Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. Blog, Internet resources, online reading groups, articles and interviews, Illuminatus! info.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Caplan vs. Wilkinson on basic income

Bryan Caplan 

Will Wilkinson 

Two of my favorite libertarian thinkers, Bryan Caplan (at the EconLog blog) and Will Wilkinson (at the Niskanen Center) are scheduled to debate each other at the International Students for Liberty conference Feb. 17-19 in Washington, D.C. 

If you are familiar with these guys, you can probably guess which side each is taking. Caplan is a hardcore libertarian. Wilkinson is a "liberaltarian" who argued that Trump was such a danger, libertarians should support Hillary Clinton in the recent election.

I very much hope that the debate will be filmed and/or recorded so that it will be available to those of us who can't be at the conference. But even if it isn't, perhaps we can get some sense of the debate from online postings from the two.

Caplan certainly isn't waiting until next month to open fire. Here is his initial posting on the debate, and here is his follow-up post attacking the idea. And see the comments; EconLog is moderated to make sure that trollers and troublemakers are weeded out.

I haven't seen anything lately from Wilkinson on the subject, but here is his post from back in October. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday links

Big collection of podcast archives from StarShipSofa, audio science fiction magazine. I plan to listen to the Jack Vance interview soon. Via the Prometheus Award Twitter, which you are invited to follow, as I run it these days.

"Paradox and Nonsense: Crowley and Deleuze # 2" by Oz Fritz. I blogged part one. "Once again, the virtual anamesis of Robert Anton Wilson  has agreed to join us," Oz writes.

Julian Sanchez on Donald Trump's  insecure cell phone.

RIP Larry Smith. If you go to science fiction conventions, you've probably shopped at his bookselling table.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

My civil liberties portfolio

Feeling a need lately to become more politically engaged, I have joined the American Civil Liberties Union and also joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I have also formally rejoined the Libertarian Party, after an absence of many years. Here is the party's new press release on immigration.  After the last election the immediate aftermath, I confess that I am less inclined to apologize these days for calling myself a "libertarian."  And it seems like a good idea to stand up for real libertarianism, as opposed to the alt-right and other varieties.

In related news, I've moved up the "Sangha" section of the website up, making the latest news from sites I consider allies easier for site visitors to find.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Robert Anton Wilson eBay auction update

Robert Anton Wilson's household lamp! Soon to be yours, if you bid enough money. Note the Maynard Solomon biography of Beethoven on the bookshelf.

The Robert Anton Wilson auction on eBay announced a few days ago here and at the usual other news sites continues, and as promised Christina Pearson has been updating the auction with a continual stream of new items. Some of the items will have been sold by the time this blog entry posts, but you can still bid for "Bob & Arlen's Japanese incense burner" and the autographed William Burroughs t-shirt, and other items.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Waywords and Meansigns returns with new edition

Waywords and Meansigns — the ongoing project to turn James Joyce's opus Finnegans Wake into an audiobook, often with accompanying music — is being released in a third edition soon, project director Derek Pyle has announced.

So far, there have been two editions. The first edition covered the entire book. The second edition was supposed to cover the entire book, except that Mike Watt never finished his chapter. (Supposedly, it will finally be out soon.) Both editions are available free for downloading or listening at the website.

The first two editions covered big sections by each contributor and attempted to cover the entire book. The third edition, which will be the last big release, will consist of shorter bits and more contributors.  The first batch of contributors for the third edition has now been announced, with more announcements to follow.

The names of some of the previous contributors will likely be familiar to at least some readers of this blog: See my interview with Steve "Fly" Pratt and Peter Quadrino. See also my interview with record producer David Kahne (Paul McCartney, Sublime, the Bangles, Bruce Springsteen, etc.), who also was a contributor. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

My favorite hippie physicist turns 80

Nick Herbert

Nick Herbert turns 80, and celebrates his life with a charming poem. 

The Quantum Tantra blog is always worth a look. My favorite post is "Nick Meets the Galactic Telepaths." ("For the next few days I was obsessed with this contact and tried to discover other members of the group. Some of my psychedelic pals in the Stanford psychology department were prime candidates but they all shrewdly denied being galactic telepaths.")

