Posting may be intermittent for the next short while, since I cancelled my cable, tv and phone package yesterday in preparation (I hope) for moving house. I thought I could go cold turkey from the internet for, say, a week until I moved and got a new connection sorted out, and was proved stunningly wrong within a few short hours. Which is why I'm posting this from a cafe.

But with the pressure of trying to buy a house, finish the current draft of Against Gravity, and juggle finances, the energy I currently have left over for blogging is relatively minimal. Once I'm settled and I have a place to live sorted out, then I can be a little more relaxed and do things like take care of this blog. So if things get quiet until just after Christmas or perhaps until New Year, don't be too surprised. I'll keep you posted.


Sitting in the Offshore Cafe near Great Western Road this evening, with MJ, both of us having realised we were bored out of our skulls; if this goes on much longer, I may be forced to take drastic steps and buy an Xbox. Notable things that occurred: I had my first fudge brownie. Very nice. I also read through today's Guardian and found a certain article so alternately horrifying, amusing and inspiring that I felt drive to post this link. It concerns literary agent Andrew Wylie (aka The Jackal), who represents Martin Amis, and apparently once hired Benazir Bhutto for the specific purpose of charming Salman Rushdie:

From The Guardian:
'Did he really sign up Benazir Bhutto just to impress Salman?
"Um." Sniff. "Yes."
Does she know that?
Sigh. "Yeah, I think she probably does."
And did she have words with him about it?
"She did. She said [of Rushdie], he's a filthy pornographer." '

My rewrite of Against Gravity, by the way, is hovering at close to the halfway mark.


Hopefully, I'll be moving house sometime next week, so this may be my last weekend in my rented flat in the West End. Although I'll be glad to be moving, I do have a lot of associated memories with this place. In terms of this blog, I wrote the novel that got me my book contract here, although I'll be finishing the second in the new place.

I didn't my write my first, unpublished book here. That was written between jobs in another flat in the West End, just off of Byres Road. I was between jobs - or to be more precise, signing on for six months between the end of one job and the start of another - so I wrote Touched by an Angel there. I've been thinking about this a lot recently, since I dug it up recently and started reading it, and enjoying it. Because that's the curious thing; even though you can remember writing a book that's several years old, even though you know what the next sentence is going to say, you have a remarkable degree of separation that somehow allows you to read your own book almost as if someone else had written it.

What else? I got in touch with a local writer, Richard Morgan, who got a lot of attention for his first novel Altered Carbon, and he ended up joining myself and some others at our writer's workshop Tuesday past: it seemed strange to me that we could have someone who's close to being a major author writing sf, living in Glasgow, and whom we hadn't met. So we did something about it. In this way, Richard met some of the other people who write science fiction in Glasgow - myself and Duncan Lunan in particular, plus one or two others, although a couple of people who'd been wanting to drop by weren't able to make it.


I really should be posting entries more often, but I'm currently in a kind of limbo while I wait and find out if I'm going to get the loan I need from the bank in order to buy my new house. This has taken the form of a series of peaks and troughs, as the bank first give me one answer, then another. Frankly, I'm going spare.

As a result, I've not felt much like blogging. I've not felt much like writing either, but I don't have any choice, so I write anyway. About a quarter of the way through what I intend to be the final (fourth) draft, although that's not counting less substantial drafts where I check for spelling mistakes, consistency, and maybe now that I think of it a bit of detail. Part of it's set in Edinburgh, but up until now I've not actually said anything about the city. That's the kind of detail you leave until the end, once you've got the story sorted out.

What else? Apparently the typesetter really liked Angel Stations, so there you go.


There's an excellent record store in the West End of Glasgow called Fopp, now part of a national chain of the same name. Apart from selling a lot of records, they've got in the habit of selling remaindered and new books at cut-down prices, with the distinction that the books they sell are frequently the kind of quality stuff you really want to buy, but at ridiculously cheap prices. Average paperback prices are £5, or even just £3.

The reason for carrying out this piece of free advertising is that someone in the company has bought up an enormous quantity of remaindered copies of the SF Masterworks and Fantasy Masterworks books released by Gollancz. Fopp are selling them all - I think it's all of them - for £3 each. Very worth your time, I think.

And no, they're not paying me to do this.


Catastrophe! Okay, maybe not that bad, but ... I'd been promised a page for acknowledgements, and it seems Pan forgot to account for this when they were putting together my page proofs. Of course, it may not entirely have helped that I only got around to actually writing the acknowledgements in the past week, being, of course, the king of doing it at the last minute ...

However, I've now been informed I can get some kind of acknowledgements in, but not much of one since there is space on the copyright page (apparently putting a short acknowledgements here is not unusual). It's not what I was hoping for ... but still better than nothing.

I'm going to ask them to put the full acknowledgements, however, into the mass market paperback when it comes out. So ... I was going to name check pretty much everybody I ever met ...ish, and so yes, your name (this being for those concerned) was going to be in there; except now it isn't. Arse. I'll probably end up posting the full acknowledgements here closer to the publication date, since that way it might feel less, well, bad.
Some time tomorrow, unless something goes horribly, horribly wrong, I'm paying over a shocking amount of money to a lawyer who is handling my purchase of a house on the south side of Glasgow. You should know I have a deeply paranoid side to my character, in that I always assume the worst. This is because I am frequently right. See that bloke sitting in a chair with the storm all around while that bleeding bird keeps squawking 'Nevermore'? That's me.

To my great relief MJ now has her own bicycle, which means she can't destroy mine anymore (sample quote: 'well, they didn't signpost the stairway properly, therefore it's not my fault I rode your bike down two dozen stone steps at speed and now it makes a squeaking noise and the handlebars don't feel quite right anymore'). If my bike had feelings, its current mental state would be 'haunted, possibly emotionally scarred'. Now it merely cowers in the hallway with a certain reproachful silence.