johncoxon: ([Me] Reading)

16) The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

This is a classic, I have been told by many people, and as such I’ve been meaning to read it for ages. Recently, a close friend of mine leant me four books, amongst which was this one; it was the most SFnal of the four, and so I elected to start with it and read the others subsequently (I’m hoping to finish another this weekend, since I want to give them back at the end of June). I started it on the train yesterday evening and read the rest this morning, which gives you an impression of how much the novel gripped me and drove me to keep reading!

Some of my spoilerific thoughts and musings on the novel )

All in all, I am very glad indeed that I read this book.

johncoxon: ([Me] Reading)

16) The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

This is a classic, I have been told by many people, and as such I’ve been meaning to read it for ages. Recently, a close friend of mine leant me four books, amongst which was this one; it was the most SFnal of the four, and so I elected to start with it and read the others subsequently (I’m hoping to finish another this weekend, since I want to give them back at the end of June). I started it on the train yesterday evening and read the rest this morning, which gives you an impression of how much the novel gripped me and drove me to keep reading!

Some of my spoilerific thoughts and musings on the novel )

All in all, I am very glad indeed that I read this book.

johncoxon: ([Me] Reading)

69) ‘All the Young Kirks, and Their Good Intentions’ by Helena Bell
First published, 2012 – appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine #65

This one made me giggle, mostly due to the (unstated, but brilliant) central premise – all of the Kirks described within the novel live in Iowa, and are named such things as ‘Jamie’, ‘Tiberius’ and in one case, simply ‘Captain’ (the author’s blog entry on this concept is interesting reading). Other than this rather gorgeous conceit, this one didn’t really grab me very hard – there’s a range of stuff going on in the story, but I found it somewhat unfulfilling.

70) ‘Sunlight Society’ by Margaret Ronald
First published, 2012 – appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine #66

I really liked this story, initially for the cyberpunk aspect of what was going on, and then for the fact that it occurs in a world of superheroes. (This ties in nicely with last week’s superhero story, which I very much enjoyed.) The dialogue was witty and the backstory driving the events of the story are interesting. I particularly liked the ending, and the character’s final remark to the reader, which I found simultaneously apt and disturbing. This story is very relevant to today’s global situation, and I liked it.

71) ‘The Bells of Subsidence’ by Michael John Grist
First published, 2012 – appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine #66

This story was very poetic, in a way. The scenes I was imagining for the travel between the stars were psychedelic and colourful, contrasting with the melancholy of the protagonist between these times. At its heart this is a touching tale of a girl, separated from her childhood sweetheart, kept sane just by the sound of his name. The only criticism I have is that I was confused as to what ‘Subsidence’ was (in the context of the story), but I think the story gets away without explaining it.

72) ‘From Their Paws, We Shall Inherit’ by Gary Kloster
First published, 2012 – appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine #66

This one was kinda weird. Two threads go through the story, and it wasn’t immediately obvious to me, upon finishing the story, how they were connected. I think I’ve worked it out, though, and I feel like the story does what it sets out to do well – it gets you thinking, definitely. I must confess I wish that I hadn’t read about it, afterwards, on the author’s website, since I prefer the ambiguity and working it out for myself, versus things being put into black and white. I liked that the two threads are from very, very different perspectives, and any story that bemoans the current state of NASA’s funding is a story with merit!

73) ‘A Nice Jewish Golem’ by Ao-Hui Lin
First published, 2011 – appeared in Drabblecast #245

An interesting story about a golem, made by a female Orthodox Jew, and her concerns over his love life. I thought it was a cool concept and the story was very well narrated, but beyond that, it was only okay – there isn’t enough thought put into the ramifications of the idea on which the story is centred, and I guess I felt like there should have been more than what was there.

johncoxon: ([Me] Reading)

69) ‘All the Young Kirks, and Their Good Intentions’ by Helena Bell
First published, 2012 – appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine #65

This one made me giggle, mostly due to the (unstated, but brilliant) central premise – all of the Kirks described within the novel live in Iowa, and are named such things as ‘Jamie’, ‘Tiberius’ and in one case, simply ‘Captain’ (the author’s blog entry on this concept is interesting reading). Other than this rather gorgeous conceit, this one didn’t really grab me very hard – there’s a range of stuff going on in the story, but I found it somewhat unfulfilling.

