • The thought that we in the US have to endure 11 more months of a presidential election after spending all of 2015 listening to some of the most deranged and idiotic people every to walk the earth profess their qualifications for the job, makes me want to just build a time machine and go forward to November 2016 to see Hillary win (I’m assuming; if you’re reading this during the Trump presidency, then please find me and shoot me).
  • My world outside my career in education was focused on reading tons of science fiction and wiggling around with my modular synth.  At year’s end, my synth is dominated by Harvestman modules. I’m aiming to get back to my ultimate task of channeling (as best I can) the musical legacy of Pan Sonic.
  • Science fiction I would definitely recommend you read: Neil Stephenson’s Seveneves.  I was an early fan of his work; I loved Snow Crash and The Diamond Age as a grad student.  By the time he got to Cryptonomicon, though, I felt that he needed to get a better editor.  He hasn’t changed in his verbosity and detail, but the more I read his stuff, the more I appreciate the detail for what it is: a complete and thorough account of the world he is creating.  Anathem was just wonderful in its detail and complexity; its connection to the Long Now project was a plus (I’m a member).  But Seveneves is something altogether different–a story that spans both the end of life on earth and the creation of a new life.  I can’t spoil it for you; read it.  It’s the best novel of the year, and it’s the one I’m voting for when I vote for the Hugos in 2016.
  • Other wonderful, wonderful novels I read this year: everything by Peter F. Hamilton, the Ancillary trilogy by Ann Leckie, Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora, Cixin Liu’s The Three Body Problem and The Dark Forest, and Ernest Cline’s Armada.  During my nice, long break from teaching, I plan to read a whole host of novels by James Corey, Stephen Baxter, and Raoul Peter Mongilardi (damn, there’s so much good stuff out there…).
  • Great science fiction on TV, too: Syfy decided to actually make science fiction again, and I really like their shows DefianceKilljoys, and Dark Matter.  The Expanse is really promising; I am eager to see more of it.  I LOVE Agents of Shield, even though it’s cheesy and uneven.  It’s just damn fun (and I’m a huge fan of Daisy Johnson from the comics, so seeing her come to life on the screen is a blast, too).

My final note to all 3 of you who might actually read this: our world 2015 saw the rapid rise of intolerance, racism, and fascism.  Fight these things with empathy, intelligence, and courtesy.  Think before you speak, consider your audience’s perspective, avoid personal attacks and other fallacies, and be polite.

Thank you all,

Haunted Ink (aka Michael Heumann)

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RIP Top 10/Bottom 3, Long Live Photo of the Month

Sep 06 2013 Published by under Literature, Personal, Photo of the Month, Top 10/Bottom 3

The Top 10/Bottom 3 section of this blog is no more.  Alas!

But never fear.  Here’s a new feature: Photo of the Month!

Photo of the Month for September 2013 displays the most awesome 50s cover of a classic Issac Asimov novel, The Currents of Space (one of the “Empire” novels that preceded his more famous Foundation trilogy).  Enjoy!

The Currents of Space

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Top 10/Bottom 3: June 2013

hypnotoad

 

Top 10 Things I Believe (in no particular order)

  1. Hockey players are the best athletes in the world because they have to be fast, strong, tough, nimble, dexterous, and fearless–all while on ice with tiny slivers of metal beneath their feet to keep them upright.
  2. Pye Corner Audio should be the most popular music in the world.  Joanna Newsom second.
  3. The new Star Trek movie was TERRIBLE–one of the worst things I’ve seen in years.
  4. All glory to the Hypno-Toad and the Noisering
  5. Joanna Newsom should rule the world
  6. Everyone should read Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy–and then read the other 15-30 books set in the same universe.
  7. Socialism is awesome
  8. My wife is awesome
  9. Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One is fantastic and you need to read it now now now
  10. Jane McGonigal is right–reality IS broken

Top 3 Things I Don’t Believe

  1. Doctor Who just keeps getting better and better
  2. I need to spend more money on modular synths
  3. I really enjoy 4 straight months of 110 degree weather.

