Mr Worldwide Domination kills it on the floor like a Tonka truck

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Dear Mr Worldwide. You have a new fan.

Armando Christian Perez, the rapper also known as Pitbull, you were the surprise of Sonic Bang because, frankly, I used to be one of the haters. Those critics you sing about trying to tear you down, yep, that was me, but no longer.
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A Game Of Clones: A pitch to publishers everywhere.

Looking for the next Song of Ice and Fire? Well, fret not, you’ve found it. Here are the forthcoming dozen violent, sexy and confusing time-travel thrillers starring the Tempus Fugitive himself, Justin Thyme. They’ll be written as soon as a publisher gets in touch and waves a massive advance my way.

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For those who might have missed them…

Ari Hall drove me slowly insane with a series of strange books, so I got revenge here.

And Thailand finally got Bring Up The Bodies, so I wrote a review.

That, as they say, is that. For now.

 

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Apocalypse Revisited: Out now

The not worst book of all time, Apocalypse: the trilogy in a million pieces, has been re-released to an unsuspecting pubic in the form of a better (and shorter) Kindle version. It is called Apocalypse Revisited, and can be found here.

Still following the adventures of Dark Chocolate and Anyway around the galaxy, Apocalypse Revisited also follows the alien Withnoname and the evil twins Kazoo and Zooka, but dispenses with a heap of unnecessary plot lines and boring bits. A few spelling mistakes are also fixed.

It is  better, and at US$3.99 much cheaper, than the paperback, and yours for only US$3.99 plus the cost of whatever device you can read it on. (I’m going to download it to my iPad so I can get some royalties. Er, maybe not.)

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Robot lesbian vampire army from space! On your Kindle!

Metalmorphosis: or how i learned to stop worrying and love the paranoid androids is now available for download to your Kindle, or whatever device with a Kindle reader.

As the blurb says:

This book has an army of robot lesbian vampire prostitutes from space. Do you need to know more? A pair of pop stars from Mars lead a revolution while a trained time-travelling killer runs amok. Will this ruin the comeback of an ageing and controversial pop star better known lately for his court cases than his career? Featuring 100% more Iranian sex toy jokes than the next leading competitor.

So what are you waiting for?

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In case…

If anyone is interested…

A few thoughts for all those multi-million selling authors out there

My review of Skyfall can be found here.

My thoughts on Mortality can be found here.

And there’s this old thing I’ve already plugged on Facebook.

That is all. For the moment.

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50 I mean 12 Shades of Pet Shop Boys

There is quite a lot going on on this cover.

Pet Shop Boys have released Elysium, their best album since 2009’s Yes, which was their best album since 1996’s Bilingual, their best album since 1993’s Very, their very best album. I first listened to it here at Popjustice. You can too. I then downloaded it and paid with money. You can too. But to tell you some things you may not know …

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A few uncensored thoughts about Dorian Gray…

Dorian Gray was blond with blue eyes, not that you would know from this book cover.

The Picture of Dorian Gray has always been, for me, a disappointing novel. Oscar Wilde is one of my favourites, and his importance should not be under-estimated, but there is a distinct dearth of great works from the man. (There are reasons or excuses for this, and he did die young, I know, I know. Still, what has he left behind for us to enjoy? The equivalent of a few tweets compared to PG Wodehouse, Henry James, Tara Moss.) Dorian Gray was the one novel, and there were gems of brilliance set in a flawed, malleable ring of barbed wire. For every glorious page or passage there was an equal and opposite piece of shit elsewhere. Exaggeration? Maybe, but for years I haven’t been able to look at the book on the shelf without that mixed, bitter and slightly heartbroken feeling usually reserved for love letters from old girlfriends. Yes we had some good times, but it ended badly and you took too much time out of my life reading you twice when I could have been reading other, younger, books or just hooking up for yet another one night stand with the Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy.

But that feeling of disappointment is no more. Thanks to Nicholas Frankel, who has brought us an “uncensored” version of Wilde’s original manuscript, it’s an enjoyable and cohesive read. It’s a lot shorter, at 13 chapters instead of 20. The crap’s been left out, frankly.

Me just lying around the apartment in Bangkok, dressed for the weather, thinking about writing and shit.

