Apparently Iain Banks has a book out. This is not Iain Banks however but Iain M Banks who is a totally different incarnation of Iain Banks. I don’t like Iain Banks but I like Iain M Banks even less because he is the sci-fi one and I don’t like sci-fi at all. Yes, I know I watch Dr Who and Red Dwarf but RD is essentially a sitcom with an unusual setting and Dr Who is – well, an institution and family viewing rather than nerdstuff. To be fair I think sci-fi is interesting in what it reveals about the current zeitgeist: Mark has this idea about ‘sixties aliens’ and ‘modern aliens’, for example being totally different – and in Dr Who they are also quite imaginative in their choice of alien formats. As my recent poem, ‘Doctor’, has it, he…
‘…lands just in time to save the human race
and nicer aliens from some great disaster’.
People used to say that if you want to discover what is really going on in your subconscious you should write a fairy story. Well, maybe that works for sci-fi too – you can certainly see what’s going on in a nation’s subconscious by watching their sci-fi films: (Hey, does that Russian guy look a bit alien to you?)
The novel is going quite well: I’m nearly up to the 10,000 words I will need to enter the Cinammon Press ‘beginning of novel’ competition. Once I reach the word-count then I can begin revising and hopefully get it into some sort of shape before the end of November.
Death Last Night
We did death last night on the course: there was a very interesting talk by a chaplain from LOROS who seemed to have a reassuringly open view as regards Other Faiths: Brian also mentioned mantra and I almost talked about yoga but then didn’t. I still tend to get upset when Christians are anti-yoga. (For those not in Leicester, LOROS is a hospice and it stands for ‘Leicester Organisation for the Relief Of Suffering’. They are very well thought-of hereabouts.)
To Peter’s later for some long-overdue yoga. Then drama tonight: let’s hope the Spanish guy doesn’t strip off again. If he does Nadine will string him up, I imagine.