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Top 10/Bottom 3: March 2013

Ix Tab

Top 10

  1. Knoobz.com
  2. Ernest Cline, Ready Player One
  3. IX Tab, Spindle & the Bregnut Tree
  4. Hacker Farm, UHF
  5. The League
  6. Redlettermedia.com
  7. Start of MLS season!
  8. Spring Training in MLB
  9. New EP from Pye Corner Audio
  10. Meeting Dick Mills

Bottom 3

  1. Republicans
  2. The word “sequester”
  3. Fat

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Top 10/Bottom 3: October 2012

Oct 01 2012 Published by under Film/TV, Humor, Internet/Media, Literature, Music, Personal, Politics, Sports

Tod-Dockstader_si_01

Top 10

  1. Pye Corner Audio, Sleep Games (out Oct 19)
  2. Tod Dockstader, Electronic Vol. 1
  3. Seahawks given a gift of a win against the most popular team in the country–take that, pants!
  4. That “47%” video
  5. Charles Fishman, The Big Thirst
  6. Jered Weaver (20 game winner and no-hitter–well done!)
  7. Priory Church Film Club
  8. The Guild
  9. LA Galaxy
  10. Louie

Bottom 3

  1. Mitt Romney
  2. Paul Ryan
  3. All other Republicans running for office

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Top 10/Bottom 3: August 2012

Apple TV

Top 10

  1. Apple TV
  2. Joan Vinge, The Summer Queen
  3. Watching BBC coverage of the Olympics using a proxy server (take that, NBC)
  4. Julian Cope, Krautrocksampler
  5. David Bowie, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust (still one of the greats)
  6. Popol Vuh, Affensunde
  7. Mountain Lion’s Apple TV Mirroring
  8. Mike Trout
  9. That Batman movie
  10. Sherlock (yeah, I’m behind, but I’m catching up)

Bottom 3

  1. Mitt Romney

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Top 10/Bottom 3: July 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

Top 10

  1. Moonrise Kingdom
  2. Can, The Lost Tapes
  3. Louie
  4. The Six Million Dollar Man
  5. Vacation
  6. Diablo 3
  7. Reeder
  8. Strugatsky Brothers, Roadside Picnic
  9. Metalocalypse
  10. Angels!

Bottom 3

  1. Mitt Romney
  2. Republican donors
  3. Non billionaires who vote Republican

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Top 10/Bottom 3: June 2012

Loveless cover

Top 10

  1. My Bloody Valentine Reissues
  2. Mad Men
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Metalocalypse
  5. Legend of Korra
  6. Words with Friends
  7. Robert Charles Wilson, Spin
  8. Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, Roadside Picnic
  9. Can, The Lost Tapes
  10. JG Ballard, The Drought

Bottom 3

  1. Way too quick start to summer (112 on May 31 in my town).
  2. The Los Angeles Galaxy
  3. Charles Yu, How to Survive in a Science Fictional Universe

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Top 10/Bottom 3: May 2012

Steve Brule

Top 10

  1. Can, The Lost Tapes
  2. Game of Thrones
  3. Strugatsky Bros, Roadside Picnic
  4. Mushi-Shi
  5. LA Kings
  6. Box Springs Audio Workshop
  7. Joan D. Vinge, The Snow Queen & The Summer Queen
  8. Check It Out w/ Dr. Steve Brule
  9. Mika Vainio, “Rasputin 3000”
  10. Metalocalpyse (with special guest Werner Herzog!)

Bottom 3

  1. Mitt Romney
  2. Summer
  3. Angels

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Top 10/Bottom 3: January 2012

Der OTO

Top 10

  1. Halos Heaven (dreaming of a great 2012 season)
  2. Faust IV
  3. Doctor Who at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (Vols 1-4)
  4. Kraftwerk, K4 Bremen Radio 1971
  5. Can, Tago Mago (reissue)
  6. BBC Sound Effects No. 26 – Sci-Fi Sound Effects
  7. Space 1999
  8. Vernor Vinge, The Children of the Sky
  9. The Hobbit (can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait)
  10. Der OTO

Bottom 3

  1. Voter Suppression Efforts by Republican governors in 2011
  2. Fox News
  3. All Republicans (whether running for office or running from the law)

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