So I have to tell you about those syncs I mentioned in the last post.
Waking up to Chris’s post about Childhood’s End on the day Alkistis, Peter and I were going backwards and forwards on the images and copy for the announcement of opening up the preorders for my book was interesting because Childhood’s End is mentioned in it. Also, I had had a number of very potent airplane dreams that night, one of which looked remarkably like the airplane sequence in the trailer:
So that seemed enough on point to stay home for the morning and pen Super-Asymmetry. On the same day Alan Moore was live-responding to reader questions on GoodReads, where he basically says the same thing about digital systems:
You may very well be right that a counter-culture needs a certain amount of insularity or distance that the internet doesn’t provide, and I think there are also other factors which abet this situation. I recently acquired a wonderful array of small-press poetry magazines from the 1960s and 1970s – poetry was always somehow at the heart of the counter-cultures that I remember – and what most struck me was the immediacy and authenticity of these stab-stapled physical artefacts. Obviously produced a home by people who were driven by a real passion, these were very definitely anti-corporate manifestations of a dissenting culture. I’m not sure how much real articulate dissent contemporary internet is capable of fostering. Still, it’s with us and clearly isn’t going away.
It’s my hope that an alternative culture could emerge that is not so completely in thrall to the internet; that can use that technology for the things it is genuinely useful for, but that can also appreciate the need for a supplementary print and artefact culture, which is fulfilling different needs. This is a subject which I’m relatively optimistic about, and which will be the subject of a day-long seminar that I’m taking part in at Northampton’s Nene College on November the 28th, along with Robin Ince, Josie Long, Francesca Martinez, John Higgs, Grace Petrie, very possibly Melinda Gebbie and a outside chance of Scroobius Pip and some Syrian refugee poets. I think that the event will be streamed – a clearly positive use of the internet – and so I suppose we’ll have a chance to find out then how workable modern technology is in regard to a counter culture.
Then I get to work and as I’m walking between two people having a conversation in the stairwell, one of them is describing how they were trapped in a hut in Egypt by a sandstorm for two days, which is a fairly uncommon thing to hear in Soho. Obviously, Egypt features heavily in Star.Ships. (Stitching the two syncs together may well be this unbelievably tragic plane crash in Egypt today.)
So I email Alkistis about the Childhood’s End syncs and she tells me that was the exact page she opened to at random while looking for pull quotes for the newsletter. Also it occurs to me my book will actually be coming out the same time Childhood’s End actually airs.
Then the New York Times publishes about NASA being used to find Neolithic petroglyphs, which is also completely on point for the content.
Then Greg from the Higherside Chats messages because he is in London, which is weird enough this week, in and of itself. We went out and got completely ruined on Wednesday, in fact:
Thanks to something of a Crowley pub crawl (that had its own work-related syncs I can’t go into):
I volunteer to take him and his lovely girlfriend to Avebury Stone Circle and West Kennett Long Barrow… so a Neolithic tomb on Halloween/Samhain.
So that’s where I was when the newsletter announcement about my book about Palaeolithic survivals came out. Either in an actual stone age tomb or inside the largest, astronomically aligned, stone circle in Europe. With a guy who makes his living talking about aliens and such. On Halloween. Which also happens to be the day my current home city hosts the rugby world cup final between my previous two homes of New Zealand and Australia (which only happens every four years, in different cities).
And then I get back from Avebury to find these two books have been delivered to my house in the same Amazon delivery.
That’s the founder of the term synchronicity’s UFO book alongside some previously-unpublished fiction by Aleister Crowley, who also features in Star.Ships.
What I’m saying is you should probably buy this book. It’s had one heck of a birth announcement.
¶ A defining text of the new magical renaissance, Star.Ships addresses the question of who we are now by tracing where we come from, and by drawing out the stories and the spirits that have journeyed and evolved with us. The goal is, as Gordon writes, the restoration of context.
To this end, White applies his globally-recognised data and demographics skills to realise a groundbreaking work of truly interdisciplinary research. Utilising mythological, linguistic and astronomical data to reconstruct palaeolithic magical beliefs, he maps them to the human journey out of Africa; explores which aspects of these beliefs and practices have survived into the Western tradition; and what the implications (and applications) of those survivals may be for us.
Written for a magically literate and operative audience, Star.Ships displays the flair, wit and engagement with evidence that adherents of his runesoup blog have come to expect from Gordon. He deftly handles vast time scales and cosmologies to build his case; avoids the pitfalls of alternative historians with a refreshing absence of dogma or wishful thinking; and, in a masterful deployment of the latest research, simultaneously questions outworn dominant narratives and is not afraid to champion the work of independent researchers and entertain forbidden discourses. It is exactly what chaos magic should be.
Göbekli Tepe, the Pyramids and Sphinx, Nabta Playa, Gunung Padang, Easter Island and Sundaland are some of the points spangled across a work of truly cosmic scope. Star.Ships beckons those who are willing to engage in the adventure to follow the great river of history that flows into and out of an ocean of stars. Minds will be blown.