See also BLIT and comp.basilisk FAQ by David Langford.

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22 Responses:

  1. jmtd says:

    Aah, BLIT. An excellent piece of fiction. Langford is better known for his fanzine but I stumbled across BLIT in an ancient Interzone compilation and loved it. I haven't read the rest in the series, thanks for that link.

    (Oh yeah, obligatory Interzone plug. It's worth a subscription.)

  2. happyinmotion says:



  3. explodingbat says:

    Wow cool! I remember reading that FAQ in Nature years ago -- each week has a single page story; some of the best ones are collected here.

  4. caprine says:

    Damn you!

  5. ronaldscott says:

    Meh, I guess I just don't find it that impressive. I mean, it's pretty, and lord knows I spent many happy hours delving through the Mandelbrot set with FRACTINT... But it's completely ludicrous that just *looking* an an image could cau

  6. pfrank says:

    gah! Did you just snowcrash my brain?

    • ionan says:

      Dammit, here I was thinking that 6 comments in, noone had referenced Snow Crash and I'd be able to mention it.

      So yeah, Snow Crash.

      • jwz says:

        Wow I didn't think anyone would see that connection! Truly your synthesis of science fiction with... other science fiction is astounding.

  7. hallerlake says:

    Oh gawd, now I have to go watch the monty python killer joke sketch again ;-)

  8. oflittlefaith says:

    God, I'd forgotten about comp.basilisk. Langford really was a mad genius back in the day, wasn't he?

  9. traviswells says:

    There's one word that makes me pray every morning that basilisks don't exist, and you should too:


  10. tjic says:

    OK, I get that this is a reference to a fictional story, and that there's not REALLY "basilisk images" / "black ice" / etc.

    ...and I get that this image is abstract and a bit weird.

    ...but from the "*erk* *thud*" / "damn you" / etc. comments, I'm guessing that some people are responding to this image with a bit more than the "ehh, that's weird" evaluation I am.

    To anyone who is seriously bugged by this image: can you tell me what you see / what you experience?


    • ajaxxx says:

      Not to spoil the joke, but if they could tell you what they see, it wouldn't be such a special image.

    • ultranurd says:

      It's just power of suggestion.

      I remember reading The Hot Zone, and eating some bad barbecue, and then being half-convinced that I had somehow contracted Ebola the last time I visited a zoo.

    • wisn says:

      I see a bunny. I hate bunnies.

  11. marapfhile says:

    well, now i know where charlie stross got the idea for the laundry books from...