It Doesn't Have To Be Right…

… it just has to sound plausible

One Year Ends…

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… and another one begins.

2007 was a bit of a mixed bag. Book-wise, I read 175 books, but bought more. Both figures are up on last year. I need to spend less money on eBay. Mind you, I’ve been saying that for years. However, new to 2007 were books on the Apollo programme and mediaeval Arabic literature. Hopefully, those two “enthusiasms” should keep me going through 2008, and so limit my book purchasing…

Of those 175 books read, around half were science fiction. Brian Aldiss and Lawrence Durrell tied as most-read authors (5 books each), closely followed by Eric Brown with 4 books. Actually, Alan Moore was most-read, but that was graphic novels (11, in fact). Prior to 2007, all I’d read by Moore was Watchmen (excellent) and Batman: Killing Joke (meh). But last year I discovered Tom Strong, and loved it. Other authors new to me in 2007 were John Jarmain (see here and here) and Leigh Brackett. I can’t read more of the former – I’ve read everything of his that has been published – but I will read more Brackett. There were other writers new to me, but those two are the notables ones.

On the music front… myself and a friend, Craig, resolved in January last year to attend one gig a month during 2007. That plan fell flat – the first band we saw live was Mostly Autumn in April. But by the end of the year, I’d managed seven gigs and a metal festival. Not counting those at the festival, here are all the bands I saw perform in 2007: Glow, Mostly Autumn, Ted Maul, Cephalic Carnage, Akercocke, Kramer, Blind Ego, Pallas, Engel, Amon Amarth, Dimmu Borgir, Sonic Syndicate, Caliban, Dark Tranquillity, Soilwork, Ella, Fell Silent, The Final Sigh, Opinicus, Asuras, Coliseum, Pelican and High on Fire. The festival was Bloodstock Open Air… and I enjoyed it so much I’ve already booked tickets for 2008.

Films – since leaving the United Arab Emirates in 2002, I’ve been really crap about visiting the cinema. Admittedly, it was easy there. I lived around the corner from the best cinema in the city, and finished work at 3 o’clock, so it was easy to catch the afternoon showing. I usually had the auditorium to myself, too. With the exception of The Golden Compass, seen at a cinema in Leeds on 23 December, every film I watched in 2007 was on DVD or telly. Last year, I also became a fan of the films of Elia Suleiman, Werner Herzog and Ingmar Bergman.

I started writing short stories again in 2007. Not many – I was never prolific. In fact, that’s one of my resolutions for 2008 – be more prolific. One story racked up five rejections – including the dumbest rejection ever. Another one… I’ve still not heard back from the magazine. Fingers crossed. I also had a bash at poetry in 2007. Not something I’ve ever done before. One last buff and polish, and I think I’ll submit it somewhere this year. And, of course, there’s the novel… (It’s almost done, John.) Book two of a trilogy, and better than the first one, I think. Could this be the year? If I kick the writing into high gear, then perhaps it might be…

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