Friday Photo Blogging: the lion and the unicorn

Thanks to a merciful let-up in the weather last Sunday, I actually took the camera outdoors. Which means you get a refreshing break from pictures of my computers:

War Memorial, Southsea Common

OK, so not technically brilliant or skilful, but the statues looked awesome against that ultrablue sky. I took quite a few shots that day but had to crop (or ditch) many of them, due to having had a big old smudge-thing on the lens for most of the trip, which I didn’t notice till I got home and uploaded the results. A lesson learned – zoom in on things that you assume to be seagulls in shots you’ve just taken, and always carry a torn strip of old T-shirt. Feel free to poke around in my other photos – any constructive criticism always welcome, I need all the help I can get.


Oh, yeah; while I’m linking to Flickr, check this out:

Want a 50k salary?

That’s the work of someone going by the username ‘mydogsighs‘, who seems to be some sort of local art terrorist here in Velcro City. He does paintings and drawings too, some of which I’ve seen around, but these get-rich-quick signs are an interesting sideline. If you haven’t already, you should use Flickr to see what arty folk are getting up to in your neighbourhood. What’s the point in having social networks if we don’t use them, eh?


Things have been pretty much back to normal this week – no alarming computer disasters, with the exception of a broadband outage on Tuesday evening that had nothing to do with my equipment. Such is my state of technology paranoia that I had convinced myself that my cable modem had died on me by the time it sorted itself out. Yeah, I know, I need a life.

But I have one, you know (honestly) – I went to a gig at the Joiner’s Arms in Southampton on Wednesday. Headliners were the Supersuckers, who do this kind of Deep South country / rock and roll / metal thing – like a slightly spoof Lynyrd Skynyrd. Lots of fun; they’ve been going for years, and are hence great showmen. Not the most original or inventive material, perhaps, but good-time ‘grin and tap your feet in time’ music works for me sometimes. Ace to get out of the town for an evening too, and hang out with a friend who I rarely get to see except as part of a large bunch of people every Friday night – he’s the DJ at my local watering hole, you see. I hang out with him in the hope that some of the kudos will rub off … 🙂

Speaking of music, I was talking to someone that evening who hinted that they might be able to get me a gig writing live reviews again, which would be excellent news – I miss writing for The Fly Wessex site (now sadly defunct), not to mention getting into shows for free all the time. How exactly I’ll find the time to do it in amongst the other stuff that I already do is anyone’s guess. Although there is a plan brewing that could free up a lot of my time for more creative pursuits, I’m not going to mention it here for risk of unbalancing my rather fragile luck faerie. We’ll see what happens.

And speaking of writing for websites, Futurismic‘s back up and running again! Things are still a little ropey, so there’ll be no fiction or essays for a little while until it’s all fixed, but we’re blogging again after a three week hiatus, and that’s a good feeling.

And one final writing-related announcement – I’ve just landed my third book reviewing gig! The people behind Hub Magazine were looking for contributors, so yours truly put himself forward. My first assignment is in the mail as we speak … I just don’t have enough deadlines in my life yet, you know?


Which brings us neatly to the weekly Incoming section, which has added to the glut of last week with yet more magazines:

Incoming reading material 19/01/07
  • Interzone #208: turned up Thursday, which is about standard for the local postal service handling something dispatched on the 11th. I really like this month’s cover, tweaks all my post-apocalyptic neurons very nicely. Should get most of it read this weekend; apart from pressing deadlines and things already nearly finished, everything moves aside in the schedule when Interzone turns up.
  • Murky Depths #0 (promo issue): I’d forgotten all about this, but I saw it plugged somewhere a month or so back and thought I’d sign up for it. Tagline is ‘graphically dark speculative fiction’, and from a brief flick through this 12-page taster issue, it looks like that’s an accurate description. Half prose, half graphic / comic style sequences, plus a poem inspired by a pictue inspired by a story, which is an interesting idea. I’ll report in detail when it’s all read.
  • Apex SF & Horror Digest, Winter 2006: Looks like it may be a bit more sfnal than the first issue I got hold of. There’s an M. M. Buckner piece in there which I’ll be interested to read, having reviewed a novel of hers a while ago.
  • In addition to the postal arrivals above, this week was comics week too. And comics week is increasingly becoming ‘I’ll just poke my nose into the second-hand book shop on my way home …’ week, so there’s a few more 70s and 80s sf paperbacks lurking on the shelves of the Hall of Mirrors yet again. At the rate I’m going, I could be made unemployed tomorrow and still have enough fresh reading material to keep reading until the Singularity relieves me of the inconvenience of corporeal existence. Looked at in that light, unemployment sounds like quite a pleasant option – if only it wasn’t for that whole ‘paying the rent’ thing.

So, that was the week that was, in my universe at least. So before departing to fetch The Friday Curry, I shall wish you all a good weekend. Thanks for dropping by!

[PS – this FPB was created from the comfort of my sofa. I should have bought a laptop years ago!]

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