95 days left until the end of calendar year 2019, and the gallery thrives. If you haven’t checked out the Triffid Ranch account on Instagram, you’re missing out on the spectacle that is “Mandatory Simon,” in which my walking brisket of a cat attempts to be as famous as Curious Zelda, but everything else over here can be explained via text. And a lot there is.
To start, October is going to be a very, VERY busy month, and not just because of the vague promise of cooler weather starting around October 5. The celebration of surviving another endless summer starts on October 12, where we offer an alternative to the standard Texas/OU weekend festivities of filling the streets with bodily fluids with the Texas Triffid Ranch Autumn Extravaganza and Open House at the gallery. Not only are the Sarracenia threatening to take over the planet this year (a change of pace, because the Nepenthes had made it THEIR year for a while), but this comes with the debut of several new never-before-seen enclosures and the official debut of others. This will be the last open house until the beginning of the Nightmare Weekends Before Christmas starting December 7, so it’s either here or you’re traveling.
(As an aside to those having attended previous open houses, an apology and a restitution. Discussions have been undertaken with the property management about the church at the other end of the block and its taking up all available parking on weekends for their drunken parties, er, “prayer meetings,” so we now have permission to reserve parking spaces specifically for the gallery during special events such as this. Right now, we can’t reserve more than three spaces, but at least this is a start.)
Actually, I fib, because this won’t be the first Triffid Ranch event in October. The first was just resolved today, with a guest collection of carnivores on display at the Spooky Science On Tap social event at the Fort Worth Museum of Science & History on October 11. As with the Perot Museum in Dallas, any excuse to go to the Fort Worth Museum is a good one, if only for opportunities to pose in front of the life-sized Acrocanthosaurus model in the front of the museum, so make sure to get there early before traffic gets entertaining.
Not like things slow down the next weekend, either. October 19 marks a return to Curious Garden near White Rock Lake in Dallas for an encore of last spring’s carnivorous plant workshop. The last workshop kinda grew from its expected size in a matter of days before the event, and we discovered that the most we could do was two workshops of 20 people at a time. Since reservations in the workshop have to be made with Curious Garden, with no walk-ins accepted, this means you have to get in now if you want to reserve a space. (And yes, we’re planning more workshops. Don’t panic.)
After doing two workshops, it’s time for a rest, right? Oh, that’s adorable. After getting back to the gallery on Saturday, the next Sunday goes to a booth space in the famed Texas Theater in Oak Cliff for the Oak Cliff Movie & Gardeners Party, as a complement to a screening of Little Shop of Horrors on October 20. It’ll be a short show, but a nice change of pace and a good excuse to come out to Oak Cliff. After THAT, though, it’s time for a nap.
In a perfect world, Halloween would fall on a Saturday, so we could throw another open house that day and finish off October the way it was meant to be. The good news is that this perfect world starts next year thanks to our impending February 29 (the day before my birthday on February 30), but we’ll have to make do in 2019. The good side to that the Massacre on Division Street Dark Art Festival in Arlington fills the gap October 26 quite nicely, and the Triffid Ranch will be just one of a plethora of artists for this show. This works out well: we have to do SOMEthing with six months until the next Texas Frightmare Weekend. This is also on the recommendation of a local arts critic whose opinion I take seriously: after the holidays, the number of art shows in Dallas containing a custom enclosure is going to go through the roof.
Finally, I can’t talk about particulars until the official announcement, but if you haven’t been to the Shows, Lectures, and Other Events page in a while, you’ll probably be surprised at the number of outside-of-Dallas shows scheduled for 2020. Going with Nosferatu Festival in Austin and the Houston Horror Film Festival, get ready for several new shows to be revealed on October 31, including the Triffid Ranch’s first show outside of Texas. 2020 will also be the year for a return to the NARBC reptile show in Arlington: that show runs twice a year, so expect a Triffid Ranch booth in September and hope for one in February. Suffice to say, 2020 is also the year to expect an official Triffid Ranch van, because after a decade, it’s finally more practical to buy a van than to keep renting them. And so it begins.
Comments Off on State of the Gallery: September 2019
One of the things about big shows like Spooky Spectacle is, no matter how busy vendors may be, we’re already making plans for the next three or four shows during every downtime opportunity. It’s the newbies who sit around at a slow show and sigh loudly: the rest of us are evaluating potential repairs to displays, ordering new inventory, contemplating new signage, and generally making hay. That’s in addition to making contacts and comparing notes about new venues. It’s absolutely amazing how quickly a show like this goes by when you’re already making plans two years in the future.
