- I've been wrapping up a few work projects this week as a result of recent Health Issues. (Thanks to my clients for being very understanding!) I'm going to try and use the breathing room to relax as much as humanly possible and get myself back to where I want to be health-wise.
- We went to the Brighton Fringe launch event and greatly enjoyed the work of a ventriloquist—not what I thought I'd would happen but for real: ventriloquism is back, baby, it's good again.
- Went for some tests related to Health Issues. Waiting to hear back from the doctor on those, but I have had several people tell me of their own weird cardiac issues which basically just sorted themselves out. Really hoping I have one of those!
- I'm off work next week. Again, hoping to get some rest in. Going to go and see family + Lola for a bit, which will be lovely.
I'm making my way through Eyes of the Void, the sequel to Shards of Earth which I read last week. It's doing some good premise-exploration, but the more I read these books the more mechanical they seem. You can see Tab A being inserted into Slot B; you can see the interesting tidbits being doled out at regular intervals, the stuff that will pay off later and then in the next book established. It's effective, but the pattern-spotting part of my brain notices the trick after a while and I find myself, as I do when I've played too much of one videogame, switching off a little.
I also read Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell's Zenith, which I remembering being reisussued in fancy hardcovers around the time I was still doing a comics podcast. It's a funny old thing—lots of stuff in there that you can see developed in Morrison's later writing, a lot of raw talent from both—but feels almost like something that belonged more in Deadline or Crisis than 2000AD. There's also a lot of stuff in there that feels like... I dunno, not to play into the whole Moore-vs-Morrison thing, but a less-good version of Miraclemen? Still enjoyable, though.
- This story in The Fence is absolutely wild. Subscribed to them at the beginning of the year—they more than justify the cost of entry, really superb stuff.
- Craig Mod, probably best known for his occasional email newsletter series about walking across bits of Japan, has done one about walking across Hyrule (but mostly it's about Japan and his upbringing in America and what the NES meant to him, and it's really good).
- Roger's Bacon asks: are stars conscious? (probably not but maybe)
- Really sweet Mental Floss story about a working-class New York couple who amassed an absolutely enormous art collection.
- L.M. Sacasas, probably the most thoughtful writer about technology and write a splendid piece about AI which concludes: "I remain foolishly committed to the idea that our best hope lies still in the cultivation of friendship and community through the practice of hospitality," a sentiment with which I could not agree more.
Watched the first episode of Mando and boy, I don't know if it's just coming after Andor or what but it was incredibly goofy. Carl Weathers dressed in a TNG-looking outfit delivering lines lines like "Pirate King Gorian Shard's name is known to all in this sector"—what's going on, guys? When we meet said Pirate King, he turns out to be Swamp Thing (speaking of Alan Moore), and his minions say things like "Avast, Mandalorian!" and pull sillier facial expressions than I remember any Nikto pulling before. Then the episode finishes in what feels like mid-sentence. The Boba Fett show rubbed off on it, and while I've said for ages the idea of a show that's trying to put itself in the same zone as the Big Films is bad, it turns out a show that's trying to put itself in the same zone as the cartoons is almost worse. I don't give a toss about those space-whales, lads. You can't make me.
Also, I watched Mean Girls for the first time. It's really good! I now know where at least three things people say quite a lot came from.
I'm delighted to note that friend of the blog Sean has a new podcast out, SFULTRA:
He's big on doing ambitious project podcasts—All Units was two years of thriller double-bills; Hundreds Of Dead Bodies was 31 horror films in October, Hundreds of Pixellated Dead Bodies was 31 found-footage horror films in October... you get the picture. This one is reading through 100 science fiction novels he bought at a second-hand bookstore in Hay-On-Wye to try and force himself to like science fiction, which is a very him premise, and marks the first time I'll actually have a chance of understanding what he's going on about with one of these. Sean has been doing podcasts forever, they're all the best; he's finally got himself a Patreon with this one and I hope he absolutely cleans up. Go and subscribe, what are you waiting for!
Keep it real; over and out.