I shall be going to Worldcon in Dublin in 2019

Next year in Dublin is the 77th World Science Fiction convention and bollocks to it, I’m going. It’ll be in this rather impressive building.

I done a few science fiction conventions both as a punter and as a trader back in the 1980’s and 90’s, and seeing as it’s going to be a plane ride away it strikes me as churlish not to go. As it stands today the plan is to fly to Dublin on the 14th August next year and then enjoy the convention before returning on the 20th. Of course Brexit may well mean I’m using leaves and beakers to trade.

So if you intend to go give me a shout and mine’s a orange juice and soda water…


The Incredible Melting Man

It is hot in Glasgow today. So hot it is melting buildings. It was 40 degrees on the train home. This is me now.

It is too hot, and it is waaaay too hot for Scotland. It’s the end of the world I tell you!

A World Cup dilemma

Apart from a pretty dismal game between France and Denmark this has been a fantastic World Cup so far, but those of us in the UK have to put up with some terrible commentary, especially from the likes of Mark Lawrenson who sounds as if he doesn’t give a fuck about the game, or the position he’s in.

Now the BBC do offer a commentary free track on their digital services, but some people don’t have access to this so they’re stuck with the wrist-slitting joy of Lawrenson. So would you rather the BBC employ a jaded old pro who treats viewers with contempt or a drunk who’s pissed himself and is desperately slurring words in the hope it makes sense so he can get paid?

Now, nobody say they’re both the same thing…

We’ve now had two years of Brexit

Two years ago the UK, well, England mainly, voted to leave the EU and the world went mad.The vote was won with no plan, no idea of how to leave and with experts promising total collapse if we just up and leave with no deal, but hardline Brexiters from the right and the left on the morning after the vote demanded Article 50 (the procedure that kicks into motion the UK leaving the EU)invoked and the UK leaves with nothing more planned than the fact we’re leaving. Two years later this is sort of the situation we’re still in. Both the right and left of Brexit want to leave ASAP to bring about some sort of nirvana based upon their own political ideology so both push the line about ‘respecting the result’ because to veer off course now would mean they don’t get what they want.

Problem is ‘respecting the result’ means buying into the fact the referendum was built on racist lies and possible (probable?) criminality and corruption. This Bloomberg article reveals part of the problem, while the work of journalists like James Patrick and Carol Cadwalladr are exposing what is a massive perversion of democracy, not to mention people’s real concerns about being stuck in eternal austerity which has lasted a decade with no end to come.

Tens of thousands marched the streets of London at the weekend just gone protesting Brexit but with the Tories locked in a death spiral trying to put off the day when the likes of Jacob Rees Mogg gets his cold hands on the PM job, and Labour stuck in a nostalgia trip there is no way a political end to Brexit can be found. Anyhow, it’s far too late. As soon as Article 50 was invoked the UK lost any control on what will happen, apart from the ‘no deal’ option where the UK walks and carnage happens overnight. Business is making that clear with a series of warnings falling on arrogantly deaf ears. Basically the type of country you want to live in is at stake and frankly, the extremists have all the Trump cards.

We’re heading towards reality with a sickening thud. When the smoke clears and things calm down we might not like the look of where we are, what we’ve done and the irreparable damage done to people’s lives. So, I’ll be blunt. Be prepared for next year as if we do drop out with no deal and off that edge, or even just take what we’re given because we gave away any power in March 2017, we could face something people in this country haven’t faced since the early to mid 1970’s. I hope I’m wrong but unless something major happens we’re fucked.

The joy of Sassy Trump

Peter Serafinowicz doesn’t get anything like the acclaim he deserves for his series of Sassy Trump videos which are wonderful pisstakes of Donald Trump speeches using his own words, and well, you can guess the rest.

At this time when it should be perfectly clear that Trump is heading up a movement of hard/far right authoritarianism that is empowering similar movements across the West, we face a time when liberal post-WW2 values and concepts like universal human rights are under threat it is only right we take the piss out the bastard.

This is the latest one. Enjoy and resist…

That big hole where Glastonbury should be

Like a aching phantom limb I woke up this morning wondering why I wasn’t standing in a long queue waiting to get into a festival in a certain field in Somerset.

Yes, this would have been the weekend of Glastonbury Festival were it not taking a year off to let the land recover after a half dozen mainly dry years, so while Michael Eavis and the cows are chilling out for a year, the amount of events trying to capture something of the festival bubble like botulism as festivals as varied as TRNSMT and Jezfest try to part fools with their money with varying degrees of success.

But no fields full of people. No weirdness. No nothing in Somerset.

This gap has created a curious space. I’m now only really going to go to Glastonbury for my festival fun, and although last year was immense it was also my first year disabled so I felt restricted.

So as much as I’m resigned to being somewhat restricted to prior years (which is good as it means not waking up in the Green Fields coming down with someone else’s knickers on my head)  I’m going to feel a bit lost over the next week.

But it is only a year off and it is a chance to allow me to regroup. I have every intention of being in a field in the West Country this time next year but for now it does feel as if something has been lost, even temporarily but at the same time, the land (if it were a feeling, coherent organism)  wonders where all those people are who normally turn up this week each year?

See you all in a field next year…

A quick word about the Glasgow School of Art fire

Glasgow’s School of Art suffered a second devastating fire in four years last weekend which has left what’s left of the historic building facing demolition. MacIntosh’s masterpiece will probably never look as it did, even with the best restoration in the worls.

There’s going to be months of investigations as to why the School of Art suffered a second fire, and indeed, the rumour mill is in overdrive but apparently Private Eye have reported on the restoration since the 2014 fire and lack of sprinklers thanks to one or more of the trustees.

This is also the second major fire to hit Sauchiehall Street this year that’s left buildings to be demolished and a large part of the street closed while demolition takes place. Today it also became clear that the fire may not have started at the School of Art, but at the ABC/O2.

Conspiracy theories are ablaze across Glasgow but considering we’ve went from wondering how a fire could start in the School of Art to how on earth it could have started at the ABC, the best word of advice to wait to hear what the investigators say in the weeks and months ahead. It might end up being more fantastic than we can all imagine which is often the way with the truth.