Monday, April 07, 2008


Here's a detail from the cover illustration for my new book. Or at least I'm hoping that's what it'll be. I haven't yet heard back from my editor regarding the story, so I might be jumping the gun rather. And of course there's no guarantee that I'd get the job of doing the cover illustration in any case. Have to give it a go, though.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Circles of Hell. No.1 (in a series of seven): Other people's music.

In the first circle of hell, we have other people's music forced upon us. How come other people have such appalling taste? Are they deaf? Whenever somebody pulls up next to me at traffic lights, with their sound system going DUH-DUH-DUH-DUH-DUH, I feel as though I'm under some dreadful viral attack. Have I got any antidote handy? No. Only an old Oscar Peterson cassette in the glove compartment. I wonder if maybe the adjacent driver is off on some secret and dangerous mission, whereby he'll be brutally tortured if caught and that this is his way of hardening himself up in advance. Like a cattle prod up the bum is going to be a stroll in the park after an hour or two of listening to this.

I suspect that in many cases DUH-DUH music comes ready-installed with the car. Or perhaps you buy it from a motor accessories shop.

"Hallo. I want a tin of T-Cut, a RipCurl bumper sticker, and oh yeah...some of that performance stuff that you put in the sound system. You know - it makes a big noise, makes the car go faster, whatever."

"Certainly Sir. Techno-pump. We've got an uprated version. Try this: Now That's What I Call Music For People Who Don't Like Music! '68.

"Sounds great."

No, it sounds crap, actually. And everyone knows it but you, don't they?