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March 12, 2012

Comments

CMcM

Did Ken know before publication?
(I think I'd be equally impressed by either answer, having read the book)

ajay

Dear Reality,
Please cease all cross promotion activities with Ken MacLeod forthwith.
Yours faithfully
Ajay

Ps: don't get any ideas about Peter Watts either.

Brendan

It's kind of tickled me for a while now that instead of being known as (e.g.) the birthplace of Chinese culture (it's where the Shang had its capital), Henan is instead generally regarded as a hotbed of criminality.

Ken MacLeod

ajay: Dear Reality,
Please cease all cross promotion activities with Ken MacLeod forthwith.

May I add my signature?

In this case I hadn't made the connection. They aren't showing the actual execution, after all. The real-world moment where I did make the conection was when the mobile-phone recording of Saddam Hussein's hanging went viral.

ejh

Not having read Ken's book (I'm presently restricting myself to long-dead novelists) the thing that came to my mind at that particular moment was "they're selling postcards of the hanging".

Dan Hardie

'They're selling postcards of the hanging' is in fact a reference to the 1920 lynchings of three black men that took place in Bob Dylan's birthplace of Duluth, Minnesota. The murdered men were accused, almost certainly falsely, of raping white girls. They were circus workers, hence the line 'The circus is in town', and the good folk of Duluth did indeed sell postcards of those hangings.

In the South and West in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it was in fact common practice to photograph lynching victims and use the photos as postcards. An amateur historian has since spent a lot of time and money collecting the postcards and researching the events behind them. Warning: this site is horrific.

Big Hu

And the serial-killer capital of China, don't forget (according to an article you posted a while back and I now forget: your search feature is completely useless, btw). Rough place indeed.

chris y

"It's kind of tickled me for a while now that instead of being known as (e.g.) the birthplace of Chinese culture (it's where the Shang had its capital), Henan is instead generally regarded as a hotbed of criminality."

The difference between a bronze age elite and a hotbed of criminality is surely contingent at best.

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