phb front coverReality is the ultimate anesthetic. I think we are all congenital amnesiacs; we’re missing out on something of excruciating importance, like the cubicle-dwelling drones in The Matrix. There’s an itch in my mind, but I can only find it occasionally. It’s like rummaging through a box of ancient refuse and incomprehensible knick-knacks and suddenly feeling the two-pronged bite of a snake between your fingers; you recoil, shrieking, but your curiosity is irreversibly piqued. You want to empty the box into the light of day regardless of the danger – or maybe even because of it. The fabric of waking reality is lacking. I feel like a drill has been shoved through my brain, excavating some essential neural hardware and leaving the wound to fill in with bland synaptic meat. Jacques Vallee professed to harboring a “strange urge” to unveil his ufological conditioning system, revealing an existential disquiet as probing as Camus’. Rats pressing levers. Blind, maniacal clockwork spitting out gamma rays and diners, wisecracking technocrats and quantum foam, “orange” alert levels, Pentium chips, and faddish authors. We cling to “reality,” which dutifully adapts to our quaint definitions. Are we drafting our own experiential cryptosystem as we go, subconsciously confident that we’ll never have to get too close to the projection booth?


So writes author Mac Tonnies in the early pages of the second volume of Posthuman Blues, a compilation of his best and most thought-provoking work from the popular weblog of the same name, which he ran from 2003 until his tragic death in 2009. This volume covers the years 2005 and 2006. The result is a pastiche of original fiction, poetry, art, photography, observations about day-to-day life in the American midwest during the first decade of the 21st century, and trenchant commentary on current events and subjects that he found of interest, many of which were related to the paranormal, futurism and posthumanism. It presents a compelling portrait of a thoughtful man and the complex times in which he lived, rendered with intelligence, imagination, and a wickedly absurdist sense of humour.

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