Don't mistake the sluggishness of this blog for inactivity: there's been much going on behind the scenes lately. Most relevant to our purposes here are a couple of Philip K. Dick-related writing projects. I wrote a review of the final volume of the Selected Letters for the SFRA Review. It's not yet available online, but it will hopefully be up soon at the SFRA's website. (I may post it here soon as well.) More importantly, I have a forthcoming essay in Boom! Studios' comics adaptation of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? My piece, which looks at the theological and ethical content of DADOES (but not quite so boringly as I just made it sound), will appear in #21, due out sometime in March. I'm told that issue also includes some major material relating to the empathy-based religion of Mercerism and its enigmatic messiah, Wilbur Mercer-- quite appropriate, I think.
Then there's my best-things-I-read-this-year roundup for SF Signal's Mind Meld, which you can read here. I hope to return to this soon with a bit more robust listing of recently-read materials. (I've been kicking myself since late December because I completely forgot to mention what was actually the best thing I read last year-- C.M. Kornbluth and Frederik Pohl's The Space Merchants, which is every bit as good as you've heard and more.)
Less theologically-relevant, but certainly no less fun, I've been involved in the operation of a gallery show featuring the work of the Sucklord, easily the best artist working in the art-toy idiom. His bootleg toys, mostly cast in resin from remixed molds, are irritating, hilarious, and firmly rooted in a brand of nerdishness that I appreciate greatly. The Suckadelic universe contains only supervillains, with names like "Star Chump" and "Galactic Jerkbag." The Sucklord's primary reference points are in the Star Wars realm, but my favorite piece is a bit more obscure:
The Salarystak is the middle piece in a series that also includes the "Altrusian"--a simple-yet-elegant knockoff of Land of the Lost's Sleestak--and the Starstak, a highly-evolved future form of the same. In addition to the great visual, I love the SFnal moral dilemma that the Salarystak embodies:
"To which end of the spectrum is his pendulum swinging? He knows not, for he is ignorant of his place in the temporal timeline. He has closed the mental door of escape and filled the void with his Career, his family, his mortgage, his car, and his martinis. Only in his deepest subconscious lies the dim comprehension that there is a bigger picture and something greater is at stake..."
Of course, in the world of the Sucklord, a triptych is presented as a multi-figure blister-pack:
There is a very good chance that I'll be adding that little item to my collection before the show closes on January 23rd. Another contender, this one with a bit more theological flavor to it: A series of four Greek-ish gods, presented as supervillains, who govern everyday disappointments: Chronos (wasted time), Tyros (insufficient income), Daemos (aches and pains), Mordros (general aimlessness), Eros (a broken heart). Nicest touch: their heads are polyhedral dice. [UPDATE: How did I neglect to mention the most theological piece of all, the Crucifett?:]
You can check out what's for sale in the current gallery show at Suckshoppe.com and peruse the exhibit catalog below (warning: it's not for the faint of heart, the easily-offended, or those with good taste in general).