Dear Readers

First we would like to apologise for the recent slow progress of posts on this illustrious organ. All we can do to explain is to quote one of the world’s greatest philosophers, and say that, “life is what happens when you make other plans.”

We do now hope to resume something like a more regular and indeed more frequent publishing schedule. Readers can be re-assured that not only is the Clockwork Conjuror complete, there is a new story that Mr Michael has commenced. More on that topic later in the year.

We have also uncovered recently a most amusing device called DALL-E. This contraption is, amazingly, able to produce “art” to demand based on a literary prompt. I use art in the loosest possible sense here, for reasons that will shortly become clear. We are also aware we are a little “behind the times” on this topic, but then being behind the times is perhaps half of what we do here.

So, intrigued by the proposition of an autocreating art machine, we gave it a cursory description of Mr Michael and Ms Pichette to see how it would cope. This is the result.

The resemblance is uncanny, in that it doesn’t resemble us at all but rather something uncanny. We then asked the device to create an image for Miss Henderson, with this result.

We are reminded here a little of Francis Bacon’s Screaming Pope – not least because the image caused us to cry out a religious oath at some volume. Lastly we asked the device to re-imagine our famous “clocktopus” logo.

We’re not quite sure what the time is on that clock, or what the curious debris at the base of the picture is, but this does at least have something. With any luck, it won’t pass it on to anyone else.

So, our little survey led us to conclude that whilst this device was not terribly suitable for producing art of great note, it could produce “visual material” that is at once unsettling and hilarious. Since that is almost our metier, we thought we might, if you would indulge us, use a few examples for the next few episodes of our story. Ms Pichette will of course effect the magic she does to make the automated “artwork”seem more visually appealing. Or possibly, given the source material, visually appalling.

We look forward to entertaining you on a more regular basis forthwith …

The gentlefolk of the Benthic Times

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