Thursday come around again

Hey gang,

Man, it’s been a while since I did a mid-week post, hasn’t it?

In my defence, I simply didn’t want to do them. Well, I was sick, and my cat was sick, and it was really hot and blah blah blah whatever. Let’s be honest here, it’s mostly that I’m lazy, and 2700 word posts about Arkham City don’t come to be unless you give some serious attention to hunting down Riddler trophies on weeknights, you feel me?

But Arkham City is done (for now), and my new distractions of Dragon Age 2 and Portal 2 have yet to fully get their claws into me, so I thought I’d come briefly chat about a few bits and pieces.

…umm, lemme see, I had some conversation starter notes written down somewhere…

Really, our cat is sick. Graeme Riley, Ace of Cats – whose inexplicable fame I have discussed before – has either lymphoma or hepatitis, neither of which is a good thing and have caused him to lose too much weight and become more needy and unhappy than usual.

Fortunately, we took him to the vet early enough, and whatever is wrong with him is easily and affordably treatable, once the diagnosis is confirmed. The affordable part is important – turns out that diagnosising pet ailments is really fucking expensive.

But with any luck he’ll soon be well again, just in time for his next round of international media events. Seriously. Like he needs any more Facebook fans.

One of the best things that happened for me this month was a review of Hotel Flamingo at the eNovella Review website. Writer Trevor Price seemed to really enjoy the book, calling it ‘exceptionally clever’ and that my writing ‘at times borders on the gnomic, but never fails to entertain’.

More to the point, he called me ‘a sort of skittish Borges’, which may in fact be the most awesome thing anyone’s ever said about me, as a writer or as a human being. I’m going to be riding high on that for months. And it made Greg Stolze jealous, which is kinda cool.

So that was very cool, and it was gratifying to finally have one of the review submissions I’ve made bear fruit. If you’re looking for reviews of shorter ebooks, I recommend the eNovella Reader; they seem to be really interested in finding good material and putting the word out.

Speaking of novellas, it looks as if the core concept of The Obituarist – a social media undertaker – has gone from an odd fringe idea to mainstream, as reported by this story in the Fairfax press this week.

There was a window there where I could have been a visionary. Instead of being a bum.

Still, this article doesn’t involve identity theft, bad plastic surgery or aggressive neckbeards, so my novella is still charting some new ground. And it’s coming along.

And speaking of publishing, there’s been a lot of noise in the Australian community (although less in the press than you might expect) about Dymocks’ new D Publishing initiative. The bookseller’s venture into vanity publishing isn’t getting a lot of good publicity, largely because their contracts seem to have been written by lawyers who thought that Amazon were being way too generous with their publishing contracts – you know, the ones where they can change the price of your books whenever they like, hold all the rights and can trademark your internal organs.

Jason Nahrung has collected some links that analyse and criticise D Publishing’s initial positions, and they’re well worth reading for anyone who’s thinking about approaching Dymocks to publish their book. Which, let’s be clear, is a Pretty Bad Idea.

There’s this podcast, War Rocket Ajax, that N. and I listen to every week. It’s about comics, mostly, and it’s funny and clever and the guys who present it understand what makes for good and bad writing.

This week, though, for their Christmas special, the regular presenters (Chris Sims and Matt Wilson) teamed up with rapper Adam Warrock and comics writer Matt (Iron Fist, Iron Man) Fraction to spend nearly two hours dissecting the Insane Clown Posse/Psychopathic Records Christmas album Holiday Heat, and this may be the single greatest, wrongest thing ever committed to podcast. I mean, fuck, I listened to this at work, and within 7 minutes I was hunched over at my desk, face in my hands, struggling to laugh silently while I totally lost my shit.

It doesn’t matter if you’re into comics, hip-hop, pop culture, whatever – listen to this. It will chainsaw your fucking mind.

In a few days – love, grief, uppercuts and visual stimulus.

It’ll make sense, trust me.

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