The voice of vacuum

Excellent takedown of an author I’ve had no time for and probably never will.

DIFFERENZ/MASCHINE

6073305962_d723de563a_oThe return of the space opera genre at the hands of such writers as Iain Banks, Stephen Baxter, Ken MacLeod, Charles Strauss and Alastair Reynolds poses an interesting paradox. Classical space opera was relentlessly optimistic, comfortable in its unchallenged, masturbatory fantasy of boyish omnipotence. Here were the easy moral dichotomies and puritanism, disingenuous homophobia and appallingly thin characterization of a genre that spawned sixty thousand iterations of the boy wonder, can-do man, neutered intellectual and space harpy, all warmed to a rosy glow by the unstoppable sun of progress. As science fiction matured in the 1960s and 1970s, little was left of the genre except a campy aftertaste. When in the 1990s, space opera made a spectacular come-back, in form at least the new wave vastly amplified the scale of the classics: whereas Arthur Clarke’s The City and The Stars spanned a mere billion years and some sixty pages, Stephen…

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Doctor Shamass, 1896 – Part 5

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Dear readers, I can tell you, it ends! This year, the sixth and final part of A Christmas Tale of H.B. Shamass, 1896, will be winging its way across the world by other than electronic means …

If, perchance, you wish to receive hard copies of this story, email me at antyphayes [at] gmail [dot] com and say hello

However before you can read part six you need to read the fifth. And, dear and loyal raeders of the airwaves, here be the fifth part, finally in zipbook form.

The fourth part was published in the Shamass card of 2014the third part was published in the Shamass card of 2013the second part was published in the Shamass card of 2012, and the first part was published in the Shamass card of 2011.

To recap:

In part 1, Lord Jacks & ass., nemesis par excellence, captured our hero and transported him to the southernmost continent for nefarious ends. As all loyal readers know, such is the case even though this noble blackguard had never yet figured in the back catalogue. Shipwrecked on an icy shore, Shamass, Jacks & some remaining ass. approach the Antarctic plateau and the mysterious entry to the lair of the most enigmatic of souls: Saint Rouge.

In part 2, Doctor Shamass, Jacks & some remaining ass. find succor in the Lair of Saint Rouge, co-conspirator of Lord Jacks. But wait, Saint Rouge is not in league with Jacks, he is a saltwort friend of the good Doctor! Alas Jacks finds out this noble deception and after a brief but decisive struggle throws Shamass into the vast dark of the hollowed out Earth [cf. the diagram on the back of the 1896 (cont.) card].

In part 3, Doctor Shamass, flung into the vast and empty void within the (hollow) Earth itself, fell and dreamt of other days and impossible things.

In part 4, the good Doctore, having been kidnapped, carted, shipwrecked, and sword fightin’, plunging-through-the-very-centre-of-the-earth-n’-rescued-from-the-howling-wastes-of-the-North-Pole-by-themysterious-Miss-X, discovers himself once more in the clinging grasp of his sinister nemesis par excellence. A battle ensues.

Now read on…

[and don’t forget all things Shamass here]
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O’Connor Shops, Canberra, 1994

O'Connor Shops, Canberra, 1994

O’Connor Shops, Canberra, 1994

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New SF short story – “Tumbleweeds”

andromedaspaceways64cover

A new story by my third favourite author: Tumbleweeds by Ainslie Hill. Available from the good people at Andromeda Spaceways (issue 64).

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S.H.U. – Arkham Towers

Arkham Towers

A sonic project I am involved in. Our latest “album” available here.

More S.H.U. evil available here.

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Study for a failed painting

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Warhol’s fake boxes: It’s the economy, stupid

The following essay was first published on the now defunct blog http://antyphayes.blogsome.com/ on 9 January 2008. I wrote it in response to the “revelation” that the Warhol Brillo boxes then on display at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art were “fakes”. Of course the revelation was nothing of the sort. Warhol, like the detestable Avida Dollars, was never above faking his own work — not to mention working his own fakes. In the case of the Brillo Boxes, Warhol’s “creativity” amounting to reproducing what had already been mass reproduced in a factory. Which is to say, a slight variation on Duchamp’s readymade with none of the original’s verve or corrosive criticism.

One of the themes of this piece is the venality of self-professed “internationally renowned art experts” like Pontus Hulten. As wiser people have remarked about such shady characters, they’re only in it for the money.

There are a few things I would change if I was writing…

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