09 May 2006

A Momentary Break in the Static

I'm sorry, once again, about the radio silence from these parts. I'm snowed under with various aspects of work and life at present, and keeping the blog updated is -- just for the moment -- rather more than I can manage on a regular basis.

Things which I am up to include two short fiction projects for Big Finish, both of which are for different reasons rather longer, rather more interesting and considerably bittier to write than the usual fare. I'm enjoying them both very much, but they are taking up large chunks of the available time. Expect to see moderately exciting announcements reasonably soon now.

I'm still hoping that time will soon allow me to post more regularly, and more interestingly, here and on Parrinium Mines. But, er, not the moment. Sorry.

If you were wondering, Club Sabbath was tremendous fun, despite some teething troubles -- it's probably already going down in urban legend as the night with as many M.C.s as there were comedians, after several of Lawrence's associates found their improv skills in demand following his early and impromptu vanishing act. What with the masks, it's always possible some of the punters present didn't notice.

Still, everyone involved was funny -- sadly Danielle Ward wasn't able to be there, but I was glad to have the opportunity to discover that Natalie Haynes is just as hilarious.

What's more, the London Stone is a surprisingly atmospheric and strange venue, belying the gothy kitsch of its owners' website. The whole of the cellar bar is painted to resemble a library in the idiom of Edgar Allen Poe, with the toilets hidden amusingly behind concealed doors in the painted bookshelves. Along with the predictable skulls and candles there's a large display case full of alchemical instruments. It's very odd.

The beer's hopeless, mind you. Still, it was tremendous fun to meet up with numerous splendid people, including Vigornian, Puffinry, Mags and The Ladylark, and to talk Doctor Who with some of them.

Back in Bristol, B. and I have discovered another rather decent pub in our near vicinity. This one is a bit gentrified, and some of the rooms do look a little like a furniture catalogue... but it does Bristol Beer Factory beers, and Wild Hare organic lager, and Pieminister's fantastic pies (the "Mighty Aphrodite" with aubergine, pepper and feta being particularly recommended), and is thus deserving of our custom.

Otherwise, things are manic yet strangely uninteresting. Our Buffy and Six Feet Under retrospectives have now progressed to seasons Six and Five respectively, and I'm reading books by two S.F.-or-affiliated authors about whom I've raved here previously: Priest's The Affirmation (a sequel of sorts to The Dream Archipelago, although predictably one which subverts it entirely) and McAuley's Fairyland , both of which are fantastic.

(My copy of Fairyland has "Philip Hallard 1997" written in the flyleaf. Frustratingly, I've only just got round to reading it.)

And -- while I usually make it a policy not to bang on about Doctor Who here more than my general career path makes necessary -- I can't resist pointing out that The Girl in the Fireplace was a beautiful, intricately-crafted clockwork miniature of an episode, single-handedly restoring my faith in the series after what I've felt to be a very rocky start to this season and to David Tennant's tenure as the Doctor. Praise be to Steven Moffat.

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