Tag Archives: meme

Third Eye Landslide

Monster Magnet - God Says NoLook, if Andrew Wheeler can do these things in lieu of actual content, I don’t see why I can’t kill fifteen minutes with them too. Mmmmkay? The rules:

  • Choose a singer/band/group
  • Answer using ONLY titles of songs by that singer/band/group

Easy enough, right? Well, tonight Matthew, I’m going to be Monster Magnet

  1. Are you male or female? – King of Mars
  2. Describe yourself – Negasonic Teenage Warhead
  3. What do people feel when they’re around you? – There’s No Way Out Of Here
  4. How would you describe your previous relationship? – Powertrip
  5. Describe your current relationship – Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother
  6. Where would you want to be now? – Face Down; Temple Of Your Dreams; Freak Shop USA
  7. How do you feel about love? – Cage Around The Sun
  8. What’s your life like? – Dead Christmas
  9. What would you ask for if you had only one wish? Medicine
  10. Say something wise – Your Lies Become You
  11. What do you want to do/be in the future? – Space Lord
  12. Describe your home life – Evil (Is Going On)
  13. What would your last words be? – Look To Your Orb For The Warning
  14. Describe your car – Tractor
  15. Describe your style – Brainstorm

Pick it up and pass it on if you feel the urge…

Obscure books meme

For a man who claims not to be very keen on blog memes, Andrew Wheeler tends to pass a lot of them through his own fiefdom. Anyway, other cool and interesting people are doing it, and it’s been bloody ages since I did anything more here than links and FPB, so:

What ten books do you own that you think no one else on your friends list does?

I don’t have a flist (because I don’t LJ, yo), so let’s assume that if you read VCTB, you’re my friend[1].

  1. Virtual and Other Realities by Edwin Morgan – poetry collection from the Scots Poet Laureate. (If I stuck with poetry titles I could probably run off ten obscure books easily, but I feel it would be cheating.)
  2. He Died With A Falafel In His Hand by John Birmingham – a sort of gonzo collection of horrible shared-housing tales from Australia, most of which are just unbelievable enough to be true
  3. Emanuelle by Emanuelle Arsan – The novel a million bad soft-porn films were named after. Oh, you may sneer, but there’s some very interesting philosophical diversions about personal freedom amongst the raunch. Plus it seems you can’t find a copy on Amazon UK, so pretty obscure AMIRITE?
  4. The Oxford Illustrated History of the Royal Navy – day-jobs can really rub off on you, can’t they?
  5. The Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche – yeah, you never saw that one coming.
  6. Raj: the Making and Unmaking of British India by Lawrence James – does what it says on the tin.
  7. The View Over Atlantis by John Michell – one of the jewels of my ‘crank collection’; seriously wacky but very compelling. You’ll never think of ley-lines the same way again…
  8. Altered State by Matthew Collin – a counter-cultural social history of the rise and commercialisation of rave culture in the UK.
  9. Media Virus! by Douglas Rushkoff – arguably the book that codified the notion of viral marketing and accidentally tipped off big brand business to the tools of the trade.
  10. Food Of The Gods by Terence McKenna – the thesis here is that, essentially, hallucinogenic mushrooms gave rise to the first matriarchal human societies, and our departure from that culture is due to the different sorts of recreational substances that are considered acceptable in our societies. Bill Hicks used to riff on this idea, though I have no idea if he read this book, and McKenna has a lot of big ideas and heavy research to add to the mix, including a hippie-style interpretation of the singularity that happens to intersect with the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012. Drugs, ancient races, cultural shifts… this one has everything, and is well worth a read even if you totally disagree with everything it contains.

That should do it. Though knowing how pride comes before a fall, I expect some of you will chip in and admit to owning at least half of these. But hey, it’s just a meme, and I had half an hour’s fun roaming my bookshelves. So if you feel the urge, pick it up and pass it on.

[ 1 – Can we assume that? Please? Go on… I promise to walk away when your other friends turn up. And I’ll give you my lunch money. ]

Spam Snap

Attention, Twitter users! Thanks to a random tweet from a Justin Pickard, I have invented a new game meme for the internets…


It explains itself, really. Announce your favourite email spam headline of the day on Twitter, and see how many other people in your network have had the same one; the announcer who gets the most matches wins for the day!


  1. Once someone in your network has claimed a headline for the day, it’s theirs
  2. If you’re going to post and claim, you have to scan and participate
  3. I claim all rights to the invention of this game, in perpetuity, for good or ill

Who wants to play? We start tomorrow! 🙂

Page 123, fifth sentence

There was me, thinking the blog-meme meme (is that a meta-meme?) had died … but how wrong I was. I’ve been tagged by Sterling Camden, and as he’s been a long-term reader of VCTB since waaaaay before it was vaguely worth reading*, I cannot refuse him. Plus, he’s a really decent bloke, as far as I can tell of someone I only know blogospherically.

