[personal profile] matgb
OK, just got in, and rather than do my usual friends list read then attempt to update, if I update first I might actually get an entry in tonight, n'est ce pas? Anyway, a meme from [livejournal.com profile] frightened that I've always liked the look of before anyway:
explain three icons and three interests. Comment and I'll demand explanations for yours.
She gave me:
Interests: "china miéville"; "george r. r. martin"; "steph swainston".

Icons: "Anarchist Fineas"; "Categories" (Captain Jack quote?); "Temptation".
And, well, I should've known someone would ask about dear old Fineas. Anyway, interests first. Curious that she choe the three authors, but not too hard to explain.

China Miéville

I wrote a brief review of his first novel when I first read it in 2005, I was aready a fan, having been told in no uncertain terms by Vince to buy Perdido Street Station in the departure lounge of Manchester Airport when we were waiting for our flight to CA. China describes his writing as New Weird, which has also been described as Magical Realism or similar. Essentially, fantasy novels, but set in a 'realistic' world, with an internal logic that makes sense and in which magic, if it exists, is used as a tool in the economy, not as some faffy mystical art. Perdido Street blends crime thriller with horror and fantasy, and has a lot of politics thrown in (China is slightly to the left of, well, most of humanity, having stood for election for the Socialist Alliance at one point). I was hooked then, and while at times the politics can be a little too much to take, I really like his work; really must get around to finishing reading his short story collection Looking for Jake, Reports of certain events in London is a simply awesome short story written in the form of letters discovered. There's an interview with him at [livejournal.com profile] strangehorizons and I'm pretty sure I linked to the [livejournal.com profile] crookedtimber seminar on him when they did it. Another great resource is usually the Library Thing profile, but I can't actually get there as I type this :-(

Edit (before posting even), any idea how hard it is to write a post with lots of well researched links when your wireless craps out every five minutes? Yeah, this is fun. The above paragraph? 40 minutes it's taken me to get this far. The connection has been mostly fine for ages, but today? *kicks PC* Please to be imagining there are more links in the above (and below), because there was meant to be.

Steph Swainston

I've, um, mentioned her a few times before, and I set up [livejournal.com profile] steph_swainston as well. Another in the magical realism school, but her books are shorter, with less revolutionary politics, more fight scenes and lots of drug taking. I really like the well realised Castle world, and she can tell stories well. I also reviewed them in the post linked above in the China section. And I'm hoping to attend a booksigning arranged by [livejournal.com profile] chrisdolley in which both she and Jon Courtenay Grimwood will be attending next month[1]; I've met Jon before (it's why I started reading his books - [livejournal.com profile] paulatpingu leant me Pashazade), but Steph is a bigger draw, currently, anyway.

George R.R. Martin

Um, yeah, [livejournal.com profile] grrm. I resisted picking up the Songs of Ice and Fire books for ages; oh no, I thought, another fantasy epic, been there, done that, where are the space ships. Then Duncan and [livejournal.com profile] granjero made me play the Game of Thrones board game. Um, yeah. I'm a board game geek, I love board games, I especially love strategy board games, I have loads, and really need to get a group together to play them more often. So when I describe a game as "best board game ever", that means it's good ok? So, having played the game, a lot, and lost, mostly, as Lannister (because, you know, Duncan and Chris are a little better than the rest of the goddamned planet at that sort of game), I thought I could at least try the books. Um, yeah. I tried the first one. Next day I bought the rest of those printed. They are, simply, great books, fantasy, yes, but you could ignore those elements completely and read them into as an alternate background knights in armour series. All the dragons died out years ago y'see, magic is dead, no one believes in it any more. Plus, lead characters that act as the readers eye view have this wonderful tendency to die at random moments, quite unexpectedly at times. If you like traditional fantasy, try him if you're not already. If you don't, but like a bit of action/adventure that reads like it's got real actual shades of grey people in it, then give him a go; I'm rereading in a dip in and out style the first book at the moment, and it's still damned good.

