Thursday, December 31, 2009

One More Point for Gibson

It's been a long time coming, but the second issue of Cyberpunk Apocalypse the publication is nearing it's final stages of completion. One of the articles in the upcoming issue will discuss the William Gibson's Bridge trilogy and the various elements that moved from the world of fantasy into the world of reality since the series' publication in the nineties. Well here's one more point for the godfather of cyberpunk and the mother of steampunk fiction: human/program marriage. Check it out.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

High End Cyber Crime

PBS's NewsHour had an interesting article about "cyber crime." Stateing that "The FBI has now ranked cyber crime as the third-greatest threat to U.S. national security, after nuclear war and weapons of mass destruction." Which mean's (I guess) that if we don't get blown up or--uh. . .destroyed en mass, we only have to worry about people hacking into our computers and stealing the plans for weapons of surgical precision, stealing our money, and stealing our identities. Check out the story HERE.
Also check out the audio interview on the "Russian cyber gang," from tonight's show HERE. Don't miss the side comment about the Iraqi buying "off the shelf software" and hacking into UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle).

Welcome to the Cyberpunk Apocalypse.

Traded in storage for a printshop

Over the course of three grueling winter days, die-hard Cyberpunk Apocalypse residents and friends successfully moved an entire letterpress printshop into the basement. And that's no small endeavor. Thousands of pounds of metal and wood went up and over Stanton Heights, across a brick yard, and down three steps into the basement. In the snow. Not kidding.

We're happy to announce that the long-running letterpress zine Ker-bloom! will now be printed and assembled on site as well as much whimsy and mayhem. We've been told that 2010 is the year of the Cyberpunk Apocalypse, that it's the year of the dream shop, and we believe it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Vincent Scotti Eirené

Vincent Scotti Eirené reads at the cyberpunk apocalypse
Find out more about the book at

Snow comes to the apocalypse!

During the grand finale of our Lord of the Rings series last night, it began snowing and continued throughout the night and morning. We awoke to our little world covered in a cold and white blanket.

Recently a good friend of the house moved away and left us with a bonanza of food for our pantry and zines for our zine library. Both are very much welcome, even if we miss our dear friend.

See that blue tarp in the picture? Underneath that is a letterpress and a giant paper cutter, both of which need to get into the basement or else risk freezing to death. We invite each and every one of you to help with this group endeavor Sunday Dec. 20th at noon. Many hands make light work.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A cute little piece of writing

Here's a cute little piece a friend tied to a brick and threw at my computer. It's quite good. click here.

Terence Hawkins reads from his book "The Rage of Achilles"

Terence Hawkins reads from his book The Rage of Achilles at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse writing colective. Unfortunately, the batteries on my camera were on the fritz due to the cold, so I only have two little segments here. Check out his site I've just started reading the book, and it's straight porn and gore. I have to quote the book's front cover "A genuinely fresh take on a classic text."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Just got a reminder from Mary Mac tomorrow--check it out:
tomorrow evening, come check out a sweet lil show of JUSTSEEDS, the art cooperative that shaun slifer, bec young and myself are part of.

free cider & tea & homemade cookies
cheap art>>>handmade prints on paper, t-shirts, totes, zines & books
free stickers, postcards, brand-new catalogs with full-color foldout poster
sweet jamz from me, DJ marymack, & DJ ja(m)(bo)x

thursday december 17th
encyclopedia destructica studios
156 41st street
(lawrenceville towards the river)

you can also peep my zine collection, on display for readin' now through the end of january in a cozy reading nook. zine clinics to come!!!

about JUSTSEEDS:::
Justseeds Artists' Cooperative is a decentralized community of artists who have banded together to both sell their work online in a central location and to collaborate with and support each other and social movements. Our website is a destination to find out about current events in radical art and culture. Our blog covers political printmaking, socially engaged street art, and culture related to social movements. We believe in the power of personal expression in concert with collective action to transform society.

Reading from the Typewriter Girls

I've been promising that I would start putting up readings from around town. And I did, but the reader involved asked me to take it off the internet. So I did. Honestly it's a little depressing seeing people hide their work and lifestyle from the world because of what employers or acquaintances might think. I guess it's just a concept that's hard for me to swallow, but I don't know.

Monday, December 7, 2009

National Word Count Month results in!

In honor of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) the Cyberpunk Apocalypse constructed its own contest for the month of November: National Word Count Month (NaWoCoMo). All of us kept a record of how many words we wrote a day, with prizes (in the form of bragging rights and possibly a bumper sticker in the future) awarded to the person who wrote the most in a month as well as whomever had the highest word count in a single day.

Our visiting writer, Margaret Killjoy, won both awards by writing 44,568 words during the month of November (a rate of about 1486 words a day) and a high count of 6045 words on November 12, the day that Killjoy completed a novel.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Choose Your Own Adventure

Last Saturday we had a reading that filled our little event space. Gunner,Elwin, and Hannah read followed by our visiting writer, who was that night's feature presentation. Magpie Killjoy read from his SteamPunk "adventure of one's own choosing" book that he had finished during his time as a visiting writer at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse.
It was quite a bit of fun. All decisions were forced rapid consensuses, and there was a lot of yelling and laughter.
When the reading ended and our guests began to leave, Gunner and I hurriedly packed and finished preparations on our bikes. We planned on peddling toward Cleveland in the morning in order to get a 5:30pm bus the next day. We didn't know if we would be able to get there in time for the bus or even where we were going to put our bikes when we got there (since the bus would not let us bring them with us), but we were going.
When our alarm went off, we made some tea and waited for Garret. When Garret arrived, we left. When we got outside of the city limits the sky was lightening, and my brake and back rack fell off suddenly. But I had a do-dad in my pocket that seemed to replace the thing that came loose and fell off, and I added a zip tie for good measure and we were off.
About forty miles into the ride, Garret's hip (which held large hunks of metal from a relatively recent surgery) started to hurt, but instead of saying anything he biked another fifty miles, camped with us, biked another 60 miles into and around Cleveland, and then said something.
We got into Cleveland mid-day.
By the time we got there we had gotten in touch with a friend of a friend who said we could stow our bikes at his place. It was huge, 6 stories and beautiful. Two people lived in the whole building, so they had one whole apartment filled with dried leaves, and another ready for a Halloween party at any time. The manager of the building did programs with neighborhood kids, and the guy we were in contact with (Ian) wrote grants for it. He also was in a noise band that played music on a Tesla coil, which apparently gives off different pitched hums, depending on how much juice you give it.
Ian helped us stow our bikes, fed us, and pointed us in the direction of our bus. He went above and beyond hospitality, and we couldn't have thanked him enough.
We caught the megabus, and went to Chicago. It's thanksgiving day, but we had our feast yesterday. We've been visiting with my sister, and having a great time. We saw Quinby's and BackStory coffee shop, and ate and drank and were merry. We're heading back today, so hopefully we'll catch the tail end of Artnoose's birthday week which is going on back home.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cory Doctorow