Note: Just to be all technical about it, Wikipedia says that Nick turned out back on Sept. 7. But the poem "Nick at 80" has just been published.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

'Introduction to Reality Tunnels'

After referring the reader to an interesting essay included in The New Inquisition (one of the few RAW books I haven't read yet), mykola bilokonsky pens a short piece for Medium which attempts to give a brief explanation of reality tunnels.

He writes, "In the coming weeks I’m going to be writing additional essays around this subject. Reality Tunnels are, to my mind, the single best tool for understanding the chaos of ‘post-truth’ postmodern world. They are being weaponized and deployed at massive scale, and the sooner we as a society develop the ability to see them the sooner we can respond to them."

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Reading Alan Watts

The real Alan Watts is no longer available for lectures, but Puppet Alan Watts is available!

I recently decided to take the Arthur Hlavaty reading course on Alan Watts, e.g., to read the Watts books he recommends. 

Yesterday, I finished The Book: On the Taboo against Knowing Who You Are. 

Here is the description from the publisher's blurb:

"At the root of human conflict is our fundamental misunderstanding of who we are. The illusion that we are isolated beings, unconnected to the rest of the universe, has led us to view the “outside” world with hostility, and has fueled our misuse of technology and our violent and hostile subjugation of the natural world. In The Book, philosopher Alan Watts provides us with a much-needed answer to the problem of personal identity, distilling and adapting the ancient Hindu philosophy of Vedanta to help us understand that the self is in fact the root and ground of the universe. "

Although he doesn't use the term, I related the book to the Buddhist doctrine of "no self." It's an interesting book. I've checked out a couple of Watts' other audiobooks/lectures; it's obvious that The Book was a concentrated attempt to collect some of his best thoughts.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Tickets on sale for big London show!

Here's your big Jan. 23 news: Tickets have now gone on general sale for the performance of the Cosmic Trigger play in London. The play runs May 4th-27th. If you act fast, you may be able to get tickets at a discount by taking advantage of early bird offers. Details here. 

Daisy Campbell had some earlier ticket announcements, but as they were meant only for folks on her mailing list so that they could attend special "find the others" events, I did not feel I could post them here. But now she says, "Do spread the word!" Anytime, Daisy!

Needless to say, if you are a RAW fan and you can afford to get to London in May, you should do so.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

RAW memorabilia auction begins

As promised earlier, Robert Anton Wilson's daughter Christina Pearson has launched an auction on Ebay of personal items that RAW once owned.

As of Sunday morning, eight items were being offered for sale: a "last blanket," his briefcase, a WAMM (Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana) baseball cap, and five t-shirts. More items will be added soon.

I always enjoy Christina's letters when the estate makes its announcements; you can read her announcement about the sale.  Excerpt:

Every memento listed comes from my dad’s home, and was present in his home when he died. Where I have a picture, I have shared it, so you can see for yourself, whether it is Bob in a teeshirt, or a picture of a bookshelf of his. Many items I do not have photos of, but they were his, nonetheless, and I will be including a card personally signed by me attesting to the validity of his personal ownership with every single item purchased. I am also including a few items that belonged to my mom, Arlen, who truly was the great love of my dad’s life. Guys, don’t you want to see Arlen’s necklace on the neck of your beloved?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Arthur publishes his (latest) ish

Arthur Hlavaty 

Arthur Hlavaty, popular blogger, also continues to put out fanzines, although now you can get them by email and online, and if you are old school you can still get them in mail. I liked a lot of bits in his new fanzine, Nice Distinctions 30:  The piece on writer Richard Russell, the article on "Star Trek" books (Arthur read them before he had seen the TV series), the bit about non-binary thinking, but for obvious reasons, I'm going to reprint what he wrote after this blog finished the group reading of Cosmic Trigger. -- The Management]

