Sunday, June 29, 2008

Diminutive wooden building envy

I'm sure there's a medical condition and a Latin phrase for shed envy. After the last couple of weeks spent under siege of builders and the upcoming second phase of the same, I've an attack of green-eyed jealousy towards Alex Stewart—better known to the wider reading public as Sandy Mitchell, as that's the name Alex uses for his hugely popular Warhammer 40,000 novels. Even if you're not normally into that kind of thing, you really should try Alex's Ciaphus Cain series which owes more to George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman than anything in the Warhammer universe.

We spent Saturday afternoon barbecuing, drinking and soaking up the sunshine at Alex's shed-warming party. The photo makes the barbecue look deceptively close but, rest assured, the shed was not allowed to get too warm.

Alex "One Shed" Stewart

Oh, for somewhere to just go away and hide to get on with what needs doing! I'm told by Alex that he's managed to pick up the pace of his writing considerably and, an added bonus, once the day's work is done and he wanders down the garden back to the house, it's like leaving the office behind for the evening. There's a separation of work and home which, if you're like me, you don't get because wherever I am in the house, I'm no more than five seconds away from my office.

One online translator suggests effundo invidia for "shed envy" but that's wrong as that's "shed" as in an effusive outpouring. Vegrandis nemorosus aedificium edificium invidia is "diminutive wooden building envy". Not that I'm obsessed. I'm just not looking forward to the coming disruptions.

To take my mind off diminutive wooden buildings, here's another picture that I scanned alongside some more pics for the Sci-Fi Art book. Just proves that the Foss School lives on. The artwork is by Dominic Harmon who has done some very nice covers for the SF Masterworks series.

A couple of bits of news from a couple of people who have been big supporters and contributors to Bear Alley. Jeremy Briggs has just posted a very good interview with Bill McLoughlin at John Freeman's Down the Tubes website. I found it fascinating as Bill was my editor when I was writing for Starblazer many years ago.

And Richard Sheaf and his wife, Alice, have just had a baby daughter, Zoe Laura. I'm sure you'll all join me in offering huge and hearty congratulations to the proud (and probably exhausted) parents.

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