Sunday, March 30, 2008


Why is it that holidays end up tiring you out more than if you'd just stayed at home with a cup of Bovril?

I'm back from a largely uneventful week off in what appeared to be Tory Paradise, from all the Audis, BMWs and Range Rovers that kept attempting to nudge me into dark country ditches. A full report may or may not be forthcoming, depending on the mood of your correspondent.

While I was away, I had two Commodore 64 reviews published at Virtual Console Reviews, and appear to be an official member of the team now, and the latest in my series of "Green Day" articles was posted at Comics Bulletin. Sorry about that last one, Nige.

Oh, and I got a fair bit of work done on my super secret project!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Intelligent News

On the ITN television news this afternoon:
"Perhaps your power is out, or maybe a tree has fallen and caused damage near you. We want to hear your storm stories, so email the newsroom with your stories and pictures."


Sunday, March 09, 2008


I finally decided to dump my old bolted together blog template and go with one of the prepared Blogger ones. I don't understand the new template syntax at all, and it appears to have dumped all but six of my links. I'll restore the rest over the next few days, so if you think I've dropped your link for any malevolent reason, don't worry, I haven't.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Un Pot Ter

One of my big problems with the Harry Potter books, aside from the chronically unsympathetic protagonist (really, how do you get your lead so badly wrong?) is that they just don't make any sense. It's as if Rowling came up with some ideas ("Oooh, a dual world of magic and mundanity") without actually thinking any of it through. So there's no attempt to explain how the dual world works, why a school for wizards not only labels a full quarter of the student body as "evil" but actively encourages villainy, and so on. The stories might be good, and the characters (apart from Harry) might be compelling, but the books are just utter nonsense, and they drive me mad.

Un Lun Dun then, is a breath of fresh air (pun intended). One of China Miéville's strengths as a writer has always been his elaborate but thoughtful world-building; sometimes, as in the case of Iron Council, he forgets that we're all here for a story, but the worlds he creates are always interesting. Un Lun Dun has a good old-fashioned (only not) adventure story, a strong cast, including a great "protagonist", and best of all, it all makes wonderful sense. Yes, there's magic, and big slabs of psuedoscience, but there's an internal logic, not only to the ideas, but also to the plotting. It's a bit Neverwhere, a bit Narnia (the good bits), and even a bit Army of Darkness, and it's hugely enjoyable, a book that delights with each new invention or plot development, full of ideas that make me want to stand up and applaud. Great stuff, and I'd be happy to have Miéville write more of these, even if we never see a grown-ups' novel from him ever again.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Monday, March 03, 2008

Too Hot ta Trot

I'm geeking it up again at the Virtual Console Archive, this time with a feature article on the mighty Commodore 64.

So that's comics and video games; to complete the set, I suppose I'd best start writing about the fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons or something...