18 July 2006

Hot hot hot.....

So hot, in fact, that we now have one of those grown up sized paddling pool thingys set up in the garden. Which is fun. Especially with the addition of a couple of rubber ducks...

Meantime, I hide in my shady cave and find 101 things to do on the laptop.

F'rinstance: just found out that Juliet McK's got a blog as well! Okay, well technically it's a LiveJournal thingy but is there really much of a difference? Has the term 'blog' become a catchall term for any version of online blather or is it limited to things hosted on blogspot? And what's with this Myspace thingy that I keep hearing about? Lordy, must try not to get too distracted... bad enough I spent too many hours yesterday browsing through the Barbelith boards... well, there's a lot of fascinating stuff there...

Still no sign of DH48... really hoping it'll come today.

As for the Fcon reporter... well, I got a wee bit distracted so instead of working on that beastie, I ended up reading a mass H&N subs! So I can confidentally say that I've now got only 58 email subs to read then we're clear! Then I've got 2nd reading on some of them to do, as well as sorting out which of the accepted are going in which issue, and then, of course, actually emailing people back to let them know! Started out the reading pile getting a bit depressed as there were quite a few wobbly submissions... then I hit a batch of utterly fab ones which cheered me up no end!

BFS Reviewers:

Which reminds me... meant to say in the last blog entry... have talked to the chaps, and they all need reviewers for their various areas... So if you want to volunteer to be a BFS reviewer please let me know (via the BFS messageboards, I think, to save the guys getting email spam through nasty little web-bots). We need reviewers for: Books, comics/graphic novels, Indie Press/RPGs & media. Cheers

Other stuff
Health warning: do not, under any circumstances, read The Younger Gods (David & Leigh Eddings). You'll need a brain scrub afterwards.
Not that I have anything against Eddings, generally. I have very fond memories of reading the Mallorean etc. when I was wee lass. But after (gibber) the Redemption of Athalus, I pretty much decided against picking up another Eddings book.

Except I got given a copy of Younger Gods the other day (and thank god I didn't actually pay money, cash, for it.) Oh. My. God. What the hell was that then? Fought my way through the preface, managed about 3 pages of chapter one and had to throw the thing away at great speed. Relented a bit later and picked it up again - initiating emergency reading measure #2 - ie. if the beginning gives you jip, flip to the middle and take it from there. Sometimes it works. This time, no chance. It got even worse. Even took the drastic measure of flipping to the end to see if there was, actually, a point. Evidentally not.

Apparently it's about 3rd? 4th? of a series, so maybe it would have helped to have read the ones before, but, personally, I'm not going to bother, thanks.

16 July 2006

First person to say 'displacement activity' (or should that be 'work avoidence') gets a smack. :->

So, where are we this week? Slightly calmer than last I posted. Prism came back from the printers Thurs, DH48... has yet to appear. Am hoping it gets delivered to me Monday as the mailing really really does have to go out, like, yesterday. Awards deadline has been officially extended to 15th Aug. So we may just have covered our asses on that one.

The Fcon Reporter mini mag will have to be mailed out in a seperate mailing though, as I've not done it yet. Today and tomorrow is my plan. Which means, it'll be done Weds or Thurs and mailed out the week after, if usual line of things plays true. I should really have learnt by now about optimistic work schedules... they never work.

So next on the list is catching up on Fcon and (at last, at last!) H&N stuff, of which there is many and multiple things.

Fcon: have several fine details to get confirmed, several others to check on. And really, really, really have to update the Fcon blog.
And kicking Cafepress would be nice too. We've been trying to get some Fcon merchandise up on a cafepress store as we thought it would be fun... got the account set up, no problem, but have we been able to do anything else. Have we buggery. 4 different computers with various ISPs and still we get 'sorry, but your connection may have timed out' type messages when we try and set up the products. Gah!

And there's hotel visits with the 2007 potentials that need sorting because we need the date finailised, because it would be really nice to actually have next year details to advertise this year. Oh, and we had one guest confirm that he was free and willing, one guest that he was willing but we're checking on stuff with his publisher (I think... that's the trouble with switching off on one area to get another one done, totally lose track of, oh, everything else...) one guest said the timing was out but he was honoured to be asked (bless) and one guest with no reply, so I think we're assuming it's a no.

