Future City: Edited by Roger Elwood

Future City

The cover on this science fiction collection is gorgeous, big sky, futuristic architecture and stylistic typeface. The actual content of the book, rather than the dreamy utopian vision, fits with a lot of the ideas on how cities will develop in science fiction books of this period. The short stories are very dystopian, and many of them thought provoking, whether a measurement of the city itself or more the human response to overpopulation, pollution, natural disaster or machinery. It’s worth getting this book for these stories alone, definitely a read which makes you think about where we are going;

Meanwhile, We Eliminate, Andrew J. Offutt

The World as Will and Wallpaper, R. A. Lafferty

Death of a City, Frank Herbert

Getting Across, Robert Silverberg

Revolution, Robin Schaeffer

 

 

Electronic Music: Allen Strange

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This book is a comprehensive guide to electronic music, covering methods & techniques. Most importantly it is accessible, I don’t have an extensive knowledge of the theory around sound synthesis or electronic engineering, so it’s been a useful book for me to learn from and I go back to it all the time. Aside from that, the cover image is pretty psychedelic, contrasted with the stark text box and type it works wonderfully.

Inventing the Future: Dennis Gabor

Inventing the Future

I recently stumbled on a selection of Pelican books in a charity shop and have a new obsession. Eek.

I have already been to a local second hand book shop and trawled the shelves for more (thanks Gosford Books). The cover designs and content of the ones I have are fantastic.

Today I am reading ‘Inventing the Future’ by Dennis Gabor. I am finding it difficult to stop turning the pages, but when drawn away I was interested to find out about the writer. Apparently Gabor was an electrical engineer who invented holography. He was also a gifted physicist and discussed cybernetics. And, lived just up the road from Coventry, in Rugby, for a short while. Wow.

 

Mainframe

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TEXT: We hit an unexpected glitch when interfacing with the board. The customer suite was full of machines. the canteen was full of wires. Every storage cupboard, every office, every space was filled with flashing lights, screens, switches, buttons and servers. The building was overloaded, the atmosphere prickled with energy and no one knew where the windows were. The lights gave a strange, glowing quiver across the packed corridors. The Senior team crouched on the boardroom table, their dry eyes barely blinking. “Something has to be done Toby. I’m not sure how we get out anymore. The last delivery blocked the exit”. “It’s been days since I last went out Henry.” “Coffee?”

Bletchley Park: Restoration of 2966

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Axa Building: Coventry

It’s always interesting when developers try to give a building a new lease of life. The Axa building in Coventry has recently been converted into student flats, which in itself it a fine use of an empty building. However, strangely, they decided to cover it in garish red and black blocks. Which really don’t work with the existing style or colour of the building. This building used to look great in the evening sun, gold picked out and flashes of light – all it really needed on the outside was a clean and removal of the Axa references. If the windows had to be covered, then why not use something that complemented the existing colours and style? Instead they have used awful materials and a completely inappropriate colour palette. Eeesh. This is a photo taken a few years ago, before the ‘revamp’.