Monday, August 12, 2013

Call for Submissions: AnarchoSciFi Anthology

Obsolete Press is currently compiling work for an anthology of writing and artwork influenced by the ideas of Anarchy and Anarchism. Work should fit broadly into the “Science Fiction” genre and address the ideas of a stateless society or the efforts to escape the oppression of statism. 

How to Submit:
Send your writing submissions as rtf, doc or odt files, or artwork as jpg, to anthology editor, Ricardo Feral, at Obmag(at)feral-tech(dot)com. Please send writing without special formatting, double spaced, five space indented paragraphs, Times New Roman 12 pt font, 1 inch margins. Artwork should be 300dpi, 8”H X 5”W. Please include your name, email address, mailing address, and phone number at the top of your submission an a short bio (50 words or under) at the end.
Number of Pieces:
You may submit up to 3 pieces of work for consideration- fiction (under 4000 words) or Black and white illustrations or other artwork.
Cover Letter:
Include a cover letter in the body of the email. include previous publications, if any. We welcome submissions from unpublished authors, but work must be polished and print-ready. Please include your name, email address, mailing address, and phone number in your email cover letter. Please put YOUR ANTHOLOGY SUBMISSION in the subject line.
Reprints:
We will consider reprints. Please include publication information on previously published stories and artwork.
Bio:
At the end of your CL, please include a 2-3 line bio (50 words or under). This is what will appear on our contributors’ page.
Deadline:
submission period is July 15–September 15, 2013. We will be reading and making selections during and after the submissions period. Only authors whose work has been accepted will be notified. If you place your work elsewhere prior to its acceptance please let us know immediately.
Compensation:
If your submission is accepted, you will receive one free copy of the book. Authors will have the opportunity to buy additional copies at a 40% discount, 50% discount for orders of 10 books or more. You will also receive a 10% commission if you take bookstore orders that the publisher fills.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Mick Farren: The last OBSOLETE! Story.

This was supposed to be the first of a series of stream-of-conciousness column/rant/stories that Mick was going to write for OBSOLETE! Unfortunately, it was to be the last piece he will write for us. It's classic Mick Farren.
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WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM, AGENT X9?

”The very planet proves to be alive. And very pissed off.”

