Friday Photo Blogging: humungous flying cephalopod

We move away from photos of plants (and, indeed, from actual photos taken with an actual camera) for this week’s FPB, because … well, because I’ve not taken any. So instead, here’s a snapshot of me checking out an air kraken in Babbage Square, Second Life:

Air Kraken at Babbage Square

I went to see Babbage because it was one of the places Warren Ellis mentioned in his column about ‘awesome builds that seem like ghost-towns’. A fair assessment, too – Babbage is a beautifully made steampunk-themed sim, but it was dead as a Victorian doornail when I went there, except for a few other people who’d obviously had the same idea about following Mr. Ellis’s list of suggestions. That flying squid just had to be photographed. You can buy your own, too. Second Life is like that.


Even that screen shot is from over a week ago, too – time has been short, and SL exploration has to, by necessity, be one of the first casualties of temporal triage. I think my keyboard is starting to resent the ceaseless battering – it keeps sighing whenever I sit down in front of it.

Of course, I could be making all this up, couldn’t I? Yakking on about how busy I am in an attempt to make you all think I’m something I’m not? Well, I might be trying to convince you I’m a more professional and successful writer than I really am, but I assure you that I’ve been working. In fact, I have the proof.

I pointed earlier in the week to my critique of Mike Resnick’s Starship: Pirate at SF Site (and in doing so proved the axiom of the Summon Author spell), so you already knew about that. But I write about music too, you know – and a whole lot of my stuff has gone live on the intarwebs in the last week.

For, I have reviewed albums by Dungen (trippy), Azalea City Penis Club (interesting), and Blacktop Mourning (by-the-numbers emo pop). Plenty more stuff already submitted but yet to be published.

For Pennyblack Music, I have reviewed albums by the Young Gods (mind-blowingly brilliant industrial) and Malkovich (craftily nihilistic Dutch metal lunacy), an EP by Silicon Vultures (very promising but as yet unpolished), and live shows from Pelican (supported by These Arms are Snakes) and Clutch (supported by The Sword). Here too, at least as many pieces again still pending publication. And I still need to write up and submit my interview with Franz from the Young Gods that I recorded on Tuesday …

Plus I’m off to review Biffy Clyro and supports on Sunday night, and on June 2nd I get to interview the mighty desert rock heroes, Fu Manchu! OK, so I don’t get paid for any of this, but it’s great fun and great portfolio. If I can just work out how to survive on three hours sleep a night, I’ll be doing brilliantly. And there’s paid work in the offing, too – I’ve got my first test copywriting assignment for the Sea Your History project to work on. I have to boil down the Admiralty’s attitudes and approaches to naval dis- and re-armament in the inter-war years … to 500 words! Yipes!


So, incoming materials for the week are all magazines (because I only count items that I intend to read, which invalidates the latest batch of teen vamp-shagging novels from Orbit … the public library will be more grateful for them, I expect):

Hell knows when I’ll get time to read them, though, because I’ve also received the recommended reading list for the SF Criticism Masterclass next month – and it’s … well, it’s extensive. It’s also almost entirely made up of articles from learned tomes of crit that I have little or no chance of getting hold of, so it’s lucky that the SF Foundation’s library can supply me with copies of the relevant articles and extracts. I don’t think I’ll be doing much reviewing of books this month, that’s for sure.

Oh, and talking of reviewing and Interzone, I think I can now safely reveal that I have just become Assistant Reviews Editor for Interzone, which is something I’m inordinately proud to announce. I think it’ll be a lot of work, but well worth it for the prestige alone. How I will manage to eventually fill the wonderful Sandy Auden’s shoes, I have no idea, but I’m going to give it the best shot I have.


So, there you go. I really have had a busy week – not that you ever doubted me, of course, but I like to be able to back up my assertions occasionally. But now that I have shared the wonder that is my week-to-week existance with you, good people of the internet, it is time. It is time for That Thing Which Must Be Consumed On A Friday … I’ll need the calories to keep me at my desk all weekend, if nothing else!

Have a good one, boys and girls.

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