The Pipwick Papers

Galaxy eggs :)

Sometimes you forget that it’s Easter Sunday because you’ve been up late reading Neuromancer and have had weird dreams about a gigantic terrifying crab with a sound system implanted in its legs which terrorises the city and so you are confused by the onslaught of egg puns on Twitter for a few minutes and the weird photos of Lindt bunnies that apparently your friends like to eat face-first then Instagram the scene before devouring the rest of the egg. So you sit down to write the Pipwick Papers in a state of slight confusion.

Think of this as an Easter Egg hunt but one where I’ve done all the work for you so you have nothing to hunt and there are no eggs.

This is not the Sunday Papers.

  • George R.R. Martin has published a new extract from The Winds Of Winter – it’s an Alayne chapter which I rather enjoyed. To be fair she’s always been one of my favourite characters, though, and I’m filled with a sense of general foreboding on that front given George’s history with other characters I rather like.
  • Jeffrey Marlow for Wired on the ongoing love affair with country music.
  • “It wasn’t inevitable that country music would thrive in the globalized world of perpetual Facebook updates, a world whose frenetic pace can be felt in electronica, or whose nouveau riche aspirations are extolled in hip-hop. In fact, the co-occurrence of spiraling technological advances and the continued rise of the country genre – which traditionally has valued more off-the-grid sensibilities – seems almost paradoxical.”

  • Why Is Dad So Mad is a book Retired Army 1st Sgt Seth Kastle has written to try to explain to kids about having PTSD
  • Here’s a beautifully illustrated interview with Paul Koudounaris which Simon Davis did for Vice. Paul’s an author and photographer who travels round the world documenting ossuaries and charnel houses and other ritual sites and activities relating to death. I first became interested in his work through the book Heavenly Bodies which contains pictures of spectacularly bejewelled and decorated skeletons.
  • “Death can be a soft border, or it can be a hard barricade. It can be a fortified barricade like the Maginot Line through which thou shalt not pass. That’s what it has become in Western culture over the past 100 years. The dead don’t come on our side, we don’t come on their side, and if you’re trying to talk to them or you’re trying to interact with them there’s something wrong with you. You’re up to no good.”

  • If you’re looking for a last-minute Easter-related activity and you have some eggs and paints lying around there’s a really cool tutorial for creating galaxy eggs by Allison Murray. If you don’t have the craft eggs she’s talking about I remember when I was a kid I used to use a knitting needle or a skewer to poke a hole each end of a real egg and blow the innards out leaving me with a hollow shell to paint.
  • Ruby Tandoh is excellent. This week she wrote warmly and accessibly about queer identity and Pretty In Pink for Polyester Magazine.
  • “Somehow total campness was palatable to me in a way that more measured versions of femininity hadn’t been. I’d leapfrogged good taste to land with one foot in trashy Barbie-hued fantasy, the other planted firmly in plaid, parkas and pullovers. I began to face my own queerness sidelong as I straddled butch and hyper-femme, at first embarrassedly and then gleefully, filling my wardrobe with sequins alongside rough denim and camo print.”


    1. Pich says:

      Pretty in Pin?

      • GameCat says:

        Pretty in Ping – a collection of MMO avatars fashion for people with bad internet connection.

      • DanMan says:

        Pretty In Pinstripes – A memorial of 80s corporate clothing.

      • Timbrelaine says:

        Pretty in Pinterest- An exposé of the corrupting influence unattainable beauty standards have on ‘the youth’.

      • yan spaceman says:

        Pretty in Pine – fashion tips for the recently deceased.

      • GameCat says:

        Pretty in Pint – drink till’ you think everyone is beautiful.

      • RARARA says:

        Pretty in Pins – who says Pinhead has no sense of fashion?

      • Frosty Grin says:

        Pretty in Pinafores – a history of feminine garments.

      • Imbecile says:

        Pretty in Pinocchio – A new show on Channel 5 featuring blind dates with puppets.

      • Gerbick says:

        Pretty in Pining for the Fjords: Memoirs of a Norwegian Blue

      • Spacewalk says:

        Pretty In Pinned – The Life And Times Of Gorgeous George.

      • Jackablade says:

        Pretty in Pincer – Seducing giant crabs the old-fashioned way.

      • Spacewalk says:

        Pretty In Pinchot, in where Balki becomes an unlikely fashion icon much to Larry’s annoyance.

      • Syra says:

        Pretty in pin-up – be photo-shopped into the erotic model you always wanted to be

      • Zorganist says:

        Pretty in Pinochet- a tale of love and loss in fascist Chile.

        • SlimShanks says:

          For the record I just died of laughter. I am a bad person.

    2. aoanla says:

      I am pretty sure that GRRM likes Alayne too, tbh – it feels like her arc is to survive (by becoming the master of plotting that she’s being trained to be, and outplotting her mentor).

      • ribby says:

        One thing I’m confused about- is the excerpt completely finished? At times it seemed it was not- and I wondered if the underlined bits were bits he was considering changing?

        • CyberianHusky says:

          I don’t think it is fully finished, there are still some wrong choice of words here and there. The underlined part is what is usually italics in the book, it usually is about the character’s inner monologue.

      • TillEulenspiegel says:

        Sansa has been fascinating ever since she got involved with the Tyrells, and then Petyr.

        Trouble is, I don’t see how any of these small-scale, relatively isolated stories (especially her and Arya) can work when there are at least three huge, cataclysmic events looming over the final two books in the series. Patrick Rothfuss can squeeze in a few tangents because he’s only dealing with one main character, but George has so much to tie up in so little space.

        • aoanla says:

          Yeah, it’s not clear how that works – I suspect that the difficulties with this are why the later novels are taking so very long. Although, I suspect there will be some not inconsiderable metaphysics in the last book (assuming a “pyrrhic victory for good” result, which seems most likely to be GRRM’s aim) in order to sort out cataclysms (of which I count at least one more than you).

          • Baines says:

            It probably also has to do with Martin originally planning a three book series, which became a four book series, which saw a book being split into two separate books because he decided it was too long to be a single book, which…

            Not that you’d likely get a decent answer from him if you asked.

            • aoanla says:

              I think that’s part of the same general problem that GRRM has – his plot structure is more complex than he expects at any point in time… And he doesn’t want to admit that.

    3. wyrm4701 says:

      Thank you for the link to the egg-blowing/galaxy-painting tutorial. My productivity today is now officially mythical.

      As an aside, someone gave me an egg that had been emptied and then filled with chocolate. It was disgusting.

      • April March says:

        I think you mean your productivity levels are

        *puts on shades shaped like eggs*


      • Gap Gen says:

        Ooh, dwarf spheroidal galaxy eggs

    4. Dilapinated says:

      Oh wow, that last article is fantastic.

      • RARARA says:

        It is. Though it’s funny that in a world where the lines of femininity is constantly shifting she would consider pink to be the monolithic brand of straight femininity… while as recently as the early twentieth century, pink was a masculine, working man’s color, while blue was considered soft and feminine.

        • Moth Bones says:

          An electric pink fairy skirt pairs divinely with a battered biker jacket, I know that much.

    5. Robert Post's Child says:

      Will read the article when I get a chance later, but the general impression I’ve gotten from people who listen is that country music has survived basically by stripping other genres down for parts, then retrofitting an appropriate level of twang onto it to keep it palatable.