Marc "Half-Life" Laidlaw's gonzo cyberpunk is back in DRM-free ebooks

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Marc Laidlaw, the cyberpunk pioneer who went on to serve as writer on some of Valve's greatest video-game titles -- the Half-Life series, Portal -- has just posted his entire backlist to Amazon as $3, DRM-free ebooks, including his debut novel Dad's Nuke (think Fallout, but with religious extremist militants who subsist on "Host on a shingle," this being the cultured recovered foreskin tissue of Jesus Christ on fortified crackers) and Kalifornia, a brilliant and prescient novel about media, cultural disintegration, and celebrity. Read the rest

Trump Tracts: Subgenius-inflected mini-comics about Trump in the style of Jack Chick tracts

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Ethan Persoff is releasing a new "Trump Tract" every day during the RNC, and he encourages you to print out stacks of them and leave them around Cleveland during the convention, "at a coffee shop, or in the bathroom at a $30,000/plate dinner, or hand-distributing these out in public." Read the rest

Motorola's snap-fit magnetic puzzle-phone looks promising

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The Moto Z phone uses a system of magnetically aligned components that snap on and off to add functionality, from high-quality speakers to extra batteries to a projector. Read the rest

Call for speakers: Copycamp Poland, on the future of European copyright

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Marta sez, "The Modern Poland Foundation is calling for speakers at the 5th International CopyCamp Conference (Warsaw 27-28th October 2016) to discuss the Future of Copyright in Europe. If you'd like to join the debate on the impact copyright has and will have on education, politics, culture and society, send us your proposal and meet with other speakers from all over the world: lawyers, artists, politicians, academics, representatives of NGOS and the media."

It's the fifth time CopyCamp gives floor to all interested parties to talk about copyright in the friendly space of the popular movie theatre in the heart of Warsaw.

Thematic tracks of CopyCamp 2016:

* Copyright and Art

* Remuneration Models

* Copyright, Education and Science

* Technologies, Innovation and Copyright

* Copyright and Human Rights

* Copyright Enforcement

* Copyright Debate

* Copyright Lawmaking

Find more information here. If you are interested in presenting your viewpoint during a 10-minute talk, please send us an abstract of not more than 1800 characters by 31 July.

The International CopyCamp Conference 2016 Future of Copyright in Europe Read the rest

The new Lumberjanes book is sweet and badass, with a hell of a monster

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Books one and two of Lumberjanes introduced us to the characters and setting of the awesome, women-run, girl-positive comics: the girls of Roanoke cabin at Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types are Lumberjanes, being trained in the badass arts. Book three -- collecting comics from a kind of victory lap of the title after its amazing success -- turned the series' reins over to some of the best writers and illustrators in comics-dom for a series of vignettes. Now, with Out of Time, the fourth book, the original creative team are back at the helm, telling a long-form story that illuminates the Lumberjane backstory and introduces one of the best, scariest monsters of cryptozoologica.

Fashion student simulates couture collection made from Alexander McQueen's cloned skin

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Alexander McQueen's first collection after graduating from Central Saint Martins was Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims which included locks of his hair; for her own grad project, called "Pure Human," Central Saint Martins student Tina Gorjanc created a line of clothes and accessories that asks the audience to imagine that it was made from pelts cloned from DNA retrieved from McQueen's hair strands. Read the rest

More Perfect: Radiolab's genius podcast about the Supreme Court

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When I first heard that Radiolab (previously), the wonderful podcast that combines deep dives into technical subjects with masterful storytelling, was going to start a new podcast about the Supreme Court, it sounded like a weird fit. Read the rest

Help Doctors Without Borders fill in the geodata blanks for vulnerable communities

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Pete from Doctors Without Borders writes, "Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders have today launched MapSwipe, an app that enables anyone with a smartphone to map the most vulnerable communities in the world. Geo-data is vital for aid agencies responding to emergencies such as disease outbreaks and natural disasters and MapSwipe now gives everybody the ability to contribute directly to these responses. So, instead of Angry Birds or Candy Crush, you can now do something meaningful on your commute! (MSF has developed MapSwipe as part of the Missing Maps project, where thousands of volunteers assist NGOs by mapping their areas of operations on OpenStreetMap.)" Read the rest

Hungary's Cold War cartoons were weird and awesome

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The Cold War was a boon to animators, who were able to express the subversive views that the mainstream wouldn't dare whisper -- see, e.g., Jay Ward's "Boris and Natasha" -- but the toons from the other side of the Iron Curtain are all but unknown in the "Free World." Read the rest

100 African science fiction writers you should be reading

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Canadian/British science fiction and fantasy author Geoff Ryman, author of the incredible novel WAS, has begun a series in which he profiles 100 working science fiction and fantasy writers in Africa, place by place, starting with Nairobi. Read the rest

Coffee table book of photos of Brutalist architecture: This Brutal World

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Peter Chadwick -- he runs the @brutalhouse stream of loving photos of imposing brutalist monuments -- has teamed up with Phaedon to publish a coffee-table book of the biggest, most uncompromising hulking monsters of the bygone age of concrete futurism: This Brutal World. Read the rest

Kickstarting an indie graphic novel about John Brown and Harper's Ferry

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Wilfred Santiago and Sanlida Cheng are comics pros who've worked for the likes of Marvel, DC and Fantagraphics, but for "Thunderbolt: An American Tale," their dramatization of the life of John Brown and the militant abolitionist uprising at Harper's Ferry, they've decided to go indie and take it to Kickstarter. Read the rest

Sex Criminals Volume Three: in which a dirty caper story becomes something much, much more

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The first two volumes of Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's Sex Criminals were a dirty romp: a pair of lovers who discover that they can stop time at the moment of orgasm start robbing banks to save a local library from demolition, and run into a posse of other time-stopping fuckers who are set against them. But in volume three, Three the Hard Way, the story transcends the sex and the jokes to take a hard, wet look at what humans do when we do sex.

To do in San Francisco: Richard Kadrey and Thomas Olde Heuvelt on July 17

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Coming to San Francisco's SF in SF reading series this Sunday, July 17: Richard "Sandman Slim" Kadrey & Thomas Olde Heuvelt, the Dutch author of "The Day the World Turned Upside Down," the first translated work to ever win a Hugo Award. Read the rest

Day on a Device: art made by screenshotting a multitasker's screen with each context-switch

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Artist Pierre Button's "Day on a Device" series is a set of machine-generated collages created by running a program that automatically took a screenshot every time Button switched between programs on a normal working day, adding a new strip to the top of the image for each screenshot. Read the rest

Remarkably Normal: the true stories of abortion in America

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The 1 in 3 campaign collects the true personal stories of the roughly 30% of American women who've had an abortion; Remarkably Normal, a play whose actors recounts those stories, wrapped up its first national tour in June. Read the rest

Warren Ellis's "Normal": serialized technothriller about futurists driven mad by tech-overload and bleakness

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In Normal, Warren Ellis (previously) sets a technothriller in a kind of rehab center for futurists and foresight specialists who've developed "abyss gaze" -- a kind of special bleak depression that overtakes people who plug themselves into the digital world 24/7 in order to contemplate our precarious days to come. Read the rest

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