Website Profile: Pornokitsch

CP - Pornokitsch

WWW.PORNOKITSCH.CO.UK
www.pornokitsch.tumblr.com
www.facebook.com/pkitsch
On Twitter: @Pornokitsch

 

Pornokitsch Since 2008, Pornokitsch has been gleefully chatting about geek culture – with a focus on books, movies, games, comics and television. Our mission is to treat genre fiction seriously and examine it thoroughly, for better or for worse. CP - Anne Perry

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Cockaigne Weekly 9th January 2015

WS - Article digest...

Happy New Year all! Here’s a round up of some of the fantastic articles that have been put out there on all the good stuff since last we posted last year… We’re normally covering Friday to Thursday of a given week but this covers a few weeks worth to midnight last night.
Check them out and know there’s plenty of other stuff to enjoy on the great sites in question; these are just our picks of the last week or so – Enjoy!

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Cockaigne Weekly 19th December 2014

WS - Article digest... Here’s this weeks digest / round-up of online articles and news from our fellow London websiteers if not ourselves…
This covers Friday to Thursday of this last week so if you’re reading it Friday (today) treat yourself to a proper Christmas skive while the boss isn’t looking (or, perhaps, while they’re looking at the same thing!) or relax with a brew at the weekend and catch up on the great things out there. Here’s to the whole diversity of media and genre we love here: Film, TV, SFF, Music, Comics, and Books – not to mention a few short story selections…

And there’s other great stuff to discover on their home pages, from before if not the week just gone.

Read on and check it all out!

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Festival Profile: Winterville

CP - Winterville http://winterville.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/WintervilleLDN
https://twitter.com/WintervilleLDN
http://instagram.com/wintervilleLDN

 

Winterville is coming and Christmas in the capital will never be the same…

Here’s what to expect:

> An alternative festive experience…Winterville is the antithesis of corporate Christmas theme parks. Independent, intimate and above all creative, we welcome all like-minded visitors to our town. Expect a different festive experience altogether. LE - WV - Main
> Free entry and free entertainment…Entry to the town of Winterville is not only free, but plenty of the entertainment on offer is too. Among the free entertainment in theSpiegeltent  are free gigs, club nights, comedy and cabaret. LE - WV - New-Town-Map
> High-quality food and drink…We have Street Food traders scattered all over site, a dedicated Craft Beer Area and a food market serving great food and fresh produce you can take away. LE - WV - Craft-Beer
> We’ve combined Kicking Club Nights and a Roller Disco to create the best kind of party scene. Yes that’s right, we have a series of carefully curated club nights from the likes of Bugged Out and Guilty Pleasures in our Roller Disco and Spiegeltent. LE - WV - Music & Clubs

FULL ENTRY: http://winterville.co.uk/about/what-to-expect/

LE - WV - New-Town-Map

 

On London and Urban Fantasy by Foz Meadows (from LonCon3)

The fantastic LonCon3 is a while back now but we really enjoyed Aberdeen-based writer / blogger Foz Meadows’ thoughts on London as distributed by Pigeon Post on Sunday 17th. With her approval we reproduce them here…

 

Neverwhere As human habitations go London is not merely old, but ancient: a phoenix-city rising over and over from its own stubborn ashes. Small wonder, then, that Hidden London  has practically become an SFFnal subgenre in its own right. In our minds, the tricksy London’s of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, China Mieville’s Un Lun Dun, Ben Aaronovitch‘s Peter Grant series, Tom Pollock‘s Skyscraper Throne, Maureen’s Johnson’s The Name of the Star and countless other stories, both past and present, all inform its reality as a place both impossibly real and, really, impossible. London is clotted with ghosts and magic, her Spring-Heeled Jack’s and killer queens all dancing to the bonesaw song of the TARDIS. It is a place to love, to be drunk, to get lost in; it is a home and pilgrimage both, older than the Roman Empire, and if you treat it or its inhabitants without due consideration, it will open its glass and concrete jaws and snap. And then, quite possibly, offer to buy you a drink. The City's Son
un_lun_dun Broken-Homes

The last time I visited London, I spent the bus-ride down in the company of a former Uzbek spy whose public defection made the papers, then went to stay in a street where the houses looked so dystopian that they’ve appeared in multiple SF films. So wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, welcome to London. You’re part of her story now, and all she asks in return is that you tell it.

 

– Foz Meadows, 17/08/14

 

Wonderful stuff – cheers Foz.

