Friday Photo Blogging – the Royal Naval Museum Library

Yes, FPB is back after a two-week hiatus, wh00t! Thanks to those of you who emailed about its absence last week – I’m flattered by your interest in my personal ramblings, but I’d suggest that you may need to get out more. I can recommend Second Life as an alternative, if leaving the house is unappealing – I know how you feel sometimes.

So, here’s what I’m surrounded by in my new workplace:


There are original documents and manuscripts going back over two centuries. I’ve only been here a month, and I’m already developing a genuine interest in British Naval history. It’s hard not to, really – once you start to look at it, the history of the Royal Navy is almost impossible to separate from the history of Britain itself, not to mention the modern world. Although I can’t see myself abandoning science fiction for the C. S. Forester novels just yet …


I’ve already been roundly mocked for my abortive efforts at chronicling Eastercon, for which I offer little in the way of apology – I was far too busy hanging out, talking science fiction and generally having a high old time of it. A lesson learned – cons are too full of stuff to do to seriously contemplate getting a decent amount of work done. They’re also good places to pick up new novelty illnesses, as both I and my good buddy Shaun discovered – that’s one of the reasons there was no FPB last week.


Cons are also great for encouraging you to part with your hard-earned cash for desirable books. I’ll not list everything I bought, but the two highlights (and high price tags) were John Clute’s Scores and Parietal Games, a collection of criticism by (and of) M. John Harrison. Heavy stuff, but well worth it – to be consumed in small doses, like a fine brandy or somesuch.

Incoming reading material is in no short supply at the moment. My place on the Orbit mailing list seems to have kicked in, which has resulted in a number of packages arriving at varying times of the morning over the last few weeks. A lot of it has been, to be fair, not really the sort of thing I’m interested in (teen vampire romances and fantasy doorstops), but this morning’s shipment included Marianne de Pierres’ Dark Space, which looks like it might be pretty good. I’ve still not read anything by her yet, so that may be a good place to start.

Stuff has also winged its way across the Atlantic from the good folk at SF Site, despite being mangled by the Canadian postal system, and I now have a copy of the Night Shade Books’ Best SF and Fantasy of the Year anthology to attack when time permits. Given the fact that I’ve not finished the stuff they sent me last month, it may take a week or so for me to get to that …

Furthermore, the evil overlords of the new Scalpel Magazine have sent me Chris Roberson’s Set the Seas on Fire. I quite liked Paragaea, and I’ll be interested to see what Roberson does with his characters in a different setting.

Added to all the above, I’m also receiving an average of seven CDs a fortnight, along with all the usual things – so my postman loves me to bits. I can tell – he keeps waking me up before seven so he can see me wearing the oh-so-fetching towel-and-scowl combo …


Well, there you have it. You may notice I’ve not mentioned much besides books – that’s because, with the exception of a couple of great gigs over the last few weeks, I’ve not been doing very much else except try to shake off the con plague (plus some lingering psychological baggage). Of course, I have been adventuring in Second Life, but as you’ve been paying attention you already knew that, right?

So. It’s Friday. It’s still quite sunny (although a brisk chilly wind from the southeast indicates that may not be the prevailing situation in a day or two). My day-job graft for the week is done, so it is time to obey the callings of powers far mightier and and more imperative than those of mortal man.

In other words, time for The Friday Curry. Have a good weekend, folks.

4 thoughts on “Friday Photo Blogging – the Royal Naval Museum Library”

  1. You work at the naval museum library? Do you have a place you can entertain interested historians? Why didn’t you say you worked there? I thought you were from somewhere outside London, instead of which you are in the kind of place us archive historians salivate over.

  2. But I *am* from outside London, Farah! 🙂

    The RNML is in Portsmouth Dockyard, and we certainly have the facilities to welcome visitors – though, due to being located within the naval base, you’ll need to make an appointment ahead of time and bring some photographic ID with you as well. Just get in touch if you want to come by some time.

    And if you want archives, we got ’em; London Gazette and the Times running back to about 1800, for example, plus innumerable personal papers and documents from the lowliest seamen to the loftiest admirals! Go take a look at the website – you can search the manuscript archive on there if you have a particular interest in mind.

  3. I used to know a bloke who worked for Janes’. A man of little imagination or wit who spontaneously changed PhD’s on September 12 2001 in order to make his thesis topic more “trendy” (his words).

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