If you like any of the following:
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
…then you might like Planet Rasputin. It’s a bit bizarro, a bit early Almodovar, a bit Slovenian…
Here’s the plot:
It’s about seventy-five years in the future and Slovenia is floating above the planet Earth, separate from all the other countries below.
A year before the start of novel, Slovenia was democratic; now it’s run by a tyrant with purple eyes. He dumps Sila, Gasper, the physicist Nakagami and five other dissidents on a [prototype] ship and sends them off into deep Space.
The ship has strict rules: No-one leaves, no talking for more than four hours a day, and no entertainment.
There’s a lot of isolation, green walls, some poster-making and a few deaths.
Then a wormhole.
Remember that episode of Star Trek where an alien on a space station is watching over/protecting a planet of other aliens? This is similar, only the alien on the space station is Rasputin and the aliens on the planet are distant-Russian.
Is Rasputin insane? Is he even there?
Danny Aiello is in it [briefly]. Read more…
Name of place: CMYK kld
Is there a signed photo of Sally Field above the door? No.
There’s no sign that I could see, and the space inside is tiny. I had to wait for two Americans to get out of the way before I could get to the zines.
Actually, there are 2 spaces for zines. At the side on a shelf [where the Americans were], and in the middle on a chair. It’s not clear if this is some kind of art display, but there were zines on a chair so I picked them up and put them back carefully when I was done.
The staff was decent. Copenhagen has a very high level of English, which is lucky as I can’t say a word in Danish. I know they put a slash through their ‘o’s, but that’s about it. Read more…
The last few months we’ve been looking [non-stop] for new places to put the Gupter zine [Issue 14] and our new book ‘Planet Rasputin’.
It’s been tough.
We’re all mostly stuck in LA and Hong Kong at the moment so, to stretch wider, things had to be done by e-mail and twitter and google. [We did manage to physically get to Copenhagen, Lisbon, London, Sevilla and New York…we'll talk about those some other time]
There must’ve been 100 something e-mails in all.
Some of the zines/books were sent to people we know in other countries…Tyson Bley, the ‘anti-universal translator’ in Ratzeburg, some guy in Fresno, Chris in Edinburgh…we sent 30 to Kaia in Oslo, but they never arrived.
Others were sent to new people we found online:
Cyberpunk Apocalypse [Pittsburgh] – Run by Daniel McCloskey [the guy who wrote Alien Nation and Baise-Moi], this writers’ collective is pretty helpful. They’ve agreed to a trade…we send to them, they send to HK…I don’t know why more collectives don’t do this. I suppose mailing costs might be prohibitive, but if you save up enough cash and take a risk, it’s not too hard.
The Beguiling [Toronto] – it’s a comic shop, but they said it was okay to hide our books and zines in amongst all the pretty looking stuff.
Rock, Paper, Scissors [San Fran] – A store that stocks zines and teaches people how to make them too. There are a lot of places with this name in the world…I don’t think they’re all under the same umbrella, but there must be something about the name that sticks. Anyway, I think we found this one by searching: ‘Zines sleeping rough in San Francisco’. If you search ‘zine stores in [place name]‘ the results are usually bullshit. Better to write something unpredictable. Read more…
“Do I speak Italian? Sure, I keep in shape. I mean, I couldn’t live there if I didn’t know some. The locals would flay me.” – George Clooney
The village near Como only ever had to deal with one American. And even though he only came for maybe two months of the year, they dealt okay. But when he did come…
George Clooney sat in his car outside the village shop and soaked up the scene. In any other country, he thought, this would be a piece of shit view…in Detroit? Miserable. In LA? Soulless. But here, in Como? Man, why didn’t they make me Italian?
He got out of the car and walked into the shop, confident.
‘Bonjourno!’ he said to the woman, who didn’t say anything back.
He picked up two bits of weird Italian bread and took them to the counter.
The woman said something he didn’t understand.
Then he realized something…the crust.
The woman said another load of words he didn’t know.
‘No…can you cut the crust off?’
She didn’t get it.
He picked up the bread and mimed a knife sawing at the crust. ‘The crust…this here…comprende?’
The woman grunted, took the bread, cut it in half and handed it back to him, saying a whole load extra in Italian.
George took the bread [with crusts] and turned his back on her, saying on the way out, ‘Yeah, clearly can’t understand a word you’re saying, sweetheart, but you keep having a good time there. Fucking wench.’
And two nights later he was back in LA.
Name of place: Housmann’s
Where? King’s Cross
Is there a signed photo of Sally Field above the door? No.
There’s a yellow sign and a little trolley of books outside this place, two pretty low-key attempts to get people to notice them.
Once you’ve noticed, you’ll see leaflets/posters in the window like:
‘Anarchism Now: why capitalism is a motherfucker’
‘Socialism: don’t be so fucking greedy’
‘Feminism: men are shit’
Basically, this bookshop/radical collective kind of thing is full of zines and leaflets pretty much the same as the three above. It’s all good stuff…stuff you won’t find anywhere else in London except 56a and Freedom Press. Read more…
A Film About Billy alternates between comics and prose to tell the story of a teenager editing a documentary about his dead friend during an international suicide epidemic.
That means there’s a lot of death in this thing.
Not sure how many suicides are shown…not sure how similar it is to ‘The Happening’…
But we do know it’s a mix of writing and pics…a graphic comic book…and it’s decent.
We’ve seen some of the pics and there’s a guy with his head open/brain showing…there’s a guy smoking…and there’s a park with four swings…
You can get this on goodreads for free…some kind of special deal http://bit.ly/12Zo9Yq
If you’re in Pittsburgh, you can just show up at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse and ask for a copy signed by the author/artist…
Did you know: Daniel McCloskey used to be a writer on Grange Hill [he was seven years old].
He is also best friends with Colin Hanks.
“What I love about Bourne is…he speaks these languages, like, y’know, a little German, a little French, some Russian, but…he’s not fluent in them. You know what I mean? He’s not fluent.” – Matt Damon
Matt Damon figured he knew a little French. He figured he knew a little German. He knew he didn’t know any Russian, but he figured he could pick it up. Then… In Switzerland, at the embassy, he forgot everything. But it’s okay, said the director. You’re an amnesiac. You’re not supposed to remember this shit. ‘Yeah,’ said Damon. ‘I can half-speak it, like an amnesiac.’ And even though he knew his French was pretty good, or it would be if he sat down for a month and surrounded himself with French people…he pretended that he could only half-speak it. Then… In Berlin, in the second Bourne, he couldn’t remember a fucking word. But it’s okay, he said to the director, he’s not supposed to be fluent, right? And even though he knew his German wasn’t far off the same level as his French, he kept to the role and spoke it broken. Then… In Moscow, the girl whose parents Bourne had killed told him they should switch to English. And that’s okay, he told himself, because Bourne’s not supposed to be good at Russian. And it’s not like I’ve had enough time to really learn it.
“Like, if the character demanded it then…sure, yeah, I could speak fluently, but that’s the thing, it doesn’t. The role doesn’t demand it, and that’s what I’m a slave to. I follow the role, not Matt Damon. Even though my French is actually pretty good.” –Matt Damon [cont.]
Matt Damon took French at high school. He did just enough to get by. No more, no less. In the exams, he could introduce himself. He could understand basic questions. He could have a limited conversation. A year after high school he met a French girl. They talked in American for a while and the girl was pretty fluent, and all the time they talked Damon was thinking of different ways he could crowbar some of his French into the conversation. Finally there was a long enough pause, and he jumped… ‘Que tu…err…que tu faire lajordi…no, fuck, that’s not-…fuck…aujourdhui…ajord-…’