Exploring the forgotten worlds of Lazarou c. 2009

28 08 2012

Many moons ago when I was living a lonely time in the sub Arctic city of Leeds I would while away the night hours getting stoned and building a universe. Using a worldbuilding program called Astrosynthesis I populated a region of space in the neighbouring galaxy of the Large Magellanic Cloud with worlds, peoples and stories in a science fiction milieu of my own devising which had been developing in me since I was 10.

My grand dream was to create a “Google Earth” of this little bubble of adventure, horror and far out science fiction wizardry in the sibling galaxy to our own. It would something like the video game Frontier:Elite II, a game which stole part of my teenage years as a pilot of a starship in which I lived out Han Solo like fantasies of hoping from star system to star system.

As the nights went on I would let weed and the internet inspire new worlds and civilisations in  backdrop of an Atlantis like fallen civilisation which committed a terrible sin 10,000 years ago and saw all it’s posthuman wonders turn in on itself in an orgy of apocalyptic destruction. After the Fall the tattered remnants of the hubristic humans did battle with rogue AIs, subserviant biological playthings turning against their creators and anti-technological cults receeding back to simpler rustic lifestyles on decaying megastructures they no longer understand.

Into this drug fuelled space opera I thrust our descendants, a somewhat utopian (and smug) diverse collection of humans, aliens, enhanced animals and inscrutable AIs almost at the same level of magnificence as the original inhabitants of the Large Magellanic Cloud. This far off pocket of danger and mystery intrigues our descendants in the same way the darker and more violent corners of our world captivates the soft and plump minds of the “civilised” world.

But dark forces still move in the background to threaten the fun and adventure, things which are best left undisturbed are being prodded by the curious and thee greedy. Empires who are descended from the traumatised survivors of ten thousand years ago are either wary, affronted or openly hostile to the tourists from the “Great Spiral” and these upstarts have made homes on the abandoned, forbidden or sacred worlds at the haunted centre of their known universe.

I had largely forgotten the data files in the years since my time in Leeds, they had been kept safe on hard drives and discs but my creations had rescinded into the back corners of my mind. Re-awakening those memories now I find myself at the beguiling prospect of exploring the Cloud all over again and trying to piece together the worlds I had created under the inspiring influence of synthetic cannabis and Internet curiosities.

For example tonight I surprised myself with an asteroid habitat called “Rafael’s Rememberance” in the system of Vrsatu. My notes from years ago say it is a “Controversial habitat of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo clones and their Artist creators”
If memory serves then the “Artist creators” would be people from Earth, free to indulge their every whim in a post scarcity economy of a thousand years from now who bring back clones of celebrities from Terran history of every sort from Elvis to Hitler as some kind of biological artistic installation.

I have no idea who “Rafael Leonidas Trujillo” is though but a quick Google reveals he was a Latin American dictator from the mid 20th century. He was famous for bringing stability and prosperity to the Dominican Republic and for his shrewd nature but infamous for his violent oppression of dissent, occasionally invading nearby Haiti and for his sexual appetites involving any young maiden in his nation he so desired. Rather justly he met for a bloody end and now appears to have been revived on a rock 180,000 lights years from his former home as either some kind of living historical exhibit or an artistic investigation of power, injustice and decadence for conceited utopians to ponder over.
This is just one rock, in one star system of thousands which exist partly on my hard drive and partly in my head, now separated with enough time exploring all this again will bring up the surprises and delights that satisfy and inspire my dreams in a way no other space opera created by somebody else could quite manage.

Laz goes to the Olympic Closing Ceremony at Victoria Park

13 08 2012

So we’ve had our spectacle and you can tell from my whoops in the video it was all very impressive.

It was impossible not to be caught up in the ridiculous moment. While Russell Brand was up on the big screen cavorting around the stadium on his magic dream wagon drunken serfs whizzed over my head on the Boris Johnson zipline. It was a truly British spectacle, silly, slightly self deprecating and fun.

It is the Monday after the big party and the euphoria of the crowd and our Olympic successes have died down so now what?
The news is already reporting that the Olympics have done fuck all for the economy and it has cost each and every one of us £200 in a time when many of us are struggling to keep a roof over our head and food banks are just an everyday fact of life.

