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Plans For The V-Bomb

I finished my painting of my friend Vernon Head near Mt. Umunhum and the Guadalupe Reservoir south of San Jose last week. I used a palette brush more than usual. Vernon’s a good painter, you can see some of his oils here.

I want to get back into my novel Turing & Burroughs now, but I’m still painting, a piece called V-Bomb. I think the painting is helping me with the novel.

The V-bomb is a device that Alan Turing is going to use perhaps to remove these parasitic skug creatures from Earth—or perhaps to spread skugs all over Earth. We’ll suppose that the V-bomb rays are expected to pass through matter, so there’s no particular need to set it off high up in the atmosphere. It’s just sitting in a tin shed in the Frijoles Canyon near Los Alamos. Like this:

I found another big stash of bomb photos online, including this one of the of the Trinity bomb, shown above, with gnarly exposed wiring. It was built in Los Alamos, they called it The Gadget, and it exploded in the first nuclear weapons test of an atomic bomb, which took place on July 16, 1945, near White Sands, New Mexico.

That cross-legged guy suggests the idea of Turing getting inside the V-bomb. And instead of expanding outwards, the V-bomb implodes. I got the imploding idea from my painting V-Bomb that I’m currently working on. I kind of ruined the painting today…a lot. The colors are horrible. But I did get the layout the way I wanted.

It’s just a stage. Version 2. And now on to Version 3. I’ve recently developed this habit of photographing my painting in its current state, and then collaging or drawing in extra bits in Photoshop, and using that as a mockup for the next stage. So here’s the mockup for Version 3.

The win for me in this process is that sometimes working on a painting can give me an idea for a piece of fiction I’m working on.

My idea in the mockup above is that Turing is squatting in the V-bomb on the right, and then he’s vaporized and becomes the living essence of the blast—which is shrinking towards a tiny size—and then, when the blast is sufficiently compact, a rip opens up in the fabric of space, and Turing slides through into the afterlife.


“Turing and the Skugs”, 40″ x 30″ inches, Oct 2010, Oil on canvas.” Click for larger version.

Note, however, that he’ll need to send out some rays—or perhaps some logic paradox?—to destroy any free-ranging skugs, and to restore any skuggers to their normal state.

3 Responses to “Plans For The V-Bomb”

  1. failrate Says:

    The very excellent The Memory Palace Podcast talks about the man who sat with the bomb the night before the test: http://thememorypalace.us/2010/04/episode-28-babysitting/

  2. Kehrtraud Says:

    Planning another Trip to Europe in 2012? I recommend Paderborn, the Heinz-Nixdorf-Museum will offer an exhibiton on Turing:

    GENIAL & GEHEIM. Alan Turing in 10 Etappen

    Ausstellung im Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum Januar bis Dezember 2012

  3. Anon. Says:

    Since the authorities want to get rid of Turing, it might be funny and ironic if instead of spreading Skugs all over Earth, the V-Bomb blast spreads 10,000 Turing replicas.


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