April miscellany

April 5, 2013

Good news for those who prefer pixels to paper:

Twelfth Planet Press have released the ebook version of The Angælien Apocalypse. It is available at the 12PP website and a number of other places. Mondy and the AA judges say it’s good.

And FableCroft have released an ebook of the under-appreciated Canterbury 2100 (originally published in print by Agog!), which includes “The Gnomogist’s Tale”. It is available here. This reviewer says it’s good.

Now playing: The Drones, “Nine Eyes”

As a tribute to the retiring biblical gigantology blog Remnant of Giants, I offer this passage from pp. 13-14 of Henry Howorth’s The Mammoth and the Flood: … after which he indeed goes on to collect, in his confessedly compilationist manner, the references to giants in Pliny, Plutarch, Philostratus, and other Greeks and Romans, as well as Augustine, and more modern sources such Kircher, Cuvier, and Figuier, by way of introduction to his “survey of the gradually increasing knowledge by which the true character of these remains was eventually determined.” (27)

Annual behavioural assessment

December 26, 2011

As a result of my naughtiness, I now possess a copy of Howorth’s 1887 disquisition on proboscidean palæontology and diluvial Catastrophism. Try to contain your mammoth jealousy.

The latest issue of The Journal for Critical Animal Studies is up (IX: I/II for those who are counting), which emerged from a workshop in Edmonton last year. Among many fine pieces by a range of wonderful philosopher-people, I have snuck in my essay on mammoth stories [pdf]. Congrats to Chloë for managing to edit and survive amid a titanic zombie infestation.

The Spring 2011 issue of Humanimalia is now online, including my essay “Reversing Extinction: Restoration and Resurrection in the Pleistocene Rewilding Projects” [pdf]. It’s about what happens when you situate wilderness at the threshold of, not European colonisation, but the arrival of Homo sapiens. For example, you attempt to recreate the mammoth steppe ecosystem. If you are a resourceful and inimitable Russian scientist, lack of mammoths isn’t necessarily a problem. Thanks again to Laurel McFadden for allowing the use of her photographs.

Who invented mammoth?

January 7, 2011

A travelling friend sent me this picture of a mysterious stencil graffito from Tallinn, Estonia.

It’s good to know that others, too, are enchanted by the question that haunts my frantic days and sleepless nights. Solidarity, my friends. Who indeed?

Good time, close shave

October 14, 2010

I was lucky enough to visit Edmonton last week for a workshop on the philosophy of the nonhuman from Asian and Continental perspectives. I got to hear and discuss work on topics from Spinoza to the Mahabharata, whales to the Kali Yuga, behaviourism to Bataille. That is, I went to heaven for a couple days.  My own paper was on conservationists’ use of the overkill hypothesis of Pleistocene megafauna extinction. Without going overboard and solving too many of the world’s problems, we appear to have managed some discussion amid our conversations.

It was a well-timed hit and run squeezed between Avatar director James Cameron’s industry-embedded visit to moderate his opinion of the Albertan oil sands, and the zombie outbreak that soon followed. Somehow I managed not to be infected by either. I’m intrigued as to the original vector of this epidemic that I assume has by now swept the entire nation. Was it the vengeance of nature against its oil-hungry despoilation? Perhaps some First Nations curse straight out of a bad Hollywood movie? Or rather was it the result of their contact with the king of the consumable spectacle world and his neocolonial conservationism?

I will have to leave the citizens of Edmonton to decipher the cause of their zombification. Though perhaps the rest of us ought to at least monitor their dilemma from a safe distance. There seems to be something at stake in mediating this undecidable.