70) ‘Sunlight Society’ by Margaret Ronald
First published, 2012 – appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine #66

I really liked this story, initially for the cyberpunk aspect of what was going on, and then for the fact that it occurs in a world of superheroes. (This ties in nicely with last week’s superhero story, which I very much enjoyed.) The dialogue was witty and the backstory driving the events of the story are interesting. I particularly liked the ending, and the character’s final remark to the reader, which I found simultaneously apt and disturbing. This story is very relevant to today’s global situation, and I liked it.

71) ‘The Bells of Subsidence’ by Michael John Grist
First published, 2012 – appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine #66

This story was very poetic, in a way. The scenes I was imagining for the travel between the stars were psychedelic and colourful, contrasting with the melancholy of the protagonist between these times. At its heart this is a touching tale of a girl, separated from her childhood sweetheart, kept sane just by the sound of his name. The only criticism I have is that I was confused as to what ‘Subsidence’ was (in the context of the story), but I think the story gets away without explaining it.

72) ‘From Their Paws, We Shall Inherit’ by Gary Kloster
First published, 2012 – appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine #66

This one was kinda weird. Two threads go through the story, and it wasn’t immediately obvious to me, upon finishing the story, how they were connected. I think I’ve worked it out, though, and I feel like the story does what it sets out to do well – it gets you thinking, definitely. I must confess I wish that I hadn’t read about it, afterwards, on the author’s website, since I prefer the ambiguity and working it out for myself, versus things being put into black and white. I liked that the two threads are from very, very different perspectives, and any story that bemoans the current state of NASA’s funding is a story with merit!

73) ‘A Nice Jewish Golem’ by Ao-Hui Lin
First published, 2011 – appeared in Drabblecast #245

An interesting story about a golem, made by a female Orthodox Jew, and her concerns over his love life. I thought it was a cool concept and the story was very well narrated, but beyond that, it was only okay – there isn’t enough thought put into the ramifications of the idea on which the story is centred, and I guess I felt like there should have been more than what was there.

johncoxon: ([Me] Reading)

I’ve been listening to Escape Pod and the Drabblecast, and reading Clarkesworld Magazine and Lightspeed Magazine, in order to get a more solid grounding in the short stories being written in science fiction. I wanted to keep some sort of record about the stories I’d been hearing through these channels, so I’m going to try to write a bit about each one as I listen to or read it. Since part of my motivation is to keep track of what I want to nominate for the Hugos, you might find that I oftentimes mention whether or not I think I’ll nominate something; apologies in advance if you find that dull. I’ve counted the number of stories I’ve listened to, courtesy of the podcasts, and read, courtesy of the magazines – this takes me to approximately sixty-eight short stories read so far this year, which is way higher than I’d thought it would be.

One of the things that terrifies me, when it comes to writing about my reading, is that I’m not very well-read and I don’t have much skill in thinking critically about literature. What follows may well be total clap-trap, but it’s what I thought, so I guess you guys will have to cope somehow.

64) ‘“Run,” Bakri Says’ by Ferrett Steinmetz
First published, 2011 – appeared in Escape Pod #339.

I found this one very compelling, mainly for its structure and its ideas. It’s about a mission, and a save point to which the protagonist returns every time she fails. I don’t know whether you need to be a gamer to appreciate it or not, but I am and I really did – I loved how accurate the feeling I got from the story was, when compared to the feeling one actually gets from restarting endlessly from a point in a game. Another thing I found extremely compelling was the thought that Steinmetz puts into what the process would do to the one who was being zapped back to the save point. I loved this story.

65) ‘Next Time, Scales’ by John Moran
First published, 2012 – appeared in Escape Pod #347.

