Bits and Pieces: Culture August 25, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture.
Okay, first up the good news for all of you curious as to the whereabouts of Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman, who vanished after dissing the Cult and Mission who were supposed to be going on tour with KJ (this may be a limited number of you, but I’ll persevere). Said Coleman was found in the Sahara working on a solo album. He claimed it wasn’t him who wrote the offending Facebook comment but said KJ wouldn’t be playing with the other two anyway.
Latest news? Ian Astbury of the Cult has apparently offered an olive branch.
This could run and run.
Secondly, less happy news that Harry Harrison, author of Make Room! Make Room! on which Solyent Green (They’re Made of People!) was based and the Stainless Steel Rat novels amongst others died earlier this month at 87. He was one of those writers who always has an interesting angle in his work – just thinking to myself how many of his books I’d read I was genuinely surprised, even taking into account that his was a prolific life. He made his home here in Ireland for much of his life. He was also something of a progressive both in terms of anti-militarism and a life long advocacy of Esperanto. He’ll be missed.
As is my way one day I was idly looking through Wiki’s list of post-nuclear holocaust films (and more on a related topic in a few weeks time). And what comes up but Amerika, 1987 ABC TV series set in the aftermath of a successful Soviet occupation of the US. It’s never been released on DVD but you can, should the mood take you, find it here on YouTube.
For those of you who know John Oliver from the Daily Show on Comedy Central (and the stand up show he fronts on the same channel) there is The Bugle podcast where he and friend and colleague Andy Zaltzman offer up something many will find highly entertaining and surprisingly (or perhaps not) political.
Those of you who watch good to excellent US comedy import Community will know that the name of the institution at its heart is Greendale, which entertainingly (for me) is the name of the er… Community School in Kilbarrack which I went to back in the 70s and very early 1980s. Just sayin’.
And what about Iain Banks who perhaps gave away a bit too much in the Guardian a few weeks ago when revealing that the structure of Use of Weapons, one of his best science fiction novels (and the one he thinks is his best), was in large part the result of a suggestion from his friend and colleague (and sometime commenter here) Ken MacLeod. I like both of them immensely as writers and Use of Weapons even without that particular twist would be a fine book, but in a way I wasn’t surprised at the revelation. Still, it’s a bit like music. I’m not sure I want to know who helped write a particular track (though having once forced myself through a KISS autobiography the question arose who hadn’t helped write various songs of theirs, it was quite an eye opener). And the same with books.
As it happens I think that Use of Weapons while perhaps a shade better than the rest of his Culture books is near enough matched by those from Excession onwards.
Speaking of the Guardian, refreshing to see how it has beefed up its SF reviews in its book review supplement. What was once a thin column has now been supplemented in recent times, and it’s become entertainingly snarky too with some of Christopher Priest’s reviews (Example A).
Lastly, those of us who like a certain J. Whedon and all his works may find this of interest, from the Firefly 10th Anniversary: