Cunning Plans

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Warren Ellis is the award winning writer of graphic novels like TRANSMETROPOLITAN, FELL, MINISTRY OF SPACE and PLANETARY, and the author of the NYT bestselling GUN MACHINE and the underground classic novel CROOKED LITTLE VEIN The movie RED is based on his graphic novel of the same name, its sequel having been released in summer 2013 His graphic novel GLOBAL FREQUENCY is in development at Jerry

✼ Cunning Plans  Epub ✿ Author Warren Ellis –
  • Audio CD
  • Cunning Plans
  • Warren Ellis
  • 03 February 2018
  • 9781978603943

10 thoughts on “Cunning Plans

  1. says:

    Cunning Plans is a short collection of talks Warren Ellis gave between 2011 and 2015 at various conferences around the world Ellis is best known as a comics writer whose work includes Transmetropolitan, Planetary, The Authority, Freakangels, and numerous books at Marvel and DC A lot of his best work concerns futurism, history and technology, all of which are themes covered in the talks and delivered in an intelligent but accessible, and funny, way He talks about the perception of science fiction as a means of predicting the future and what utter bullshit it is Captain Kirk may have had a mobile phone looking device but it s nothing like the smartphones we use today Using it to talk to others is just one of a million functions our little black mirrors can do Star Trek and other science fictions predicted nothing Looking at the present is relevant than throwing out guesses as Ellis writes To improve reality is to clearly see where you are, and then wonder how to make that better But also, science fiction is always about the time it was written 1984 is about 1948, and Orwell wasn t trying to predict anything, he was using the novel to discuss concerns of the post war years Ellis ties in ideas of magic and history into our current state of technology You ll learn about Cunning Murrell, a 19th century magician, who s linked to Baldrick, a character from the British sitcom Blackadder whose catchphrase I have a cunning plan is where the title comes from Also, how older forms of magic and its language informs the technology that s appeared As he says, Technology is the process of replicating the condition of magic That s the paradigm The subjects in the talks are wide ranging from a Kenyan peasant farmer called Mogo to Hannah Beswick the Manchester mummy to the story of the Tongva people who inhabited the Los Angeles basin once upon a time I won t spoil those here, you ll have to read them yourself, but they re excellent true stories Ellis talks are erudite but also have moments of humour, which is what makes his somewhat misanthropic attitude palatable On the subject of the Vorticists, he says Modernism says that things can be right Post modernism says that nothing can be right So if you ever wonder why nothing new ever seems to happen any , find a post modernist and beat the shit out of them Some talks seem a bit random but are entertaining nevertheless One morbid talk about old cities has Ellis musing This is the point about old cities that everyone forgets they re nothing but dead people all the way down And this is the point about America that everyone forgets it is not a young country It simply has the worst case of cultural amnesia on the planet The worst, but not the only case Because it happens everywhere We only ever focus on the skin of a city, and never its blood and bone Some of the talks are repetitive Cunning Murrell appears again as mentions of Apple tech and his talk on pop music was a bit uninteresting, but on the whole these are some wonderful essays full of fascinating history and observations Ellis real voice is similar to his authorial one so if you re a fan of his comics or books, like me, you ll definitely find a lot to enjoy with Cunning Plans Get in league with the fantastic

  2. says:

    A book made up of several transcribes of talks Warren Ellis has given Think of it as him giving a TED talk and someone writing it down.It s short, but very intellectually written and enjoyable It mainly focuses on the discussion that science fiction does not predict the future, which has so often been regarded as a popular opinion A good read to have for journey somewhere.

  3. says:

    Warren Ellis, particularly in his non fiction mode, falls rather handily into the grumpy uncle category of writers By which I mean, I don t always agree with what he says, but I love to hear him say it His carefully constructed, self depreciating, doused in strong drink persona add an elegant, fun and funny frame to observations about the now.Cunning Plans is a brief collection of such observations, essentially the print versions of talks Uncle Warren has given at various conferences over the past few years The talks contained in this volume are variations on a theme the future doesn t exist, science fiction is always about now, and it is far better to create the future than to predict it With whiskey.Fans of Ellis won t find anything unusual or unexpected here Truthfully, if you read Ellis newsletter or any of the various blogs he has maintained over the years, you might already be familiar with a lot of the ideas presented here But the keyword in that sentence is presentation If you haven t had a chance to hear Ellis speak, and you want to hear Uncle Warren proclaim about the non existent future, Cunning Plans is a lovely substitute.

  4. says:

    Direct, intuitive and unapologetic, this is the closest you ll come to Warren Ellis Cliffs Notes It still packs abrasive metaphors and a general sentiment that will make you hate humanity while secretly cheering its futures in which we ll all have sorcerer computers for endocrine systems or something.

  5. says:

    The collection of essays were a little uneven, but solid, enjoyable and as always delivered in the trademark

  6. says:

    Nobody makes me as excited and fearful of the future as much as Warren Ellis And bless him for that.Full review forthcoming.EDIT Warren Ellis is a writer of things.These are things he has written about the future.Warren writes a lot of things about the future I could read Warren s writing about the future for the rest of my life and never complain about it.And that s despite the fact that Ellis has the curious ability to make me both dread the future and to utterly welcome it with open arms It s one of his most peculiar and endearing abilities as a writer The man contains multitudes Most of which live a few years ahead of the rest Warren Ellis is, I should mention, a goddamn wizard Ultimately though, he makes me excited for it I dare anyone to read any of the essays contained within this volume, especially the ones where Warren is essentially grabbing the reader by the neck and forcing them to look out at the World whilst screaming, We are living in the future now, you silly bastard The world is amazing and awe inspiring and terrifying and it is of vital importance that you acknowledge this if you want us to survive as a species and not feel at least a little bit of a spark If that sounds a bit abrasive, you can blame him He s the one who came up with the whole Internet Curmudgeon persona The capital F Future is not everything Warren writes about here These talks also act as a sort of funnel through which he poured a lot of recent obsessions out of his head Getting them down on paper to be better understood This is always the writer s cunning plan, writes Ellis, in the introduction to this volume, writing things down so that you can see them properly These obsessions include, but are not limited to the role of science fiction it s not meant to predict the future, damn it history and folklore important things, damn it , and most peculiarly magic a real thing, damn it.Ellis talks about magic a fair bit in this book, which was curious and fascinating, him being such a pragmatic fellow I appreciated the musings, however, as it is a subject in which I have been progressively getting interested for a couple of years now Although I don t mean magic in the fantasy Harry Potter Hocus Pocus sort of way although I would actually like that to be part of our actual reality as well I mean magic as another lens through which we can view the world Stories to make sense of this weird psychedelic experience we call Life It s all Grant Morrison s fault, I reckon Ellis doesn t talk about magic in the hocuspocusharrypotter way either At least not entirely He employs magic as a metaphor in a couple of different ways Firstly, as a way of making sense of all our increasingly overwhelming technology Technology is the process of replicating the condition of magic That s the paradigm Look at a Segway and tell me it s not the world s shittiest witch s broomstick We only wanted jetpacks because we couldn t make magic carpets work Likening technology to magic is essentially old hat by now, I know, but the way Ellis goes at it is compelling and fascinating And so, so entertaining And secondly and perhaps importantly he uses it as a metaphor for the past Another surprising but compelling theme found in these talks.The future is nothing if we don t learn anything from the past Especially if we don t learn from all the witches and the shamans and healers of old, who Warren describes as the original pioneers of technology, the original hackers This is another peculiar leitmotif that runs through a couple of the talks here, and Warren actually, honest to goodness, makes a pretty compelling case for it somehow He manages to draw a fairly clear and distinct line between these cunning folk of the past and the technological pioneers of today the test pilots of the future, to use one of Warren s own phrases It seems far fetched but actually starts to make sense the you think about it Because what are modern day tech developers if not Explorers of the Unknown What are the Fogs of the Future and the Clouds of the Internet if not proverbial Spirit Worlds, accessible via our myriad of modern talismans From deep within his cunning Reality Distortion Field, Steve Jobs insisted that the iPad was magic He used the word This is why You could point at a magic mirror with a finger and cause mysterious and wonderful things to happen, as if you were a wizard Magic clings to the digital world, as if the digital world were actually The Other World It s an interesting and attractive way of looking at the the world It s also one of those ideas that, once it gets in your head, it s very difficult to look at things any other way There is actually a word for this Explainers is the term Neil Gaiman used to describe those writers who had a knack for explaining the world to itself in clever and unforgettable ways He said this of Douglas Adams specifically, but it could apply to other writers of the fantastic like Terry Pratchett It certainly applies to Warren Ellis He uses these disparate themes of time and magic and technology to explain our current world This, by the way, is what Warren argues is the true purpose of science fiction Science fiction has no business predicting the future Science fiction has only ever talked about the present, viewed through the kaleidoscopic lens of the future Metaphor is the key word History and time and magic and technology These are very real things but they are also the metaphors we use to talk about our current condition, our current position in time and space The central metaphor is magic And perhaps magic seems an odd thing to bring up here, but magic and fiction are deeply entangled, and you are all now present at a s ance for the future We are summoning it into the present It s here right now It s in the room with us We live in the future We live in the Science Fiction Condition Underneath all of this heavy bric brac, however, Warren s writing has always been, at its heart, about the people We are the ones living through history, after all We are the ones performing the magic and the rituals we hold the talismans We are the ones who will inherit the future if we don t kill ourselves first and leave the planet to the cockroaches Ellis has oft been described as a journalist, and I also share that view, but I am also always reminded of something he said in Captured Ghosts, the documentary about his work The job of the writer is I think the same as the job of the journalist, which is to stand up and say, Here s where I am today, and here s what I think it looks like But the writer I think has an extra responsibility to say, Look up, because you re here too And this, for me at least, is what his writing s all about He wants you to look Backwards, because history is important, if we are ever to learn, but up and ahead as well, because that way leads to well, the rest of our brief, ridiculous, beautiful lives So just look Look, you tremendous bastards I d love to be able to tell you a story about the future, but I d rather tell you a story that counts I d rather give you a sense of where you might come from, because you need to know where you ve been to know where to go The future is your story to tell