So, I haven't ever ready any Cory Doctorow, but a buddy of mine directed me to his new book Makers which is available for free on his website, and was originally published as an on-line serial with the tittle "Themepunks." I poked around and found this video of Doctorow. He has a lot of interesting thoughts on intellectual property, and the future of the information age.
It's worth checking out, and I'll be sure to tell you about the book when I get a chance to read it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Reading at Unsmoke Systems

I just came from my reading at Unsmoke System's art gallery in Braddock. The thing was curated by Jim Storch, and it was a lot of fun. There wasn't the rip-roaring atmosphere that Elwin created two days ago, but it was an intimate performance. And of course, Unsmoke has a beautiful space.

Here's what the line up was--
Jim Storch/Nathan Kukulski....with video by Ryan Emmett.
MySpace Link

Cottonballman....with slides by Jim Storch.
YouTube Link

Daniel Patrick McCloskey (from the zine/writers' space Cyberpunk Apocalypse)
Blog Link

Tom McClure (poet, writer, copy editor [for Wax Poetics Magazine], and raconteur).
YouTube Link

I've been doing more and more thinking about what it means to set up a good reading, I have a couple of things I think I'll be trying out in the future--so watch out for that. In the meantime don't forget about Magpie Killjoy's choose your own--steampunk adventure reading. Next Saturday (the 21st) come and help decide the destiny of the character at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse--5431 Carnegie street PGH pa.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Readings and more readings.

Last night's reading went really well. I'm not going to talk about it too much, because I'll have video of it up asap. Tomorrow night I'll be doing my second reading in Braddock as part of the driftwood series. And on the 21st our visiting writer Magpie Killjoy will be reading from his NEW SteamPunk choose your own adventure and YOU will be choosing! It's going to be really fun, and Hannah, has just walked down the stairs and offered to read as well, so it's snowballing already. Tell your friends, because it's short notice. Door at 7pm, starts at 7:30. Food and drink and good stories.
-be there.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Here is an email that was sent to me by Karen Lillis. She is a writer, and read at the houses Library benefit. It's adressed to Pittsburghers so, if you don't know what to do about the library thing, check this out:

This is a crucial moment when your word of support can make a big difference in the fight to keep Pittsburgh libraries open. I have provided links below and a letter for you to cut and paste if you so choose. I hope you can take a moment to contact your officials, and pass this email on to others.

thank you,

*Save the library branches*
------->Letter and links below

*Demand transparency* from the library board for how they spend your taxpayers' money
*Demand a permanent plan* for funding the local libraries
*Request support and money* from your city, county, state officials
*Show your support* for the library system and what it provides
*Know your Pittsburgh history* which includes the history of the public library and the children's library

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh library board is threatening to close four branches, merge two and move one out of its beautiful historic building by February 1 unless the $1.2 million dollr budget gap is met and a permanent fudning plan found. But the library belongs to all of us! Please write to your officials NOW to prevent the branches from closing and to speed up the creation of a fair and viable funding plan. City councilmember Doug Shields says there is more money to be freed up if people contact their officials. (Shields also opposes taxing the students to get the libraries funded.) Scroll below for a letter to cut and paste (or add to) if you don't have time to write your own.

If you live in Pittsburgh, write to Mayor Luke:
your city councilmember, [Find here]:

If you live in Allegheny County, write to Dan Onorato, County Executive:

If you live in PA, write to your state rep [find here using zip code in upper right corner]:

AND to Ed Rendell, our governor:


I'm writing to register protest against cutting branches of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. I believe that libraries are good for cities, good for citizens, good for students, and good for neighborhoods. The loss of any of these branches is a loss that Pittsburgh and its neighborhoods cannot afford. Pittsburgh already supports its branches so well as patrons; surely we can find a plan, together, to fairly and permanently fund the public library system.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Transhumanists discuss the cyberpunk apocalypse

Our visiting writer, Magpie Killjoy, was kind enough to forward this link. It is a H+ (transhumanist) discussion group that run by a friend of his in Seattle. Their most recent discussion topic was the cyberpunk apocalypse. Check out the link, mull it over--because we're living it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Save the librarys

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Next Weds., be there or be square

Library Rally
Weds., Nov. 11 (it's Veterans' Day)
at 1 P.M.
in front of the Main library on Forbes Ave. in Oakland

We're hoping for a big crowd of supporters from across the city. Since it's Veterans' Day the kids won't have school, please bring them, your friends, your neighbors, your signs, your voices.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

And interview by Todd Faltin

The following is an interview that was re-enacted by Todd Faltin at the November 2nd library benefit:

Interview with Andrew Carnegie and Luke Ravenstahl

Some might say that Luke Ravenstahl’s ascent to Pittsburgh’s Highest Hill began when Andrew Carnegie curb stomped that motherfucking Unionizer outside the Steel Works in Homestead in 1892. Ravenstahl then stood on shoulders of Carnegie’s ghost and could see just beyond the stack of frozen souls at the top of this industrial freezer, just beyond Bob O’Connor’s fresh, lifeless corpse. I had a moment to talk with the two influential characters and get their perspectives on everything that’s happened in the city over the past 150 years—from the steel collapse to the G20 to the 2009 announcement to close several of Carnegie’s libraries. Here is what the interview would have looked like if held in a bar like Belvedere’s, with the much shorter Andrew Carnegie on my right and the towering beast known as Luke Ravenstahl on my left.

Todd: So, Andrew, let’s cut right to the fucking Christmas goose here: Several of your libraries are being closed because you weren’t immortal enough and couldn’t continue exploiting steel workers to channel the money they made back into philanthropic causes that their hard working bodies and underdeveloped brains could never use. Now, some historians say that, had you not died, the steel industry in America, particularly Pittsburgh, could have sustained itself for much longer—maybe even to the modern era. How much of an impact did your death have on your future, and our present, Pittsburgh, one of today’s greenest cities?

Andrew: I died?

Luke: I feel like bringing up Andrew’s death is kind of a low blow here, todd. You should probably get on him for being sub-five feet in height; you know, something over which he has control.

Todd: Right. So, Andrew, why did you choose to be four-feet, eleven-inches tall? I mean, even after death, that’s not a desirable height. You surely could have had a better time negotiating with much taller, less literate men with another foot spread out across the vertical length of your bones.

Luke: Your skin, too.

Todd: Yeah, skin. Forgot about that one.

Andrew: I died?

Luke: Yeah, you died; and we’re downsizing your library system, too.

Todd: Luke, that’s enough—the man’s in shock about realizing that modern humans are more captivated by height and sexual prowess than earning power and the ability to secretly walk through clothing racks at department stores as if they were turnstiles.

Luke: I’m cleaning up after Andrew Carnegie: His excessive libraries, leftover steel mills and creation-debunking museums are still causing community disruption 90 years after his overdue death.

Andrew: I’m dead?

Todd: Turn that question into a statement, and we’ll take this interview places it should never have gone.

Todd: Ahem. I am dead. And I have just been resurrected …

Luke: Don’t you mean reanimated?

Andrew: I stand corrected--the venerable HP Lovecraft, and his finest creation, Herbert West-Re-Animator, should be referenced and cited at every opportune occasion.

Todd: Andrew, I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but Lovecraft’s Herbert West ReAnimator wasn’t published until 1923, which at this point you had been dead for four years; and his work remained obscure to even the utmost horror/sci-fi fanatic until only recently.

Andrew: Certainly my post-life endeavors could not have been limited by my lack of pulse, cognition and response.

Todd: Wait a minute -- Are you saying that Reanimator is nonfiction, and you were the real life case upon which the story was based?

Andrew: Loosely based. Since modern science in my time wasn’t as modern as that in Lovecraft’s fiction, I donated my body to him and his works of reality-based fiction. And so my early post-life experiences were documented in Herbert West Re-Animator, which was also semi-autobiographical for the writer.

Luke: Enough about this old news—Let’s talk about my impending reelection tomorrow.

Andrew: Luke, are you part of the group of weasels who support keeping Old Allegheny City a part of Pittsburgh? How do you feel about Pittsburgh’s 1907 Annexation of Allegheny?

Luke: What does that have to do with what’s going on in Pittsburgh today? Allegheny City has been a part of Pittsburgh for almost as long as it stood on its own two industrial legs. Allegheny was strengthened when Pittsburgh welcomed it into its web. The only people who support the Revival of Old Allegheny are dead, like you, Andrew.

Todd: That’s undead, Luke. And actually, as you must know, because of your upbringing across the river and up the hill, the North Side/Old Allegheny is practically a free state as is: You can get away with anything there. There are certainly folks on the North Side who would support the secession of Allegheny from Pittsburgh if they knew such opportunities existed. If re-elected tomorrow, will you provide this option for Pittsburgh Residents living in areas that were once Allegheny City?

Luke: Um, don’t you want to hear about how I spiritually curbstomped anarcho motherfuckers at the G20?

Andrew: The G20’s suppression of dissent was as heavily stacked in favor of those in Power as every single steelworker strike during my time as a Robber Baron, especially in Homestead where it was rumored that I curbstomped some motherfucking Union member.

Todd: Rumored? You’re saying it didn’t happen? I’ve got a neighbor with photos of the victim’s teeth on the curb and you sitting beside him, holding his head up like a trophy buck, 10 points and nothing less.

Andrew: If you look at the physics of the supposed curb stomping of that motherfucker, it becomes apparent that my short legs could have played no part in such a brutal act of violence against the individual representing organized workers.

Luke: Wait—let’s talk about me! Look at me! (Sits down when no one notices him.)

Todd: So, you didn’t curbstomp that motherfucker?

Andrew: No, I wasn’t even in town at the time. I was trying to convince the world that peace could be achieved through creating a simplified spelling system to make English available to all.

Todd: At least your priorities were in line. Mr. Carnegie, let’s again discuss your libraries.

Andrew: They’re not my libraries. I put down money to construct these libraries, but it’s up to you and everyone around you to fill them with books and hungry readers. I requested that the city set aside $40,000 per year for books, maintenance, and staffing, but that was in 1889 money. The city still provides just that -- $40,000—but that can’t buy you much more than a house or two in Upper Lawrenceville these days.

Todd: So, you’re not here as a fully re-animated billionaire to make a case for keeping Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Libraries open? The system is closing libraries in Hazelwood, the West End, Lawrenceville and Beechview.

Andrew: I have never been to Beechview.

Luke: (Stands again, excitedly.) That’s not even the point! If you’re back tonight, then you can rewrite your will to include adjustments to that $40,000 that include inflation, which will save all of our libraries without being too unreasonable for the city to accept the revisions.

Andrew: Why do you need my presence to modify the past for a future that doesn’t need to be rewritten by my hand? Any number of previous mayors and their city councils could have spearheaded an adjustment campaign for city-library funding. Why would you wait for me to show up at a dive bar to suggest such drastic changes?

Luke: Because I can’t do this by myself. Did you see how many cops I needed to protect the World Leaders in town for the G20? I need you to rewrite history and take the pressure off of me to make it look like I care about this city.

