Friday, July 08, 2011

Free Entry to British Library Event

I'm appearing on a panel at the British Library Tuesday 12th July, talking with Pat Cadigan, Toby Litt and Kim Newman (and a virtual Margaret Atwood) about our favourite items in the Out of the World exhibition.

I have not one but two free entries up for grabs. If you want to come along, email me at PJCMcAuley at gmail dot com and I'll add your name to the list on the door.  First to email wins!

EDIT: They're gone!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Secret of My Success

Harold Pinter on his plays, 1963 (pinched from Dangerous Minds):

I’m not a theorist. I’m not an authoritative or reliable commentator on the dramatic scene, the social scene, any scene. I write plays, when I can manage it, and that’s all. That’s the sum of it.
I’ve had two full-length plays produced in London. The first ran a week, and the second ran a year. Of course, there are differences between the two plays. In The Birthday Party I employed a certain amount of dashes in the text, between phrases. In The Caretaker I cut out the dashes and used dots instead. So that instead of, say, “Look, dash, who, dash, I, dash, dash, dash,” the text would read, “Look, dot, dot, dot, who, dot, dot, dot, I, dot, dot, dot, dot.” So it’s possible to deduce from this that dots are more popular than dashes, and that’s why The Caretaker had a longer run than The Birthday Party. The fact that in neither case could you hear the dots and dashes in performance is beside the point. You can’t fool the critics for long. They can tell a dot from a dash a mile off, even if they can hear neither.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Where I'm At...

...rather than 'where I've been', because I've been right here, behind the curtain, spending most of my time dealing with the editing stage of In the Mouth of The Whale.  Right now, I have the whole thing in my head and can spin it around like a CAD/CAM model and examine its threads and connections, its components and framework from any angle.  That won't last, but it has allowed me to know which changes were highly local, and which struck echoes and required secondary changes in various parts of the text.  But now it's done, and the amended MS has been sent back, and I think that, if nothing else, I've pinned down the first word: When.

Meanwhile, I'm rereading a couple of novels for a panel at the British Library on July 12th, in which I'll be discussing favourites from the rather good Out of This World exhibition, along with Pat Cadigan, Toby Litt, Kim Newman, and the virtual Margaret Atwood.

Oh, and I've finished and sold a short story, 'Bruce Springsteen', to Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.  It should be in the January 2012 issue.

Meanwhile, below the cut in the last post, Boogeyman259 asks, 'Could you please send me your origional notes about remote sensing from Cowboy Angels.'  Afraid I can't, Boogeyman, since I didn't make extensive notes about something mentioned only in passing.  And anyway, gee, I hardly know you, and you don't give me any clue about why you want to know this stuff, or why you can't find it out for yourself.  But you did say 'please' (I'm not being sarcastic; too many people demanding something or other don't), so I'm happy to tell you that the CIA were certainly into remote viewing once they realised what their Soviet counterparts were up to, in the psychic line.  There are passages about it, and the rather eccentric cast of characters involved in it, in Jeffrey T. Richelson's The Wizards of Langley, and there's at least one whole book about it, too: Jim Schnabel's Remote Viewers: The Secret History of America's Psychic Spies. I bet there's all kinds of stuff about this on the WWW, too, but I'm not going to look it up.  It's probably at least as reliable as your average novelist: we do tend to make things up for a living, or at least bend and twist stubborn facts to more convenient shapes.  In this case, though, I didn't have to make it up; in fact, the truth is (more than usual) a lot weirder than fiction.
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