Friday Photo Blogging: dockyard crane

Whatever happens, I want you to know that I didn’t just hop outside the library and take this picture this afternoon so I’d have something to post. Honestly[1].


The crane moves along the dockside, so it’s not always so perfectly central as that; I liked the contrast between the dark and light sides, too. The Dockyard’s an interesting place to work, y’know. It would be even more so if I didn’t spend almost all my time stuck in one building. Selah.

Writing about music

I’ve been experimenting with reigning back the output on The Dreaded Press this week, and I like the way it has freed up more of my time for other things, so it may well become an ongoing change – at least until I find some more reviewers. And in that respect, I have a nefarious plan… mwah-ha-hah!

Album of the week

Hard to choose, really, as I’ve only reviewed two this week, and neither of them was astonishingly up my alley, so to speak.

But purely on the basis of full-bore weirdness I’m going to give it to the bizarrely- (yet appropriately-) named Turtle Nipple And The Toxic Shock by Heavy Heavy Low Low. Put it this way, they don’t call it “spazzcore” for nothing.

Writing about books

Cranked out the long-awaited Nightmare in Silicon review over the weekend, as you may have noticed. Got a couple of half-done pieces on the boil as well, at least one of which should be polished off this weekend, time allowing.

Oooh – on the subject of book reviews, remember the long agonising completion of the Brasyl review[2]? Well, it’s finally out in the wild: see the books and mags section further down.


I’ve been doing lots of behind-the-scenes stuff this week, including such exciting pastimes as triple-checking and printing off last year’s accounts, setting up SSH accounts on my websites and miscellaneous other administrivia.

It’s a case of paying things forward, though – for example, the SSH accounts should reduce my current Sunday backups routine from two hours to two clicks of a mouse. Well, once I’ve sussed out how to script all the processes automatically, that is… but even so, rsync is a lot more efficient than buggering about with FTP. Command line bash for the win!

I finally finished wading through the first monster manuscript – now all I have to do is think of a bunch of honest but encouraging things to say about it. And I thought the reading part was difficult going… still, there’s worse ways to earn money, and it’s teaching me a lot about how not to write. Silver linings ahoy!


Everything still ticking over nicely at Futurismic. Need to start planning for my absence at the end of the month, though.

Books and magazines seen

My first ever issue of Foundation (#102) arrived this morning, complete with my sprawling review of Ian McDonald‘s Brasyl[3]. w00t!

Orbit sent through a bunch more vampire-shagger paperbacks (seriously – how does anyone keep up with that genre’s output? Talk about making hay while the sun moon shines… ).

Under separate cover travelled the new K J Parker novel, The Company – complete with jacket blurb that plays on the “yes, it’s a pseudonym but no, we’re not telling you who it is” line. Way to dangle the carrot, guys… I may have to ask some of my insider contacts (hi, Darren!) for some clues[4].

The Company by K J Parker

And naturally, having attended a rather superb book launch last week, I came back with autographed copies of Gareth L Powell‘s short story collection The Last Reef and Chris Beckett‘s The Turing Test[5]. Great artwork for both, I think:

The Turing Test by Chris Beckett The Last Reef by Gareth L Powell

And bargains at £6 each. Go buy one – support talented authors and receive good fiction in return. How can you argue with that?


Another busy weekend beckons, so we’ll keep it brief here in the Coda. I’m off to see recently-reformed nineties alt-rock trio Kerbdog in Camden tomorrow night, and then on Sunday I’m spinning some tunes[6] at the fifth anniversary bash for the forum[7], so masses of stuff to get done in a smaller space than usual. I may even forego a trip to the pub this evening, depending on how things pan out…

But I’ll not be forgoing The Hallowed Friday Curry Of Truth And Justice, however – because some things just can’t be skipped, no matter how busy you are. Have a great weekend, ladies and gents – hasta luego!

[ 1 – This is a blatant lie. But then you already knew that. ]

[ 2 – How could you forget? After all, I whined on about it for months. Which is, y’know, so out-of-character for me. ]

[ 3 – It’s nowhere as bad as I remember it being, either. I can still see a number of glaring errata and bad paragraphs, though, which is a bit shoddy for one’s début in a proper academic journal. Selah. ]

[ 4 – Anyone read any of the K J Parker novels, by the way? I seem to remember Farah speaking well of them, and they get a few mentions in her Rhetorics Of Fantasy , which – to my shame – I’ve still yet to finish… ]

[ 5 – The Turing Test blurb quotes a certain website with which you are doubtless somewhat familiar. Consider this a muffled grace note from my dusty trumpet. ]

[ 6 – Heh – time to deploy the Monster Magnet back catalogue, methinks! ]

[ 7 – Old time-sucks die hard. It’s a den of foul humour and other iniquities, but I’ve made some great friends through it over the years, including my band-mates. ]

Leave a Reply