Andrew: Luke, I am but a wealthy corpse; I am no cop. And despite this opportunity for me to sign my name and add a footnote to the original Carnegie Library contract, it has to be up to the people to protect and maintain their communities.

Luke: The people can’t do shit without people like us.

Andrew: The people can’t do shit with people like us, Luke.

Todd: And that’s all the time we have tonight. Luke, I think you’ve made a good case against your reelection; and Andrew, I think you’ve proved that, despite a few decent points here and there, rich people are better dead than alive. Off with you both now, shoo!

Monday, November 2, 2009


We just fund raised $170.00 in our effort to support the struggle to keep our libraries up and running here in Pittsburgh. Hopefully we got a few people to call their representatives in the very janky phone booth I made for the occasion--which was more of the point.

There was a recent Zine reading at the Carnegie library, which Artnoose read at. Tonights readings included Sarah LaBuff, and later in this month there will be three more readings that will feature Elwin and me (two each (there's some overlap (got it?))). Plus, there will be some sort of thing with our first visiting writer Magpie.

All and all, a lot going on. But for now, I'm going to sleep.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NaNoWriMo, Cyberpunk Apocalypse style

The Cyberpunk Apocalypse is doing a month-long, chart-based project for the month of November as a part of NaNoWriMo. Photos and details as the month progresses.

Which housemate will write the most during the month? Who will have the highest daily word count? And how about that maverick visiting writer--- how will he fare in this cut-throat battle? Will there be prizes or merely bragging rights?

Stay tuned to find out how this all turns out.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New Visiting Writer-January

Congratulations to Walker Mettling. He has just been accepted to the Cyberpunk Apocalypse Visiting Writer program for the month of January 2010. He plans to polish a book of weird stories while at the house. He'll also be giving some sort of performance related to the stories before he goes, so keep an eye out for that. And check out his blog in the meantime.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cyberpunk Apocalypse: getting things done.

More info tba: library benefit @ Belvedere's Nov 2nd. The day before the mayoral election!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Catchup: an allovertheplace entry

Everything is going well at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse--my personal opinion.
We're working to get together a second issue of the publication, that will be themed around the G20. The first issue is finally on the site! F yeah!
The Carnegie library system got a big cut (dropping branches (Lawrenceville included))--which sucks, but we'll see if we can't do something a
bout that.
On the upswing Sara got a few little clips in the "How Not to Cookbook." She got a free copy in the mail. It's an amusing publication--good for any coffee table or bathroom.
I've also been trying to find people to do illustrations for Elwin's short fantasy collection--urban fantasy, black folktale, and punk rock crammed into four stories that will enchant the shit out of you.
He really wants a classic illustration style like Arthur Rackham. If you know anyone feel free to email us: cyberpunkapocalypse(at)

I've been doodling around in case we can't find anyone, and this is what I've come up with so far. Sort of a metal album cover drawn by Charles Schultz. Point being, we'd like to do better. We'll need at least one illustration per story (4) and a cover--maybe by a different artist.

Fall--as usual--is jerking us around. There's a push to start an apocalyptic book club. An erotic fiction writing group. And who knows what else to make it through winter.

I went to a talk at Pitt about interrelated short story collections featuring Anne Sanow (winner of the 2009 Drue Heinz Literature Prize) and Cathy Day (writer, professor, and general bad-ass).

At some point they started talking about "the abyss"--meaning post-college, where you need to find your own community and motivations for writing.

Of course this is a particularly interesting subject to me--who considers the void a beautiful and vast playground full of good soil and helpful gnomes and the like to assist you on your journey to being a mature, developed, and innovative writer. I emailed Cathy a couple of days later about this and she responded with a very thoughtful and interesting email with an invigorating essay by Ted Solotaroff attached called "The first ten years: writing in the cold" from his collection "A Few Good Voices in My Head." The essay basically said that young talented writers are off their rockers, or at least set up for quite a trip in the "real world." (I don't really know who I'm quoting here--probably a lot of people have said "real world" (I guess I'm quoting them))

Cathy also pointed out that there are "822 degree-granting creative writing programs in this country, but Harcourt/Houghton Mifflin can’t afford to acquire new manuscripts due to low book sales." I must admit--it does sound ominous when put that way. It is also understandable that people have grown concerned about literary culture surviving this century, but I can't help but be stoked.

Obviously people don't come out of writing programs as good writers. Degrees don't make you
talented. Degrees don't give you unique and interesting things to say, nor do they inspire you to deliver these messages in a unique and interesting way. There are reasons to go to school--sure, but I'll let the rest of the world convince you of that.

And of course the big name book companies are going to be struggling. They are strong armed into deals with places like Walmart, putting all the risk on them and forcing up the price of books. Basically the big book sellers are always gambling for a best seller, and throwing hundreds away when the latest paperback doesn't get on Oprah's reading list. Making life harder for small bookstores, and writers, and publishers. That whole system is F'ed (reference--REBEL BOOKSELLER: HOW TO IMPROVISE YOUR OWN INDIE STORE & BEAT BACK THE CHAINS).

BUT! at the same time as this shit is happening something else is going on. Because culture never dies, it just goes underground and changes. And while big publishers are failing, printing is getting cheaper than ever. Homeless kids can publish their own zines--like the guy who got me into writing (homeless college student (does that count?)). Small publishing blooms. In fact with computer access you can publish and distribute an infinitely long full-color publication across the globe for nothing but elbow grease. TA DA! Welcome to the cyberpunk apocalypse.

Granted there's more shit to sift through, but there are more shit-sifting forums as well. The shit is sorted by the audience, not by the printers.

My point is this--if you are trying to be a writer there is nothing stopping you in this world. If you are trying to create something that will add to the collective moral and philosophical wisdom of this world, give it a go. If you want to aid, or disturb, the emotional and psychological well-being of the population--you have the opportunity.
If you want to make money--you can even do that. Believe it or no, people do make money off of their writing--their zines, not much, but some. If your good, you can probably figure out a way to pay for the car you sleep in.

The only thing stopping writers today is the limits of their determination, their capabilities, their
resourcefulness, and their scruples.