Oh, and I've got to interview Juliet McK. for the Fcon mag, which should be fun (and also a little scary as it'll be the first interview I've ever done...) Luckily, I'm a fan of her work so that's one side of the background research done.
(Actually, techinically, the Dave Sutton interview in the upcoming Prism should have been my first interview, but I chickened and appealled to the lovely Pete Coleborn for help so he did the questions....) Sorry, where were we....

H&N then - yes, I really did mean it when I said fiction submissions were now closed (got to update the website...) I've got a block of submissions reading time next week - which means, I hope, that I should be able to get all outstanding submissions cleared in the next 2 or 3 weeks.

Frustrating as it is, this is how I tend to work best, doing these blocks of dedicated [whatever] sessions, so when I finally get my H&N time, it'll be solid, dawn to dusk, nothing but the mag (and the Slow Motion Wars). I've got a bunch of subs that have been read but need a second reading to decide properly on. And there's Issue 8 to put together. And emails to answer. But you know all this already, so I'll shut up and get on it.

Other stuff
...because sometimes you need to switch off before you can switch back on again.. (otherwise known as, feeling guilty about doing things for fun when I know what work still needs doing...)

Actually read a proper book last week. (I know, it's been so long since I've had the time to squeeze it in!) Joe Hill's 20th Century Ghosts which has been hyped to the hills (pun not intended!) - maybe it's me, but I really couldn't see what all the fuss was about. (Had a similar problem with Jonathon Norrell as well - everybody seems to love it, I don't.)
Ok, there were a couple of good stories in the Joe Hill, but mostly I found the stories to be average to meh. And the endings... oy, the endings. Most of them not very satisfying... either coming to soon, or just too so-what. The Balloon boy story was good up until the last couple of pages. Voluntary Committal (haven't got the book to hand, so my recollection of titles may be a little off) was, I think, probably my favourite one - loved the ideas in it, and the ending wasn't bad.
The telephone one could have done with being longer, building the suspense a bit more. The title story (I think - it was the one about the movie theatre ghost...) was ok, but nothing startling.

So, for the while, I'm butterflying through Juliet McK's Western Shore, 2 pages at time when time allows. Then after that I've got Chaz B's Bridge of Dreams (available from his website or standard places in the US), and then Mark C's Jack of Ravens is out on the 20th! Woohoo!
And apparently Danse Macabre gets even worse for erotica minus plot so I think I can wait a while for that. (Reviews and other comments I've read so far suggest that it suffers from too much setting it up, and too few plot resolutions - more a bridge to the next book.)

Other things I'd love to be able to squeeze in - catching up on Kim Harrison's Dead Witch Walking series - read the first one ages back, would like read the rest. Also the new Justina Robson one (didn't really get on with her earlier stuff, but the last couple she's done look good!)
Stephen King's Cell is also on the list. The latest Jasper Fforde one, cos it's set in Reading! Fun! Also, the 3rd book in the Jonathan Stroud Bartimaeus trilogy; the Mike Carey 'Felix Castor' book that's just come out; that Lies of Locke Lamora thingy that's seems to be on it's way as the latest amazing thing (just like thieves as main characters, meself); the Joe Abercrombie thingy (as you can see, I've got a great memory for names and titles!); and one day I'll get around to picking up the rest of the Simon Green Deathstalker books - read the first one, loved all the political stuff in it, and he's got a cracking sense of humour in his books... I'm a huge fan of the Hawk and Fisher series...
Of course, I'd then need to find a way to read in my sleep to fit them all in...

What else before I leave you...? Gosh, but aren't the BFS forums deader than dead? Someone please go and post something. And TTA are getting that way too... but their problem, I think, is more to do with the constant spam assault they're getting.
Have been having to haunt the SFX boards for my fun. (Actually got around to posting something there, too.)

Enough. There's work to be doing....

06 July 2006

Good: Mark Chadbourn has a new blog! And Chaz Brenchley has moved to live-journal and he's writing more in it.