 

You can find and follow Foz Meadows online on her website: Shattersnipe: Malcontents & Rainbows

 

Events Profile: Gingle / Alternative Nightlife

Gingle

CP - Gingle
Secret Identity: Jamina
Website: www.ginglelistseverything.blogspot.co.uk/
On Twitter: @ginglesnuff
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/GingleListsEverything
On Instagram: www.instagram.com/ginglesnuff
Events on Meet-up: www.meetup.com/Alternative-nightlife

About: Blogging about all the fun stuff in London – the eating, drinking and nightlife. And taking people along for the ride with my Meetup group.

CP - Gingle Award Nomination

 

The Greatest Creations of Fantastical Fiction Part 5

(In which we indulge ourselves with warped halflings, perhaps the greatest lesser known post-apocalyptic setting, demonic currency, space opera super-ordinance, and they amongst whom ‘There can be only one’)  

If you haven’t read the earlier entries you can find Part 1 herePart 2 herePart 3 here and Part 4 here.

 

Gollum

Gollum / Smeaghol * Antagonist * The Hobbit / Lord of the Rings * JRR Tolkien

‘Suddenly up came Gollum and whispered and hissed: “Bless us and splash us, my precioussss! I guess it’s a choice feast; at least a tasty morsel it’d make us, gollum!” And when he said gollum he made a horrible swallowing in his throat. That is how he got his name, though he always called himself ‘my precious.’’- The Hobbit Gollum 1

Gollum stands alone and apart in both book and film as something truly special, and it would seem unworthy to try and dissemble him here so we’ll mostly let Tolkien’s words speak for themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

Bank Holiday Treats and things to do for the rest of August!

Copied from the London Events page for your convenience – what’s happening in London Town between now and the end of August…

Don’t forget – Half Price tickets through Carabas / Pop Up Screens for the latter’s showings of Blade (Friday 29th August) and Fight Club (next month – Friday 5th September)

Enjoy!

 

AUGUST

Thursday 21st to Monday 25th August FILM FRIGHTFEST Vue West End Cinema, Leicester Square
Friday 22nd August FILM POP UP SCREENS: THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW Morden Hall Park, Morden
Friday 22nd August FILM NOMAD CINEMA: LABYRINTH (profits to charity) Bushy Park
Friday 22nd to Monday 25th August FILM POP UP SCREENS: MORDEN WEEKEND TICKET Morden Hall Park, Morden
Saturday 23rd August SPECIAL Last day of CAMDEN BEACH – [FREE] – See 26th July above or click the link for more details The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1
Monday 25th August FILM POP UP SCREENS: THE HANGOVER Morden Hall Park, Morden
Thursday 28th August FILM LONGITUDE PUNK’D SCI-FI SCREENINGS: CITY OF LOST CHILDREN Royal Observatory Greenwich
Thursday 28th August – FILM: BFI SCREENING: THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE – (Part of the BFI’s blockbuster Sci-fi Days of Fear and Wonder project) Open air screening at the British Museum Open air screening at the British Museum
Blade Friday 29th August – FILM: POP UP SCREENS: BLADE *** HALF-PRICE TICKETS THROUGH CARABAS! *** Bishop’s Park, Fulham
Friday 29th August FILM POP UP SCREENS: BLADE Bishop’s Park, Fulham
Friday 29th August FILM BFI SCREENING: MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH  – (Part of the BFI’s blockbuster Sci-fi Days of Fear and Wonder project) Open air screening at the British Museum
Friday 29th to Sunday 31st August FILM POP UP SCREENS: FULHAM WEEKEND TICKET Bishop’s Park, Fulham
Saturday 30th August FILM NOMAD CINEMA: E.T. (profits to charity) Bushy Park
Flash and Vultan Saturday 30th August – FILM: BFI SCREENING: FLASH GORDON – (Part of the BFI’s blockbuster Sci-fi Days of Fear and Wonder project) Open air screening at the British Museum [MARQUIS’ SPECIAL RECOMMEND!]
Sunday 31st August FILM POP UP SCREENS: BACK TO THE FUTURE Bishop’s Park, Fulham

 

 

LonCon3 – The whole Con, miscellanea therein and the final curtain thereof…

Note to self – try not to have a big birthday next time World Con comes to London! But what a weekend…

Fantastic four / five days wandering between the ‘fan village’, the Exhibits Hall, and then the panels I could make (see previous posts) – and also sitting in the boulevard and writing bits up. Didn’t have time to finish in the exhibits unfortunately but had an absolute blast. Here’s a bit of a run down of particular bits around the Con over the whole weekend, and also the unfortunately inevitable end of the LonCon3 – a wonderful place and time for the duration.