The game's the same. The field is bigger.

Phew, got to blurt for minute. Now I'm gunna go write.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Visiting Writers' Program now accepting applications

The guest room has a new paint job, a modern look entirely in blue and white. We already have our first visiting writer lined up for November: Margaret Killjoy, whose book Mythmakers & Lawbreakers: Anarchist Writers on Fiction has just been released by AK Press.

We are still accepting applications for the visiting writers' program. Specifically, we encourage folks from northern climes to consider a month-long residency with us during the winter. Pittsburgh is hilly enough to make sledding fantastic, and while it's no Florida, we can pretty much promise that your eyeballs won't freeze. Wisconsin? Minnesota? Nunavut? Trust us: it's warmer here.

So again, here's the 411 on the visiting writer program:

Visiting Writer Program:

The Cyberpunk Apocalypse Visiting Writer Program is a one-month residency at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse writers house. The writers will be given a small bedroom at no cost and access to the same communal kitchen, bathroom, living space, etc. that is used by the long-term residents (again at no cost). Visiting writers will, however, be expected to take responsibility for acquiring and preparing their own meals. Applicants should also realize that they will be living communally with the long-term residents of the house and in an urban environment (i.e. not a cabin retreat).

Who should apply: Anybody with a writing project that they are excited about and that they could complete if they had a month to devote themselves to it. We do ask for projects that will be finished by the end of your stay so that you can do a small presentation of your work just before you leave. This could mean working on a smaller project (such as a zine) or a larger project that just needs to be polished.

How to apply:
Send an e-mail to cyberpunkapocalypse[at] with "Visiting Writer" in the subject line. Tell us (briefly) what you plan to work on, the month that you're applying to work, who you are/what you're like (since we'd be living with you if you were accepted), and attach or send links of previous works. It's that simple. Again, keep it succinct--if we have questions, we'll contact you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Someone commented that if there were no pictures it didn't happen. So here's the only picture I have. It was taken through my window as the police drove away. Only two of many cars are in the photo, and it's not very good. It was taken as an afterthought with my cell phone in the dark. I was back in my attic room and the cars were still driving away.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cyberpunk Apocalypse "on a list"

This morning at 1:30am the Cyberpunk Apocalypse writer's collective was rudely awakened. Outside, car doors sounded like popcorn. On an otherwise quiet street it was enough to get me out of bed. I looked out my open window, to see a fleet of police vehicles that went off in both directions farther than my view would allow. "Sara, there are like a hundred cops outside."
A flashlight beam hit my face and someone loudly pronounced, "There's someone in the attic."
There was rapping on the door before I picked up my shirt. I heard the police open my side gate and walk into my back yard, as I rushed to the second floor, and by the time I was halfway down the living room steps one of the writers-in-residence was talking through the back door with her boyfriend as the officers scanned our compost and ripe squash with one hand on their hips. "The owner of the house lives here," she said.
Coming up behind her I spoke above their conversation, "I own the property. I'm Dan. What's up?"
"Uh," said the one with glasses. The surprise that the three officers displayed may have been sincere.
Whatever the police were expecting to find, it wasn't a 22 year-old homeowner in khakis and a button-down shirt.
"Do you have any documentation?"
"I have the deed upstairs," I said. "Stay there, I'll be right back."
Sara was up now--everyone was up--as I scurried around looking for my deed. I grabbed my wallet so I could show them I.D. and I went back downstairs.
The one with glasses was waiting while the other two looked under the porch and around the yard one last time. They told me to just go out front, where I guess they had told the other guys to wait because they hadn't knocked my door down.
When I stepped out the front my roommate and her boyfriend were right behind to witness the line of cop cars and SUVs that stretched from 54th to 55th street bumper to bumper. There were around ten cops standing out front plus the three who came around the side. Some of the ones who had gotten out of their cars seemed to have gotten back in now that there wasn't going to be much of a show. I gave one man the deed and pulled out my drivers license while a few shotgun barrels were lowered, and the one with glasses pointed out that I had dropped my library card.
They said that there must have been "a mix up." One guy said, "We must have scared a year off your life," a couple of times in a row. Flashlights still going everywhere.
I agreed that it was startling, and asked them again "What's up?"
"What alleged charges? I mean--" My roommate put more formally.
"Well," said an officer. "You know the G20's coming..." He nodded--like that was enough.
"Yeah," I nodded in agreement--cringing for whatever reason.
He said that we must have gotten "on a list."
When my roommate asked how? why?
Someone shrugged, someone else asked "Do you talk to your neighbors?"
"People coming in and out," said another.
"People that live here," my roommate responded as I repacked my deed, license and library card.
"A neighbor probably said something."
"A neighbor said something tonight?"
They seemed to indicate that was the case, but in a way, without any verbal confirmation, that made me feel like they weren't telling us the truth, or they couldn't, or they just wanted to end the conversation as soon as possible.
I went inside, and with a great slamming of car doors they left. A caravan of cops longer than the one in the Columbus Day parade.
If you've been reading this blog then you probably know that I've been out of town--working fourteen hour days as a traveling poster salesman to raise money for the writer's space. A space I hope will do good for Pittsburgh by anybody's standards. Someplace that encourages creative thought and the building of a stronger and more diverse writing community in our amazing city.
Originally I wasn't supposed to get back in town until today--right around now.
And if I hadn't changed to an earlier flight I would be returning to a ransacked home. Perhaps my doors would have been boarded up, and my roommates would be on the streets or in jail because they couldn't prove that they have the owner's permission to be here.
And that's not the way it's supposed to work. That's not right, and that's not legal.

The Cyberpunk Apocalypse is not just my home, it is my life. Even though nothing came from our nighttime visitors except startled nerves and a loss of sleep, I can't help but feel absolutely violated. That those men, all dressed the same, would come onto my property--uninvited, in those numbers, pointing those guns, as if to say, "We could take everything. Your home, your life, your life's work--we could take everything that you are trying so hard to build. Just because."

