Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Today's walking break took me along the Regents Canal to St Pancras, then back up through a scrappy neighbourhood north of Euston Road's hurricane of tin and carbon monoxide. Very quiet there, only a few cars parked up and the air heavy with sultry August heat, pavements dusty and brick walls radiating warmth, this specific combination twitching a vivid and vertiginous memory almost fifty years old of walking aimlessly along a half-remembered summer street close to the bungalow in Portchester my family rented for a year.

Writing a novel, someone wrote, is an act of memory. I'm halfway through the second draft of the ongoing, although much of it, so far, seems to be new stuff.

Some links:

A shooting star seen from orbit
An arrow-shaped cloud the size of Texas on Saturn's moon Titan.
Odyssey crater, Mars.
Vesta's wacky craters.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Spaceships That Aren't Really Spaceships (1)

Monday, August 15, 2011


Just received in the post, a copy of a spiffy little hardback edition of Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? done up in early 1960s Gollancz yellow-jacket style (inducing in me vertiginous nostalgia for the SF novels in like livery that I read way back when, when I first started reading SF), with a short introduction what I wrote.*  An honour to be asked; a joy to reread the novel, and rediscover how swift, and sad, and funny it is.

It's due out on the 1st of September, part of the 50th birthday celebrations of Gollancz's science-fiction and fantasy line.  Four other SF novels and five fantasy novels will be published in the same format at the same time.  They were chosen by readers from a short list of eligible** titles.  You can find the listings and other details here.

*readers old enough to remember searching out Gollancz yellowbacks in their local libraries will get the reference at once
**that is, titles to which Gollancz have the hardback rights
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