Here’s Hugh Norwood’s Angst-Lesspork, a tribute to a certain city of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Hm, is that (bottom-right) a certain librarian of the Unseen University?

From the guide: Angst-Lesspork is a small model railway that draws its inspiration from and is a tribute to the Discworld books of Terry Pratchett and in particular the greatest city on the Circle Sea, Ankh-Morpork. The scene is urban with a tidal river to the front. Buildings are predominately timber-framed. Although superficially a Victorian/Edwardian townscape, many characters and architectural features give clues to the layout’s true identity. Angst-Lesspork appears with the kind permission of Sir Terry Pratchett – and pre-dates Raising Steam by a couple of years…

Other bits around was the art exhibition, other displays, dealers, and fan tables including the bids for future World Cons. Absolutely smashing stuff…

Had a fab time at the Titan Books party on Friday – hadn’t even realised there was a Tor and Jo Fletcher birthday party happening just around the corner!There’s revellers behind and aside the displays but a fine sample of science fictional works from their growing book list. Mind Kim Newman is the star of the show and gets a display to himself (bottom-right)…

Fantastic time throughout but all good things and all that… I attended the closing ceremony on Sunday which was packed.

After a review of the video that won London World Con this year, showing a montage of alien invasion and the science fictional destruction of our capital, the Chairs of LonCon3 – Alice Lawson and Steve Cooper – emerge to deliver the closing speeches. There were presentations to the guests of honour including, sadly in absentia, the dear departed Iain M Banks, to whom the Chair’s had pledged that he’d be guest of honour regardless of anything in his final days. It was a very touching moment with those who knew him well being deeply moved.

Iain M Banks 1954 - 2013

Iain M Banks
1954 – 2013

On a brighter note there was a song to sing given someone in the audience had their birthday that day, someone who’d been present at the first LonCon: Brian Aldiss.

Finally the Chairs performed the formal duty of closing the 72nd World Science Fiction convention with the pronouncement and banging of the wooden hammer, then passing it to Sally Hall, the Chair of Sasquan, the next host of World Con.

And from there, well the bar was still open and the remainder of us – of which there were many – gathered in the fan village for drinks and chat and last celebrations. The photos below are very much of that, the first three being of kids who’d acquired bubble wrap and were joined by more and adults besides to make sure that if LonCon3 hadn’t ended with the sort of big bang that would guarantee an apocalypse for London, there were certainly many little ones happening at the same time.

Which was just how we ended it.

Fantastic long weekend of celebrating the fantastical and the science fictional and massive thanks and kudos to all the organisers and volunteers who made it such an amazing convention.

Tim

 

Destroying London! From LonCon3 and beyond…

Capital cities tend to get destroyed in Science Fiction – they represent the country and it’s civilization as a whole. So they’re natural targets of aliens [substitute fantastical antagonist as applicable] and the evil genius authors who guide their attack.

The University of Liverpool had the simplest of exhibits up at LonCon3, A4 printouts with pictures on a display board, but if you’re talking destroying London, our capital, and my home city, then you’ve got me at ‘The Destruction of London’.

From the guide: Drawing upon the prophecies of medieval astrologers and soothsayers to modern science fiction and fantasy (Richard Jefferies, George Griffiths, H G Wells, John Wyndham, Doctor Who), this display will look at some of the imaginative and sinister ways the destruction of London has been imagined. 

We start off around 1524 when there was a Europe-wide panic due to astrologers forecasting downpours and floods on the 1st February. The Thames was meant to have burst its banks and drowned the whole city. 20,000 Londoners fled – but not a drop fell. The embarrassed astrologers (like any good apocalyptic doomsayers thwarted by reality) issued a statement saying that they really meant 1624. Then comes a poem by Horace Smith, a friend of Percy Bysshe Shelley (who helped to manage his finances). The two agreed to submit poems (sonnets) to the Examiner having been inspired by Diodorus Siculus (Book 1, Chapter 47) which is on Ozymandias – Shelley’s of course became better known but I was very pleased to discover Mr Smith’s contribution of the same name, printed February 1, 1818 a week later in the Examiner.

IN Egypt’s sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desart knows:—
“I am great OZYMANDIAS,” saith the stone,
“The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
“The wonders of my hand.”— The City’s gone,—
Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.

We wonder,—and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro’ the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.

