Friday Photo Blogging: the Brandenburg Gate

Once a sorry marker of the division of East and West, the restored Brandenburg Gate is once again a focal centre for Berlin… especially tourists.

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

You may be able to notice the huge swarm of bikers between the gate and the point-of-view; I have no idea what the occasion was, but it obviously had something to do with blatting off through Tiergarten in a big cheerful gang with a police escort. ‘Twas a nice day for it, too.[1]

Writing about music

The music industry is slowing down for the Allegedly Festive Season (or at least the bits of it that release music I’m actually interested in), so things are winding down a bit at TDP – which is fine by me, and I doubt will cause any great complaints from my writers, either. That said, still plenty of interesting titles to get through before the year is done.

Album of the week

Not strictly an album but more an EP (and I’m slightly biased because they’re a local outfit) but I wholeheartedly recommend You Are Goldmouth by Munroe Effect. Because that’s how progressive post-hardcore is supposed to sound: sharp and pacey and powerful, full of light and shade, never overstaying its welcome. Go check ’em out, and go see ’em if they play near you. Tell them I sent you. Buy them a beer. Nice lads, good band.

Writing about books

THE STEAMPUNK REVIEW IS FINISHED. Well, it needs a final polish and error-check, but the thing is actually fully compiled.

It is also nearly three thousand words long, which may explain why I didn’t just rattle it off in an afternoon… though it also demonstrates one of the phenomena of procrastination when applied to large tasks done piecemeal, namely: “the longer you leave it, the larger it will seem to look[2]“.

Now, which of my leviathan queue of reviews should I write next?


Nothing special to report here, really. Nearing the end of The Pretty Big Project (indeed, hoping to have it nailed by Monday, or at least the bulk of it), and the long-awaited artwork for The Other Project has been chopped into a header bar (with some decorative bits) and raided for a colour scheme. It’s going to be a very interesting pallet to work with, too – quite different from the others, with the potential to be very striking[3].


The good ship Futurismic sails on much as ever. Monday sees a new piece of fiction go live, of course; it’s from a writer who has published at Futurismic more than once before, and it’s definitely an example of the Positive SF manifesto in action. But it’s also a neat little story, and I’m sure it will get a reaction.

Advanced warning for those of you who read here – we’ll be shutting submissions over December, because poor Chris needs a holiday away from other people’s writing and a bit more time with his own. Plus he might want to, I dunno, see his loved ones or something. I know, I know, a bit selfish… but as I don’t pay the guy anything I guess I have to cut him a bit of slack, right[4]?

Books and magazines seen

I’m not going to mention any names, but it appears Orbit aren’t the only publisher who send me wildly inappropriate books; this week saw the arrival of – among other things – a ‘romance thriller’ involving werewolves with a very tacky cover indeed. Seriously, I think if I never see another undead/lycanthropy novel during the next decade, I’ll be a happier man for it.

However, my delightful clients at PS Publishing have sent me over a bunch of our latest titles, and the latest issue of Talebones has arrived – a pleasant surprise, as I’d completely forgotten it existed, let alone that I had a subscription to it. Huzzah!

Talebones Magazine #37

Not only that, but it has a story by James Van Pelt, who is one of my very favourite internet-based avuncular dispensers of writerly wisdom. Go check him out, if you don’t already.

London calling

Wednesday was nice – a day of culture-vulturing up in the Big Smoke. Myself and Justin Pickard met up at the Tate Modern and hoovered up some surrealism, impressionism and Viennese actionism (the latter of which is, erm, a trifle severe). We then (well, it was actually me) decided we could probably walk from there to Gower Street for the Battlespaces lecture. I was quite correct, but it took us the best part of two hours… still, we had a good natter and soaked up the hustle and bustle.

The Battlespaces lecture itself was excellent; I’ve commended Geoff Manaugh‘s BLDGBLOG to you many times before (so if you’re not subscribed to it already, I want a good reason why), and I shall now be looking out for the arrival of Antoine J Bousquet‘s forthcoming book, The Scientific Way of Warfare[5]. This was the sort of brain-food event that makes you remember why you wanted to write science fiction in the first place… and that makes you despair of ever doing anything as weird and complicated as reality.

Then it was off to the BSFA shindig; it had peaked before we arrived, I think, but there were still a fair few people around and it was nice to catch up with some of the figures of fandom who I don’t get to see often enough. Then I had to make my way from Holborn to Seven Sisters to find my crash-spot for the night… thankfully I had help from a local, otherwise I might not be typing this now. All in all, a great day out – thanks to everyone who helped make it so.


And that’s about it, really – a busy week, but not an astonishingly interesting one from an outsider’s perspective, I’d imagine. But then I imagine they must all be like that, but the statistics show that you weirdos still read my blather every week, so I feel obliged to continue the ritual. That’s the kind of giving, caring guy I am, you see. 🙂

But I am also a hungry guy, so I shall now go fetch myself a Friday Curry. Yeah, I know, I had one last week. But I’m cold – that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it. Enjoy your weekend, happy Thanksgiving for you American types, and take care of yourselves – auf weidersehn!

[ 1 – No prizes for guessing that yours truly spent most of today wishing he were somewhere (and somewhen) else. ]

[ 2 – And the more you will come to dread the thought of returning to it. You know, like when you suspect you may have left the gas on before going to the shops? ]

[ 3 – Provided the guy doing the design makes a good job of it, of course. Ahem. ]

[ 4 – Just in case it isn’t abundantly clear, I’m frankly in awe of Chris’s inhuman mental stamina in dealing with the Futurismic slush pile, and (if I could) I’d pay him a living wage to do nothing else. ]

[ 5 – If Mr Bousquet’s publishers are reading, a review copy would be very gratefully received. ]

3 thoughts on “Friday Photo Blogging: the Brandenburg Gate”

  1. The aftermath of “Battlespace/s” lecture seems to have me writing some kind of … pamphlet? I’ll run what I’ve got past you at some point next week, if that’s okay.

  2. In our defence we set off at 5pm; so the streets were thronging. We were also nattering a fair bit, and navigating by guestimates against a tube map… plus, by comparison to such savvy urbanites as yourself, Justin and I are veritable bumpkins, so there was much novelty to distract us on our way. Omnibuses and rickshaws, forsooth! 🙂

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