To celebrate the release of my new book, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age, I’ve invited some of my favorite creators and thinkers to write about their philosophy on the arts and the Internet. Today, Neil Gaiman, author of the just-published Hansel and Gretel (with Lorenzo Mattotti), has granted kind permission to reproduce his introduction to Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free. -CoryRead the rest
Kent Rogowski's marvellously gory and visceral pictures of inside-out teddy bears were collected in the 2007 book Bears, which is available used starting at $0.49. (via IO9)
To celebrate the release of my new book, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age, I’ve invited some of my favorite creators and thinkers to write about their philosophy on the arts and the Internet. Today, Amanda Palmer, author of the just-published Art of Asking, has granted kind permission to reproduce her introduction to Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free. -CoryRead the rest
Published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name (through December 13, 2014, at Washington State University’s Museum of Art in Pullman), Roger Shimomura: An American Knockoff offers a crisp look at the recent work of this Seattle-born painter of Japanese descent, who spent some of his earliest years in a World War II internment camp in Hunt, Idaho. Forced ostracization helped shape Shimomura’s sense of otherness, which has found expression in his work since the 1970s. Not surprisingly, some of the most powerful paintings reproduced in the exhibition catalog – which includes an essay by Anne Collins Goodyear and an interview with the artist – depict imagined images from those years. Because Shimomura was just three when he and his family were sent to Camp Minidoka, though, he relied upon translations of his grandmother’s diaries to create pictures of the surreal circumstances of trying to live a normal American life while imprisoned. My favorite, “Classmates,” captures two girls – one with Euro-American features, the other Japanese – holding ruby-red apples and smiling, seemingly untroubled by the barbed wire strung between them.
Other paintings in the book are comic-book-style self-portraits of the artist as iconic characters like George Washington (famously crossing the Delaware) and Superman (his trademark costume covered by a kimono). While these images may appear to be pop polemics designed to poke a thumb in the eye of some of America’s most patriotic icons, the artist demurs: “Sometimes people mistake my usage of them as painting the enemy,” he’s quoted as saying. “But it really comes out of my visual reverence for them.” For the artist, the paintings are conversation starters, as in “Shimomura Crossing the Delaware,” which is supposed to make viewers ask themselves, ‘What if George Washington had been Japanese American?’ In other words, how might a heroic Japanese figure early in the nation’s history have changed our culture? Well, one might answer, the current president of the United States is African American, and that fact has done little in many precincts to further the dialogue about race. But the lack of easy answers in Shimomura’s work is fine with the artist. “If my work is seen as raising more questions than it answers,” he says, “I’d be pleased….”
To celebrate the release of my new book, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age, I’ve invited some of my favorite creators and thinkers to write about their philosophy on the arts and the Internet. Today, Molly Crabapple presents her 15 iron laws of creativity. -Cory DoctorowRead the rest
David Nickle is a horror writer and a working journalist who covered Toronto City Hall during the Rob Ford years, an era in which the two professions effectively merged. Here, Nickle explains the events that led to his new short story collection Knife Fight and Other Struggles, which includes a tale of a larger-than-life mayor who settles interpersonal friction with, well, knife-fights.Read the rest
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – A graphic novel of Philip K. Dick’s original story that inspired Blade Runner
This will take some ‘splaining. This is a series of 6 graphic novels based on the novel by Philip K. Dick that became the seminal movie Blade Runner. But the hit movie, weird as it was, was so different from Dick’s even weirder novel that it is usually said that his book “inspired” the movie. They are two different beings. There are far more currents and strange inventions in Dick’s story, and it is far more out of balance. But that offset between book and movie is nothing extraordinary. What’s extraordinary about these graphic novels is that they include *every word* of Dick’s book!
Graphic novels are usually cinematic and not literary. The only words are dialog, not descriptions. This weird graphic novel about a strange world has almost as many words as pictures. You are reading a novel and watching a movie at the same time. It is a great experience and I don’t know why there aren’t more novel-ish graphic novels like it. The story contains the original genius premise of a bounty hunter tracking down sociopathic robots nearly indistinguishable from humans, but there are other disturbing subtexts and sub stories. The art is great, too. The one downside: Regrettably, the graphic novel is divided into 6 slim booklets instead of bound into a single volume, forcing you to purchase all six for the full story.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep: Volume One, by Philip K. Dick (author), Tony Parker (illustrator) and Bill Sienkiewicz (illustrator)
In The Peripheral, William Gibson’s first futuristic novel since 1999’s All Tomorrow’s Parties, we experience the fantastic synthesis of a 20th century writer — the Gibson of Neuromancer, eyeball-kicks of flash and noir; and the Gibson of Pattern Recognition, arch and sly and dry and keen. Cory Doctorow reviews.Read the rest
Carl Hiaasen’s novels are treasures of hilarity, violence, comeuppance and ardent love for Florida wilderness. The very best of them feature “Skink,” a wild man of the woods with a fantastic history and a twisted sense of justice. With Skink No Surrender, Hiaasen brings his greatest character to a new generation by transforming the violent, profane anti-hero into the star of a young adult novel.Read the rest