Friday, 4 November 2011

A Reader and A Writer Born/Adventures in Literature/Love and the Void That Binds

When I can't think what to write about, I usually read and when I can't think what to read I sometimes write. Recently I've been doing a lot of both. I'm almost finished with the Endymion Omnibus (Endymion + Rise of Endymion) and I have to admit that while it's nowhere near as accomplished as the Hyperion Duology, it's certainly interesting. It managed to crawl inside my brain and make me have a horrible dream of being a Born Again Christian on an Archangel ship; dying and being ressurected (a process my mind managed to make garishly and gorily incomplete). I've also been trying to add more to my work-in-progress Mechanicus novel- tentatively named "Engines of Discord", submitting a Xaphan the Faceless short story to the faceless overseers of The Black Library and foolishly deciding to sign up for NaNoWriMo.

I know, I know; I can hardly focus on what I'm already doing, why am I adding to the platter? Well, boredom mostly. I'm at a creative dead-end which only thinking on my feet can get me out of. My war post for Nationstates is making no process and so I'm thinking I'll use NaNoWriMo to get all my juices flowing.

The idea I picked was my "I, Einherjar" novel seed, which I may have discussed with you. Sort of urban-fantasy, modern-fantasy, traditional Norse awesomeness mash-up. Lots of it is still patchwork and ephemeral, but I'm working on the bare bones of a plot. :).

Working tomorrow; something I do not treasure, but on the plus side it is me and Anne-Sophie's six month anniversary. More on that, I think, after the weekend has come and gone :).

What else can I put on a literary bent; maybe I should do occasional reviews of things. That could be interesting and more than likely backfire. After all, my Bitter Ruin gig review was so well received ;).

Anyways; I've rambled and babbled enough. I have a room to clean, a world to create and very likely something somewhere to kill in some virtual capacity ;)

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Addendum: "Dead Air", Or: Why It's Not Quite Shite Being Scottish

Almost forgot! (Two posts in one day; aren't you lucky!)

So, I finished "Dead Air" today. I have to say, I was impressed. I've read other reviews that weren't so taken with it, but honestly? I loved it. It follows the trials and tribulations of Ken Nott, Scottish radio DJ and shock jock in London. It follows in the wake of 9/11, which doesn't add to the plot so much as provide a background. Life goes on, even in the developing paranoia and political correctness that was ushered in by the fall of the Towers.

I got this book, along with "Walking on Glass" and "The Steep Approach to Garbadale" from the British Heart Foundation. Now, I'll admit; this was not idle charity. I have a sickness. If I finish a book and have no other book to read, I will buy one- if it is within my means to do so. BHF lies right between my work and the Subway where I get my lunch, so if I finish a book before lunch...Bam; lunch-break buying session. This I couldn't resist though. I'm a huge Iain Banks fan, both with and without the M. I've slowly been building a Mless collection to accompany the fact that I own all of his M books (And have read all of them except Feersum Endjinn). I finished the thing in two days; flew through it on trains and lunch breaks and tea breaks and...You get the picture. My job allows me a good amount of time to read in transit, or waiting to start or in between busy work.

It helps that I agree with a ton of Nott's (and by shredded passport thin author-avatarness those of Banks) views on a lot of political things- dated as they are. I think the datedness helps to put things in perspective. Hindsight being 20-20 and all that. It's a bit like how you understand the emerging shape of the 21st century (one of them at least) in reading Banks' "Transition", the idea of the end of the 20th century being shadowed between the fall of the Wall and the fall of the Towers, and how that affects everything afterwards.

And now to clarify the headline. Part of what I loved about the book was how relatable it is for a Scottish reader. From little things like football, to language and banter; it made me feel a bit at home. (The last page even mentions Renfield Street, which I've crossed- though to the best of my knowledge not holding hands in the rain). It also plays into all the good things that happen to Nott (plenty of bad happens too, but the man has some run of luck with women.)

Trainspotting, it seems, is wrong; though some countrymen reminded me of that point when I quoted at a security guard with a Transpotting t shirt at Sonisphere;

It's not always shite being Scottish.