Fcon has now got over 200 registered people (which is nice) and the hotel is completely booked (which is scary) and we managed to get a contract going for the same prices at a nice hotel next door for overflow (which I really must update the Fcon blog with - unless one of the others has already...)

Fcon '07 has been narrowed down to Derby (a spit away from the station) or Birmingham (not city centre, but just close enough to work. )

Just heard that 2 old friends are going to get married this year! Plus a pair of fairly new friends are engaged, to be married next year. Plus ma cousin James is now a daddy. (A baby girl, hah! That'll teach you.)

Ooh and, finally, after a bit of a lacklustre few episodes, Dr Who got good. Good gosh did you see the last 10 minutes of last weeks one? I managed to not be spoiled (which hardly ever happens) so ended up swearing at the telly. Profusely Can't wait for this weeks one.

And actually managed to find 3 minutes or so to read something new! (Faint's in shock!) When in severe overwork mode, graphic novels keep me sane (and DH and Prism was done to the stabilising force of the entire run of Transmet, Mystique, Lucifer and The Authority) So this week I managed to get hold of the first two volumes of The Authority: Revolution and one of the original Stormwatch volumes I'd managed to miss... Jenny Sparks rocks! Jenny Quantum gets better with age. And the party with the Doctors and the Jennys was genius! The Engineer just gets more irritating though.

Waiting for Promethea volume 5 to come out (not sure if I'll have the patience to wait for the PB, so may have to see who's selling the HB cheap on Amazon...), Fables: Arabian Nights, the next Lucifer, Mark C.s Jack of Ravens, and LKH's Danse Macabre (although hoping the erotica gets dialled down so we can actually get a decent story in somewhere). Think there's a new Kelley Armstrong out now as well. (You wouldn't think I was the same girl that just spent hours compiling forthcoming book lists for Prism, would you. Swear to wotsit, the thing went off to the printer, and all information dilligently researched for it dribbled out of my ears...)

And we've just officially announced the funky dunky BFS book to be launched at Fcon. Check out BFS web page / cyberstore / BFS Publications and it's right at the top. There's an utterly gorgeous cover by Dominic Harman, and it's a trade paperback! And it's 300 pages. And I'm about faint at the thought of mailing that puppy out!

And it's after May, so H&N is closed for fiction submissions... (phew!)

Bad: Good gosh, there's so much outstanding work. Had to concentrate on the paid stuff to stop people screaming at me (which just about worked) and now everything else is urgently needing doing. DH 49 and the next Prism need putting together ready for mailing out, DH48 and Prism expected back next week (see the BFS messageboards for the full blah-blah on all that). And there's always Fcon stuff to do.

Then after Fcon, Prism is getting the reviews (yeesh!) So if you've got stuff that needs reviewing, or fancy being on the team of reviewers, the people to talk to are: Mike Chinn- Graphic Novels/Comics (don't think he needs reviewers though), Andrew Hook - Media reviews (DVD/film/TV/radio/other odd things), Craig Lockley - RPG and Indie Press (games, books and magazines), Chris Teague - Main Books (I'll get contact details sorted out for the lads soon...)

I'd also like some volunteers to help out with various other Prism sections (full list on BFS messageboards!)

And if anyone wants to volunteer for doing BFS mailouts, that's up for grabs too.

And, oh lordy, I got to the bottom of a pile of stuff on my desk and found 3 envelopes with H&N #7 in that should have been mailed ages ago.... god, how did that happen?

And there's a stack of H&N submissions still to read. And reply to. And orders to send out.

And the thought of the BFS AGM is, quite frankly, terrifying. I don't mind admitting I've mucked up. But I don't do well in front of audiences...
Oh, because, I somehow managed to miss the fact that the BF Awards voting deadline was 1st Aug (when I thought it was 31st Aug) - cos if I'd realised it, then I'd've done a seperate mailing of the forms a couple of weeks ago while we're waiting on the DH & Prism that was going to go out with them. So we're extending the deadline. And it's all my fault... (sobs...) (see the TTA message boards/ Elastic Press awards thread...)

Send in the clones....