ï»¿Postmodern life is a confusing experience; certainties are fleeting, if indeed they can said to exist at all. This may go some way to explaining the utility of maxims, mottoes and totemic utterances; the enduring (some might say increasing) ubiquity of prayer and of song.
When the maelstrom of meaning and identity becomes to much for me to bear, I repeat a short simple sentence, a sentence which revealed to me the one deep truth at the centre of all the shallow lies of life:
Mister Cheap is the cheapest.*
Writing about music
I seem to be having a run of bad luck with interviews of late; I was supposed to have a chat with Ginger Wildheart on Wednesday afternoon, but his phone was switched off. Hoping for a reschedule on that one … which will arguably be a reschedule of the one that went horribly wrong back in December. Rock’n’roll, kids!
I’ve heard great things about Cancer Bats’ live skillz0rz, so if you’re in the area why not drop by the show as well? It’s a matinee (midday till 4), so public transport will be fine.
Album of the Week
Hands down, no contest â€” the sludge-pop-stoner-rock of Meanderthal by Torche; if you like your music heavy and hook-laden with a side-salad of fun, this one’s for you.
Writing about books
[Please insert your own have-you-hired-a-parrot joke here. Suffice to say that I haven’t managed my free time as well as I might have liked in the last week.]
It’s been a busy week for me over at PS Publishing, with lots of fresh cover art to post on the blog as well as the production and delivery of my first e-bulletin newsletter thingy (which you should have received already if you are on the PS mailing list).
The learning curve isn’t too savage so far; the only shock to the system is another burden on my time management skills â€” which, as can be seen above, are still in need of the equivalent of a bodybuilding crash-course, which is exactly what they’re getting.
Maybe one day I’ll write one of those self-help books about time management for self-made businesspersons:
How I Made My Career And Learned To Prioritise By Taking On Way More Work Than Made Sense To Anyone!
Hell, I’d buy a book with that title.
We’re about to buy our first story with me as Ed-in-Chief at Futurismic, which means I have to get the contract and payment arrangements in place â€” tricky, but very exciting stuff!
It’s also high time I hired some new bloggers; one of the last batch has drifted away completely due to having things to do beyond the internet (hah! I mean, what’s that all about?), and the other two have real world commitments that mean they can’t post every day. I reckon I’ve got room for two or three more smart folk …
… so if you or someone you know might be interested in becoming one of the Futurismic blogging team, drop me a line via the Contact form on Futurismic itself. Cheers!
Books and magazines seen
The seemingly-perpetual F&SF subscription rolls relentlessly onward with the arrival of the June 2008 issue … which has one of the most uninspiring covers I’ve seen in a long while.
Held up against Murky Depths #4 (which slipped into the post-box mere minutes ago), I know which one I’d grab off the shelves first:
No new books this week, though a parcel is pending from Royal Mail** which I suspect may be my first care package from Pete at PS … boutique literary goodies await!
I took notes through the Gresham College “Science Fiction as a Literary Genre” symposium yesterday, which was an edifying event – as well as a chance to hang out with the critical wing of UK fandom. But thankfully Niall has a full report, which saves me the embarrassment of trying to make other people’s ideas more coherent by processing them through my own brain***.
[ Stop the press! This just in – Chris Roberson is jealous of us all for going, but makes some interesting points comparing Stephenson’s talk to the recent Clay Shirky “cognitive surplus” presentation. Worth checking out. ]
Although arranged by Gresham College, the event was held at the Royal College Of Surgeons in a very posh part of London (suits and ties a-go-go). They have a skeletal sloth in the hallway, which made me think of playing AD&D with a rather irreverent DM:
Dinner afterwards with many lovely people who I hardly ever get to see in meatspace. I drank too much wine; put it this way, it’s a good thing I didn’t have to go to the day-job today, as I’ve been paying the price. But it was worth it; a great day out.
[fanboy]Oh, yeah â€” you know your ARC of the Subterranean Press reissue of Stephenson’s Snow Crash? Is it, er, signed by the author? Hmmmm? No?
BECAUSE MINE TOTALLY IS!!!1! 😀 [/fanboy]
And so it goes; I’ve had a two-day working week at the day-job, but I’ve not gained that safety margin on my to-do list I had hoped for. More discipline required, perhaps … after a concerted binge of just not doing anything but writing review for a day or two. I want a week’s headway; that’ll mean I’m able to get my weekends back to myself and restore that â€œwork-life balanceâ€ thing people keep telling me about.
Speaking of discipline, a certain lady of note at the post-Symposium dinner last night recommended gym-work and weight lifting in response to last week’s exercise question; the lady in question can apparently bench-press a surprising mass.
As mentioned before, a public gym is pretty much out of the question for me, but I may take her advice and speak to someone whose job it is to answer such questions. Luckily my circle of friends includes a personal trainer****, saving me the embarrassment of phoning around until I find one who doesn’t intimidate me.
So, hopefully by this time next year I’ll be a slim well-organised freelance superhero! Or something like that … I’ll settle for a busy freelancer who still gets to have days off for Symposiums without having to panic about his schedule, and who can tuck into The Friday Curry without remorse thanks to a sensible moderate exercise regime.
And speaking of The Friday Curry … would you look at the time! Hasta luego, amigos. 🙂
[ * Taken in North End, Velcro City last weekend; some of my bandmates and I went to scour pawn shops for old guitars and stomp boxes, only to find that the oft-repeated assertion is quite true â€” eBay has killed off the pawn shop industry.
And even though I was quite looking forward to scouring piles of junk for hidden gems, I can’t get too upset about the withering away of an industry entirely predicated on misery. Sure, something else will replace it – but even so. ]
[ ** I couldn’t pick it up from the depot because it doesn’t have my name on it, only the ridiculous name of my domicile [[The Hall Of Mirrors]], so I have to settle for redelivery sometime tomorrow between 7am and midday … which, Sod’s Law states, will occur at 11:45am, with me having waited around the house unable to do my Saturday chores and shopping. Selah. ]
[ *** Like that’s ever going to work; even my â€œwhat I’ve been up toâ€ blog posts have footnotes. Oh, snap! ]
[ **** Guy in question has biceps bigger than my thighs. This isn’t something I have any wish to emulate; I mention it merely for the OMFG factor. ]