I liked this one for the dynamic between the two central characters, who are two individuals from different species. Their relationship is at the centre of the story, told through the human’s eyes – although the plot kept things going, it was clearly just there to facilitate its exploration. I really liked, towards the end, the description of what it’s like to see the world through the body of another species. I enjoyed this one, but I don’t think it quite does enough to make it onto my nominations list.

66) ‘Nemesis’ by Nathaniel Lee
First published, 2012 – appeared in Escape Pod #348.

I was excited to hear that June is superhero month at the Escape Pod, and also excited for this story. It starts out exciting, and I figured I knew where it was going about halfway through, but it completely surprised me in such a brilliant way, filling me with emotion and hope and glow. It also made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions, which is pretty impressive given that I listened to it on my walk through the dark on the way home – I got a strange look from a policeman I was walking past at one point. This one will almost certainly make it onto my Hugo ballot – as well as being completely uplifting, it plays nicely with the expectations of the audience. Recommended!

67) ‘And the Hollow Space Inside’ by Mari Ness
First published, 2012 – appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine #65.

Although I found this conceptually interesting – the character around which the plot revolves is a fascinating thought experiment – I found the structure overly fiddly and difficult to follow. I appreciate that that’s probably the author’s desire to try to capture the mental state of the mother, through whose perspective the story is told, but I found it distracting rather than immersive or clever. In the defence of the author, the ebook does a much worse job of differentiating between different sections than the story does online.

68) ‘A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight’ by Xia Jia
First published in English, 2012 – appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine #65.

I’m not sure what I thought about this one. It’s about a young boy, raised by ghosts, but I found it a bit fleeting. There’s not enough development of the characters to get across the feelings that I think are required to really appreciate the ending; it’s quite clever in some ways, but ultimately didn’t really grab me in the way I wanted it to.

johncoxon: ([Me] Reading)

I’ve been listening to Escape Pod and the Drabblecast, and reading Clarkesworld Magazine and Lightspeed Magazine, in order to get a more solid grounding in the short stories being written in science fiction. I wanted to keep some sort of record about the stories I’d been hearing through these channels, so I’m going to try to write a bit about each one as I listen to or read it. Since part of my motivation is to keep track of what I want to nominate for the Hugos, you might find that I oftentimes mention whether or not I think I’ll nominate something; apologies in advance if you find that dull. I’ve counted the number of stories I’ve listened to, courtesy of the podcasts, and read, courtesy of the magazines – this takes me to approximately sixty-eight short stories read so far this year, which is way higher than I’d thought it would be.

One of the things that terrifies me, when it comes to writing about my reading, is that I’m not very well-read and I don’t have much skill in thinking critically about literature. What follows may well be total clap-trap, but it’s what I thought, so I guess you guys will have to cope somehow.

64) ‘“Run,” Bakri Says’ by Ferrett Steinmetz
First published, 2011 – appeared in Escape Pod #339.

I found this one very compelling, mainly for its structure and its ideas. It’s about a mission, and a save point to which the protagonist returns every time she fails. I don’t know whether you need to be a gamer to appreciate it or not, but I am and I really did – I loved how accurate the feeling I got from the story was, when compared to the feeling one actually gets from restarting endlessly from a point in a game. Another thing I found extremely compelling was the thought that Steinmetz puts into what the process would do to the one who was being zapped back to the save point. I loved this story.

65) ‘Next Time, Scales’ by John Moran
First published, 2012 – appeared in Escape Pod #347.

I liked this one for the dynamic between the two central characters, who are two individuals from different species. Their relationship is at the centre of the story, told through the human’s eyes – although the plot kept things going, it was clearly just there to facilitate its exploration. I really liked, towards the end, the description of what it’s like to see the world through the body of another species. I enjoyed this one, but I don’t think it quite does enough to make it onto my nominations list.

66) ‘Nemesis’ by Nathaniel Lee
First published, 2012 – appeared in Escape Pod #348.

