Saturday, February 26, 2005


The Sixth Doctor
The Sixth Doctor: Loud, brash, arrogant, and
seemingly unstable, many people don't like you.
Often rough in manner, and never without a
constant barrage of bad jokes and puns, you
display supreme confidence in your abilities.
You are prone to sudden, unpredictable mood-
swings and at times your behavior borders on
the insane. Your harsh exterior hides a deep
concern for your companions and for those in

Which Incarnation of the Doctor are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I'd argue, but it seems too accurate, and I have always rather had a fondness for Baker's interpretation of the Doctor. Let down by the shonky scripts, and the worst companions in the history of television, but the performances were quite fun, I thought. Of course, I would say that, given who I am...

Friday, February 25, 2005


26th March: Lyn Triffitt swaps her tired old surname for a new, 27% improved one!

19th March: She uses that as an excuse to have a party!

Where: 22 Redfox Crescent, Huntingdale
When: Saturday, 19th March, 7pm onwards.
Theme: Sure, why not? Tacky 80s it is! All the Plastic Bertrand, Toto Coelo, Captain Sensible, and The Buggles you could ask for! The Specials! Jona Lewie! Anybody else we can come up with in the meantime!
Food: Nibblies provided, as well as a bunch of soft drink.

Dress to theme and win a prize (Okay, we’ll probably just take a photo of you, but that’s something…)

RSVP to this address or just turn up and ply me with exotic beers.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


A lot has been written about Hunter S. Thompson's selfish and brutal suicide. But I've read nothing more searingly honest and personal than the words penned by pal Martin Livings on his Live Journal.

Martin and I have a relationship based mostly on good-natured joshing. If you're a pal, or a fan of his work (and if you've read his work, you were undoubtedly be an instant fan) then this is required reading. If you're not, then this is required reading.

I should wish for the honesty this man shows.


Oh, why the hell not, everyone else has done this one:

1. Been arrested whilst walking the streets of Northbridge dressed in an 8ft tall pink rabbit suit and carrying a double-ended dildo of prodigious length.
2. Competed with Rove McManus in a Perth carpark to see which of us could do the better Thunderbird walk.
3. Managed a comedy club, and written its three hour performance each week.
4. Had lunch in the L. Ron Hubbard memorial library.
5. Watched Hal Clement sing Welsh Choral songs in the original Welsh tongue.
6. Danced a conga whilst dressed in a bright orange "Padme's Handmaiden" costume.
7. Become a single father four days after my first child was born due to the mother's death.
8. Been married as part of a Science Fiction Convention (okay, I'm 30 days early on this one, but it's still pretty unusual...)
9. Fit into an aircraft toilet with a toddler at 33 000 feet. (It's possible, but you have to be really certain about what order you do things...)
10. Received a Dalek-shaped BBQ apron as a Valentine's Day gift.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Not if you've read my stuff, you're not...

You're an Angst writer!

What kind of writer are you?
brought to you by

Pardon my lack of sympathy, but I'm finding it very hard to get upset at Hunter Thompson deciding to paint his living room with his own brains. Ignoring the man's work for a second, which I acknowledge as being a substantial body, let's encourage those who are mourning the man (in some cases so loudly they could get a job as a professional mourner) to look at it from a different angle.

Thompson was not the victim here. The real victim, and the one I feel a gut-tearing amount of sympathy for, is his wife, who will go through the rest of her life never knowing what really happened in the mind of the man she left to go to the shops that morning. Because the selfish bastard didn't leave her any kind of explanation, she will forever blame herself and wonder if she could have said something, done something, to change what had happened. She will take on the burden he apparently decided he couldn't, and it will destroy her memories of him.

He may have ended his life, but he will have ruined a very large part of hers. And for that I can only feel anger at him, and tremendous sympathy for her.

And for those who might be jerking knees at my effrontery, both my stepfather and stepbrother killed themselves, with no note to tell why. I know of which I speak.


There's a church down the road from our place, and every week they hang a new slogan on their signboard outside, guaranteed to draw us all in and make us bask in the glory of the one true Lord, or some such bullshit.

The fantastic thing about these messages is how they manage to contain an unintentional subtext guaranteed to give me a giggle.

This week's effort, for example: Israel's survival proves God's existence.

So what they're saying is that God didn't exist before 1947? :)

Monday, February 21, 2005


I forgot to mention: Thanks to the continued efforts of the very groovy David Moles of Wheatland Press, I finally received my contributor copies of All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories during the week. Oh, this is a groovy book. It is so groovy. You absolutely must avail yourself of a copy of this book. Don't do it for me, do it for the zeppelins. Won't someone please think of the zeppelins?

