// archives

these are not books

This category contains 11 posts

361 days later

//Note – this was written a year ago. I’m posting it now, in the wake of a number of things, and have only updated tenses.
We’ve finished These Pages Fall Like Ash. We can relax, if just for a moment, and consider what works, what we’ve learned and what we do next.
Along the way, I’ve been [...]

Do no harm

Okay, honestly. Futurebook.
There’s writing, there’s good writing and there’s dangerous neglect of the facts.
Here’s a line:
“For aeons the digitalists have been trying to convince us that the container wasn’t important, that the shift from p to e was as natural as running water, and that we shouldn’t resist it. Now we have got so far [...]

The Southern Reach

Or; Genette and Hypotext (you can research this yourselves).
Or (b); in which order do we read things?
Jeff Vandermeer has a new book out. Annihilation. It’s the first in a trilogy about The Southern Reach. And a zone of earth that is out of kilter with the rest of the world (*zone*, used very very deliberately [...]

Just for you

We’re reissuing Short Films For You. This is the piece of work (several pieces in one, actually) that gave rise to the principles that made These Pages Fall Like Ash work. Digital content and physical books interdependently telling stories – stories with you at the heart of them.

Short Films had a limited release – Duncan [...]


This is the second in a short series of posts exploring ambient literature. They’re tentative steps, and are not meant to mark out inviolate territory, rather work in gas-light toward something that seems to sit in the gloom of quasi-academic thought. The first one is here.
2. Edgelands and borders.
Liminal spaces.
If we’re trying to formulate a [...]

Toward a Literature of Ambience

I’m going to write a few of these. This is the first. It might be the last, but to be perfectly honest that’s going to depend on what works and what doesn’t. To kick things off (and I have a notebook made of stone that has scribbles for six of these posts) what follows are [...]

Here’s the thing / The Yellow King

Okay, so here’s the thing. The King in Yellow is either the thematic backbone of HBO’s True Detective,or it’s an incidental device being utilised by the hipster, HBO-centred crowd to draw in the weird fiction mob and convince them that this series is worth sticking with. Time will tell which of these is true, but [...]

The Silent History – some thoughts

The App has been available since the start of October, which makes the whole experience a little over a week old, and already I’m impressed at how the Silent History has begun to address some of the fundamental problems of digital storytelling.
If you’re new to Silent History, here’s a blurb:
‘The e-book tells the story of [...]


More from the book. Actually, from a paper that draws on chapter one, and will probably sit somewhere across three chapters:
For the last decade, Duncan Speakman has been developing a form for immersive narrative he calls the subtlemob – films without cameras, alternate worlds and poetic layers in the everyday. The antithesis of a flashmob, Speakman’s work [...]

A Monolothic Wrongness

I’m guilty of many things, not the least of which is a tendency to rush to judgement, although I do tend to think things through before I express that judgement in public.
Which brings me to PD Smith’s City.

A piece of design, from Bloomsbury, that is as near perfect in print as I’ve seen for some time. From [...]