The Steampunk Forum at Brass Goggles
November 20, 2017, 06:33:21 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Support BrassGoggles! Donate once or $3/mo.
 See details here.
 
   Home   Blog Help Rules Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Generating Steampunk Fiction Using William S. Burroughs Cut-Up Technique  (Read 312 times)
RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« on: May 04, 2017, 05:35:34 am »

I did an experiment to see what could be produced using cut-up technique on Victorian adventure fiction. This is a technique developed by the Dadaists, and popularized by William S. Burroughs. You basically cut up existing writing and recombine the text randomly, then your pick out the interesting parts and use them as the inspiration for a written work. The idea is that the random process will get past your biases and assumptions, and help you to generate ideas that the limitations of your mind would not ordinarily allow you to have.

So I took the first chapters of two well-known novels that are available as e-texts, dropped them into a word processor, used the alt-select function to tear out a chunk of each line of print, and interspersed the pieces of the two books to make one long text string. The process created a lot of word fragments, so I ran the spellchecker, fixing the words that I could recognize, and selecting random words from the spellchecker's choices when I couldn't tell what the original word was.

So I now present to you a blend of bits of the first chapters of "The Sign of the Four" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and "War of the Worlds" by H.G. Welles.

Quote
War of the Four

have believed in the his bottle from the corner of the nineteenth and his hypodermic syringe his world was being co case. With his long, y and closely by s he adjusted the delicate greater than man's k his left shirt-cuff. For tale as his own; that  eyes rested thoughtfully d themselves about m and wrist all dotted and concerns they were let puncture-marks. Finally d studied, perhaps int home, pressed down the lowly as a man with a back into the velvet-lined get scrutinize the sigh of satisfaction. ruse that swarm and for many months I had drop of water. With mane, but custom had not agency men went to  it. On the contrary, from is globe about their one more irritable at the , serene in their nice swelled nightly within their empire over t I had lacked the courage  possible that the  again I had registered a r the microscope do eviler my soul upon the be gave a thought to was that in the cool, worlds of space as  companion which made him n danger, or thought om one would care to take  dismiss the idea of to a liberty. His great m as impossible or manner, and the experience is curious to recall  his many extraordinary natal habits of those  diffident and backward in  At most terrestrial  here might be other soon, whether it was the  perhaps inferior to ken with my lunch, or the  ready to welcome a n produced by the extreme enterprise. Yet across inner, I suddenly felt that ace, minds that are anger. s ours are to those ?" I asked,—"morphine or tits that perish,  st and cool and goodly from the old black regarded this earth  he had opened. "It is yes, and slowly and  seven-per-cent. solution. or plans against us. it?" he twentieth century answered, brusquely. "My disillusionment. t got over the Afghan rs, I scarcely need  afford to throw any extra red, revolves about   mean distance of emergence. "Perhaps you are lech, and the light aid. "I suppose that its caves from the sun lye a bad one. I find it,  of that received by dependently stimulating and t must be, if the  that its secondary action Isis has any truth, moment." r world; and long id, earnestly. "Count the earth ceased to be  as you say, be roused and pin its surface must a pathological and morbid s course. The fact es increased tissue-change rely one seventh of  a permanent weakness. You the earth must have k reaction comes upon you. s cooling to the idly worth the candle. Why  which life could re passing pleasure, risk or and water and all eat powers with which you ray for the support remember that I speak not stance.  another, but as a medical  man, and so blinded constitution he is to some  that no writer, up  d of the nineteenth ended. On the contrary, he zed any idea that together and leaned his life might have f his chair, like one who e far, or indeed at ration. s earthly level. Nor rebels at stagnation. Give lily understood that  work, give me the most elder than our earth, or the most intricate  a quarter of the  my own proper atmosphere. ea and remoter from it artificial stimulants. necessarily follows  routine of existence. I t only more distant  beginning but nearer ration. That is why I have  lat profession,—or rather cooling that must he only one in the world." kw our planet has detective?" I said, raising far indeed with our   physical condition consulting detective," he lye a mystery, but we last and highest court of at even in its hen Gregson or Lestrade or region the midday  of their depths—which, by rely approaches that normal state—the matter is  winter. Its air is examine the data, as an sated than ours, its  a specialist's opinion. I ink until they cover ch cases. My name figures  its surface, and as work itself, the pleasure sons change huge  my peculiar powers, is my r and melt about oi have yourself had some  and periodically ethos of work in the temperate zones. That  exhaustion, which to , cordially. "I was never credibly remote, has mg in my life. I even net-day problem for small brochure with the ts of Mars. The title of 'A Study in rue of necessity has  their intellects, sly. "I glanced over it," powers, and hardened I cannot congratulate you And looking across , or ought to be, an exact instruments, and e treated in the same cold such as we have r. You have attempted to ed of, they see, at misc, which produces much  distance only you worked a love-story or  miles sunward of he fifth proposition of g star of hope, our  planet, green with there," I remonstrated. "I  grey with water, the facts."  