*At the end of a group reread*
At this point, I couldn’t tell you how much _Cosmic Trigger_ specifically expanded my mind, as opposed to the rest of the Robert Anton Wilson oeuvre. Even before _Illuminatus!_ I was predisposed to think that we all live in our own reality tunnels (with strong restrictions from that which does not go away when we stop believing in it). RAW gave me a structure for it.
      My reality tunnel is one in which physical science works: The Earth goes around the Sun; vaccines prevent disease and don’t cause autism; toads don’t fall out of the sky. On the other hand, “scientific” studies of people are at best limited and conflicting. That was a disappointment because I had to give up on the hope for something like Asimov’s psychohistory, where the animalistic second-circuit activity of politics could be overcome by third-circuit people figuring things out.
      I leave what will probably be my final reading of Cosmic Trigger with a similar sadness: We didn’t get the SMI2LE stuff; the Quantum metaphor is outdated; I wouldn’t have had the courage and discipline to follow Aleister Crowley even if I’d trusted him.
      But then there’s the Final Secret. When Wilson’s beloved daughter is brutally murdered by a violent loser to whom we owe the courtesy and respect that is every human being’s due but not much more, he refuses to seek vengeance, and I will always love and honor him for that.

-- Arthur Hlavaty

From Nice Distinctions 30, available here.

Friday, January 20, 2017

John Higgs on 'Operation Mindfix' [UPDATED]

John Higgs

John Higgs put up a new post, "For Robert Anton Wilson's Birthday – some words on Operation Mindfix" to mark RAW's Jan 18 birthday. Higgs believes that we are in the middle of Operation Mindfuck more than ever these days, and suggests some ways to cope.

He suggests that one way out is to "find the others." Explaining the workings of coming together, he says:

"It understands that social media can be used for finding those who chime with us but that there is no point in using it to shout at the different. It comes from a recognition that being a consumer and a critic are not enough, and that we won’t be fulfilled until we step up and contribute in our own individual way. It involves the virtuous circle of people being inspired by people being inspired. It centres of the understanding that meaning exists, but it needs to be self-generated."

There's some rather good advice for Twitter, etc., in there: "Social media can be used for finding those who chime with us but that there is no point in using it to shout at the different."

John also discusses RAW's agnosticism, and it yields this good sentence: "The ultimate goal of the agnostic is not to become right, but to become less wrong."

John argues that alt right folks can become trapped in their dogmatism. [This isn't quite what he was trying to say; see the comments.] I'll offer the suggestion that this also can happen to leftists, libertarians, traditional conservatives, etc.

Read the whole thing. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

RAW piece on German radio

Back in September, we noted here and also here that German public radio was planning to air a piece on Robert Anton Wilson.

"Operation Mindfuck - Robert Anton Wilson zwischen Erleuchtung und Verschwörung," e.g. "Operation Mindfuck - Robert Anton Wilson between enlightenment and conspiracy" is now listed on German public radio's website. 

The website says it will air Jan. 24. "The radio play is available for a limited time after the broadcast for free download," says a translation of the website.

The piece is by Maximillian Netter; if you follow my link, you can see he's the guy who traveled to California to interview various folks who were part of RAW's life.

"Max says they may release it in English if they can get a deal with the BBC. We’ll keep you posted," says Richard Rasa, metaprogramming director for the Robert Anton Wilson Trust and the head honcho at Hilaritas Press.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

More on basic income

Scott Sumner

Robert Anton Wilson's interest in basic income seemed far out at the time, but now it's become a proposal that's in the mainstream.

Finland has launched a basic income experiment with 2,000 people.  (Hat tip, John Merritt)

Here are some interesting comments from Scott Sumner.  And he also takes time to answer some questions in the comments.

Some days, I favor an basic income guarantee, but sometimes I wonder if Congress shouldn't just make the Earned Income Tax Credit much bigger.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lawsuit seeks to destroy Techdirt

Mike Masnick isn't just a Robert Anton Wilson fan.  He also runs the Techdirt website, which has been a big resource for digital civil liberties in the Obama administration and also will be a big resource in the Trump administration — if he can stay in operation.

A self-proclaimed "inventor of email" has sued Masnick for $15 million. He's represented by the lawyer who sued Gawker and drove it into bankruptcy. At the Volokh Conspiracy, David Post writes, "There’s an enormous amount at stake here, as part of what promises to be a fierce battle over 'opening up,' as Donald Trump referred to it, our libel laws. Defenders of free speech will be sorely tested, and they will have to pick their battles; Masnick’s is an important one, and his posting lists a number of ways you can help him fight it."