Wonderful.
Battle of Dorking Hartmann the Anarchist The Sleeper Awakes
 Next we’re off to 1871 and Chesney’s ‘The Battle of Dorking’ (kicking off the invasion genre and an important precursor to science fiction) and other fictional invasions of London including Hartmann the Anarchist, before we move on to HG Wells’ and his dystopian future-London setting of The Sleeper Awakes.
Then there’s the sidestep into gaseous fog threats across the decades, in William DeLisle Hay’s The Doom of the Great City 1880 and Conan-Doyle’s The Poison Belt (1913), before we start to see familiar images from screens small and large and we’re up to date and looking forward to seeing what the next destruction of London will look like. daleks-london
  And on that subject, just across the way is this fantastic diorama by Nick Cobb of a post-apocalyptic Peckham, circa it’s car park and cinema; you can see more of this epic work on Nick’s Flickr page

London is an awesome place. London will still be awesome post-apocalypse – just rather more… apocalyptic.

Again big cities tend to get destroyed in science fiction. Their remnants show scale. The scale of disaster and the scale of what has been lost.

Great stuff.

 

Tall Technical Tales from LonCon3…

From the event programme: What kind of stories emerge from the lab when scientists gather round the campfire and have too much to drink? Will they involve exploding particle accelerators, the escape of dangerous diseases, or explain why you should never operate a centrifuge while drunk?

Having got in late (and after rather a few birthday drinks the day before) I thought I’d check out this humorous science panel, moderated by astrophysicist and observational astronomer David L Clements (Imperial College), PhD student of Molecular Biology Helen Pennington (Imperial also), Henry Spencer (astrophysicist and various other disciplines), and NASA’s Geoff Landis, a physicist and writer of SF.
Henry Spencer moves in swiftly after Landis establishes his sci-fi authorship claiming that he too has been known for such work: that his project proposals have certainly been of science in proposal though his budgets are similarly well known for being works of fiction; the result being something closer to the genre of horror.

David Clements kicks off the anecdotes, noting that observatories are at rather high altitudes which means there is less oxygen and a concurrent loss of points of IQ. On one occasion, having settled in to observatory and the tasks therein, he became aware there was something he’d forgotten. No, the data was coming in okay. Yes he’d checked the weather conditions. So what had he forgotten? Oh yes:

See it turns out the breathing reflex kicks in not because of a lack of oxygen but an excess of carbon dioxide. Humorous and informative.

He goes on to relate the time he was up the mountain cutting a part to size in order to fit it, and phoned down to sea level to have the following approximate exchange:

“Sea Level – I’ve cut this part three times and it’s still too short.”

“Come down now!”

We’re then treated to stories of up and coming scientists attempting to freeze dry a litre and a half of chloroform in a corridor (you can tell the science buffs in the room here and throughout by the collective intakes of breath and early laughter before it’s explained to the rest of us). But yes, this rather destroyed the freeze dryer and nearly filled the immediate environs with gaseous chloroform; this courtesy of Helen Pennington.
I did enjoy the image built by Geoff Landis when he’d bunged the wrong end of a tube with something particularly hazardous inside. He was found wandering around the lab sans labcoat and trousers with a load of tissues attempting to clear up. (His explanation anyway).

We’re back with Helen Pennington. Another student, she tells us, was repeatedly noticed (and thank goodness she was noticed) approaching the autoclave with something inappropriate. Are ethanol, chloroform or bleach inappropriate to put in an autoclave? (YES, according to the rest of the room!) Someone else was attempting to win the Darwin Awards on her own behalf and that of her colleagues besides by opening a centrifuge into which she’d put – and then heard break – a sample of Legionnaires Disease. Everyone in the lab required three months of heavy antibiotics. I wonder if they saw the funny side as we did. Regrettably, as Henry Spencer comes in with, Darwinian processes are statistical in nature. (You might imagine that her unwilling colleagues in the Award attempt might likewise feel such regrets.)

Oh there’s plenty more from the panel. Someone actually did manage to destroy an entire chemistry building though, I confess, the science passed me by. We hear of an explosives course in Semtin, a place which gives its name to a little substance ending with ‘ex’ rather than ‘in’, and the rather cavalier (if not inquisitive) attitude to safety of one of the instructors. (Think Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka’s attitude to being teleported by television). Also there was the Muslim lady on the course dressed in the traditional hijab attempting to re-enter the country covered in explosives residue. I got that one at least straight off.

