For the third year running, the Mindless Ones will be at the Thought Bubble comic convention in Leeds, far and away Britain’s best comic convention. This time, we’ll have a whole TWO tables in the Allied London Hall (meaning that we’ll have done all three halls), and we need them, because there’s lots of stuff for sale.
I can only talk publicly about *my* stuff here, but I will have the first ten copies ever printed of my collection of essays about Doctor Who, Fifty Stories For Fifty Years, available — it comes out tomorrow, the day of the anniversary itself (I haven’t even looked at the copies myself yet, so they’re unproofed — caveat lector). I will also have copies of my book about Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers, An Incomprehensible Condition, and my essays about comics and Doctor Who, Sci-Ence! Justice Leak!, as well as my short story collection Ideas And Entities. I may have one or two copies of my music books as well if I have any left over from last year (I haven’t checked). I will also scribble in the books if you wish. If you’re very lucky I may even let you suck on my nuts.*
But along with me will be Bobsy, Illogical Volume, The Beast Must Die, Gary Lactus, Mr Attack, and special Mindless auxiliary/wife of me Hollistic Tendancies. All of them will have things to sell you as well, and they’ll all be wonderful. Most of them have even got actual comics, not just books with words in like what I do.
AND NOT ONLY THAT! This year Lactus and The Beast will be doing a special LIVE SILENCE! — you, yes YOU could be a part of comics’ greatest podcast, and maybe be among those few mortals who have gazed upon the face of Lactus and lived to tell the tale.
There are some other people going to be there as well — nonentities like Kate Beaton, Paul Cornell, Becky Cloonan, Nicholas Gurwitch, David Hine, Frazer Irving, David Lloyd, John McCrea, Peter Milligan, Cameron Stewart, Al Ewing, Oscar Zarate, D’Israeli… but why would you want to see a bunch of nobodies like that, when there’s so much Hot Mindless Action to be had?
*I bring a large bag of sugared almonds for just such an eventuality.
Situation report: The Who book is done, and if I get VERY lucky I will have the first ten copies available for sale on Saturday at Thought Bubble. Caveat lector — I’ve not looked at these myself, yet, so there may be uncaught errors.
I’m out tomorrow to see They Might Be Giants, and I’m finishing a short story with a deadline of a few days from now, so don’t expect anything more before Thought Bubble. But as of next Monday, I’ll be posting here more — I have no other major plans now, other than finishing the novel.
Links, so I can close some browser tabs.
A Pop Garden Christmas — a compilation of powerpop Christmas songs by people like Blake Jones, Lisa Mychols and others, available for $10.
Just so people know, I’m still hoping to have the book version of Fifty Stories available for Thought Bubble. But I’ve been unwell recently and still haven’t finished copy-editing. If I can get it completed by Saturday, there’s a chance I’ll have copies to sell at Thought Bubble, but I’m not going to guarantee it. If I don’t, it’s entirely my own fault — I’ve just been too exhausted from my various illnesses to sit down and concentrate for any length of time.
I’ve been rubbish about replying to their emails, so I’ll just say here, as publicly as possible, that Alex Wilcock and Plok have both gone miles out of their way to help me with this, giving me tons of great feedback. I haven’t been able to use it all — Plok sometimes sees so much unfulfilled potential in my essays that I’d have to write three or four new ones to tease out all the threads he suggests, and I’m up against a deadline — but I’ve used a great deal, and it’s improved the book immensely.
Once this is out of way, I’ll be finishing off a short story I’ve been commissioned to write for an anthology, which will take a chunk of next week (but will be worth it). After that, posting here should get back to being at least semi-regular, and I’ll return to Tumblr, though I’ve still got the second draft of the novel to complete.
But theoretically, after Thought Bubble, you’ll start seeing more posts in the Liberalism and Time Machine series. I’ll try to get a California Dreaming post up on Sunday.
I just posted the following on the Lib Dem voice thread that can be found here, and it was deleted by moderator Andy Boddington, who has also banned me from commenting on the site, because “there must be a bingo card for this somewhere, and I suspect you’d have got a full house by now” is “abusive and unacceptable”.
I quite agree. What size and shape anyone is is nobody’s business but their own.
I have never said that you have no right to voice your opinion. What I *have* said is that the opinion you have is over things that are none of your business, and that by stating your opinion you are causing real, actual harm to real, actual people. I have also, you will notice, actually taken the time and trouble to debate the few substantive points you have made, and provided citations for the more controversial claims I have made; a courtesy you have not bothered with yourself. You’ve instead chosen to interpret disagreement as an attempt to silence you, yet another in the wearying list of debating tactics used by those who wish to claim the moral high ground for themselves while continuing to spout harmful nonsense (there must be a bingo card for this somewhere, and I suspect you’d have got a full house by now).
As for the NHS “argument”, it is at best disingenuous. I engage in various horribly risky activities like drinking coffee, eating biscuits, crossing the road, and staying up past my bedtime. All of these activities have the potential to harm my health in some way, and yes, I hope that should they do so I will receive whatever treatment for them exists, even if it costs the NHS money.
But I also hope that those people who engage in a whole swathe of other horribly risky activities that I *don’t* do — like smoking, or drinking alcohol, or driving cars, or playing rugby, or drinking tea, or having sex with multiple partners, or owning a cat, all of which can *also* cause harm to people’s health — will receive medical treatment if and when those things cause them harm.
And unless you are the single most risk-averse person in the whole country, that applies to you as well. You do risky things that may harm your health, and if they do, you’ll be able to get treatment for them, partly paid for by people who *don’t* do those particular risky things.
I mean, you could, if you want, be consistent, and say all those things are also your business, but for myself I actually *like* the idea of people being able to take risks, without having their every deviation from a norm of expected bodily type (or indeed conformity to an expected body type in the case of the average-sized women who are apparently so concerning to you) or behaviour be considered wrong, but still having a publicly-funded safety net there to catch them. Call me a hopelessly naive utopian, if you will, but I think that sounds like a rather good idea myself…
ETA: If you want to know some of why I think this is important, see Jennie Rigg’s rather marvellous post here