Taiwan was great. Not perfect, but a lot of fun. It's also possibly to live there incredibly cheaply - I'm looking into going back over, possibly early next year, for anything between a few and several months depending on how certain visa issues work out, and whether I can get anyone to rent my flat out in the meantime. A lot of people from the States and Australia wind up there, teaching English. But a bit of a sabbatical and a break from Scotland - especially at this time of year - seems like the way to go.
I really love the cheap Sony Vaio I bought some months back, but if there's one thing I really don't love, it's Windows, particularly since I got a Mac Mini a year or two back. The Vaio ran W2000 and it was just an endless litany of crashes and software issues. In the end I got sick of it and dropped a couple hundred on a refurb 12 inch ibook from Cancom.co.uk. It's just sickeningly good, from setup through to its automatic detection of my wifi network. It's sweet to write on, like the Mac Mini, everything a portable writing experience should be. A mac notebook is something I've wanted for a long, long time.
More good reviews are still coming in, particularly this very nice one from Lisa Tuttle, who reviewed Stealing Light in The Times last week (I recall meeting Lisa a couple of times in the early Nineties when she visited the Glasgow Science Fiction Writer's Circle, and I still have a copy of Windhaven, a novel she wrote with George RR Martin some years ago):
Dakota Merrick is propelled into the centre of events against her better judgment. She is a former military pilot and “machine-head” — implants in her skull enable her to survive, but may be responsible for the trail of death and destruction in her wake. The action is intense — but it's intelligently written and thought-provoking as well.