The Cultural Gutter

building a better robot builder

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

PKD and PW

Peter Watts writes up a few thoughts on the new Philip K. Dick collection, Exegesis: “Exegesis is a little like a year’s supply of pub dates with some crazy dude in Klingon getup whose rants verge just a bit too close to brilliance to let you write him off completely.” Like this:Like Loading…

Curious about The Thing remake?

Peter Watts has an interest in the remake of The Thing (see here for why), and he has some entertaining things to say: “For one thing, there are just too many similarities between the two films for me to accept that this is truly a prequel and not just a remake. This goes beyond the […]

Writerly Wedding Vows

Writers Peter Watts and Caitlin Sweet got hitched and provide a copy of their unconventional yet strangely moving wedding vows. Hers: “They’re the very things that I fell for, even before you made an x-rated cephalopod reference on a rooftop patio.” His: “And you and I are going to kick biological determinism in the balls.” Worth reading […]

The Hierarchy of Contempt, Reality TV Edition

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Since April is our wacky month, I decided to venture far afield, basically into the scariest minefield of cultural contempt that I can think of: reality TV. Like this:Like Loading…

Peter Watts’ The Thing

Peter Watts retells The Thing from the Thing’s point of view. Read it yourself or listen to an audio version of his version. Like this:Like Loading…

Thing One and Thing Two

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The Thing is coming for you! But you don’t know which one of your friends is The Thing! Paranoia… gore… body horror… and all of the above recently retold from The Thing’s point of view. Like this:Like Loading…

That’s a Wrap

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I enjoy this time of year. Partly because I work in retail, and the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is a kind of gift: festive and fun, and landing somewhere between the insanity of December and the dead quiet of January. But also because I get a kick out of all the lists […]

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    The Toast helps you determine if you are in a high fantasy novel or a soft science fiction one.

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    The Gutter’s own Carol infiltrates Teleport City‘s limits to contribute to TC’s Space: 1999 series with her piece on aliens and what big jerks they are. “Space: 1999 taught me two valuable lessons. The first is that space is depressing and best represented by the color taupe. The second is that, with few exceptions, aliens are jerks.”

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    The Dartmouth College Library ahs scans of the oldest extant comic book, Rodolphe Töpffer’s
    “The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck” (1837). (via @SoxOnTheBrain)

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    At Graveyard Shift Sisters, Carolyn looks at Lizzie Borden’s Born In Flames (1983) and the character, Adelaide Norris. “Born in Flames was revolutionary for its time, and I think it is still relevant today. This film has many layers, with both a speculative as well as a science fictional representation of a parallel universe that denies oppression. One of the main characters, Adelaide Norris played by Jean Satterfield, came to the forefront for me because of her race and role in the story. Adelaide is one of the key characters who pulls the female troops together. With the help of her mentor Zella, played by civil rights lawyer Flo Kennedy, this young Black and gay woman tirelessly researches, advises, and recruits women to fight the good fight for equality.”

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    A video tribute to interactive VCR games including: Nightmare (1991), The Fisherman VCR Bible Game (1989), Rich Little’s Charades (1985), Wayne’s World VCR Game (1992), Star Trek: The Next Generation VCR Game (1995) and Skull and Crossbones (1988). (Thanks, Beth!)

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    At The Los Angeles Review Of Books, Suzannah Showler writes about the complexity of the reality tv show The Bachelor and her complicated love for it. “I love The Bachelor the way I love most things, which is to say: complicatedly. On the one hand, I think it’s a fascinating cultural product, one I find great delight in close-reading. But I also love it, frankly, because I just like watching it. I think it’s top-notch entertainment, and I will straight up hip-check my politics out of the way, and give up many hours of my life, in the name of being entertained.” (Via @idontlikemunday)

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