Who Said I'm Wack? Gypsies think I'm wack.

Well, I've been listening to a lot of the Lonely Island recently; I blame Anne-Sophie. Lovely girl and love of my life she may be, but she has me wanting to be in the Space Olympics, On a Boat that got to the Moon somehow, trying not to Jizz in My Pants at the thought of acting Like A Boss.

You get the idea, or you should!

So who think's I'm wack? Well everyone who supports the travelers, apparently. OK, not everyone, but I've had some run-ins on this issue. I may have made a "at the time I think this is witty" comment about giving the police guns to @ChrisTT which earned me a "twat" back. There's a giant raging debate about the issue on my Facebook page; encompassing everything from the laughable notion that we live in a Fascist nation, to rewriting the whole "I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew" speech to being about the tricky- as I'm sure the travelers themselves would see it- notion of living legally.

Don't get me wrong, it must be terrible to be uprooted from your home- if your home isn't meant to be uprooted. They are travelers; they should be traveling, not fighting legally for 10 years and then failing to respect the ruling of the court. Further, when you compromise your stance by being violent and attacking the police you lose whatever moral high ground you might have had. Look at the Occupy movement; they've been peaceful as far as I've seen and that earns them a modicum of respect. On that note, I really ought to see how that's going in George Square next time I'm passing.

Life, at the moment, is actually really good. I'm in a wonderful almost-six-month relationship with a wonderful girl (the above meme-infective Anne-Sophie :D). Work is...Interesting. It's somewhere between the stress levels of quality control at Chernobyl and food tester for Ukrainian government ministry. We've received the wonderful news that there's going to be no transport laid on for the new Super Lab and that they want unpaid volunteers for the move (luckily the Union caught wind of that; hehehe :D).

I'm apparently also going back to Muay Thai training next week. I fear for my belly. The sandwich baby within will not take well to this; it will fight and bite and I fear I will regret it.

Until next time, I think that's me for now. It's actually been rather cathartic. :D

Friday, 20 May 2011

If Scott Goldie Can/Meditations on a Crisis/End-times Sales Pitch

I shall not be outdone.

They can carve that on my gravestone for all I care, but it shall remain truth; I shall not be outdone. Not by Scott Goldie, not when writing is in my blood, and my blood is up. For these are troubled times; I say, little children, can you say hallelujah! For the good lord will descend and he will raise you up; so sayeth the random American.

Yes folks; the Rapture is upon us. Never mind that no man can know the day or the hour; that doesn't matter where the Evangelist is concerned. No-no. So! In the spirit of Atheist-faith cooperation I have been putting together a list of Rapture Rules; to help you through the turmoil and tumult that will follow the Christians (read: Our consciences) ascending into heaven as the Tribulation descends upon us.

#1: Memorise where the Rich Christians live.

Isn't greed a terrible sin? These people have lived good lives and lives of plenty. They won't need these goods where they're going; thus, fair game. Other raiders will be on the lookout though, so hurry! Gold, jewels, clothing, games, food, porn; all for the taking!

#2: Organise the abandoned Rapture pets into vicious packs.

Not only is this smart in terms of food (much pussy will be eaten; but so will dog), it also has defence aspects. A pack of wild slavering beasts can be of great use in the looming godless wastelands; they can hunt food, kill intruders and generally be used for amusement. I can has shotgun?

#3: Build a better religion.

We can't have everyone getting dejected over being left behind; that just won't do! The faithful didn't ascend by the will of God; the weak were vaporised by Thor's will, so that his strong sons might inherit the earth! Religion is control, so grind out that opiate for the masses!

#4: Always bring a towel.

Common sense at it's finest.

#5: Harvest unbaptised babies.

It's a fact of life; the unbaptised are born corrupt and soulless; writhing with original sin, dripping with venom and tailed like scorpions. Harvesting children is smart for barter (The baby of today is the slave of tomorrow) or food (I want my baby back baby back baby back...)

Final declaration: In the event of the rapture occuring; it's Thunderdome time. I expect costumes. I expect mayhem. I expect an insane anti-semite.