Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Open Thread

Many other blogs have open threads and I've been thinking about having the same here. In fact this is one. People often want to comment (or vent) about something that is not the subject in hand so this will give them the opportunity to do so.

I'm using this picture for this one but, if people do come and avail themselves of this open thread then maybe later someone can come up with some sort of design for which I'll provide some sort of prize... 


Conan the Librarian™ said...

A timeshare in Crete...?

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

crawling chaos, discuss: http://vimeo.com/1425626

Neal Asher said...

Not a chance, Conan. It's my retreat from the madness that is the UK.

Nice cucumber, Vaude.

Well this is crap. No one wants to play. So much for the open thread idea.

Phillip J. Johns said...

Darn. It'd be nice to get away from the current shit weather aflicting the Midlands. And a flat that sweats water on one wall like paedofile in a playground.
... I need to find new similes.

Graeme said...

Open thread. Not instant success. Fuck it. I know I'll put some awful jokes on Facebook instead.

Patience may be required.

Neal Asher said...

Sweats like Russel Grant in a sauna, or a climber watching his last piton working free, Phillip. I'm sure there's a wealth of them. yours was so un-pc.

Don't be such a sarky pants, Graeme. I was just gently pushing.

Phillip J. Johns said...

I was never any good at thinking up similes and metaphors on the fly - probably why I tend to resort to the un-pc ones.
Oddly though, I'm much better at them when writing character dialogue.

Neal Asher said...

Phillip, I always try to rethink them in terms of what I'm writing e.g. the buffet was as appetizing as a hooder's leftovers...

Graeme said...

Reacts like an Asher to an Eco-alert.

Phillip J. Johns said...

Stinks like unwashed markynd

Neal Asher said...

Is as sarcastic as a Graeme with back-ache.

Thezzphai said...

I've been wondering, I've just read your blogpost about the cover of The Line Of Polity and everyone seemed to agree it showed Skellor but I always thought it's Tomalon on the right and Skellor on the left, maybe you can enlighten me. Here's the whole cover: http://www.jonsullivanart.com/images/line-of-polity-2-copy_03.jpg

Neal Asher said...

Thezzphai, I think you can flip a coin on that one. However the one on the left looks like the one in trouble, so i would guess he's Tomalon.

Graeme said...

Touché :-)

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

dont despair! i have the design already, well halfway done, and it's ready for rejection!
i want to know what everyone here listens to when they're reading. i can guess Tangerine Dream or P. Floyd, but i'm generalizing from the 70s (cliched) POV. i put a huge list on my profile (shuffle repeat), but that's just half of it. lately Daphne Oram, PBK, Cor Steyn, & older Riz Ortolani soundtracks.
also, who drinks milk and why?

Olaf said...

Why is it so hard to get good monsters? I've been reading a lot lately and watching films and there is definitely a dearth of good monsters. They're all taking the easy option by hiding the monster, or describing it as "black as shadows with big teeth" So all they are really describing is the teeth. Where as You've got whole ecosystems of monsters no one else seems to bother.
The only cinematic monsters I can think of with real impact are Giger's Alien, The Thing (John Carpenter), Jaws and the vampire from Salem's Lot.

Phil M said...

Just been having a look at Peter F Hamiltons blog, where he says he's appearing at the SFX Magazine weekender. Have you never thought of doing this, or not interested or not been invited?
If you like keep the question for your next video.
Vaude, I prefer reading or music, my little ol' brain can't cope with both at the same time, I find myself focusing on one or the other. I like TD & PF but never heard of any of your others, can't beat a good bit of headbangin' either

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

MOUTH OF MADNESS had that party pile (like this guy's brother http://vimeo.com/1441724), POSSESSION had that love interest (like this guyhttp://youtu.be/NZ0VGzO2nuc), THE HOST was hot tadpole action, THE POSSESSION OF DAVID O'REILLY had a great moment, PITCH BLACK had an ok monster moment. although Wayne Barlowe is pandering to the mainstream i really love the bad guys he comes up with in HELLBOY, not much else. the trippy GODZILLA VS THE SMOG MONSTER was very odd... i'm sure there's more...have only seen half the movies out there. heh.

Neal Asher said...

I quite liked the Pitch Black nasties Vaude mentioned, Olaf. And I think some of the things that have appeared in Clive Barker stuff has been quite good.

Vaude, I can't stand any noise at all when I'm reading. To be honest the only time I listen to any music is when Caroline puts some on.

