Rejoice, veterans of VCTB; for this week FPB returns to plants, its original subject of observation!
About three months ago, I’d been making homemade guacamole (which was less than successful, truth be told) when I found myself about to throw out the stone from the avocado. “Hang on a minute,” I thought to myself. “I wonder if I can grow an avocado tree from this thing?” So I turned to the mighty intarwebs (source of all knowledge, accurate or otherwise), which advised me to put the stone in a pot of compost (pointy end up), moisten the compost thoroughly, and then seal the pot in a freezer bag and leave it somewhere sunny.
Above is the result, released from it’s bag only yesterday (because I’d quite forgotten it was there at all). Whether it will survive in the non-tropical UK climate, I have no idea – but given the fact we’ve just had an April that felt more like a June, I may be able to go into business selling my homemade guacamole … if I ever get the recipe nailed. I’ve been to the avocado capital of the world, y’know; did I ever tell you that?
Sheesh. Another week flies by – but I’ve not been idle, oh no. I submitted a critique of Mike Resnick’s Starship: Pirate to SF Site. I read, took extensive notes on and reviewed Dark Space (which was rather good, as it happens), and I’ve written four CD reviews and an essay for Pennyblack. I’ve also been poking at a new project that, although unpaid and entirely voluntary, has a real creative appeal to it – and which I shall talk about more when details are forthcoming. I haven’t got as much done as I hoped I would this week, but that’s par for the course really. I’ve met all my deadlines, and that’s the unbreakable rule. The pipeline is not clogged. Yet.
But thank [insert whichever deity, physical constant or expletive you prefer] for bank holiday weekends, because I could do with some rest time away from the computer screen. That said, I have a couple of assignments to finish before Monday arrives, so it won’t be all sofa and sunshine. Plus I’m off to review the rather excellent Nine Black Alps on Sunday night – a night out of the house with some raucous guitar music included in the deal. Result.
Incoming materials are fairly thin this week, if you don’t count the CDs (which, for FPB purposes, I don’t). The May issue of F&SF has arrived, and seeing as it contains a Bacigalupi story I may be forced to cherry-pick from it at some point over the weekend.
But the real rosette of the week is the eventual arrival of something I’ve been looking forward to for almost six months:
Mwahahaha! My copy of David Marusek’s short story collection Getting to Know You! At last!
When you consider the fact that I’ve been engaged in a few email discussions recently that deplore the whole ‘limited edition’ culture of the small press scene, it could be considered an act of hypocricy on my part to have shelled out the extra for a signed and numbered copy (#15, since you asked). In my defence I’d say that, for the little extra on top of the price of a normal Subterranean hardback, the chance to possess a signed artefact from an author that you [a] would jump in front of a moving train for, and [b] will probably never get to meet in person, was a hard thing to resist. So I didn’t. Resist, I mean.
And I know I’ve previously declared my ambivalence about book cover illustrations, but I’m unashamed to say that this is a gorgeous piece of work. Just look at that thing; lovely. Plus, being a SubPress job, the book itself is made to exceptional standards. I shall be savouring the reading of it as soon as I can find a window of opportunity in which to do so.
So, there it is, ladies and gents. Another thrilling week in the life of yours truly – I admire your fortitude and constitution, that makes you able to cope with vicariously experiencing my deeds and doings without passing out or expiring from the excitement! And so, the time for that most important of weekly rituals has arrived. I don’t know if any of you also intend to have A Friday Curry*, but regardless, I hope you have a damn fine weekend. Hasta luego.
[* Just a quick Eastercon flashback, and a commentary on the nature of being vaguely known within a select sphere of interest via one’s internet activities: one of the weirdest moments of Eastercon for me occured on Friday evening. As I was stepping into a lift which was already occupied by a lady with whom I was completely unfamiliar, said lady asked me cheerfully if I’d managed to have The Friday Curry or not. It took a good thirty seconds of full-bore paranoia before I realised that she must be one of the silent subscribers to VCTB. So if you’re reading, ma’am, accept my apologies for being impolite and neither asking your name or introducing myself in return. As I’m sure you could tell, I was a little shocked at the time …]