Charlie's Diary

[ Site Index] [ Feedback ]

Thu, 04 Sep 2003

Jetlagged in Leith

Well, I'm back and I'm mostly on UK time again. (I don't pull overnighters well and I'm really bad at dealing with west-to-east jetlag -- I was on Toronto time the morning after I arrived, but took a full 24 hours to readjust to being in the UK.)

The flight tickets sorted themselves out just in time for the trip -- thanks to Fearghas for putting me in touch with the travel agent, who had gone on vacation but was still in business. Weirdly, despite the angst and tooth-grinding before the trip the flights themselves went incredibly smoothly, despite me hatching a head-cold the day before departure. (As a result of which I spent the first couple of days of the worldcon half-deaf and in the odd stupid-but-hyper headspace that comes of dosing up on pseudoephedrine.)

In the dealer room at Torcon 3 I ran across a badge which I felt compelled to buy. It says, I love being a writer -- I just don't like the paperwork. This is particularly apt, considering that I'm just now getting my teeth into the last financial year's accounts: either I've gotten a lot more fanatical about hanging onto receipts or I'm buying a lot more junk, but it looks to me as if this year I'll be sending a mammoth spreadsheet to the accountant. (I could just send him the raw receipts, and he'd take them, but then I'd get a bill for about triple the rate he's currently charging. Tedium or money, what's it worth to you? My time costs less than my accountant's, which is why I'm doing the job myself.)

I did not win a Hugo. That's okay -- I didn't expect to. (Not winning a Hugo is a lot easier, the second time around.)

Toronto is a really nice city, at least on first acquaintance. I wish I'd been able to book a longer stay. It had all the advantages of any American city, but without giving me the sense of subliminal weirdness I get wherever I go in the USA. There's something about the United States, a subtle sense of manifest destiny combined with cultural and political assumptions that are totally alien, that stops me from feeling I can relax and take things for granted. Toronto, in contrast, I felt comfortable with: the kind of place I could see myself living.

It struck me, while I was out there, that exposure to the internet has gradually reduced my attention span to that of an amphetamine-crazed ferret. I am reading more than ever before, but fewer books, and less is sticking. It's time to strictly limit my daily webtime and start making headway on the to-read bookcase I've been steadily accumulating through buying books faster than I can read them for the past couple of years. This decision is, in part, prompted by the discovery that last year I bought a whole shelf-length of books back from ConJose, and this year I've repeated the exercise, and I've only read half of last years' load.

Pride of place in the things-I-found-in-the-Torcon-dealer-room goes to a whole ton of goodies from Apogee Books. Apogee are in the process of publishing a metric ton of NASA mission transcripts, from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and STS programs -- they also do books on such diverse subjects as DynaSoar (the X-20 spaceplane of the 1960's), Russian space projects, and planetary probes. If/when I get it together to do the hard-SF novel about the Russian Mars fly-by mission of 1967-69, this (along with Encyclopaedia Astronautica) is critical reference material. Especially the two-CD set of all the NASA Mercury, Gemini and Apollo mission transcripts.

Next, there's "The Strange Case of Dr Mabuse: A study of the twelve films and five novels", by David Kalat. It's a scholarly survey of the diabolical Doctor Mabuse, master criminal and man of mystery, a bad guy as well known to continental audiences as Count Dracula or Doctor von Frankenstein's creation.

And finally, I picked up a shedload of fiction, including Barry Hughart's complete works in one volume and the famous but hard-to-find "Scream for Jeeves".

Resolution for the new year: read this lot before next year's worldcon. And try to actually stick some book reviews on this weblog. I know you want them, really ...

[ Discuss conjose ]

posted at: 18:14 | path: /fandom | permanent link to this entry


Is SF About to Go Blind? -- Popular Science article by Greg Mone
Unwirer -- an experiment in weblog mediated collaborative fiction
Inside the MIT Media Lab -- what it's like to spend a a day wandering around the Media Lab
"Nothing like this will be built again" -- inside a nuclear reactor complex

Quick links:

RSS Feed (Moved!)

Who am I?

Contact me

Buy my books: (FAQ)

Missile Gap
Via Subterranean Press (US HC -- due Jan, 2007)

The Jennifer Morgue
Via Golden Gryphon (US HC -- due Nov, 2006)

Via (US HC -- due June 30, 2006)

The Clan Corporate
Via (US HC -- out now)

Via (US HC)
Via (US PB -- due June 27, 2006)
Via (UK HC)
Via (UK PB)
Free download

The Hidden Family
Via (US HC)
Via (US PB)

The Family Trade
Via (US HC)
Via (US PB)

Iron Sunrise
Via (US HC)
Via (US PB)
Via (UK HC)
Via (UK PB)

The Atrocity Archives
Via (Trade PB)
Via (Trade PB)
Via Golden Gryphon (HC)
Via (HC)
Via (HC)

Singularity Sky
Via (US HC)
Via (US PB)
Via (US ebook)
Via (UK HC)
Via (UK PB)


Some webby stuff I'm reading:

Engadget ]
Gizmodo ]
The Memory Hole ]
Boing!Boing! ]
Futurismic ]
Walter Jon Williams ]
Making Light (TNH) ]
Crooked Timber ]
Junius (Chris Bertram) ]
Baghdad Burning (Riverbend) ]
Bruce Sterling ]
Ian McDonald ]
Amygdala (Gary Farber) ]
Cyborg Democracy ]
Body and Soul (Jeanne d'Arc)  ]
Atrios ]
The Sideshow (Avedon Carol) ]
This Modern World (Tom Tomorrow) ]
Jesus's General ]
Mick Farren ]
Early days of a Better Nation (Ken MacLeod) ]
Respectful of Otters (Rivka) ]
Tangent Online ]
Grouse Today ]
Hacktivismo ]
Terra Nova ]
Whatever (John Scalzi) ]
Justine Larbalestier ]
Yankee Fog ]
The Law west of Ealing Broadway ]
Cough the Lot ]
The Yorkshire Ranter ]
Newshog ]
Kung Fu Monkey ]
S1ngularity ]
Pagan Prattle ]
Gwyneth Jones ]
Calpundit ]
Lenin's Tomb ]
Progressive Gold ]
Kathryn Cramer ]
Halfway down the Danube ]
Fistful of Euros ]
Orcinus ]
Shrillblog ]
Steve Gilliard ]
Frankenstein Journal (Chris Lawson) ]
The Panda's Thumb ]
Martin Wisse ]
Kuro5hin ]
Advogato ]
Talking Points Memo ]
The Register ]
Cryptome ]
Juan Cole: Informed comment ]
Global Guerillas (John Robb) ]
Shadow of the Hegemon (Demosthenes) ]
Simon Bisson's Journal ]
Max Sawicky's weblog ]
Guy Kewney's mobile campaign ]
Hitherby Dragons ]
Counterspin Central ]
MetaFilter ]
NTKnow ]
Encyclopaedia Astronautica ]
Fafblog ]
BBC News (Scotland) ]
Pravda ]
Meerkat open wire service ]
Warren Ellis ]
Brad DeLong ]
Hullabaloo (Digby) ]
Jeff Vail ]
The Whiskey Bar (Billmon) ]
Groupthink Central (Yuval Rubinstein) ]
Unmedia (Aziz Poonawalla) ]
Rebecca's Pocket (Rebecca Blood) ]

Older stuff:

June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
(I screwed the pooch in respect of the blosxom entry datestamps on March 28th, 2002, so everything before then shows up as being from the same time)

[ Site Index] [ Feedback ]

Powered by Blosxom!