Friday, April 21, 2023


For the Chinese New Year I wrote about how this was a year of change. And I mentioned how it certainly felt like it was. Little did I know that change was happening sooner than I expected - both positive and negative.

Some interesting times. A couple of most synchronicitous events all lining up, and my life has taken a drastic turn for the better, despite a couple of real disappointments in the past month.  Feelings of hurt and betrayal by people I trusted and respected. Or thought I did. (No, not you. I know it's not you if you're reading this!) And yet I've been able to shrug it off in ways I never could have in January.

I was speaking to a new-found friend a couple of days ago. Cause and conditions, he said - which is completely true. Much has converged at this point. And there are signs and wonders which lead me to believe more is on its way. Positive things. Fruitful things. Good things.

Do you believe in karma?

I recently had a message from someone who hurt me a few years ago. And now, here they were, asking for my help. I wasn't in a position to do so, so I couldn't. A few years ago I had a friend who went out of his way to help someone who had deeply hurt him. I asked him why he did so. He simply said, "Because it's the right thing to do."  Would I have been so gracious? I guess I'll never know.

So where is this all leading? Goodness knows.  But I can't help but thinking something positive is coming. Something wonderful. I hope it's real. I hope it's true. I hope it's not just a misplaced optimism.

Time will tell.

Converge away! Om Mani Padme Hum.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

And That's A Big Nope From Me.

2022 was such a disappointing year for science fiction in film.

Now I realise someone is going to say, "Yeah,  but what about...?" And then they'll mention Everything, Everywhere All At Once, or Nope.  Sorry, but I didn't have much love for either of them. Nope was just terribly contrived, unoriginal, and not as clever as it thought it was. It reminded me,in a way, of the Abrams' directed Star Trek. He simply showed he wasn't a fan and thathe didn't really understand the Star Trek universe.

Nope showed that Jordan Peele simply wasn't familiar with SF as a genre. There was nothing new, a whole bunch of holes and poor plotting. Similar to Shyamalan's Signs. I loved Peel's other work, but this just showed he didn't get SF.

Everything Everywhere was simply a mess. Confused, pointless, and so full of plotholes you could drive an Enterprise through them. I actually got bored about three quarters of the way through.  The actors' performances were good.  And while I'm thrilled SF and the actors won so many awards at the Oscars, I'm really disappointed this was the vehicle.

Avatar 2 was simply what we expected. Beautifully shot, but ultimately dissatisfying and over-long.

The best SF film I saw in 2022 was Don't Worry Darling. Shades of Philip K. Dick and others. Great performances and direction, and a lot of fun. And that set design. Superb.

And if you enjoyed these other films, than I'm happy for you. But I thought they were well below average,

Here's hoping to a better year for SF in film.

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Oh wow! Excited here. It has been a while, after all.
Although I sold "The Leviathan Awakens" last year, it was only released yesterday. It's a wonderful feeling to finally see the cover art and my name on the front of The Martian Wave.
I really love this story. Thanks, Hiraeth Publishing.

And in case you couldn't guess, mine is the story which includes "a denizen of the deep ocean on a strange planet."
"The Martian Wave features stories of the exploration and settlement of other worlds. In here you will encounter a denizen of the deep ocean on a strange planet; a remote world where nothing much happens—until it does; hallucinations and other labor problems; a remodeling of future Earth; the arrival of not-so-benevolent aliens; and much more!"

Indigo Reviewed by Gustavo Bondoni

The Leviathan Awakens by Steve Cameron

Short Stories
Namug by Gustavo Bondoni
Night Patrol by Regina Clarke
Salvage World by David Castlewitz
To Lie with Spirit by Shaun Duke
Ares by Randall Andrews
They Came in Peace by John Darling

Flash Fiction
A Dream of the Universe by Christina Sng
Time Shards by Kathy Latusik

Cancer: Celestial Crustacean by Maureen Bowden
What Really Happened at Roswell by DJ Tyrer
At the Edge of the Universe by Christina Sng
A Messed-Up Mnemonic by Maureen Bowden
Footprints with Claws by Debby Feo
Space Zoo by Christina Sng

Friday, February 24, 2023

Everything In Its Right Place.

I've been organising.

Me, my things, my space, and my life.

I have catalogued my books and music, getting rid of things I no longer need, or want. And, of course, any duplicates. There always seems to be duplicates. Same with my music collection. All niceley catalogued on a database, and organised physically. It's a great feeling to know what I have, what I need, and getting rid of the things I no longer want.

I'm also going through my things - ticket stubs, concert programmes, badges - anything that doesn't fit elsewere. Now I know where they are. Exactly. I got rid of a bunch of things I'd kept, and wondered why they seemed important at the time.

