August 2010 Archives

August 31, 2010

Frankenstein T-Shirt, His Exciting Life

A Day in the Life of Frank - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

August 30, 2010

Been on holiday. Read books.

I've been on holiday for two weeks, that's why it's been quiet(er than normal). No internet. No TV. No radio. No newspapers. Nice.

Instead I visited places and read books and holidayed.

Consequently I have reviews outstanding for the following books:

Read before holiday...


Read on holiday... 



I also read the Guardian's Summer short stories, none of which I liked as they were all a bit dull and "literary" and nothing actually happened. Can't be bothered to review them.

I have the review for The Dervish House written in pencil in a notebook so theoretically I just have to type it in. But of course it never works like that. 

Chunky books with lots to talk about.

August 13, 2010

Space Helmet Reflections Pictures

August 12, 2010

Photos Of BBC SF Show Outcasts

Den Of Geek has some photos of the upcoming SF BBC TV show Outcasts. It's made by the Spooks and Hustle team. I have hight hopes. (Thanks to Dave for the tip.) Here's one of them...

August 10, 2010

A Raven As Darth Vader And The Death Star On A T-Shirt

Dark Raven - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

August 9, 2010

What I Read As A "Young Adult"

Niall's editorial on the recent issue of Vector Magazine got me thinking about what I read when I was part of the mysterious YA demographic. I'm not sure I've ever blogged about it so I thought it would be interesting to put it down here.

First of all, the biggest influence was not a book, but a film: Star Wars. Of course. From very young onwards. I read the UK Star Wars comics in all their guises, through to Return Of The Jedi. 

The first books I really remember reading are The Lord Of The Rings. I must have been nine or ten. I'm not sure whether I read the Hobbit first, I think I might have. There must have been other books before that but I can't really remember any of them. There are vague recollections of reading some books in the school library that had a space hero of some kind, but it's all too blurry. I think it took me about six months to read TLOTR, most of that was probably spent on the tedious second half of The Two Towers...slowly traipsing towards Mount Doom....

Somewhere I read The Famous Five, The Secret Seven and Swallows And Amazons, this could well have been before LOTR. Not sure.

Niall mentioned reading the Tripods novels and I think I read them too. I definitely saw the TV series, and I seem to remember that I read the books when the TV series fell short of the end of the story. I have no idea when that was though.

There was a huge chunk of 2000AD interwoven with these books, which I started reading quite young but got serious about as a teenager, started reading the Judge Dredd Megazine and even moved onto Crisis. You can't beat a bit of Judge Dredd.

The next set of books I really remember reading were Robert Ludlum and Frederick Forsythe novels. I might have been fourteen? Maybe older, not sure. I do however remember loving The Bourne Identity. Thrillers, spies and espionage. Loved it. Eventually I moved away from the heavier action based novels of Ludlum to the slow burn of Len Deighton.

Things start becoming less blurry after that: I discovered Terry Pratchett and read all of his books up to around Men At Arms, the Star Wars machine was waking from deep sleep and I read Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy and dreamt of actual film sequels. I then read all the Star Wars books. Unfortunately none of them lived up to the initial thrill of reading a new Star Wars story.

Then I was onto William Gibson: the Sprawl trilogy suddenly lighting a fire in my head. Then Snow Crash, then a smooth trajectory to the SF I'm reading now. Only (fairly) recently have I dipped backwards to read the SF classics I missed.

So I'm not sure that there is much YA in that readin history at all. Perhaps some of the filler I read between these big milestones were, I can't be sure. Which is why I can't quite get a grasp of what YA is, because to me there were kids books, then adult books and I seemed to go from one to the other.

August 7, 2010

Terrible Video Trailer For William Gibson's Zero History

Via SF Signal.

Oh dear, dreadful. Can't wait to actually read it though.

August 2, 2010

August's Ansible Is Online

Ansible 277, August 2010

I get a mention. I have made it.
I did however have to tell the good Mr. Langford myself that I'd won, so it's kind of self publicised micro-fame.