Oh yeah, forgot to mention. Luscious has a new, secondary blog. Apparently, she couldn't work out what to do with her copious spare time (currently logged as almost three seconds every second month) and has decided to read and review a book every week.

Check it out. First up is Dave Luckett's brand new fantasy book, The Truth About Magic.

Big thanks to Martin and Izz for bringing round Bill Bailey's concert movie Part Troll for movie night last night. Oh God, I haven't laughed so hard in years. I was still in pain when the last guests left an hour after the end of the movie, and still muttering the above line to myself and giggling, well, as I'm writing this.

For the uninitiated, the line comes from BB's imitation of Kraftwerk performing the Hokey Pokey. The line between madness and genius has been crossed...


So hot on Saturday that I stopped off at the shops on my way home from my umpteenth visit to Bunnings and bought a giant inflatable pool. It's like a paddling pool for fetishistic Yetis (1 1/2 metres high and 10 metres round, and made entirely of inflatable rubber) and it's soooooooo gooooooodddd......


I wrote tonight! Oh goodness, I actually wrote!

See, I started working a day job two weeks ago, just a short term thing to bring in a little dosh while I wait for contracts and cheques and so on to sort themselves out between now and the middle of the year. But it's an hour's journey away, which meant I suddenly found myself without the time to write, and the adjustment to dayjobbing again dried me up creatively, to boot.

But Luscious and I made a conscious decision to drive out the cobwebs tonight, no matter what tripe we wrote, just bang away at the keyboards and see what turned up. And when I read the draft of Father Muerte & The Joy of Warfare, it all fell into place. Dunno if absence made the plot grow fonder or what, but I've just rattled off 1922 words in an hour, and finished the bloody thing off!

Don't know whether to dance with joy or weep with relief.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Had a very strange moment coming home from dinner on Friday night. Luscious and I were driving past the WACA and fireworks were going off above it, obviously from the trotting track tucked behind the venerable cricket ground. But from where we were situated it looked as if they were emanating from the tiny cemetery on top of the hill, overlooking both parks.

Wonder what they felt they had to celebrate?


Sigh. I have to admit to a rather large attack of ennui when it comes to genre stuff at the moment, a result of reading a bucket load of submissions for Ticonderoga Online, my manuscript assessment work, my normal prodigious reading load anyway, and the mountain of my own work that I'm trying to shift with a literary teaspoon. Which is good news for sellers of biographies (just finished an Asimov and am barreling through a very entertaining one about Douglas Adams) but bad news for conversations that require me to offer an opinion on Lost or the new Battlestar Galactica.

About all that might happen is that six months from now I'll write a story about a transsexual cyborg being chased by something vaguely Jurassic after he/r spaceship crashes on an island, and wonder where it came from.


As a treat for ourselves, Luscious and I bought the DVD box set of Simon Schama's History of Britain, and have been watching our way through it with great delight. I'm a huge buff for archaeology, and particularly British history, so I'm soaking it all up with a big smile on my face. But: boy, isn't Schama a pillock? This is the second offering I've had from him, and does he ever get off centre screen and let the history tell the story? And what's with the adjectives? He really, truly, magnificently, almost incredibly, loves his bloody adjectives...


I've had the great joy over the last day or two of getting reacquainted with the writings of John Sladek. If you haven't discovered him yet, you should. Sladek, who died a couple of years ago, was part of a generation that gave us the likes of Barry N. Malzberg, Thomas Disch and Ed Bryant. (And if you don't know who they are, let's begin with the simple stuff: It's called Science Fiction, and it started with Mary Shelley...)

Sladek was the master satirist, the black little heart pumping poison into the smiles of SF readers. Find a copy of Keep The Giraffes Burning (my vote for 'Best Title of All Time); The Focker-Mueller Effect; Bugs; The Best Of... or his masterpiece, the anti-Asimovian novel Tik-Tok, in which a murderous robot decides that the best way to harm as many humas as he can is to become Vice-President.

Black genius. As black as the humor in Dr Strangelove or A Clockwork Orange, or an Aubrey Beardsley print. Sladek is almost forgotten now: when he died in 2000 there wasn't a single volume of his work still in print. This is a genuine shame. Do what you can to reverse it. Sladek should not be forgotten while the likes of Matthew Reilly get to live on...


Is the phrase Luscious and I use for a show that we remember with great fondness, but which turns out to be rather awful when we sit down to watch it again, after watching a video of the abovementioned series a couple of years ago, with nary a laugh between us.

Splanky was very lovely, and loaned us her entire collection of The Brittas Empire DVDs last week.