Not interested, Phil. I'd probably end up punching someone.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

be so glad there is some Sullivan work to look at out there, jeez, what an blight:

i just did a moving job and ended up with most of this guy's book collection. i got all the crap in the world basically. 100s of novels, most have "WAR" or "MAGIC" or "REALM" (big print) in the title. many have a tiger lion man on it. why do these pummeled concepts get printed? really? you want to read another war wizard book sf creatures? i'll get a pic, the first batch is going to the bookstore today. the worst stuff or repeats go out as i get more of a sump filter on the rest of 'em.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

which of these 980 David Drake books are worth keeping? so little time...

Andrew said...

Whilst sitting on the train the other day reading my kindle I came upon the thought that I could be reading anything and no one else would know what it was because there is no cover.

Then I thought, I know - I can read all those books that I would be ashamed of admitting to reading and no one will know.

So - and admittedly defeating the point of no one knowing about it - I am now re-reading Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. It's pretty awful, muddles along and drags, but from some reason I really enjoy it.

Fancy reading 13 or 14 350,000 word books when it could all be said in 6 of them.

Anyone else like reading books that they would not admit to?

What about you Neil?

Laszlo said...

Can't think of any embarrassing books Andrew, but i have watched, out of utter boredom of course having nothing else to watch, the Twilight movies. Ahem, even more embarrassing, I didn't think it was insanely bad. LOL
Alright, I have to offset this admission with something manly, I think i'm gonna go kill my next meal...

Rare is the big, blockbuster movie i look forward to any more, but is anyone else besides me on pins and needles waiting for Ridley Scott's Prometheus?
I can't help it and it better not disappoint...

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

all this went out today, 50 came back:


good show sir! sheesh:


Neal Asher said...

Vaude, I would have probably tried a few of those. Can't judge a bok by its cover and all that. They've often been the result of dicks in publishing who turn their noses up at SFF but not at the money.

Not anything I'm ashamed to be seen reading, Andrew, though the Harry Potter and Twilight books probably don't do my street cred much good, nor does a copy of something like The Devil Wears Prada.

Looking forward to Prometheus, Laszlo and, for reasons of nostalgia, the John Carter on Mars film.

Olaf said...

Can't wait for Promethius, or John Carter (though I think they'll make a mess of that one). Laszlo? What's that?

I downloaded the Bible the other night. I was reading another book which was using Biblical quotes and I wanted it as a reference. I read the first couple of chapters. It's rubbish, hardly any plot. This God character is a bastard. One minute he's all powerful the next he needs a day off after working for 6. Then he makes people sticks them somewhere nice then says don't touch that tree. Might as well have a big red button that says "do not press". So he leaves this tree out in the open then gets upset when someone messes with it. They only did it because this talking snake (that comes from nowhere btw, deuce ex or what) told them to.

I suppose I'll need to finish it before I slag it off. Quite frankly Harry Potter is more believable. Might get better in later chapters I suppose.

Neal Asher said...

Olaf, Laszlo was one who commented above, unless you were being daft. Never read the bible - life's too short.

Heh, I dared to criticise J G Ballard and I like the reaction of a Guardian bod refering to me as a 'writer of derivative, pornographically violent space operas'.


Considering the context 'pornographically violent' is amusing. Anyone here read 'Crash'? Derivative I agree with. Every book is.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

not a Ballard fan, but he's derivative of what? is there a book that seemed similar or are you talking about his output? 4 books was too much (foolishmess) for me.

pick out the goodies from this pile:

if you're familiar with any of these titles, anyone! help me out. give a suggested read. some book doubles are mixed in (most of that stuff yesterday that i don't need due to having them already), and the Dune stuff is just not something that has ever intrigued me, but any suggestions are welcome on what to keep.

the keeper pile:
the Son Of Man stack on the end goes to my circle of readers, people that have behaved, & folks with eyeballs.

so, the covers suck, the plot synopsis seems pretty shitty, but maybe you all know something i dont...
let me know what you stink (think..).

more photos comin..

Neal Asher said...

Read my comment again Vaude. I'm the one who's derivative and pornographically violent.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

didn't realize your criticism of Ballard was wedged under that (what a darn goof he was) review. ach so.

hey fans: driving through Detroit you get the feeling of being in his novel Crash without the padded writing, or having to plow through a dissipating fog machine of adjective dictionaries.
if you have seen Detroit (up close and personal) you can sorta grasp what JGB was trying to do. but folks, the real dystopia civilization-is-over/hell that is Motor City Alpha is so much more savory/scary.

Phil M said...