  7. says:

    A short collection of Warren Ellis lectures like TED talks from conferences in the early to mid 2010s It helps to have a grounding in Ellis s previous work, such as Transmetropolitan and Global Frequency While uneven, the talks are a good distillation of Ellis s worldview the advance of technology is relentless, unpredictable, alternately terrifying and thrilling The incandescence of his writing carries through to his lectures, so this is a short, enjoyable read that will get you thinking about the future Not a defined future because Ellis argues that is impossible to predict, but a future that will demand adaptability and resilience in the face of whatever comes One could argue and Ellis does that this future is already here.

  8. says:

    Esta es una recopilaci n de conferencias y charlas de Warren Ellis, y generalmente tratan sobre futurismo, pero cuando rascas un poco te das cuenta de que como muy buen dice l mismo, en realidad es un an lisis del presente Porque la ciencia ficci n en realidad siempre trata sobre el momento en el que fue escrita.Su brevedad implica que las ideas potentes que contiene pegan a n m s fuerte Hay p rrafos verdaderamente fant sticos Merece la pena.

  9. says:

    Interesting talks Ellis has given Time, pop culture, what Silicon Valley needs to do bring on the future.

  10. says:

    Just updating my Goodreads, changing around my favorites This one s the absolute best, folks I know my love for post 2013 Warren Ellis is a than a little cultish, but the old man just keeps getting cleverer and cleverer He s managed to con himself into a great many futurist conventions just to tell them that they are shit magicians, and we, the reading public are invited into those rooms with the transcripts of those talks Some notable quotables Act like you live in the Science Fiction Condition Act like you can do magic and hold s ances for the future and build a brightness control for the sky Act like you live in a place where you could walk into space if you wanted Think big And then make it better Look at a Segway and tell me it s not the world s shittiest witch s broomstick We only wanted jetpacks because we couldn t make magic carpets work The first pair of augmented reality glasses I ever saw were the iron goggles worn by Cunning Murrell, last of the Essex cunning men, that allowed him to see ghost and demons superimposed on the rural landscape If memory is dismissed or declaimed as a serious security risk, and democracy is forgotten and ignored, and ownership is toxic or lost, and the wonderful is in short supply and the weird is everywhere and it s worrying the crap out of us then it s time to close twenty years of Future Everything by starting all over again Future Everything, is the thing The future isn t seeing the circus approach town from up the road, coming straight towards you It s everything It s standing on headlands and seeing an entire weather system, the breadth of the whole horizon, swirling around and inching towards us, cirrus by thunderhead by rainstorm Long range weather forecasts are all we ve got, and we produce those by studying the pressure systems acting on the atmosphere All of them Not just one We are long past that siloed future where we could talk about, I don t know, the future of the spaceplane because they still make those, it turns out without talking about the pressure systems around us Talking about the future of the spaceplane without talking about the politics, economics, environment surrounding it you might as well be just fucking juggling.

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