Monday, January 28

Centurion's Ghost

I don't think I'll be drinking that particular ale for awhile...

Visited York last weekend for a semi-regular British Fantasy Society Open Night organised by Lee Harris - first time in the fair-city, where the likes of Ramsey Campbell, Peter Crowther, Simon Clark and Mark Morris, along with Allyson Bird and Peter (sorry, forgotten your surname) regaled us with ghostly readings.

Though it may sound like a bit of an excuse, but my staying power was tempered somewhat by a lack of sleep from Friday night, hence my unceremonious nodding off just after the meal (which sadly ended up elsewhere...)

Retired to my hotel room - somehow, since I vaguely recall walking but not actually up the stairs, opening the door, nor turning on the television since I woke up still wearing my glasses and the set tuned to BBC1.

Bumped into Allyson at breakfast, and then went for a wander around...


A very picturesque City, it must be said, though the rustic charm was tempered a little by the onslaught of the UK High Street - but Minster Park was very lovely.

Wednesday, January 23


I don't usually read this particular music magazine, but have to admit the free CD caught my eye (along with the indepth interview with Radiohead - mind you, I didn't bother downloading the album; I'm waiting for the CD release...)

The actual cover-mount CD is a rather spiffing compilation of synth and electronic music, from Tangerine Dream, early-Human League, to total unknowns (like Fujiya & Miyagi - the track "Ankle Injuries" is excellent, along with John Foxx's "Burning Car".)

Mind you, no Kraftwerk though... conspicuous by it's absence, if you ask me.

Of course, if you don't like electronic/synth music then this post'll be of no interest to you.

All I want for Christmas...

Dear Santa, I know it's early but I thought I'd get in quick... could you possibly see fit to buy me one of these, please? I've been a very good boy.

Thank you,


Saturday, January 19

One of the finest love songs ever written...

... and the video is pretty damn beautiful too:

When I was putting together Tourniquet Heart for publication, I actually wrote to Nick Cave's record company to see if I could reproduce the lyrics as an actual "story" within the anthology.

It wasn't too expensive, but I left my response lapse and before I knew it the publisher was asking for the completed mss like, well, today.

Still kicking myself today - listen to the lyrics, they're just beautiful.

Friday, January 18


What exactly is it? Well, I'm not in too much of a hurry to find out, frankly; shaky-cam in the trailer is bad enough, so I don't think I'll be able to sit through two hours of feeling nauseous.

(I spent two days, thank you very much - don't want to go through that again...)

Why do today's directors insist on using shakycam? It doesn't add to suspense - it just alienates part of your audience, because your mind instead of concentrating on the film is more interested in stopping your stomach from hurling.

I'm all for kinetic camera-work, but please, use a Steadicam instead, or a Louma crane. Or, heaven forbid, take a leaf out of Alfonso Cauron and Emmanuel Lubeski's book and utilise their techniques in Children of Men: very tense, energetic scenes with no hint of shaky camerawork.

In fact, could you imagine the go-kart scene in The Shining if they used shakycam? Or De Palma's superb shoot-out sequence from The Untouchables?

Shakycam works in music videos, but that is where it should stay.

Enough of my film-geeky rant.

Thursday, January 17


Last week fucked me up; had one of those "bug" things going around - no vomiting (thankfully), but whatever it was knocked me for six for two days: uncontrollable shivering, nauseous, and the inability to sleep (to the point that when I was lying in bed, my mind "dreamt" of three or four things at once and therefore it couldn't shut down). Again, I felt like Reznik.

But, once it passed I was much better; and now, I'm in that welcome routine of work-sleep-play-work-sleep-play, albeit at different times to you. Mind you, it does help having a pair of thick curtains to block out the day-light, and the fact that it's still dark when I go to sleep - be interesting to see if I'll find it this easy when BST starts...

In other news, started work on Triquorum III and should be putting The Reef to bed in a couple of weeks (ready for it's launch at Eastercon - whose going?)

I also received my self-assessment tax bill today... eeek. The less said about that the better.

Saturday, January 5


... night-shift is seriously fucking with my body-clock: I'm okay sleeping during the day, after each shift, but when it comes to my days off; hardly any sleep last night, felt totally lethargic today - now I know how Reznik felt in The Machinist.

Anyway, enough of my woes: the festivities were good - drank far too much on the Big Day (though I had to really since I was working Boxing Night, making up for the loss of time!) Mind you, moving jobs this close too Christmas isn't really recommended - you end up working all but the statatory holidays, which is a pain. Ah well...

Still, didn't work New Year's Eve so at least I managed to have a drink to bring in the new year and my 34th birthday. Do I feel old? Not then, but now... any night-shifters out there with some advice on how to get your body back to sleeping at night when you're not working?

Anyway, in other news: picked up a copy of Disturbed's Ten Thousand Fists earlier this week (it features a cover of the Genesis track "Land of Confusion" which is just superb). If you feel like a spot of head-banging, then you'd be a fool not to listen. :)

(Just to prove my own eclectic music tastes, I purchased it along with a collection from Toto and Karl Jenkins' Requiem.)