Monday, July 30, 2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Waiting to read, once I have the money, Mainspring by Jay Lake. I adored Trial of Flowers, and this new novel looks fantabulous. Now's the time to buy those American imports because the Aussie dollar hasn't been this strong in an age – if ever. Also dying to get into Neal Asher's new one Hilldiggers – Neal's stuff is the bomb, good solid intelligent action Space Opera, Neal is the most consistently entertaining writer since David Gemmell as far as I'm concerned, but with more explosions.
The two books I am dying to read that haven't been sent to their publishers yet are (yet another fellow rorette) Margo Lanagan's Tender Morsels, and Alan Campbell's sequel to Scar Night, Penny Devil.
So many books. And this isn't counting the new Don Dellilo and the new Chabon, and the book I'm reading on Scurvy*, that I have sitting next to my bed. Oh, if only I read as fast as Tansy!
On another note, (see the witty sequeway) listening to the new(ish) Bright Eyes album Cassadaga, it's excellent. The only thing I'm more excited by is the prospect of new Okkervil River album next month.
*called Limeys, which is almost as interesting as George Barrington's Voyage to Botany Bay which is extremely cool, loving the non-fiction, I'm sure everyone else knew this but I had no idea that there was a company of Barber-Surgeons, makes sense, what with them both involving cutting and such.
I love my Aurealis award - note the gollumesque finger smudges - whether or not I deserve it, it sits on my bookcase of glory, and it's just cool.
Does it say anything about my work?
No, other than than a group of judges read my story, and liked it. Personally I liked all of the SF stories short listed that year much more than "Slow and Ache" but that story was a long time in being written and all I can see are its flaws.
Does it change your life?
Does winning any award change your life? No. Except for Margo Lanagan who has won so many awards that she has super powers, and needed to build a Fortress of Solitude (For all the awards, and and as a base for her super-villian fighting antics: there's rockets and all sorts of shit there, and a mainframe computer with a smart-cracking PERSONALITY). For the rest of us you still sit in your room, putting the words on the page, because that's what writing's about.
When I won I was utterly surprised, and delighted. Diana and I had been through a hellishly bad year (and there was more to come) and we were both worn out and wounded. Diana was absolutely bursting with pride, and I was just so happy that she was there to share the win with me. It was one of the finest evenings of my life.
I'd like to see more authors get a chance to feel that way. So check out the webpage and start nominating stories*. I'm looking forward to seeing the short-listings already.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
3 -I once avoided driving between Canberra and Sydney because "my equilibrium was off".
4 - I used to think our toy swing was a time machine. I could sit on that thing for hours swinging backwards through infinity. Yeah, and there were lots of dinosaurs.
Three things a time traveller needs; a red jumper; some sensible pants; and a baby brother to trade for supplies.
5 - I have a deep and abiding terror of grasshoppers. I mean, they can just jump in your face, or fly in your face, or crawl on your face. There's too many grasshopper/face options to my liking.
6 - My first job was in a toy store where I made bikes for Christmas presents. I was bitten by a dog, owned by my employers, called Bear. Never try and pat a dog called Bear.
7 - As a baby I never crawled. I went from dragging myself around on my bum to walking. Ahh, that explains it you say.
Friday, July 20, 2007
It's the perfect fairytale, and like all good fairytales it's as brutal as all hell.
If you haven't seen it, get it out now.
I really could get used to this other people selling my stuff for me lark.
*That's the same Tansy that has read all the Harry Potter books in the last week, and written intelligent reviews of each, while wrangling a 2.5 year old, and doing more writing than me in the process no doubt. This woman makes me feel tired just thinking about it. She's also in Fantastical Journeys to Brisbane. BTW has anyone else noticed that I keep calling the book fantastic journeys to brisbane, I'm going senile.
My name's on the cover but this has mainly been a labour of love for Geoffrey Maloney, and he's done a great job, not only in agonising over the stories, but in the finer details too. Geoff's been the one kicking bookstore doors down and making sure you'll see it at conflux, and in most specialty SF bookstores.
Check it out. The book fits nicely in the hand, it's a weird amalgam of hard cover and paperback, and would be a fantastic addition to anyone's personal library, as a talking piece AS WELL AS a fine anthology of short fiction.
You know you want it. And, if you buy it, just let me know, and I'll come over to your place and do the washing up*.
*Applies only to residents of Brisbane, and only if I'm not feeling lazy, or in a bad mood on the day.
YES I'VE CORRECTED THE TITLE
On the way out I was stopped by two dour-faced men in sunglasses, who asked me a few questions.
Did I know the man whom I had given the $2 to?
Yes, he's the guy I buy my paper from every day.
Was I aware that I had just given him more than the dollar value of the paper?
Well, yes, but-.
I quickly found myself bundled inside a car, then taken to a prison cell, stripped of my clothes and possessions, and told to don dull orange jumpsuit. Questions were fired at me in rapid succession.
Was I aware that I had just given material support to a suspected terrorist?
Is it true that you meet with this man every morning?
Yes, but -
What is your association with this man?
I buy the paper off-
You are buying literary, possibly incendiary material off this man?
They dropped my Sydney Morning Herald on the table in front of me – there was an article mildly critical of the government on the front page.
Sometimes you are given to anger, aren't you Mr J?
No, well, but-
Three days I spent in that cell. My lawyers could tell me nothing, they didn't have all the evidence.
Shouldn't have bought a Fairfax paper.
Finally the charges were laid. Material support to a suspected terrorist. I was shipped to another cell, where I was allowed magazines and a television.
I am alert, but not alarmed. After all, we need to stop terrorists, so in a way this is really good for the nation, it was my own silly fault for repeatedly buying my paper there, I can see how suspicious that looks.
I'll be in court in another three months, I am coping well in detention, I'm even allowed to read the paper again, but I don't want to.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Poor, poor bastard.
Had a good day today, some interesting things happening.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Once I made a living from hollowing out my bones and carrying people's dreams in the place where my marrow used to be. It was a brief and glorious career. Caught in the glamour of such a job, I never saw it coming to a close. I fell deathly ill. My doctor said there was cure in Brisbane.
Turn left and you will find Brisbane. Only left. That is the secret of Brisbane. Turn right and you may end up in a place that calls itself Brisbane, but it is just a lie. Brisbane, like my heart, is always to the left.
The city rises like a dream. But it isn't. Books have been written about it. They say that it is the journey not the destination that matters. We all know that is bullshit. It is the story that matters.
So was pretty stressed, the dog barked, I worried about a couple of odd looking moles, but both inspections were all clear. No termites, and a new treatment put in, and no cancers. Didn't have to get a single thing cut off, out or frozen away.
What's more I managed to actually get some writing done: might be that I'm really enjoying the thing I'm writing, eh.
* Diana takes a much more sensible approach, shrugs and says "Whatever." For me it's the end of the world, I feel dirty. Termites, the headlice of the homeowning set.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Here's a drawing my 8 year old nephew Oscar did of me.
He also drew this extremely cool ship.