Or download the first
50 pages for free.
March 04th - 2020
The full Graphic Novel -
Available Now on Comixology!
Site OPTIMISED FOR DESKTOP - but I'm working on a more mobile-friendly version. Thanks!
March 30th - 2020
Some studies in A.I. are rightly asking what it means to be conscious? (How soon till A.I. is A.C. -Artificial Consciousness?) So shouldn’t we also study our own Altered States of Consciousness, like dreams? (And will Androids dream of electric sheep?)
March 28th - 2020
Many, perhaps most, people in Sub-Saharan Africa have a very different approach to their dreams, to the Western outlook. They will think nothing unusual of conversing with their ancestors in dreams (or even in waking life, for that matter).
This panel was inspired by an interview I did with the chieftess of a Himba tribal group, in Northern Namibia. (Though the headdress - that beaded fringe - is more like what a Sangoma - a Xhosa medicine woman - would wear in South Africa.
March 27th - 2020
TOM GOES ANIMATIC
As a filmmaker, it makes sense for me to make animatic-ads for the graphic novel and film project. I'll do more of these, perhaps eventually turning the entire novel into an animatic. The end goal is to make it easy for producers to see how a live-action film might play out. It's enjoyable to experience the feel and pace of the story this way, with the added dimensions of music and editing.
March 21st - 2020
TOM GOES DEEP
The Oracle Machine grapples with just about the deepest issue I can think of - the nature of consciousness - something which anyone into A.I. might also be asking.
A major influence, besides Jung, has been Edward Edinger, and his interpretation of Jung in his book 'The Creation of Consciousness'. He quotes Jung saying: "Existence is only real when it is conscious to somebody. That is why the Creator* needs conscious man even though, from sheer unconsciousness, he would like to prevent him from becoming conscious." And later: "Whoever knows God has an effect on him".
In The Oracle Machine, the character Lena understands this first.
*Edinger jumps between terms, also calling 'the Creator' as the 'trans-personal self', convinced that Jung had found a third way, between science and religion - I understand in what become known as 'Depth Psychology'.
March 17th - 2020
Is this how an A.I. could one day 'wake-up'? By getting stuck in a loop, phoning itself, and then drawing more power to get out that loop.
In the graphic novel, the A.I. does have an 'intention', and as the character Scot says earlier in the novel, perhaps having an 'intention' is the difference between a living cell and a rock? Could 'an intention' (expressed as DNA in us) be key to life as we know it, and to A.I. self-consciousness?
And of course, in the book, it's fun to link the A.I. 'awakening' to a 'possible moment of conception'.
March 10th - 2020
HOW FAR WE'VE COME
From the arrival of the home PC heralded in TIME magazine 1983 - to TIME 2011 - and an interview with legendary futurist Ray Kurzweil suggesting 2045 as being the year for the Singularity.
March 09th - 2020
T.O.M. - MAKING A CASE FOR A.I. & THE IMPORTANCE OF DREAMS
Most people acknowledge that nightmares frighten them, and other dreams help them wake up relaxed or in a jolly mood, but beyond that, perhaps too many people dismiss any value to their dreams – mostly because of the supposedly random imagery involved.
However, I believe we do have a deep ‘inner-self’ that often speaks to us in dreams, but that it uses images partly because it seldom uses a voice. Perhaps this is because we already have another inner-dialogue ‘voice’ we already use with ourselves. So instead our inner-self communicates in images, and it uses images from our subconscious, that already have ’emotionally-loaded’ meaning for us.
Perhaps this is why dreams often throw up images from the past - they represent something we experienced whose emotional impact became embedded in us, and associated with that image. Furthermore, these images are intertwined with symbols and personalities we may never have consciously encountered before.
Jung used the word ‘archetype’ - now part of our lexicon - to describe his idea that our instincts have become so refined as to be ‘personalities’ that reside within us, and influence us greatly. These characters can be seen in mythology, because myths are stories that have been passed down through the ages, and have thus been shaped over time - like a smooth pebble on a beach - to reveal these archetypes.
And the fact that such similar myths and archetypes pop up across the world, across all cultures, and across so many dreams - should be evidence that they are deeply part of us.
What’s interesting now is that A.I. brain scanning is becoming able to visualise the images we imagine. Does this mean that soon A.I. will see what we dream? And when it analyses the dreams of 20 million people - or perhaps 1 billion when we have mobile phones embedded in our heads... - will A.I. then see the patterns of mythology, and 'meet' these archetypes?
