Reading List 2017

So I’m being a little more ‘read-y’ this year, and reading books again. I normally get through a book a month for bookclub, and usually do audiobooks, but I decided I have an obscene TBR pile and it needed to be read. They’re all dead-tree books too, which I find helps me focus on reading instead of multi-tasking on my iDevice all the time.

Anyway, to that end, I’m writing down all the books I’m reading this year as I read ’em. Because opinions come to me easily I’ll probably review them and link the review to here or something. We shall see. Whatever! You’re not my dad.

Click through below for my progress so far.

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Reviewing Sonos, or “I want to build a stereo system out of Lego and I have too much cash!”

Reviewing the Sonos is overdue. I’ve had a Sonos system since early 2013 and, well, I know reviews are supposed to tease you all the way to the end of the many thousands of words I’m writing for free…

…the long and the short of it is that Sonos is freakin’ awesome and if you can afford to buy into it you should.

Bear in mind this isn’t so much of a proper review as it is an embarrassing admission to how many of these things I ended up buying.

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2016

I didn’t do a best of 2015 post because it wasn’t a great year (though I actually did accomplish a bunch). I’m not doing a best of 2016 post either because fuck 2016. My mother died unexpectedly in September and it was a bit of a bummer, and I’ve not forgiven the year. Let’s see what 2017 brings.

Just in Time: The Pebble Time Steel Review

A lot of people enjoyed my original Pebble review (way back when), so I thought I’d try to do my new Pebble Time Steel some justice.

I’m a special flower, as a double Kickstarter supporter, so my edition of the Pebble Time Steel has a nice ‘Champion!’ engraving and trophy on the back.

Some Context

We’re not comparing Pebble Time Steel to Apple Watch here, since there is no point. Apple Watch integrates better with my iPhone, works better, looks better, costs twice as much, and has no always-on screen or comparable battery life, I can’t officially swim with it… So it’s all about compromise. My context for reviewing this watch is:

  • I can’t afford Apple Watch
  • I will buy Apple Watch v2 hardware (sorry Pebble, but you are on … borrowed Time)
  • I loved Pebble despite its limitations and wore the black thing for years.

Overview

If you don’t want to read the whole review, let me tl;dr it for you here:

  • If you liked Pebble, Pebble Time Steel is so much better looking and functioning that you should definitely upgrade.
  • If you can’t afford an Apple Watch or are on the Android system (why?) and you value battery life over fancy shit like ‘touch screens’ then definitely get this watch.

For the full review, read on.

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It’s All About The Words – Notes

Today I am going/went to the State Library to talk about where ideas come from. That makes this something like Schroedinger’s post, since I’m writing these notes out for attendees a few hours before the actual event! Is it a post that’s happening now? Is it a post that’s about to happen? We just can’t tell.

However, as I’ve undoubtedly already said on the panel, this is a lot easier than remembering links.

To quote Zap Brannigan: “So without further ordure…” Continue reading

Fablecroft’s ‘Insert Title Here’ coming out soon

Fablecroft is launching their slightly delayed new anthology, ‘Insert Title Here’, and I have a strange story about giant island fishes and political corruption in it, with a little bit of a throwout to the Voyage of Saint Brendan:

The earliest extant version of The Voyage of Saint Brendan was recorded around AD 900. There are over 100 manuscripts of the story across Europe, as well as many additional translations. The Voyage of Saint Brendan is an overtly Christian narrative, but also contains narratives of natural phenomena and fantastical events and places, which appealed to a broad populace.

My story is called ‘The Final Voyage of Saint Brendan‘, and postulates that the entire city of London was rebuilt on the back of the Jasconius island fish mentioned in the original poem. Fast forward a few centuries and things go awry, as they say.

Katharine over at Ventureadlaxre got her hands on an early proof and reviewed the stories within. Of my little contribution she comments:

This [is] another short piece that packs a good punch, grim and dark but feeling completely right in the actions they take. This reminds me a little of one of the more recent Doctor Who episodes, in the best of ways.

I’ll happily take that, thanks Katharine! It’s always rewarding when someone enjoys something you’ve written.

Read about all the stories here: https://ventureadlaxre.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/review-insert-title-here-edited-by-tehani-wessely/

‘Suspended in Dusk’ launched!

Suspended in Dusk CoverSuspended in Dusk is finally out! My writing pal Simon Dewar collected and edited this despite all the exciting pitfalls of ‘My First Anthology Project’ and while eyeing off the impending Twinpocalypse looming down on his family. There are a bunch of amazing authors in here who are much more famous than I, and so my path to glory on the coattails of my peers continues. *coughs*

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I’ve waited. I’ve waited. So long – Reviewing ‘The Ocean at the End’ by the Tea Party

I’m generally one to rant passionately about things that I love that disappoint me. In fact, I will rant much more if my expectations are smashed than if I didn’t love it.

Disclaimer: I have never reviewed a music album before and so have no idea of the jargon or conventions of the form. You have been warned.

Warning: I say ‘awful’ a lot. Sorry about that.

[Update 21/9/2014: I’m positive I cut-and-pasted my quote from the 100PercentRock review verbatim, but I can’t find that exact quote anymore in the link I used, so I’ve cut-and-pasted the paragraph that is there now]

Intro

teaparty-coverSo! My first reaction to the unfortunately titled ‘The Ocean at the End’ (unfortunately, because Neil Gaiman wrote the excellent ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ which will forever appear in web searches above this album) was not great. I’ve listened to it a few more times now in its entirety, although at one stage I was playing interleaved tracks from this album and the immeasurably better ‘Transmission’.

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My Book is Now Magic: The Lumio Review (HT: @hellolumio)

I’m constantly spending money on nerdy and/or wanky crap, and then reviewing it on this site. I even do it constantly without any payment or free things from the manufacturers, can you believe it!

This time, I’m gushing about my latest Kickstarter arrival. For those of you who haven’t switched a computer on in a while, Kickstarter is one of the largest crowd funding sites out there. The Lumio was funded on March 15, 2013, and I received mine in the mail on Friday 14, 2014. I think, for a project of such ambition, that is more than reasonable. I waited longer than that (I think) for my Pebble.

Fair warning: this review is mostly awesome* photos.

TL;DR: If you have $160-$200 to spare (depending on postage) and you like books and portable lights and functional art, don’t bother reading this and go buy one here now.

*I am not a photographer.

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