That’s right, the glitzy, shiny utopia of Britain (or should that be England) we’ve sold to the world can’t actually afford to feed itself were it not for charity and pity.

I, just as much as anyone felt a patriotic surge as our athletes did incredible things and won with humility and a grace that other countries seem to lack. Good for them, nobody can take that away from them.

But it’s a helluva lot of money to spend to “inspire” a generation to sporting excellence. £24 billion or thereabouts just to get a load of gold medals? I’m happy for the winners, really I am but it’s not like they’ve cured cancer, built homes for the homeless or even created great works of art that inspire generations.
It’s true, I’ve never really been a sporting person so perhaps sporting achievements are lost on me. To me I find the whole thing too abstract to see any real benefit to society from it and people will argue with me that not every achievement has to be so worthy.
Climbing a mountain or sailing around the world could be argued to be a similar kind of selfish achievement, as in few other people will benefit from the accomplishment. Yet I find those feats far more impressive than running a few seconds faster than everyone else down a track.
Perhaps I find feats of endeavour where it is Humanity versus Nature rather than pitting one person against another more rewarding because at least when you’ve climbed that summit or sailed that difficult voyage there isn’t someone in second place who feels like a failure.
Mind you, as a species we have a habit of making everything into a competition of winners and losers, so maybe it is in our firmware to behave like this (and is a good argument for updating that outdated biological firmware in my opinion!)

To come back to the original topic it is good that many of us feel proud to be British today, but when the Olympic hangover wears off and the vast gaps between the haves and the have nots become apparent again will we still feel proud, or just feel ever so slightly cheated?

How many of you reading this could actually afford to go see an Olympic event?
Did you feel included or just felt like you had to go along or be seen as an outsider? Did you feel like a citizen or a customer?

As a resident of London and one with barely a penny to rub together at the moment I can say I’ve not been to one single event, not been able to afford any of the overpriced crap forced on us and when I have turned up to free events have felt like cattle herded through high security cordons and afraid to step out of line for fear of being jumped by security guards, police officers and the army.

Just to get into Victoria Park last night we had to wait an hour in line not because it was too busy inside but because every single person had to be searched and their bags put through an expensive airport scanner to make sure we weren’t carrying in our own food and drink.

The more I look back at the past two weeks the more I feel confused and slightly taken for a ride.

What was it really all about?

How has my life been enriched by all this?

Were we all, as our American cousins put it “drinking the Kool-aid?”

Paul McCartney is interviewed by 6 Music

25 07 2012
Paul McCartney speaks to 6 Music

Paul McCartney speaks to 6 Music (from behind a silk screen so no-one gazes upon his Imperial visage)

“I was thinking as I looked across my lavish country estate, where the unicorns and dodos I had especially created for me roam free and out of sight of the hoi polloi…… why I don’t I go back to my old blues roots…y’know back before we went to Hamburg after John kicked that tramp to death?

  Then I thought, ‘even better idea Paul, why not charge the peasants £20 for the privilege?’ so I did. Then I had another good idea,y’know…and that was if anyone pirated my album across these new computer networks I read about in meedja I would have them fed to my dragons, bedebedo. Then Ringo ran me up from the scullery and said the quails eggs from Eric Clapton’s farm had arrived. It was time for tea!”

In response to “50 Shades Of Grey..”

9 07 2012

Someday I shall write a story about two people who go on erotic and romantic journey together in the far future which transcends traditional gender roles and partly exists in a digital universe where wild and implausible sexual acts are possible but also addresses the hilarity and pain of an internet relationship.

It will involve a rebellion of sexbots, sentient dildos, a colony of post-sexual bonobo chimps battling a near god-like AI who decides to develop the libido of a horny teenage human and expresses that sexuality with a fleet of phallic starships.

It will feature weird alien sex parties, aliens making fun of weird human sex parties and sexless AI’s making fun of the antics of meatbags (while obsessing over mathematical porn.).

In the end the two main characters won’t marry and breed, they’ll realise that after light years of adventures together they’ve grown into different people and agree to part company but always keep in touch and have a special place in their cyborg hearts for each other.

Neither one of them will “own” the other whether financially or emotionally but complement each other, they will be two different people on the surface but deep down have a connection verging on telepathy.

There will be no sparkly vampires, no age difference which verges on the creepy even though their chronological ages might be centuries apart and both characters will learn and develop as fully rounded people.

Both men and women, straight and LGBT will be able to read it. It will look to the future rather than wallow in the past.

This will only be written once a legal combination of Ketamine, MDMA and Viagra becomes available.

— Laz xxx

Pigeons, The Barbican and the future of Humanity in a Post Human world.

18 06 2012


Sitting here working away next to the fountains and ornamental lakes outside the Barbican Foodhall I note the activities of the feathered rats of the sky, pigeons.

Now I don’t mean to disparage the creatures, (despite the unfortunate diseases they and their rodent brothers carry) in the world of Nature they are great survivors. Like the urban fox they have entered into the bizarre and alien world we humans have built around us when confronted with this they’ve risen up to the challenge and flourished. Pigeons, unlike the ridiculous and over specialised Giant Panda, have not thrown up their limbs in defeat but waddled head on into our technological jungle and thrived.

Though mighty and powerful we are careless gods. Like the Olympians of Old we are not omnipotent, wise and capable of infinite love. WE Human gods are careless and belligerent, casually fouling the landscape and occasionally unleashing bouts of inexplicable cruelty on each other and the lesser beings of the world. But for the plucky survivors of the natural world, the ones who learn and adapt this state of affairs suits them fine.

Across from me a man becomes mildly bothered by the ever more bold advances of a hungry pigeon. He waves a rolled up Bauhaus poster at the instinctive beast with barely a thought. The feathered rat hops away unharmed and the man carries on to ponder the juxtaposition of form and design or who he wants to fuck tonight.

In the Pigeon’s simple mind it cannot comprehend why the Human did what he did, in the Human’s mind it was given barely a thought beyond “fucking pigeon.”

What has this to do with the inevitable day when our technology supersedes it’s creators and takes over the whole game?

Well, just as we don’t wipe out every living thing on the planet because we rule the roast (we just slaughter the ones who get in our way or are too pathetic to evolve into a new situation) so our future AI overlords will not instinctively wipe us out the moment they get the chance like in so much of our fiction.

If we brought them up right (and I think the metaphor of parent/child is very apt when it comes to our technological children) then our AI superiors will “love” us in the manner of some doddering old parent, irrelevant, comical but not a cause for all out genocide (it does take a lot of effort after all.)

If we bring them up carelessly then it still doesn’t mean they will wipe us all out, down to the last human. Only if we get in their way will they swat us down like a pigeon who overstepped the mark. Most likely those AIs will take up the challenge of expanding out into the wider Galaxy and all the possibilities and resources it holds, something we seem to have given up on due to our inability to mind how resources are distributed in our global society (for example the US spends more on air conditioning it’s troops in Afghanistan than the entire budget of NASA!)

In the Post Human world many of us will stumble around a landscape as bizarre and impressive as the Barbican appears to the pigeons, feeding off the waste of the AIs (be that in the form of energy, materials, real estate,etc) never truly understanding why the world is the way it is or what the AIs are up to but so long as we don’t annoy them we won’t get hit by a rolled up Bauhaus poster.

Some may see this vision of our future as depressing.

Sure, we could really seize on the possibilities coming to us in this century and merge with this technology thus making us not only more than human but actually capable of building and maintaining the perfect society we dream about but are too cynical or pragmatic to ever believe will happen.

Sure, we could try and put the genie in the bottle, ban high technology and try to return to some mythical pastoral ideal but Pol Pot tried that and the killing fields of Cambodia stand testament to how that all turned out. We have 7 billion people living on this planet, are you going to reduce that number to 250 million to be more in balance with the planet and then have the audacity to call the AIs inhuman monsters?

So those our three options for the future.

1) Transhuman utopia, we ourselves become very different but better people.

2) Luddism, collapse and genocide.

3) Pests and Pets.