I was excited to hear that June is superhero month at the Escape Pod, and also excited for this story. It starts out exciting, and I figured I knew where it was going about halfway through, but it completely surprised me in such a brilliant way, filling me with emotion and hope and glow. It also made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions, which is pretty impressive given that I listened to it on my walk through the dark on the way home – I got a strange look from a policeman I was walking past at one point. This one will almost certainly make it onto my Hugo ballot – as well as being completely uplifting, it plays nicely with the expectations of the audience. Recommended!

67) ‘And the Hollow Space Inside’ by Mari Ness
First published, 2012 – appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine #65.

Although I found this conceptually interesting – the character around which the plot revolves is a fascinating thought experiment – I found the structure overly fiddly and difficult to follow. I appreciate that that’s probably the author’s desire to try to capture the mental state of the mother, through whose perspective the story is told, but I found it distracting rather than immersive or clever. In the defence of the author, the ebook does a much worse job of differentiating between different sections than the story does online.

68) ‘A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight’ by Xia Jia
First published in English, 2012 – appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine #65.

I’m not sure what I thought about this one. It’s about a young boy, raised by ghosts, but I found it a bit fleeting. There’s not enough development of the characters to get across the feelings that I think are required to really appreciate the ending; it’s quite clever in some ways, but ultimately didn’t really grab me in the way I wanted it to.

johncoxon: (Teledu)
So, the Eastercon schedules are out! I have posted mine on my website, if you're curious to know what I'll be appearing on (11 panels, all told).
johncoxon: (Teledu)
So, the Eastercon schedules are out! I have posted mine on my website, if you're curious to know what I'll be appearing on (11 panels, all told).
johncoxon: (Teledu)
So, the Eastercon schedules are out! I have posted mine on my website, if you're curious to know what I'll be appearing on (11 panels, all told).

PhD place

Dec. 10th, 2011 11:54 am
johncoxon: (Barred Spiral Galaxy)
I have already posted this on Facebook (119 likes!) and on Twitter. I'm sorry, LiveJournal, it's just that you're more effort than the other social networks I use. But you'll always be my first!

Anyway. I have, as of this week, been given an unconditional offer by the University of Leicester to study for a PhD in ‘The Role of Substorms in Solar Wind Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Coupling’ under Prof. S.E. Milan! Which is pretty amazing, I think. I'm really looking forward to it – I start in mid-January and it will definitely last until the end of 2014, if not a little bit longer (for writing up, etc). I'm really excited to begin a new chapter of my life, and I'm also super-excited by the prospect of learning more. Being away from university for more than a vacation made me realise just how much I miss that aspect of my life, now that it's gone.

So, yeah. I will be based in Leicester again as soon as I find somewhere to live, and as a result of now having a paid position I will be able to attend Satellite 3, which will be the first Scottish convention and the first Satellite that I've attended. I'm really, really looking forward to it.

PhD place

Dec. 10th, 2011 11:54 am
johncoxon: (Barred Spiral Galaxy)
I have already posted this on Facebook (119 likes!) and on Twitter. I'm sorry, LiveJournal, it's just that you're more effort than the other social networks I use. But you'll always be my first!

Anyway. I have, as of this week, been given an unconditional offer by the University of Leicester to study for a PhD in ‘The Role of Substorms in Solar Wind Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Coupling’ under Prof. S.E. Milan! Which is pretty amazing, I think. I'm really looking forward to it – I start in mid-January and it will definitely last until the end of 2014, if not a little bit longer (for writing up, etc). I'm really excited to begin a new chapter of my life, and I'm also super-excited by the prospect of learning more. Being away from university for more than a vacation made me realise just how much I miss that aspect of my life, now that it's gone.

So, yeah. I will be based in Leicester again as soon as I find somewhere to live, and as a result of now having a paid position I will be able to attend Satellite 3, which will be the first Scottish convention and the first Satellite that I've attended. I'm really, really looking forward to it.

PhD place

Dec. 10th, 2011 11:54 am
johncoxon: (Barred Spiral Galaxy)
I have already posted this on Facebook (119 likes!) and on Twitter. I'm sorry, LiveJournal, it's just that you're more effort than the other social networks I use. But you'll always be my first!

