Saturday, October 22, 2005


Music in Wales

What can one say about music in Wales? It occurred to me recently that one can say almost anything. I have to confess that I don't think Wales has particularly distinguished itself in music -- even though it is supposed to be 'The Land of Song'. When I was at college the only Welsh band of any repute were The Alarm and I thought they were truly terrible.

That was the 1980s, but I was never really convinced by the so-called Welsh revival of the 1990s. I can't say I found anything inspiring or radical or even enjoyable in the Manic Street Preachers, The Stereophonics, Super Furry Animals or Catatonia.

The only decent band Wales has ever produced is Gorky's Zygotic Mynci. I have been listening to them a lot recently and I am appropriately enthralled.

No other urgent observations present themselves to me at this moment in time. The uneaten watermelon in my fridge has started to go off.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


The Stench of Spyglasses

It does indeed seem probable that The Smell of Telescopes is going to be republished next year. This fills my heart with no small measure of joy, partly because I still consider it one of my best books. The same publisher (Eibonvale: based in Slovenia) also seems interested in a new collection from me. This also fills my heart with no small measure.. How many small measures can my heart hold?

I'm toying with various titles for this new collection. I may call it Bone Idle in the Charnel-House, a title I have been planning to use for a collection for some time. However, this would require actually completing the title story 'Bone Idle in the Charnel-House', which is currently resting, one quarter done, in a box. I am loathe to disturb it... Another possible title is The Jam of Hypnos. But my story 'The Jam of Hypnos' has just been published in an anthology (Poe's Progeny) and I need to check the copyright situation to see when that story will be free to be used in a collection... Another option is The Senile Pagodas (after one of Jorge Luis Borges' non-existent books) but the publisher is not quite so keen on that title... Yet another option is none of the above. I can but wait and see!

Whatever the book is eventually called, I am tempted to divide it into sections, probably 3 or 4 in number. One of these sections will be 'More Taller Stories', a sequel-of-sorts to the 'Taller Stories' section of Nowhere Near Milk Wood. Another section might be 'A Brand Old Universal Futurology of Infamy', a sequel-of-sorts to the 'New Universal History of Infamy' section of A New Universal History of Infamy. Because these sections are sequels-of-sorts rather than just sequels, they can be read comfortably without any reference to the material that preceded them. A third section might be called 'Moon Flavours'. It might not.

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