Monday, 29 December 2008

Skipping Stones revisited

Oh, and in case I'm not online before, my new novelette, Skipping Stones, co-written with Kathy Sedia, will finally see publication after it's third (fourth?) acceptance. It'll be here, come New Year.

Bargain Booze (plus)

My adopted town has a few things going for it. All life can be found there. It's halfway between London and Brighton, yet overall is a stalwart supporter of the Conservatives. It has both a LIDL and a Waitrose, along with an old fashioned independent department store. There are lots of closed down shops. It used to have a nice bookshop, but that's been converted recently: half into a charity shop (probably around the twenty seventh in the town--until recently charity shops played second-fiddle to the Estate Agents, but that's no longer the case for obvious reasons).

And I live on the edge of town, in a fairly middle-income/affluent housing development. At the junction between town and suburb, between Surrey and Sussex in fact, there used to be an off-licence opposite a newsagents/post-office. The off-licence closed down to make way for a breakfast bar that looks far too namby-pamby for the local builders, drivers and bin-men that frequent the towns other cafes. Opposite this, now sits, where once sat proudly the mini-post office-cum-newsagency, is a new shop. And the name of this shop, I kid you not, is Bargain Booze plus. (I have worked out from the bright posters smothering the front of the store to bar daylight that the plus represents items such as pints of milk, red-top newspapers and fizzy drinks).

My town has slipped down in my estimation, but you've got to admire the marketing nous of the owners.

Happy bit between days of celebration.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Sexy free Christmas treat

As it's the season, we're giving stuff away free. Well, just the one bit of stuff. A shiny copy of Subtle Edens, featuring the story Overturned, by one Neil Ayres and Aliya Whiteley, to the person that leaves the best festive-related joke in the comments trail.

Oh, and the Tate Modern have an SF competition running. Here it is. Thanks to Jenni for the heads-up.

And the title of this post? I wondered if it's bring in a batch of new traffic.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

On the shoulders of, er, just the one giant

Demographic representations of the world. There's one map that shows regions proportionately by how many books they publish.

And talking of Atlas, you can see him in the night sky over the UK at the moment, along with his daughters the Pleiads and his missus Pleione.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Holt, who goes there?

Ooh, look, shiny book site:

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Is it me, or is it a bit drafty in here

After five long, word-filled years, it looks like I've actually finished the first draft of the novel that has been hounding my waking and sleeping hours. And more than that, it actually seems to hold together quite nicely, and is a book I'd quite like to read myself, had I not written. So all in all, I'm in the five or ten days long special place where it actually feels like I've achieved something, and I'm not full of self-doubt and anxiety over my work. Here's hoping the feeling can last until after Christmas. Now the next mountain to climb: typing the un-typed half up. Of course if anyone out there loves typing and is at a loose end...

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Super Mario and Juliet

Yes, that's right, one hundred classics are being released on Nitendo's DS

(I'm sure it's only a matter of time for the Wii, Ms Whiteley.)

Friday, 5 December 2008

Just when you thought this blog had enough penguins

S'true. I went to Verona. As a result, I'm getting one of these. In fact, it's already at my office waiting for me. It must be Christmas.

And by Verona, I mean an industrial estate outside the town. I did get to see a wetter than usual Venice from the sky though.