A Day Of Tweaks And Noodling

Off sick today, which is always a bore. I’ve been pretty much stuck upstairs, shuttling between the bedroom and the loo (don’t ask, really, unpretty situation.)

Which leads, of course, to a day of Rob’s favourite pastime, Fannying Around On The Laptop. Listen to the author’s squeals of joy as he archives off 10 gigs worth of ephemera to the external drives! Rejoice with him as he gets Last.fm working along with Growl, and spends the day watching a window pop up on his desktop every time a new song plays! Gasp in near-orgasmic wonder as he … oh, you get the idea. Geeking out is what I do, and it can sometimes be good to have the excuse to do nothing but for a day.

So, concerning the local amenities, I’ve juggled things around eso slightly. There’s now a Last.fm list widget, so that you too can enjoy my musical “tastes”. I prefer to call them eclectic, although the accusation often levelled is “schizophrenic.”

Philistines.

There’s also a Facebook widget, and updates to the blog will now appear as new Notes in my FB profile. Sharp-eyed readers may notice a change to the quote in the header, and really sharp-eyed observers will note I’ve tweaked the logo. Notice I have resisted the temptation to stick a lightning bolt in the middle of it.

There’s been a few updates to the growing pile of juicy content in the writing rooms. Satan’s Schoolgirls will always update on a Sunday, so Chapter 5 has just gone up. I upped a new short story Saint Charlie to the Short Fiction room earlier this week, and I’m rather proud of it. Any updates to the fiction or film room will always be noted in This Week’s Special, the text box to the top right.

A couple of interesting links, because obvs I sent a chunk of time hitting the feeds today.

The guys at scans_daily came up with the goods again, with a wonderful piece by Darko Macan, about a bookshop that has every volume in the world … excpet one. The ending is just heartbreaking.

"Mister Bookseller"

Finally, as a writer, I am by definition a language technician. My chosen language (or rather the one that circumstance and to a certain amount laziness has forced onto me) is one of the most illogical and eccentric on the planet. With a vaudvillian twinkle, Ed Rondthaler takes us through a few of the pitfalls and pratfalls that the English language has in store for us.

(Youtube vid, better quality here)

Rice Boy

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Following a recommendation from Katherine Farmer at the Forbidden Planet Blog, I’ve just spent the morning reading Evan Dahm’s Rice Boy.

It’s an extraordinary, surreal, moving and thoughtful tale, telling the story of the titular Rice Boy, a limbless, mushroom-like blob, and his quest to prevent a war and save his world.

The artwork is lush, while still remaining accessibly cartoony, and the story twists and turns, leading to an epic climax with a twist that I genuinely couldn’t see coming. I’m reminded in a very good way of Lewis Trondheim’s Donjon books. It’s a genuinely all-ages story, with enough to keep an inquisitively-minded reader absorbed for hours. I really can’t recommend it highly enough.

The good news is that while you can read Rice Boy for free on Evan’s site, you can also now buy it in a lush hard back edition with tons of extras. For 18 quid, it looks like a bit of a bargain, and a perfect example of the new try-before-you-buy self-publishing model that I’ve banged on about in the past before.

Speaking of which, the trade of the first arc of Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield’s Freakangels is out soon…

(Via Forbidden Planet.)