• books to read and TV to watch

    While at Octocon at the weekend I had the chance to catch up with friends, and participate on several panel discussions. It was an enjoyable convention: relaxed, friendly, and with a good buzz. I bought the latest book by the supremely talented Michael Carroll, one of the guests of the convention. It’s the second novel in his New Heroes trilogy, and it’s called Sakkara. Attentive readers might remember me praising the first book, The Quantum Prophecy, back in the mists of time known as January. I’m going to be away for a number of days of intensive writing, and all I’m bringing with me are my laptop, sketchpad, and Sakkara…

  • television writing at its riskiest

    Well, hats off to the Ronald D. Moore and his team at Battlestar Galactica for their enormous testicles. They’ll have to get a larger codpiece now. The final episode of season 2 just aired in Ireland. There are few TV shows that have engaged me as much as BSG during the past year. The writing has been brave and innovative, and the acting has been fantastic. Personally, I was quite happy with the risk the writers took in the final act of the episode, although I am sure that it’s pissed off a number of fans. What I like about BSG is that it doesn’t play it safe. It takes…

  • always on has its drawbacks

    Today I received my annual notification that my TV license fee is due at the end of this month. For those of you living outside of Ireland, and/or the UK (they have a similar system) this is a fee that is levied by the state upon every television set. Currently the fee is 155 euros; yes, many, many pints of Guinness. The money is given to RTÉ, the public service broadcaster, and it goes towards a variety of endeavours, including fostering Irish-based programming on their television channels, as well as funding a variety of radio stations and orchestras. Presumably, a large chunk of it leaks away on bureaucracy and administration.…