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Strange Attractor… even without knowing what it is it sounds so cool, right? “In the mathematical field of dynamical systems, an attractor is a set of numerical values toward which a system tends to evolve… An attractor is deemed strange if it has a fractal structure. This is often the case when the dynamics on it are chaotic (wikepedia).”

 

Strange Attractor can also mean a small publishing house in East London run by Jamie Sutcliffe and Mark Pilkington. What they do there is extra-ordinary and a little hard to describe. They very prolifically publish the strangest books: some on witchcraft, the lost rivers of London and the ghost of a mongoose. I couldn’t quite remember what a mongoose was when they first mentioned Gef (pronounced Jeff or even Geoff) the Mangoose ( a mongoose with some human attributes). The last I had heard of mongeese was when Higgy-baby would go on about them chewing up Robin Master’s yard on Magnum P.I. Strange Attractor also puts on shows.

 

On a Monday night I went to an arts venue called The Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury where I watched the author Eleanor Morgan talk about her book on spider-human relationships. A truly surprising and engaging topic I had never thought of before. The next day I went to Strange Attractor’s offices near Brick Lane and had one of the most engaging chats I’ve had with strangers in a long time.

 

Traveling to London and using these microphones as an excuse to talk to people was such fun and so satisfying. I felt like I really accomplished something. Something completely counter to making money. Jamie and Mark do this day after day and they do it primarily by helping writers. And writers of a highly artistic, less commercial bent no less. I’m inspired.

 

And I managed to not get run over by a terrorist.

 

 

With a great and unending concern for your safety,

 

J.B. in a cold and rainy Toronto