Much has been made of the inclusions and the restoration of the romance between Dorian, Basil and Lord Henry. But for me what makes it work is the absence of extraneous chapters involving James Vane, opium dens and whatnot, not to mention a few tedious social set pieces. I’m the first to bitch about Wilde not having written enough great works to deserve his overblown reputation, but in the case of Dorian Gray, less is more. It’s a better read for the exclusions. And, yes, having the romance more explicit and excised passages restored does add to the enjoyment.

So I can stop bitching. At least a little bit. Thanks to Frankel, finally, 120 years later, Oscar Wilde has published a decent novel.

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Squirrel!

Like Kim Jong-un, I didn’t get Disney’s permission for this.

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m easily distracted. Even writing a short blog post on how I get distracted ends up with me on the Google or hunting through the Facebook. It doesn’t help that it’s late, of course. But that’s just an excuse. What I am not doing now is re-writing a long (and true) story. And this I promised myself I would finish before returning to the play that I was going to write a draft of before revisiting a novel that I’m almost happy with but really needs a third/fifteenth draft (depending on how you count these things).

What was I doing again?

Oh, yeah, writing a post on dealing with distraction.

The red light of my phone is not blinking. You know how annoying it is to check and then wait and see that it’s not blinking.

The best way to deal with this problem, for me, is having a deadline. There’s nothing that focuses the mind quite like one. Plus, there’s that whooshing sound. Let me find you a link. Here’s one.

Linkin Park on the iPad. I heard them on the radio recently and wondered if that meant another Transformers movie was about to attack us. Fortunately, no. Just another Linkin Park album. Bad enough, you may think.

I work with deadlines, and deadlines work for me. That’s not to say having to have work done by a set time always produces the best result, but it always produces a result, which is always better than nothing.

I really need to buy a DVD player. Why am I hungry?

The counter-argument is that creativity takes time, it needs to percolate and my brain comes up with great ideas while otherwise engaged, whether it be while walking, talking, sleeping, doing the dishes, and these can be used later. Of course, this overlooks the fact all good writing happens while writing. It’s a discipline, and it takes, you know …

Squirrel!

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This is a review and it’s ending one word at a time …

I am Joe’s book cover.

Today I finished reading Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. I’d review it, except the first rule of Fight Club is … you know.

I also recently (three days ago) finished P.G. Wodehouse’s Money For Nothing. It is a lot like the Dire Straits song except set before the MTV era. Okay, it’s really nothing at all like the Dire Straits song. Set in the English countryside during the war (The Great War, I’m guessing) it’s all about how the landed gentry have problems when one conspires to defraud his insurance company and double-cross some American (of course) swindlers. The plot is all rather boring, but it is full of lovely, light and fluffy prose, and lush descriptions right from the first paragraph with flies “doing deep-breathing exercises on the hot window-sills”. Compared to this, Fight Club is a punch in the face. Mind you, compared to The Soul Of A Butterfly: Reflections on Life’s Journey by Muhammad Ali and daughter, Fight Club is a punch in the face.

There I go again, not talking about Fight Club.

Also recently finished was Victor Cha’s The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future, which was, er, heavy going. It was a kind of reaction to this policy, politically and physically heavy tome that I opted for Wodehousian light and sunshine. Cha’s account/history/argument suffers a bit from being rushed, and a bit of repetition, and possibly being rushed to get out quickly after the death of Kim Jong-il, and also a bit of repetition. There is a good, broad account of North Korean political history, an interesting insider’s perspective of the Six-Party Talks and what went on from an American perspective, but it does suffer from occasionally being too partisan. Thoroughly researched and with an academic’s eye for detail and sources, Cha adds personal encounters and interesting observations. But it’s a bit of a slog and one can’t finish it without thinking it could have done with a better edit. Not for beginners, for that try The Aquariums of Pyongyang, Nothing to Envy (okay, I haven’t finished that one myself) or Michael Breen’s most-definitely-unauthorised biography of Kim Jong-il. Or this.

Also fun lately was The Hunger Games. But you don’t need me to tell you that it’s a mishmash of everything from Lord of the Flies to Romeo and Juliet.

Caption for gratuitous Katniss Everdeen picture here please.

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