Anyway. I have, as of this week, been given an unconditional offer by the University of Leicester to study for a PhD in ‘The Role of Substorms in Solar Wind Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Coupling’ under Prof. S.E. Milan! Which is pretty amazing, I think. I'm really looking forward to it – I start in mid-January and it will definitely last until the end of 2014, if not a little bit longer (for writing up, etc). I'm really excited to begin a new chapter of my life, and I'm also super-excited by the prospect of learning more. Being away from university for more than a vacation made me realise just how much I miss that aspect of my life, now that it's gone.

So, yeah. I will be based in Leicester again as soon as I find somewhere to live, and as a result of now having a paid position I will be able to attend Satellite 3, which will be the first Scottish convention and the first Satellite that I've attended. I'm really, really looking forward to it.
johncoxon: (Default)
It's been around three weeks since my last update to LiveJournal. I was going to try to update weekly, but hey, real life always interrupts, doesn't it? The issue is that I can't really remember anything that's happened since then. But I'll try to piece together some tidbits for your reading pleasure.

So one thing that definitely happened is that I wrote the vast majority of my TAFF trip report, which is all very exciting. My trip took me through Toronto, Seattle, Lake Tahoe, Renovation (Worldcon) and San Francisco, and it will be comprised of six main chapters (Renovation gets two to itself), plus additional writing about Renovation from a variety of fans, most of whom I need to chase for contributions (although [livejournal.com profile] jamesb, [livejournal.com profile] fringefaan and Warren Buff have already written stuff for it).

(Incidentally, if any of the fans that I don't give LJ tags to in this post have LiveJournal, can someone please let me know? I met a lot of fans during my TAFF trip that I haven't associated with LJ handles yet, and it's distressing me. Thanks!)

This is all due to be published in a veritable smorgasbord of fanzines over the next few months, which I'm really rather excited about. In order:

I just need to go through and edit the Toronto chapter for Banana Wings (deadline 10th October) and then write the second chapter on Renovation for SF/SF (deadline 20th October), and that's all handled and it's time to put it all together and start asking fan artists for contributions on pages that look a bit lonely.

On the subject of TAFF, we have announced the candidates for the 2012 Eastbound TAFF trip to Odyssey 2012! They are Warren Buff, [livejournal.com profile] kgkofmel and Jacq Monahan, and each candidate looks to be a strong one, so it ought to be a really good race. If you fancy voting (or just generally giving some money to TAFF) then head on over to the unofficial TAFF website and download a ballot form for more details and information. We also now have a TAFF Facebook page and a TAFF Twitter feed for people to engage with, and, as ever, we remain at [livejournal.com profile] taffnews.

Approximating fanac, we also have the trip I took to the Out of This World exhibition at the British Library with [livejournal.com profile] sarkywoman recently. It was very awesome; there was a giant tripod and a talking robot and headphones with music on them and a decent variety of books in boxes just waiting for you to read about them. We also met [livejournal.com profile] jamesb and [livejournal.com profile] despotliz, which was awesome. At some stage I must write a short article about it, possibly for Mostly Harmless – we shall see! I've also recently written two articles for The Drink Tank and I have an idea for a Banana Wings article, so we'll see how that goes.

Outside of fandom, I went to Leicester last weekend to record a special feature for a comedian's DVD. No, really. There's a comedian from Leicester called Jim Smallman, and he once played a gig at the university comedy club. He was pretty funny and had an awesome tattoo of a Pacman ghost, so I figured I'd go ask if he had a YouTube channel or a DVD or anything similar. He was extremely flattered that I'd asked, and so he added me on Facebook. Next time he played the comedy club, it was the day prior to my birthday and he had the entire audience sing to me, because I was his friend. He also once played a gig in my kitchen and got us tickets to see him compere a comedy club he helped to run, as well as giving us freebies for a show he played as part of the Leicester Comedy Festival.