atmosphere eloquent  suppressed, or at least a it glimpses through ion should be observed in loud wisps of broad lye point in the case which populous country and  the curious analytical crowded seas. ts to causes by which I the creatures who g it." Earth, must be to them  criticism of a work which in and lowly as are signed to please him. I d lemurs to us. The I was irritated by the die of man already to demand that every line life is an incessant d be devoted to his own existence, and it than once during the years at this too is the  him in Baker Street I had  minds upon Mars. all vanity underlay my s far gone in its didactic manner. I made no his world is still at nursing my wounded leg. fee, but crowded only set through it some time  regard as inferior t did not prevent me from ray warfare sunward oily at every change of the are only escape from  n that, generation extended recently to the n, creeps upon them. es, after a while, filling judge of them too t pipe. "I was consulted lust remember what  Le Villard, who, as you utter destruction our one rather to the front s wrought, not only detective service. He has such as the vanished of quick intuition, but he  dodo, but upon its e wide range of exact  The Tasmanians, in essential to the higher human likeness, were rt. The case was concerned  out of existence in possessed some features of termination waged by e to refer him to two rants, in the space e at Riga in 1857, and the arch. Are we such 1871, which have suggested icy as to complain if son. Here is the letter warred in the same morning acknowledging my  ed over, as he spoke, a  seem to have reign notepaper. I glanced are descent with hing a profusion of notes subtlety--their tray "magnifiques," "coup- earning is evidently "tours-de-force," all of ours--and to have ardent admiration of the or preparations with  perfect unanimity. Had to his master," said I. s permitted it, we distance too highly," said in the gathering try. "He has considerable ck in the nineteenth eases two out of the three  like Schiaparelli or the ideal detective. He d planet--it is odd, observation and that of hat for countless  wanting in knowledge; and has been the star of . He is now translating my d to interpret the h." appearances of the  mapped so well. All  he cried, laughing. "Yes,  Martians must have  several monographs. They day. cal subjects. Here, for position of 1894 a n the Distinction between was seen on the pious Tobaccoes.' In it I t of the disk, first and forty forms of cigar-, observatory, then by e-tobacco, with colored e, and then by other he difference in the ash. is readers heard of  continually turning up in in the issue  which is sometimes of  August 2. I am  a clue. If you can say ink that this blaze let, that some murder has  the casting of the ho was smoking an Indian e vast pit sunk into  narrows your field of  from which their ed eye there is as much red at us. Peculiar the black ash of a set unexplained, were white fluff of bird's-eye tie of that outbreak cabbage and a potato."  two oppositions. nary genius for minutiae," t upon us six years   Mars approached  importance. Here is my ell of Java set the racing of footsteps, with astronomical exchange  uses of plaster of Paris with the amazing presses. Here, too, is a  a huge outbreak of upon the influence of a as upon the planet.  the hand, with lithotypes  towards midnight of res, sailors, corkcutters, and the spectroscope, , and diamond-polishers. d at once resorted, tear practical interest to ass of flaming gas, be,—especially in cases of en, moving with an or in discovering the city towards this as. But I weary you with t of fire had become  t a quarter past red, earnestly. "It is of compared it to a  to me, especially since I f flame suddenly and unity of observing your tried out of the of it. But you spoke just laming gases rushed  deduction. Surely the one   the other." appropriate phrase it  e next day there was answered, leaning back his in the papers rm-chair, and sending up e note in the Daily om his pipe. "For example,  the world went in that you have been to the one of the gravest Office this morning, but ever threatened the now that when there you might not have heard " n at all had I not ht on both points! But I  the well-known see how you arrived at it.  Ottershaw. He was e upon my part, and I have ed at the news, and ." s of his feelings  itself," he remarked, to take a turn with rise,—"so absurdly simple in a scrutiny of the s superfluous; and yet it  the limits of observation l that has happened enervation tells me that you  remember that vigil h mould adhering to your y: the black and  the Seymour Street Office troy, the shadowed he pavement and thrown up g a feeble glow upon  in such a way that it is e corner, the steady wading in it in entering. e clockwork of the peculiar reddish tint which  little slit in the  know, nowhere else in the  profundity with the  is observation. The rest ed across it. Ogilvy  visible but audible. dice the telegram?"  the telescope, one w that you had not written f deep blue and the sat opposite to you all ante swimming in the  your open desk there that med such a little amps and a thick bundle of get and small and d you go into the post lye marked with  to send a wire? Eliminate pies, and slightly and the one which remains  the perfect round.   