For all of the aggravations with the Will Rogers Memorial Center, one of the joys with last week’s Spooky Spectacle involved an old friend from Tallahassee. Ever since that chance job offer in Tally introduced me to the world of carnivorous plants, the dream was to be able to grow Sarracenia pitcher plants in Dallas that were as robust as those in the Florida panhandle, and the famed white pitcher plant, Sarracenia leucophylla, was a particular challenge. Part of the thrill lay with S. leucophylla being as much of a nightowl as I am: in addition to the secretion of nectar and the UV fluorescence it shares with other species, the distinctive white lace lid and throat of its pitchers also fluoresce under moonlight. Even under a half-moon, the pitchers’ glow makes them stand out among other Sarracenia, but under a full moon, the pitchers are spectacular.
That this is an effective strategy for insectivory is demonstrated by cutting open a dead pitcher and examining the shells and other detritus of its prey. Fully half of the remains in a typical leucophylla pitcher kept outside are of moths, click beetles, and other purely nocturnal insects, and if you go around a stand of leucophylla in the middle of the night with an LED flashlight, you’ll see the cigarette-cherry glow of moth eyes as they fight to drink the nectar on pitcher lids and lids. (That’s not all you’ll see glowing. During the day, many Sarracenia have mantises, ambush bugs, lynx and crab spiders, and even tree frogs and anoles waiting next to or inside pitchers for incoming insect prey. Sarracenia leucophylla, though, also gets wolf spiders and the introduced Mediterranean gecko Hemidactylus turcicus camping out at its pitchers to feed on moths, and the same LED flashlight that reveals moth eyes will also return eyeshine from the wolf spiders as they await their chance.)
Anyway, the first full moon on a Friday the 13th in 19 years was a welcome coincidence the night before Spooky Spectacle, but even more welcome was that the leucophylla in the Triffid Ranch collection simply exploded this September. Sarracenia tend to have two growing seasons in North Texas with a long layover in the worst of the summer heat, with autumn pitchers being much more vibrant in color and size after their summer near-dormancy. The enthusiasm this year’s leucophylla had, though, wasn’t just surprising. It was almost shocking. Apparently others are reporting blowout leucophylla growth all over the Northern Hemisphere, and also with hybrids such as the favorite “Scarlet Belle,” but the only thing better than seeing it was being able to haul in plants to show off. I don’t know exactly what environmental factor is responsible for such growth, but that factor returning next autumn wouldn’t be unwelcome.
To be continued…
Comments Off on The Aftermath: Spooky Spectacle 2019 – 2
After a long run of exceptional events in 2019, it was inevitable that a show might not work out as well as others. The crew behind Spooky Spectacle, formerly the Granbury Paranormal Fest, tried their best to put together a great show, and having one that wasn’t outside in last weekend’s heat was very much appreciated. That said, I’m making the formal announcement that after four shows in the venue over the last decade, future shows at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth simply aren’t an option.
(I want to apologize to people who tried to come out and couldn’t find parking, so they had no choice but to turn around and leave. Will Rogers is already lacking in parking for events as it is, but between blocking off vendor parking and forcing vendors to take up potential attendee spaces, a walkathon that took up one entire lot, and remaining parking going to a “Party on the Patio” event at the Kimbell Art Museum during the evening, I’m glad that anybody could show up at all. I won’t get into the rampant incompetence of the company handling the parking in the first place: dealing with contradictory directions from yahoos who got off on the chaos made Saturday morning load-in an absolute joy, and I understand that things only got worse as the day went on. Combine that with “Party on the Patio” drunks driving the wrong way down one-way streets as we left and the main thoroughfare connecting the center to the highway undergoing its perpetual repair and subsequent narrowing to one lane each way, and I was surprised to see only one fistfight between frustrated attendees just wanting to park for the day.)
Anyway, barring the parking situation, the show gave a great opportunity to hang out with Triffid Ranch stalwarts and newcomers, and this is definitely a show I’ll show up for again…so long as it’s not at Will Rogers.
To be continued…
Comments Off on The Aftermath: Spooky Spectacle 2019 – 1
The autumn Triffid Ranch event schedule starts this weekend, so anyone who can’t make it to Spooky Spectacle in Fort Worth has other options between now and the beginning of December. You still don’t want to miss it, though.