Here is Masnick's article about the lawsuit.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Prometheus Hall of Fame finalists announced

[As I've mentioned before, the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award was the only literary award that Illuminatus! ever got. Thought I'd share the announcement for the latest finalists for the award. (I'm very active in the group that gives the award, the Libertarian Futurist Society.) Here is the official press release. -- The Management.]

The Libertarian Futurist Society has chosen six finalists for the 2017 Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, given in recognition of a classic work of science fiction or fantasy with libertarian themes. This year’s finalists are

"As Easy as A.B.C.," by Rudyard Kipling (first published 1912 in London Magazine), the second of his "airship utopia" stories, portrays a crisis in a twenty-first century society where an unpopular minority calls for the revival of democracy, and a largely hands-off world government is forced to step in and protect them.

"Conquest by Default," by Vernor Vinge (first published 1968 in Analog) is his first exploration of the idea of anarchism, in which a stateless alien society visits an Earth recovering from nuclear war. The story combines a novel approach to the problem of avoiding the decay of anarchy into government with an evocation of the tragic impact of cultural change.

"Coventry," by Robert A. Heinlein (first published 1940 in Astounding Science Fiction) envisions the Covenant, a social compact under which breaking the law, as such, cannot be punished unless actual harm to someone has been demonstrated. The story contrasts that society with a lawless "anarchy" into which those who break the covenant are sent.

"Harrison Bergeron," by Kurt Vonnegut (first published 1971 in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction), satirizes the idea of radical egalitarianism with a portrayal of a society where all talented people are compulsorily brought down to average --- until one gifted youth rebels against the system.
"Starfog," by Poul Anderson (first published 1967 in Analog) envisions a widespread interstellar society millennia after the fall of a Galactic Empire, unified by the Commonality, a mutual aid organization. The story explores methods of carrying out large-scale projects through voluntary cooperation and market incentives under conditions where central control is unworkable.

"With Folded Hands ..." by Jack Williamson (first published 1947 in Astounding Science Fiction), uses science fiction to satirize the modern "nanny state" and explore an ethical theme: the peril of unrestricted authority, even (or especially) when it is used totally altruistically to take care of those subjected to it.

In addition to the six finalists, the Hall of Fame Committee considered eight other works: "The End of the Line," by James H. Schmitz; "The Exit Door Leads In," by Philip K. Dick; The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood; The Island Worlds, by Eric Kotani and John Maddox Roberts; Lord of the Flies, by William Golding; Manna, by Lee Correy; "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas," by Ursula Le Guin; and A Time of Changes, by Robert Silverberg.

The final vote by LFS members will take place in mid-2017. The Prometheus Hall of Fame award will be presented at a major science fiction convention.
The Prometheus Awards, one of the oldest fan-based awards in SF, have recognized outstanding works of science fiction and fantasy that dramatize the perennial conflict between liberty and power, expose the abuses and excesses of coercive government, critique or satirize authoritarian ideas, or champion individual rights and freedoms as the mutually respectful foundation for civilization, cooperation, peace, prosperity, progress and justice.

Nominees, which must have been published or broadcast at least five years ago, may be in any narrative or dramatic form, including prose fiction, stage plays, film, television, other video, graphic novels, song lyrics, or epic or narrative verse; they must explore themes relevant to libertarianism and must be science fiction, fantasy, or related genres.

Nominations for the 2018 Hall of Fame Award can be submitted at any time to committee chair William H. Stoddard. While only LFS members are eligible to nominate, any fan, author or publisher may suggest works for consideration.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Philip Jose Farmer's 'Riders of the Purple Wage'

It occurred to me this weekend that I ought to say something about Philip Jose Farmer's Hugo Award winning novella "Riders of the Purple Wage," as this is a blog aimed at readers, and sombunall of you would possibly be interested.

Published originally in Harlan Ellison's famous 1960s  anthology, Dangerous Visions, "Riders of the Purple Wage" also has long been one of my favorite stories. RAW was a Farmer fan and Farmer was a RAW fan, as you can see here.

It is the earliest SF story I can think of that talks about a basic income guarantee (the "purple wage" of the story's title) and it contains many puns and explicitly name checks James Joyce's Finnegans Wake.

