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Terence McKenna
The Strange Attractor

Terence McKenna Biography: Text

Terence McKenna: The Strange Attractor
An intellectual biography by Graham St John. Forthcoming with MIT Press, 2024. With a foreword by Erik Davis.

A stand-up philosopher who made a unique contribution to science, humanism, and the hidden arts, Terence K. McKenna (1946-2000) was the 20th century’s psychedelic renaissance man. More than twenty years since his untimely passing, across the virtual popstream, in pervasive digitization, and social media networks dedicated to his “small mouth noises,” McKenna has an enduring magnetism. As the first biography of this enigmatic figure, Terence McKenna: The Strange Attractor detects the signal behind the noise.


Perfecting his rugged philosophy on the role of psychedelics in evolution, consciousness, and time, McKenna was a riotous charmer who stalked the shadows, sought the iridescence, and brought the house down. The book is an engaging chronicle of the life, works, and legacy of this brazen adventurer of the inner and outer dimensions, whose weird intelligence affected multitudes and who continues to haunt the present.


Accessing previously unpublished materials, using interviews with friends, family, and co-conspirators – over fifty folks, many sharing their stories for the first time – and featuring a fine gallery of photographs and artworks, this intellectual biography documents one of the most celebrated and yet least understood figures of the late twentieth century. Neither glorifying nor disparaging its subject, Terence McKenna: The Strange Attractor will appeal to those interested in the evolution of a psychedelic intellectual, and to those for whom his wisdom endures.


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Art by Mike Wehner

Terence McKenna Biography: Text

Related Content


St John, G. 2023. "The Voice of the Apocalypse: Terence McKenna as Raving Medium," Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture, 15(1): 61-91.

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