November Already?

Today is November 1st.

Which means that I’m probably not going to see much of some of my friends as they dive head first into the gaping maw that is NaNoWriMo. 😦 I won’t be doing it myself this year – I’m just not able to dedicate the time to it in 2016. Instead I’ll try to write a blog post a day. That way I might feel like less of a failure. (An unlikely result!) Some days the post will might only be a brief and short update on something – others might be a full on review of a book or TV show/movie… who knows. But to everyone taking part in NaNo this year, best of luck!

So, yes. I’m finally back. But what have I been up to for the last… however many months?

Well when I last made any meaningful posts worth mentioning, I was looking forward to my first EdgeLit in Derby, Fantasy Con in Scarborough, Various book signing events I wanted to attend in various locales around the UK. I wanted to keep up with my reading challenge. (I set myself a goal on Goodreads to read 104 books this year) and I was taking part in a few Read Alongs  with the SF/F Read Along group on Goodreads.

But health is a fickle beast. I suffered a crippling bout of Migraines in the run up to EdgeLit. and in the end couldn’t go as I was suffering too much. Those health problems continued for quite a while, preventing me from blogging, traveling, working or even reading. Thankfully my health improved enough that I managed to attend Fantasy Con in Scarborough… although through a combination of food poisoning and head-pain I wasn’t able to enjoy it as much as I wanted to.

But the worst of everything was my lack of ability for the longest time to enjoy reading anything or blog/write anything. For about a month I had a special app installed on my phone that could change the colour balance on my phone screen AND dim the brightness down even further than the default brightness range allowed. My head hurt so bad and I suffered severe light sensitivity – making it worse still.

I’m also now being treated for a back problem I’ve been suffering from for a while now through anti-inflamatories and physiotherapy – So yay, hopefully I’ll become more mobile again soon.

Several months later  after the migraines I’m still effected in little ways. I’m still avoiding drinking caffeinated drinks (as much out of habit as anything now) because too much caffeine was one of my migraine triggers – Which has made some of the early shifts I work INCREDIBLY FUN! I’m also still not reading as much as I would like – something I’m trying to improve upon. Goodreads seems to take great delight in taunting me with the fact that I am now 9 books behind on my target!

Otherwise there are little things that keep me sane (A minor miracle considering I’m not drinking Tea at the moment) and have captured my attention. I have become addicted to Pokémon Go – which thanks to the new phone I got in September (Oh hey, did I mention my new phone?) means I can enjoy the crazy madness of wandering the streets, oblivious to danger and peril as I attempt to “Catch ‘Em All!”.

Oh and hey, even though I would have missed it when it was at the Cinema, I still managed to see Ghostbusters on a big screen because one of the local cinemas had a one off late showing well after everywhere else! So yay – It was AWESOME!

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More recently I went with friends to the now annual Hallowscream at York Maze. It was a lot of fun. 😀

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Other visual media treats I have enjoyed include Luke Cage (Seriously awesome!), The Girl With All The Gifts (So Good!), Gilmore Girls (Don’t judge me, it’s really good – Rory’s choices in boys not withstanding!), The Good Place is off to a really promising start and I’ve just started watching The Walking Dead. I’m also enjoying Bull, but have conflicted feelings about the new MacGyver series.

Books I’m reading right now: Vicious by V. E. Schwab and Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn. Books next up after those: After Atlas by Emma Newman, Conspiracy Of Ravens by Lila Bowen, The Forever Endeavor by Chuck Wendig and a major re-read of the Merchant Princes series by Charles Stross.

So, what else have I missed that you would recommend? Tell me about the TV, Movies, Books and whatever that have stirred up your feelings in a good way.

June 2016 – My Bookish Month in SFF.

In an effort to keep track of exactly what I’ve read and done (Anything geeky), I’m doing a monthly post summarising what I’ve read each month, as well as any events I’ve been to etc. This is my post for June! (Put together bit by bit over the course of the month, so I don’t spend hours on it at the end of the month!

Warning: may contain spoilers!

Here goes.