it was, so silvery mainly is so," I replied, wad of light! It was . "The thing, however, is, red, but really this molest. Would you think me cope vibrating with  to put your theories to a f the clockwork that   in view. he answered, "it would the planet seemed to  a second dose of cocaine. and smaller and to  to look into any problem cede, but that was  to me." eye was tired. Forty that it is difficult for a lech it was from us- etc in daily use without y millions of miles  his individuality upon it people realize the rained observer might read vacancy in which the a watch which has recently  material universe ion. Would you have the t in the field, I have an opinion upon the  three faint points  the late owner?" i telescopic stars e watch with some slight och, and all around in my heart, for the test fathomable darkness of an impossible one, and I You know how that scion against the somewhat ks on a frosty e occasionally assumed. He . In a telescope it  his hand, gazed hard at under. And invisible  back, and examined the it was so remote and naked eyes and then with a swiftly and steadily  I could hardly keep from oz that incredible alien face when he finally wing nearer every d handed it back.  many thousands of  data," he remarked. "The he Thing they were lye cleaned, which robs me e Thing that was to facts." struggle and calamity answered. "It was cleaned the earth. I never me." In my heart I accused hen as I watched; no mg forward a most lame and  dreamed of that ever his failure. What data e. n uncleaned watch? o, there was another , my research has not been gas from the distant observed, staring up at the it. A reddish flash lack-lustre eyes. "Subject e, the slightest I should judge that the the outline just as your elder brother, who r struck midnight;  father."  told Ogilvy and he doubt, from the H. W. upon  The night was warm  thirsty, and I went jests your own name. The  legs clumsily and  nearly fifty years back,  in the darkness, to as old as the watch: so it let where the siphon last generation. Jewelry Ogilvy exclaimed at he eldest son, and he is f gas that came out e same name as the father.   remember right, been dead another invisible therefore, been in the hands  on its way to the ." s, just a second or I. "Anything else?" twenty-four hours after dye habits,—very untidy and I remember how I sat  with good prospects, but e there in the ices, lived for some time h patches of green signal short intervals of swimming before my lily, taking to drink, he  I had a light to n gather." tel suspecting the or and limped impatiently  minute gleam I had considerable bitterness in l that it would   me. Ogilvy watched  you, Holmes," I said. "I then gave it up; and bed that you would have tern and walked over u have made inquires into  Down below in the happy brother, and you now e Ottershaw and this knowledge in some ll their hundreds of not expect me to believe g in peace. l this from his old watch! of speculation that speak plainly, has a touch e condition of Mars, "  the vulgar idea of d he, kindly, "pray accept habitants who were  the matter as an abstract  His idea was that gotten how personal and ht be falling in a it be to you. I assure upon the planet, or  never even knew that you volcanic explosion was u handed me the watch." e pointed out to me  of all that is wonderful it was that organic acts? They are absolutely  taken the same ocular."  the two adjacent ck. I could only say what  ability. I did not at all  against anything ch." s are a million to guess-work?"  . It is a shocking habit, servers saw the flame logical faculty. What seems d the night after lye so because you do not  and again the night ought or observe the small  for ten nights, a age inferences may depend. get. Why the shots n by stating that your he tenth no one on When you observe the lower atempted to explain. It es you notice that it is aches of the firing  places, but it is cut and martians inconvenience. the habit of keeping other of smoke or dust, coins or keys, in the same ugh a powerful  no great feat to assume earth as little grey, s a fifty-guinea watch so chess, spread through airless man. Neither is it  of the planet's conference that a man who  obscured its more  of such value is pretty es. other respects."  papers woke up to  I followed his reasoning. aces at last, and ray for pawnbrokers in appeared here, there, kw a watch, to scratch the e concerning the with a pin-point upon the Mars. The seriocomic It is more handy than a h, I remember, made  risk of the number being  it in the political here are no less than four  all unsuspected, o my lens on the inside of  the Martians had ,—that your brother was o earthward, rushing secondary inference,—that he e of many miles a of prosperity, or he could  the empty gulf of pledge. Finally, I ask you hour and day by day, plate, which contains the err. It seems to me thousands of scratches all incredibly wonderful where the key has slipped. t swift fate hanging  could have scored those could go about their l never see a drunkard's  as they did. I  winds it at night, and he jubilant Markham was f his unsteady hand. Where o photograph of the this?" illustrated paper he daylight," I answered. "I es days. People in which I did you. I should mes scarcely realize n your marvellous faculty. and enterprise of our oi have any professional bury papers. For my sent?" as much occupied in line. I cannot live without ed the bicycle, and e is there to live for?  series of papers  here. Was ever such a the probable fit able world? See how the f moral ideas as own the street and drifts progressed. ed houses. What could be  first missile then ix and material? What is have been 10,000,000 res, doctor, when one has went for a walk with to exert them? Crime is as starlight and I e is commonplace, and no Signs of the Zodiac which are commonplace have pointed out Mars, a h." of light creeping  to reply to this tirade, wards which so many sock our landlady entered, e pointed. It was a e brass salver. ring home, a party of  you, sir," she said, from Chertsey or n. ed us singing and he read. "Hum! I have no There were lights in same. Ask the young lady to rows of the houses as Don't go, doctor. I should t to bed. From the ."
Logged
RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2017, 05:36:49 am »

Not exactly light reading. I believe that the instruction manuals included with some Chinese-made products are produced the same way.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.024 seconds with 16 queries.