I tidied my workspace the other day. Anything that didn't belong, went. It's not perfect yet. There's a bunch of letters, notes and bits in a bag that still need organising, but they're all together. The disorganised is now organised. And I will get to it, work my way through it, and the world will be a wondrous place once more.

It's good for my mind, my wellbeing, to have a space that is tidy. And that space is not only my relax space, but much of the time is my workspace too. It's more enjoyable to be in now it's all sorted out. A very pleasant environment indeed.

But I've been sorting my life too. I've cancelled a couple of magazine subscriptions that I realised were not as enjoyable as they once were. I noticed this because the unread issues were starting to pile up. I threw them out, and felt.... nothing. I continue with the couple of magazines where I am completely up to date. And I added a new one, which is cheaper than the ones I cancelled.

But I've also been working on organising my mind. I've started meditating, and I'm finding it extremely beneficial.

I've always wanted to be more organised, and it's finally happening. The time is now. It feels right.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Great Lost Beatles Album?

I'm not going to make anyone read all this under the illusion that one has been discovered. So straight up, no, I don't know of one. But I do wish there was a lost unreleased album.

Over the years there have been rumours. Hot As Sun was one such album, apparently recorded somewhere between Let It Be and Abbey Road. The master tapes were stolen and held to ransom, before being accidentally erased when carried through an airport X-ray machine

It is, of course, too good to be true. But bootleggers have created editions of this "lost album" using rehearsal tapes, mostly from the Get Back sessions.

Over the years I have been thrilled to discover unreleased tracks. Back in the 90s it was That Means a Lot, If You’ve Got Troubles and 12 Bar Original. And, over time, there have been a few others. It was wonderful hearing "new" Beatles songs. Of course there is a reason they weren't released at the time, and they generally don't get played too often. 

There are tracks we know are still in the vaults. At this time they are nothing more than titles. And, for the most part, I imagine they are not tracks we would play too often. But as fans and collectors, we would still love to hear them.

Unlike Neil Young or Prince, for example, I don't for one minute believe the Beatles have an unreleased album hidden away. They time throughout the 60s is very well documented, and it's unlikely they would have had time to record a missing album. I think the best we can hope for a track or two hidden away which perhaps even they had forgotten about but might pop up on an acetate somewhere.

No, there isn't a lost album. But I can still dream.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

A Time of Change

2023, the year of the Rabbit. A year of peace and patience, according to my Chinese friend.  He also mentioned prosperity, but he says that to me every year.  I'm not sure if the prosperity thing is a Chinese thing, or just him. But overall, apparently, 2023 is a year of hope.

It certainly feels like a time of change.  The weather has mellowed, we're in the middle of renovations, there are a few long-term colleagues moving on from my team at the moment, one of my favourite magazines is closing down, and several TV shows I like are not being renewed.

I suppose that is true every year, but this year it seems more obvious to me, more of these factors aligning and occurring at the same time. Even a couple of my friends have commented on it.

I'm not one to make New Year resolutions, and I don't plan to start now. But beneath the pain that accompanies pain, there is a sense of hope. I can feel it deep down.

There are also some changes I want to make. Nothing drastic or life-changing, but a few things I am working towards. Baby steps.  Which is where the 'Patience' part probably comes into play. These changes will take time to come into effect, but I think I will be pleased with it all.

I wouldn't mind some of that prosperity happening either.

Gong xi fa cai.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Machine Creativity.

A couple of months ago I wrote about AI generated artwork.

Since then, as part of my job, I've been looking at the functionality of some AI creators. And they can be scarily good. In one instance, with only a few key words, I asked one to create a document for me. It was pretty good. An hour later, with the same key words, I asked once more. And the document was much improved. It had trained in the space of an hour, and I doubt many people would have requested a similar document in that time.

This week I've been involved in three separate conversations about AI generated artworks - art, writing, film and music. I did not instigate any of these conversations so it's obviously something people are thinking about. In two of these discussions, my friends were convinced that AI could never create real art, as a machine can't have creativity. I disagree.

I've seen examples of accidental art, where someone has accidentally spilled paint on a wall. They may not have recognised it as anything more than a mistaken mess, but I saw the beauty and took a photo. It really is a lovely piece of art.

After all, don't they say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder?

It's coming. We will, in a few years, have films and albums fully created by AI based on scripts and lyrics written by a human. And then how long until the AI is writing those as well.

Personally, I don't mind. I look forward to seeing and listening to AI created works. And some of these will resonate with me, others won't. Some will be considered masterpieces.