But, this is the world we are living in. This is the right-now. There's no denying it. As Apache helicopters swoop over our heads and out-of-towner cops eye us suspiciously, and we eye each other suspiciously--I feel that a dark period has been forced upon our city which has been favored with relatively clear skies in this hard year.
I think if we can get through this week without tearing ourselves apart--we will be stronger for it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Hills Are Alive

Looky looky. Though the Cyberpunk Apocalypse is not mentioned, our Lawrenceville neighbors are put in a good light by this article, and our city is represented as an interesting nook of the literary world--which I think is accurate.

I'll be home soon writing and publishing and workshopping and putting up drywall soon. Because our city is a city where we build things.

The Hills Are Alive

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Here be dragons... and squash.

The reading tonight went very well, with around 30 people in attendance. It was a lovely Pittsburgh summer evening, so the readings were held in our charming yard. The volunteer winter squash plant seems to have plans to cover the entire span of brickwork with its elephantine leaves, but until then, we'll have readings again and again.

Plans are still in the works to host a dragon art show some time in the middle of October. We're waiting on securing a certain middle-school-aged dragon-themed band to round out the evening and then we'll announce the date. Until then, start making some art about dragons already!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

FLORIDA, visionary art

I hear the event on the 16th went well. Also, our shared booth with Morgan Cahn at the Visionary Arts festival must have been torn down a while ago. There is still a reading coming up on the 21st, but alas, I will still be selling posters to college kids so I can pay those bills (you know the ones). Right now, I'm in Tallahassee Florida. Nothing but orange juice and sunshine.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


August 21st, from 7-9pm the Cyberpunk Apocalypse will be holding a reading, featuring the work of Elwin Cotman, Brenda Battad, and Tokiea Fitzgerald.
There will be beverages, and it will be awesome.
@the Cyberpunk Apocalypse--5431 Carnegie Street, Pittsburgh PA 15201

(don't forget about our Journalism for Breakfast event on Aug 16th--see below)

Friday, July 31, 2009


Morning talk with Paul Hogarth
Managing Editor of Beyond Chron
San Francisco's leading alternative online newspaper
(before his afternoon flight home).

Sunday, August 16th @ 10AM (until 11AM when Mr. Hogarth must catch a plane)
Included: Free coffee and WAFFLES!
Have questions about independent journalism?
Paul Hogarth will destroy those questions with insightful, experience-based answers!

Journalism, coffee, and waffles at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse Writers' Project
5431 Carnegie Street (at 54th & Butler) in Upper Lawrenceville

More about Beyond Chron here.
More about Paul Hogarth here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bed & Breakfast

I've finally gone and looked at my buddy's blog: G20 Bed & Breakfast. It's a must read satirical cometary on the upcoming excitement.

Monday, July 20, 2009


We sold out of Cyberpunk Apocalypse Issue One today. I'll be doing a small second run shortly. That's the good news.
The bad news is, Lianne crashed her scooter and couldn't get to the reading that was going to be at our house here. Thankfully she's ok. She still wants to do the reading, so keep an eye out for whenever that ends up happening.
The house is chugging along. Ross is considering doing some comic work, and Sara has started expanding a short story she wrote earlier in her stay at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse.
Our web-design problem is changing hands again, so be patient with the site and hopefully the Cyberpunk Apocalypse's first issue will be up for free soon.
We had some dogs for two days, now we have none. A lot of things have been happening actually. I don't know. I should really be working on my comic right now. Here's a clip from it:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Post-Canada Zine Reading

Leanne and Shakes report back from the north
Zine Reading @ the Cyberpunk Apocalypse. Leanne O'Connor and Shakes talk about their writing residency in Halifax, Nova Scotia and read from new zines.
Host:Cyberpunk Apocalypse
Time:6:00PM Monday, July 20th
Location:Cyberpunk Apocalypse

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday Open Hours and Pittsburgh's First Small Press Festival

This Friday's open hours has been great. A number of people came to work on their writing, while our new friend Miriam started cataloguing all the books in the take-a-book leave-a-book library, so that once the new website is up you'll be able to see what books we have, and what's new.
Meanwhile Sara, Ross, and I primered the kitchen in the back house, so we can paint and move in soon.

In other news Pittsburgh's first Small Press Festival is this month! July 18th and 19th the Cybepunk Apocalypse will be tabling along with a number of other small press, writing, and lit people from all over. We'll be up at the Regina Gouger Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University from noon till 6pm. It should be a lot of fun.

New sweet video by local designer

technology is everywhere. from Justin Edmund on Vimeo.

This is a video I just saw by a local CMU design student by the name of Justin Edmund. To the guys that try and send me misogynist stories about guitarists with robotic arms that beat hookers in their spare time--watch this video and think about what the cyberpunk apocalypse means in the context of the world we live in today.

Monday, June 29, 2009

cyberpunk documentary and the woes of lost data

Yesterday my flash dive stopped working. Of course my novel was backed up, but not much else was. So I spent the day walking in the rain moping (a productive decision, I know). The flash drive is sitting in front of me now, and it strikes me how much like people these little things are when they die. The body's still there, but the soul of the thing has slipped away. That's the way data is. It can be copied endlessly for nothing, but it can also disappear into nothing.

But life goes on. I'll be painting the kitchen soon, but I wanted to post this video before I did. Interviews with Timothy Leary, and William Gibson on Cyberpunk. It's a fun film--I hope you enjoy.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Physical avitar

Here's a video I found on line that has the guy who made the physical avatar I talk about in cyberpunk apocalypse the publication. He explains how he orriginally made the thing out of junk he trash-picked.

