Sunday, 28 November 2010

The Joys of The Wish List

At our place, our Christmas shopping is mostly done already. This is thanks to the joys of the Amazon Wish List. While there's a bunch of things we can't get on there, it's been a delight to be able to just exchange Wish lists with folks and pick stuff we can be sure that they'll like and use. This has also saved us a ton of rage, as there is no rage like Xmas rage.

Suffering the ridiculous crowds and dawdling cretins that populate the planet is never a pleasant thing. There's already little enough patience left in people by the time December rolls around, and when you get stuck behind some imbecile with their iPhone welded to their head, you get the urge to stuff something early.

As unpleasant it may be, I would imagine ramming onions and Paxo into the anus of a moron could be a great stress-reliever. I might try it the next time someone grinds to a halt in front of me when I'm trying to buy caffeine. You don't get in my way when I need pop. If you do, you're liable to walk away weeping because of an oniony bum.

So, to avoid furious shoppers trying to invade you with root vegetables, ask your friends and family to make a Wish List on Amazon. You know it makes sense.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Buffy The Vampire Slayer, the mediocre film that became a worldwide smash hit TV series, is to be rebooted for the big screen, but without the involvement of creator Joss Whedon. There's no director attached yet, but the film is apparently being scripted by Whit Anderson (according to AICN, who also have Joss Whedon's reaction to the news) and will be a complete reboot instead of being linked to the phenomenonally successful TV series, so no Angel, no Spike, no Willow or any of the others. Although on a positive note this also means no Riley.

I shudder to think what the BTVS fan community is making off this. It's probably like having someone pissing on their grandmothers. I was never a big fan of the series, but it had its moments, and some great characters, so why the hell fix it of it ain't broke?

Naturally, this is being seen as a cash in on the Twilight phenomenon, which in itself was a cash in on the Buffy phenomenon, so now the original thing is going to be ripping off its own imitations, I doubt that fans (or indeed audiences in general) are going to warm to this. The tweens will complain it's ripping off Edward and Bella's creepy tryst, and the Buffy purists will be up in arms against anything that has none of the TV cast or storylines.

Hollywood, look, listen to the geeks. Look at the fan reaction. If you can't make this the way fans want it to be made, then don't make it at all. Sure, Joss is busy getting the Avengers underway, but what about at the very least having him do the script outline and an Executive Producer credit? Otherwise it's just going to be a pale imitation of the real thing and is only going to piss off everyone that sees it.

On the other hand, at least I don't have to fear anything as painful as 'Once More With Feeling' again...

Sunday, 21 November 2010


Posted above is the final cover image for my forthcoming supernatural horror novella DEAD THING! The novella will be available from early December, in both paperback and ebook formats. Watch out for the release date announcement soon!

DEAD THING is a dark tale of brutal horror and demonic possession in the middle of urban England- perfect for those cold winter nights to come!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Windows Turns 25

It's been 25 years to the day that Microsoft released the first version of Windows, and while I am very much an Apple fanboy, I still use Windows on one computer, and have a fondness for it even if it drives me up the wall sometimes.

After dealing with Windows 98 and Windows ME (aaaiiieeee), I was most grateful for the joys that Windows XP brought us. Vista had its issues (understatement much?) but Windows 7 is pretty damn good.

It's still no OSX, though ;)

Anyway. My point is that, while Windows sucks at a lot of stuff and frequently conks out for no real reason, I'm still glad it's around. Happy birthday, blue screen of death!

Friday, 19 November 2010


So here's the first picture of Karl Urban as Judge Dredd from the forthcoming new movie (either gonna be called JUDGE DREDD or just DREDD), and already my fellow geeks have found something to complain about- the size of the helmet. Arrrrgh! I think it looks fantastic. The helmet looks fine- look at the picture again- some of Urban's face is in shadow at the side, so it's not as oversized as you may think.

The costume looks promising. I would have liked larger shoulder sections, but hey, this reminds me of the very early Judge Dredd strips from 2000AD, in which Dredd was far more lean than the current incarnation in the comics. This seems to capture the vibe of the character perfectly, even if it's not spot on. I have high hopes for this film as I'm a massive Dredd fan, and am praying for something that will at least be better than Stallone's 1995 version. And HOORAY- he won't be taking the helmet off! :)

Source: Ain't It Cool News

Diggnation: A Pair of Douches (Hi Guys!)

Seriously, this is one of the best episodes of Diggnation since, well, the recent live one. This has it all; humour, shouting and dorks, but most of all, there's beer taped to their hands. Oh yes.

Maybe if Digg was just made up of drunken rambling, its current traffic woes could be over. Dammit, I want Digg to do well, if only so we can still enjoy Diggnation ;)

That one was last week's episode. Here's the latest, which is almost as awesome:

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Firefest 2010: Thanks For The Memories

Over the Halloween weekend, I was privileged enough to be going to Firefest, the annual celebration of melodic rock here in the UK. I was covering the festival for Powerplay (along with several of my PP colleagues), and had an absolute blast over the three days of music and mayhem. Something that I want to mention is the feeling of community that went along with the whole shebang.

It hit me on the Friday night, during the opening night festivities. It was during H.E.A.T's set, when new vocalist Eric Gronwall (one of the most gifted frontmen I've witnessed in years) gave a shout-out to the many nations represented in the crowd there that night. As each country was called out, a good chunk of the audience shouted out for their homelands. It really brought it home just how much of a community the melodic rock scene can be when it puts its mind to it.

These are fans that are very dedicated indeed to the continued enjoyment of these artists, their songs and this particular brand of rock music. Several generations of rock fans were represented in the audience, and hearing that hugely varied mish-mash of languages and dialects made me proud to be a part of promoting the scene and the music it offers.

There were some superb moments for me, such as meeting a group of our readers who had made the journey from Australia to get to Firefest, or being hugged by several Swedish people whilst singing along to the action onstage. That feeling of community was further bolstered by a hugely positive atmosphere, both from audience and entertainers.

My share of the reviews from Firefest, along with my much enjoyed interview with the legendary Nelson twins Gunnar and Matthew will be in the next issue of Powerplay, but I wanted to take a moment to thank you, sincerely, for one of the most entertaining weekends I have ever had. To the audience, the incredible and bands, the promoters, the production crew and the guys from Fireworks- Thank you for the memories. See you again next year!

Monday, 1 November 2010

NaNoWriMo is GO!

And here we go again! :D It's time to get stuck into another 50,000 words in 30 days, and for the third year running I'm taking part. I've just completed my first chunk of work on my new project and am thrilled with my 2,313 word total. It's been a good night for it, and I hope I can continue to get some good totals added to the manuscript.

It helps that I did some preparation in terms of ideas and structure, which seems to have paid off tonight, so my goal is to keep trying to get ahead of myself with structural ideas and thus help me churn out copy by the bucketload. Here's hoping.

Only 29 days left to write the novel, and then comes the hard work of editing and redrafting! This is the third book in a series, and once it's done there that be a huge overhaul of the whole thing and some serious pitching throughout 2011. This is it. Time to do things the right way.

If you're taking part, feel free to add me as a Nano buddy, and good luck with your books!!!