By Adam Roberts | October 10, 2005
Categories: Book News
There's been a pause in the up-dating (sorry, if you're bothered by that kind of thing). Not that I've been idle. We moved house, from a two-bed house in Staines with an outside study (a converted garage, separate from the house, very in-con-wenient in the rain) to a three bedroom house in Staines with an indoor study slightly closer to the train station. It's very exciting. Actually the process of moving house itself is very disruptive and rather exhausting, but it's done now. Nice new house. Very.
After which term started up again, a couple of weeks of build-up and then ram-stam into teaching and the other various hurlie-burlies. But, still, not to forget my Prime Directive ('write! write!' as Carlyle might put it) I have been working. I did some work on, well Euripides, if you must know. To be more specific, I've been doing CSI-style plasticene-head restorations of the dismembered and defaced Telephus, Phaethon and Hypsipyle. No, really. [11 October; certain people have complained that they don't understand what the foregoing, like, means. So, with a sigh, I'll spell it out. Not literal plasticene, of course: the plasticene is a metaphor for textual reconstruction. Yes, we have some Euripidean plays in their entirety, and some we have only as groups of fragments. For a couple of titles we have quite a lot of fragments. I had a go at writing linking matter to stich these fragments together for the three named plays, using our knowledge of the formulaic shape of Greek tragedy (episodes interspersed with choruses) and our knowledge from other sources of how the stories went. It proved quite amazingly addictive, not unlike sudoku, funnily enough ... in the sense of filling in the gaps according to the requirements of the surviving elements. I would tell you about it, if you were really interested, but I'm afraid you'd be bored. And too polite to tell me you're bored, just nodding away with a slightly pixilated smile on your face. I hate those situations.]
Now, there were other things too, like a couple of BenBella things, which are a pleasure to write. I've written, or am in line to pitch something for, The Boy From Krypton (edited by Mark Millar), The Unauthorized X-Men (edited by Len Wein) and Star Wars on Trial (edited by David Brin and Matt Stover). Indeed, my X-Men essay is due right about now, so as soon as I've finished this uploading malarky I'll get right on it.
Otherwise I've been finishing a novel, provisionally called Land of the Headless. I'm enjoying the writing (although, naturally, that doesn't actually mean anything) and another eight days, precisely, will see me finish a draft -- the exactness of ‘eight days' being nothing more than an indication of the exigencies of my teaching week, around which I must bend the drafting of the last couple of thousand words.
Yes I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, ‘but what happened to the good old days of monosyllabic, gruntable, title-I-begrudge-you-a-title wordlump titles? The days of Salt, and On and Ugh! and Ah!? I fear they've long gone. Whilst working on Headless (oh let me call it that, just once, for old time's sake) I've also written about twenty-thousand words of another novel, to be called A Solid Gold Penny, or -- if I can slip it past the eagle-eye of my editor -- A Solid Gold Pennie. So it seems like the tide for long titles has come in, or the tide for short titles has gone out, or possibly both together.
So, yeah, it's Land of the Headless and it's A Solid Gold Penny, a tad splurgy I know. But, I figure, so long as I don't get into The Contrabulous Fabtraption of Professor Horatio Hufnagel territory, then I'm OK.
Enough updating for now. I hereby promise not to let things slipslide for so long before the next update, which, indeed, will be in eight days time. So there.