New Flurb

Flurb #3 is out. Rudy keeps extracting things I didn’t know I had to give, old promises I forgot I might have made. Might have.


Anders, DiFilippo, Gunn, Herbert, Laidlaw, Metzger, Quaglia, Rucker, Saknussemm, Shirley, Sirius, Tonnies, and Watson!

God to Earth: “Cry More, Noobs!”

Many months ago, Wired solicited a bunch of six-word stories in the manner of Hemingway. Mine got cut from the print edition (also, many months ago) because of an admittedly horrible page design (I saw it and it warn’t pretty), but these things tend to have a longer life on the web anyway:

God to Earth: “Cry more, noobs!”

“Help! Trapped in a text adventure!”

More here.

The Street: The Best TV Show You Never Saw

There is precious little information to be found about The Street at this late date. I am the only person I have ever met who saw even one episode. I watched about a dozen on late night TV, when I was living on Long Island in 1988. It was raw and funny, brilliant dialog, and looked like no cop show I’d ever seen at that point. Imagine Adam-12 filmed by Weegee with a handheld camera. It followed cops on their beat, but resolutely refused to get involved in their cases. It predated Cops, so that the first time I saw that I thought it was surely a ripoff. It prophesied Homicide. I would have thought it influenced a huge number of shows that came after it…except that apparently nobody ever saw it.

According to this NYT article, they filmed 40 episodes before releasing the first. It’s screaming for a DVD release.

Or anyway, I am.

”This show is the ne plus ultra hip show,” said Mr. Korris. ”We’re talking about urban hipsters watching this show. It’s for people on the cutting edge. I think it’s the first sitcom of the 1990’s.”

The Master of Ballantrae

The finest Robert Louis Stevenson novel I hadn’t read, The Master of Ballantrae (1889) blends the high-seas piracy of Kidnapped! and Treasure Island, with Jekyll & Hyde‘s dark doubled vision of humanity. It seems to have had a strong influence on Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Sharer (1909), of which I was vividly reminded during certain long discussions in a ship’s cabin during a storm. And toward the stripped-down end of the novel, it turns into a grim frontier adventure reminiscent of Antonia Bird’s sublime Ravenous.

Highly recommended. Not all that hard to find online.

Robert Louis Stevenson.jpg

“Before us was the high range of mountains toward which we had been all day deviously drawing near. From the first light of the dawn, their silver peaks had been the goal of our advance across a tumbled lowland forest, thrid with rough streams, and strewn with monstrous boulders; the peaks (as I say) silver, for already at the higher altitudes the snow fell nightly; but the woods and the low ground only breathed upon with frost. All day heaven had been charged with ugly vapours, in the which the sun swam and glimmered like a shilling piece; all day the wind blew on our left cheek barbarous cold, but very pure to breathe. With the end of the afternoon, however, the wind fell; the clouds, being no longer reinforced, were scattered or drunk up; the sun set behind us with some wintry splendour, and the white brow of the mountains shared its dying glow.”

I have no doubt that my recent one-day sojourn in Roatan spurred a renewed interest in Stevenson, but I ended up glomming onto this instead of any of his South Sea stories.