We gave up halfway through the first one.

Most depressing.


Actually, it's ...And The World of Tomorrow, but my title is more accurate. Wow. What an odd movie. For those who have ever wondered what an entire issue of a 1930s pulp SF magazine would look like if they ever filmed it.

I honestly don't know whether to recommed this one or not. There was such a lot to like: giant robots, giant ornithopters, seriously cool giant airborne aircraft carriers, Angelina Jolie in a leather flying suit....

But for all the things that made seeing an issue of Astounding made flesh, there are the equivalent weaknesses: the dialogue is truly awful until well into the final act, the verisimilitude just shoots itself to hell (someone want to explain to me how he's flying a plane in the late 1930s that wasn't built until 1942?), and the performances by the two leads are as wooden as, well, as the hero and heroine in a pulp magazine. And you have to have grave doubts about a movie that can make New York being smashed up by 100 foot-tall robots boring.

Watch it, and watch it at the cinema because I'm not sure it will translate that well to the small screen. And if you get past the first 25 minutes, tell me what you thought.


My sweetie bought me The Last Goon Show of All and Kenney Everett Naughty Bits DVDs and a Dalek BBQ apron for Hallmark Day.

'Nuff said :)))


Read this in Tangent Online's review of ASIM 16 today, and I include it for no other reason than to blow my own trumpet :)

A princess, a king trying to get her married, a wise advisor, political maneuvers, and a stable boy: Lee Battersby gives us the classic fairy tale tropes in "Through the Window Merilee Dances." And, yet, this isn't a fairy tale. For even as grim as the original Grimms' tales were, what with the cannibalism, self-mutilation, and other such cheeriness, fairy tales leave you with the dream that the world can be an all right place, that, in the end, you too can live happily ever after with your prince or princess. This story leaves you with no such illusions. While it's not a story I would recommend to anyone hovering on the edge of a major depression, I have to admit to a certain perverse fondness for it.

That's right-- Battersby, OzSF's answer to listening to Pink Floyd in the bathtub...

Friday, February 11, 2005


A bigger post to come over the weekend, but in the meantime, something I've gakked from that frood of rare coolness Martin Livings' LJ:

Ask me four questions. Any four, no matter how personal, private or random. I have to answer them honestly. I have to answer them all. In turn, post this message in your own journal andyou have to answer the questions that are asked of you.

Questions to the message board, and answers shall appear there too!

Sunday, February 06, 2005


I might have a title for the collection that everyone can agree upon. Until further notice, the project will be titled The Divergence Tree.

Now for the cover art...


For those following it, you'll be as pleased as I am to find out that the next pre-trial conference for the compensation case has been set for March 23, 3 years and 4 months after Sharon's death. Ever start to get the feeling you're just somebody else's cash cow? Every time I think I might be getting close to putting everything behind me and getting on with my future they push it back, and back, and back.


On the bright side, Luscious and I are off to see a photographer today about the wedding. Things have changed since our first nuptials: this fellow is offering a comprehensive array of digital packages as well as the traditional film approach. It feels weird to be discussing putting your wedding album onto DVD, but it actually makes a lot of sense. Instead of a heavy, bound volume which you open twice before putting away at the back of your cupboard and never looking at again, you get a small disc which you can leave in your DVD collection and never look at again, and at least this way you can put some of the photos on your screen saver and see them when you've been stuck for words and staring at your screen for twenty minutes.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Also from Robert Dobson, follow this link to a gorgeous photo of Sean Williams, Robert Hood, and Connor doing their impersonation of the three bald men of SF (Connor is in the middle)

When a daddy SF writer and another daddy SF writer love each other very much...

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Received an email today from Brisbane groovester Robert Dobson, who we met recently at our Clarion hotel villa and got along with famously. Anyway, Robert has an idea for a title for the collection. (Are you ready for this?)

Assault and Battersby.

All hate mail in Robert's direction, please :)

Hop over to Shadowed Realms this month and have a squizz at my story Pater Familias. It's only a thousand words long, so shouldn't take up much of your time, but I think you'll find it nasty enough for your needs :)


Finally, a chance to clear the pipes and get some damned writing done again! Sat down yesterday and threw out 340 words on Lethologica. (That's the novel Lethologica, as Prime don't fancy the title for the collection, so I've reinstated it as the name of the second novel). And while Lyn's been out at a Mother's Group this morning, I've been able to belt out over 1400 words on Nouvelle Hollande. Making up for lost time indeed.


Words Yesterday: 340
Words For Today: 1425
Words on Nouvelle Hollande: 1425
Words on Lethologica: 340
Year Total: 12 920