I wasn’t quite so sure what the cause of the underground explosion was in the next story (something nuclear I think) but it blew a manhole cover straight up a considerable distance. How considerable? Well it wasn’t found – they’re pretty sure it reached escape velocity.

Then we’re on to fridges. People leaving food in fridges (next to the exciting chemicals). People leaving notes on containers in fridges saying ‘Whoever stole the sample of nitrous oxide this is not nitrous oxide.’

On a similar chilly subject we hear of a Group Safety Officer whose party trick was gargling liquid nitrogen; yes apparently it’s fine as long as you keep it moving. (It’s explained that the Group Safety Officer is usually the most dangerous person in the department because if they tell you not to do something…) But then someone else fancied trying the same but forgot that you are meant to ‘spit, not swallow’. Fortunately (!) it didn’t freeze-burn his insides. Instead, feeling the pressure building and thinking he was going to be sick, he made it to the stairwell which was essentially a twelve-storey echo chamber, whereupon he produced the loudest and longest belch anyone had ever heard.

And that’s according to scientist so they should know.

Great stuff – cheers to all who came along and contributed!

LonCon3! – Arrival at Excel, 5pm

A few days ago I was confirmed as having a press pass and, after recovering from a ‘Carabas presents: ALTERNATIVE DRINKS‘ night have made my way down to the great LonCon3!

Staff have been absolutely fabulous – a wonderful and busy few days ahead.

Here’s a few shots of the first hall which is half devoted to already campaigning for which country / city will host a future LonCon – and this one’s only just started! On arrival...
Particularly liked Beijing / China’s display with these banners of the Transformer’s leaders rendered in traditional Chinese art… Apparently you bring the banners together for their protective influence:Like would you really mess with a teamed-up Optimus Prime and Megatron coming at you with Cybertronian kung-fu?

Love it.

Back soon with more…

 

Tim

 

 

The Greatest Creations of Fantastical Fiction Part 4

(In which we dabble with coherent blades of energy, Hollywood monsters of Chinese folklore, the worst witch (for her enemies), god-like automatons, and the space craft that makes the rest look like the cardboard boxes you pretended to fly to space in as kids…)

 

If you haven’t read the earlier entries you can find Part 1 herePart 2 here and Part 3 here.

 

Lightsaber

Type: Weapon * From: Star Wars * Creator: George Lucas

Luke Skywalker Quite seriously you couldn’t not include this “elegant weapon for a more civilised age” in an article on this subject and very little needs be said. There were precedents in fiction and if George Lucas hadn’t incorporated a sword of coherent energy into the original and subsequent Star Wars films someone else would have used it; it was a creation that was always waiting to be born both in written word and on the big screen.

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The Greatest Creations of Fantastical Fiction Part 2

(In which we look at warrior bears, the most secret of secret bases, a wizard that makes Gandalf look like a lightweight, an anthropomorphized aspect of nightmare, and quite possibly the most awesome adversaries of all time…)

If you haven’t already you can read Part 1 here.

 

Panserbjorn – Armoured Bears

Type: Race * From: His Dark Materials * Creator: Philip Pullman

The notion of armoured bears is probably enough to warrant inclusion in its own right, but what Philip Pullman does with his creation ensures they’re in without question.

So you’ve created an alternate world which you can populate with exciting creations. No holds barred. Anything goes as long as it’s cool. Anthropomorphised animals were hardly new of course: the Ninja Turtles were well established in the public consciousness by then, and talking animals of varying degrees of humanization are a staple of stories for younger children. But it had never been done like this.

This was a fantastical world that was inherently linked to our own, an alternate reality where physical evolution took non-hominid species on their own journey to consciousness (evolution and consciousness being essential themes of the series), bipedal locomotion, and manual dexterity. Anyway, thematic rationale in place, Pullman goes to town on it. Panserbjorn

Bears – warrior bears. Sounds good. Bears have claws and teeth and are damn strong – but these guys ought to have something more. Okay so they have their own craft expertise, that of metalwork. So let’s give them armour.

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Weird Al Yankovic – New Tunes July 14!

Over the next week the almighty “Weird Al” Yankovic is releasing videos online with the launch of his latest album ‘Mandatory Fun’ via different sites – Will be collecting and updating them here! Weird Al Yankovic

21st July: Weird Al satirizes management bull$#!+ speak in Crosby, Stills and Nash style in MISSION STATEMENT completing his 8 songs in 8 days album launch of MANDATORY FUN!

Watch video: http://smarturl.it/MSvid

Listen here on Youtube:

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