The first exploration of the human-habitable exoplanet Kiernan 40592d, informally referred to as “Convoy,” revealed many mysteries upon close orbital observation, including the fact that Convoy has almost no axial tilt. An axial tilt of .0000335 means that the planet has no discernable seasons; two large rocky moons and one metal-rich moon (possibly the remnants of a planetary core from the early days of the Kiernan 40592 system) contribute to a wider range of tidal effects than seen on Earth, but the wide expanses of land between water masses should have precluded the development of Convoy’s surprisingly Earthlike biota. The reason behind that variety lies with one of the first features spotted during the original survey: a cluster of artificial discs or “islands” moving slowly across the planet at the rate of approximately 500 meters per solar day. When first spotted, a member of the survey team noted that the cluster resembled a human pancreas, hence its informal name “The Langerhaans Archipelago.”
Over 4000 islands comprise the cloud, levitating above the planet’s surface and moving through an unknown technology. The islands range wildly in size, shape, diameter, altitude, and inclination, but all share a rock and soil top crust with a metallic rim and base, with a maximum diameter of 500 meters, The vast majority of the islands remain within the cloud, but some have been tracked breaking from the cloud and moving vast distances for unknown reasons before returning to the cluster, and others stopping on the surface and becoming covered with sediment or volcanic deposits. For the most part, however, individual islands stay at a consistent altitude and position within the cloud. The cloud itself moves in a circumpolar “orbit,” moving from arctic to equatorial latitudes and transporting life forms with them. (In extreme circumstances, the cloud moves around drastic changes on the surface, such as around the extensive shield volcano complex in the northern hemisphere when eruptions are ongoing.) In fact, at least one-third of the documented life on Convoy is only known from the Archipelago, with half of that endemic to one to three islands. Others disembark or die back as temperatures rise or fall, remaining at a particular latitude until the Archipelago returns.
The movement of the Archipelago is so consistent that an analogue to terrestrial flowering plants has evolved within the cluster, with “males” living on the surface and passing genetic material to “females” on the islands, who then scatter new plantlets on islands and the planet surface below. As temperatures and sunlight intensity change, many parent plants die back to corms until their optimal conditions return, thus causing drastically different appearances to islands depending upon the latitude at which they are located. Others remain with the Archipelago for their entire lives, with the change in latitude instigating stages in their life cycles such as metamorphosis and reproduction,
This arrangement has been in place for a very long time: radioisotope dating of the crust is problematic because of unknown factors involving erosion and redeposition and dating of the discs is nearly impossible, but most models suggest that the Archipelago is between 500 million to one billion standard years old. Since the Kiernan 40592 system is approximately two billion years younger than Earth’s, this suggests that the Archipelago was put into motion shortly after the planet’s crust cooled after its original formation.
Although no other trace of the cloud builders remains on Convoy or anywhere else within the planetary system, artifacts and debris from at least three advanced civilizations, two of which previously unknown, have been found both on individual islands and on one of Convoy’s moons. Likewise unknown is whether the Archipelago’s life forms evolved independently on Convoy or if they were transported by the cloud builders. Either way, extensive Administration research continues on understanding nutrient acquisition and transfer between Convoy’s surface and the islands, interactions between animals and plants across the cloud, effects of the cloud’s passing on biology and geology on the surface below. Permanent bases on Convoy’s surface are banned, and most exploration is done with a combination of drones and very carefully monitored human and robot activity.
Isolated islands have been found in a seemingly nonfunctional state, although longterm observation confirms that some of these “nonfunctional” platforms are in a sort of standby mode, possibly to establish particular plants, animals, and/or protists before rejoining the rest of the Archipelago. Several attempts have been made by Administration scientists to study the internal structure of the islands, but these have been hampered by a combination of the extremely tough composite structure of the outer shell and the equally advanced nanostructures within. Even cutting beams at the absolute lower limit produce a kerf wide enough to inhibit or disable island function, with one researcher (Stuyvesant,08311193-664-5) describing available technology as comparable to “shotgunning a Stradivarius to learn how to play it.”
Because of the discovery of islands going dormant but remaining functional, and the islands’ function in preserving and revitalizing the planet’s ecology, any attempt at damaging or disabling an island, or approval of any attempt, can and will be punished by a minimum of a loss of ten years’ income, incarceration in Administration facilities for a minimum of seven standard years, and a total permanent reversion of all privileges and clearances associated with advanced degrees or military rank. This has not stopped “accidents,” but it has slowed them to a crawl. Further research into the islands is overseen by Administration authorities, with full biohazard protocols applying at all times due to the similarities of Convoy’s ecosystem to that of Earth. Unauthorized visits to Convoy’s surface will be prosecuted to the maximum extent of Administration law.
