[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!
innerbrat: (oh em gee)

Date: 2007-05-14 08:29 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] innerbrat
OK, I should do this meme.

When I've stopped going "OMG", but still. Yes.

Date: 2007-05-15 10:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wieselkind.livejournal.com
You get to play with dinosaur bones? Wow, I saw your NHM tag, but was too shy to ask about it.
innerbrat: (palaeo)

Date: 2007-05-15 10:42 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] innerbrat
You're shy about me? That's a thing you shouldn't be.

(and Mat thinks I'm a good writer. Shows what he knows.)

Yeah, I'm a PhD student at the NHM. Dinosaurs is nice.

Date: 2007-05-14 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miss-s-b.livejournal.com
Androphile sounds like you'll only sleep with Brent Spiner

* dies laughing *

I think, out of the neologisms that came up in That Post and the comments thereto, I like phallerast best. I think I can definitely declare myself a phallerast, amongst other things.

but whoever said I was perfect?

Uh, that would have been me, I think.

* hands around the sick bags *

Date: 2007-05-14 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miss-s-b.livejournal.com
phallerast does describe you rather well methinks

Do let me know when I can book tickets for my favourite one to come and visit... ;)

And if THAT took you two hours, you NEED a new net connection. Or rather, I need you to get one so I can have my fix...

Date: 2007-05-14 09:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miss-s-b.livejournal.com
I shall poke you mercilessly so you don't forget. I've just spent silly amounts on bedlinen, so I'm no longer made of money. On the plus side, you'll have new bed AND new sheets to road test...

* goes to make post *

to hijack this thread completely

Date: 2007-05-15 10:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wieselkind.livejournal.com
how great is your Slope Icon ?

Date: 2007-05-14 09:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] davidnm.livejournal.com
So, regarding GRRM, how 'generic heroic fantasy' are they, if that makes any sense? The reason why I ask is I'm tempted to give them a try, but I don't get on very well with uber-Campbellian-heroic-fantasy.

I tried to read 'The Well of the Unicorn' last year and gave up after about 40 pages ... I just didn't feel any urge to pick it up again, which is unusual for me with books. If I've started, I'll ususally finish! (It's also why I found the LoTR trilogy quite an uphill struggle, when I read them back in 1998.)

Date: 2007-05-15 08:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] davidnm.livejournal.com
Aaaah, meme - hadn't even noticed that! Anyway, by way of answers; cryptozoology because we all need a holiday from reality every now and then; medieval warfare a vague interest that emerged from reading too many fantasy novels/doing too much fantasy art and developing a complex about getting things 'right'; Kuiper disc objects because they're entertainingly weird. (Somewhere between planets and gigantic cometary nuclei.)

The icons? The face cos it amused me, the others because they looked pretty (sort of). And I like having the 'map' of Pluto because not many people will recognise it!

Date: 2007-05-14 10:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyrell.livejournal.com
I read a *LOT* of fantasy, and I never got through the Well of the Unicorn. It took me 5 tries, and even then I skimmed to the end. And I like other stuff the author has done.

GRRM on the other hand had me excusing myself from prior commitments to read the next chapter. Book one is astonishingly good, and violent, and ruthless.
Mainly ruthless.

Date: 2007-05-15 08:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] davidnm.livejournal.com
I'm glad it's not just me with Well of the Unicorn! When a book gets the better of me, I feel like I've failed somehow!

Date: 2007-05-14 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] davegodfrey.livejournal.com
I'd volunteer, but I've only got five icons. (they're all fairly obvious I suppose.) I'm hapy to be tagged by anyone here, or anywhere else to be honest.

Date: 2007-05-16 11:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] davegodfrey.livejournal.com
[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<a href"http://davegodfrey.livejournal.com/36481.html#cutid1">') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

<a href"http://davegodfrey.livejournal.com/36481.html#cutid1">replied over here actually.</a>

Date: 2007-05-14 09:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] susumu.livejournal.com
Ooh, do me.

