June 2012 Archive

US Release

Whisky deathmatch is sadly delayed yet again by a bit of a rush to get through the copy edit of Red Country (which has just appeared) in time  to be incorporated into proof copies, all aggravated by the sudden death of my monitor.  Sad.  But it was a pretty good innings.  About five years, I think, and there’s a new one already on the way!  Happy!  And it’s bigger and better than the dead one!  Very happy!  Until, of course, it turns up and there’s some unanticipated compatibility issue and I can’t use it.  Very sad. In other news, the publication date for Red Country has moved in the US.  In the UK it remains the same, 18th October, but those hard working folks at Orbit US have pulled out all the stops to bring their pub date forward, and will be bringing it to our American cousins just five paltry days later, on 23rd October.  Celebrate, Americans!

Read more | 39 comments | Posted in appearances

Dragon’s Dogma

I liked this a lot, overall, though not without its wrinkles.  An RPG that’s somewhere between the Western and Japanese traditions, maybe.  Kind of Skyrim meets Dark Souls without the loopy scale of the former or the loopy difficulty of the latter, and a little less atmosphere than either.  It reminded me somewhat of the […]

Read more | 21 comments | Posted in games

Middlesbrough and other Appearances

A quick note to inform you all of a cornucopia of forthcoming appearances, information on most still a little sketchy: THIS COMING TUESDAY 26th JUNE, Middlesbrough Literary Festival, 7pm-9pm at the Central Library: An evening with fantasy author Joe Abercrombie, would you believe, holy cow I love that guy.  Tickets are £6. 18-22 July: Celsius 232 in […]

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Best Served Cold – reread

And so we come to Best Served Cold, which is the last of these rereads I’ll be doing for the time being.  The Heroes was pretty recent and I feel it’s still pretty firmly in mind, and the nominal aim of this exercise was to familiarise myself with past characters and events while finishing work […]

Read more | 94 comments | Posted in reading

Last Argument of Kings – reread

My readthrough of the First Law comes to a triumphant close, and the trilogy as a whole stands undiminished as a cracking read, a redefinition of fantasy, the culmination of seventy years of development of the form and yada yada yada.  I can remember thinking this was way my best book when it was published. […]

Read more | 53 comments | Posted in reading

Max Payne 3

Dragon’s Dogma has turned up and that’s looking very, very much like my cup of time-sink, so it looks like Max Payne 3 will remain uncompleted, at least for the time being, and I can’t say I’m all that sorry.  I can remember the first game pretty distinctly, from way back when, and it sticks […]

Read more | 13 comments | Posted in games

Bruichladdich Infinity vs Ardbeg Corryvreckan

Before Whisky Deathmatch, Whisky Newsflash, as Drinks Colossus Diageo, who own Caol Ila, Talisker, Oban, Lagavulin, Clynelish and many other distilleries as well as the world’s best selling blend Johnnie Walker announces the investment of £1 billion into its Scotch Whisky operations as demand soars worldwide.  Apparently Scotch is hugely fashionable, and no whisky producing region […]

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Before They are Hanged – reread

I believe the best way to make oneself look fair-minded, adult, and emotionally big after treating someone else’s hard work, sweat and tears to an unfavourable pasting is to review one’s own work and heap praise upon it.  So, without further ado, my thoughts on re-reading Before They are Hanged: Now we’re talking.  Yeah, this […]

Read more | 49 comments | Posted in reading


Hmmm.  A baffling mess, sadly, and the more I think about it the more incoherent it seems.  It’s a kind-of-prequel to Alien, in which a mismatched crew (again) working for a sinister company (again) land on an unmapped planet (again) and investigate some mysterious HR Giger inspired ruins (again) with horrifying xenomorphic consequences (again). Beware […]

Read more | 57 comments | Posted in film and tv

AnCnoc 16 vs Longmorn 16

Ah, a pair of sweet sixteens.  But if they’re old enough to legally have sex, they’re old enough to kill each other for our amusement… More than half of Scotland’s distilleries are crammed into a little triangular patch of northeast Scotland around the river Spey.  Lots of variation between Speyside distilleries, therefore, and a lot […]

Read more | 18 comments | Posted in whisky deathmatch