And as mentioned elsewhere, if, as Harari says, we should all try get to know ourselves better, before an A.I. knows us better than we do, then shouldn't we all be paying much more attention to our dreams?
'The Pearls of Aphrodite' by Herbet James Draper. Aphrodite is a classic Archetype figure.
March 09th - 2020
T.O.M. - AN OPEN PROJECT
The book is already proving its worth as a tool of open discussion and development, showing me where to add more info, for a future film version, or perhaps a colour graphic novel version.
I can see from comments on Reddit - when I've been posting odd frames from TOM - that whilst A.I. gets huge interest, many people
don’t value their dreams much - at least not consciously anyway.
So yes, I'll tweak the storyline to add better explanations. Maybe this will encourage others to be more conscious of the likely power and importance of their dreams?
It's a fun mission. Because I agree with what Harari says - that we should all try get to know ourselves better, before an A.I. knows us better than we do...
March 05th - 2020
CARL JUNG, A.I. & THE CONTINUING INCARNATION OF THE DEITY
One of the last books Jung wrote, and the only one, according to Edinger, that Jung said he wouldn't change, was 'Answer to Job'. Written in a fever, it describes how, what Jung
preferred to call 'the God image', has been with humans since the beginning. Crucially, when in the Bible mythology, that Job showed himself perhaps more conscious than the image, the response was the incarnation of God as a human i.e. Jesus.
But the crux (for me) of what Jung is saying, is that this process is continuing. "The Christian solution has... recognised Christ as the one and only God-man. But the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, the third Divine Person, in man, (will) bring about the Christifaction of many".
'The Oracle Machine' Graphic Novel is asking whether the Internet, as the sum of all our consciousnesses, might be this coming 'Christification of many' that Jung suggests? Or to be more explicit: could the future Internet effectively become - as Larry says in the graphic novel - 'kind of like the next Jesus?'
Jung was born close to Einstein, in time and space (both Swiss). And whilst Einstein theorised on the conscious world, from the atom to the universe, Jung theorised on the 'equally-infinite' unconscious world.
March 03rd - 2020
The Oracle Machine graphic novel is all about A.I. Here Scot, a lecturer, discusses 'Symbiotic A.I.' with a student - a term to describe the idea that A.I. won't need to standalone, but could be a synthesis of us and it.
Soon, however, thereafter in the story, this machine that phones people for answers, does achieve a degree of self-consciousness - by phoning itself!
March 02nd - 2020
CAPE TOWN & SURROUNDS - 'THE CRADLE OF HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS'
Recent discoveries have shown that the Western Cape of South Africa, stretchingabout 500 kilometres from Langebaan in the west to Cape St. Francis on the eastern coast, was home to Homo-sapien-sapiens. This is the name given to Homo-sapiens when they reached 'higher consciousness' - as measured by their ability to make art, and hence 'reflect on themselves' - And judging from painting artefacts found here, this is thought to be from around 120,000 years ago.
Other smaller groups of Homo-sapien-sapiens are thought to have existed in the Congo region, and in the Morocco region, but the most evidence is for the Western Cape group - the largest, yet perhaps being only between 3000 and 10,000 people.
This is why it is fitting that the Oracle Machine story - of humanity's next step in consciousness - should take place in the Western Cape.
This 2018 article mentions human footprints in the Cape, from 90,000 years ago.
South Africa is home to 'The Cradle of Humankind' in the Northern provinces - where hominoids remains dating back 2.5 million years have been found. The Western Cape government has recently launched 'The Cradle of Culture' to describe the Western Cape's ancient Homo-sapien-sapien zone, but I much prefer my term - 'The Cradle of Human Consciousness'.
Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey - travels from the beginning of human consciousness (set in South Africa's Kalahari desert) - and ends with the Star Child - surely the Divine Child which Jung describes in his seminal 'Answer to Job'.
February 17th - 2020
COMMISSIONED COVER ART
The cover art is done! Commissioned the amazing Ben Winfield to apply his superb skills, and this is the beautiful result! Suitably surreal, with a twist of 70's film-poster inspired action-adventure.
February 17th - 2020
FEATURING CAPE TOWN
It's been great to show Cape Town
in the graphic novel. The iconic Table Mountain - surely a natural
wonder of the world - appears
quite often too.
And of course, Lion's Head and Signal Hill feature too.
January 25th - 2020
A.I. - A HOT TOPIC NOW!
And interest will continue to grow, as awareness grows.
