In previous posts I have illustrated my favorite Thomal Ligotti story "The strange designs of Master Rignolo". You can read, and see, the whole story here:
Sunday, June 11, 2023
Sunday, June 4, 2023
I bet NO on the Manifold prediction market, that an AI will not be able to handle the prompt:
A regular icosahedron carved out of wood
This is what OpenAI makes of it. It is disappointing:
Saturday, May 27, 2023
Using OpenAI to illustrate my favorite Thomas Ligotti story, and to make my inner pictures visible for you. And for myself. First I fed the story text directly into the AI. Now I make my own description of what happens in the story. This works better.
"Exactly. Now let's just take advantage of the situation and drink our drinks before moving on."
"I'm not sure I want to," said Grissul.
"I'm not sure we have any say in the matter," replied Nolon.
"Yes, but — "
"Shhh. Tonight's our night."
Across the street a shadow fidgeted in the frame of a lighted window.
An evening breeze moved through the little park, and the green glow of a candleflame flickered upon two silent faces.
Saturday, May 20, 2023
"Something like that would have happened sooner or later," Nolon replied.
"He was too much the dreamer, let's be honest. Nothing he said made any sense to speak of, and he was always saying more than he should.
Who knows who heard what."
"I've never heard screaming like that."
"It's over," said Nolon quietly.
"But what could have happened to him?" asked Grissul, gripping the shallow glass before him, apparently without awareness of the move.
"Only he could know that for certain," answered Nolon, who mirrored Grissul's move and seemingly with the same absence of conscious intent.
"And why did he scream that way, why did he say it was all a trick, a mockery of his dreams, that 'filthy thing in the earth'?
Why did he scream not to be 'buried forever in that strange, horrible mask'?"
"Maybe he became confused," said Nolon. Nervously, he began pouring from the thin bottle into each of their glasses.
"And then he cried out for someone to kill him. But that's not what he wanted at all, just the opposite. He was afraid to you-know-what. So why would he — "
"Do I really have to explain it all, Mr Grissul?"
"I suppose not," Grissul said very softly, looking ashamed. "He was trying to get away, to get away with something."
"That's right," said Nolon just as softly, looking around. "Because he wanted to escape from here without having to you-know-what. How would that look?"
"Set an example."
Wednesday, May 17, 2023
After their adventure, Nolon and Grissul returned to the same table in that place they had met earlier that evening.
But where they had left a bare table-top behind them, not considering the candleflame within its unshapely green bubble, there were at the moment two shallow glasses set out, along with a tall, if somewhat thin bottle placed between them.
They looked at the bottle, the glasses, and each other methodically, as if they did not want to rush into anything.
"Is there still, you know, someone in the window across the street?" Grissul asked.
"Do you think I should look?" Nolon asked back.
Grissul stared at the table, allowing moments to accumulate, then said, "I don't care, Mr Nolon, I have to say that what happened tonight was very unpleasant."
Tuesday, May 9, 2023
Into a scene which makes no sound, three figures arrive.
Their silhouettes move with distinct, cautious steps across an open field, progressing slowly, almost without noticeable motion.
Around them, crisscrossing shafts of tall grasses are entirely motionless, their pointed tips sharply outlined in the moonlight.
Above them, the moon is round and bright; but its brightness is of a dull sort, like the flat whiteness that appears in the spaces of complex designs embellishing the page of a book.
The three figures, one of which is much shorter than the other two, have stopped and are standing completely still before a particularly dense clump of oddly shaped stalks.
Now one of the taller figures has raised his arm and is pointing toward this clump of stalks, while the shorter figure has taken a step in the direction indicated.
The two tall figures are standing together as the short one has all but disappeared into the dark, dense overgrowth. Only a single shoe, its toe angled groundward, remains visible.
Then nothing at all.
The two remaining figures continue to stand in their places, making no gestures, their hands in the pockets of their long overcoats.
Now the two figures have turned themselves away from the place where the other one disappeared. They are each slightly bent over and are holding their hands over their ears, as though to deafen themselves to something they could not bear. Then, slowly, almost without noticeable motion, they move out of the scene.
The field is empty once again. And now everything awakes with movement and sound.
Sunday, May 7, 2023
"Mr Nolon, I recognized the place that that room is supposed to be."
"I'm sure you did."
"And I'm also sure I know whose face it was that I saw tonight in that field."
"I think we should be going."
"What are you saying?" demanded Rignolo.
Nolon gestured toward a large clock high upon the wall and asked if that was the time.
"Always," replied Rignolo, "since I've never yet seen its hands move."
"Well, then, thank you for everything," said Nolon.
"We have to be leaving,' added Grissul.
I've done it, haven't I? You can tell me all about it. No, it's not necessary. I've put myself into the scene at last. The abyss with a decor, the ultimate flight!
In short - survival in the very maw of oblivion. Oh, perhaps there's still some work to be done. But I've made a good start, haven't I? I've got my foot in the door, my face looking in the window. Little by little, then... forever. True?
No, don't say anything. Show me where it is, I need to go there. I have a right to go."
Having no idea what sort of behavior a refusal might inspire in the maniacal Rignolo, not to mention possible reprisals from unknown parts, Nolon and Grissul respected the artist's request.