Bugger, had meant to give this a better plug than the brief aside I actually appear to have managed, ah well. [livejournal.com profile] chrisdolley has organised what should turn out to be Europe’s largest signing event in Europe’s largest book shop tomorrow (Thursday) evening, 5.30pm till 7.30pm at Waterstones Piccadilly. It'll include Chris himself, [livejournal.com profile] steph_swainston (who's looking forward to it), Jon Courteney Grimwood (gotta love how Waterstones have spelt his name wrong on the website, right?), Robert Holdstock, Steven Savile, Andrew Dennis, Eric Brown, John Lambshead and David Devereux. No, I've not heard of the others before either, but who cares, there aren't many authors I have tags for, two at once in the same place? Yeah baby. [1]

Steph's in full on publicity mode for the new book at the moment (read it last week, very good, not sure I liked the ending but overall a nice end to that specific sequence), and there's a decent interview with her at UKSFBN, which I found from this post from [livejournal.com profile] talvalin in which he highlights an apparent inconsistency in her dislike of 'magic' as a plot device. Not 100% sure I agree with him, but there is a point. Oh, and [livejournal.com profile] ninebelow has a linked poll on the impact of New Weird as a genre and the impact fandom has on the industry, comments are worth a read.

[1] [livejournal.com profile] tyrell (and any others reading this planning to attend) - Let me know if you fancy going to a pub before or after the event, if I'm going to drag myself into town might as well do something while there, right? Contact details for those on my friends list.
[livejournal.com profile] tyrell gives us an interesting quote:
When asked about the quality of television today he made a comment that "Nothing on TV has ever been as good as (the new) Battlestar Galactica."!
Who said that, you ask? Joss Whedon. The guy who made Buffy, Angel, Firefly. The one that Uncle Rusty is trying to copy, rather than learn from and build upon.

Joss Whedon thinks BSG is better than anything he's ever done for TV. And I agree with him. Re watched a fnumber of episodes over the weekend with [livejournal.com profile] snapesbabe, and it was great to remember how good some of them really are.

Back home from Yorkshire, knackered, had a great weekend, spending time with [livejournal.com profile] snapesbabe is of course going to be good, meeting [livejournal.com profile] burkesworks was cool, trying many many beers at the beer festival was interesting, and I even found a few I actually liked as well, although disappointingly, the cider named Strawberry Fields was far too sweet. Finished reading Macleod's Newton's Wake on the bus up, and am now about half way through [livejournal.com profile] steph_swainston's The Modern World, loved the former, any Charles Stross fans not already reading Ken should do so, and the latter is proving to be interesting up unitl this point.

Have backread my "people I actually have met" filter, but not really commenting much, far too knackered and incoherent, so I shall simply turn in, work tomorrow.
Don't you just hate it when that happens? This moring, on the bus, I finally finished reading Blish's Cities in Flight (Baxter's right, don't read book one, it's pointless - book 4's a bit poo as well), so I started reading Ken Macleod's Newton's Wake. I'm on about page 70 by the time I got home this evening.

What is greeting me when I get through the door? My Amazon delivery. Now, given I'm under instructions to read The Modern World as soon as possible, but I'm really enjoying Newton's Wake and it's due back at the library, what should I do?

[Poll #989719]

The former because I'm winding [livejournal.com profile] faeriecween up. The latter because I'm curious. I'm half tempted to read them all and then review them side by side, but we all know that's never going to happen, so I might just write reviews up as I go.
So, [livejournal.com profile] steph_swainston's new book is out today. And I'm tying to save money. Given that there are three books out this month I really want, well, patience is a virtue, I'd decided to switch to paperbacks only way before I ran out of money. Then she posted a link to a really good interview and a follow uppost about modern fantasy / New Weird writing. Got me all excited it did (plus, [livejournal.com profile] faeriecween had texted me to say she'd bought her copy and I was all jealous, I'm supposed to be the one that gets the books first). And Steph had also posted a link to the Amazon page. So I went to look. Y'see that bit that says "nearly half price", and the bit that says "free delivery for orders over X". Yeah, I thought I'd see if I could find something. So a little bit further down the page? A "Perfect Partner". At the top of the post, I mention there are three books I'm excited about them coming out? Swainston, Reynolds and, well, Miéville's Un Lun Dun. The Reynolds will wait, but those two came to £16.77.

They're, um, in the post now. Oops. So much for waiting for the paperbacks.

On the subject of Miéville's Un Lun Dun, podcast of him doing a reading from it, so very cool. Many thanks to Iain of [livejournal.com profile] tsitsoss_rss (formerly [livejournal.com profile] daweaver of this parish) for mailing me that link.

