Wednesday, September 23, 2009

CSFF Blog Tour: The Vanishing Sculptor

Ok, ok, I know what you’re all thinking: it’s another fantasy novel, so the sci-fi geek has gone AWOL again… Well, I promise you, it’s not like that. I’ve been unwell. I’ve got a note from my mum and everything.

Which is a shame, because it means I haven't been able to make bad puns like 'The Vanishing Sculp-Tour', or joke about my Vanishing Review. Or create a (now 'traditional') Top Ten, although I could easily refer you to the Top Ten Dragon Songs from the July '08 Tour if I was feeling lazy (which I am - I've been unwell, remember).

No, seriously, there’s been a lot of Dragon Flu going around these parts, and it’s really unpleasant. The turning scaly I can just about live with, but the flaming cough is a killer. I mean, the other day I was settling down in my sick bed with a Lemsip and a review copy of The Vanishing Sculptor by Donita K Paul, when I sneezed and incinerated the thing. No word of a lie.

So, sadly, no in depth review here. Try these bloggers instead:
Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Rachel Briard
Karri Compton
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Linda Gilmore
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
Lyn Perry
Crista Richey
Cheryl Russell
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Speculative Faith
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler
Elizabeth Williams
KM Wilsher

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mr Penumbra's Twenty-Four-Hour Bookshop

I have much I want to say about this that I don't think I'm going to have the time or energy to say right now, so I'll leave you a recommendation until I do:

Read this, or, if you prefer, listen to it on Escape Pod. It's funny, it's weird, it's sci-fi, it's fantasy, it's topical, and it has Google in it. More thoughts on it later in the week.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Blog Quote of the Week

We interrupt your regular scheduled blogging because this quote just tickled me a lot:
The film could have easily made its point about a sexually driven culture without contributing to one.
From Paeter Frandsen's review of Gamer. It sounds even better on his podcast!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I want one...

August 29th was the 25th Annual Awards Ceremony for the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest, and I've been listening to interviews with winners on The Sofanauts and Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing podcasts, and I want to go to that award ceremony!

OK, there is a possibility that the whole affair is masterminded by high-ranking Scientologists, and just a plot to brainwash some unsuspecting sci-fi writers, but I guess I'll worry about that when I win. In the meantime, it's something (theoretically) achievable to aim for... I have, after all, been writing short stories lately, although they fall some way short of the contest's 17,000 word maximum (like 16,000 words short).

More to the point, two of the authors getting awards last week, Mike Wood (Risqueman) and C L Holland (The Reflection of Memory), achieved second place on the first time of entering the contest. And both are British. Obviously the hottest new talent is on this side of the Atlantic, so I must be in with a chance of doing the same.

Trust me, my logic is flawless. My writing, on the other hand, could probably use some more work...

Monday, September 07, 2009

What is the matrix?

It’s been 10 years since we found out what the matrix is. And yet, despite being one of the few movies I can watch repeatedly, it has warranted barely a passing mention on this blog.

Part of the reason for this is that The Matrix trilogy is so chock full of religious and philosophical references that I could be blogging about it for the next ten years if I really put some effort into it.

Now, regular readers will know that I don’t really believe in putting effort into blogging, but it seems about as good a time as any to make some reference to everybody’s favourite cyberpunk movie.

I don’t think I hate the sequels as much as some people, but they do seem somewhat superfluous in many ways. For me, the key thing about The Matrix was the concept, the false reality, the matrix as the world that is pulled over our eyes. The first movie deals with this so well that the sequels were always going to compare badly.

But I don’t need to review the thing, you’ve seen it – more than once if you enjoyed it. And you know all about Neo’s messianic pretentions, about Morpheus paving the way for him and Cyber betraying him. You’ve wondered whether to read anything into Trinity’s name, not to mention Zion or Nebuchadnezzer.

Actually, now I remember why I haven’t blogged about The Matrix before…

The Matrix Trilogy is now also available on Blu-Ray, for those more hi-tech than me.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

We now return you to your regular scheduled blogging....

Yes, we're back in writing mode after all the Mini fun of the summer, and, yes, preparing for National Novel Writing Month already!

Last year's semi-serious attempt at an Old Testament Space Opera was mostly rubbish, but provided some useful plot points for further development and I have been tinkering with the running order and trimming the completely extraneous bits to produce something that might be edited into a reasonable story. The NaNo draft, however, did descend into utter silliness at times, but I have come up with the ideal solution to this.

This year I'm planning to start silly, and stay silly. I've said before that it's not going to be easy to remain funny for 30 days and 50,000 words (even for me), but it's got to be worth a try.

So, coming this November, straight from my WIPlist, will be DragonQuest, a comic fantasy based in the needlessly geeky world of 8-bit computers. Whether this quest is headed up by Milton Keynes, Miner Willy, or some other as yet uncreated character, is my first piece of prep work.

Before that, however, I want to polish the Christmas Carol homage I started in March, in the hope of releasing it into the wild in December. So watch this space...