It’s like a switch has been flicked. We get past the August Bank Holiday and suddenly autumn is at our shoulder. The mornings are mistier, the evenings cooler. Welcome to the last quarter of the year. A season of mellow fruitfulness or the precursor to a winter of discontent? Right now, we’re just enjoying the change and starting our engines for Spooky Season. Let’s face the darkness together, shall we?
Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.
Gene Wolfe was one of science fiction’s great writers. A consummate stylist, his work seemed to be plucked from the highest, ripest branches of the story tree. His fiction was lush yet clean, deeply intelligent but always approachable. We feel he would have loved the idea of his family using AI image generator Midjourney to create a deck of tarot cards featuring some of his characters.
Travel writing done well really can transport you to a place. Comics creator and artist Ganzeer’s pen portrait of Mexico City does that in spades. More, it shines a light on a very science-fictional place, a true mega city. Forget Tokyo, Mexico City is what the future looks like…
Star Trek fans have reacted very positively to Strange New Worlds, the tale of the Enterprise and her crew before James Tiberius Kirk took command. There were some very distinct design challenges in making the sets and costumes look appropriate for a modern audience without ignoring the key cues of the past. We think everyone involved absolutely nailed it.
A quick rundown of how people proclaim a toast around the world. There are some crackers in here. Editor Rob has always liked ‘a willing foe and sea room!’ which may have been stolen from Master And Commander. He’s no sea dog, although there are moments when he can be very salty.
We are on record as loving The Expanse, one of the greatest SF shows of the 21st century so far. One key element of the show’s success is how it stays true to the science while depicting life in space. This doesn’t make events any less interesting—in fact the way our bodies cope in the hostile environment outside planetary boundaries is an important part of the storytelling.
Fan fiction is essential fuel for certain franchises. There’s a strong argument that both Star Trek and Doctor Who survived decades in limbo thanks to committed fans carrying the flag, writing their own stories and creating their own (that phrase again) strange new worlds. A celebration of these tales and characters can take many forms. Let’s check in on chef Iliana Reagan and her culinary celebrations of Game Of Thrones…
Every sentence that ever was or will be has already been written. A bold statement, but true. Researchers are building their own Library Of Babel in the humming hearts of a bank of supercomputers. They have their own pet zoo of infinite monkeys on typewriters and those little buggers have been busy!
We all know the smuggling of illicit substances across national borders is bad. But we definitely understand the reasoning for taking the risk. It’s a simple business decision—supply meeting demand, whether the law of the land allows it or not. Which leads us to the latest haul making headlines as it sneaks across from Mexico into the US. It’s not drugs, but for those with the need it’s worth the effort.
We loved this interview with one of our favourite film-makers—the irrepressible John Carpenter. He rewrote the rules on cinematic horror several times, saw how the game was played and chose to walk away. He’s happy to let other people play in his sandbox, as long as they pay him well. Gives him more time to play synth and watch football.
We were also amused by this take from fellow film maker Paul Duane…
And finally. Jonathan Meades is a British national treasure. His dry, ascerbic takes on culture, food, art and architecture are always challenging but worthwhile. He’s generated a kind of avatar of himself, the shades and sharp suits working as a brand, a silhouette as signifier of a certain kind of programme and commentary. He’s about to publish his first novel in decades, through crowd-funding publisher Unbound. Great news, but we’re more concerned with his televisual body of work, which has been handily compiled at the link below. Go on, dig in. It’ll make you a better person—or at least a slightly better informed one.
Tell you what, let’s have us a bit of punk-ska from The Interrupters to finish off, shall we? With a special appearance from Tim Armstrong of Rancid, Family is a proper bouncer, guaranteed to get you up on your feet this Saturday morning. Dedicated, of course, to The Readership. Every last one of you. Jump with us.
See you next Saturday, fams.