Notes from New Sodom

... rantings, ravings and ramblings of strange fiction writer, THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

"Say 'Jeez'!"

Oh the giddy life of Hal Duncan, media slut! I'm playing catch-up here with this blog because last week was fucking hectic as hell. Photoshoot at the Glasgow Science Centre on Wednesday, Gary's book launch on Thursday, interrupting my hangover on Friday to crawl to the bank and cash the first installment of my advance (woohoo!), then off to the shops to pick out brand spanking new laptop - Hmm... all so tasty... all so neat... ooh pretty... but I think I'll have... that one - and then of course off to the pub to celebrate the purchase of aforesaid laptop ("wetting the baby's head", I believe it's called).

But, yeah. I don't know what the coolest part was. Was it Wednesday afternoon with Gary, Mike and me posed under Glasgow's gleaming silvery-finned tower that turns in the wind (clearly designed, it is, I think, for launching spaceships, mooring retrofuture zeppelins)? Was it being in this trio of leather-jacketed anti-geeks posed by the photographer fellow on the steps under that soaring structure, like some mutant hybrid of an indie rock band and The Champions? Was it walking back to the West End in the blistering sunshine of Glasgow's one-day-summer, chatting with Mike about his move to Moldova, and writing, and WorldCon next year... and thinking about the chances, the feel of those chances, the smell of them, the taste of them, of what might be, just maybe, maybe?

Or the next day, sitting in Ottakers watching Gary take to the whole professional writer thing like a duck to water, reading out his novel chunks all slow and self-assured, fielding flippant questions from the floor (like Phil's tongue-in-cheek "Do you have any advice for an aspiring young writer?"), giving even these glib jests good ten minute answers? Or fluttering like a social butterfly between the tables of smokers and non-smokers in the pub afterward, getting off on that buzz of good-feeling and mock-jealousy for a mate's success? Drunkenly planning the Scottish assault on SF's bastions? A Velvet Revolution in British SF, by God! Tennent's Velvet, that is. And realising that the really cute friend of my mates Chris and Claire - yeah, the one in the old army jacket and the indie-boy stubble, so British Sea Power and so clearly straight it hurts - well, that was Xander, yeah, Claire's little brother, yeah, the gay one that you met before, dipshit, the smart and cute and interesting one you met before, fool... and you didn't even say hello to him, you twat. But, hey, there's no time to kick myself cause it's all back to mine for absinthe(!) and Bob's flavoured gin(!) and song after song after song after song on the stereo, until half my CD's lie scattered across the floor and I'm on my knees amongst them digging through for the right tune - exactly the right tune - to follow what is playing right now. On my knees like a fucking supplicant to my gods. Io, Dionysus, daimon deity of this drunken fool right here, right now. Io, Apollo, go-go-boy of good tunes, jangling blue guitar strings singing things exactly as they are, right here, right now.

Right now... right now... right now. It's time to... kick out the jams, motherfucker!

And a good night was had by all? Fuck yeah!

Or was the high spot waking up on the Friday to a splitting headache and a cheque through the letterbox, the first installment of my advance? Yeehaw! So I grab me a couple of Anadin Extra and a bottle of Irn Bru to slug down as I shuffle through Kelvingrove Park with my dog, Kore. After a mug of coffee and a few chocolate chip cookies for brunch, bachelor waster that I am, I shuffle up to the bank and, well, I could just pop into Laptops Direct, couldn't I? Just for a look. Just for a look at the IBM ThinkPad A31 with the blah and the blah and the yakkety-shmakkety of hardware specifications. All I care about is it's woofty, it's solid enough to brain someone with and it's got a good hardy keyboard action. I don't play computer games, I'm not a gadget freak, and all the geek-speak of memory and megahertz leaves me cold. Fuck that shit. A "gig" is somewhere you go to listen to loud music, strip to the waist and throw yourself into the mosh pit with gay abandon. Computer games? The only "Doom" I'm interested in is the one in the Silver Ford Capri, the one that's burning the road of all dust, tearing towards us all out of the shimmering heat of summer's end.

Life's too short. Fucking believe it, man.



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