September 20th, 2007

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Old PKD illo


[Astound your eyes with a click!]

Art by Emshwiller for Philip K. Dick's "Colony," GALAXY, June 1953.

Another vintage illo, from the time when Philip K. Dick was just another struggling hack.

Yes, that man's microscope is attempting to throttle him.

Posted by Paul DiFi.
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Homage to Avram Davidson


[Click for bigness]

Have Scott & Borgman, creators of this strip, ever read Avram Davidson's "Or All the Seas With Oysters"...? Or has the original and unique premise of that story passed into urban myth?

Posted by Paul DiFi.

Tegucigalpa

I hate this fucking polluted, murderous shithole. Everybody's packing, gangs predominate, the rich travel about with armed bodyguards. I didn't know we were coming here, and it was a bad surprise. Last time I was in the capital, I came close to being robbed in the weekend market next to the soccer stadium. Some guys were trailing me, at any rate. There's a sinister feeling to the streets, or maybe it's just my paranoia. But according to people we talked to there was a gun battle earlier today near Colonia Palmira, the wealthiest neighborhood in the city, a few miles from here. So I'm staying in tonight. There are all kinds of American franchises in Teguz. Tony Romas, Fridays, Wendys, Burger King, KFC, etc, etc. They recently passed a law that franchises are tax-exempt for their first ten years of operation. Aren't American corporations fortunate? I mean, what a lucky break! Anyway, we avoided the franchises and ate at a little restaurant that specialized in these big shishkabobs and pupusas, which are kind of a Honduran calzone. Now here I sit in the hotel bar, my natural environment, with a friend's laptop and a drink. The bar, however, being part of Teguz, also sucks. Half the people in here look like cops; the other half, I'm fairly certain, are hookers. We're next door to a casino, and they come here for a break. The hookers, not the cops. They're all wearing sunglasses at night--the cops, not the hookers. Most of the cops have that cold Latino macho villain thing down. If you lived in this hotel, it'd be like living in a B-movie. Tomorrow, thank Christ, we're out of here.

They started playing CDs, Latin pop, and so I put on the earphones and am listening to Chris Whitley. Man, that guy was good. There's a line in "Living With the Law": "...They got a romance made for doing time." It reminds me of this bar. I'm also half in the bag. Probably going to bed soon. In the morning we're off to La Ceiba, and from La Ceiba to Miskitia. It'll be grim, but not end-of-days grim like Teguz. No matter how apocalyptic the scene, it'll be more alive than Teguz.

Tequila is good, especially the expensive blue kind. The bartender just bought me a shot. I don't believe I've ever had a bartender buy me a shot before in Honduras, but then I don't usually stay in the good hotels. We're only staying here this time because we wanted to seem prosperous to the assholes we're dealing with. Anyhow, the bartender...I wonder if he's trying to set me up, if he slipped something into the shot. See? Paranoid. But this is a country where Columbian coke dealers have been operating as the good guys in the post-Felix devastation--they have really fast boats and no fear of being outgunned and it's in their interests to help. Paranoia is inevitable.

Time to go. I'll post when I can. Meanwhile, here's some Tegucigalpa mood music...