The report on you is filed, my friend. You, Agent X9, above all others, should realize that the data cannot be reversed. The algorithms of the Corporate Hegemony are inflexible. The images are graven. They rule with cool and absolute binary authority. The database may only be amended and items only added to the labyrinths of detail and the profiles that stretch to the edge of entropy. The report has been filed Agent X9. It has joined the endless and ultimately personal catalogues of caprices and conceits. A major responsibility of the Intelligence Committee of the Corporate Hegemony is to preserve the minutiae of peccadillo and purchase, intimacies and indiscretions and store them on the mainframes in those mines measureless to man. It is a vital foundation of the Sociopath Agenda. You were once one of our most respected Continental Operatives. As such you should be aware that absolutely nothing is reversible. All structures are indistinguishable one for another in infinite reflection, standardized by electric dissection and quantified by template. You are Damned Agent X9. That’s how they would have expressed it in the ancient days. What’s that? You want a cigarette? The general regulations specify this as a non-smoking facility but here in the white room we might make an exception. Will someone fetch Agent X9 a cigarette and the means with which to light it?
            The report is filed, Agent X9. Smoke your cigarette and reflect how the requirement is helplessness. The requirement has always been helplessness. Not only from the victim but from the victor. Our drones release death from the above. They fall free from a clear blue sky. They do not consider the merits of the mission or contemplate its morality. They are merely machines. The same could be said of the machines air-conditioned operators deep in their protected bunkers. They perform their assigned tasks. They calibrate for assigned targets. They are compliant. They obey. They do not question. In fact they strive for excellence in what they do. They believe the infallibility of their instructions. Remember the good Colonel Benton? "I feel no emotional attachment to the enemy. I have a duty, and I execute the duty.” You also believed Agent X9. When you were sent against the Hello Kitty subversion, the Deathless Men, The Horst Wessel Brigade or the Ancients of Lhasa you also complied with discussion or argument. What happened, Agent X9? When did you develop this philosophical schizophrenia? In former times, when you stood are you in hall of mirrors and the Lady from Shanghai opened fire, you ducked the shining shards and carried out your mission. What changed, Agent X9?
            Before the battle of Passchendaele a British general issued an order, “Maps must conform to plans and not plans to maps. Facts that interfered with plans were impertinencies.” The Intelligence Committee may not totally agree with this concept, but it certainly has its historical merits in that it is plainly a forerunner of modern thinking by the Corporate Hegemony what would ultimately find form in the Sociopath Agenda. The mass must move as one with a driven uniformity. For each to plot an individual course would create the abject chaos of uncharted anarchy. Law enforcement fills the prisons. It is their vocation. They are not required to reason why, just fill their quota. The sick die. The poor starve. The churches preach insanity. The advertising industry creates impossible desires and implausible expectations. Tolerance is eliminated and fear is substituted. The pliable iron is set in the soul of men. You have done your part in establishing that program, Agent X9. Ignorance has been nurtured and nourished. Pornography is encouraged. Paranoia is cultivated. The underclass is publicized as the ever-lurking threat. There but for the grace of consumption go you and go I. Their internecine criminality and territorial gang violence is tacitly fostered as a means of intimidation. Their drug traffic is clandestinely regulated and monitored to keep them within the designated boundaries by psycho-chemical manipulation. Education has now fully collapsed on itself and the children remain feral, but eruptions are managed and the destruction is confined to their own habitats. They burn their own turf. The bodycount is media fodder. The sub-culture is exploitable. Function is inflexible. Function is always inflexible.
Did you forget that Agent X9 when you flaunted your new found individualism? Individuality can only be the prerogative of a tiny and elevated elite and, even then, it must be subject to multiple and geometric restrictions. Public postures of leadership and private poses of decadence among this quasi-elite are as narrowly proscribed as the tailored delusions of the masses. They are permitted their gaudy party favors, their garish notoriety, and extravagant illusions of superiority, their deviant sex and their own costly and rarified varieties of recreation drugs. They are dazzled by their own glitter, their metallic eyelashes, and the contents of their gift bags. They are encouraged to amass their toys, their mansions, their yachts and their jets, to consume beyond reason, and leave their vast carbon tire tracks. They are conditioned to strive for fortunes so inflated they are abstractions. They are taught a magical arithmetic and a numerical concept of the elemental self-esteem. They are reminded how they are bright candles but the wind is always waiting.   
Even we on the Intelligence Committee do not attempt to think for ourselves. The very fabric of our society dictates that all levels adhere at all times to the essential construction of the Corporate Hegemony and the Sociopath Agenda. But you, Agent X9, have elected to think for yourself. You have embraced a condition is wholly singular, when, at the very least only the binary is recognized and only the totality is accessible or acceptable. You appear to believe you are the recipient of a revelation. You imagine you have seen the error of our ways. You have attempted to apply logic where logic is inapplicable. You make the essential mistake of believing that humanity as a species can be saved. As long ago as 1949, the great Harry Lime notably remarked, “Nobody thinks in terms of human beings. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever?” You ignore the crucial tipping point after which humanity became fully viral and its general survival became unworthy of consideration except in small and carefully selected superior enclaves. As for the rest, it is unfortunate. As a virus they are a destructive infection of the overall biosphere and only worthy of elimination. The choice is not easy but it has been made, and that choice is the core of the Sociopath Agenda.   
So you see, Agent X9, any misguided attempts you might make to save humanity or civilization as we know it are far too little and their lateness defies contemplation.
Your sorry attempt to forge a treasonous liaison with the Daughters of Gaia only serves to demonstrate your unqualified misinterpretation of the cybernetic feedback systems operated unconsciously by the biota. You linger in the 20th century. Agent X9. Once upon a time, the Corporate Hegemony assumed itself a total odds with the Lovelock proposal. They too saw no alternative to preserving humanity if only as producer/consumers. It was only when the emergent Intelligence Committee presented evidence of how human beings in their current numbers were inimical to the broad stabilization of the conditions of habitability in a full homeostasis that the higher thinking began to change. Our masters accepted that this world of humans is dying, Agent X9. They accepted it very easily. Parts of it are already dead. They cannot be resuscitated. Our only option was to maintain a semblance of order as the systems fail. It was the only alternative with which to retain power. The Corporate Hegemony was well aware they were the descendants of all feudal lords, warrior chieftains, violent dictators, and totalitarian butchers of old. In their form at the time of the tipping point they were opportunists motivated by self-interest and greed, and inclined to dominate or subjugate those around them through manipulative means. A new order needed to evolve from the previous policies of destructive self-interest. 
            We have no Cossacks, no pogroms, no purges, and no final solution. The secret police operate primarily for their own amusement. Humanity will be largely destroyed but we are not the destroyers per se. Lovelock himself made it clear. "The Earth System behaves as a single, self-regulating procedure with physical, chemical, biological, and human components". The Earth's survival depends on the interaction of living forms with inorganic elements and one of those living forms is now too degraded to be part of the interaction. The human component has grievously malfunctioned and Earth will eliminate it. The Earth itself will destroy humanity. That makes your failed alliance with the Daughters of Gaia all the more ironic. The very planet proves to be alive. And very pissed off. It will push man to extinction. The Corporate Hegemony may help speed the process in some small ways. An epidemic here. A famine there. A withdrawal of aid. A nuclear accident or a toxic cloud. The Earth will do the rest. It will throw off viral humanity. It will cure itself with earthquakes and volcanoes, fire and flood, climate shift, and things at which we can only guess. Our own minor efforts are what might be called transactional. We sacrifice our own kind in return for exceedingly limited numbers of us being allowed to continue as what might call living fossils. A tiny percentage of the former species world given sanctuary in protected enclaves from which we guarantee we will not spread and cause no more harm to planet. In this we embrace the largest possible picture. The Sociopath Agenda is, at root, an acceptance that humanity has outgrows any possible usefulness, and we are making what we can from its demise. Didn’t I make clear that the Corporate Hegemony was a coterie of advanced whores and evolved opportunists?
But what of you Agent X9. We on the Intelligence Committee are not the frivolous or gratuitous torturers of old. Pain is not our entertainment or distraction. Your life will merely be concluded as painlessly as possible because, knowing all that you know you cannot be allowed to persist, world at an end. Would care for another cigarette, Agent X9? And perhaps a blindfold?

© Mick Farren, Brighton UK, 2013     





Mick Farren: Do Gooders Suck


I ran across this article a while back in an ancient copy of the international times that I gought at a flea market. It's a good example of Mick Farren's early writing style. And, it's still relevant!