Links for the New Year

More fun stuff, from the Internet to my brain, shared for your general edification.


…refers to “a subgenre of mythic fiction” in which classical folklore and faerie tales get hyperpoetic postmodern makeovers. Coined by author Catherynne M. Valente, the term describes a brand of speculative fiction which starts in folklore and myth and adds elements of postmodern fantastic techniques: urban fantasy, confessional poetry, non-linear storytelling, linguistic calisthenics, worldbuilding, and academic fantasy.Characterized by baroque multicultural fashion, alternative/ queer sexuality, bizarre retellings of familiar faerie tales, pervasive anxiety, fear of inevitable change, elaborate symbolism and radical reinterpretation, mythpunk is a cross-media movement. Although largely defined through literary works like Andrea Jones’s Hook & Jill, Francesca Lia Block’s Weetzie Bat series and Catherynne Valente’s The Orphans Tales, the mythpunk aesthetic occasionally manifests in music (The Decemberists), film (Pan’s Labyrinth), jewelry and other media forms.

> You may not have heard the term globster before, but you definitely have heard about them. They’re those weird, unidentifiable dead creatures that occasionally¬† wash ashore. Like the Montauk Monster or Ogopogo. If Ogopogo were a zombie plesiosaur.

> Rudy Rucker spent the holidays over at Charlie Stross’ blog blowing everybody’s mind.

>And I think i want one of these for the morning commute.

Links for 12/19/11

A few odds and ends making their way from the internet to my brain in the last week:

>A list of defunct auto manufactures and the cool cars they used to make, mostly from the nineteen-teens. Bless Wikipedia editors and their exhaustive interests.

>A transcript of Terrence McKenna talking about the DMT cave and intelligences from outside of time. You know, the usual.

>In the Arabian Nights, there’s the story of the City of Brass, which

[…] features a group of travellers on an archaeological expedition across the Sahara to find an ancient lost city and attempt to recover a brass vessel that Solomon once used to trap a jinn, and, along the way, encounter a mummified queen, petrified inhabitants, life-like humanoid robots and automata, seductive marionettes dancing without strings, and a brass horseman robot who directs the party towards the ancient city, which has now become a ghost town.”

There’s definitely a novel in there, but it’ll have to wait until I finish the three or four other novels already taking up space in my head. So look for it sometime around 2020.

>Here’s last year’s Krampuslauf Graz parade in Austria. Why can’t we have a demonic monster parade during Christmas in this country? Oh right, fluffy Jesus people. Weirdos.

>And ever since I saw the new trailer for GI Joe: Retaliation, this pretty badass dubstep version of Seven Nation Army has been stuck in my head.

Those Damned Fish, Again

Fish fall with rain over an indian Village:

When a storm broke over an Indian village it wasn’t raining cats and dogs – but fish.

People in the country’s southwest district Kerala are famed for turning local sea life into spicy dishes.

But the reported piscine downpour gave the village of Manna an unexpected feast.

When a storm first broke on Thursday, some people reported seeing small, pencil-thin live fish falling from the sky.

This is a classic Fortean event. Charles Fort, for those unfamiliar with him, wrote four books cataloguing anomalous phenomenon. Chief among the items collected in his first book (and my personal favorite) The Book of The Damned are reports of strange objects falling with rain. Fish were featured heavily, as were frogs, globs of jelly, snakes, cubes of venison, eggs and ham, loose change and items historically referred to as Thundertones, large objects either carved stone or forged mettle that land in fields or on houses.

But as for the fishes: conventional wisdom claims that some very picky whirlwinds scoop them up and dribble them down upon the heads of startled Indian Villagers and others. I don’t quite buy that and more than Charles Fort did:*

The best-known fall of fishes from the sky is that which occurred at Mountain Ash, in the Valley of Abedare, Glamorganshire, Feb. 11, 1859.

The Editor of the Zoologist, 2-677, having published a report of a fall of fishes, writes: “I am continually receiving similar accounts of frogs and fishes.”(14) But, in all the volumes of the Zoologist, I can find only two reports of such falls. There is nothing to conclude other than that hosts of data have been lost because orthodoxy does not look favorably upon such reports. The Monthly Weather Review records several falls of fishes in the United States; but accounts of these reported occurrences are not findable in other American publications. Nevertheless, the treatment by the Zoologist of the fall reported from Mountain Ash is fair. First appears, in the issue of 1859-6493, a letter from the Rev. John Griffith, Vicar of Abedare, asserting that the fall had occurred, chiefly upon the property of Mr. Nixon, of Mountain Ash.(15) Upon page 6540, Dr. Gray, of the British Museum, bristling with exclusionism, writes that some of these fishes, which had been sent to him alive, were “very young minnows.”(16) He says: “On reading the evidence, it seems to me most probably only a practical joke: that one of Mr. Nixon’s employees had thrown a pailful of water upon another, [81/82] who had thought fish in it had fallen from the sky”–had dipped up a pailful from a brook.

Those fishes–still alive–were exhibited at the Zoological Gardens, Regent’s Park. The Editor says that one was a minnow and that the rest were sticklebacks.

He says that Dr. Gray’s explanation is no doubt right.

But, upon page 6564, he publishes a letter from another correspondent, who apologizes for opposing so “high an authority as Dr. Gray,” but says that he had obtained some of these fishes from persons who lived a considerable distance apart, or considerably out of range of the playful pail of water.(17)

According to the Annual Register, 1859-14, the fishes themselves had fallen by pailfuls.

(Hat tip to Noz)