Friday Photo Blogging: assembly point

I’ve got a vague obsession with industrial and/or safety signage; having passed this one a number of times on my way to and from work recently[1] I thought I’d grab a snap because, taken out of context (say, by an alien who couldn’t read the words and didn’t culturally associate green with safety), it could be quite sinister.

assembly point sign

Imagine that the label read ‘extermination point’. See what I mean? Sinister.

Yeah, OK, so I’ve been working a lot this week.


Writing about music

Still very little action on the music reviewing front, as there’s still a few weeks before the promos on my shelves are due for release and I’ve been taking advantage of the slack in my schedule to do other stuff. Next week, however, we’re back in action.

It’s very interesting to note that since the beginning of this year I’ve had more review requests from obscure or unsigned bands through The Dreaded Press‘s contact form than I did in the whole of last year: eight already, compared to three in twelve months. The times – and the industry – are a-changin’.

Speaking of music reviews – it looks like I may be starting to write for a rather different and unexpected venue some time in the near future. More news at eleven…

Album of the week

No fresh material to plug this week, so I’ll mention that I’ve been rinsing Saturnalia by The Gutter Twins in the last week or so. I got a copy last year and liked it well enough, but it’s not until you really get to know it that you realise how staggeringly awesome it is. Mark Lanegan’s vocals and lyrics are always a winner, but the addition of Greg Dulli’s wailing angst is simply inspired. Moody, dark but strangely redemptive – thoroughly recommended.

Writing about books

Nothing complete, but the assemblage and collation of notes, post-its and scribblings on Mind Over Ship is proceding slowly but steadily; I intend to get the bulk of it done this weekend, during the course of which I hope an underlying theme for the review will emerge…

Freelance

As announced earlier in the week, Alex Bell’s new website – or The Project Formerly Known As t’Other Project – is now up and running, and I’m very chuffed with it indeed (as is its owner).

The Big Project is still on hold pending customer input, but lots of little things have popped up to keep me busy in the last few days[2], and there appears to be a raft of new work looming on the horizon, too. Which means it would be really helpful if I could actually get a solid termination date at the day job… just sayin’.

Starting to put some new plans in action over at PS Publishing, too, the most visible and interesting of which should be our new monthly competition in which you can win free special edition books. How do you enter? You just have to sign up for the newsletter emailing list; easy as that. Go take a look!

Futurismic

Last week’s hosting woes appear to have been successfully cured by the caching plugin, so that’s one major worry (and potential expense) out of the way.

Gareth L Powell‘s guest-post series on marketing has aroused a little polite ire, but rather less than I expected it to; whether that’s a good thing or not, I remain undecided. I think I was hoping for a little more lively debate on the matter, but I can only assume that no one has ever felt quite as patronised by an F&SF renewal notice as I have[3]. Selah.

Oh, and it looks like we’ve just decided on February’s piece of fiction, too! So it’s all go, especially with my efforts to double my blogging output over there; do let me know what you think, if you’re following along.

Books and magazines seen

A good haul this week. First, magazines – we have poetry from Obsessed With Pipework, and what has to be the most deliciously-covered Interzone I’ve ever seen:

cover art for Interzone #220

I know that’s hardly an original statement at the moment, but the fact that so many people have pointed it out as an outstanding art/design combo has got to be a positive sign. I wonder how much of it is down to the layout breaking out of the usual vertical grid, and how much to the artwork itself? Whichever – it’s a stunner, and there are stories by three friends and one hero on the ToC. Can’t ask for much more than that.

And now, books. True to their word, Pyr have sent me the first and second volumes (Bright of the Sky and A World Too Near) of Kay Kenyon‘s The Entire and the Rose series to fill in the gap in front of the third volume that I got before The Holiday Season.

Kay Kenyon - Bright of the Sky Kay Kenyon - A World Too Near

So now I have a whole trilogy to add to my “oooh, I would really like to get on and read that” pile[4]… as mentioned before, that concrete day-job termination date would be a very comforting thing to have right now. *sigh*

Props where props is due, though – Pyr make handsome books with a consistency that a lot of their bigger rivals can’t seem to manage.

Coda

A hectic but productive week, all said; didn’t quite meet all my targets and goals, but I got pretty close and I’m pleased about that. Onwards and upwards, and all that.

As mentioned before, I spent most of last weekend seeing an old friend, which was a lot of fun. In the name of honesty I should confess that I had a couple of glasses of wine as a result – which put a minor ding in my teetotality pledge for the year – but it was a special occasion, and I’ve not had any alcohol since (despite going down to what was possibly the most anarchic pub quiz ever presented on Wednesday night).

And here we are at the end of the cycle again, which means it’s high time I got myself something to eat before cracking on with the handful of tasks I need to have done before I can relax for the evening. So, on that note, I’ll wish you all a good weekend – take care, folks!


[ 1 – I varied my route slightly to stave off ennui – walking can be a bit tedious, and I still haven’t fixed the puncture on my bike. ]

[ 2 – It feels like a sort of administrivia whack-a-mole game some days, to be honest. ]

[ 3 – Hey, phone-call from the fifties for ya – they want their marketing copy back? KTHXBAI ]

[ 4 – This pile is a subset of the “to be read” pile, which is sometimes more conveniently described as “my flat”. ]

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