So, the instructions:

“To participate, you grab any book, go to page 123, find the fifth sentence, and blog it. Then tag five people.”

Simple enough … the only problem in my house is choosing a book, for there are many. So, like Sterling, I’ll do you one non-fiction and one fiction.

“Quite likely the problems experienced with early cloning efforts are just that: problems that can and will be solved.”

That’s from The Coming Convergence by Analog editor Dr Stanley Schmidt; think of it as a book on The Singularity (as statistical rate-of-change phenomenon rather than metaphorical techno-Rapture) for older folk who aren’t too clued up about where technology is actually at, where it’s going, and how it got there. With baked-in subconscious Western cultural imperialism, too – but that’s par for the course considering Schmidt’s demographic, and he’s not being nasty about it; just those same old assumptions.

Now, some fiction. Let’s see …

“As Hiro and Vitaly approach the vast freeway overpass where tonight’s concert is to take place, the solid ferrous quality of the Vanagon attracts MagnaPoons like a Twinkie draws cockroaches.”

I’m sure there are few among my readership who can’t guess the book that’s from; I really need to start my re-read so I can do an essay on it for SF Site as I promised. But I still haven’t touched the Masterclass reading list … life is full of tasks and time is, as always, more precious than anything. And here I am blogging a meme. Selah.

But what are memes for, if not for sharing the timesuck? So let’s tag some people who’ll give good results: Niall, Liz, Jonathan, Shaun, Justin, Dr Bloomer and Dr Hocking**. Feel free to pitch in even if you’re not tagged, though.

Ladies and gentlemen, consider yourself smacked up with a selfish gene. Bam!

[ * Seriously, I cringe at my own archives. I only leave them up through a combination of intellectual masochism and an irrational obsession over PageRank. Sad, huh? ]

[ ** Yeah, more than five; but there’s always attrition in these things, y’know? ]

Science fiction fantasy rock band!

some old punk band I smell serious memetic potential – you can blame Jeff VanderMeer*.

So – you can assemble a rock band out of science fiction authors living or dead. Who do you pick, what do they call themselves, and what’s their signature cover version? [image by flashbacks.com]


Shaper and the Mechanists

Drums: M. John Harrison. The guy’s got rhythm – rock climbing’s all about timing. Plus drummers are often way more poetic and thoughtful than the cliches would suggest.

Bass: Charlie Stross. I suspect very strongly that, given half a chance, Charlie could get his groove on in a fearsome way. Rock-star facial hair a bonus.

Keys: William Gibson. He wouldn’t do riffs and melodies so much as pads and atmospheres; a kind of post-rock approach. Will gradually accumulate a vast bank of interconnected effects and found-sound devices by poking around in Cash Converters in each town the band plays.

Rhythm guitar: Rudy Rucker. Already has experience with the instrument, and knows a good riff when he writes one. Could probably out-Townsend Pete Townsend with his power chords.

Lead guitar: Neal Stephenson. Aloof, idiosyncratic, a unique style often imitated but never duplicated. Like Charlie Stross, not averse to rock-star facial hair. Also a fan of Soundgarden, so must know what good guitar lines sound like.

Backing vox/posturing/inexplicable extra stage presence (aka “Bez“): Cory Doctorow. Give him a megaphone and a silly hat, feed him up with … er, sugary foods and caffeine? … and just let him do his thing. Guaranteed to PWN hecklers and get the crowd moving.

Lead vox/songwriter: Bruce Sterling**. He may not have the perfect voice, but every single song would be about something important, and you’d find new meaning with every listen. Inter-song banter would be awesome.

Tour manager: Hunter S Thompson. OK, so not a science fiction writer, but I figure I can have one genre-breaker. No one is going to stiff the band on a deal with HST handling the biz. Plus the band will stay largely drug-free, because all illicit substances will be “headed off at the pass”, so to speak.

A&R guy: Harlan Ellison. Typecasting, I guess.

Cover version: “We’re In This Together” – Nine Inch Nails. Simply because it’s an awesome tune.


Damn; I really want to see this band now. Maybe the band I joined recently could be the support act!

[ * Not just for this post, either – you could try to pin the decline of postmodern culture and the sub-prime crisis on him too. It wouldn’t be very fair, though, let alone true. ]

[ ** This was a foregone conclusion, of course. Fanboy is as fanboy does. ]