07 November 2010


In the last week I've entered my fortieth year of life, which is... disconcerting. Well, terrifying, really, if I allowed it to be. Fortunately, for the next 358 days I'm still in my late 30s, so I can remain in denial regarding that particular milestone for now.

I did, however, get given lots of lovely things by my friends and family, mostly (though not exclusively) in Digital Versatile Disc format. Things which I now own which I didn't a week ago today include:
  • True Blood seasons 1 and 2: Very fine work of post-Buffy vampire revisionism from the genius who brought us Six Feet Under, Alan Ball.
  • Robin Hood (2010): The latest media version of the Sherwood legend, directed by Ridley Scott. No, I haven't seen it yet, and yes, it got some pretty bad reviews, but I'm collecting different interpretations.
  • Forbidden Planet: Somehow I never owned this seminal SF film, a B-movie rewrite of The Tempest. Now I do.
  • The Nightmare Man: Weird but impressive BBC occult-SF-whodunnit from 1981, from one of the best scriptwriters and one of the best directors of old-stye Doctor Who.
  • The Flipside of Dominick Hide: Another slice of classic 80s BBC weirditude, which I've not yet managed to watch. It's supposed to be a time-travel romance.
  • The Science of Battlestar Galactica by Patrick Di Justo and Kevin Grazier: probably not somehting I'd have bought for myself, so it's all the more gratifying to be given it by my goddaughter and family.
  • Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Be Yourself Tonight, Revenge and Savage by Eurythmics: One of my favourite bands ever, whose work I've nonetheless never got round to collecting on CD. (No, really. I had tapes.)
I'm expecting the outstanding (in two senses) 2010 season of Doctor Who any day now, as well. I also have a Waterstones token, which I have every intention of spending on either this or this.

It's about time I blogged another of the deleted scenes from my forthcoming drabbleplex, "A Hundred Words from a Civil War". Here goes, then:
     Stormance and Limptrace Districts face one another across the River Runn, a medium-sized watercourse with a width similar to that of the Pacific Ocean. Long-term economic rivals, they have recently become deadly enemies.
     When one District (it hardly matters which) launches an atomic strike against the other, the devastation generates a ripple which gains power as it crosses the river, slamming into the opposite bank with much of the force of the original detonation.
     Those who survive the tsunami’s impact succumb afterwards to compromised cholera bacteria carried by a refugee from distant Keltoria District.
     In the City, everybody is connected.


  1. Flipside of Dominic Hyde is excellent - not so much for the novelty of the ideas which are perhaps minimal - but the essential sweetness of the acting, and the designwork.

    Also happy birthday!

    Simon BJ

  2. Also happy, belated birthday. I've got a copy of this with your name on it


    And an acknowledgement to you in it, for the title of the title poem.

    Simon BJ

  3. I started watching Robin Hood on a flight recently but got annoyed when I saw a plough being pulled by shire horses. In the 12th century everyone still used oxen.

  4. SBJ -- Thank you, that's very kind. Do you want to wait in case we manage to meet up at some point, or shall I email you my postal address? (Or do you still have it?)

    Matthew -- Hm. If that's the gravest of its historical solecisms then I can probably forgive it. I suspect it won't be, though...

  5. Not Invented Here10:33 am

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but last week we chose Ridley Scott's Robin Hood as our First Film in the New Cinema Room, and it was awful. It was boring and slow, with moments that verged on the ridiculous. It didn't grab me in at all.

    OTOH, if you are collecting different versions, you do need this. It is an origin story, not the 'Robs from the rich...' legend, so it does make a good addition to a complete collection.

    Now I really want to know what you think of it! :-)

  6. Happy birthday!

    One more year to win that Guardian Best Young Novelist award...


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