“Can I Have a Cigarette?”: November in Review


November was supposed to be SciFi Month. I mean, it still was for everyone else and, while I usually have a theme for events like this, I had opted for a chaotic lack of a plan this time round. In the end that turned out to mean not taking part at all cos of a bunch of shitty life stuff converging all at once and my will to blog taking a nosedive. One of those shitty life things was finding out I need to have surgery on my ear or I could end up getting meningitis, so that’s fun. There’s a danger I could end up losing the hearing in my left ear post-surgery as well, so I’m consciously appreciating having full use of my hearing in the meantime.

I feel like I’ve been a bit all over the place this month with how I’ve been spending my time. I finished The Magnus Archives, which I’m kind of glad about to be honest. I really loved the earlier series but my interest started to wane the more it leaned into going full audio drama and I actually think the ‘statements’ in the final series would have just worked better as short stories. Cool story though; I was in Edinburgh at the weekend to go and see The Muppet Christmas Carol with a live orchestra (whole other story but that was awesome) and decided it would be a good experience to leave my hotel at midnight and go listen to episode one of The Magnus Archives on location in Old Fishmarket Close, where that episode’s statement occurred. Listening to that while sitting in the exact alleyway the episode describes in the dark was spooky as shit and I loved it.

I’ve been busy soliciting articles for the first issue of Seize The Press, a new online magazine I’m launching in January centring around left wing pop culture opinion. I’m hesitant to say too much about what exactly is going to be featured in issue one just yet, as the draft articles are coming in over the next few days and I want to get everything firmed up for publication before making solid announcements. Suffice to say I’m nervous and excited and kind of amazed this is actually becoming a real thing, after I just threw out a tweet about being frustrated with the lack of insightful, anti-corporate media criticism. Now this magazine is going to be real. I am paying the writers pro rates, which means I’m going to be losing money publishing this thing for the foreseeable future, so if anticapitalist pop culture stuff is something you’re interested in then please consider backing the Patreon, where you can get full advance access to every issue, but also you’d be helping ensure the mag has a sustainable long term future where writers can get paid fairly for their work, so please do check it out. (As an added incentive, there are a limited number of spaces for a discounted early backer tier – there are only three spots left and it means you’ll get the discounted rate forever).


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Other than that, I read a couple of books; Joe Abercrombie’s The Heroes, which was ok but definitely not his best work, and Erica L. Satifka’s new short story collection How to Get to Apocalypse and Other Disasters which was fan-bloody-tastic. Erica Satifka is one of the best writers you’ve probably never heard of or, at least, haven’t heard enough about. She writes cynical and incisive stories about technology and exploitation with messy as fuck characters doing their best to navigate the often authoritarian dystopias of her stories. Check out my reviews of her rural cyberpunk novella Busted Synapses and short story collection How to Get to Apocalypse and Other Disasters. She also came on the blog for a really cool Q&A you should also have a gander at. She also has a novel out from Apex called Stay Crazy about a Walmart worker who has to fight an interdimensional monster while trying to not get fired.

I would like to get back into blogging and reviewing more consistently; I did have a bit of a mood last night where I whizzed through a bunch of folks’ recent posts and had a lil chat with some of you, which was nice. Not making any promises though, as life continues to be a bit rough and I’m gonna be busy with Seize The Press over the coming months, but I’ll do my best to be around as much as possible. So hopefully I’ll be seeing you all around a bit more. In the meantime, happy reading bookwyrms.


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7 thoughts on ““Can I Have a Cigarette?”: November in Review

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    1. Yeah the surgery sucks ass but I’m v excited to launch the magazine; I feel like it’s a step towards doing something I could hopefully turn into a job one day cos I’d eventually like to be in a financial position to publish some short fiction and, further down the line, potentially some novellas and novels too. Not getting ahead of myself for now though.

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    1. Thanks, I’m a bit anxious about the surgery as I’ve been lucky enough to have not needed any in the past. First time going under the knife! Hopefully it will all go well though.

      Liked by 1 person

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