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By nebbish (Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 02:11:44 AM EST) Sister's wedding, drinking, books (all tags)
of selling naked childhood photos of yourself to paedophiles?


Sister's Fiancee's Stag Night

Started off with go carting in Warrington, which I was completely shit at. I just cannot work up an interest in things with engines, and didn't get on with it that well at all. Glad I tried it though.

Much better was the night out on the piss in Liverpool, upon which we amusingly rolled around town collecting random people like a game of Katamari Damacy. The Philharmonic has to be one of the nicest pubs I've ever been in. Its grade one listed toilets were particularly cool and I enjoyed pissing on them.

We also went to Alma de Cuba, a Catholic chapel converted into a bar without making too much of a mess of it, the stained glass, alter etc all remaining. Later ended up in god knows what club, a pound to get in and cheap drinks. I forgot about the new licensing laws and did my usual "might as well stay until it shuts", finally having to admit defeat at 4.30am and stagger back to the Adelphi.

I believe the appropriate term for such hotels is "faded grandeur". It is beautiful but has obviously seen better days - mind you, it could rise again if they fitted showers you didn't have to sit down in the bath to use, included breakfast in the 70 quid per night (per person, twin room) price and gave you more than one sachet of shower gel and two teabags as your complimentaries.

The Sefton Suite in the Adelphi was fitted by Cunard at the same time as the Titanic, and is apparently a replica of the smoking lounge on the ship. It was pretty spectacular, and even better in the early hours of the morning filled with kebab-eating drunken scousers slumped on the oppulent sofas.

Books

More than a bit pissed off that "I Am Alive and You Are Dead: A Journey Into the Mind of Philip K Dick" is largely made up of comprehensive spoilers of all his novels. I've read his first two novels, so could read the first 100 pages but have had to stop - Dick is one of those writers who's books would be completely ruined if you knew what was going to happen. If you ask me that's a pretty crap way to write a biography. At least I got it second-hand.

So I need to order another cheapo book from Amazon. Possible choices so far:

"Jem" by Frederick Pohl
"Ice Station Zebra" by Alexander Maclean
"The Difference Engine" by William Gibson and Bruce Stirling
"The Great Victorian Collection" by Brian Moore
"High Rise" by JG Ballard

See poll

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Anyone know the legal status | 21 comments (21 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Alistair Maclean by DullTrev (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 02:28:47 AM EST

Get thee to a secondhand bookshop, they'll have piles of his stuff, no need to buy new.

The Difference Engine is mildy amusing, so go for that instead.


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DFJ?
Only 1p second hand on Amazon by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 02:33:53 AM EST
P&p will raise that a bit though.

My second hand bookshop would be great if it put books in alphabetical order, you come across random gems but finding anything specific is impossible.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
'He works for Cunard' - old joke ... by yicky yacky (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 02:33:18 AM EST

My Grandad had shelves full of Alistair MacLean and Hammond Innes stuff. I read most of it in my early teens (there wasn't a terrific amount else to do down there) and recall that some of the MacLean stuff rocked: Bear Island, Where Eagles Dare and Ice Station Zebra especially (I've still not seen the films). Pretty relentlessly fast-paced, I seem to recall.

Ahhh, Liverpool. Well, if you can't get good-and-drunk there, you'll have a hard time doing it anywhere. The Philharmonic is nice, but a bit atypical, catering mostly to the evening theatre trade. If anyone wants a look, there's a mock 3d java applet at the BBC website.


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
Never read them before by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 02:35:18 AM EST
But I like a good thriller so thought I should give him a go.

We were on a proper crawl so only stayed in the Phil for two pints. You're right though, Liverpool is fucking great for a night out.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Cracking books by DullTrev (4.00 / 3) #5 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 02:47:00 AM EST

You know you aren't going to get any deep philosophical messages, and that's just great.

HMS Ulysses is a corker.


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DFJ?
[ Parent ]
There's a lot to be said by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 02:56:39 AM EST
For the well-crafted page-turner.

I'm interested in Ice Station Zebra becuase that stuff actually went on without anyone knowing about it, Maclean heard it off a mate of his who was a spy or something. I find the Cold War dead interesting as well.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
In my experience, the thing most guarantreed by DesiredUsername (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 02:47:04 AM EST
to ruin a Dick novel is reading it.

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Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline
Heh by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 02:54:57 AM EST
I know where you're coming from. I suspect I've had good luck so far - I've only read The Man in The High Castle, Time Out Of Joint and Ubik, which are considered his best.