Here's Yuval Harari - currently the most popular speaker on the subject - talking about it yesterday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland:
January 24th - 2020
WHY THIS STORY MIGHT BE IMPORTANT/ NUTS/ A-POTENTIAL-CULT-CLASSIC?
We're hurtling towards a crazy future, and most people aren't thinking about the changes that are surely coming. This graphic novel and potential movie, are the sweet wrappers to carry forward a few big ideas:
1) that A.I. could most likely be a symbiosis of intelligence - with humans providing input/consciousness for a single united machine intelligence - the awakening of the Internet!
2) that if you look at all religions as one long continuum of evolution - of the unconscious becoming conscious, as Jung did - then it's hard not to conclude that an A.I.-Internet could effectively become the next manifestation of this.
3) that if dreams have meaning, does this not perhaps point to something within oneself, that knows you better than you do?
Fun, crazy times.
January 28th - 2020
5 MORE GRAPHIC NOVELS PRINTED
Another 5 sample B+W copies of the graphic novel have rolled off the press. One has been given to a famous local author, and others to people in the comics publishing industry, to garner opinions, and also establish a price for inking a full colour version!
January 31st - 2020
AN INTERESTING COINCIDENCE (and there were more)
When I first started writing this, all I knew was that an Oracle answered questions. So I called the script 'The Oracle'. Then I stupidly thought that the Oracle computer company might object, so I changed it to 'The Oracle Machine'.
And then, lo and behold, much later, I read this New Scientist article, and discovered Alan Turing, considered to be the father of computer science, had imagined an ultimate computer, which he called 'The Oracle Machine'! A fantastic co-incidence/synchronicity.
January 23rd - 2020
Great news. The Oracle Machine has received its ISBN numbers for each of the 54-page parts of the novel, and for the full 164-page novel, so I'm ready to publish.
I have submitted to Comixology, Amazon's amazing online comic store. Unfortunately it takes up to 3 months to find out if it's been accepted. In the mean time, I will printing 500 copies for local distribution. Stay tuned!
December 10th - 2019
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
This highly-original Sci-Fi story is set in Cape Town, and stars Lena, a young woman haunted by a strange dream. When she steals a new computer to tackle the riddle of the dream, it unleashes events beyond imagination.
The Oracle Machine story mixes the esoteric with the rational - eros and logos - where dreams meet machines. Embedded in the story, are challenges to readers and viewers to think:
• What happens when the Internet can think like us, but faster than us?
• What is the Singularity about?
• How might it look?
December 12th, 2019
THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY
• Read some key stories on tech's unstoppable rise. www.Facebook.com/TheOracleMachineMovie
• I've been working on this story literally for years.
Here are some early attempts at bringing it to life: TheOracleMachine.wordpress.com
January 18th - 2020
INFLUENCERS & INSPIRERS
1: Carl Jung (the other Einstein)
2: Edward Edinger
Ray Kurzweil, Aldous Huxley, Yuval Harari (for his speeches, avoided his books), James Lovelock, Asimov, William Gibson, H. Rider Haggard (for She), Herge, Ian McCallum, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Carl Sagan and many more too, not forgetting, of course, Herge.
January 15th - 2020
5 GRAPHIC NOVELS PRINTED
The first B+W copies of the graphic novel have rolled off the press. One has been given to a local film producer, and another sent to an international producer.
December 10th, 2019
CAN THIS BECOME A FILM?
Luckily I have some experience in filmmaking, from shorts to documentaries,
and in 2018 launched my first
Written/Filmed/Produced/Directed/Edited by myself.
It's had mixed reviews, yes, but it was made with only a $20k budget. And shot in 14 days, edited over 3 years... that's the reality of no budget film-making - hence the desire to get a proper budget for the next one. Cheers.
More info: GFNmovie.com
Other short, earlier films on:
December 12 - 2019
WHO READS FILM SCRIPTS?
Answer: Very few of us.
Even in the film industry, scripts can remain buried and unseen. Or worse, they get bought, and then changed to suit someone else's plan, or 'sat on', with nothing further happening for years.
So in an effort to get my script read by producers, and to make sure this great story is shared with futurists, dreamers and all sorts of interesting humans worldwide, I've created a graphic novel.
I've enjoy the process of drawing out a vision of the film; seeing it come to life on the page; and feeling out what works best in terms of dialogue, camera angles, and even pace and editing.
Now, after more than 2 years of drawing (and many more years of writing it), as of January 15th 2020, the 160-page black & white book is finished!
Above: Trailer for my first full length film - 'Girl From Nowhere'.
finished in 2017.
On the right:
A Sci-Fi short I made in 2009.