Saturday, August 09, 2008

Your Daily Moment Of Orwell

Believe it or not, before blogs, Facebook, Twitter and all those other Interweb distractions, people would actually commit to paper observations and notes on their daily lives. Some of them were even published as books - yup, just like blogs. The Orwell Prize, in association with the Orwell Trust, is putting up the entries from George Orwell's diary as blog entries, sixty years after they were first made, starting today. It's not the first time this kind of thing has been done (there's a Samuel Pepys blog , for instance), but it's still a cool idea. Who wouldn't want to know what one of the most foremost essayists and novelists in the twentieth century was up to as world war loomed?

The first entry is about a snake.

Future Now

It's become a cliche to moan about the lack of aircars in the past's future, which happens to the present we inhabit. This cliche-busting aircraft, straight out of a classic 1970s Chris Foss cover, is a design by Aurora Flight Sciences for a solar-powered modular vehicle that will fly in the stratosphere for over five years, 'for surveillance and reconnaissance, communications relay and environmental monitoring with the potential for roles in global climate change' (from Gizmag via Bruce Sterling).

Friday, August 08, 2008

Scribble Scribble Scribble

I'm flat out exhausted. Completely tapped. Wasted.

It's been a bit of a week, workwise, in other words. But I've come to the end of proofreading The Quiet War, and I've entered all the changes and corrections into the electronic master file of the manuscript (not all writers do this, but I like to keep a copy that's as close as possible to the finished book). Now all I have to do is type up a list of all the changes so that the hero editor, who has to insert them in the proofs that will be sent back to the printers, can understand all the tweaks I've made. I regret to say I had a couple of second thoughts on some changes, and this is where I discovered that the ecologically-friendly water-based Tippex I use isn't compatible with the ecologically-friendly water-based ink of my red pen, resulting in little pink puddles. Oh dear. Amazing that book production still has its Victorian moments, involving actual handwriting...

Oh, I also have to incorporate changes suggested by my volunteer proofreader, who will read the damn fat thing to check for things that I might have missed. I'm too close to the work to spot every little error, especially the repetition of certain words in closely adjacent sentences and paragraphs (a good reason to keep modifiers to the minimum, this).

Meanwhile, I've managed to maintain steady progress, at ten pages a day, on the second draft of the ongoing. This involves a lot of red ink too, as I like to scribble all kinds of changes and crossings-out and cryptic notes and rewordings on printed-out pages before typing them into the electronic manuscript. What with this, and the changes to proofs, I'm on my second red pen of the week (Pentel with a 0.7mm tip and liquid gel ink). And I'm back at Neptune, in a funky little habitat orbiting the irregular little moon Neso, and pretty soon I'll be on the Moon, Earth's moon, and then back to Earth for all kinds of serious fun.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

So It's Come To This...

In lieu of actual thought, most of which is being used on work right now, here are a few of my current favourite things:

Oobject asks ‘Bladerunner - so where are we now? Particularly where are all the artsy animated building facades?’
(Answer - not many of them are in the USA.)

As others see us: The Asylum’s take on Brian Aldiss’s Hothouse, just reissued as a Penguin Modern Classic. A typically great Penguin cover, by the way.

Iain Sinclair reports on the Olympic site in East London for BBC Radio 4 - with slide show!

And finally, some old tech via the rather wonderful Hey Okay.
Newer Posts Older Posts