12 June 2011

Quote of the week

"We plough on like steadfast shires, stopping only to lament the lost wayward years when a bottle of wine felt like an aperitif" - Jemima.

05 June 2011

How the Future Dates

I stumbled across the ISFDB tonight - where has it been all my life? Clicking around I was struck by how bad much of the cover art was, and thought I'd test this by looking at all the covers of Neuromancer - arguably the most influential SF novel of the last 30 years.

And boy, are they bad. With the exception of the classic Gollancz sleeve, and a couple of elegant later efforts, the future seems to be about bad haircuts and half-arsed video games. Spot on, you might say. So without further ado...

I don't remember starry-eyed mutant cat statues, but it's been a couple of years. Nice futuristic font, Gollancz.

Something about the abomination on the left reminds me of the dream representations in Wim Wenders' Until the End of the World, cutting edge graphics from a time when MS Paint was all the rage. As for Mr. Punky Widow's Peak (Ray Reardon, anybody?) and his discothèque bathroom tiles, well, points for effort, I suppose. The Standard miss the point rather, I think.

Mullets, wifi keyboards and cyberspace as a series of tubes leaking steam. On the other hand Molly's glasses are decent, and there's a sleazy street-level approximation of Chiba City.

Someone's been watching Terminator on the left. Not a lot of serifs in the future, evidently. On the right another decent stab at Molly let down by futuristic eggs with pictures of... what?... in them.

Rehashing the MS Paint classic for the 10th anniversary was a masterstroke, we can all agree. While the simplicity of the one of the right is welcome in comparison, it's just as well that some binary code warns people the novel might just be one of those geeky scifi things.

Ten years later the colour scheme is better and owes something to Dave McKean's Sandman covers. Oddly the cartoon Molly on the right is a bit Sandman-esque too, but too cartoony for what is anything but a cartoon future.

Case as demon about to launch into an interpretive dance. The future's so bright, etc... Again with the widow's peak, in both of them. I'm going to have to re-read it looking for descriptions of Case's hair. I'm fond of the latter cos it's the one I had when I first read it, but it's more of the same future-as-grid/light/sunglasses that seems to reoccur again and again.

In conclusion, go with Gollancz. If you can afford it.

25 August 2010

22 June 2010

A right knees-up

Featuring lashings of ginger beer, banging tunes and finding international smugglers while lost in the K-hole...

13 June 2010

King Kenny

Why is Kenny Dalglish on the cover of this children's paperback? To make children want it perhaps? Worked for me...

08 June 2010

Lucas Leiva

In happier times Liverpool were on their way to play Athletico Madrid, travelling halfway across Europe by train because of that there volcano. Rafa was still the boss (for us), and some genius had put up a fake Twatter link pretending to be Lucas. It got taken down fairly swiftly, but luckily I'd archived much of it. Fucking genius...

Rafael told me that I was like the 'son he never had'. Was made up until I heard he told Dirk the same.

Zonal Marking 101 today. Rafa tried to explain it with chess pieces again. I was a pawn, that says alot.

Rafa was busy over lunch, so I sorted his food out. He called me a 'thin Brazilian waiter'. What sharp wit. I didn't get it.

Just helped back in a Lorry outside TJ Hughes in town. I feel like a bloke. Lucas is a bloke.

Is getting sick of training. I don't know what 'red arse' means but Jamie keeps telling me I have to 'take it' from the rest of the squad.

A nice scouse man referred to me as a 'useless escaped goat'. Must be a regional compliment. Lucas is a happy man.

Jamie and Stevie were straight into the back seat of the coaches and have taken my Apple Tango. I waited with Rafa for the front seats.

Dirks saying he 'bagsyd' the seat next to Rafa. Rafa says he is a respector of the bagsy system and so I'm going to have to sit by El Zhar.

Jamie intervened, apparently there is no higher authority than a 'bagsy'. Nabil wants to discuss the upcoming Election, Lucas wants some kip

I can see Dirk trying to get Rafa to watch episodes of Eurotrash on his iPod. Rafa isn't interested. Bet he doesn't respect bagsy now.

Ryan is in front of us, him and El Zhar are rapping together as the "Nabil 'n Babel" connection. God I hate Dirk. I'm Rafa's lost son. I am.

This is going to be a long journey. Maybe I'll just sit in the toilet. If I get really desperate though theres a seat next to Kyrgiakos.

Screw that, Soto has an industrial sized tub of Houmous. And no bread. Or spoon. Its like a drink to him. He's a monster.

@ANFIELDSCOUSE Bodmin motorway services. Popped in for a piss. Nabil bought Skittles Sours. He'll be bouncing off the walls.

Christ, hes off his rocker. Nabil is shouting '2012, 2012, they kept me hear till 2012' in fits of hysterical laughter waving a Morocco flag

Gone to sit next to Kyrgiakos, Nabil has lost the plot. Don't give that boy sugar. Soto is banging on about being an ancestor of Zeus again.

I lent on Sotos chair by accident. Big mistake. Apparently ive 'compromised Olympus'. He's now spouting poetry in Greek with his eyes shut.

Jamie just shouted "This isn't fucking musical chairs Lucas". I don't get it. I think he's still angry at me for nutmegging him in training.

Pepe : "Thats not volcanic Ash, its the dust off Lucas's durex". I don't get it, but Dirks laughing his head off.

Got a Galaxy Ripple & a Solero. Ate the Ripple 1st, stupidly. Soto is now saying that anything I lick he has to then lick - Greek tradition.

Its all settled down now. Dan Agger has his heavy metal on, Masch is shadow boxing, Dirks doing sit ups asking Rafa to 'watch me, watch me'

Big moment for me this, game of noughts and crosses with Dirk. Rafa has set it up. I see the winner of this gaining the seat next to him.

I won. But Rafa didnt offer me the seat. A moral victory to Lucas though, Dirk keeps punching himself in the arm muttering 'sorry boss'.

Aquilani and Degen have made a 'den' at the back of the coach out of sleeping bags. Sign on the front of it saying 'No Physios Allowed'

Dirks been giving Rafa wine. I can tell when hes drunk because he stares at me disappointingly saying he wishes he'd got a receipt for me.

"Where's the receipt Lucas. You must have it. There must have been one. Where's the receipt." These words will haunt my dreams.

Aquilani has hurt himself in the den. Typical. He can't move to get out and because of the sign, none of our physios can go in. Real dilemma

Its a papercut. He's out of Thursdays match. Looks like I'll be playing again. At least I'm not travelling all this way for nothing.

He's singing 'Que Sera' with his arm round my neck. This is just like I imagined it. Dirk is watching on enviously. 1-0 to Leiva.

Off to try and get some sleep now. Nabil 'n Babel still rapping in Dutch and French together. Kyrgiakos sleeping standing up, fists clenched about

was woken up very early this morning (6am) - by Kyrgiakos blowing his medieval horn.

He blew it, thrice, and shouted "and so signals the start of a new day", looked to the floor and bowed.

Carra threw his shoe at him & screeched "what fuckin time do you call this you Greek tit" Didnt seem to affect Soto, I think hes in a trance

Rafa was really hungover. Good job my mum packed the Calprofen, he called me a 'life saver'. I am Weak. At. The. Knees.

Its so hot because Kyrgiakos has turned the heating up to full. When questioned about it he replies with only : "This is a mans world"

Soto is doing his daily sermon. He's telling us that the Volcano was Zeus's vengeance for us allowing the obese to live.

Hes truly lost it now. Hes in the toilet frantically cutting his own hair, muttering 'survival of the fittest'. NGog trying to stop him.

Settled down now. Stevie is watching Steven Gerrard : Centurion on DVD, Aquilanis finger is in plaster, Rafa trying to beat himself at chess

Soto asking all passengers if they want their toenails cut by Machete. Says its the 'natural way'. God knows how he got it through customs.

Someones clogged the toilet up. Rafa has a guilty look. Must have been his beer poo earlier on. Stevie says he saw Dirk sniffing the seat.

Toilets humming. Sammy was about to use the air freshener, Soto stopped him - 'it is a pure and manly smell that must not be tampered with'.

Been trying to sleep for hours. Soto talks & smokes a pipe in his sleep. I dread to think what tobacco it is, but it smells like raw meat.

He doesnt just talk in his sleep, he has actual conversations. He seems to be arguing that there is no better smell than driving past a farm

El Zhar is also still up. Saw him drink a 3 litre bottle of Cherry Coke before so he'll be up till dawn.

He's gone insane, too much sugar. He's shouting at Rafa saying 'Why am I even here. Please tell me why' with tears pouring down his face.

Rafa was doing his best to ignore it but finally responded. "You shouldn't still be here. You were signed to make an agent happy". Silence.

Don't know who brought the football on board, Masch has started repeatedly trying to slide tackle it. Like a bull to a red cloth...

What a 24 hour trip. Really bonded the squad. Dirks been filling up his 'Benitez Bible' - a book of everything Rafa has ever said to him.

Rafa isnt impressed with such gimmicks. The way to his heart is a high passing completion rate & a warm wholesome meal. Those I can provide

Soto isnt happy. He's had to disrupt his annual April 4-day hibernation to come here. He keeps warning us theres electricity in his fingers.

5-a-side game this morning. Stevie said he had to be 'captain of both teams'. He chose Jamie first who shouted 'GET IN'. I was last pick.

Just spied Kyrgiakos' shopping list : 1. Whole Goat (recently deceased), 2. Flammable Trident 3. Blast Furnace. Freaky. Its written in blood

Been watching Soto a lot the last few days, he's been keeping what looks like a diary. He's left it unattended, going to go have a peek.

A small book made of black leather, bound with the spine of a Water Buffalo. Each page is hot to the touch & has the consistency of Papyrus.

The book is titled simply 'Sotirios'. The 1st half is drawings of constellations and the 2nd is horoscopes. He thinks hes his own star sign.

He's just caught me reading it. He's absolutely furious. He keeps punching the wall screaming 'The eyes of the impure will scald my words'.

We were all very subdued on the way back. Had to sit next to a furious Masch. His teeth started bleeding, that happens when hes angry.

Stevie setting his text ringtone as Andy Gray - "Lovely cushioned header, for..." then shouting "GERRARD!" himself. 23 times and counting.

All was quite relaxed. Suddenly all the lights went off. We didn't have a clue what was going on until Kyrgiakos emerged with Bagpipes.

Soto played the same note for 35 minutes without drawing breath. Then he sat down, cross legged, and prayed.

I need a long sleep. Invited Rafa round for tea at mine as I knew the missus would be out. He said no, already going to Dirks for an Amstel.