Not long now…
Not long now…
A shot from 2006:
Backdropped by Earth’s horizon and the blackness of space, the Soyuz TMA-9 spacecraft approaches the International Space Station.
Working on a new draft of RED DRIFT so I’m going through my picture folders. I end up with a lot of mood images when I’m writing. I just about filled my office wall space again, but am thinking about a dedicated digital frame up there just so I can let this stuff cycle through 24/7.
“Are you playing Skyrim?”
Does it have this scene in it?
“I don’t think so.”
Then I’ll wait for more Red Dead Redemption, thanks.
Mine writing hammer hath beeneth busyeth.
Dropping a gear in 5… 4… 3
Not a bad flight.
Full on nightmare though for one poor soul who turned an unhealthy shade of white and vomited for much of the flight when he wasn’t shivering under a blanket or crying in misery. I did think at one point we’d have to land and get him to a doctor, but the cabin crew were very persistent with tea. That eventually did the trick.
Nice to land and see posters for CONTAGION everywhere…
Just finding my feet and avoiding the lag by hanging out with Amy Berg who is stupidly putting me up this trip. As you’d expect her place is filled with writing spots so it should be a productive trip as long as I don’t fall asl…
Like the little yellow sub in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
Been a while. Had a bunch of writing to do and fell off the blogging wagon. Will try and fix that.
Off to LA this morning for a couple of weeks of meetings, more writing and hanging out with the cool kids.
RED DRIFT is in the bag, Howl’s Moving Castle is on its way, other older stuff lumbers on. Time to start a few new things I think.
I’ll be as active as usual on Twitter and Instagram while I’m away and will blog when I get the chance.
See ya on the flip side.
Facebook (oops – embedding disabled on the second one)
This is my friend, Dave.
You’ll remember he did the artwork on the titles for PRECISION, but we’re also working together on a number of things that aren’t quite ready for public consumption yet. Buy me a drink and I’ll show you what a talented git he is.
If you follow Dave on Twitter and/or Instagram you’ll have seen these wonderful tiny sketches featuring a shiny new ten pence piece and one added detail. Here’s one featuring the greatest space craft ever made:
Just in case you missed them here they are so far:
I’m thinking about having the full set framed.
Come find me.
You may remember James from The Iraq War: A Historiography of Wikipedia Changelogs, his twelve-volume set of all changes to the Wikipedia article on the Iraq War from December 2004 to November 2009. Or as the chap who archived his first two years of twittering to a hardback book entitled My Life in Tweets. Maybe from one his many speaking engagements and/or consistently enjoyable ever growing number of projects…
His latest is Where the F**k Was I?, a beautiful looking book of 202 maps based on his iPhone tracked movements over the past year. In his explanation of the book he writes something so sweet that I started thinking about my phone with the same sad pang that I get when I think about the little dead Mars Rover, Spirit:
(Other aspects of the device’s place-making I enjoy: I love its hunger for new places, the inquisitive sensor blooming in new areas of the city, the way it stripes the streets of Sydney and Udaipur; new to me, new to the machine. It is opening its eyes and looking around, walking the streets beside me with the same surprise.)
Not as surprised as she’ll be when I wipe her little mind come September and replace her with the 5. What James is tapping into, literally, is the opportunity for these little Roy Batty’s to have a final monologue before we retire them.
James was also kind enough to let me play with his Robot Flaneur while he was still building it. A constant stream of the easily recognisable unfamiliar – a delightful tour of the city during a weekend that I was a little more stranded at my desk than usual. Now it has nine cities to get lost in and if you have a second screen please take advantage of it while you work/play.
Maybe make sure your phone can see the screen too.
*My latest phone is named Greta. After a ship I named for a screenplay who was in turn named after Garbo. And the clearwing butterfly (if the thing ever gets made, you’ll see why).
David Comes To Life, a rock opera, by Fucked Up is by far the best thing I’ve listened to this year.
Here’s a slice of why:
If this was a perfect world every time you press play on that video a ripple would crash across YouTube and eradicate everything else, suck the air from the lungs of every idiot product placement humping piece of worthless shit and leave them flopping on your keyboard like fish at the end of a Faith No More video.
It also taps into the same happy place I get taken to every time I hear this:
The Pitchfork review of David Comes To Life is well worth a read:
The story of David Comes to Life is fairly complicated and, at points, heavily meta. It concerns a factory worker named David Eliade who falls in love with a woman named Veronica Boisson. They conspire to build a bomb together and death, destruction, and redemption follow; along the way, the story’s narrator does battle with David for control of the plot.
