It's been a funny old week, Saint!
To borrow a phrase from Jimmy Greaves.

Yes, much strangeness in the past week, starting with the death of Raymond Black, a guy I went to primary school with being murdered in his own home, after some hit and run 'incident'. The hit and run happened at 12.15am, and 50 minutes later the policeand - who had received a call about it - found him dead when they arrived at his home,andwhile his 2 year old daughter was sleeping in another room. The story was in the newspapers, and on the TV, and a 19 year old has already been arrested.

The Glasgow SF Writers Circle are back and I was 'crittered' on Tuesday night, with a Roam story (a Halloween one, no less) getting theandring of fire treatment. It was a good laugh, as usual, particularly the pre-crit banter when we were passing around a copy of Al's new book, 'Escape from Hell' , which is just out from Monkey Brain Books - buy your copy now. Paul Cockburn also had a copy of Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's old novel (which has been re-issued), called, you guessed it, and'Escape from Hell' (now that's a demon on the cover). Guess who is doing the comparison reviews for 'Interzone'? Speaking of which, issue 220 is out now, with a Neil Williamson story inside called 'Spy vs Spy', which he read at WordDogs last year.

As for the crit itself, the story was called 'Mr. Murder Man's Halloween', a pretty slight tale about Roam buying a house that belonged to a serial killer and attracting the attention of Mr. Murder Man, who runs a murder website. The story was skillfully dissected with regard to characterisation, location, dynamics between the two main characters, even some suggestions about a bat Roam received in the post! Suffice to say, I now have four pages of notes that can only improve the story and I've already given them some thought. I'm looking forward to rewriting the story and getting it out there. Some (well, a lot really) of my writing successes last year were directly due to the crits I had received at the Circle, so let's hope the trend continues this year.

Sad to see that Patrick McGoohan died last week. I still am a huge fan of 'The Prisoner', and because of that I always liked to see him popping up in other things, particularly an episode of Columbo, where he turned the tables on Peter Falk in a very 'Prisonerish' way.

Exchanged some emails with Willie Meikle after noticing that he doesn't live in Scotland anymore, but lives in Canada! Just call me Hawkeye, or something, which explains why Willie was a guest-of-honour at a writing convention in Canada. He spends his summers on a boat, and the winters writing, I presume, or shovelling snowdrifts off his drive. He sent me a link to hundreds of photos he has taken of whales and icebergs and elk and piles of snow. Jealous? Very.

Linda and I, and our friends, Allison and Mike (joined by Gary and Davie the mountain-hopper) caught a gig at Celtic Connections on Friday night at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow. The support were Jayme Stone and Mansa Sissoko (with Paul Mathew on double bass and Nick Fraser on percussion). Stone plays the banjo, while Sissoko plays the 'kora', a multi-stringed African instrument that looks like a cross between a palm tree trunk and a pumpkin. They were brilliant, and so I just had to buy their album. But the main act were Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba (the ngoni is an ancient African lute believed to be a forerunner of the banjo). This was high-energy stuff, with the ngonis lookingandvery elemental, made of dust, or the bones of old animals, or just like violins wearing a shroud, but what a sound. Sheer joy, and kinda bluesy in a way.

And to cap a strange week, I got one of my 'Skye Vampirarium' poems accepted by Dark Horizons. Skye Vampirarium? Don't ask, but first sale of the year, so good stuff.

By: Ian Hunter On Monday, 19 January 2009 Comment Comments( 3 ) Hits Views(2299)
Comments Re: It's been a funny old week, Saint
Congrats on the poem. Was Spy vs Spy not a childrens cartoon or has my memory gone completely?
By: William Purcell , On Monday, 19 January 2009
Comments Re: It's been a funny old week, Saint
I seem to remember two spies, one in a black coat and hat, the other in a white coat and hat with their collars turned up and their hats pulled down so their faces can hardly be seen, and lots of bombs with burning fuses. Or did I just make
By: Ian Hunter , On Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Comments Re: It's been a funny old week, Saint
That's the one. Was originally in the MAD comics but I think there may have been some cartoons made.
By: William Purcell , On Tuesday, 20 January 2009