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“Hormiga Canyon” Is Out!

My story with Bruce Sterling, “Hormiga Canyon,” is out in the August, 2007, Asimov’s SF magazine! Run don’t walk to your nearest quality magazine outlet. I think this might be our best joint effort yet.

And, yes, I know that my previous post was kind of intense and mathy. A kilo brick of uncut M.

Paul DiFilippo sent an interesting suggesion: have the transfinite creatures be Buddhist devas . These devas (not to be confused with devis) aren’t necessarily immortal, but that might be okay; if my higher beings are in fact mortal, they might be more driven and results-oriented and fun to read about.

I thought of who the magic harp’s rival should be. The evil pitchfork, natch! I like these as mathematical forms: the triangle and the fork. I’m thinking of a two-tined pitchfork, like rattlesnake teeth.

I went up on St. Joseph’s hill with my friend Vernon this afternoon and painted my vision of the evil pitchfork. I set him (the evil pitchfork) in a field up there. This is just the first draft, I’ll be working on the picture some more.

In Bosch’s paintings you don’t actually see angels with harps (for him, music is more something the devils are into). And you don’t particularly see devils with pitchforks either. Does anyone know when the angel-harp and devil-pitchfork symbolism came into standard usage?

Speaking of paintings, if you have been thinking of buying an ImageKind print of my paintings, ImageKind is having a sale where shipping is only $5 till Aug 3, 2007, 10PM PST. Use Promo Code: DOGDAYS.

Apropos of nothing, last night I realized I could plug my SONY iPod earphones into my laptop for good sound, and I started watching some YouTube videos of people I’d always wondered about, such as the Texas rappers Bun B and Pimp C who were big about 5 years ago. “Pourin Up” has interesting sounds, they speed up and slow down the tracks in spots, “screwing” it, perhaps to mimic the psychoacoustic FX of cough syrup in Port Arthur, TX. They call themselves UGK for Underground Kingz. The videos have kind of a downhome, small town feel—reminds me of when I lived in Virginia. Making your own fun. “Front, Back, Side to Side” is good too.

But then I search out the printed lyrics—which I can’t quite understand from the video—and they’re so negative that it makes me not like the videos as much. Cocaine, killing, pimping—why always these topics? Ooops, I sound like a Mundane SF writer saying why is SF always about aliens, faster than light travel, telepathy and smart machines—why always these topics? Main thing is the beat, after all, the sound. “pimp an’ bun”.

8 Responses to ““Hormiga Canyon” Is Out!”

  1. rs Says:

    Just a thought, the “pitch” fork should make a single note as part of what it does.

  2. Steve H Says:

    Rudy, the pitchforks come from Dante’s Inferno; dunno about the harps but I think they’re Biblical.

    Maybe it’s an evil tuning fork!

  3. Rudy Says:

    I like the idea of the Evil Pitchfork giving off a tone. Something that makes it impossible to concentrate. Like a leafblower or TV news, or maybe just a single high pitched sound.

    Today I’m thinking the Evil Pitchfork is really the devil, the master of the subdimensions, while the Magic Harp is really god, the master of our zone. The border between the zones is the Planck length. Smaller than that, you’re with the Pitchfork, bigge than that, with the Harp.

    But perhaps due to duality they’re at some level the same. I’m thinking of my old conception of “circular scale” that I used in Spacetime Donuts.

    Maybe the question of being transfinite is an entirely different issue.

  4. narcissy Says:

    Pimp C and pitchforks. Aren’t they using their power chords to speak to people outside their sphere?
    To quote Mike Watt-” Cornball ways expressing things profound.”

  5. Russ Says:

    Rudy,
    We love it when you talk math to us! Anything about infinity is music to my ears. Congrats on the new twins grandkids! Twin primes?

  6. nasse Says:

    Dont like so big aunts

    Ah, but the aunts love you, Nasse…

  7. linus Says:

    I really like these “star alien” guys in the flying saucer painting: one of the problems that I have with these frightening “grey” aliens painted at all these ufo conventions is that “grey aliens” are actually known to get into fist fights…. as Bob Lazar, an ex-employee at Area 51 has rumored in interviews…. what’s totally cool about these “star alien” guys is that they are essentially “recreational beings” i.e., aliens whose way of life is luxury and relaxation…. it would take an awful lot to get these star aliens pissed off…. if they even do get pissed off….

    [boy, was that an idiotic comment]

  8. Kelson Philo Says:

    Gotta say I really enjoyed “Hormiga Canyon”. It has a real visceral quality to it, like seeing the world from inside (way inside) a spicy apple pie. “Twine dimension seven!”…”Loop Dimension eight!”…it could go on a t-shirt.


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