I’ve been away from Tumblr! I didn’t have stuff auto-queued when I went to Japan. Catch up on Broodhollow, because the first book will end sooner than you think!
Also!! My store is having a sale for May to commemorate the 8th birthday of Starslip. It started in May 2005. Whoa. All my books are $8.00. AND I have Broodhollow pins and prints in stock right now!!
My host died — died!!! — this afternoon and still hasn’t come back up yet, so I’m posting tomorrow’s Broodhollow to Tumblr here.
I used to recommend DreamHost to people, but I can no longer do so. It’s not that they are a terrible host; I’ve had a lot of luck with them. But I’m starting to get the feeling that it’s just that: I’ve had luck with them. A lot of others I know have been very unlucky.
All I know is, when something hits DH, it goes down hard and stays down for hours at a time. Once, when the web was more of a Wild West proposition, this felt okay. Hey, no one knows how this crazy thing works, right? Now it’s unacceptable. They can’t even estimate within an order of magnitude when it’ll come back up. I don’t know if that’s on top of contingencies they have, or if they have no contingencies whatsoever. It’s a bummer.
Anyway! Wednesday’s strip is up there.
DREAM DIARY: LEARNING INSTITUTION
Over at Broodhollow on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’ve been entries from a dream journal I’ve kept for about ten years. They are actual dreams I’ve had, and have not been cleaned up to fit an after-the-fact narrative. I was very pleased with this one when I had it!
The dream begins at what seems like the end of a movie. A college dean wearing a gray suit races around the panicked campus of his university while total pandemonium rages around him. Crowds flee and scream in mass confusion, the ground shakes, brickwork shifts and falls loose from lecture hall facades.
Ornate metal trees made of bronze and silver, the size of oaks, suddenly grow out of the ground in a matter of seconds. Buildings become formless, like amoeba. The dean makes his way to a podium with a microphone to try and calm the crowd. It looks as if a graduation has been interrupted by this hysteria.
Before he can say much, two huge black leather shoes many times bigger than him unearth themselves beneath him — soles up — and the dean is thrown to the ground. The shoes weren’t just shoes, but feet in shoes, clad in dress socks. As ankles and calves rise from the dirt, like a man flung feet-first from reverse quicksand, the hems of a gray pair of pants appear. They are duplicates of his pants, his shoes, his legs.
They disappear just as quickly. The shaken dean scrambles to his feet and again approaches the microphone to shout:
“The university is alive. It’s tired of being a place of learning. It wants to learn.”
This was an art and design college that somehow had developed an intelligence, and the power to manipulate reality, and the desire to experiment with it. In this way it can draw, and sculpt, and create. It does not mean to do harm, but it isn’t human and doesn’t share our morals, our ethics, our worldview. It can’t.
The dean shouts into the microphone again. “It only wants to make art!”
The chancellor of the school, a hunched, frail old man, hobbles up to the stage to take the microphone. But before he can, a translucent block of some kind encases him completely. For an instant he can’t move or breathe — then the block subtly reconfigures itself internally with him inside, completely scrambling and destroying the old man’s body.
In a single liquid stroke, what was once the old man now took the form of a very featureless, mannequin-like seated nude. The university did not simply strip the old man and place him in a seated position. It liquified him, and used the components to make a three-dimensional extrapolation of a painting. The “linework” that made up this three-dimensional “drawing” was actually composed of thin lines of blood, latticed into place within that clear plastic cube. As the ground shook, the blood shifted gently inside that framework of lines.