If you enjoyed his books and would like to help him out, sent him some money.
Met a couple of former cow-orkers at the Festival, as there seems to be this remarkable crossover between IT people, science fiction fans and bheer drinkers...
Almost forgot to mention that a certain book was presented to the barstaff of in de Wildeman, as that is heavily featured in it, not to mention being the place where the idea for it was first born.
not that I'm that desparate to lose weight; I got the body of a Greek god, if that god is Dionysus.
Flashman on the March
George MacDonald Fraser
317 pages including notes
published in 2005
Yeah Flashman! Latest of the old bully and coward's adventures, fun as always. Proper review.
Gate of Ivrel
C. J. Cherryh
published in 1976
First novel of one of my favourite authors. Fun to see certain of her obsessions already in full flow here. Proper review
Sewer, Gas & Electric
published in 1997
Fun but uneven Gonzo science fiction by rec.arts.written regular. Proper review.
The website promises a lot of treats, including interviews with Alan Moore and Leo Baxtendale, as well as Jonathan Ross in
search of Steve Ditko! If you know anything about Ditko, you know how much of a hermit he is, so
if Woss succeeds in speaking to him, that will be a nice coup.
Looking for Jake and Other Stories
published in 2005
First short story collection by Miéville, much horror and/or "weird fiction". Interesting, fun, but not an essential collection. I liked it and read it in an afternoon, but it's a far cry from his novels. Proper review.
401 pages including index
published in 2004
An overview of Blair's foreign policy, focusing on the five wars he involved the UK in in the first six years of his premiership. Well done, but limits itself to the political manoeuvring, losing sight of the wider context in places Proper review.
Battle for Empire
272 pages including index
published in 1998
An overview of some of the campaigns of the Seven Years' War fought in the Americas and India. The author is firmly on the side of the English, keeping his point of view there and is not interested in the wider context of the war in which to place the campaigns he's writing about. Nevertheless interesting to read, within these limitations. Proper review.
Don't bother with Cory Doctorow: tried him and his impression of Bruce Sterling at his hucksterish, thinking that's a good role model wearied me.
What I want is somebody who writes novels I can sink my teeth in, proper science fiction that's more than just an entertaining fantasy, something that makes you look up from the page and go "christ what an imagination I got".
Science fiction I've read the past seven years.
by Joseph Heller
Incredibly witty and funny, you have a taste for irony in all that you
see. It seems that life has put you in perpetually untenable situations, and your sense
of humor is all that gets you through them. These experiences have also made you an
ardent pacifist, though you present your message with tongue sewn into cheek. You
could coin a phrase that replaces the word "paradox" for millions of
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Andrew Wheeler has Taken on Patrick of Pat's Fantasy Hotlist, about the socalled changing of the guard in fantasy, that is, the idea that there is a top tier of bestselling epic fantasy writers and whether or not the people on the top will be replaced anytime soon or not. Andrew Wheeler thinks this is the wrong question to ask, but also says that the people obsessed with this question have missed what did happen:
However, there has been a changing of guard over the past decade, and the folks obsessed with epic fantasy have missed it. Who's the new breed? Laurell K. Hamilton and the several dozen writers following in her footsteps.
She has two bestselling series running now, and has hit #1 on the Times list. Her backlist is already deeper than Jordan's, so I wouldn't be surprised if she's selling more units annually than he is. She also has created a new, very popular subgenre in her wake: the contemporary or urban fantasy. Many of the first-wave writers in that subgenre (Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher) are bestsellers as well, and even some second-wave writers (Patricia Briggs, Rachel Caine) are hitting the lists.
Epic fantasy isn't quite a backwater, but it's not the only game in town anymore, and it's not where the real excitement and splashy successes are happening, either. But urban/contemporary fantasy is mostly written by women, mostly about women main characters, and (presumably) mostly read by women, so it's obviously not important...
To be honest, I always thought, based on some possible misremembered sales data and anecdotal evidence, that epic fantasy itself was also a quite "woman friendly" genre, in that quite a few of its readers were female, though perhaps not a majority.
With Hamilton, I seem to remember most of her early fans, based on observations in rec.arts.sf.written and the like were female; she also seemed to be popular with those who liked romance novels, again mostly female. Hamilton therefore appealed to (mostly female) readers who liked epic fantasy, but who found that what they liked in epic fantasy could be found in much greater proportion in Hamilton's work, while simultaneously, readers who would not be caught dead reading epic fantasy because it was a bit too fantastic for them, also liked Hamilton more "realistic" setting. In short, she fused the romance novel with urban fantasy and created a monster....
And since romance is a genre in even lower esteem than epic fantasy, it is easy to dismiss her, especially when it all degenerated into not-so-softcore porn for a while.
Since I know myself, I thought it would be handy to make a little list:
Bring bike to be repaired
Keep house clean
Keep garden alive
Tomorrow I can has dental appointment for a root canal. The dentist cleaned out the roots two weeks ago and slapped a temporary filling on (of the crumbly, chalky sort) and now she needs to remove this, do any necessary cleanup work and then construct the base for a crown. Whether or not the actual crown will be placed will depend on how much I can afford it. We do have the obligatory, government mandated basic healthcare package, but it does little for dentist work. Hadn't taken out separate dentist insurance yet; not sure it would help much.
If I can't afford it, the crown itself can wait a while, as a new temporary cap could be place, good for a year or so.
For those who already fainted at the root canal mention, so far it has all been surprisingly painfree and easy. There's the obligatory squirmy moment when the syringe with the local anesthetic is inserted in the roof of your mouth, and of course you have to sit still for an hour or so while someone does things to your tooth... The most unpleasant part however was the smell when the root canals of the (dead) nerves were cleaned; not nice.
Mind you, with uncanny timing my hayfever has kicked in again (I blame having to bring Sand to Schiphol), so it will be slightly less confortable in the dentist's chair this time. Hope I don't have to sneeze at awkward times..
Boy do those start and end voiceovers annoy me. Also, saying it's heavyhanded in its foreshadowing is like saying World War II was a bit of a fracas.