Now, those next two paragraphs? Half an hour. With many many kicks. I'm going to save a draft and reboot the machine. FFS.


Fineas von LandinghamFineas, my almost perpetual default. I used an earlier version of this image when I first set up LJ, and he's been my default icon pretty much everywhere for years now. I also have him in various artworks as my category icons for posts, I keep meaning to do a few more but never actually do. He's a character in the Doomtown CCG, which I'm, techinically, in charge of currently as it's a dead game and I'm appointed Shriff by the players council. But it's a really dead game. Zombie cowboys, a mining town in the ruins of a California that's sunk into the sea, mad scientists, railroad barons; what's not to love? Fineas himself is a Belgian anarchist with a tendency to fly his blimp over mining corporation holdings and drop bombs on them, but he has a sideline as a mad scientist who builds robots and ray guns. In 1867. A game I'll always love, even if it's unlikely to every get reprinted, it was too expensive to produce (they went for very high quality printing), too adult a theme and a fairly steep learning curve. Ah well, still got hte cards, can still play it. [livejournal.com profile] paulatpingu, [livejournal.com profile] mapp and [livejournal.com profile] shakalooloo also use Doomtwon based icons on occasions as well.

CategoriesLorna asks if it's a Captain Jack quote. Yup, it is. Torchwood, the show that should've been great, but failed. Take a decent franchise, some interesting characters, a great concept and some damn attractive actors (well, except the guy who plays Owen), give it an after watershed timeslot and proceed to fuck it up completely. Nice one Rusty. Why do I use it? Well, partially, it's a great quote. But mostly it's because, like a fair few people on my friends list, I hate categories ([livejournal.com profile] innerbrat [2] wrote a great article about categories last year in which she declared she's not 'bi', she's a Gynophallophile - made sense to me then and now). When people ask me, I tend to reply with "I'm 95% straight", because people seem to want labels. Am I 'straight'? Or have I simply not yet met a man I found attractive enough to want to go to bed with? I don't know. Jennie and I are trying to sort out the parameters on our relationship. We're not 'polyamorous', we love each other, we just think sex needn't be about love, exclusivity seems pointless. But people want to know, they want labels, they want to slot people into categories, black/white, straight/queer, with us/against us. No thanks, not for me. I'm me, I'm not a number, deal.

TemptationI like icons that portray a meaning fairly obviously, it means they can't be misread, and they can help add meaning and depth to a post or comment. I dislike adverts all over LJ (obligatory plug for both [livejournal.com profile] no_lj_ads and [livejournal.com profile] lj2wordpress), but think the idea of a community paid for by a film promotions company that interacts with fans in a good way could be cool. [livejournal.com profile] mydarkestsecret was very well done, and appealed directly to a big LJ demographic. A good way to raise revenue for the site, without being plastered with dodgy flash ads for dubious products. Plus, y'know, cute girl in werewolf movie, what's not to love? OK, I nver got around to going to seeing the film, but whoever said I was perfect?

[1]Thursday, June 7th with a mass signing at Waterstones Piccadilly (5:30pm - 7pm) with Steph Swainston, myself, John Lambshead, Andrew Dennis, Steve Savile, Eric Brown, David Devereux, Jon Courtenay Grimwood and Robert Holdstock. [livejournal.com profile] tyrell is also planning to be there, [livejournal.com profile] jantshira / [livejournal.com profile] faeriecween? I know you both like Steph, pretty sure you liked Jon as well but I forget.

[2] Who, let's face it, should be on everyone's friends list, just because, ok?  Plus, she looked damn hot in the outfit she wore to Sin City Friday night, which is an added bonus in a friend I always think. Don't believe me? Reflections and Opinion. Go read. Plus, did I mention the dinosaurs? Yeah, she plays with dino bones for a living.

ETA: TWO HOURS this post took to get online and edited for my little tags not being closed errors. Two hours. Gah!
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matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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October 2015


Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats.

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