Category Archives: Opinion

I don’t do this much, but where I feel like sharing my opinion on something, this is the category the post will be under.

Friday is Relative

Okay, so this post is out of left field…

I’ve just been reading this week’s New Scientist. For those who don’t know it, it’s a weekly magazine featuring articles on science, all kind of science. I don’t get it every week, but I pick it up when I think an article has something interesting I might be able to twist into fiction and this week the cover story is “What is Time?” Interesting question and one for which there is no good answer at the moment. Plenty of theories which may or may not explain our experience of time passing. The article proposes various quantum theory elements which may explain where the time we experience comes from. Fascinating stuff.

One of the explanations involves the uncertainty inherent in quantum events. It seems our perception of time passing may have something to do with quantum uncertainty and the ‘quantum ignorance’ which results from it. I think it sounds like a good explanation since I’ve been absolutely convinced that today was Saturday since at least lunchtime. It’s nice to know that my uncertainty over the day is just a reflection of the origin of time. I think it’s a superposition thing: it was both Friday and Saturday, until I measured it and the probability equation collapsed.

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Global Weirding

If anything suggests we’re seeing the effects of Global Warming, specifically a rise in unusual weather conditions, it’s the UK right about now. Last week, appropriate outdoor clothing involved a scarf. This week I am reconsidering my decision not to look into air conditioning for my office. It’s April and we have a minor heatwave. April is usually a wet, blah sort of month. It’s not really warm or cold. It just happens and we hope it’s nicer in May (and it often is because the one thing the British weather hates is being sunny when the kids are on holiday come summer!).

Not that this is really ‘extreme,’ but it is out of the ordinary. On a BBC science programme, Horizon, a few years back, the phenomenon of increasing instability in our ‘usual’ weather conditions was given the name ‘Global Weirding’ by a meteorologist working on the weather in the southern US region where long periods of drought were becoming more common. The programme was a big influence on the state of the planet in the Fox books.

Meanwhile, I’m busy writing the next Ultrahumans book (again). That’s a world where ‘Global Weirding’ takes on an entirely different meaning…

Not Real Snow

This is an entirely irrelevant post. You have been warned!

It has been snowing here all day, but there is no snow on the ground. It’s not even lying on the dustbins, or the grass, or my car.

That is not real snow and it should be banned!

Hash tag NotMySnow. Has tag WhyNoWhiteChristmas.

They Finally Did It

Just had to post this… Jodie Whittaker is to be the 13th Doctor. They finally did it and I have to say I’m looking forward to next season more than I was.

Huh. If they brought Bill back, which I don’t think they will, that’d make for an interesting dynamic. Not sure they’d go there, but… Another interesting thought is what they’ll do with the companion(s).

Well, Ms Whittaker was in Attack the Block, so she should be used to running and aliens.

Hot; too hot

The United Kingdom has a unique climate. Our weather tends to avoid the extremes you see in Europe. We don’t (usually) get the real highs or lows. I’ve sat in summer temperatures in the Netherlands which were over 30C (86F) while the UK was in the 20s. This is great, most of the time, but it means that when we do get extremes, we aren’t set up to cope.

We don’t get real highs, so we don’t have air conditioning. Oh, I could really go for air conditioning right now. I was cooler in Arizona in the summer.

Hot… Too hot…

Celestia Help Me! I’m a Brony

Weird things happen when you watch YouTube’s recommended videos. And I blame Weird Al. Back when I used to play World of Warcraft I found this WoW video animation of his ‘Hardware Store’ song. (If you’re unaware of this ditty, go look it up on YouTube: it’s worth it just for the verbal gymnastics.) Recently, for whatever reason, the YouTube algorithm threw me a different Hardware Store animation, built out of clips for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Now, I’m old enough to remember when the MLP franchise started and it was very girly, but the clips made it look amusing and buck it if Netflix don’t have the first five seasons on stream…

So, I ended up binge-watching six seasons of MLP:FIM (I found the sixth to stream on Amazon), and four Equestria Girls films, and I’ve been smirking at the fandom-produced stuff on YouTube, DeviantArt, and a fanfic site… I’d hang my head in shame, but bronies are supposed to stand up proud. Whatever, I’m hooked. For a while anyway.

Now, the reason for this admission is that all this uplifting pony stuff percolating through my somewhat aberrant brain provoked an idea. The idea became a plot. The plot has become a book. I think I posted something saying I had a weird idea and I wasn’t sure it would work. Well, this is it and it’ll be out sometime next week. For those worried I’ve gone totally off the rails, there will be no ponies (in fact, the world in question doesn’t have any equines due to divergent evolution), but it does have dragons. A lot of dragons, though they aren’t exactly big scaled lizards most of the time… I should just let you read about it.

The new book is called Misfit Magic. It’s fantasy, obviously, set in a world with a weird mix of technologies and a fair bit of magic. It’s more traditional fantasy than urban fantasy, and I have no idea what categories I’m going to stuff it into for retail purposes, but Teen Fiction will not be one of them. And I have a cover which is quite bright for once…cover-book1-amazon

Oh, yeah, and it’s set in a girls’ school for magic. Oh… I have to write cover blurb for this… What was I thinking?!

Anyway, I’m looking at releasing this on the 5th or 6th of May, depending upon when I can get through the final edits, and when I can come up with a reasonable cover blurb. And I repeat: no ponies.

Question and Notes

I did something with The Zanari Inheritance I don’t normally do: I included some notes about calendars and weird words at the back. If you didn’t notice them (no pun intended), take a look.

Was it helpful? What I’m writing at the moment has a load of weird stuff in it and I’m wondering whether explanatory notes is actually useful to the reader.

PS. I’m saying as little as possible about what I’m currently writing because… Well, it may not pan out, and it is a bit strange. If it’s working, I will give out more information earlier than I did with The Zanari Inheritance.