Aside from being found in Dangerous Visions, the story is reprinted in four Farmer collections, The Purple Book, Riders of the Purple Wage, The Best of Philip Jose Farmer and The Classic Philip Jose Farmer 1964-1973  and also is found in an early Hugo Awards anthology, the vol. 1 and 2 book edited by Isaac Asimov. For information about Farmer, go here.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Eight Circuit news

G.I. Gurdjieff

The folks at Disinfo has posted a new piece: "A Second Look At Leary’s Eight Circuit Model: Gurdjieff’s Law Of Octaves And The Major Arcana Of The Tarot," by Phillip Newman. Newman's piece explains the eight circuit model of consciousness developed by Timothy Leary and discussed by Robert Anton Wilson in Prometheus Rising, explains how Leary sought to apply it to the major arcana of the Tarot and then says, "Had Leary paid closer attention to his Gurdjieff while residing at Millbrook, he might have thought to apply the sequence of Tarot cards to Gurdjieff’s Law of Octaves." An explanation of the Law of Octaves follows.

I don't know anything about Newman, but a bio explains, "P.D. Newman is a member of Tupelo Lodge No. 318, Free and Accepted Masons. He has had papers published by the MS Lodge of Research, Guthrie Scottish Rite Journal, Knight Templar Magazine, Ad Lucem Journal, The Invisible College, Dragibus, Disinformation, Reality Sandwich, Neuro Soup, Living Stones Magazine, The Working Tools Magazine, etc."

Hat tip, John Thomas.

And here's a link, one more time, to the latest Antero Alli course on the eight circuits. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

A nice RAW anecdote

Robert Anton Wilson's drinking buddy, at least in theory. 

Here's an anecdote from Robert Anton Wilson's Boswell, Los Angeles teacher and writer Eric Wagner, that made me smile:

"I remember talking with Bob once about having dinner with famous poets from history. I said I imagined Pound and Dante talking intensely about craft. Bob said he and Shakespeare would slip off to the bar."

The Kindle version of Eric's An Insider's Guide to Robert Anton Wilson is a rather reasonable $5.

Some literary Discordian numbers: April 23 is the date of Shakespeare's death and is traditionally listed as the date of his birth, and April 23 also is an important date in Illuminatus! April 23 is a motif in Ada by Vladimir Nabokov, a novel I've just finished reading. Ada is in five parts, so it conforms to the Law of Fives.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Eris Magazine shutting down

Eris Magazine has announced that it is shutting down. The Twitter announcement: "Eris Magazine is shuttering later this week. Enjoy, screen shot your favorite articles this week!"A Tweet yesterday said, "Eris Magazine  will be accessible until Friday." So if you want to save something from the site, better hurry.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Ten years ago today ....

Robert Anton Wilson died.

Here is a gif from Bobby Campbell:

Bobby includes a quote from Wilson when he was close to death: ""Please pardon my levity, I don't see how to take death seriously. It seems absurd."  - RAW

Mark Frauenfelder marks the day with a posting at Boing Boing, which links to all of the articles about RAW he published in 2012, when he put out a series of pieces to mark the fifth anniversary of Wilson's death.

Here's an item in Finnegans Wake. 

Probably a good idea today to keep an eye on the Twitter account Bobby runs. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Synchronicity watch

Here is what my work email looked like when I came in to work today. I got a press release from a woman named Nicole, followed a few seconds later by another press release from a different woman named Nicole, followed a few seconds later by another woman named Nicole. I'm a newspaper reporter, hence the fact that I get a lot of press releases, but who would have expected all of those Nicoles?

I was struck by that, so I showed my laptop to Nicki, the other reporter who usually arrives early at the paper. And then I was struck by a thought, so I asked,  is your real name Nicole? It is.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Nat Hentoff has died [UPDATED]

Nat Hentoff

It seems appropriate in a blog devoted to Robert Anton Wilson to note the passing of an important civil liberties advocate. Nat Hentoff has died.

Here is a piece from Tim Lynch at the Cato Institute. Arthur Hlavaty comments.

UPDATE: Jesse Walker has a nice appreciation at Reason, which I had earlier missed.  

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The conspiracy at the library

If you are familiar with how public libraries operate, you know that they must constantly weed their shelves of books to create space for new books. The old book are sometimes sold to library patrons as cheap used books, donated to charity or simply hauled to the dump. Libraries generally get rid of books that haven't been checked out.

