So, here is a picture of the murky underside of Velcro City’s South Parade Pier*, taken on a surprisingly sunny day about a fortnight ago. Not the most recent of photos, but time, weather and resources have not permitted any shutterbug adventures of late.
I like all the lines and angles, the rust – it’s like a poem of engineering, a mumbled story about the decay of Victorian values entangled with the detritus of what came after. Something like that.
[* Yes, the one that caught fire during the filming of ‘Tommy’.]
It’s been a hectic week; there seems to be so much to sort out, not only for my new job but also for the one I am leaving, as well as arranging for the various necessities that stem from my freelance plans. Learning about the accounting requirements, how to issue invoices properly, how to hunt up new contacts and jobs … plenty of new challenges. Free time is going to remain at a premium for some time to come, methinks.
[geek break] I’m trying out a few productivity programs that I’ve discovered from sites like Lifehacker. The Hipster PDA is an ideal writer’s tool, and combined with the 43 Folders systems it can be a great way of keeping track of notes and ideas. Another tool that promises to be a lifesaver (at least for someone as naturally inclined to chaos and bafflement as myself) is Remember The Milk, and AJAX-driven web2.0 to-do-list organiser site (yeah, ’cause I’m all the Zeitgeist and a bag of chips, me) – which integrates really well with Google Calendar, which I already use extensively. It really comes into its own with my recent discovery of a way to work around the walled-garden restrictions of the Three mobile phone network’s internet policies; I can now send and receive from my Gmail account and check my RTM lists from pretty much anywhere, and being mobile-friendly sites, they chew up very little of my monthly download bandwidth allowance. w00t! [/geek break]
Before I mention the incoming reading materials of the week, a brief note about interviews, or at least about one interview in particular. Thanks to a few links from the more prominent science fiction bloggers, you may well have noticed the Ken MacLeod interview at SF Site this week; what you may not have noticed is that it was submitted by yours truly. The bonus news is that the SF Site piece contains under half of the full amount of material I got from the interview; I shall be posting up the extras here on VCTB some time next week, hopefully Monday.
So, new arrivals for the bookshelf. For Interzone, my next job is to look at Ben Bova’s Sam Gunn Omnibus from Tor – which is a fair challenge in itself, if only for the fact that it has nearly 700 pages. This will be an interesting read for me though, with Bova being one of those authors whose place in the canon I understand, and whose influence I observe being referred to frequently, but whose work I am, as of yet, largely unfamiliar with. I’ve marked down the ‘Killer Bs’ (Bova, Brin and Bear) as one of the regions of the canon that I’m long overdue to examine more closely, so this is quite a serendipitous acquisition. It’s also a bound uncorrected ARC, which tweaks my geek collector neurons in all the right ways; re-sale value means nothing to me compared to the pleasure I get from knowing these things are in my possession. Sad isn’t it? 🙂
My next review for Vector also arrived this week, in the form of the Glorifying Terrorism anthology that has been put together by the wonderful and multi-talented Farah Mendelsohn. This political statement of a book is likely to do quite well for a genre small-press anthology, thanks to a slew of blog mentions all the way up to the dizzying heights of BoingBoing, and I’m personally very much looking forward to reading it …
… so much so, in fact, that I actually pre-ordered my own copy about a month ago! Which leaves me in the interesting position of having two copies. This is great news for VCTB readers, however – it means that I can run my first giveaway competition! So, watch your feed readers for a chance to win a free copy of this much anticipated anthology – I should have an idea of how I’m going to do it by the middle of next week.
That’s about all for this week; I’d write (read that as ‘ramble’) more, only I’m off a little way down the coast by train this evening, on a gig reviewing mission for Pennyblack. Some band called Mr. Hudson and the Library – never heard anything by them, but the name sounded fun, and what the hey, it’s a free night out after all! This means that the traditional Friday Curry will have to be deferred to Saturday this week, but occasionally one has to make these little sacrifices with one’s schedule … I hope you all have a good weekend, too!