Tag Archives: Blogging

Blogs, blogging, bloggers, the blogosphere, all that stuff

Friday Photo Blogging: Welcome to The North

This is the view I can see through the window just beyond my monitor in my new office (albeit taken from the far side of the glass, stood out on the cold back step while smoking a cigarette in the sharp chill of dusk):

welcome-to-the-north

So, yeah – I’ve moved. 🙂

I’m afraid this won’t be a full-blown FPB of the old school, because there’s still a whole raft of stuff for me to do – not only with setting up housekeeping (and officekeeping) here in Stockport, but with catching up on my freelance work as well. And then there’s the other blogs: Futurismic has, of necessity, been quiet all week; likewise The Dreaded Press.

So much to do, so much to do… and Xmas is bearing down on us like an office Romeo on the drunk secretary at the annual piss-up, so time is not exactly going to be plentiful. Well, OK, that’s not strictly true: I’ve enough time to do my work, and some time to spend with my lady and our respective families, and with our friends. My personal blog? Not quite so much… but then I’m guessing most of you are pretty busy at this time of year, too, and I hope you’ll overlook any slackness on my part. 🙂

But as a hint of things to come, here’s a “books received” entry: after seeing it mentioned at Chairman Bruce’s Beyond the Beyond, I just had to seek out a copy of Technomad by Graham St John:

Technomad - Graham St John

Basically it’s a cultural history of post-rave movements across the planet. Some of you may not know I spent a fair period as a DJ, clubber and small-time promoter on the dance music scene between 1994 and 2003; the countercultural philosophies (and fallacies) that inform that world still intrigue me hugely today. Should be a good read, I’m thinking.

But my good lady is about to return from Ikea with two large bookcases to assemble, so I’d better sign off. Have a great weekend, ladies and gents. 🙂

Friday Non-photo Non-blogging: Secret Histories

Sorry folks, no FPB this week. Why? Because I’m currently sat on a train to London to attend the more southerly launch event for Secret Histories, John Berlyne’s epic bibliographical cornucopia of the work of Tim Powers*, and I’ve not had time to write one in between all the other stuff going on this week.

It’s running in tandem with a British Fantasy Society open night, so if you’re around and about in the middle of the Big Smoke, maybe you’ll pop along as well? OK, so the weather’s not so conducive, but that’s what your Oyster card is for, right? Plus it’s in a pub. With beer. And Tim Powers. And (of course!) me. Three out of four ain’t bad, AMIRITE?

Whatever you decide to do this evening, have fun. Hasta luego!

[ * Yup, published by PS Publishing, who are clients of mine, as is John Berlyne. It’s nice to work with nice people doing cool things. ]

Friday Photo Blogging: once more beneath the pier

Well, would you believe it – I actually did some photography over the last seven days!

Of course, deciding what artistic merit it has (if any) must be left as an analytical exercise for you, the reader:

South Parade Pier

I’m a sucker for the underside of South Parade Pier, principally because I like industrial decay as an aesthetic … and nothing says “industrial decay” in quite the same voice as the rusting underbelly of a Victorian-era pier.

Plus there are lots of repeating shapes and surfaces, angles and lines and so on.

So, yeah. Rusty stuff FTW.

South Parade Pier


Writing about music

Not a whole raft-load of actual music-related writing this week, but a crazed flurry of organising for music-writing-related things to happen has taken place.

Which means I’m off to Southampton on Monday night to talk to the guys in From Autumn To Ashes, and on Tuesday I’ll be on the phone to those quirky chaps from British Sea Power.

Plus a clutch of CDs to write about, and other assorted tasks and jobs to do … as I predicted last week, I’m back up to breakneck pace again!

Writing about books

I sent off (and received a commented and edited version of) the first draft of my review of Debatable Space for Strange Horizons, and I’m planning to have that squared away by the end of this week.

I’m currently reading the ARC of Adam Roberts’ Swiftly. It’s a pretty good story so far, but one of the most terrible examples of typesetting I’ve seen in a long time, so I hope some considerable copy-editing has been done on it before it goes to press. I need this read and reviewed by the end of the month.

In the meantime, I need to get my thoughts on Stross’s* Halting State put together for your perusal right here on VCTB.

And there is a copy of Severian Of The Guild (an omnibus edition of Gene Wolfe’s Book Of The New Sun, a title I’ve been meaning to attack for a couple of years now) making its way slowly across the ocean from Canada, so I am informed …

… which I guess I’ll need to finish off before the Great Baroque Cycle Reading Group (or should it be Reading Cabal?) kicks off around March.

Writing about other stuff

There has been some, but I can’t go into details right now. I can say that it’s not freelance work as such, and that I should have a fairly big announcement to make once some things have become confirmed and sorted out.

For now you’ll just have to call me a big nasty tease. Or ignore the issue completely, of course – which I guess is more likely, not to mention sensible.

Books and magazines seen

No fresh materials this week, although my production-run hardback copy of Iain M Banks’ Matter turned up from Orbit. It’ll look lovely next to my signed ARC, I’m sure. :p

Speaking of IMB, you’re all doubtless looking forward to my interview/article in the imminent issue of Interzone, aren’t you? Jolly good, I thought as much. 🙂

Coda

There goes another week in the rock’n’roll lifestyle of the scruffiest man in science fiction fandom. Cheerleaders for health and common sense will doubtless be keen to know that I am still off the cigarettes (and still finding it easy so far).

However, they will be less pleased to know that I’m now heading off to obtain The Friday Curry Of Justice, which I’m told (by people who know such things) is probably just as likely as cigarettes to cause heart attacks in my future.

To those people I say: a man needs a vice or two. I’m not ready to become a Buddhist monk quite yet. If you hear a loud noise in the next few hours, it’ll be my arteries clanging shut joyfully. 🙂

That’s me done for the day, folks. I hope you all have a great weekend doing whatever it is you like to do*. Hasta luego, amigos.


[* Why no ‘s’ after the apostrophe for Roberts, but an extra ‘s’ for Stross? Couldn’t say for certain, but I guess it’s aesthetics – they just look right that way. Go figure.]

[** With the exception of arguing about Battlestar Galactica on the Eastercon Mailing List; because, frankly, there aren’t enough hours left before the heat-death of the universe to waste them on talking about television***.]

[*** IMHO. 😉 ]

[tags]friday, photo, blogging, south, parade, pier, seaside, rust, music, bookstores, writing, blather[/tags]

Vindication

It’s a strange thing, blogging – often a largely thankless task, a genuine labour of love (or of egotism, in the opinion of some who may not be entirely incorrect). But suffice to say that, except for the industry bigwigs and AdSense farmers, there’s little reward for running a blog.

Indeed, all you can hope for is recognition, a little bit of kudos – which is why I was incredibly chuffed to discover that Futurismic is listed among PC Magazine’s 100 Favourite Blogs, alongside major heavyweights like BoingBoing, Gawker and Lifehacker.

I’ve thought about quitting Futurismic a number of times in the last year or so; I was reaching a point where being the only person with the available time to struggle with the old broken Moveable Type installation, just to make sure there were a few fresh posts every day, felt like head-butting a brick wall – only without the consolation of an audience that head-butting a brick wall brings (in this town, at least).

But now I feel immensely glad I stuck with it, and that I recently hired in my new crew of bloggers. Futurismic will probably never pay me one red cent, and I never joined in the expectation that it would. I joined because I liked what it was trying to do … and making it onto that list means that other people have noticed it, and that they like it too.

Once we get the fiction and columns up and running again (which promises to be sooner rather than later), we’re going to kick some serious arse, right across this here blogosphere. I hope all of you will be watching us do it, too.