Didn't like Ubik as much as I thought I would when I started it, but still enjoyed it. The Man in the High Castle is brilliant though.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Pohl is cool. by NoMoreNicksLeft (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 03:12:12 AM EST
Haven't read Jem though. Wan-To is my kind of guy, btw. Poor Wan-wan-wan.

The Difference Engine wasn't bad, but still slightly disappointing. I like alternate history as a genre, and on that note it's pretty thin. Others consider it steampunk, a genre that I care little for.

Selling pictures of yourself as a naked child is probably illegal. Even children that do so can be prosecuted. Remember a case of two 16-yr-olds that made a video of themselves, when the video was discovered, considered childporn and both were charged. Freaky, eh?
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Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.

Damn! by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 03:18:52 AM EST
Though I was sitting on a gold mine there.

I read "Gateway" by Pohl which I thought was amazing, it's meant to be his best but I'm sure I'd enjoy the rest of his stuff.

Don't really like the sound of the Difference Engine, but the idea of it just appeals to me so much...

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
"Ice Station Zebra"? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #11 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 03:25:51 AM EST
Dude, save yourself some time and just read a few Destroyer novellas.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

What are those? [nt] by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 03:32:49 AM EST

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Remo Williams, funnier, with a looser plot by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 04:10:00 AM EST
I like them both, but find McLean more engaging.


[ Parent ]
Damn, those are some nice urinals by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #13 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 03:34:46 AM EST

If only every place treated their toilets with such dignity and good taste.

Also, I hereby humbly suggest "Confessions of a Crap Artist". It's not science fiction, really, but it is by far my favorite Dick novel.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
I like it just for the name :-) by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #14 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 03:42:14 AM EST
Unfortunately that was one of the books spoiled in the bio. However, I have completely forgotten what it was about this morning. Maybe I should read the rest of the book after all, my goldfish memory has saved the day.

Forgot to mention that the toilets are the only grade one listed in the country (grade one listed means they have the same protection as Stonehenge, Buckingham Palace etc).

Damn fine toilets.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
I Am Alive... by motty (4.00 / 1) #16 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 05:35:48 AM EST
Interesting that you should have felt that way about it. Then again, I've read many more than two Philip K Dick novels, albeit still less than half of them, though. Even so, I wasn't bothered at all about the 'spoiler' thing.

It is after all not so much a documentary-style biography of the man himself as a literary critical biography of his work, and as such would have been pretty hard to write without going into detail. I found it an excellent book and I don't feel that it has spoiled anything for me in terms of those Dick novels I haven't yet read - if anything, quite the reverse. I thought it did an unusually good job of pointing out some of the underlying themes running through his work as it develops over time, and I thought that Carrere did an excellent job of writing about another writer's life and work without making me feel like I was reading an extremely long and boring piece of magazine journalism.

Not only that, but some of the later novels are pretty much unspoilable, I think, both in terms of their rereadability and in terms of the way in which the backstory around Dick's actual life, if you know any of it, whether from this book or elsewhere, seems to add rather than take from the reading experience. A Scanner Darkly, for example, stands up well as a novel on its own, but it has an epilogue which made me suddenly need to read the whole thing again.

Essentially, I don't agree at all that his books would be completely ruined if you knew what was going to happen. I think they're a lot better than that. Especially the later ones.

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T

OK, fair enough by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #17 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 05:45:18 AM EST
I suppose the only ones he's covered so far in the bio are one's I've read - so I don't really know if he'd spoil unread ones or not yet, if you see what I mean.

I'm thinking of continuing with it anyway as I've completely forgotten about the one covered that I have read, Confessions of a Crap Artist, because I have such a crap memory...

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
i voted for jem by 256 (4.00 / 1) #18 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 06:09:14 AM EST
and wish that i could cast a negative vote for difference engine. the rest i haven't read.

and on the subject of philip k. dick i recommend A Scanner Darkly and Confessions of a Crap Artist. I have read most of his work and those two stand out in my mind as far and away the best.
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I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni

When I read A Scanner Darkly last year by komet (2.00 / 0) #19 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 07:18:52 AM EST
my thought was, "Philip K. Dick totally ripped off this Frank Duff guy".

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<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
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Jem is by Scrymarch (2.00 / 0) #20 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 03:39:39 PM EST
... fun but pretty dated. I liked the future tourism but felt I had to slog through a pretty artificial cold war action plot to get there.

The Political Science Department of the University of Woolloomooloo

OK by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #21 Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 11:50:57 PM EST
Food for thought. I might wait until I see it second-hand somewhere.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Anyone know the legal status | 21 comments (21 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback