I finally got around to making a pilgrimage to the government surplus store at the other end of town, and secured myself a desk of a size more suitable to a man with a prodigious amount of stuff to do… not to mention one under which I can actually stretch out my legs. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a revolution in my working environment – behold!
Granted, all of that desk space will doubtless be festooned with work-in-progress by the end of next week, but I thrive on a certain degree of controlled chaos. And look – two monitors! No more switching windows to see the effects of code changes on a website design!
Writing about music
All is busy at The Dreaded Press, with new CDs arriving on an almost daily basis from established and unsigned acts alike, and regular contributions from a stable of four reviewers… but still I need more! Any volunteers out there?
Album of the week
Your recommended slice of audio bliss for the week is Hymn To The Immortal Wind, the new album from Japanese post-rock maestros Mono. My review of the album isn’t up yet, but my review of their show in Brighton a week ago tells you about as much as you need to know. Mono make atmospheric and poignant post-rock with the epic proportions of a snowcapped mountain range; absolutely beautiful, and the ideal tonic to the madness of the world. Listen, and be still.
Writing about books
Well, I’m mid-way through three different books (two novels, one non-fiction) and have a queue of reviews to write (mostly for here at VCTB or Futurismic, so no pressing deadlines except for the non-fiction title), but actual sit-down reviewing work has been thin on the ground of late. Much of my analytical energies (not to mention will to live) were drained by reading and reporting upon what must be the worst would-be novel I’ve yet encountered. Still, the silver lining shines: I’ve learned lots of new ways to not suck in my own fictional outpourings…
Things are ticking over nicely at Futurismic at the moment; it’s nearly new story time, and April sees us hosting a piece from a writer whose stature would have, to my mind at least, precluded him from bothering with a market as small as we are. It’s also a very different story to our normal fare; not that we always publish the same sort of stuff, but there’s a different type of Gonzo at work in this particular piece.
So keep your eyes peeled… it’ll be published next Wednesday, as well as Jonathan McCalmont’s Alternative Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form. Happy days!
As the lack of recent FPBs should indicate, there’s plenty of work in my inbox at the moment, and of various types. This is a good thing – who’s not glad of work when the news is full of redundancies? – but it’s really chewing away at my life in terms of scheduling. Trying to juggle a full-time freelance workload with editing two webzines and a relationship with someone who lives nearly 300 miles away is a new challenge, and I’d be lying if I said I’d not fumbled a ball or two. But nothing major, and I’m slowly getting the hang of it… though I’m realising that expecting to have more free time as a freelance may have been, if not naive, a little optimistic. Selah.
I’m not sure if it’s been mentioned here yet, but those who follow my ramblings on various social media will be aware that Aeroplane Attack have announced our live debut; the lovely ladies of Hong Kong Gardener’s Club have booked us for Saturday 25th April at the Havana Bar, just five minutes walk from the Hall of Mirrors. So, if you’re local to Velcro City, please consider popping along to witness the look of abject terror that will no doubt decorate my face as I play guitar to an audience for the first time ever… there’s a Facebook event with more details (including the other band on the line-up), and you can buy tickets in advance for a quid less than the door tax. Go on, you know you want to…
Oh, you’re busy that night? Well, it just so happens I can now announce our second live date as well! Subject to confirmation, we’ll be playing at the Edge of the Wedge on Monday 11th May; I don’t have details of line-up or door price for this yet, but I can say with confidence that they will be, in order, ‘good’ and ‘cheap or free’. So if you want to witness Velcro City’s foremost shoegazer-alt-rock revivalists in action, set one of those two dates aside and pop your earplugs in your pocket – we promise volume, melody and texture in approximately equal measure. 🙂
Books and magazines seen
Relatively few arrivals this week; the only ones of note are two Neal Asher novels from Tor, namely Line War in paperback and Shadow of the Scorpion in hardback. I already have … Scorpion in ARC form from the Night Shade Books limited print run, but have yet to read it.
Well, there we have it – it feels good to knock out a proper FPB after a month or so of sporadic minimal updates. There’s definitely a cathartic component to it; maybe it’s a bit like journalling in that respect?
But anyway, enough waffle – there are things to do! have a great weekend, people – I surely intend to. 🙂
[ 1 – It’s a bit alarming to note how dull the display is on the older monitor, though it does explain why I was starting to get such tired eyes all the time before the new machine arrived. ]
[ 2 – Quelle surprise – looking at the TBR shelf, I could probably do nothing but read for three months solid and still not get through the titles I have waiting for me. Still, better to have more books than you have time for than too few, right? ]