I've been playing around with MySpace recently (there's a link to my profile there on the right, just scroll down). For all its considerable faults, it's this year it seems to have really grabbed hold of a lot of writers. I was steering clear of the site for a long time because I thought it was primarily intended for teenagers - and largely, it is. But there's a very formidable community of genre novelists and the like on there, enough so for me to take the plunge and put a profile up a couple of months ago. David Louis Edelman has a fair bit to say about the site from a programmer's point of view on a recent blog entry.

I've become seriously addicted to www.youtube.com. No, sorry, it's too late for me. Watch this, if you can stand the cheesy eighties metalness of it all. Why? Why, you cry? Well - assuming you're not scarred for life by all the spandex and poodle haircuts, you might just spot a chap in the line-up who subsequently spent several years doing cover art for many UK sf book imprints, and has since moved on to doing installations for rather large fees (or so I understand). I couldn't possibly name the individual concerned - although he's an acquaintance of mine and several other people I know.

On the subject of youtube again: a spot of browsing has located segments from the South Park episode I mentioned recently - particularly Tom Cruise Still Won't Come Out Of The Closet and The Secret Doctrine Of Scientology.

Lastly, I recently had occasion to come across a site maintained by an Australian sf writer Simon Haynes. He's also a programmer - I haven't had time to fully check it out, but he's the author of what appears to be a rather nifty piece of software designed for the express purpose of planning out, organising and writing a novel. Worth checking out, since it looks like it might make the process of writing a book a touch less daunting if you haven't done it before.

Gee, you can tell I've got a lot of spare time on my hands right now, can't you?


David Louis Edelman said...

I now feel like something of a hypocrite for being so harsh on MySpace, because I've been seriously friend-hunting there the past few days and getting some good results. 651 friends, and hardly any of them fronts for soft-core porn!

Makes me feel like a bit of a self-promotional sleazoid to be friend-hunting like this. But hey, my book is about self-promotional sleazoids.

Anonymous said...

Mike Cobley says -

News of a dubious nature: Heavy Pettin in reform-album shocker! True, as I live and breath -


Gary Gibson, science fiction writer said...

David - I think most of the people you and I 'friend' on myspace are creative types - mostly writers, and if there's one thing writers need more than anything, it's letting the world and each other know they exist. I've got books in my wishlist that weren't there until I tripped over their profiles on Myspace.

Part of the problem is the language myspace uses - since it was originally designed to appeal to American teenagers, the language is still oriented that way. It might be nice to have a slightly separate 'adult' myspace - or even a networking site that works the same way, but is aimed specificaly at artists, writers, musicians and so forth, even if such a network already exists, in a virtual context, within the greater morass of the myspace profiles. It's a thought, anyway. At the very least, having the option to change 'my friends' to 'my connections' would feel a little less, eh, bubblegum.

Could that greasemonkey thing do that, you think? Change the words on the page?

Mike - I know. Bloody hell. I wasn't going to mention because I thought the universe might implode if I did and suck us all back to 1985, and I really don't think I could reasonably be asked to live through Rick Astley all over again.