This particular bit of graffiti from Berlin’s Köpenicker Straβe needs no explanation or justification whatsoever:
In the interest of tourism advice, though, I’ll point out that it’s about fifty yards from Köpi, a justifiably legendary art squat/music venue which is well worth checking out if you’re in town (and have an ear for hideously loud guitars, naturally, not to mention a yen for hanging out with people who make scruffy old me look like I’m dressed for dinner at Buckingham Palace).
Writing about music
Well, this is the first week that I’ve had a full crop of reviews and not had to write one of them every day off my own back. Woo-hoo! My second volunteer (the delightful Dave Saunders – former DJ, promoter and band manager, among other sins and crimes), and has just the right acerbic wit for the job, too; go check his stuff out, why don’t ya?
Album of the week
Well, after three years working in a venue during the post-Millennial ska/punk boom, I never thought I’d find myself voting a ska album as my favourite of the week ever again… but the smart and witty noise of The Art of Saying Nothing by London collective Imperial Leisure won me right over. Colour me shocked.
Writing about books
Halfway through my piece on the VanderMeers‘ Steampunk anthology, but most of my critical energies have been expended on the latest manuscript report. Thankfully the manuscript in question is smaller and less FAIL-ridden than the last one… but it’s still pretty awful.
I’ve started work on the latest web development project, and I’m just waiting for some artwork to come through so I can make a parallel start on another author site, so plenty happening in this neck of the woods. Plus there’s some big stuff in the pipeline at PS Publishing, so the few evenings I’ve had this week where I had a little time to myself have been greatly appreciated… I feel there may not be many more until we reach the Season That Shall Not Be Named!
It’s a weird old web: Futurismic‘s traffic is up, but ad revenue and comments are down. Go figure. It’s been an emotionally difficult week in the editorial seat, too, for reasons that professionalism will not permit me to discuss…. other than that, though, business pretty much as usual.
Books and magazines seen
Two titles this week. First up is a new first-of-three sf novel called Seeds Of Earth by Michael Cobley from the Orbit stable. Cobley must be a new kid on the block, as I’ve not heard his name before; the book’s not out till March next year, and there’s no cover art on the intertubes yet, either. But it looks to be galactic-scale post-catastrophe human-diaspora space opera, which could (of course) go either way – I’m still smarting from the Palmer experience.
More familiar is Chris Roberson, whose End of the Century is coming out from Pyr in the new year.
A triple-time-strand narrative, apparently, and a reworking of the Grail-quest theme… literally. May have to give it a go at some point; I’ve never really gotten on brilliantly with Roberson at novel length, but I’ve always wanted to like his writing more than I did, if that makes any sense.
Well, it’s been a weird week. Unusually productive, not to mention burgeoning with unprecedented amounts of unallocated time, but a psychological minefield nonetheless. The seasonal changes may be partly to blame, but I’ve been miserable as sin, utterly devoid of any enthusiasm for anything; momentum and deadlines have been pretty much all that’s kept me moving. Well, that and the swimming, which I’m already starting to look forward to as a part of my schedule, regardless of this whole “aching limbs” business.
But hey, you don’t come here to hear me complain about things – and besides, dwelling on it won’t do any good for me or anyone else. So I’m gonna wrap this up here, sort out some final Friday tasks, and then treat myself to a Friday Curry. Who knows, maybe it’s the absence of ghee and cardamom from my diet that’s bringing me down.
Anyway, have a great weekend, people – look after yourselves!
[ 1 – Which is drawing close with alarming rapidity. It hasn’t helped that the bloody shops have been stocking paraphernalia for the last month already. Meh. ]
[ 2 – This gentleman must be thoroughly tired of jokes about his Uncle Tom. ]
[ 3 – Unprecedented, yes, but certainly not unwelcome. Or, indeed, unnecessary. ]
[ 4 – Twenty-eight lengths, motherhubbards. Boom! ]
[ 5 – What you do come for remains a mystery, however. ]