Sunday, 26 December 2010

Christmas Stuff

I'd like every day to be Boxing Day. Feet up on the sofa, laptap on my lap, couple of hours writing, eat some leftovers, read a bit, watch a bit of classic 50's SF on the telly... It will end soon and I'll back into what is traditionally the hardest three weeks of my day-job year. (And this year is set to be the worst ever)

But I'm not going to worry about that now, I'll just enjoy this while I can.

Here's a run-down on the Christmas gifts:

I am in awe of my wife, Sarah, and her ability to buy gifts. She is not a SciFi fan but she is supportive and knows what is hot. She gave me "How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe" by Charles Yu. I am 50 pages in and already this is a strong, runaway contender for my Best Novel Hugo vote. (I love the cover, too, with all the little ray guns.)

What else? Well she bought me a stack of DVD's – fifties SF classics: This Island Earth, When Worlds Collide, The Day the Earth Stood Still (the proper one with Michael Rennie, not the rubbishy remake). Okay so some are a little thin in places, but I love them all the same, because I grew up with them. It's interesting that I hadn't realised that This Island Earth was filmed in colour. I thought it was in black & white. This must be because last time I watched it I had a black & white telly. It will probably be the same with HD. I won't get an HD TV until our steam model expires, and I reckon there's 20 years left in her yet. I just need to find a good valve stockist.

So, next on the agenda, make some tea (because Sarah worked her socks off in the kitchen, yesterday) then another classic DVD. And time for another 1000 words before bed.

I LOVE Boxing Day.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Spooky Robot Dog

Okay, so this is quite old tech, 2008 would you believe? but I hadn't seen it before, I've been watching it again and again and I'm kind of spooked out by it. Is this really a robot? Or is it two guys rehearsing for a role in panto. (If it is, they're very good.)
Here's the thing - if this was 2008, what can it do now, at the back end of 2010? It's the bit on the ice that gets me. This is artificial intelligence! Here in the UK we've had a bit of snow and I've already been on my arse, twice, crossing the car park at work.What does that say about biological intelligence - mine at least?

Friday, 10 December 2010

Ray Gun Revival

It’s always good when a new magazine/webzine comes along. Even better when a good friend is heavily involved. So I’m pleased to be able to give a plug to Ray Gun Revival, appearing soon, on a computer screen near you. It’s weekly and it’s fun and it sounds like just the tonic for these dark and economically depressed times. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what they have on offer in the first issue. Enough from me, here’s what they have to say for themselves:

Ray Gun Revival (RGR) is an online magazine dedicated to fun stories, grand escapism, and good old sensawunda. RGRl provides just that, a throwback publication that revisitsspace opera and golden age sci-fi. Their stories focus more on character development than hard science and sail all the wide-open waters between science fantasy and harder SF. Think of the original Star Wars stories, Doc Smith's Lensman series, the Warlord of Mars tales from Edgar Rice Burroughs. Think of everything from John Carter and Gully Foyle to Kimball Kinnison and Han Solo. They are bringing out the deepest elements of what has traditionally been rather superficial fiction and updating them for a new generation of fiction enthusiasts.