and a new SFBRP episode.

I was going to post about this ages ago, but kept doing other things. Today I decided I wouldn’t do any other writing until I knocked out another 2000 words on my current novel… that’s why I’m posting this at 3am after much keyboard-tapping, food-eating, with-Pola-chatting, Banksy-book-reading and ping-pong-playing.

Last night I did a live video stream recording of my book review podcast. I announced the event on Twitter, and the author of the book, Tobias Buckell, obviously tracks his own name somehow. Not only did he plug the live event, but popped in to watch for a while. I’m not sure how long he stayed. Technology is great, innit?

Next bit of news: I made an account on You can find me here:

I’m going to be using this to keep track of which books listeners to the SFBRP have recommended. This post is just a test, but I’ll be using the feeds to display different lists of books. I think if you hover your mouse over the images, you get to see the titles, and if you click you get to see load more info.

I have these books at home right now:

These have been recommended, and I plan to read them sooner rather than later:

Listeners recommended these books, and I’m sure I’ll read them at some point:

Listeners recommended these books, but I’ve already read them, and don’t plan on re-reading them just to review:

Of course, these are just SOME of the recommended titles. I need to trawl through all my emails and add the rest of the books to the lists too.

SFBRP Live Show Tonight!

SFBRP Live Show tonight! Begins in about 3.5 hours. That makes it:
11pm my time (Central European Summer time)
10pm British Summer Time
5pm Eastern Daylight Time
2pm Pacific Daylight Time

The book I’ll be reviewing is Crystal Rain by Tobias S Buckell. Just go to, hang out and enjoy the ride. For some reason I feel a rant coming on… but I won’t give it away early.

Cutting a long show short.

A while ago I swapped some things around in my show to add in a new ring routine. Even though it felt like the show remained the right length, I’d accidentally extended it by a number if minutes.

For example a few cruises ago the cruise director called me after the first show to say “You went long, cut it down a bit for the second show.” I checked the video of show (I was recording my shows to get a good version of my ring routine on video) and it had run 67 minutes. My contract only called for a 45 minute show, and I’d been aiming for 50 minutes. 67 minutes is exactly half the length of the show too long. My second show that night, while really rushing it, came in at something like 64 minutes.

Tonight I did two really fun shows, both exactly 58 minutes long. Under an hour each! Result! Unfortunately this means I still have ten minutes I could cut from my show. The thing is, I’m really proud of my current show as it is, and I don’t want to cut any of it!

So the question remains… should I:

A – Cut the ring section?
B – Cut the tennis ball and can/ping pong ball and bat section?
C – Swap the above two with a club and video routine?
D – Leave the show as it is, knowing that it is good enough to keep people in their seats for the extra time, and hope that the cruise director doesn’t mind because the show is entertaining?

I’m leaning towards D. It’s less effort on my part. The only thing I’m worried about is doing a long BAD show. If that happens, I’m screwed.

I finally got a good video of a clean performance of my ring routine. I planned to share this on youtube. But I think I’m going to work on the routine a bit more before releasing a video version. There a few places that need slight changes, and when reviewing the video I saw I don’t look relaxed on stage while doing the juggling.

However, the video quality of the footage from my second show looks really good. I’m going to keep the hour long video file, and if anyone asks “I’d like to see a video of your full show” I can just send them that on a DVD.

Productivity planning at sea…

Now I have something like 6 days at sea. That means plenty of time for reading, writing, eating, swimming, juggling and whatever else I can find to do.


  • The Accidental Time Machine – Joe Haldeman. I just found this in the library, and it looks quite fun.
  • Crystal Rain – Tobias S Buckell. I bought this at JFK.
  • The Final Circle of Paradise – Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. It’s sitting there on my iPod Touch, but is getting weirder. I have to read it in short chunks.


  • Finish continuity edit on the novella Monster Story. This should take me two or three days.
  • Look up notes and previous attempts at my next novel project. I’m going to give this project the code name “Human Danger”.
  • I wrote one novel in November and a novella in February (and a bit of march), which means, on a one month on, two month off (not off so much as “editing and catching up on reading”)… May is another writing marathon month! On May first I’ll begin my third (maybe forth) attempt at writing Human Danger.


  • Generally keep practicing.
  • Get a good video of my ring routine.

    Eating and swimming and “whatever else I can find to do” doesn’t need much planning.