Monday, June 15, 2009

One member of the Cyberpunk Apocalypse needs to read Sartre

It's a bit quieter than usual at the cyberpunk apocalypse house right now. Two of our roommates are out of town, and in truth I'm the only one awake here.
I've been sick, so I've contented myself to doing some minor work on the house (killing mold, moving compost, etc.) and, of course, working on my book.
I hope to have the text in good sorts when my health returns and I bicycle to Washington D.C..
But even if we walk on a lazy summer day, the world sprints around us. It can't be helped.
Earlier in the evening Sara brought home an interview of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone De Beauvoir on DVD from the library. Ross was excited. "Sartre's my favourite philosopher," he said. "I think."
I was also excited, because I didn't know a damn thing about either of them. So, the three of us watched it together huddled on the couch in front of the little TV. It made an impression on me. I'll have to read them, and about them. I think I'll start with Sartre, for no reason other than the fact that I'm slightly more drawn by him.. slightly more so than his counterpart.
Perhaps what struck me about the duo, was in their interview I seemed to find a simple answer for that question that plagues so many writers, myself especially: Why write? Why do anything really?
"Our job is to find meaning," said Sartre.
In a universe devoid of purpose isn't the search for meaning the only reasonable undertaking? Without meaning isn't all other action hollow?
I think I will try to find meaning first, then I will do the rest.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Call for Submissions

Daniel McCloskey is collecting work to put together and anthology called "The job that pays me." This publication will be a collection of sort pieces by creative people discussing what they do in exchange for money, or other goods that fulfil their basic needs. Less than ten pages would be preferable (12pt double-spaced if it's text). Shorter is better. Know (if you're doing something visual) that the publication will most likely be printed half sized (5.5x8.5). Give me what you got,Deadline is July 15th.

Email all submissions to danielpatrickmccloskey[at]
with "JOB submissions"
If you get in I won't pay you anything, but I will give you a copy of the publication once completed.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Word Luck

This Tuesday, at 7 pm, we will be hosting an open reading at the house. Do come.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Scrabble Night

Last night was scrabble night. It was a good time with pie and letters and neighbours and friends. This afternoon I'll be giving five copies of the publication to Caliban Books on Craig Street in Oakland, and then talk to Joseph L. Flatly, who's going to put together the next issue. In the meantime I'm reading Dune and thinking about the book I'm writing, and sweating in the summer heat.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cyberpunk Apocalypse Issue 1: released

Cyberpunk Apocalypse Issue 1:an intellectual property is in stores now. It can be found at the Bid Idea in Bloomfield, Copacetic Comics in Squirrel Hill and at Phantom of the Attic in Oakland. You can also get a copy at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse at open hours or at any of our events. Every copy has a silk-screened cover and each one was bound in our living room. We're asking for $4 per copy, and all of the proceeds benefit the Cyberpunk Apocalypse Writer's project.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Publication Release Party

On May 22nd we are having a release party for Welcome to the Cyberpunk Apocalypse: Issue 1. An intellectual property, and a silent art auction for Cyberpunk Apocalypse-themed art, at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse: 5431 Carnegie Street.
There will be a suggested donation of $3-5 per copy of the publication, and hanging out & having fun will be free
Artists wishing to be awesome and donate art for the auction should contact Daniel soon because the art must be ready to be put up by the time of the event (!)
All proceeds will benefit the Cyberpunk Apocalypse writer's project.

Zine reading this Friday: West Coaster plus locals

Friday, May 8th: zine reading at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse!

Moe Bowstern, long-time publisher of the zine Xtra Tuf, is coming through town and will read from her zine about being a commercial fisherwoman. Several local zine writers (Ocean, Artnoose, Mary, Leanne, Dan, etc.) will also be reading. This is going to be a stellar event. Please bring $ to buy zines from Moe to help her get back to Portland.

6 pm potluck, 7:30 readings

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Open hours reportback

Unseasonably hot weather may have factored into the low attendance but high fun at this week's open hours. Seriously, it was in the mid-80's--- who'd want to be inside on a day like that? Not us, that's for sure. We brought the household outdoors, even bringing out one of the tables which then Danny and I used to collate the entirety of Ker-bloom! #77, which I had just finished printing this week. Special on the menu were BLTs and bagels with homemade cashew butter. I'm not saying this to rub it in; I'm just letting you know what you missed. Next week we'll fully have iced coffee.

Beyond food and beverage, action and conversation also ensued in the yard between houses. Our new housemate did laundry outside, and Danny and I drank coffee and talked for hours straight while putting 300 letterpress zines together. Mostly the conversation volleyed back and forth between novel writing and house construction. It was like shuffling cards--- no segues were necessary. We jumped back and forth between plot development and partition walls, publishing and copper pipe.

Friday, April 24, 2009

University of Pittsburgh Alumnus Reflects

It's finals week of the spring semester at the University of Pittsburgh, meaning that in a few days I will have graduated one full year ago from the institution in which I am sitting right now (I'm printing the Cp A publication on the spare printing pages of college students' semesterly quotas). I've been at this since 2 a.m. and it's 5 now. I feel that these are often the best times to reflect on your life--when you can feel the veins that lead from your optical cavity to your brain, when you forget how your hands are connected to your body and everything seems to float about everything else.
This past year has been the first year in my memorable life that I was not in school. And, believe it or no, I think I have gotten far more accomplished in these 12 months than any of those previous. Which means that, I may not have been talking out of my ass when I said school got in the way.

-I finally finished a draft of my novel.
-I bought two houses (at once)in order to start the writers' project I that I conceptually developed post graduation.
-Failed to get a sprout grant.
-Found roommates who rule, and write.
-With them (roommates) started hosting events and open hours at the house.
-I am printing and putting together my first magazine-like thing.
-I did almost all the illustrations for this mag
-I co-created most of a board game (man we need to finish that thing)
-I got a lot better at drawing comics (had a short run of 3 panels with the Pitt News, (they didn't know I was no longer a student) man that was no fun)

A lot of the stuff, admittedly, has to do with this project (like working on the website and this blog) and I got help on everything, but I had help before I graduated and I had other bizarre and far fetched ideas then too, but I always said that I would do it after college, or I didn't have time or something.

All I'm saying is: school's lame.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bookmark Us!

