Retro sci-fi as Santa climbs the walls.

I think we’ve sorted the mould now. It was a horror though. We found it lurking in pretty much every room, though lots of hard cleaning work with fungicide and a newly acquired dehumidifier seems to be turning the tide.

It means I can return to ‘The long Summer of war which has been taking a back role with only a small amount written on it. Perhaps today I’ll do a big chunk? Still, there’s no rush as the deadline for delivery of the anthology it is part of is provisionally set at next January. Plenty of time.

I sent out a manuscript via email to an agent who came recomended through two mutual friends the other day. As is often said throughout the media: it isn’t what you know but who you know. Or at least, who you know who knows some-one else of importance. It was a pleasent surprise and quite refreshing to get a response within no more than a quarter of an hour from him thanking me for the six chapters and saying if he hadn’t responded within two weeks to give him a prod via email. It is nice to deal with accessible and friendly professional people. I just hope that the manuscript doesn’t disappoint him; fingers crossed.

I’ve been trying to get into an old book by Arthur C. Clarke again. Whilst waiting at the GP’s surgery, it sometimes pays to have a good book to hand. At any rate, a book is better than a twelve hand copy of a three year old edition of Hello! magazine. I’ve got a large collection of sci-fi, and I felt I should get to work reading a few more of the ones that I bought to make up many of Waterstones’ three for two offers. This one is called ‘A fall of moondust’ and I have to say was very disappointing at first. Books from the sixties are very much like films of the era: very slow-paced, waffley and take a while to get going. Arthur C. Clarke might be regarded as an exceptional writer, but this book from the early sixties falls into many of the sci-fi literary traps of the time. I’m halfway through it now, and it is picking up a lot though. However, I suspect if Mr. Clarke had been submitting it to publishers in this day and age, it would be flatly turned down by every single one for its slow start. How times and tastes change. He does however keep up with his knack for predicting the technology of the future, and this book predicts the computer (actually ‘electronic’ as described in the book, but we’ll give him the benefit) spelling and grammer checker – quite a novel idea I suspect in 1961.

Summer still appears to be here. We’re actually drying clothes in the back garden at the moment, which is something that most of July, August and September didn’t allow. There is a little nip in the air and you can tell Christmas is nearly here, if you believe the stuff on sale in the shops. I would say I was wondering when the first council house would get its Christmas decorations up (not wishing to play to stereotypes, but doing so anyway) but I’m too late. If you want to see them, they’re on the corner of St Peter’s Way and Turton Street. I think though they take the record only by virtue of having not been taken down since last year. Santa looks a little weather worn now.