Friday Plant Blogging: return of the flora

Thanks to an early spring causing confusion in the plant world, VCTB makes an early return to the origins of FPB – it was specifically Plants before it was generally Photos, you know. So here’s what I’m pretty sure is a Peace Lily, basking in the sunshine in my front room:

I like peace. Which is a good thing, what with me working in a library.


A busy week for me, though little of interest to others to report – unless you wanted to know that I have acquired the inevitable ‘new workplace cold’, and am sneezing frequently as my respiratory systems adapt to a whole new variety of dust. A lot of the old leather bindings on the older volumes at work are in a severe state of decay, which means that my lungs and sinuses are, for the very first time, being exposed to the powdered cured skin of centuries-dead cows. Sounds a lot more interesting when you put it like that, come to think of it …

The only major event of the week outside work was attending the Improbable Research Lecture Tour as it rolled through town on Wednesday. It was a good chuckle, though not quite as science-y as I might have hoped – but the degree of silliness balanced that out quite nicely. I meant to have a full report up this morning, but my mucus-ridden head kept me in bed late, so it’ll be going out tomorrow instead.


On the books and magazines front, it has been one of those “everything at once” type of weeks, so let’s roll out the businessman’s bulletpoints.

Books first:

  • the long-awaited SF Site care package has arrived, containing the following:
  1. Dan Simmons’ Endymion in paperback,
  2. Vernor Vinge’s The Witling in paperback reissue, and
  3. Starship: Pirate, the second book of Mike Resnick’s much-discussed series from Pyr Books;

Now the magazines:

  • F&SF, March issue (which is odd, I’m sure the last one only came a couple of weeks ago);
  • Locus, March issue (odd again; maybe there’s been some sort of postal bottleneck between the States and here, because the previous issue came through very recently, if memory serves);
  • Hub Magazine, issue #2 (containing my review of Hendrix’s Spears of God, no less; they’ve upgraded their website too, looks much nicer), and
  • slipping in just after the photoshoot before I headed to work today, Interzone #209, the 25th Anniversary issue (containing my review of the afore-mentioned Ken MacLeod novel, and lots of other good stuff to judge by the contents page).

So, an embarassment of stories – or to put it differently, a huge stack of stuff to get my teeth into. The Vinge book should be a treat, and I’ve heard good things about the Resnick too. The Execution Channel looks absolutely brilliant, aesthetics-wise – very un-skiffy, the sort of thing a thriller reader might pick up while browsing if it was in the right part of the store, which I’m sure is Orbit’s intent.

The anniversary Interzone is in the new (slightly-shrunk again) format, which not everyone seems pleased by, but I feel it makes it easier to read – and this issue has plenty in it worth reading, too. The second issue of Hub shows that they’ve been listening to feedback from readers, in that they’ve simplified the layouts and cut back on the images in stories, which will make reading it more enjoyable (and their graphic designer’s job a little less hectic, no doubt). Also intrigued to see Jetse ‘Interzone internet slush-pile’ de Vries in the author roster – I’ve not read any of his fiction before.

I may need to rent a lock-up garage after another year of acquisitions at this sort of rate. Either that, or get rid of extraneous furniture … that having been said, I’ve seen pictures of Niall’s “to be read”, “currently reading” and “would like to read sometime this century” piles, and they dwarf my entire personal collection, so I have a way to go yet!


Right. As should be obvious, I have plenty of things to do, which means the sooner I get on with them, the sooner they’ll be done. Which means, furthermore, that I should hasten my way to The Goa and fetch The Friday Curry, as is traditional. Then I can get on with some blogging before meeting up with my fellow reprobates, for weekend beers and music with guitars in. So I bid you all a good weekend – I’m certainly planning to enjoy mine. Adios, amigos.

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