Friday Plant-and-Publication Blogging! Spiky tree

It’s that time of week again…


Yet again, another houseplant the species of which I am unaware of. I keep saying I’ll bring a housplant book home and find these things out, but never seem to get round to it … I’m working tomorrow, so I’ve put it in my diary. Now all I have to do is remember to check my diary in the morning …

Another week has flown by; they seem to get faster every time. Never enough hours in the day, but then I’m probably preaching to the choir on that front – I don’t know anyone who complains of a surfeit of time, and that includes the artists and ‘between employment’ types that I know. Selah.New reading material for this week:


The conclusion of the comic-book version of Gaiman’s Neverwhere, and the latest installment of the enduringly excellent Y the Last Man. I don’t read a lot of comics, and I’m still fairly new to them as a format, but I can recommend Y to anyone as an intelligent and beautifully drawn series. And look – my first copy of Locus! Slightly water-damaged thanks to my leaky postbox, but still perfectly readable. I’m very impressed at the turn-over, as it was only last week I placed a subscription with them by PayPal. I figured that it’d take some time to receive by surface mail, but it would appear I was unduly pessimistic. Excellent service.

No formal review jobs in the pipeline as of yet – still waiting on the thumbs-up for the Icarus review (as my editor at Vector has been on holiday for a little while), and I’m unlikely to get a job for Interzone this time round due to the number of reviewers in the stable there. Fingers crossed, no-one will select Rucker’s Mathematicians in Love, and then I’ll have a chance to beg it away from my editor for reviewing at Futurismic – the more Rucker shorts I read, the more annoyed I am at having never read any of his novels. It’s a situation I intend to amend ASAP.

I will hopefully be in receipt of a copy of Tobias Buckell’s Crystal Rain at some point in the future, though – he was one of the Futurismic team when I joined up, and so I’ve asked nicely if I can get a review copy of the paperback version. I may have to pay him for the shipment, though – sending books trans-Atlantic can’t be cheap, especially not on a full-time writer’s budget. It’ll be a small price to pay, as far as I’m concerned. It’s widely reputed to be an excellent book. [Update – searching for links on Amazon reveals that it’s still not been published on this side of the pond, either.]
In non-book news, the live music circuit is heating up, as it always does in the autumn (so as to extract the maximum money out of the student population before their loans are exhausted). One of the best things about Velcro City is that, despite a dearth of smaller venues, we have on our doorsteps an excellent national-circuit venue in the form of the Wedgewood Rooms. (OK, so I’m biased, I used to work there, but I went to shows there both before and after that period of my life – it’s a great little place, check it out if you’re ever in the area.)


I have booked and received tickets to see Idlewild (one of my favourite bands ever) at the end of December, and to see young Brit-folker Seth Lakeman with a bunch of co-workers in December (which is shaping up to be an informal Christmas outing of sorts).

As mentioned yesterday, I’ve made a decision to be somewhat more hardcore about my fiction writing. The first piece I’m working on is still far from over, and indeed I may well start from the beginning again – having written a third of it, I’ve already realised a lot of errors, so starting from scratch using the work so far as a framework or roadmap may be a sound move. I must get one of those wordcount-progress bars that so many writers seem to use – I figure if I make my progress public, it’ll be more of a spur to carry on, no matter how frustrated and disillusioned I become. Watch this space.

That’s about all from my exciting life, boys and girls. I’ll leave you with this little oddity I spotted today:


It seems the local church down the road is aiming for the elusive yet lucrative 18-25 club-kid market, by putting on a ‘spiritual chill-out’ session on Friday nights. I’m almost tempted to go along just to see how well they manage to pull it off, and to see if any utterly wasted chemical-fueled wrecks drift in for a free cup of tea and a biscuit – the church aren’t exactly well known for their cultural savvy, and the wanna-be journalist in me sees a potentially interesting story there. I doubt I’ll bother, though, as I don’t want to get into a philosophical debate over my own beliefs for the sake of a vague curiosity. However, if you see VCTB adorned with biblical quotations next week, you’ll know what happened …

Thanks for dropping by, people. It’s curry time!

One thought on “Friday Plant-and-Publication Blogging! Spiky tree”

  1. “The Fridge.” Oh my. Always interesting to observe the targeted marketing methods of evangelicals. I wince when I remember my own experience with such things, back in the early 90s, when I was part of an odd “missionary trip” to the inner city, referred to as “Jesus in the Hood.” I recall being dressed as a clown — the rest I’ve blocked out of my memory, for the purpose of sustaining my sanity…

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