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Sugoll the Deformed
 
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Friday, March 7th, 2008

Time Event
12:10a
Books
I've been meaning to do some book updates for ages, but haven't had a chance. With Orbital screaming towards us and Redemption way too close behind, there still isn't. So, very quickly:
  • Alice in Sunderland: Bryan Talbot's sumptuous love-letter to the not-Newcastle of the north. Up for "Best Novel", too. Gorgeous to look at and hold, and nicely done, though a little wearing to read: by definition, it's almost entirely exposition.
  • Toast: Charlie Stross's short-story collection, most of which demonstrate how rapidly near-future sf dates (nothing in the book's more than a decade old). Some great lines, but I felt that some of the stories (notable A Colder War) went on too long. Contains the short story that appeared at the end of The Jennifer Morgue, too.
  • Halting State: Charlie Stross's recent novel, and one that uts666 must read, damnit. It's written in the second person, which fits for a book that's closely related to gaming. Lots of fun, and some cracking lines in there, too.
  • Vicious Circle: Mike Carey's second Felix Castor novel, with a really nasty tale of abuse, and Caster in full-on Constantine mode working out to crack the problem with which he's been faced. An unusual idea, too: he has to track down a stolen ghost.


Current Mood: Read
7:43a
SWASH
SWASH was fun, but exhausting, and a little disappointing.

Spent most of the train journey to Leeds writing a story (hurrah!) and not quite finishing it (boo!). Chucking it down at Leeds, so got completely soaked waiting for taxi. Checked into hotel, met lots of friends, and waited around a lot before heading into town for food, since A. was turning up on a different train. Went to a Chinese buffet in the town centre, and it was very windy, and very rainy: ideal weather for the kilt...

As for classes, I just helped M. with quarterstaff on Saturday, and listened to William Hobbs' talk on fight direction for movies. Sunday's classes were the 1595's sword and gauntlet, a Spanish intro, and German rapier. Most of my activities at actual fencing were freeplay, all at rapier, all through each of the four freeplay sessions. God knows how many bouts: my shiny new gloves are now rather discoloured with the blood from a blister.

There were also two handling sessions. This was held in Leeds Armoury, after all. The treatise session meant I saw the I.33 manuscript (but declined to touch it), and leafted through Thibault. No McBane, though, and the Silver was Matthey's reprint. Bah. The weapons handling had two broadswords, two rapiers, a single-hander and a couple of daggers. That's it. Nowhere near as good as those sessions M has arranged for us here, so very disappointed by that (and the Spanish rapier was badly balanced, to boot).

As for the Armoury: since it's currently undergoing a major re-fit, lots of it was closed off, which is hugely frustrating. Some whacky stuff there, but not as much as I'd hoped.

Average meal on Saturday evening, but a very enjoyable one, and impressive to see all the SSS folks in their dress uniforms.

Organisation was excellent, despite the venue buggering the SSS about. I had lots of fun, and still haven't recovered.

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