Archive : Month

The Bookcase Dilemma

POSTED ON March 30th, 2012  - POSTED IN Reading, Uncategorized

So where I’m moving too I can probably only fit in one bookcase. That means that a lot of my books need to go into storage. I’ve semi been planning for this eventuality and have been an ebook convert for years (an ebook library doesn’t take up any space!)

But this gives me a major dilemma. There’s something about a bookcase. I think it says a lot about the person. I always view people without bookcases with caution. But I’m unsure as to what books I should put in my new solitary one.

For example should I put my favourite books on the shelves as a statement of who I am? Should the books on display be purely ornamental? It’s not like I’m planning to do daily tours. Or instead, should I forego the Lynch, the Abercrombie and even the Pratchett for books that have been sitting there for years unread, keeping in mind that I converted to ebooks more than several years back and the physical unread books are likely to stay that?

And if the former, do I need to fill the entire bookcase when I have movies and video games that are also looking for space?

Enquiring minds want to know!

Palisades Toys’ The Muppets Action Figure Line

POSTED ON March 29th, 2012  - POSTED IN Toys

I’m packing up the action figure collection. Most of the Star Wars is now packed, as is the G.I. Joe, and last night with great sadness I packed up two of my favourite lines of all time: ToyBiz’s Marvel Legends and Palisades Toys’ awesome Muppets line. Where I’m going there won’t be the room to display them all and so they will be going into storage for the foreseeable future.

New Books By Friends

POSTED ON March 28th, 2012  - POSTED IN Publishing

OK, so I have nothing to shill at the moment (although I’m due to have an accepted non-fiction article in print soon). But work has decided to wait until this week, the week I need to be busy packing (have I mentioned I need to pack for the move? Really? I was sure I’d never mentioned it!), to throw issues that keep me logged in until 10pm. So rather than bore you with articles on how certain servers lose all their DNS settings after reboot, or how you go about packing a Millenium Falcon (or *cough* three), or how I need to do a couple of things today or the whole move will fail, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about a couple of books friends have just released.

The Free Universal Construction Kit Project

POSTED ON March 27th, 2012  - POSTED IN Toys

Close to 10 years ago, I wrote a big article on 3D Printers for Action-Figure. They were just starting to be used for prototyping by big industry with machines that cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. But prices were destined to fall and in the article I envisioned a future where you wouldn’t so much go out and buy an action figure or toy, but would buy the plans and print and construct your own. If I weren’t in the midst of packing, I would dig out the article and repost it, but needless to say it was probably the most popular article that year and drew a lot of comment. Maybe after I move, I’ll try and find it out?

Eastercon Plans

POSTED ON March 25th, 2012  - POSTED IN Events, Writing

So it looks like I am going to Eastercon.

For a long time it didn’t look likely. First it was severe lack of funds, and then when I started the new job which has an out of hours element it was very likely I might be on call that weekend. And then there was the small point of moving house around then.

But these conventions are one of the few chances to catch up with friends, not just the ones I chat with regularly, but the ones who I rarely get chance to have more than a few real words with. I hoped that I might be able to make one day but it seems all the stars have mysteriously aligned and Easter is the one free weekend I have for literally months.

So having been paid (and whipped into action by friends), I went and booked myself in for the whole weekend. If you want to blame anyone, blame Anne Lyle for letting me know that the convention was close to capacity. And you can blame her by buying her book that comes out next week!

It’s probably not wise to go to a convention a week after moving, but hey-ho! And after a couple of months where real life has had to take priority over the writing (oh, how I can’t wait to settle in and have time to get some serious writing again) going to a proper event is just what I need to motivate me.

Hope to see some of you there in the bar!

I Should Be Packing

POSTED ON March 23rd, 2012  - POSTED IN Misc

So I’m going to be moving in… little over a week. I really should be packing. I really should be having a clear out. I should be arranging storage and separating things that should go into storage from things that I need to move with me. I really should be… you know… doing things.

I have done nothing and today the crashing reality of it all is hammering down on me. I want to bury my head in the sand, stick my fingers in my ears and go “la la la, I can’t hear you”.