Um, yeah. Life = very busy. Job = fun, well, dull, but great atmosphere and company. Location = Westminster, I'm still loving it. Mat = busy little bee. Need to sort out my friends list and viewing filters soon, but in the meantime, time to turn in, another long day tomorrow.
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 and the 'New Weird' )

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 and a book signing ). GRRM, board games and evil knights )
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 - Mad scientist anarchist with a taste for dropping bombs from blimps )

CategoriesOn the pointless nature of trying to define people by what they are, not who they are )

TemptationOn icon philosphy, and LJ sponsored communities )

[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!
Well, this is nice timing. My reading for the journey to Yorkshire and back was [livejournal.com profile] steph_swainston's[2] The Year of Our War, I've mentioned it more than a few times before, I've just now switched on to the follow up, No Present Like Time, partially because the third book, The Modern World, is due out later this month, and I've just had them returned to me after [livejournal.com profile] faeriecween returned them; a long loan to herself, [livejournal.com profile] jantshira[1] and others. Today, first entry on my friends page is the announcement that she's signed up to write two more books set in the same background. If'n you haven't read her stuff yet, there are previews of the first chapter of each on her site. My first reread yesterday, was struck by some of the little details I'd missed before; rope-drawn trams powered by waterwheels, Jant's normally wearing jeans and a t-shirt, etc. Seriously, a fantasy novel about fighting Insects in which the main character is a drug addict immortal and the only living man who can fly. Very very good.

[1] Lucinda created her LJ just over a year ago, her username is that of the main character/narrator, Jant Shira. That she did this after reading the books, which she got after Christy had had them from me, shows how long the loan was, n'est ce pas?

[2]ETA: [livejournal.com profile] tyrell's description: (who, judging from her writing, is incredibly sexy yet scary as fuck), which is something I concur with.
[livejournal.com profile] steph_swainston is giving away three of her proof copies for The Modern World:
Bound proofs for The Modern World are now doing the rounds.

I have three to give away - one every week until the end of February. If you send me your email address via the contact form I will enter you for the draw.

The draws will take place on: Monday 12th, Monday 19th and Monday 26th. The entrants will be renewed each week, so if you don’t win, send me your email again for another chance.
I've mentioned her a few times as one of my more favoured recently discovered authors, she's one of the few that have had me go to the bookshop to buy book two just after finishing book one, and [livejournal.com profile] jantshira is more of a fan than I am. No idea where either of my copies of her books are; I suspect [livejournal.com profile] faeriecween and/or family members...

NB, this'd be part three of a sequence, but parts 1 & 2 are well worth the read.


[livejournal.com profile] nhw writes book reviews, amongst other things. He's also got a vote in the Hugo awards (Swainston for the Campbell Nick, you know it, the world knows it). I don't recall now which one of us friended the other first, I've been aquiring 'politics' LJ a lot last few months. So. Why do we care?

This is an interesting (and negative) review of John Scalzi's Old Man's War which is nominated. I read it soon after it was posted. Thing is, Mr Scalzi is also [livejournal.com profile] scalzi. He wrote a rather long, and very civil, rebuttal on a number of points of the review in the comments, and also on his blog here. Based on Nick's review, I'd have possibly actually picked the book up, because the premise intrigued me. Now I definately want to read it, because, well, that sort of debate between reviewer, author, publisher (see comments on Scalzi's blog entry) and assorted fans is simply very very cool.

Constructive, involving, civil and useful. Nick's written a follow up here. Spoiler warnings throughout, but spoilers never really bother me.

Now, if we can get politicians to properly engage in such a manner, then democracy still has hope. Yup, Mat the hopeless idealist strikes again. I love the Internet.

Addenda: [livejournal.com profile] jantshira? Swainston is up for the John W. Campbell 'best newcomer' award. Just in case you didn't know. Also, do you still have either/both of Year of our War/No Present like Time? Only my father managed to donate a pile of books to charity, including some of the ones I'd loaned him. Yup, that's right, my father gave books away without first asking me if I wanted them. He didn't realise he had any of my books. This included my copy of Jennifer Government and 2 (unknown) others. Not a happy boy when I found out.
Well, it's about time I got around to writing up the books I've read recently. Well, the good ones, anyway. The avarage are for fans, the poor, well, less said about them the better, really.

Steph Swainston: the YEAR OF OUR WAR & no PRESENT LIKE TIME )
Mat's verdict: Buy these books. Now.

China Miéville: King Rat )
Mat's verdict: For the fans, but if you like Gaiman or his later work...

Jasper Fforde: the Thursday Next books )
Mat's verdict: If you like your humour clever, and love reading, you'll love it. If you can't tell your Heathcliff from your Marlowe, you may want to give it a miss.

Books to avoid: Dracula Cha Cha Cha by Kim Newman; bought it on remainder as I liked his pulp Warhammer tie ins written as Jack Yeovil. I can see why it's on remainder. Anything by Laurell K Hamilton. She has her fans, but, well, she can't write sex scenes for toffee, and as that's the only reason she seems to be writing now, you might as well buy some decent porn.
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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