Date: 2007-05-14 09:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miss-s-b.livejournal.com
* snerk *

Date: 2007-05-14 10:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] karohemd.livejournal.com
Doomtown sounds like my kind of game, at least by genre.

Date: 2007-05-16 12:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] karohemd.livejournal.com

Article 23 was a line of tshirts with really offensive slogans [livejournal.com profile] raggedy_man and [livejournal.com profile] sesquipedality used to run on cafepress. I think I need to clean out my interests at one point.

Paco: see my earlier post today

Dark Future: as a genre, Cyberpunk things, games like SLA Industries, Shadowrun etc.

Stomping Kitten: was a flash animation (on somethingawful or b3ta or similar) as video to Laibach's "Tanz mit Laibach" and some kind soul made it into an icon for me.

Captain Future: A title image from one of Edmond Hamilton's pulp novels. I loved the 70's anime TV series as a kid (was/is really big in Germany and France but hardly known in the UK) and discovered the originals a few years ago. My collection is almost complete (mostly as PDF but I have a few original prints from the 40s, too). The writing is poor and the pseudo science is abysmal but it's Pulp, it's supposed to be that way.

Gargoyle: is a detail from a fountain in Manchester (near City Hall). I think I wanted to use it as "vomit" icon but then found the one with the cat.

Date: 2007-05-14 10:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyrell.livejournal.com
GRRM has an LJ! I've heard very good thing about the board game, but the first book is in my top 10 for fantasy epics. That's how you do it.

Perdido Street Station blew me away. So powerfully nauseating and grim.

Steph S... well, I'll buy anything she cares to write :)

I'd sign up to Scott Lynch's LJ, but I'd just be sick that he's so young and talented. Bah.

Date: 2007-05-16 09:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyrell.livejournal.com
Because you have so many to choose from.
I really need to update those interests. I set them up about 5 years ago...

Hurrah! I read the Tao Te Ching at Uni, agreed with it completely, think the world needs a lot more of it in general. I’ve done big Taoism write-ups on my LJ before (links available if you want!) but basically if the TTC was pushed as much as the Bible, the world would be a much, much happier place. It’s actually difficult to put into words why I like it so much, but I suspect that’s the point. My main philosophy might have moved on a bit, but I’ll always collect any new edition of the books that I come across, especially the TTC, Chuang Tzu and Lieh Tzu.

More bad sci-fi
I watch a lot of bad movies, and read a lot of books. Many of both of those would fall under the category of “bad sci-fi”. So many, in fact, that I need a second tag for it. In a similar way to how I’ll watch films with titles like “Ninja Terminator”, bad sci-fi has an allure all of it’s own. The enthusiastic but terrible novels, the no-budget 70’s tv-movies…
I accept that much of what I think is *good* sci-fi is seen by everyone else as dreck. Also, that much of the public lump fantasy and sci-fi together (heresy!) Thus, some of this tag describes perfectly good films and books in both genres that are nevertheless shunned by an ungrateful public.

Celtic Mythology
Less an interest, more a religion. Well, some of it. Well, a lazy neopagan interpretation of some of it.
The problem I’m finding now is that (having had demanding teachers) when I find other groups using research I consider to be rubbish and basing a spiritual practice around it, I get condescending.
Always had an interest in European mythology and folklore, and Irish solely because of half my ancestry (before it got cool to be ‘Celtic’ in neopagan circles). Am only just now working this more into my actual practice though, after several years. (If I’m going to be getting the Morrigan’s attention for any reason, I’d prefer to be speaking good Irish first.)

Date: 2007-05-16 09:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyrell.livejournal.com
Icons: London Calling
Grabbed it after the London Bombings post went big, when I wanted an icon to talk about the city. Kept it on because it’s handy for saying “I’m from the UK!” when posting on UK things in US communities.