So when he tweeted saying that he was doing a DVD recording, I knew I had to go; when he found out me and my housemate Josh were going, he immediately said he wanted us as a special feature on the DVD. The show that was recorded was hella funny, and I met Josh's colleague Megan (who got the job I applied for, grrr) which was pretty cool. It was nice to spend some time in Leicester, too, since I was able to visit a couple of people and say hi!

Other than trips to Leicester and London, not a lot has happened in the recent past. I've applied for some jobs (with Ford, and a PR agency in London called Hotspot) and I'm applying for some more (one is a fundraising position with CASE which would be pretty interesting and has potential for travelling around Europe). I'm also looking at the European Space Agency's Young Graduate Trainees scheme, which is aimed at people at my level of qualification, so that'd be awesome. And I'm going to London this weekend for a job fair, staying with [livejournal.com profile] mokatiki and [livejournal.com profile] snowking, which should be really cool, too.

I'm currently contemplating writing a blog article on Chrome for my Proper Blog on my Website. I really want to move over to using it as my primary browser, but the ecosystem of add-ons and plugins and extensions just seems to be so much less developed than the Firefox ecosystem, and I would really miss a couple of extensions. However, it's so much more Mac-like and lightweight, to the point where I have switched to it properly on my laptop. It's currently playing on my mind.
johncoxon: (Default)
It's been around three weeks since my last update to LiveJournal. I was going to try to update weekly, but hey, real life always interrupts, doesn't it? The issue is that I can't really remember anything that's happened since then. But I'll try to piece together some tidbits for your reading pleasure.

So one thing that definitely happened is that I wrote the vast majority of my TAFF trip report, which is all very exciting. My trip took me through Toronto, Seattle, Lake Tahoe, Renovation (Worldcon) and San Francisco, and it will be comprised of six main chapters (Renovation gets two to itself), plus additional writing about Renovation from a variety of fans, most of whom I need to chase for contributions (although [livejournal.com profile] jamesb, [livejournal.com profile] fringefaan and Warren Buff have already written stuff for it).

(Incidentally, if any of the fans that I don't give LJ tags to in this post have LiveJournal, can someone please let me know? I met a lot of fans during my TAFF trip that I haven't associated with LJ handles yet, and it's distressing me. Thanks!)

This is all due to be published in a veritable smorgasbord of fanzines over the next few months, which I'm really rather excited about. In order:

I just need to go through and edit the Toronto chapter for Banana Wings (deadline 10th October) and then write the second chapter on Renovation for SF/SF (deadline 20th October), and that's all handled and it's time to put it all together and start asking fan artists for contributions on pages that look a bit lonely.

On the subject of TAFF, we have announced the candidates for the 2012 Eastbound TAFF trip to Odyssey 2012! They are Warren Buff, [livejournal.com profile] kgkofmel and Jacq Monahan, and each candidate looks to be a strong one, so it ought to be a really good race. If you fancy voting (or just generally giving some money to TAFF) then head on over to the unofficial TAFF website and download a ballot form for more details and information. We also now have a TAFF Facebook page and a TAFF Twitter feed for people to engage with, and, as ever, we remain at [livejournal.com profile] taffnews.

Approximating fanac, we also have the trip I took to the Out of This World exhibition at the British Library with [livejournal.com profile] sarkywoman recently. It was very awesome; there was a giant tripod and a talking robot and headphones with music on them and a decent variety of books in boxes just waiting for you to read about them. We also met [livejournal.com profile] jamesb and [livejournal.com profile] despotliz, which was awesome. At some stage I must write a short article about it, possibly for Mostly Harmless – we shall see! I've also recently written two articles for The Drink Tank and I have an idea for a Banana Wings article, so we'll see how that goes.

Outside of fandom, I went to Leicester last weekend to record a special feature for a comedian's DVD. No, really. There's a comedian from Leicester called Jim Smallman, and he once played a gig at the university comedy club. He was pretty funny and had an awesome tattoo of a Pacman ghost, so I figured I'd go ask if he had a YouTube channel or a DVD or anything similar. He was extremely flattered that I'd asked, and so he added me on Facebook. Next time he played the comedy club, it was the day prior to my birthday and he had the entire audience sing to me, because I was his friend. He also once played a gig in my kitchen and got us tickets to see him compere a comedy club he helped to run, as well as giving us freebies for a show he played as part of the Leicester Comedy Festival.

