Friday Photo Blogging: glassware

We’re going a little bit meta on FPB this week, thanks to this morning’s arrival of this little fellow:

Wide aperture lens

That – in case you were wondering – is a wide-aperture fast lens for my camera, which should alleviate the “one usable shot in every hundred blurry smears” syndrome that dogs my gig photography.

It should also make it possible to shoot fast non-blurred images in low-light conditions without the use of the built-in flash, which should come in handy very soon indeed…


Writing about music

It’s been a very slow week for releases, so I’ve only posted three reviews at TDP this week. This is a good thing, as it has enabled me to get on with some other unrelated gubbins, but I need to start ramping up to give myself a week’s worth of material before I head off on holiday.

That said, I’m quite happy with the results of the last seven months of near-daily reviews, in that TDP has a decent page-rank. I think it may be time to scale back and focus on quality rather than quantity in times to come… not to mention get the damned site redesigned.

Album of the week

It’s a close call, so I’ll give the honourable mention to the new Levellers album, Letters From the Underground[1], but the real stand-out stonker was definitely Funeral Mixtape by The Pack A.D. – a two-girl band playing ragged, powerful and authentic blues with a little hint of hipster cool. Well worth hearing, if only for Becky Black’s incredible voice.

Writing about books

Hey, I got the Snow Crash essay finished and submitted last weekend! Huzzah! I got an acknowledgement from Rodger at SF Site for the submission, but I’ve not heard back since so I guess it must be OK[2].

I have a number of potential things to write about this weekend (Snake Agent? The Night Sessions? The long-overdue Nightmare in Silicon? something else?) but given I’m out of town for most of Saturday, hell only knows whether anything will actually get done. Maybe I’ll surprise myself!

Freelance

With the exception of some PS Publishing newsletters and blogging, this week’s freelance work has largely been administrivia, which always takes more time than you expect it to. However, I got my tax return finished last night, which is an albatross I’m pleased to see the back of. Now all I need to do is catch up with this year’s accounts so far and then keep on top of them[3].

Futurismic

I’m still eagerly anticipating your comments on “Dry Frugal With Death Rays. I mean, you’ve obviously all read it already, and you’re just thinking of the right way to respond. This is not a question or a suggestion. Read that damned story, or there’ll be trouble.

Anyway, Bruce Sterling reads Futurismic. So should you.

Books and magazines seen

You’re not going to believe this – I certainly don’t. But I’m still receiving F&SF. Perhaps Gordon Van Gelder is a big fan of FPB and likes seeing it mentioned every time? Or he’s using my postbox as a very small supplementary warehouse? I dunno… September issue, anyways:

Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction September 2008

Hell only knows when I’ll get round to reading it (or any of the last half dozen or so, for that matter, which is the main reason I didn’t renew the sub).

Just retrieved from the Post Office depot this morning (along with the lens in the picture) were two Mike Resnick titles from Pyr – namely the classic Stalking the Unicorn and its recent sequel Stalking the Vampire – as well as Robert Silverberg‘s Son of Man:

Robert Silverberg - Son of Man Mike Resnick - Stalking the Vampire

I bought some non-fiction titles from Amazon this week, too. The Linux command line guide and WordPress theming textbook are not exactly entertainment reading[4], but I’m looking forward to tucking into the Rough Guide to Berlin[5]

And a box of limited edition rarities from my benevolent employers at PS Publishing, too – an embarrassment of literary riches, forsooth!

Elastic Press book launch

As mentioned above, it’s a trip beyond Velcro City’s borders for me tomorrow. Elastic Press are launching books by Gareth L Powell and Chris Beckett – two lovely blokes and super sf authors to boot – at the bizarrely named Citte Of Yorke pub on High Holborn on Saturday afternoon – details and maps on the Facebook event page. Maybe see you there?

Coda

With that in mind, there’s stuff I need to be getting on with, so we’ll make the coda into more of a James Brown-esque hit-it-‘n’-quit this week. It’s time for The Friday Curry, of course, and probably time for you to start doing weekend type stuff as well – so have a good one! Hasta luego…


[ 1 – Y’know, it’s a Levellers album, basically – though somewhat of a return to form as far as songwriting is concerned. They don’t have the fire they had in the old days… but then nor do I, so I can’t complain too much. 😉 ]

[ 2 – Or, just as plausibly, the sheer density of my pontification caused the poor fellow’s head to pop, which means I’ll have to bear the burden of being the first person to commit manslaughter with a piece of science fiction criticism. Which, come to think of it, would be quite an accolade… though probably not the sort that gets people asking you to write for them more often. ]

[ 3 – This will be much easier now I’ve finalised and tested my “Mammoth Freelance Accounting Spreadsheet (for Persons Who Deal Both Through Paypal and Their Bank Account and Occasionally in Other Currencies) of Justice”. All it needs now is a snappier title. ]

[ 4 – That said, bash commands are conveniently bite-sized; the Linux Toolbox might sit on the cistern for a few weeks. ]

[ 5 – Three weeks to go! 😀 ]

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