Category Archives: Personal

A new category for personal posts that aren’t about publishing.

On concerts….

Imagine that you are cold. Imagine that you have been cold for years, that the marrow in your bones has chilled and the very core of your body has almost come to a standstill.  Then imagine that, surrounded by snow and ice, you climb a hilltop and, after years, the sun rises. A flare of light on the horizon, then a haze of retreating shadows before it hits you and you begin to warm. Your blood flows faster, your skin flushes with the heat, and you begin to move, slowly at first, then faster and faster.  The barriers between feeling and thought disappear as you become lost in the balm that the distant sun brings to you on that hillside, as winter falls away and spring begins.

That’s what a Springsteen show is like, what a truly great rock show is like. Somewhere between “Is there anybody alive out there?” and “The E Street Band loves you” comes a point where, if you are open to it, you become lost in the music, thought almost disappears and feeling dominates. You move your body because you couldn’t do anything else. You sing along with the anthems because they are your anthems, their stories are your stories. And with the people around you, you rise and transcend the moment of sitting in a concert hall surrounded by strangers on a warm February evening and become one with them and one with the music. And you heal and can face tomorrow with renewed spirit, with renewed energy, with the belief that it will be better because today was better.

Somewhere between “Badlands” and “Tenth Avenue Freezeout” that is the gift of the heart-stopping, pants-dropping, house-rocking, earth-quaking, booty-shaking, Viagra-taking, love-making – Le-gen-dary E – Street – Band!”  I’m grateful for it.

Thursday morning

A mixed day yesterday.  I took the new MacBook Air into the Apple Store to get looked at by a “Genius”. It was experiencing an odd problem, shutting down intermittently when going into sleep mode. I think we may have resolved the problem, so fingers crossed.  I am very happy that I managed to get Time Machine working on my Stora. The Genius did a total reset/reinstall on the laptop, but I was able to neatly restore from the backup, so win there.

As some of you would have noticed, I did the annual “what I did” post yesterday for the Hugos. I admit, as always, to being a little conflicted about this, but it’s done.  Adam Roberts talks about why I might be uncomfortable and John Scalzi provides an alternative view.

I am looking into providing some sort of download for Eclipse Online stories for awards nominators to consider.  It’s unfortunate they’re not online and I’d like to do what I can to make them available.

In other news, I am listening to Etienne Charles, reading J.G. Ballard, and basically trying to get things done. Busy month, as always!

Back to work

If there was any doubt that the year was already moving forward, I head back to the day job tomorrow. Lots and lots of work to do on an important project there, while at the same time getting The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 8 and Reach for Infinity ready to deliver by month’s end.  Both books have very tight turnarounds and, then I have to deliver Fearsome Magic by the end of March. In between there’s some Springsteen madness, and then it’ll be well and truly tax time. So, pretty much the run from now through to Easter will be crazy. After that, Worldcon and London beckons in August. Is the year almost done already?


My family has a tradition of having birthday seasons rather than simple “birthdays”.  I think this might be because we have a failure to commit, rather than because of any intention to brilliantly extend things.

Anyway, it was my birthday on Thursday.  We had intended to go to our favourite restaurant on Wednesday, but instead ill-health intervened. This happens sometimes, so we made up for it by grabbing lunch at the Fat Dragon in Mount Lawley. I’ve always loved the restaurant, but perhaps because of the hangover from being unwell I didn’t especially love it this time. I didn’t really notice, though, because I was surrounded by family which made it special.  We ate and drank and talked and had a good time.

And there were gifts. Terrific gifts. I don’t want to gloat (I do!) but an original Shaun Tan drawing, scotch-related gifts, a voucher for a laptop skin, some caramels – all very nice.  And then at lunch my mum, brother and sister gave me the MacBook Air I’m typing this entry on which blew me away.  I knew I was going to get it, but it’s pretty incredible.

Most of my girls!

Friday was more of a work day, which I needed, but Saturday there was a small party at my mum’s house. Marianne,  Barbara, Stephen and mum put a lot of effort into making it terrific, and Keira, Robin, Nick and Amanda, Alisa, Chris and Mackenzie, and Theresa showed up worth gifts and great company. It could have been bigger (I know mum would have liked it if it was), but it was sort of just right as it was with dear friends making it special. I’m very grateful to everyone for coming, and also want to thank everyone out there who sent good wishes. They were all appreciated.

Old campaigners after nearly 30 years!

We were all up rather late, which meant today has been a bit of a day of rest. Some editing, some cricket to watch (5-0!), and no reading. There may be reading tonight because I want to get the next round of short fiction reviews out.  On those, I hope to do two entries of reviews each week. Have to see how that goes.

London in August

So I missed the mad rush for rooms for  Loncon 3,  the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention, which is being held in London between 14 and 18 August, that apparently happened in the early hours of this morning. The people running the con are doing their best to manage the demand for accessible and affordable rooms in one of the biggest and most expensive cities in the world, and that meant lotteries and late night rushes. I secured a room of sorts, but am still tinkering.

Oh, and as  I should have mentioned I am attending the convention with my twelve year old daughter, with a side trip to Paris and the south of France,  and need to arrange rooms and flights, but haven’t really got my act together.  Lots to do!