Saturday, 27 June 2009

White Magazine

The nice people over at Snowbooks have launched an online zine/blog thing called White Magazine and are looking for insights on writing from anyone, anywhere. Here's the spiel from head honchette Emma Barnes:

...[on the subject of writing insights] I welcome submissions from anyone - Snowbooks authors, hopeful Snowbooks authors, non-Snowbooks authors, the man down the street with the funny dog... So email away.

All you MNW'er bloggers take note.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Tate Modern TH2058: stories

All six stories (including Remembrance, by me, and the excellent Snap-shots of the Apocalypse by Katy Wimhurst) recorded for Tate Modern's Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster's TH2058 exhibition, are read by Christopher Eccleston of Doctor Who and Heroes fame and can now be downloaded free from the Tate Modern site.

There's an interview with Gonzalez-Foerster about the exhibition, which references lots of key SF works, on the Tate Modern site too.

So that's nice.

At it again

Co-authoring something, that is. Like a chivalrous knight of yore, I'm galloping to Aliya's rescue to let my naturally optimistic nature raise her happy short sf story to the heights of ecstasy. Wish us luck. (She's done all the hard work already, it has to be said. Tip top setting and great ending in place. )

In other news, Fiona Robyn, she is of the ubiquitous The Letters has made a pretty, colour-coded blogroll.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Happy, happy, happy talk

So what book do you rate as the happiest you've read? It's a toughie, huh? Warning, spoilers for anyone that's not read every book ever.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Glittering booths of wonder

Earlier this week I spent a couple of days working in Westminster's Central Hall, mainly manning Seamus Ryan's Glitterbooth, for the great, the good and the occasionally odd faces of the world of commercial photography, illustration and CGI. Here're the end results. And yes, there are a few of me in there.

Seamus opens his studio on Columbia Road in East London to the general public every Sunday, so if you're around the flower market, I recommend wandering in.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Veggie Books: Jude the Obscure

Early on in the book, Jude gets interested in the selfish and practical Arabella, who employs pigs in a lot of her flirting tactics. In this extract, the pigs have escaped, and she's instructed Jude to help her catch it:

He set himself to assist, and dodged this way and that over the potato rows and the cabbages. Every now and then they ran together, when he caught her for a moment and kissed her. The first pig was got back promptly; the second with some difficulty; the third, a long-legged creature, was more obstinate and agile. He plunged through a hole in the garden fence, and into the lane.

'He'll be lost if I don't follow'n!' said she. 'Come along with me!'


I much prefer Arabella to Sue, or to Jude, to be honest. Arabella gives orders. She gets what she wants, and discards it when she's through. I don't think she's immoral - after all, she decides to lawfully marry her second husband (rather than live as a bigamist) because she feels he is her 'proper' husband and it's only fair. And she doesn't have a stroke every time she has to make a decision like that.

Jude and Sue are the opposite. And you just know they'd be a really annoying couple in modern life. They'd be fruitarians. They'd only wear hemp clothes and tell everyone how any form of marriage is slavery, and rant about Gap at dinner parties, and feel superior. And deep down, they'd still be really, really sad about something. Anything. Because life's not perfect, and we can't all be morally angelic.

Bum to it, I say. Life's too short to load your guilt on to your kids and then watch them hang themselves about it.

And yes, I am aware that I may have oversimplified this book.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Back with the madding crowd

This time last week I was returning from a big family holiday (there were thirteen of us, five under sevens) just along the way (a five minute jog) from the lovely thatched cottage Hardy grew up in. For a man who felt the need to pretend he was from grander stock than he actually was, I wouldn't have minded growing up in the lovely cottage surrounded by the beauty of rural Dorset. Besides, he only lived a twenty minute drive from Monkey World!

And today was a good day, as it was my littl'un's first birthday and she is loving her trike.