I’m not sad at moving, I’m actually looking forward to a new stage in my life. But still… I’ll be glad when it’s over. On the plus side, Eastercon is the weekend after, and now with new job, and money, attending is a possibility.

I shall focus on that, and not stare at everything around me and go “take with me, throw, or put in storage?” Maybe the packing will do itself if I ignore it long enough?

Another Book Idea From Nowhere

POSTED ON March 21st, 2012  - POSTED IN Genre, Writing

The wonderful thing about ideas is that they never present themselves at the right time. In fact, they usually turn up at entirely the wrong time. They come out of nowhere and hit you sideways.

Last night, an idea for a Swords and Sorcery novel dumped itself in my head. I’ve been thinking for the last couple of days how much I enjoy the whole “rogue’s tale” subgenre (a subgenre that includes Lies of Locke Lamorra and the brilliant Among Thieves). As much as I love big epic fantasy, I find that it’s sword and sorcery that is leaving me fulfilled these days.

The important thing is that this wasn’t an idea I was looking for. If anything, the idea I want is some added element for Gods of the Wild Frontier. But over the 10 minutes whilst I was cooking last night, I came up with an opening scene, a concept and four main characters. Not bad, and I think the book could be a lot of fun, both to write and read. On the downside, it’s a bit safe for me. It sits firmly in Sword and Sorcery. There’s no spaceships or helicopters, and I can’t help but wonder if the idea has been seen before.

So I after cooking I basically sat down and pitched the novel to myself in an additional note to my file of ever growing novel ideas. It depresses me to look at this list. I really need to be able to write a complete novel in about 2 months to ever get through this backlog. I’ll be glad once I move, so I can get down to some very serious writing, although at this time I have no idea what I will be writing.

Thoughts For The Day

POSTED ON March 18th, 2012  - POSTED IN Genre, Writing

Disassociated thoughts rattling around my brain today:

  • Swords & Sorcery and the elements I love about the subgenre as well as favourite books.
  • The fall of characters – characters who destroy their own self-worth by compromising their own integrity. Only by a little at first, but it starts a chain of events leading to their ultimate downfall. The example I am thinking is the movie, Requiem for a Dream, which is an extreme example. Dare I use the word Grimdark?
  • Humour in fantasy – other than comedic fantasy like Pratchett, there’s very little humour in fantasy. Life is funny, usually at the darkest moments, yet we see little of it. Are we trying to be too serious?
  • Gods of the Old Frontier – There’s a piece of the jigsaw missing. It’s one idea from twisting this novel into something I’ll be happy with. This will come out of nowhere of its own accord so it’s not worth trying to look for it.
  • Intertwining plots – Most of my books are quite clean in terms of plot. I want to muddy it up a bit, have plot elements split over a greater cast of characters.
  • On Alan Moore

    POSTED ON March 16th, 2012  - POSTED IN Comics

    There’s a story that always got told in the collectables industry about HR Giger. It’s one of those stories that has its origin in truth but has grown in the telling, such that I’m no longer sure just how much truth, if any, is left in the story.

    The story goes that a young sculptor got the opportunity of a lifetime to visit his hero HR Giger in Switzerland where he was to go through the artist’s work as part of a collectables project his employer had negotiated with the artist. The sculptor arrived at Giger’s house and was promptly shown to an attic storeroom where he was locked in for several days without food and water. The moral of the story is that you should never meet your heroes.

    Dragon Slayers

    POSTED ON March 14th, 2012  - POSTED IN Games

    There’s a tendancy these days to say that World of Warcraft’s reign is over. But whilst I would agree with a lot of the criticisms, games like The Old Republic have yet to grow into something that might capture me away. So I continue to raid with my guild weekly and continue to have a lot of fun doing so.

    I’ve documented back in October just how crap we were when we started out. In that post, I marvelled at the fact that for the first time we were actually doing the current raiding tier’s content for the first time. Our improvement has continued and we were stoked when, come the release of the new Dragon Soul tier back in December, we tried it on a whim with only 9 out of 10 players and actually took down the first boss.