We now have fabulous screenprinted bookmarks by the fabulous Morgan! Now when you come by during Friday open hours you can remember where it is in your book (or journal or sketchbook) you last left off, and maybe you can remember us as well.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Round Robin and Ads on line

A couple of things:
I put together a second blog:
That's where the round-robin style writing project we're working on will be posted.
It's a fun story inspired by a drab experience sifting through senior manuscripts of former grad-students at a local University. We decided that it was all crap (everyone's a critic) and that we ought to write our own manuscript that we could hide amongst the spiral-bound volumes. The idea was that if we wrote something that was fun, and unpretentious, it wouldn't matter if it was bad. Like a pop-punk band--if everyone's having a good time, musical quality becomes less important.
So I wrote the first chapter on a bus right after reading Snow Crash (I think it shows) and we've been passing it around ever since.

Second thing: Advertisements--we have some on both blogs. I know, I know, selling out and whatnot, but let me put something in perspective. At the Cyberpunk Apocalypse we run a writers' residency program, a writers' lounge, an events space, and a publication without any money other than what we fundraise. The "rent," meaning the taxes and homeowners insurance for one year, at the two houses we run the project out of is 2,200 dollars per year. That's not too bad but it's a lot to fundraise. On the other hand that divides up to a little more than $6 per day, which means that if a couple of you guys click on our ads every day, then we can focus on fundraising to improve our programming and support local writers more effectively. SO CLICK ON OUR ADS if you think the ad is interesting to you. You'll be doing a lot of good for a little effort.
Thank you, I promise that will be the first and last time I say that so blatantly.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

24hours of film

24 hours of writer and/or science fiction films, april 30th till may 1st, come and go as you please!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

First Open Hours Session

The first of our open hours sessions was today. I'd say it went pretty well, considering that nobody who doesn't already live here showed up besides Tommy Jarvis, and he didn't even come all of the way through the front door.
This wasn't a huge surprise, since we haven't advertised heavily, and we're just getting started. If you don't know already, the open hours at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse is when our living room and kitchen get converted into a kind of speakeasy-coffee shop for writers to spend time in the company of other writers. For now they are on Fridays from noon to 7pm, and we have coffee and snacks and pencils.
Despite the low attendance it was a profitable experience. Since my electrical engineer acquaintances have been slow to get back to me I've been doing research on DIY electrical generation. The back house is a little damp, so I thought I could probably build a little windmill generator and hook it up to a computer fan that could help ventilate the basement. I had originally been fantasizing about the possibility of making hundreds of little windmills on my roof generate electricity for the entire house. It turns out that there is a very practical reason that most electrical generation systems are not made of hundreds of little generators: the less the wattage being transferred the less efficiently the electricity travels across a cord. So while high voltage lines can go hundreds of miles without loosing much power, little generators can loose a significant amount of power over the distance of a 10 feet. That doesn't mean my little generator-to-ventilation fan idea won't work. It doesn't even mean that you cant put a dent in your electricity usage with a lot of little generators; it's just another obstacle is all--I'll keep you updated.
I also spent this time working on more illustrations for the upcoming publication. Unfortunately the robots that Bill works for wouldn't let him leave the invention factory today, but hopefully we'll get work done tomorrow, and will get the book printed soon.

Ross came home unexpectedly from work with a cold. It was too bad that he was sick, but it was great he got to come home. Ever since he's been working on writing his opera in the basement with his accordion, Sara's keyboard and a borrowed four-track tape recorder (seriously he came home at 2pm and he's down there now at 10:42).

As for me, I think I'll spend my evening in my room working on my novel with a glass of water and pound on that rock for a bit.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Microcosm Reading?

Seems like a reading isn't happening here. I haven't heard anything and it is 8pm.

Work at the Writer's Space


This morning Ross Sara and I sat around in the sun eating icecream made from frozen dumpster-bananas, and talking about the Cyberpunk Apocalypse. Within a week or so we sould have wifi here and our neighbor Chris is going to set up his desktop in the events-space as a public computer.

Once Artnoose gets the water working in the back house we'll move our kitchen, and once I get a new basement door we'll have a bike-room. So, once that happens there will be a real comfortable space for struggling writers to come, and be surrounded with people who are driven (just like them) are passionate (just like them) spend long hours working over old pieces on their computer until their not sure if the words even make a coherent sentence or convey any meaning (just like them).

In the mean-time here are some projects that are in the works:
-The website is getting re-vamped (who knows how long it will take, but it should be great). My friend Varun is being a great pall and offered his assistance.
-The final version of the first publication is being finalized for printing later this week. Billy is working his magic design skills around and producing some solid gold grey-scale shit.
-Once the publication is printed we hope to have a release party around May 15th, where we would sell a few copies and possibly have an art auction in conjunction with the release. So, we'll be looking for local artists willing to donate works that are inspired by the Cyberpunk Apocalypse (either in a funny or serious way) to be sold in order to help support the project.
-Ross is planing a 24hour movie marathon of movies about, or relating to writing later this month.
-Ross is also planing on selling raffle-tickets to see who will be allowed to cut his hair.
-Art Noose is having an awsome Lemonade week with a reading at the Carnegie library's main branch in Oakland (7pm TODAY thursday 4/16/09!!) that will climax with a Welcome Home Artnoose (vegan) Potluck at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse (5431 Carnegie St. @ 54th in Upper Lawrenceville) that starts at 8pm Sunday 4/19/09. She also recently finished the text for her newest issue of Ker-bloom!!
-Sara, mean while turned 24 today and is thinking about a stream-of-conciseness writing party, and trying to get Ross to learn enough 80s songs on the accordion that we can have an 80s night cyberpunk apocalypse style.
-Zoe is moving to Chicago come May 1st, and we already have a writer interested in moving in, which is exciting.

As you can see, there is a lot of stuff going on that we are very excited about, but hopefully this is just the beginning.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Artnoose Moves In!

Well friends, consider the backstairs house inhabited. This week I'm moving into the little house in the back of the compound. I have a little work to do reconnecting the plumbing in the basement, but other than that, I'm good to go. The ground floor of this house is destined to be more communal than it is currently, but as it is I'm the only one in this house. This afternoon I set up walkie-talkies so that the main house and I can communicate without yelling across the yard. (Maybe a tin-can phone is in order!)

I'm pretty excited about this spring and summer, both because I think this space will give me time to focus on my writing projects, but also because the other people who live here have some great ideas. More adventures to come...

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