If you could have the possibility to have a drink with an author, dead or alive, who would it be? – Teuta Metra
I wouldn't want to have a drink with someone who would feel their time was being wasted on me, though the authors I have met have all been very nice. I think I'd pick one of the many authors I've never met who have contributed to TQF, like Rafe McGregor, Jacob Edwards, Charles Wilkinson or Douglas Ogurek. Or maybe Ramsey Campbell, not just because of his writing, but because I worked with him for years on the British Fantasy Society Committee without ever having the nerve to speak to him in person.
Six books within reach. – Facebook meme
The closest six to me right now: Hainish Tales, Vol. 1, Ursula Le Guin (52 cm), Zenith Phase One, Grant Morrison & Steve Yeovil (61 cm), Nancy's Mysterious Letter, Carolyn Keene (67 cm), Penguin Concise Dictionary (72 cm), New Oxford Spelling Dictionary (73 cm) and New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors (74 cm).
What have you been creating during lockdown? – BBC Radio 6 Music
I recorded a song every day for a fortnight and made videos for them all too. My favourites were: Why Did the Chicken (Cross the Road)?, Terry's Theme, Rocking Giant, I Love Your Sad Face, He's Just a Baby! and Feel That Beat. And then to celebrate the Eurovision that never was I wrote another: I Want to Hear What You Think About Things.
Does anyone have tips on how to be better at reading longer books? – Facebook group member
Whatever the length, it's the book's job to keep you interested and if it's failing to do that just ditch it. But if you have to read it for school or review or self-improvement or something, set a bearable number of pages to read each day and spend the rest of the time reading something else. Modern novels tend to be too long because that's the length of book the publisher wants to publish, rather than because the author had enough ideas to fill that many pages.
Does anyone know of websites to purchase ebooks for Kindle that aren't Amazon? – Facebook group member
I can't think of anywhere other than some publishers' own websites that will be selling DRM-free copies of big new releases, but Weightless Books is good for indie publishers.
Do you have any weird grudges? Mine is against the Roman Empire. – @inkasrain
The New York Bagel Co stopped pre-slicing their bagels because of customer feedback. I get angry at those customers every time I have to get the big knife out to slice some bagels. My fingers deserve to be safe.
The hardest you've ever cried in a movie/TV show. – Kevin L. Lee
Watching A.I. Artificial Intelligence in the cinema, when the mother leaves the android boy in the woods. I literally had to stick my fist in my mouth to stop myself wailing out loud. I think we had at that point been through a round or three of IVF which had not worked yet, and it's an emotional film anyway; it was all just too much. But what a big baby…
Anyone want to read an absolutely massive profile of/interview with Michael Moorcock, interwoven with a lot of personal stuff? – David M. Barnett
I was reading a book this weekend, got 3/4 of the way into it and realized that I had already read it! Has this happened to anyone else before? – Facebook group member
Yes, I spent the whole of Downward to the Earth by Robert Silverberg trying to remember what it reminded me of, and of course it reminded me of itself. I've also had quite a lot of sf books that were previously published under different titles, like Michael Moorcock's The Blood Red Game / The Sundered Worlds – it was always disappointing to start reading one of those and realise it wasn't new. Thanks to Goodreads and ISFDB for making such unhappy events much rarer.
Someone just told me that “Reading books in paperback format is idiotic because that’s what tablets are for now.” But I still read more paperbacks than ebooks (there’s nothing like the feel of a real book in my hands). What about you? – Morgan Wright
I barely ever read paperbacks now. Maybe one or two a year, apart from comics and Penguin minis. I wouldn't say it's idiotic to read them, though! Just a hassle. I might feel differently if our house weren't so dim, and if I weren't mainly reading for review. Drives me mad trying to find particular passages I need in print books.
What is the hill you would die on? What is your cause? – Dr Jessica Taylor
That lying is bad. It's caused me problems at work (not current work), in voluntary organisations, in all sorts of situations. I won't do it, I can't help pointing it out, and I can't bear it when other people do it.