Today drops the inaugural issue of Orthogonal SF: The War at Home, which features my story of technopagan populist revolution, “#Anon and the Antlers”. Yes, that’s a hashtag in the title. Yes, I did take leave of my senses a little. Not a little. That hashtag is the tip of the iceberg.
There’s not much I like more than a cautionary tale. This one starts with mad ambition, as I suppose cautionary tales tend to do.
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His eyes are quite green, as if from too much looking at the wood.
––Angela Carter, “The Erl-King”
On a balmy, wet winter solstice necessitating raingear and waterproof clodhopping boots, Maize God prepares himself for a journey into the wilderness seeking his allies, the forest spirits.
Fox meets him at the standing stone; in memory of the ancestors, she offers wintergreen. Maize God has brought citrus.
They seek out Owl in the crooked tree by the marsh. “And what exactly do you expect this to accomplish?” she asks.
“We know it’s the humans who are really the problem. Nothing we do here is going to make a lick of difference until they quit mucking everything up. But Owl, we must still come together and mark the time like we always do.”
“Change is in the air, in the soil and the water, but isn’t it always? So let’s feast tonight and sing! How else can we be ready for the dawn when it comes?”
At the sacred place under the ring of pines, Maize God prepares the offering fire. The three sit in contemplation, awaiting the appointed hour.
Freetown State Forest in Bristol County, MA: apparently it is full of weirdness. It’s in the middle of the Bridgewater Triangle, the Hockamock Swamp abuts it, the Dighton Rock museum is just across I95 on the Taunton River estuary. I’m not especially one for touring the apocryphal weirdness; there’s just so much actual, true weirdness to be had. But with exactly one afternoon available to me amid Thanksgiving to drag a few semi-unwilling members of my family out to some wilderness within range of SW Boston suburbs to celebrate not supporting the capitalist establishment on Black Friday, the Fortean forest was it.
Profile Rock, Assonet, MA. I’m pretty sure that 1902 postcard on the Wikipedia page is completely wrong.
Delightful incidental art on Joshua’s Mountain.
Both of these appear on the same forked beech.
From Profile Rock, looking towards Dighton.
Not pictured: flooded, 350 year old foundations along Payne Rd; ugly, locked concrete building in the shape of a pair of octogonal spectacles which now encloses Dighton Rock; vast fields of solar farms; marina; deer; donkey; Wampanoag ghosts, bigfoot, pterodactyls.
It started with me bugging out again, assembling supplies as I made my careful escape from civilization in the process of collapse.
Having escaped, I was sitting in the woods taking a breather and I saw a fox. It saw me. It was curious, it came over and turned out to be a Mayan kid in a leopard mask (not a jaguar mask) and then his whole family was with him and they all wanted to be friends and I was stumbling to remember my Spanish as they spoke to me in English.