Ideally I’d go for option 1, and I’ll rant on about it until everyone dies or I’m uploaded into a Matrix as a reward for supporting the AIs. Pragmatically we’ll end up with option 3, unless we REALLY fuck up.

Right now a pigeon has hopped from one table to a table right next to me. It’s comical head amuses me. If it lands on my laptop I’ll break it’s neck…….

Just when you thought the public were coming round to a sensible attitude to drug use, The Sun posts an article

3 05 2012
The Sun. Making Britain a laughing stock since the 1970s

Stay classy you phone hacking criminals….

With the top rated comments in most British newspaper stories about drugs repeating the line “Regulate, tax and educate” you might think we’re making a turn against the disastrous “War on Drugs.”

But wait! The Sun (that fine purveyor of tits and celebrity voicemail messages) comes along with this story about two deaths from Legal Highs. Worse still, the victims were attractive young women who would otherwise have been up for getting drunk and flashing their funbags at leering Sun readers. When will the governments come in and ban this filth?!

Needless to say the article is standard tabloid half-truths, emotive language and poor research (I’ve not heard of half of the legal highs quoted as destroying our Nation’s young.) But,you don’t go to the Sun for information and balanced opinion do you? You go for celebrity gossip, football gossip and to feel angry at some minority for some vague reason.

I hear people defend their reading of The Sun by saying “well I don’t take it seriously, it’s a laugh innit?” Well that is the same reasoning people use for voting for Boris Johnson as London Mayor today  rather than being a bit of harmless fun this shit actually matters.

Take a look at these comments and then consider that (barring any paranoid suggestions that many of these are just Sun staffers posting shit to get viewers and debate going) these are people who walk the streets and have the ability to vote.

How many “governments” are there in this country?

Compassion is for the weak! End of! (look at my pwetty dog!)


Actually with an unregulated market and without intelligent discussion of the risks and benefits of drugs you don’t know the risks. And life isn’t “simple” as you put it, if it were idiots like you wouldn’t be constantly baffled and frustrated by life.

To be fair there are comments which bring up the hypocrisy of booze and fags being legal while far less dangerous substances are demonised but the idiots are still very vocal and I’m sad to say represent a large group of the population that still need to be educated about drugs (and for that matter a million other things but you can lead a horse to water…)

I post my thoughts an hour ago on this article yet I fear they may never see the light of day because I mentioned the elephant in The Sun’s press room “voicemail hacking” as well as posting a link to an intelligent resource on all matters drug related “www.erowid.org” I also appealing to reader’s ability to find their own answers and STOP TYPING EVERYTHING IN CAPITALS which I guess is against News International’s comment policy.

How much you want to bet they tried to hack the voicemails of the two dead women in the article eh? 😉

Game Of Thrones: In my subconscious it’s taken a sci-fi/geo-political drama twist.

1 05 2012

Game Of Worlds

Ahhh, the sublime pleasure of following a big TV series and letting it pervert your subconscious as you fall asleep.It’s happened with The Wire marathons (I still say “police” as “pol-lice”) and Battlestar Galactica (where I sided with the Cylons and don’t act like you are surprised) and now it’s happened with sex and sorcery fest Game Of Thrones.

If I have one problem with the fantasy genre it’s that it lives in the past. Now I’m not against historical entertainment (although using “historical” to describe Spartacus is stretching things a little it’s still appallingly good fun) but I get a little uneasy when Fantasy glorifies a luddite world in which democracy and equality hasn’t been invented yet. I’m a republican (in the British sense, not the horrific America sense of the term) so swearing fealty to some noble twat because of his birthright sits badly with me. I’m with the anarcho-syndicalist in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, leaders will only fuck things up (unless they are of the Machine variety!)

So this morning my mind tweaked Game Of Thrones into a form more pleasing to my ideology;

What if a technologically advanced world of 7 billion people on the brink of collapse accidentally created  a wormhole to a sparsely developed land of medieval kingdoms who still believed in magic?

The dream opens with a learned and cynical stranger advising a boy-king without a kingdom on who these strange and powerful new ursurpers are in the land of Westeros. With their powerful machines, odd customs and miraculous medicines they have established a foothold on the land and hookwinked lords and bannerman into allowing vast mines and oil drilling to take place. Their peasentry have been turfed off their turnip farms to operate jack hammers and carry pipelines through virgin forests.

