What I read

  • W.G. Sebald’s The Emigrants. This novel is sublime, and I don’t mean that in the sense of being “really really good”, but rather being “really overwhelming and thrilling and terrifying all at once”. This is my second Sebald novel, and I think I’m getting the hang of reading him. I see the word “dreamlike” applied to his work, and that is certainly the case. Reading him is like being totally afloat in a rich play of sense and non-sense.
  • Piranesi by Susanna Clarke. I liked it, and I thought the characterization of the narrator and the overall tone was brilliantly handled, but I couldn’t help feeling a little underwhelmed by what is, ultimately, a fairly conservative novel. After reading so much Wolfe, I was dismayed at how little the form itself of this novel played with and thought about the novel’s own questions.
  • To Green Angel Tower, part 1 is the first half of the last novel in Tad Williams’ first big fantasy trilogy. This is not a novel that asks deep questions, but it is very intricate and very “plotty”, which makes for an engaging and fun and surprising diversion.
  • Koike and Kojima’s Lone Wolf and Cub, specifically the 3rd omnibus volume published by Dark Horse. Similar to the Tad Williams novels, this is a huge story with beautiful art. The action sequences are a pleasure to behold, but I find that my favourite part of this series is watching Daigorō grow up.
  • Jeff VanderMeer’s first novel Veniss Underground. Considered by itself, this was a bit messy and leaned too much into body-horror for my tastes. As a huge fan of VanderMeer and having read and loved every other novel that he has written, I was fascinated by this work. Veniss Underground seems to have an early version of nearly every preoccupation and question found throughout VanderMeer’s work so far.

What I watched

  • I’ve been really enjoying the new season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. It can occasionally get a little too melodramatic, and it doesn’t reach the same philosophical heights as series like DS9 or TNG, but it is by far the best of the new Trek series I’ve watched. The actors are all top notch and the commitment to an episodic storytelling structure is such a breath of fresh air.

What I listened to

  • I’ve been on a Genesis kick, listening lots to Foxtrot, Wind and Wuthering, and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.
  • I’m giving a second chance to We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank by Modest Mouse. I really didn’t care for it at the time. I can now appreciate that it sounds amazing as an album and there are some genuinely great songs on there. And it’s worth listening to at least for it being Eric Judy’s last album with the band. It is a mess, though. I am starting to suspect that Isaac Brock really needs to have Judy and Dann Galucci around to bring the best out of his songwriting.
  • My friend Ron Harrity released a wonderful tape called Ron in 60 Seconds. I love the concept: 60 second excerpts from a collection of recordings and demos and practice tapes made over the course of the last 4ish years. It sounds great and I love how the chronological format sets and breaks listener expectations. There are delightful “sets” within this album where sequential dates seem to naturally progress into one another, but there are so many little turns and disruptions. You’d expect to hear a singular “story” or to notice a singular type of “progress” throughout these tracks. Instead you get this rich and many-sided collection.

What I did

  • I took a short trip to the midlands in the UK to visit friends.

What I made

  • I made three short videos. Two were filmed here i mBaile Átha Cliath, and the other was filmed a few years ago on a pond in Maine in the fall. I sent along these videos for possible inclusion in a future installment of Tokinogake Films, a series of films released by the Tokinogake community and label. Click here to view the most recent Tokinogake film.