Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Stoves & Kittens etc.

Tuesday 11th September

One thing I will say about the Kindle, especially when down on the beach, is the speed of sales. A lady came over to us who we have seen here year after year – she and her husband take a holiday with their disabled daughter. She’d been told that one of us was an author and came over to ask about that, directing her question to Caroline. Caroline got about five seconds of fame before I claimed the position. We chatted with her for a while then her husband when he came over. About ten minutes after that he was lying on the beach and buying my books through his Kindle. Of course, my then nerves set in: I wonder what he’s saying over there? Is he enjoying what he just bought?

Wednesday 12th September
I’m lagging behind a little bit but Penny Royal II has passed the 60,000-word mark and is progressing nicely. I do get these stops and starts during which I have to consider where to go next or what to do with a certain character. Last time it was the latter and, as always seems to happen, I discovered I’d already laid the groundwork for that character’s story and, once his course was clear, wrote a couple of thousand words in a couple of hours.

Meanwhile, Mark Croucher, who I met during some of my Forbidden Planet books signings, has won a prize in Macmillan’s ‘Neal Asher Ultimate Reading Initiative’ competition. Here’s his prize:

Friday 4th September
What rosy-spectacled visionary coined the phrase ‘the Arab Spring’ and whoever thought the Arabs were fighting for ‘freedom and democracy’? All they seem to want is the secret policemen, with their propensity for giving people an anal examination with a cattle prod, replaced by fanatics who wants rip into those who fail to ‘respect’ their belief in a sky fairy. Those protestors in the Middle East need to understand (as do the politically correct and permanently offended in Europe and the US) that respect is not a human right, but has to be earned. All those protestors are earning is contempt, while destroying any prospect of earning one red cent (or pink pound) from tourism. It’s sad to see people throwing off the chains of autocracy only to don the chains of theocracy.

Note: there’s a large difference between respect and being polite or politic.

Monday 17th September
Ah the cloud is starting to arrive and I expect the rain will be along shortly. In response I’ve started cleaning up our stove here since both glasses were cracked and need replacing, and the whole thing is a bit grubby with rust here and there. As is always the case when I start on a job like this it’s turning out more difficult than expected. The screws into the clamps that hold the glass in place are completely seized in place. On the first door I had to drill down the centre of them with a small drill, grind the heads off, then drill them out larger and re-tap the holes. Of course a drill broke off in one of these so I had to use a Dremel to grind that out before drilling for a larger thread (M6 to M8). I guess all those years in engineering still have their use.

Tuesday 18th September
It was interesting hearing Salman Rushdie talking yesterday. As he pointed out, the protestors and preachers in the Middle East are using words like blasphemy, apostasy and heresy, which are all from a medieval vocabulary. The interviewer was pushing Rushdie, suggesting he had been a bit too provocative, but he wouldn’t back down. When asked about how we in the west should respond he was quite firm: we should adhere to the principles of freedom and free speech, and we should be braver. Are you listening Hillary Clinton?

And just to finish on a positive note. Penny Royal II is now past the halfway mark, and the disappearing kittens returned – the cynical old bastard writing this blog being wrong:


Grim's Reality said...

Neal, come end of season, we wipe our stove over with three in one or WD40 (screws and threads as well), also according to the fella that installed it, the ash that you leave inside reacts with the ambient moisture to form acids that do what acids do to the metals ... hence the wipeover, we also pull out all the bricks and give them a hard brush for the same reason. Just a tip passed on by the the pro, ttfn.

Neal Asher said...

Graeme, I'd come to the conclusion that I must do the same. I'll vacuum it out after the last use and oil the bugger.

Huan said...

Don't forget the copper antisieze for the next stoveglass replacement!
I read Hunters Run recently, have you read it? It has 3 authors which is somewhat unusual in itself.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

"..replaced by fanatics who wants rip into those who fail to ‘respect’ their belief in a sky fairy."

like less than 1% of them give a shit what the west thinks about their skybob & reacted, the rest want security for their tribe, or some kind of escape from the nightmare of US/Nato funded democracy or die chaos. there's going to be a whole lot of Algeria going on for a while over there. light skin? fuck outta here troublemaker.

the more division there is, the easier it is for the invaders to zip in & scoop up the resources, which is where all this comes from. funny that movie was out for a year, & coincidence dropped out of the blue on 9/11 into reactive laps. hmm...

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

fair is farsi, why the fuck would they get mad about mohammed when Nato/US have decimated structure over there? Libya:this was the most progressive pro women society with cheap gas, gold in the hills...typical obombya (or Bush) hype driven bullshit:


Phil M said...

Some more "creature" pictures for everyone to enjoy