Dimensions (width/height/depth):18″ x 36″ x 18″ (45.72 cm x 91.44 cm x 45.72 cm)
Construction:Glass enclosure. polystyrene foam, acrylic rod.
According to everyone’s least favorite superhero, Captain Pedantic, autumn doesn’t start for another two weeks, so saying that it’s Halloween season is somehow supposed to be folly. For those of us who survived the month-long kidney stone known as August, though, this a very special time. We’re on our way to jacket and sweater weather. We’re fast approaching that wonderful season when the best home furnishings are in every store. And if it stays warm enough for a few more weeks that night swimming and stargazing can be done at the same time? That’s just gravy.
Posted onSeptember 3, 2019|Comments Off on The Texas Triffid Ranch Occasional Newsletter and Feed Lot Clearance Sale – 11
(TheTexas Triffid Ranch Occasional Newsletter and Feedlot Clearance Saleis a regular Email newsletter, with archives available on the main TTR site at least a month after first publication. To receive the latest newsletters,please subscribe.)
Originally published on July 19, 2019. Installment #11: “If You Go To Mos Eisley, You Will Die.” My wife Caroline, the talent behind Caroline Crawford Originals, has it rough these these days. Well, she has it rough anyway. It’s bad enough when total strangers tell her “You’re an absolute saint for not throwing your husband feet-first into a tree mulcher” or “Does he talk that much ALL of the time?”, but when ex-girlfriends get together with her to commiserate on their temporary and her semi-permanent lapses in taste and sanity, she starts questioning, yet again, whether saying “I do” at the end of 2002 was such a great idea. And then there’s the constant reminders that she could just let me do what I’m planning to do, as she’s going to inherit my literary estate anyway, and what she does with the $1.49 she gets by selling off reprint rights is her business. “Hold my beer and watch THIS” is never uttered in the house or at the gallery because I can’t drink, but the concept can be found in a lot of discussions, usually involving reptile shows and road trips. As witnessed by plenty, it’s not a fancy dinner gathering without her stopping with fork halfway to lips, looking at me, and yelling “What the HELL is WRONG with you?” Sometimes, though, I scare her. Such an event happened the weekend before last, when we were both having a lazy morning of going through email and catching up with friends online. For the sake of this discussion, picture this as the opening to a new Netflix limited sitcom, in an alternate reality where Mira Furlanwould have shared top billing with the lateRik Mayall: “Oh, THAT’s interesting.” (Cut to Mira, who raises an eyebrow slightly but says nothing.” (Rik puts down his phone for a moment.) “Just to let you know in advance, I’m leaving later this year to be with another woman.” (Mira raises the eyebrow a bit higher, but still says nothing.) “For the record, she’s married, too.” (No perceptible movement. She’s heard this routine before.) “We’re going to be gone for a week.” “Oh. Thank you for letting me know that, dear.” “And we’re going to Disneyland.” (No immediately perceptible movement, but the glass screen of Mira’s phone starts to shimmer and sparkle in demonstration of the piezoelectric effect, as it is compressed, very slowly, into neutronium.) “Oh, isn’t that nice. Are you going for Halloween?” “Possibly. And I’m going to be too busy to call or write, too.” (Mira’s eyebrow is now buried in the ceiling. The FX crew is going to be busy with either prosthetic elbows or CGI, but her elbows start sprouting long sharp bony spurs that drip a noxious gren venom onto the floor, burning holes in the carpet.) “And WHAT do you have planned out there?” “We’re going to see the newStar Wars Galaxy’s Edgepark.” (Mira says nothing: she just pulls out the big paracord net she keeps behind the chair, flings it over Rik before he recognize the threat, pulls out an autoinjector, and pumps 150ccs of specially formulated elephant tranquilizers into Rik’s carotid artery before he can escape. She stands over him, contemplating how the next few minutes will go and whether she’ll need an attorney or a wood chipper.) “I beg your pardon?” “We’re going to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. For WORK.” (This sentence is in subtitles due to the elephant tranquilizers, as not everyone in the audience is fluent in Vowel Movement.) “And to do WHAT, exactly?” “To check out plants.” (Rik is now turning bright blue, and he’s drooling much more than normally.) (Mira goes offstage for a moment, returning with a ball peen hammer and her favorite baseball bat. “I’m only going to ask this once: what have you done with my husband? And PLEASE be difficult: you look so much like him that this is going to be fun. I still haven’t forgiven him for the ‘How Does Brundlefly Eat?” science fair project.” “No, really. I swear.” (This comes out with a gurgle and belch at the same time.) “Really. Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge? Do you really think I’m THAT stupid? Why didn’t you just tell me he was going out to get drunk?” (Rik expires, signified by a four-minute fart that shakes the camera.) In retrospect, I could understand Caroline’s trepidation. All through my writing days and predating them, ragging onStar Warsand its fanatics was a daily constant up there with cellular respiration and telomere degeneration. After years of arguing that while George Lucas had the better special effects budget, Ed Wood was the superior writer and director, the only reasonable response was the big net. The guy responsible for suggesting theJar Jar Binks urinal cakesaying that he wanted to visit an amusement park space solely dedicated to a cinematic franchise he mocked for decades, and without once asking about a “Cantina Barmaid Bea Arthur” action figure in the gift shop? What kind of madness is this? (Slight digression for the sake of longtime acquaintances: the second greatest decision I ever made after quitting pro writing in 2002, after taking the job offer in Tallahassee that sent me on this odd path, was getting on the other side of the vendor table at science fiction events. Well, that and the fact that The Last JediandRogue Onewere a lot better than I was originally willing to give them credit for being. If asked at the Day Job “Star Trek or Star Wars?”, I’m stillgoingto answer “Don’t look at me: I’m aBabylon 5kind ofguy,” but that’s why I’m neck-deep in carnivores instead of roses or orchids,too.) Well, some of the mystery faded for Caroline when I told her about the person I was leaving her for: Amanda Thomsen, the famed author ofKiss My Asterand forall intents and purposes my little sister, just came back froma tour of the landscaping department at Disneyland, and that started a very serious discussion. Amanda wasn’t just impressed by the efforts spent every day to keep up bedding and highlight plants in an amusement park with literally thousands of people per day tromping, stomping, flopping, and jumping all over the spaces between the “PLEASE KEEP OFF THE FLOWERS” signs. She was even more impressed by how effortless they make it look, too. Now the reason why your humble narrator’s ears perked? The whole of Disneyland runs with a coordinated and orchestrated landscaping regime that changes for events and through the seasons. (And yes, there actually IS another season in Central Florida other than “Inhaling A Pot of Boiling Corn Syrup.” It just lasts for about maybe four hours in early January, which is why nobody in Orlando sleeps that month for fear of missing it.) That part is well-documented. However, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is a completely different challenge, and I wanted to see how the landscaping team worked with the challenge of selecting and arranging plants that didn’t bring visitors out of the illusion. By way of example, science fiction in all of its forms was never really about predicting the future than it was about interpreting the present using extrapolations of the future as a lens. The problem is with trying to get the audience to accept those extrapolations and not get pulled out of the story. The lateHarlan Ellisononce related that one of his great epiphanies about futuristic settings was when he read a story as a teenager with the sentence “The door irised open.” Think about that for a second: “The door irised” open not only immediately signifies that this isn’t a typical contemporary setting, but it also leads to the question “So WHY does the door need to iris open?” That leads to all sorts of conjecture as to the whys and wherefores of the world into which the writer just booted us, and the fervent hope is that the writer gives us as good an explanation as what we already had running through our heads with that first sentence. Science fiction is generally described as a literature of “What If,” but the question that always follows “What if?” is “Why?”, and anyone creating any kind of science fiction had better be able to answer that. Sometimes the process of prognostication goes a little off. Novels and short stories may be able to describe wide vistas never before seen, but the impact is still dependent upon the reader’s imagination. Visual arts can bypass that for a literal cost in actors, sets, costumes, and special effects, with a constant battle between vision and budget. Trying to go for that sense of wonder is compounded in an amusement park: camera angles can keep a movie audience from viewing the cables in an animatronic puppet, and that doesn’t work in the slightest with thousands of people poking, prodding, and peeking around it, seven days a week. Creating displays for public areas is a whole discipline with formal college degrees these days, and the compromise between making something heart-stopping and making something safe is very real. The final aspect to consider are the aspects, almost always accidental, that pull audiences out of the illusion, and science fiction movies and television have a LOT of those. This isn’t just talking about reworking and repainting toys or appliances to turn them into props: you have the accidental anachronisms such as the assumption in2001: A Space Odysseythat Pan Am would be still be an active airline, much less running orbital shuttles by the beginning of the new century, or the seriesBabylon 5suggesting, even tongue in cheek, that Zima would be the drink of choice in 2258. The further back you go, the more obvious the set and FX redressings and repurposings: the original Star Trek was famed for using outrageously tacky furniture and