As seen in the pub:

This picture on beermats. This is a link to a poster, and it's also available on a Tshirt.

Actually, it looks a bit like he's going to get his nose wet.

Anyway, there have been various odd bits of news. The Pentagon's advertising for people to sit on Draft boards . . . that's going to be a good way of recapturing the youth vote. The Beeb are, as I'm sure you all know by now, going to adapt the remainder of the Guide (the three books that weren't adapted from the radio series, that is). Oh, and there was this review of a Julian Cope concert the other day, too. If you haven't been fortunate enough to see this man live, I recommend you do. It's an experience you won't forget - and a massively enjoyable one, too, before the smart-alecs get their oars in.

And Neil Gaiman has already read the new Gene Wolfe. The bastard. I mean, it's very good of him to recommend it to people and reassure us that it's going to be good, but . . . the bastard.

I'm hoping that by reinstating the draft in order to support a war that's already losing support daily they undermine their chance of re-election beyond the hopes of the Democratic party...

At least we might have Democrats that aren't utterly generic and forgettable this time around...
We'll see. They'll have to become convinced that blandness isn't a winning strategy first.
Unfortunately, the blowback from the Confederate Flag comment the other night is most likely to convince them that it is. Don't say anything new, don't take the chance of being misunderstood. Stand there in a boring necktie and solemnly swear to be solemn.
I've seen Julian Cope twice, but both times it was in the 80's (one time was the World Shut Your Mouth tour). He was so excellent!

One of J's best friends shared house with Mr Cope back in the 80's and has some stories to tell.

I haven't seen the Archdrude in a couple of years, but back then (just pre-millenial, I guess) I saw him several times and he never failed to amaze.

Yes, I've heard a few stories about him, and they've just got to only be the tip of the iceberg.
Gene Wolfe, Neal Gaiman, Jay Lake, Blatant Plug
My friend Jay Lake, who is experiencing a much-deserved meteoric rise as a genre fiction writer, has recently been published alongside Neal Gaiman and a bunch of other people (Michael Moorcock, Alan Moore...), in THE THACKERAY T. LAMBSHEAD POCKET GUIDE TO ECCENTRIC AND DISCREDITED DISEASES. His story "Eglantine's Time" was in DARK TERRORS 6, and he's has about a million other things published in the last two years. More information can be found at, and

Oh yeah, Gene Wolfe-- Jay loves Gene Wolfe as much as you do and he's therefore something of a style monkey (his term). You'll like his work.

Re: Gene Wolfe, Neal Gaiman, Jay Lake, Blatant Plug
I was going to ask if that was the one Andrew was talking about when I was there in August. Coo...
Re: Gene Wolfe, Neal Gaiman, Jay Lake, Blatant Plug
Yeah, he's in with a pretty stellar lineup. I've read his story and it's pretty good.
Re: Gene Wolfe, Neal Gaiman, Jay Lake, Blatant Plug
That's OUR Andrew Wilson??? KEWL!!! What a small world SF is.

Re: Gene Wolfe, Neal Gaiman, Jay Lake, Blatant Plug
Yes. I saw him read his contributions (and a few other authors read theirs) at a con at easter.

Pretty good stuff.
Re: Gene Wolfe, Neal Gaiman, Jay Lake, Blatant Plug
You've mentioned him before, yes. I'll have to have an in-depth trawl at some point. Cheers.
Somewhere, we have a copy of the draft form that all young American men have had to fill in, by law, for years.

Another reason to be glad not to be American, particularly as you can't get out by kissing the sargeant these days.
The Beeb are, as I'm sure you all know by now, going to adapt the remainder of the Guide

Personally I think this is a very bad idea for lots of reasons - but my main objection is who on earth are they going to get to do the voice of the guide? Isn't Peter Jones dead?? And without him it just won't sound right.
Mr Jones did die a few years ago, yes.

I don't know. It could be a train-wreck, or it could be quite good - although it's unlikely to be anywhere near as good as the original series.
it's unlikely to be anywhere near as good as the original series

Yes, that's the fundamental point I suppose. As it was originally a series written for the radio that was then turned into novels, I'm just not sure that it'll work very well the other way (novel into radio series). But for all that I'm sure I'll give it a go anyway! I really ought to get round to buying cds of the originals - I've got the cassette box set, but I live in fear of the stereo chewing them up as I was given them way back for my 21st birthday!
Bah! I WANT it. On a skinny fit t-shirt... :-(
*Pout* the best t-shirt designs are never made for us little-uns...
Buy the largest size you can find, give it my mother and tell her "Mrs. Buchanan, it's absolutely, life-endingly, eternal-soul-destroyingly vital that this shirt not shrink in the wash." It'll be nicely snug, no matter how small your frame.

She will also kindly do this to the kilt you've mowed yards and lifeguarded for two years as a teen to be able purchase before you can even say the word "Nnnnooooooooooooo!!!" I'm not making this up.

[deep breath]

I'm okay. No bitterness here, no. God I need a drink.
I thought my mother was the only person in the world capable of that. Her specialty was shrinking anything that she didn't like, whether or not I'd bought it with my own money.

I've been doing my own laundry approximately since I got my first paper route.
The possible revival of draft boards is pretty unsurprising, given how badly the Bushies have mangled two simultaneous deployments. They've even gotten a pretty good bounce, with very few recent casualties out of Kabul, and still they're managing to scare away a lot of their normal pool of recruits (poor kids who have few options know this is a sucker bet... the dumb kids who join so they can shoot guns will still come in droves). The Administration has also gotten lucky that most reporters don't count the mercenary casualties, both US citizens and not, in their body count or we'd be seeing some truly ghastly numbers, especially from near Falujah (let's just say I have a source whose current motto is "better them than me").

Still, it's staggerig to think how far the popularity of military service has fallen in such a short time. You know, I was a heartbeat away from walking down to the US Marine Corps recruiting station for a few months after 9/11, until I became certain that no lessons were learned by The Only President I Got, and our military might would be squandered in the service of the megacorps. I'm perfectly happy (well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration) to water the tree of liberty with my blood if that's what it comes down to, if I can do so comfortable in the knowledge that the world might just become a better place. I could cope with giving up a very decent life I've built, hiding a lot of things about myself, etc, for a cause which I believe is just. But nobody wants to die so Halliburton's quarterly earnings reports will be a bit stronger.