Two library staffers at the East Lake County Library in Florida created a fake patron who checked out books that the two staffers wanted to save.

Via Tyler Cowen, who remarks, "Data falsification will be one of the biggest stories of the next five years."

This brings up  a point that I've tried to raise before. If you want Robert Anton Wilson's books to be available at the library to be discovered by new readers, borrow them!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Latest from Daisy Eris Campbell

Daisy Eris Campbell has sent out a new official email, "Cosmic Trigger Play: Santa Cruz Newz," here is the text:

Hello you lovely Discordians,


So yes, I have publicly announced on at least 23 occasions that we would be making a pilgrimage to Santa Cruz, where Robert Anton Wilson lived and died, this year, the 10 year anniversary of his death.

This kind of public declaration worked a treat for pulling the Cosmic Trigger in Liverpool on November 23rd 2014, but that's the thing with Cosmic Triggers - they have a tendency to go off in your hand. And I think, bathed in the glory of our last adventure, I got a little trigger happy.

We're not - we now realise - at the Triggering phase when it comes to Santa Cruz. We are still very much in The Finding The Others phase.

So instead I'll come to the US this summer to stir up enthusiasm for a future happening. Tell me Stateside Dwellers; where shall I enthuse, who shall I meet, how shall we scheme? I'm thinking 13-23rd July to coincide with Robert Anton Wilson Day and the start of the Dog Days. But I'll come whenever you call.

I'm truly sorry to disappoint anyone who was all set for the Santa Cruz pilgrimage performance - but let's meet up when I'm there, and before you know it we'll be happily pulling Cosmic Triggers together.


xx xxx Daisy

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Oz Fritz on RAW and magick (among other topics)

Oz Fritz at the Ancient Wave recording studio. Photo by Lorraine Gervais

Oz Fritz has a new post up, "Philosophy and Magick: Deleuze and Crowley with Special Guest Robert Anton Wilson," which many readers of this blog will likely find interesting. Oz writes about the relationship between magick and philosophy, how "Robert Anton Wilson, Aleister Crowley, and Gilles Deleuze share a common philosophical lineage in Friedrich Nietzsche," Aleister Crowley most famous slogan, and how "One of the most significant books in Aleister Crowley's secondary literature is Illuminatus! by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson." And there's more. This is apparently the start of a new series of pieces by Oz.

If you find Oz' post interesting, you can read my interview with him.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Santa Cruz play performance canceled

 Daisy Eris Campbell (as Eris)

Daisy Campbell has just announced — via an email to the Robert Anton Wilson Trust advisors— that she has been forced to cancel plans for the planned July 23 performance of the Cosmic Trigger play in Santa Cruz, Calif.

The unexpected good news that the play has received arts funding for a four-week run in London, and the logistical difficulties of staging a California, has helped force the decision, Daisy explained.

"You see we also put a bid in with our UK Arts Funding body to do a run of Cosmic Trigger in London in May - this would be our 5th attempt, and we weren't holding out much hope - but unbelievably the Arts Council have coughed up - rather last minute - and so all our attention is suddenly and forcefully placed on making this a success," Daisy wrote.

"This means that the considerable work need to get enough folk over to Santa Cruz (of course, we were massively over-optimistic about the bureaucracy, logistics etc) to perform the play - is just too much to ask," she wrote.

Daisy still hopes to come to the U.S. in July for events. I'll pass on any announcements. 

I feel kind of sick to pass on this news — I had really looked forward to coming to California — but the London performances are a huge opportunity, and it seems like the correct decision for Daisy and company to concentrate on making them a success. Best wishes to her and her compatriots. 

UPDATE: On Facebook, Michelle Olley comments:

Aye - sadly, logistically, we can't fully commit to the London run in May and do the USA 'caper' justice seven weeks later - we did the sums (we summed hard! Much Math. Many Sums) and something had to give.
Daisy's still planning to head out there on t
hat date, (23rd July), to do some talks/show some footage from the play/gather together some Stateside co-conspirators for a future event. There's still a commitment/desire to get the play over to RAW's adopted home town.