Some people just can't take criticism, he's getting offended on behalf of a dead writer.
Where he gets the pornographic bit from is anyones guess, I only remember Cormac getting the leg over a couple of times.

Vaude: heard good things about Red Mars

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

i've heard BAD things about Red Mars! mainly there should've been an edit.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

open Thread design?
there are more a comin..

Laszlo said...

Does it make me a bad person if I'm really into pornographically violent?

Off topic, since it's an open thread.
Neal, how dead set are you on switching to and releasing your Fantasy trilogy?
For that matter, how many here are into Sci-fi and Fantasy.
The two are always linked, implying that everyone who's into the one, also likes the other.
I'm one of the ones who can't stand Fantasy, somehow the worlds, the sword and sorcery and lack of high tech just doesn't do anything for me.
Richard Morgan just released the second part of his fantasy trilogy and while it's still "classic Morgan", yet it's not. I bought the first one and had zero desire to buy the second.
Are you worried at all Neal that you'd lose some readership if you went down the fantasy road for a couple of years?
Or am i the aberration and most Sci-fi lovers also like Fantasy?

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

"Richard Morgan just released the second part of his fantasy trilogy and while it's still "classic Morgan", yet it's not. I bought the first one and had zero desire to buy the second."

ditto! started off interesting then got milked cock for the rest with some cliche & Tanith Lee thrown in.

'World Enough & Time' by James Kahn was exceptional. 'Shiva 3000' also a good future fantastic...dabble in that fantasy stuff now and then, mostly into creative sf.

Andrew said...

I do read fantasy but much prefer sci-fi. Some of the stuff is a bit far fetched in sci fi (especially the pornographically violent stuff) but at least it is based on something and could happen.

Fantasy finger whirling, spells and magic seem a bit naff. The author could make anything up. And the lead character is always soul searching! Can't stand too much character development.

I read it as a counterpoint to sci fi after long periods of having read nothing else but science fiction.

Have found that literary fiction disappears up its own arse too.

Neal Asher said...

Laszlo, I keep meaning to return to the fantasy and rewrite it, but there's always another SF book to do and, frankly, one I'm being paid for. I don't fear losing readership by writing a fantasy because fantasy sells more and the more likely scenario is that I would pull in more readers.

Vaude, there are also some other fantasies that have been good in recent years. Alan Campbell's Scar Night and the recent Sea of Ghosts and the more generic but good Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence.

Andrew, maybe it's the point that a fantasy writer, because of the finger waving magic, has to work harder to suspend disbelief? I don't know. My preference is SF and it does seem to me there's more crap fantasy out there than crap SF, but then again that's probably all about market demand.

Neal Asher said...

Open thread design is a bti to chaotic, Vaude. I'm liking the idea of an open head along with some text.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

more pics a comin'.

in Vance's "Languages of Pao" the magic guy ended up having all these tricked out devices built into his forefinger making "magic" gestures for the less
informed. hell of a read.

have "Scar Night" bookmarked since you reviewed it, there are 30 other books which have been screaming priority though. i'm willing to give that genre a chance if anyone recommends. you've been more than consummate with other recommendations.

Dragon shuriken frisbee?:

robann said...

"I just had to pop back and thank you, Damien. Your ‘pornographically violent space operas’ has sold me a minimum of three extra books already.

That's also three more books than Damien has sold. He's managed a couple of self published novellas and a radio play. His blog is hilarious. For example:


so obviously because he hasn't sold anything means he must be brilliant? Right?

I'm having to try hard to not troll the comment section.

robann said...

Actually I had to leave a response:

Hang on a second: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking

"Hawking's belief that the lay person should have access to his work led him to write a series of popular science books in addition to his academic work. The first of these, A Brief History of Time, was published on 1 April 1988 by Hawking, his family and friends, and some leading physicists. It surprisingly became a best-seller and was followed by The Universe in a Nutshell (2001)."

A *true* genius, such as Hawking, can produce a 'simple book' that involves complex concepts that can be enjoyed by everyone. Impenetrable writing is crap writing.

And also from here:

"Hawking was asked about his IQ in a 2004 newspaper interview, and replied, "I have no idea. People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.""

And *that's* why he's the smartest guy on the planet.

Neal Asher said...

He just had a pop at me about a comment I made on book piracy (I think him selling my books for me made him a bit tetchy). Here: http://tinyurl.com/87b3pmx I love the way he managed to wangle the Daily Mail and Jeremy Clarkson into his Guardianista rhetoric.

Graeme Finch said...

C3P0's Great Great Grandad


Angry little bastard