The Hideous Face With Flaming Eyes
Still slightly disturbing, even today
I have no idea what this means
I Was A Teenage Toyah Fan chronicles a slice of adolescent life from late 1979 to late 1986 and recalls the experience of being a pop music fan in the early eighties, evoking the feelings of a very different time before the internet, mobile phones or multi-channel TV put media at our fingertips.
It’s available on Kindle for just 80p, but of course you don’t have to have a Kindle to read it - Kindle apps are available for iPhones, iPads as well as many other devices and both desktop PCs and Macs.
If you’re unsure you can download the first chapter free or have a look through these customer reviews:
Amazon Prime members can borrow it free of charge.
For those that prefer physical books, the paperback is available for £5.00 + P&P from Lulu:
or £8.99 (free P&P) from Amazon:
Please note that the paperback edition contains more photographs than the ebook.
“You’ll enjoy this even if you never enjoyed Toyah because this should touch nerves and set off sparks in your own memory about who it is that had this effect for you… This is a brilliant, and constantly enjoyable book … To have that era brought to life, with details from within a group of the most dedicated followers is more than merely interesting and is precisely what the subject actually requires.”
Mick Mercer, November 2011
“… a very unusual musical memoire. Even though it has a lot to say about Toyah herself, mainly in the early 80s, it is not a rock star ‘biography’ … It is about a teenager growing up in the 80s … For 80s enthusiasts, the book has the added appeal of recalling so many of the defining elements of that decade in the UK.”
Huw Collingbourne, 80s Empire, January 2012
“… boasts an endearing openness and captures the naive awe of youth … an absorbing picture of the period. His obvious love of his subject matter makes it almost impossible to read his gathered thoughts without raising a smile.”
Liam Rudden, Edinburgh Evening News, 9 February 2012
In last night’s dream I “remembered” that there had been a third rail network - aside from the Underground and British Rail - serving London during my childhood.
As I explored the rusty carriage I had discovered in an abandoned siding somewhere in North London it all came back to me; the way the maps used to look, the logo, the fabric used on the seats, the decor inside the carriages, even the musty smell of tobacco and plastic.
I wondered how I could possibly have forgotten this integral part of growing up.
And then I woke up.
I wondered how I could I possibly have thought I’d remembered this blatant fiction.
Dreams are very good at constructing false memories of this kind.
With the advent of Google Goggles and their imitators and as the accelerated internet years went by, Augmented Reality became ever more popular. Eventually the AR versions of places became quite distinct from their real world counterparts and people started to consider them separate.
To distinguish between the Real and the Augmented version of a location, the prefix AR- was used. Thus London’s data twin became AR-London, Paris’s AR-Paris and so on…
However, no-one considered what was going to happen to Kansas.
Apparently Twitter has been going for 7 years now.
Doesn’t time fly when you’re enjoying yourself?
Although to be honest I didn’t start using it until February 2007. Interesting thing I find about it is how many of the features we now take for granted (including @ usernames and retweeting) were invented by the users rather than built into the thing at the beginning.
Of course it still has its detractors, but a lot of that can be explained by Douglas Adams who, despite sadly not being around to use Twitter, pinned down just what makes some people knock the new in his essay How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet which appeared in the Sunday Times on August 29th 1999, in particular point three of the following list:
- Everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal;
- Anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;
- Anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it’s been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.
So by this reckoning in March 2016 Twitter will be just part of the background stuff we all take for granted.
If we are the sum of our physical parts and that there is no separate “soul” - something which I think most rationalists now agree on - then by definition true artificial intelligences are possible as consciousness and intelligence must be an emergent property of a complex enough system.
So either there is life after death or there will be sentient robots.
If our consciousness is simply an artifact of a complex system, a pattern, an emergent property of a living brain, then who is to say that other patterns and awarenesses might not also arise, riding in the same brain but forever locked away from us by the thick walls of incomprehension and difference?