It's not off the books yet. The When of it, though, is currently in the lap of the gods. *cough*

Hail Eris!

Keep the Lasagne Flying,
Mich (Pope Monkeybumps the Younger. Ex. Comm) x
Cosmic Trigger Play Production team member

In another comment, Olley notes, "A London run - if successful, could really really help us to roll it out, both nationally and internationally." 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Hilaritas Press in 2017

The folks at Hilaritas Press, official imprint of the Robert Anton Wilson Estate, reports that after publishing new editions of Cosmic Trigger 1, Prometheus Rising and Quantum Psychology, the publishing house will concentrate this year with its new editions of Email to the Universe and Coincidance: A Head Test. A list at the official website gives the planned schedule for republication of RAW's various works.

Richard Rasa has also published the above graphic, which he is asking RAW Estate supporters to share.

Monday, January 2, 2017

What's ahead in 2017?

Gabriel Kennedy, resting a moment as he toils on his new Robert Anton Wilson biography. 

As I move into the new year with this blog, here are some stories and projects I am interested in:

1. Daisy Campbell's planned performance of the Cosmic Trigger play on July 23, 2017. I am making travel arrangements to be there at least for the weekend, and hope to see many of you there.

2. Preservation of sacred Discordian bowling alley. Looks like I need to get another update soon.

3. Group discussion of whatever book we agree upon. Hilaritas Press plans to reissue Email to the Universe in 2017, so that's one possibility. Cosmic Trigger 2: Down to Earth is a personal favorite of mine.

4. Planned publication of Starseed Signals. 

5. Progress of new RAW biography by Prop Anon, which was supposed to come out this  year.

What have I missed?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My favorite books of 2016

Following up on yesterday's post, here are some of the books I read last year that I thought were particularly good.

Among the works of fiction, I was especially impressed by Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald, a vivid, fast-moving science fiction set on the Moon that's been described as an SF version of "Dallas," the old TV show. (The book came out in late 2015 but I didn't get to it until last year.) I also was wowed by The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo, a Finnish science fiction writer (an oddball dystopia in which not only alcohol and psychotropic drugs, but also hot peppers, are banned). I liked the book so much I interviewed the author for my newspaper. 

And I also very much liked Swing Set by Janice Weber, who is both a noted author and a noted classical piano player. When I interviewed her in 2015, she told me she was surprised when her literary agent suggested she do a novel about swinging couples. But in fact it plays to her strengths:
She is good in writing about sex and the novel's situations provide plenty of opportunities to Weber's dark, sardonic sense of humor.

Finally, Travel Writing by Peter Ferry is a literary thriller with a protagonist who, like the author, is named "Peter Ferry" and who writes travel pieces and is a high school English teacher. Probably though, the real Peter Ferry has never become involved in investigating a mysterious death. I guess you never know! A wonderful work of fiction, available as an audiobook as well as in other formats. The Yearbook by Carol Masciola is a YA novel about a time traveling teen. I don't read much YA fiction, but this one was exceptional and would make a good movie.

All of these books are not the same old stuff, and they are works of fiction I can't get out of my head.

As for nonfiction, I can recommend The Sun, the Moon & the Rolling Stones, Rich Cohen (exceptional work of biography AND criticism), Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America, Jesse Walker (about nonprofit radio stations,  "illegal" stations, etc., very absorbing), and Exit Right, Daniel Oppenheimer, is a very interesting book about transitions in "reality tunnels" by former leftists who became conservatives.

Three books deserve mention because they might interest readers of this blog: Timothy Leary's Trip Through Time, R.U. Sirius, is a biography of Timothy Leary that emphasizes his ideas, strongly recommended. Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut, Paul Krassner is the very funny memoir of an editor and publisher who played a key role in Robert Anton Wilson's career. And of course I re-read Cosmic Trigger while many others of  you also did.

Those weren't the only good books I read in 2016. I continue to love Gene Wolfe and Richard Blake and Iain M. Banks, for example, and I read fine books by each of them last year. I'll continue to explore some of my favorite authors this year.

This is apparently unfashionable, but as you can see, I actually waited until the year concluded to write my "best books" piece so that I didn't unfairly leave anyone out.

Arthur Hlavaty has now published his 2016 reading list.