February 9th, 2020

Is Still Cool S**t: at Google

I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing
AD Jameson

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I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing">

 

Mutable author AD Jameson has turned his insights and discoveries regarding geek culture into a fabulous book, I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing (FSG, 2108), and in the above talk discusses the book’s themes and key ideas. Jameson has always been a great advocate of genre fiction, and his passion really shines in this talk. If you enjoy what you see here, give the book a look!


January 28th, 2020

This is not a Review...

… of Super Flat Times
GBoyer

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Full disclosure, there was a time when I tried to write exactly like Matthew Derby.

 

I first read Super Flat Times probably something like 15 years ago and at a time in my life when I was on the hunt for the gritty new thing in world of science fiction—the genre that gave the world Philip K Dick and William Gibson, Arthur C Clarke and Robert Heinlein—a genre I despised and adored in equal measure—that would come to dominate my life. And with Matthew Derby’s brilliant collection was part of that. Re-reading them for this essay, that initial electric feeling I had the first time around came rolling back. These stories are on fire!

 

My initial reaction was that these escapades into the unconscious—not unlike HP Lovecraft’s The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, but as experienced through the lens of a psychedelic Raymond Carver—present us with a a new kind of sight and a new type of access to world and world-building. Rather than presenting us with a world that is minutely crated, Derby creates a haze the reader is maneuvering through, and I suspect, a haze that Derby himself is inspecting with the same wonder and whimsical ignorance as his readers.

 

In part because he stories in Super Flat Times were inspired by conversations Derby had with his young child. As Derby himself puts it, they are “more about the kind of fictional world you can create with a kid who’s still trying to stitch the world together in their head—there are these gaps, and they often fill them in with totally amazing stuff you’d never imagine yourself.” And what comes of this collaboration are stories that consist of more an alien realism. They are glimpses into a world we cannot know, but can only guess at. Rather than giving us a key into the palace, Derby has offered only a keyhole into a world is one half dream and the other half too real.

 

At the time, I was working with children and doing a lot of storytelling activities myself, as well as being interested in surrealism and utilizing randomness and divination in writing—as PKD and John Cage used the I Ching for example—but, Super Flat Times is more than some gimmick text. The art and poetry of it are all Derby’s doing, and the tone—from the poetically realistic, “A bird approached at his feet, looking at him sideways, its head a worrisome cloud of nervous activity” (p140); to the downright surreal, “his rueful, multi-chambered face” (p45) or “…her face converging at odd, unpredictable angles, like complex origami” (p126); to the downright profound, “Should I say that I got in and drove off, smoking one cigarette after another, lining them up end on end until I was all of the way out of that life? Because what happened was that I stayed there, with those people, for another three and a half dreadful, thoroughly forgettable years in the way that we best know how to make ourselves feel welcome wherever we’d least like to be,” (p57).

 

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January 22nd, 2020

Song-A-Day

John Manson & Dan Madri

Rage

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As we continue to venture further into John and Dan’s unique songwriting style, after the lush pessimism of Angels and wild cynicism of Fillies, once again we are struck, in this spoken word piece, by this pared down gem. Enjoy!


January 16th, 2020

Saba Lou: Novum Ovum

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Saba Lou, daughter of the infamous King Khan, released an album not that long ago that caught the attention of us over at Mutable Sound. Garage rock at its finest with lyrics that are pure poetry. The music has a classic sound without being kitschy, and a voice that is equally comfortable crooning, growling, or sliding into a deadpan drawl. Occasionally, the song-writing sounds a little derivative of the 60′s garage rock from which she takes her inspiration—like on the chorus of Dirty Blonde—but at its best it transcends its psychedelic roots to straddle the worlds of Black Mountain with its epic sound and a more pared down singer-songwriter sound. Saba Lou likes to play with extremes in her songwriting in general. She has that kind of elastic voice that can play it either way, and this is also where she shines, sliding from sweetness to gritty and back. It is a captivating, even hypnotic back-and-forth, and expertly rendered on Novum Ovum. “Darling, you are the weather.” Novum Ovum is Saba Lou’s second album, and at 19, she’s primed to explode on the world stage.

 


January 6th, 2020

Interview with Mike Sauve

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[Mike Sauve's fiction has appeared in McSweeney’s and elsewhere, and his novels The Wraith of Skrellman, The Apocalypse of Lloyd, and I Ain’t Got No Home In This World Anymore are available from Montag Press. His latest work is the non-fiction book, Who Authored the John Titor Legend? He is currently working on several exciting projects. We here at Mutable thought we'd sit down for a little virtual chat and find out what we could about the crevices of his working mind.]

 

What I am struck with in your work is the macabre playfulness. Would you like to talk about the relationship between comedy and pain in your writing?

 

As I respond to your questions, it is Christmas morn, and I have messaged several friends asking, “Know of any local bukkakes I might partake in?” This is not going to go over at my in-laws breakfast table, but to me it unearths something very vital: the vertex of all that Christmas is meant to mean with not only the lurid nature of the bukkake, but the logical extrapolation that:

 

1) Bukkakes are known to exist.
2) Since bukkakes are known to exist there must be men ever on the prowl for one.

 

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December 15th, 2019

Sinclair
Talbot Penniman

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My name is Sinclair and I live on The Ship. I’ve only got a minute before I’m going to go see a doctor about some surgery I need. I got pretty famous recently. I fully disrupted the ship’s milk supply. Now when I say disrupted I don’t mean I like… changed the way people think of milk… or use milk, I didn’t invent a cheese computer… I didn’t disrupt the milk supply in any innovative sense. I mean we had a ton of milk, and then I lost most of it. I guess it’s sort of my fault, if it’s anybody’s fault. In a sense we still have the milk, it’s in the bilge.

 

The milk tank is an extraordinarily large cylinder made of bones. The milktank is (or was) a complicated piece of equipment and it is very old. Maintenance records date back over 1200 years, so it’s at least that old. For some reason it will shunt the entire milk supply into the bilge in the event a catastrophic failure. I guess there used to be a way to filter the milk back out from the bilge water… but that’s lost knowledge now. So yeah, the bilge is full of milk now and I guess that’s my fault.

 

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December 9th, 2019

Song-A-Day

John Manson & Dan Madri

Fillies

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In our on-going showcase of SAD, we bring you a story, Fillies, a story of five fillies, their names, and racism. We here at Mutable are pleased to offer this gem from the dark imaginings of John and Dan and will continue to offer their twisted harmonies and discordant visions for the months and years to come.


December 1st, 2019

Letter from the Editor

LA in the End Times
GBoyer

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I have often found fruit seeds weird in how they sit in the fruit. They are like as pieces of wood set in the middle of a sweet veil of fruity meat. Worst is when some sliver of wood comes free from the seed to sit in a jiggling yellow mango slice for example. It is like witnessing a breach in the universe.

 

Recently, I moved to LA—which is also like a breach in the universe—or more as like a rift between the larger storytelling worlds of Hollywood and the everyday mundane walking around world of Target and Marshall’s. There are places here I have lived through the eyes of Bladerunner, and scenes that have only been touched by the barest inkling of realism. There are homes in the hillocks that are like slices of marble arranged decoratively upon the horizon, and seems people here can glide on through to the other side powered only by the brilliance of their bling.

 

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