Patrick Di Justo (justpat) Wed 27 Feb 13 19:11
Oh, yeah, major passive aggressive. I also like that Scarly used "I HAVE AUTISM!" as an excuse for bad behavior. I have every intention of adopting that one for myself.
those Andropovian bongs (rik) Wed 27 Feb 13 20:51
Yeah. I'm off to cafepress to get the button made.
Dave Waite (dwaite) Thu 28 Feb 13 04:16
I loved that.
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Thu 28 Feb 13 10:18
Warren, what led you to the detective/noir genre? Why do you think it's so generally compelling?
Warren Ellis (warrenellis) Thu 28 Feb 13 10:40
[Was there any reason that you decided Scarly would be gay?] Something along the lines of "why the hell not?" Gay people in the sciences are more under-represented in fiction *than they are in the sciences, even.* I get angry at contemporary fiction that's that much flatter and greyer than the contemporary world.
Callander Goldberg (callander) Thu 28 Feb 13 19:45
Hi Warren, Pleasure to meet you. Okay so here is how it went down for me. I dropped and shattered the glass in my phone, I took it in for repair yesterday and just so happens there was a Chapters a few doors over and although I own a Kobo, (Canadian version of the Kindle)I still dig the feel of paper in my hands, the excitement of flipping the page, there is just something about that that I still find sexy. So I went in and bought Gun Machine. I have only just started reading it but you have me smiling already. "Two stood on either side of the old apartment building like smug Botoxed thirtysomethings bracing an elderly relative"
Callander Goldberg (callander) Thu 28 Feb 13 19:46
and as you know that is only page 4.
Emily Gertz (emilyg) Fri 1 Mar 13 09:58
Hi, Warren. Thanks for coming to The WELL. I just finished reading Gun Machine. Typically I don't go for the old ultraviolence. But I give you credit here for how the brutal events in book served to mirror the breakdown of the "rules" that we like to think govern competition and rewards in civilized society. (So often thrillers seem to include these bloody set pieces purely with an eye toward the screen adaptation. I'm talking to you, Dan Brown!) Does any of that resonate, or have I been reading too much lit-crit?
Warren Ellis (warrenellis) Fri 1 Mar 13 11:57
I get very bored when violent action, in any medium, happens without consequences or the fear of consequences. So, no, you're not completely in the tall weeds there, Emily...!
Warren Ellis (warrenellis) Fri 1 Mar 13 16:11
[Warren, what led you to the detective/noir genre? Why do you think it's so generally compelling?] Crime fiction still has that general permission (that I think science fiction kind of lost) to be social fiction. It's had it since the days of Chandler and Hammett, of course (whose careers cross over with HG Wells, the big beast of "science fiction as social fiction"). It's permission to study the mysteries of the human condition. The sort of private investigation that allows us to tip over, a little, into the concerns of literary fiction.
Emily Gertz (emilyg) Fri 1 Mar 13 16:15
Re: 34 Oh, good! It creates a big contrast, too, with the refuge Tallow finds with the CSUs, where things actually do operate according to logic and scientific reason, and a colleague's wife invites you over for dinner and makes a great steak sandwich with a glass of good red wine. I'm glad Scarly and her wife got settled on the edges of Park Slope before the real estate bubble... I loved the Hunter's visions of Manahatta, the towering trees and packs of wolves and streams and wildness. When you lived in NYC, did you ever see "Time Landscape" on West Houston Street, the land art work by Alan Sonfist? It's a patch of re-planted pre-colonial forest, that has been growing since around 1978. It's gotten quite lush, and I love to stare into it sometimes (it's fenced off) and imagine being surrounded by that forest. I've noticed in your works a real respect, if not veneration, for the wild landscapes of North America.
Patrick Di Justo (justpat) Sat 2 Mar 13 02:27
[SPOILER ALERT] Warren, when the hunter was wandering through 21st century Manhattan and seeing the overlay of 16th century Manahatta at the same time, I was certain that he was some sort of interdimensional being who kept slipping in and out of timestreams. Did you know all along that he was "only" a psychotic, or were you as surprised as the rest of us? (And yes, this raises the question: how do we know psychotics _aren't_ interdimensional beings who can slip in and out of timestreams until heavy doses of psychiatric medication deaden their ability and limit them to the here and now?)
Warren Ellis (warrenellis) Sat 2 Mar 13 18:27
YES PROBABLY SPOILERS No. I knew all along what he was. It did, however, please me to blur the lines of it, here and there. Hopefully, a few people hit one or two of those scenes and questioned what kind of book it was they were reading. EMILY: I've not seen "Time Landscape" in the flesh, as it were, but I believe I saw pictures during the book's research phase. It does ring a bell.
