Nothing More Wonderful Than A List

Orbital Operations for 2 July 2023

This week, just a list of things I like, because life is too short to bother with the other stuff. Hello from out here on the Thames Delta.

Just an ordinary week of slogging away, and heat and life slowing me down. By the time you read this, I will have just come off a three day writing sprint to try and lock the current job down before I go straight into PROJECT LOST SIERRA full time. Luckily, it’s Independence Day weekend in the US, so nobody will be checking their email until Tuesday or Wednesday. My daughter’s partner goes in for their operation on Tuesday, so the days after that will be kind of fungible and fuzzy. I got a wonderful short job dropped in my lap just before the US broke for the long weekend, so next week I get the paperwork, and terms just got agreed on a large reprint project that I am very excited about.

Phone calls with Japan at 11 in the morning! Such lovely people to schedule the calls at a survivable time, too — the last time I worked with a Japanese company, I had to do the calls at 4am.

The boards are fluid now, changing every day, a slow and steady flow. It’s fun.

This just arrived in the mail. Very hard to photograph. It’s a shiny foil “silver screen” cover wrapped around a reprint of issue one of THE AUTHORTY by me, Bryan, Paul and Laura. Presumably in celebration of the planned movie version coming from DC Films sometime in the next few years. According to the cover - I had no warning or knowledge of this - it’s some kind of convention exclusive edition. So if you need a rare shiny copy of AUTHORITY #1 in your life and you’re attending US conventions this year, go to the DC stand and demand your piece of silver, I guess.

And if this generates annoyed messages from DC staffers about my sending people to their stand and demanding silver? Warn me about this stuff next time.




After my notes on flash fictions from last week, comics creator Paul J Holden got in touch with his own experiment. It evokes both flash fiction and the Piece Of Paper Press - but his version folds into a standee!

You can download the PDF for yourself right here. This is giving me all kinds of thoughts.

He’s running a newsletter that will announce more in the series as they happen. Although, technically, the piece itself is the newsletter. I just subscribed.

I would dearly love a world full of these things. It takes me back to the days of a more creative time on the early internet, and makes me wish for a future that has more of this in it.

A few weeks ago, I talked about the DEEP CUTS series of graphic novellas by Kyle Higgins, Joe Clark and a murderer’s row of fine artists.

This is issue 3, out July 12. Mr Higgins kindly sent me an advance copy. I just read it. You know how hard it is to do something with human warmth without sticky sentimentality and fake-emotional bullshit? This was a really fucking clever piece of writing. This series is killing it.

My name is Warren Ellis, and I’m a writer from England. These newsletters are about the work I do and the creative life I try to lead. I send them every Sunday to subscribers. Feel free to send your friends to , where they can read the most recent letters and subscribe for their own.

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On very early cinema in Spain:

In addition to the traditional piano player, each (film) theatre in Saragossa was equipped with its explicador, or narrator, who stood next to the screen and “explained” the action to the audience. “Count Hugo sees his wife go by on the arm of another man,” he would declaim. “And now, ladies and gentlemen, you will see how he opens the drawer of his desk and takes out a revolver to assassinate his unfaithful wife!” It’s hard to imagine today, but when the cinema was in its infancy, it was such a new and unusual narrative form that most spectators had difficulty understanding what was happening. Now we’re so used to film language, to the elements of montage, to both simultaneous and successive action, to flashbacks, that our comprehension is automatic; but in the early years, the public had a hard time deciphering this new pictorial grammar. They needed an explicador to guide them from scene to scene.

A weird nugget from Luis Bunuel’s autobiography, MY LAST BREATH.



For no earthly reason, Zoharum Records occasionally send me a packet of CDs to listen to. From the batch they kindly sent to me this week, I have to call out FROM THE LONGEST WINTER by FOMALHAUT::NIMH.

The opening is just immense, a great storm of atmospheric sound like an orchestra in the sky tuning up for a soundtrack to a blizzard.



WARRENELLIS.LTD is my personal notebook, in which I make new entries several times a day. Think of it as all the things I can't fit into this newsletter, from links and bookmarks to reviews, random thoughts and life notes. If you use a RSS reader, it generates a feed at .

That increasing rarity, a useful article on The Guardian:

Constant negative thoughts are depleting, says Ramlakhan, but your brain has a natural negativity bias. Our survival as hunter-gatherers depended on picking up and storing negative information. In the aftermath of a global pandemic, this poses a particular challenge. Especially as fatigue is a common side effect of anxiety.

It takes microseconds to embed a negative memory, but 30-40 seconds to embed a positive one, explains Ramlakhan. So slow down.

There it is. Take five minutes to look at the sky or just close your eyes, be present, be easy on yourself, be calmer in the knowledge that the shit will pass and things will be better soon enough. Take care of yourself, be kind to yourself, and I hope I can write to you again next week. Thanks for being here.