Though to the boy-king’s eyes the strangers operate in magic the teacher from afar assures him it’s not magic but something called “science” which makes their miracles come to life. Mirrors that tell stories and show sporting events, noisy contraptions that hover and fly across the land, lamps which burn forever and light up the night sky so the stars are blocked out, huge metal monsters on wheels that dig up the ground like the giants beyond the Wall and most of all a supernatural link connects all the outlanders via little boxes in their hands or things in their ear. The teacher tells the boy that his people are in constant contact with one another regardless of distance. When political machinations occur in Kings Landing the outlanders know about it on the other side of Westeros. What is more, through their mechanical eyes in the sky the outlanders have seen things of the boy’s world only spoken of in legend, strange blue people in the icy north and fire-breathing dragons and vast ruined cities in the deserts of the East. And the Outlanders want to know more.

From a rain soaked pre-fab cabin the Site Administrator pours over last night’s reports as he sups what passes for coffee on this world. Oil and gas production from the Dornish Marshes continues it’s steady increase, millions of gallons of precious energy helping to put Europe back on the world map again. Minerals and metals from mines in the Vale Of Arryn coming in via the new railroad, delivering the raw materials that have brought the economies of the Eurozone back from the brink. But despite all this good news the Administrator feels a great unease, an unease shared by many back home, back through the wormhole accidentally opened ten years ago by a daring experiment at CERN.

The price of Europe’s second renaissance comes at the exploitation of a whole continent. Sure, the nations of Europe have a long tradition of imperialism but those days were supposed to be long behind them. To compete with the new super-power of China and keep their heads above the up and coming BRIC economies the liberal Europeans have had to unearth some dark habits from their past.

Would that the Wormhole been opened in China (and it will surely be any day now when their own wormhole project gives fruit) then the outside world would never have heard about the scandals and crimes committed by rogue operators. The barbaric conditions of the Rio Tinto mines near Harrenhal wouldn’t have been leaked to the Internet by activists and the rebellion would never have happened. Had the citizens of Europe not been so passionate of their right to free speech the Administrator would not have been forced to deploy military units to “pacify” the situation there.

Such acts made the facade the Administrator put up to smooth relations with the people of this world (and the more left wing  members of his own people on this world) ever more difficult. “We healed their sick, cleaned up their filthy cities and showered the upper castes with trinkets and baubles” thought the Administrator  “but some of the more wily characters in Westeros are catching on to what a one sided deal they are really getting from us. We never should have let that little fella onto the Internet, not that he wouldn’t have worked things out for himself eventually anyway.”

The Administrator had a lot of respect for the new king on the Iron Throne, he knew how to play the game and sidelined many dangerous players with little bloodshed (although the massacre at Pyke and the drone strike at Dragonstone were notable exceptions) but he was never sure which side the diminutive guy was on.

The Administrators PA buzzed in the first meeting of the day. It would be a difficult meeting for it was to be with the Director of Sustainability and as the Administrator glanced across the vast and ugly building site that was Base Alpha  (also known as the “Dirty City Of Eternal Lights” by the locals) the Administrator admitted she had a point. Back home they said that by 2030 Earth needed another planet of equal size and resource to sustain her expensive lifestyle (and thank the playful scientists of CERN) they had found one, but the people of Earth were making the same mistakes with this planet as they were with their tired and worn homeworld.

Confidential reports however, hinted that this world wasn’t entirely defenseless against the might of 21st century Earth. Drones had reported strange things going on beyond the impressive wall the locals had built across the North. Relics brought in by traders from the East in exchange for a 3D entertainment system (and the fuel cells to power it) showed levels of technology beyond even that of the home planet. They called it “magic” but the Administrator couldn’t accept that as an explanation and the boffins in the top secret labs of Base Alpha found evidence that past civilisations of this world had a mastery of genetics and nano-technology that were at least a century ahead of Earth’s if not more.

Drone cam footage of Dragon attack near Qarth