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The Nightmare Stacks by Charles Stross. (Events)

Wednesday 22nd of June: On Wednesday, Charlie was interviewed by the Edward James at an event hosted by the BSFA. I watched the interview online via periscope (As I couldn’t get down to London on the Wednesday) and it was full of interesting nuggets of gold. Check it out via the embedded tweet below!

Thursday 23rd of June*: On Thursday, Laundry Files fans finally saw in the release of the latest Laundry novel by Charles Stross (In the UK). The seventh novel in the series, It’s a book that a lot of fans have been looking forward to.

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The Nightmare Stacks by Charles Stross

“Alex Schwartz had a great job and a promising future – until he caught an unfortunate bout of vampirism, and agreed (on pain of death) to join the Laundry, Britain’s only counter-occult secret intelligence agency. His first assignment is in Leeds – his old hometown. But the thought of telling his parents he’s lost his job, let alone their discovering his ‘condition’, is causing Alex almost as much anxiety as his new lifestyle of supernatural espionage. His only saving grace is Cassie Brewer, a student from the local Goth Festival who flirts with him despite his fear of sunlight (and girls). But Cassie has secrets of her own – secrets that make Alex’s night life seem positively normal …

James Bond meets H. P. Lovecraft in the latest occult thriller from Hugo Award winner Charles Stross, in a series where British spies take on the supernatural.”

I popped down to London to attend the signing because I am one of those fans who’s been looking forward to this book. (So I got to attend at least one of the events!***)

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At 6pm there was a creaking table full of shiny new hardback books to be signed, and at 6pm the man himself got to work signing and personalising books for many (damp**) fans.

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Charlie, ever cheerful – dropped many hints as to the future direction of Laundry Files novels yet to be published (The Delirium Briefs), things that would definitely NOT please Bob – one of the main characters.

Friday 24th June: Charlie headed back north to Edinburgh for a reading and signing at Blackwell’s Bookshop. I would have loved to have attended that event – but alas, life!

I urge anyone who enjoys novels of Urban Fantasy, the Occult, Pastiches of common tropes or spy stories to give the Laundry Files a try! They really are that good!

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Did you attend the Edinbugh signing/reading? Are you a fan of the Laundry Files? Let me know what you think.

*Let’s not mention what else was happening on the 23rd of June. At least not in this post.

**The weather was absolutely crap ok! Torrential rain and flash flooding in various parts of London make for many wet and damp geeks!

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Look how wet I got!

 

 

***Of the three events, I would have preferred to attend the Edinburgh event – because Edinburgh is bloody lovely! Alas, I couldn’t get the day off on Saturday – which scuppered that idea!

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May 2016 – My Bookish Month in SFF.

In an effort to keep track of exactly what I’ve read and done (Anything geeky), I’m doing a monthly post summarising what I’ve read each month, as well as any events I’ve been to etc. This is my post for May! (Put together bit by bit over the course of the month, so I don’t spend hours on it at the end of the month!

May 2016 is weird month in the release schedule for various SF/F short fiction Ezines like Uncanny, Mothership Zeta, Lightspeed etc… Various issues that get published every month/2 months/3 months are aligning in May to all come out within a few days of each other – That’s great! A feast of short fiction and related content!

Warning: MAY(2016) contain spoilers!

Here goes.

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My Geeky Day Out: May 2016, London.

So, I went to visit family in Northampton. Northampton is only 65 miles or so from London. That’s a lot closer than York. “We could do a DAY TRIP!” I said to my ever suffering fiancée Jenny. (In an attempt to sell her on the whole going to Northampton for nearly a week thing!)

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Book Launch: The Malice by Peter Newman.

I am absolutely knackered! The reason? I went gallivanting around London yesterday doing various geeky things (See, My Geeky Day Out!) , but the day culminated in attending the launch of The Malice by Peter Newman!

The Malice (The Vagrant, #2)

This post is about that book launch! Read on for gossip, geeking and photos of the event!

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March 2016 ~ My Bookish Month in SFF.

In an effort to keep track of exactly what I’ve read and done (Anything geeky), I’m doing a monthly post summarising what I’ve read each month, as well as any events I’ve been to etc. This is my post for March! (Put together bit by bit over the course of the month, so I don’t spend hours on it at the end of the month!

Warning: May contain spoilers!

Here goes.

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