So when he tweeted saying that he was doing a DVD recording, I knew I had to go; when he found out me and my housemate Josh were going, he immediately said he wanted us as a special feature on the DVD. The show that was recorded was hella funny, and I met Josh's colleague Megan (who got the job I applied for, grrr) which was pretty cool. It was nice to spend some time in Leicester, too, since I was able to visit a couple of people and say hi!

Other than trips to Leicester and London, not a lot has happened in the recent past. I've applied for some jobs (with Ford, and a PR agency in London called Hotspot) and I'm applying for some more (one is a fundraising position with CASE which would be pretty interesting and has potential for travelling around Europe). I'm also looking at the European Space Agency's Young Graduate Trainees scheme, which is aimed at people at my level of qualification, so that'd be awesome. And I'm going to London this weekend for a job fair, staying with [livejournal.com profile] mokatiki and [livejournal.com profile] snowking, which should be really cool, too.

I'm currently contemplating writing a blog article on Chrome for my Proper Blog on my Website. I really want to move over to using it as my primary browser, but the ecosystem of add-ons and plugins and extensions just seems to be so much less developed than the Firefox ecosystem, and I would really miss a couple of extensions. However, it's so much more Mac-like and lightweight, to the point where I have switched to it properly on my laptop. It's currently playing on my mind.
johncoxon: (Default)
It's been around three weeks since my last update to LiveJournal. I was going to try to update weekly, but hey, real life always interrupts, doesn't it? The issue is that I can't really remember anything that's happened since then. But I'll try to piece together some tidbits for your reading pleasure.

So one thing that definitely happened is that I wrote the vast majority of my TAFF trip report, which is all very exciting. My trip took me through Toronto, Seattle, Lake Tahoe, Renovation (Worldcon) and San Francisco, and it will be comprised of six main chapters (Renovation gets two to itself), plus additional writing about Renovation from a variety of fans, most of whom I need to chase for contributions (although [livejournal.com profile] jamesb, [livejournal.com profile] fringefaan and Warren Buff have already written stuff for it).

(Incidentally, if any of the fans that I don't give LJ tags to in this post have LiveJournal, can someone please let me know? I met a lot of fans during my TAFF trip that I haven't associated with LJ handles yet, and it's distressing me. Thanks!)

This is all due to be published in a veritable smorgasbord of fanzines over the next few months, which I'm really rather excited about. In order:

I just need to go through and edit the Toronto chapter for Banana Wings (deadline 10th October) and then write the second chapter on Renovation for SF/SF (deadline 20th October), and that's all handled and it's time to put it all together and start asking fan artists for contributions on pages that look a bit lonely.

On the subject of TAFF, we have announced the candidates for the 2012 Eastbound TAFF trip to Odyssey 2012! They are Warren Buff, [livejournal.com profile] kgkofmel and Jacq Monahan, and each candidate looks to be a strong one, so it ought to be a really good race. If you fancy voting (or just generally giving some money to TAFF) then head on over to the unofficial TAFF website and download a ballot form for more details and information. We also now have a TAFF Facebook page and a TAFF Twitter feed for people to engage with, and, as ever, we remain at [livejournal.com profile] taffnews.

Approximating fanac, we also have the trip I took to the Out of This World exhibition at the British Library with [livejournal.com profile] sarkywoman recently. It was very awesome; there was a giant tripod and a talking robot and headphones with music on them and a decent variety of books in boxes just waiting for you to read about them. We also met [livejournal.com profile] jamesb and [livejournal.com profile] despotliz, which was awesome. At some stage I must write a short article about it, possibly for Mostly Harmless – we shall see! I've also recently written two articles for The Drink Tank and I have an idea for a Banana Wings article, so we'll see how that goes.