wall accessories, under the idea that tacky was just the future ahead of its time, and bubble wrap was so new and exotic in England in the 1960s thatDoctor Whocharacters wore quite a bit of it. The same applies with plants, with helleconias, dracaenias, ficuses, and the occasional jade plant filling in for exotic alien flora, or a gigantic collection of exotic orchids really consisting of about twentyPhalaenopsisorchid shot at different angles. If it’s recognizable or ridiculous, it pulls you out right then, and those of us in botany and horticulture are just a little less vocal about this than others. Now, Disney amusement park design is anything other than haphazard, and one of the more intriguing aspects about Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge involves how hard the Disney crew worked to keep up the illusion that visitors aren’t in a park. For instance, all of the workers (referred to as “cast” in Disney parlance) have unique costumes and backstories, which they’re prepared to recite if questioned by patrons. That’s already applied across Disney parks with the company’s classic characters (think about the Disney princesses, for instance), but just think of the complexity of creating dozens or hundreds of unique personae, with unique clothes and tools and accessories, simulating all of the background characters seen for a moment or two in theStar Warsfilms, but able to step out and answer questions in character. Disney earned its reputation for that sort of character immersion, but this is pushing those previous efforts to a whole new level. And that’s why I want to head out there with Amanda and take copious notes. From what pictures have come out from Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, the landscaping design gives a suitably alien aspect to the attractions, but I want to get closer. I want to see what kind of plants and in what combinations and arrangements. I want to see if the trees are real trees or cunningly constructed simulations, and what species and cultivars if the former. I want to know how the arrangements are rotated based on the season and the compromises between “sufficiently alien forStar Wars” and “suited for Orlando’s climate.” Most importantly, I want to have a heads-up, because garden centers and nurseries are going to start getting calls asking “I saw this really cool plant at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, and can you get one for me?” and I want to answer “Oh, you BETCHA!” And then, after the Disney purchase of the entirety of the Twentieth Century Fox archive, I’ll be rooting for Disneyland to give the same treatment toAlien.
Oh, news is a bit, erm, intense this month. The Triffid Ranchfinally got on the Atlas Obscura mapthis month, and that led toa wonderful conversation with Samantha Lopez at theHouston Chroniclethat just came out on both the Chronicle and the MySanAntonio sites. This coincided with deciding to return the favor and sponsoring theClass of ’79 podcastfromFangoriamagazine. The last is a particular payback, and not just because so many of the horror film releases of 1979 were so influential to me when I was finally old enough to hit the Dallas midnight movie circuit in the mid-Eighties:Fangoria‘s new owners have done more than enough justice to their promise to revive the magazine, and in my home town, too. This will be the first of many such sponsorships, for as long as I can manage, and they’re welcome to do a podcast hosted at the gallery, too.
Between longer days and lots of projects (including a series of commissions that are another reason why you won’t see another Triffid Ranch open house until the end of August), the To Be Read pile beside the bed has gone from “impressive” to “worrisome” to “a direct threat to the cats if it collapses.” (Not that either would notice: Alexandria would surf the flow, and Simon is now getting so big that the pile has to threaten to block the sun before he becomes concerned.) Among the textbooks on museum display design and airbrush techniques, though, it behooves thee to snag a copy ofJason Heller‘sStrange Stars, a thorough guide to the ongoing cross-pollination between science fiction and rock music through the 1970s, now that it’s out in paperback. (There’s a connection between this and the airbrush guides, too, considering the number of famed album cover artists who crossed back and forth between album covers and science fiction and fantasy novels, sometimes specifically because a musician saw a particular book cover and said “We NEED this look.”)
And speaking of the intersection of science fiction and music, fans of esoteric music might recognize the name “Steven Archer” as part of the cultural colony organism known asEgo Likeness, and a few of you might even recognize him for his sideprojectHopeful Machines. Well, for a few years now, he’s been working as well on new albums forStoneburner, a project inspired by Frank Herbert’sDunenovels. The latest Stoneburner album,Technology Implies Belligerence, just hit the streaming service feeds, and coming from a decade-long Archer fan, it’s his best yet. Go give it a listen, and then understand why it’ll be essential listening in the gallery when working on new enclosures.
Comments Off on The Texas Triffid Ranch Occasional Newsletter and Feed Lot Clearance Sale – 11