Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tum Te Tum

seedbed

I have completed the raised seed bed, converted from the old futon base. WHERE'S MY SUNDAY SUPPLEMENT INTERVIEW? Hmm? Although I haven't actually put anything in it yet. In fact, I'm not sure what I'm going to put in it, other than a load of compost from the bin, with a layer of Paid For (boo) compost on top. And then a cut-down shower curtain on top of that, to stop weeds getting in while I look at it, and go 'hmmm' a lot.

Hmmm.

I meant to use this calm before the storm as an opportunity to get loads of fiction reading done, as all I've been reading lately are 4E D&D manuals and pop histories about the seventeenth century (Lisa Picard's 'London', v.good). But the new Neal Stephenson doesn't seem to have been published yet, and my ability to read any other work of fiction by anyone other than Nealy or Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman seems to have been wildly compromised. I lose patience with fiction writing incredibly quickly these days. In fact pretty much all my reading at the moment goes like this:

1. I have heard good things about this book, I will purchase it (or at least get it out of the library).

2. Bah, this book annoys me! I will go on Wikipedia to find out what happened at the end.

3. Ooh I quite liked the ending.

4. I enjoyed that, I will read it again. *hits 'Refresh'*

This Wikipedia reliance reached ridiculous heights the other day, when I bought a DVD of that 10,000 BC thing, knowing it would be rubbish, put it in the machine, then within seconds, was on Wikipedia to see what was happening, because I couldn't be arsed to watch it. Madness.



UPDATE: although I am enjoying Charles Stross's 'Halting State', despite the irritiating 'written in second person thing', which I'm sure is supposed to remind you of the Worlock of Firetop Mountain or something (Chez Blue Cat's cultural touchstone of choice), but actually makes it unnecessarily hard to gain any traction with the characters. Some really interesting stuff though, and interesting that all the top SF writers are slowly migrating over to writing stuff that's barely SFual at all. I would also like extra double geek points for knowing that the D&D 'slaadi' monsters one of the characters encounters were in fact invented by Charles Stross himself, back in nineteen tumpty tum, for the Fiend Folio. I ROCK!


19 comments:

Jayne said...

I could lend you Anathem if you like. But you have to promise me your first born kitten if you lose it (or cover it in pain au chocolaty fingerprints).

PS Nice seed bed. I've got plenty of slugs and snails you could have if you want. Saves you explaining that you didn't actually plant anything...

Piers said...

I saw a new Pratchett in the store just yesterday.

But I only have ten pounds to my name until monday. And I still have to go to Poole and somehow buy beer and dinner at the weekend.

It's a problem and no mistake.

Sylvia said...

salad leaves - that's what you could grow! I'm buying up those living salad things in the supermarket when they're reduced and planting them out in boxes. Wonder if they will survive...

I can't comment on the rest of your blog as I can't understand it. Sorry. Am an old person.

james henry said...

Thanks Jayne, but local bookshop has it on order, and it should be coming in any day now. I do miss my bookselling days when I could get trade copies of all this stuff way in advance though.

Piers: yes, and there's a new Kate Atkinson too, who I like a lot, but also in hardback. Bah.

Sylvia: actually yes, I probably could get some rocket going. For a few seconds until the slugs eat it. Maybe I'll just keep it pristine bare earth and... make a model village or something. Sorry, the post does descend into geekiness a bit towards the end.

cello said...

Extraordinarily beautiful raised bed. You learn pretty fast what snails and slugs abhor. At this time of the year you could plant some garlic cloves and some winter hardy broad beans (Aquadulce?) that will marry together blissfully in the spring with a glug of olive oil. I have never known a gastropod touch either of them.

Anonymous said...

Nice cot.

BlackLOG said...

Looks like you have made a great litter tray for the Blue Kitten, but have you left enough futon to make the crib.

adam said...

Double D&D bonus double geek points for knowing the correct plural of 'slaad'.

Rose said...

Oooooh, asparagus. I have no idea if it's the right season, but it is wonderfully yummy.

Valerie said...

What I really like is how you turned a raised bed into a raised bed.

I'm having a similar problem with reading. This is why I keep having to buy bookmarks. I have approximately 83 books on my "in process" shelf, each with a bookmark in it somewhere around page 9.

Derek said...

Warlock of Firetop Mountain? Pah!! That was for wussies, not like Deathtrap Dungeon, or whatsit with Zanbar Bone and his dreaded Moondogs, or thingie with...stuff...and Caverns of the Snow Witch. Oh, oh, and Creature of Havoc where "you" got to be an enraged shambling beast, while villagers pelted you with old cabbage, and shouted "Get thee hence from this place, monstrous creature!" while you were given the options of (a) running away like a girle - turn to page 252, or (b)smashing their heads in with a rock and eating their innards - turn to page 81. And then you turned to page 81 and you fell in a hole and died. Ian Livingston wrote all the easy peasy ones. Steve Jackson always had a little thingie up his sleeve that always tripped you up.
I...yes, well...

Anonymous said...

I'm now finding I'm choosing which books to read based on thickness and font size, so I can read more each year, although I do leave more unfinished than I used it.

Thought you might like this really short story though as it combines time travel and internet forums.

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200710-wikihistory.html

spacemonkey said...

Creature of Havoc rocked. It was probably the only rolly-dicey traversy-mazey book to actually use the form to, like, LITERARY EFFECT, man, as your character gradually came to consciousness over who they were and the fact that they could control their destiny. Although only 3 options at a time.

AND it had a secret code and everything.

But but BUT - where be the Bluekitten???

james henry said...

Thanks for link, will read that in a bit.

Ooh, Kim Newman did a Fighting Fantasy style book for adults, very good it was. Will try and find the details later.

Blue Kitten is currently staying put. When she does finally emerge, I will be having a stern word with her about her lackadaisical attitude.

Marsha Klein said...

Re. Kate Atkinson, have you read her two previous Jackson Brodie books (One good Turn & Case Histories)? And, if so, did you like them? I really loved her first 3 books (esp. Behind the Scenes At The Museum) and her collection of short stories but I didn't especially enjoy her move into more "conventional" fiction. I'd be interested to hear what you thought.

james henry said...

I think the only one of hers I haven't read is Behind The Scenes At The Museum, must get round to that one at some point. I do like the Jackson Brodie ones, but that's where I started reading her, so got nothing else to compare her too really (although I really liked her short story collection).

That wasn't actually very interesting, was it?

Marsha Klein said...

Well, it was actually, because I assumed that you'd prefer her earlier stuff to the Brodie books. I heartily recommend "Behind The Scenes At The Museum" - I found it compelling. Although I suppose compiling a list of "must read" books isn't really your number one priority at the moment!

Imo said...

"I do miss my bookselling days when I could get trade copies of all this stuff way in advance though"

What you need is a friend who works in publishing and happens to have a garage full of unwanted proof copies.

Ahh those were the days when my friend worked for Harpers/Collins, I used to get to read loads of stuff I maybe wouldn't have tried otherwise. She's with Penguin now in the Toddler Book Section - it's not the same.

Oli said...

One Hundred Years of Solitude is aces, but the ending's ridiculously bad, so I wouldn't recommend the Wiki-route there.

Only two weeks till the new Neil Gaiman... Yay. Yay yay yay.