Monday, August 15, 2011

There's a Festival on Here

There's a festival on here, as if you didn't know. This will be a short update, because it's August and time is precious in August.

I caught the rather amazing and all round singer-songwriter-comedian and diet hero, Mitch Benn yesterday. He was on good form and did something amazing with an iPhone and mentioned the Doctor only several times. I would urge anyone who hasn't seen him live to get tickets to his Edinburgh gig, but he's already finished his run and buggered off on holiday, so you've missed him. Catch him next time he comes.

In the evening I got to see a literary hero of mine in the form of Cory Doctorow. I've read most of his work, both fiction and journalism, and know that he is one clever tech-dude with a passion for all things open source and digitally free. This was the first time I've heard him speak and would like to recount what he touched upon, but he speaks so fast and hits so many points of interest that I could never get them down. I know he spoke about the maker movement, open source software, 3D printing, publishing and ebooks, sci-fi versus the future; and that was just the stuff I could understand. He encouraged those in the audience to record his talk. I hope someone did, because I want a transcript. I've looked online but can't find one yet. If it appears, I'll stick the link up here.
Cory in flow (and wearing great shoes).
To round off the night I got to see Professor Richard Wiseman explaining magic and how it works. The science of the paranormal could not find a better host. I know Richard from the Edinburgh Secret Society, events as good as those at the festival, but available all year round.

On the links I would set time aside to read the Terrible Minds blog on '25 Ways to Make Exposition Your Bitch,' a straight telling of how to get rid of all those nuisence wordy bits that clog up novels.

NPR has a list of the top 100 sic-fi / fantasy books. I think I've managed about 30% of those listed. I guess that means more books to add to the reading pile.


Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

Book 2 in a series that must be good as I read both books back to back. This second work picks up straight after the previous finishes and places the hero, DC Peter Grant straight into a new mystery. This one features the afterlife and jazz, both of which Aaronovitch seems more than comfortable writing about.
The plots a page turner and the characters have been set up to grow, with relationship issues starting to become apparent, though the hero doesn't read that convincing as a black character. Like the previous book the star is London itself, carefully detailed and executed so that you can almost smell the overflowing bins of Soho.

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