Tricky narrative, concept album, Thatcherite Britain and music that leaves you bruised.
I was watching THE PARALLAX VIEW for the first time in years the other night and while it’s never going to get out from under the shadow of ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN it’s still a little treat of a movie. And while Warren Beatty carries the movie well it was this scene that jumped out at me:
Anthony Zerbe beating a chimp at Pong.
Kinda makes RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES even more unnecessary.
It’s a tiny scene and Zerbe is uncredited, but you’ll know his face from a bunch of classic* movies (including the KISS one) and this has to be one of the best career summaries ever:
He is famous for playing over a dozen roles in which his character exploded.
That’s a weekend of entertainment right there.
*Your mileage may vary
Very cute video posted on Reddit this evening that captures the moment a boyfriend gets off a plane to surprise his girlfriend on her birthday. At one point she asks, “Why is this happening?” as she cries into his chest in a complete state of happy shock.
This is what happened in the Reddit comments:
Star Wars is a goddamn virus.
That video just tipped over 100k views by the way.
This is interesting.
3%: A Brazilian sci fi drama series pilot
We are looking for a TV network to support the whole 13 episode season.
The series follows the struggle of a group of characters trying to get selected as part of 3% approved to go to ‘That side’. The plot takes place in a world where all people, upon reaching age 20 can enroll in a selective process where 3% are accepted to transfer to a better world full of opportunities and the promise of a decent life. The selection process is cruel, filled with tension, and composed of extreme situations of stress, fear and moral dilemmas.
I have a lot of time for Outland. It’s a dark little notion that gets pulled in one direction too many and so I prefer pulling out individual scenes to watch rather than the whole movie. Some of the set design, especially Connery’s quarters, was another influence on Moon.
Steranko’s Outland is another beast entirely. Originally published in Heavy Metal, the entire thing is online here. I grabbed the jpgs and am currently reading it on the iPad. Beautiful stuff.
Oh, and yes. There is an inevitable remake on the way.
Yup. HR Giger advertising Pioneer soundsystems. Here are the print ads:
All very Alien, but the models were actually based on Giger’s designs for the Jodorowsky stab at Dune.
Odd to think that the David Lynch version we got was the sane one…
More random posts to follow as I empty out an old research folder.
And I haven’t been playing Portal 2 all this time. Honest.
Got lost in a research loop, back to writing with an actual pen on actual paper and catching up on my reading.
Lots of staring into space.
Space is big.
Back in two shakes.
Come back later…
Yep. Saw THOR last night.
Not something I was expecting much from to be honest. I was eager to get Branagh freed up to do more Wallander, but that was about it. I think the only Thor story that I’ve really enjoyed was Garth Ennis’ Vikings. Thor’s not in it much and gets the crap beaten out of him when he does show up. Highly recommended.
As is THOR, surprisingly enough.
Let’s get the weak parts out of the way. The post film conversion to 3D is bollocks so please don’t be tempted to pay more over worry you’re missing something spectacular hitting you in the frontal lobe. I think I would have enjoyed this a lot more if it hadn’t resembled a cheap pop up birthday card so much.
The Asgard stuff I could take or leave – they seemed to spend a tad too much time there and while it’s all very shiny and epic looking it was also very empty and lacked the drive of what was happening on Earth. Idris Elba was great though and it was nice to see Rene Russo again.
The opening is bit too LOTR and the first mention of ‘frost giants’ just pulled me out of the film completely, but when it gets going it really delivers.
There’s actual chemistry between Portman and Hemsworth and their supporting cast helps keep everything light and genuinely funny so that you don’t get hammered (sorry) by the mythology. Hemsworth is a real find. He steps into movie star status effortlessly and I’m looking forward to seeing him outside of the comic book stuff.
The plot is what you expect and that’s fine. It’s all about that hammer and that’s as it should be. But the script has a truly smart moment that actually made me think an Avengers movie is possible and all the little nods to IRON MAN are not forced down your throat. And yes, there’s a coda worth sitting through the credits for.
I’m honestly shocked that at this stage I’d much rather see a THOR 2 than an IRON MAN 3, but go see it for yourselves and tell me I’m wrong.
Tonight I’m off to see this:
Can’t go wrong really…