What’s not to love? If I could afford the gigantic Calvin and Hobbes box set, I’d get it. I stole this one partly for the sense of fun it shows, and partly because I actually have very few hang-ups about playing naked. This is one icon that’s been getting a lot of use recently, but it’s mainly to celebrate the fact we’re all monkeys who should stop being so hung up on the way every one of us got here, or the main drive (along with eating and breathing) most of us will feel.

Your uncle might have been in the Herne costume? *not worthy*
Yes, it’s Robin of Sherwood. It’s also Herne/Cernunnos/The Stag Antlered God, who’s getting rather popular these days. Kip Carpenter always says “Oooh yes, I’m very interested in folklore and legends…” Rubbish. He’s done more to make paganism acceptable and non-threatening than any ten political-feminist ranters. He turned the forest into a mystical place onscreen, showed a group of pagans passing a cup around and happily celebrating (without killing babies or anything), and made this outline of a looming stag-headed figure into a recognisable image. Even then I mainly stuck to RoS icons of the cast, since I don’t take the show seriously, but occasionally this is a nice one for the pagan LJs.
I don’t confuse RoS and ‘the deity used by some to symbolise the male aspects of nature’, but it’s a nice image and ethos.
And yes, I’m a sad fanboy of the series solely for it’s own sake (mainly the comedy value) and had a go at longbows last year next to Phil Rose and others. The conventions are still going strong with a LOT of the cast turning up, and the writers etc.

Date: 2007-05-15 12:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] js84.livejournal.com
Ooh. Can you ask me?

I know a good half of my icons were from you in the first place, but meh.

Date: 2007-05-16 11:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] js84.livejournal.com

Acoustic guitar

I have been playing guitar properly since my last year at uni (2005). Although along the line my Dad tried to buy me a cheap classical guitar when I was 7, I never took to it until quite recently. The reason this is my greatest interest and the only instrument I play now is down to the epiphany I had when I heard the artists Michael Hedges (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29CMRsWlDt0) and Preston Reed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NdUL-AkfkQ). They demonstrated that there was a near infinite number of techniques and musical possibilities with an often understated instrument. You know, it would make me very happy if you had a look at those videos.

Dmitri Shostakovich

If you studied him you probably know that he was the main scapegoat in the arts under Stalin's regime. His music was attacked for not being optimistic or patriotic enough, but his reply to this was the clever 5th symphony which managed to ridicule whilst sounding apparently OK. As he died in 1975 he also wrote a fair bit of film music too. Sorry, that description sounds terrible. It's been a while since I've had to write essays on him. My high point of piano was when I played his 2nd piano concerto with the uni orchestra. It's an enjoyable piece worth listening to.

Ralph Vaughan Williams

He is probably my most influental composer and has the style of music that I'd most like to draw upon when I get good enough to compose for the guitar. At a time when British classical music was in the doldrums he was partly responsible for reviving it. I mentioned in one meme that fell upon deaf ears that his popular piece 'The Lark Ascending' for solo violin and orchestra is my most favourite classical work of all time and is like a signature tune to me. It must have been cool to have known a relative of Vaughan Williams.



What is there to say? It's me innit? I told you it was based around Peter Gabriel's 3rd album cover, but nearly everyone just thinks it's plain odd that it is a bit blurred. Gah. I need a new icon of myself...

Pirates are cooler than ninjas

I don't remember where I found this. Probably on some icon website. I wouldn't have gone for one that looked any more credible and serious as I like the naive cartoony style of it. I have no proof that ninjas have any value although I used to read White Ninja, but that's different.


I do read QC every day but I liked the icon before I knew it was to do with it. I guess I thought I could do with another tiredness icon and the fact that Jeff Jacques probably thought of it on the spur of the moment adds to the enjoyment factor. If you're asking why I like coffee itself, I guess it's because it has a more complex taste than tea. I gladly drink both but now that I'm in full time employment it tends to be tea more often.
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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