Warren Ellis (warrenellis) Sat 2 Mar 13 18:30
I love all wild and ancient landscapes. I've stood under the geysers at Geysir, walked the Ridgeway in the West Country, been pulled through Lappish forests by dogs in winter and just stood and breathed in the Arizona desert. The presence of deep time.
Kevin Morrison (kevinm) Sun 3 Mar 13 14:24
Dude - Gun Machine rocked! I liked Crooked Little Vein, but GM is absolutely what you (said above) you were striving for - a terrifically mo-bettah novel. Funny how the general bookstore down the street (in the Mission District of San Francisco) didn't have the book but the science fiction bookstore (Borderlands) did. I am learning you backwards - reading your novels first - although not strictly backwards, as I started with Crooked Little Vein and then read Gun Machine. Now, what should I read next?
those Andropovian bongs (rik) Sun 3 Mar 13 17:22
I got hooked on Freakangels, and serialized, graphic science fiction novel. And, Warren, I wonder if you have any idea how pissed off some off us got when you guys took a week off and we couldn't get our fix. It's still online, BTW, at freakangels.com.
From Stefan Jones via E-mail (captward) Sun 3 Mar 13 23:06
Kevin asked what to read next. Well, there's TRANSMETROPOLITAN, a big ambitious comic about a gonzo journalist in a wonderfully crazed and detailed future. OCEAN was very satisfying one-shot SF story. GLOBAL FREQUENCY is another series. A near-future setting in which civilian super-experts respond to terrorist threats and disasters. It is said that there's a pilot to a TV series running loose on the web.
Patrick Di Justo (justpat) Mon 4 Mar 13 10:35
We have the Global Frequency pilot (should I admit that???) Global Frequency, the comic, is intelligent, innovative, exciting -- not a "this guy is shooting that guy" kind of excitement, but a "oh my brain what a great idea I want to be a part of this" kind of excitement. The tv show is .. teevee.
Warren Ellis (warrenellis) Mon 4 Mar 13 17:20
I missed this before. Jamais asked: [I'm curious about the ways in which your process for writing non-fiction differs from your fiction-writing process. Is there some definable split between the two, or do you more-or-less work the same regardless?] Non-fiction for me, is a process of layering and testing. I can't just blast ahead for the next marker downfield the way I can with fiction. Non-fiction, for me, is... it's like laying down two bones in a joint, and then adding the tendon and muscle and tissue, and then the fat to plump it, and then the skin. I find it hugely enjoyable, but it's a very different process to non-fiction for me, these days. I have to disappear all the way into the non-fiction book soon, and I'm looking forward to it, even though I won't come out for six weeks...
Kevin Morrison (kevinm) Tue 5 Mar 13 10:03
Thanks for the suggestions on what to read next, Team Inkwell.vue! Yay! Great metaphor for non-fiction v fiction. I look forward to whatever shape that new non-fiction will take...
Patrick Di Justo (justpat) Tue 5 Mar 13 10:34
yes! Warren, can you tell us any more about this non-fiction you're diving into?
From Kermit Woodall via E-Mail (captward) Tue 5 Mar 13 14:30
Warren, your TRANSMETROPOLITAN series was my first introduction. Since then I've grabbed up most, or at least many, of your collected works including both your novels. Just wonderful stuff. However, forgive me for asking, but when might we see the conclusion of Doktor Sleepless?
Warren Ellis (warrenellis) Wed 6 Mar 13 08:10
Kermit, I have a FAQ on my site for just this sort of thing -- use the search box. But I'm hoping to return to and conclude that story by the end of the year. It's been a complicated kind of mess.
Warren Ellis (warrenellis) Wed 6 Mar 13 08:15
The non-fiction book is based around a talk I gave in Berlin the other year, on the past and future of the city. I don't recall right this second how HTML works here, so here's the raw link: http://vimeo.com/22943908 It's a sort of... well, someone described the talk as Fortean, as I recall. A wander around the idea of cities, what cities are built on and how history leaks up to inform or haunt the ideas behind the cities of the future. Somewhere in there I hope to work in the London orgy that apparently included Yoko Ono and Delia Derbyshire as participants.
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 6 Mar 13 09:27
That resonates with the depiction of NYC in Gun Machine. I had never really thought much about the evolution of the city... framing it with reference to Werpoes and the Lenape created a deeper, richer sense of the place, and the dark corners within its history. Did you spend a huge amount of time digging into that history? And a chicken/egg question - did it drive you to the nonfiction, or did thinking about the past and future of cities create a context from which the Gun Machine plot and atmosphere emerged?
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