Grammar Is (Not Really) For Wusses

Sometimes – not very often – but sometimes…. It is worth throwing out the conventional laws of grammar. Let me add, a great deal of bad text has been written by people who have decided that they’re above the basic laws of language, and piddling details such as narrative, character or the meaning of words are for lesser people who don’t yet appreciate their genius.  Grammatical laws exist to propagate meaning, which is all we’re in the business of doing. A lot of people over-use grammar, especially when they’re writing a speech or something academic. “It is my opinion, that, …

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Wonderful SF/Fantasy Movies

This is by no means a comprehensive list.  It also (grudgingly) cheats and includes some TV.  It is a list of stuff that leaps to mind casually on a Friday afternoon… and absolutely, like the book list, needs fleshing out more!  That said, in no order whatsoever….  Lord of the Rings.  Okay.  So it’s far too long.  It’s TERRIBLY written.  If you actually stop and listen to the words, it’s bad.  The acting is pretty shocking in places, and while the Hobbit improves on the acting a bit, we’re still talking about some deeply, deeply flawed movie-making on many levels, …

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Wonderful SF/Fantasy Books

I’m sometimes asked for books to recommend… in no particular order, and without much ado, here’s some of mine.  Lord of Light, by Roger Zelazny.  Well, actually – anything by Roger Zelazny, but Lord of Light is truly stunning.  Beautiful, huge ideas; wonderful writing, dry humour and enthralling characters, Zelazny is still, after all these years, The Bestest.  Also give Damnation Alley and the Chronicles of Amber a go – and then read everything else he’s ever written. Night Watch, by Terry Pratchett.  I love all of Pratchett’s books, and arguably Night Watch is a bad place to start, being …

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Adventures in Torun

The alarm went off at 3 a.m.. Because my alarm doesn’t usually go off at 3 a.m., I was already wide awake ready for it, having kept myeslf awake most of the night with the anxiety born of thinking I would probably think through anything beeping at such an obscene hour of the night. I slapped it into instant silence, so as not to wake my partner, who had staggered in from work at midnight. The room was hot and muggy, smelling of late summer, drawn curtains and overdue rain. My clothes were in the kitchen already, so I could …

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Adventures in Aviles

You know when someone says ‘the hotel is in a converted ducal palace’?  Of course you laugh.  This very funny.  Hahaha. Well don’t you feel stupid when it turns out they weren’t lying? Earlier this year, I got on a plane from Heathrow to the city of Aviles in Northern Spain.  Like most small airports I’ve ever flown into, there was one guy on the customs desk as the clock ticked down towards midnight, inspecting 300 passports.  I was there to attend Celsius 232, an annual science fiction festival, and once customs was cleared, I think it’s fair to say …

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