Outside of fandom, I went to Leicester last weekend to record a special feature for a comedian's DVD. No, really. There's a comedian from Leicester called Jim Smallman, and he once played a gig at the university comedy club. He was pretty funny and had an awesome tattoo of a Pacman ghost, so I figured I'd go ask if he had a YouTube channel or a DVD or anything similar. He was extremely flattered that I'd asked, and so he added me on Facebook. Next time he played the comedy club, it was the day prior to my birthday and he had the entire audience sing to me, because I was his friend. He also once played a gig in my kitchen and got us tickets to see him compere a comedy club he helped to run, as well as giving us freebies for a show he played as part of the Leicester Comedy Festival.

So when he tweeted saying that he was doing a DVD recording, I knew I had to go; when he found out me and my housemate Josh were going, he immediately said he wanted us as a special feature on the DVD. The show that was recorded was hella funny, and I met Josh's colleague Megan (who got the job I applied for, grrr) which was pretty cool. It was nice to spend some time in Leicester, too, since I was able to visit a couple of people and say hi!

Other than trips to Leicester and London, not a lot has happened in the recent past. I've applied for some jobs (with Ford, and a PR agency in London called Hotspot) and I'm applying for some more (one is a fundraising position with CASE which would be pretty interesting and has potential for travelling around Europe). I'm also looking at the European Space Agency's Young Graduate Trainees scheme, which is aimed at people at my level of qualification, so that'd be awesome. And I'm going to London this weekend for a job fair, staying with [livejournal.com profile] mokatiki and [livejournal.com profile] snowking, which should be really cool, too.

I'm currently contemplating writing a blog article on Chrome for my Proper Blog on my Website. I really want to move over to using it as my primary browser, but the ecosystem of add-ons and plugins and extensions just seems to be so much less developed than the Firefox ecosystem, and I would really miss a couple of extensions. However, it's so much more Mac-like and lightweight, to the point where I have switched to it properly on my laptop. It's currently playing on my mind.
johncoxon: (Batman)


The above is a video of me presenting the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer at the 2011 Worldcon, Renovation. :)
johncoxon: (Batman)


The above is a video of me presenting the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer at the 2011 Worldcon, Renovation. :)
johncoxon: (Batman)


The above is a video of me presenting the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer at the 2011 Worldcon, Renovation. :)
johncoxon: (Default)
This is a fantastically interesting blogpost about Starship Titanic that begins with an explanation of how to get the game running on Windows/Mac/Linux for free and ends up with Yoz Grahame, one of the chaps who worked on the game, posting some of his experiences and anecdotes from the game in the comments. One of the things he posts is a ninety minute conversation between Steve Meretzky, who co-wrote Douglas' first Infocom game, and Michael Bywater, who worked on various projects with/instead of Douglas.

Worth a look if you're a fan of the man, and my fondest appreciation to BoingBoing for putting it in my RSS feed this morning!

On a vaguely similar note, people may have noticed that my Delicious bookmark posts have not been happening recently. I'm experimenting with Pinboard as a replacement for my social bookmarking requirements, but they don't yet have a post-to-blog option. I believe I can get them to sync with my Delicious account, though, so I may try to get something going again in the near future.

Happy Christmas, everybody!
johncoxon: (Default)
This is a fantastically interesting blogpost about Starship Titanic that begins with an explanation of how to get the game running on Windows/Mac/Linux for free and ends up with Yoz Grahame, one of the chaps who worked on the game, posting some of his experiences and anecdotes from the game in the comments. One of the things he posts is a ninety minute conversation between Steve Meretzky, who co-wrote Douglas' first Infocom game, and Michael Bywater, who worked on various projects with/instead of Douglas.

Worth a look if you're a fan of the man, and my fondest appreciation to BoingBoing for putting it in my RSS feed this morning!

On a vaguely similar note, people may have noticed that my Delicious bookmark posts have not been happening recently. I'm experimenting with Pinboard as a replacement for my social bookmarking requirements, but they don't yet have a post-to-blog option. I believe I can get them to sync with my Delicious account, though, so I may try to get something going again in the near future.

Happy Christmas, everybody!

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