Oh I am just me, simple and complex, smart and stupid. I think of everything and all matters to me other than the things that do not.
I am fifty now. This comes as a surprise to me as I am shocked that I even reached my thirties. I went through my younger years smoking too much, drinking to much generally everything too much. Then my children came along and I calmed down somewhat, put all my energy into my work and earning money for my family. Later I started writing and that was I think not really a good thing for me. It took me back to my teens and thinking about things, wondering about things and analysing those same things. I fell in love with another woman, one I had talked to on the net and it sundered my marriage to my children’s mother, something I still feel sorry about but something that I suppose was inevitable in its own way.
I have two children, a boy and a girl(a gentleman’s family so they say)who are independent. My daughter works in the health service and my son is still at university doing politics.
I am an avid reader as well as a writer. I am a thinker and thoughtful. I have no main theme when I am writing , I just write.

Ian Banks

It was very sad to hear of the passing of Ian Banks yesterday. I first came across his novels a number of years ago. I had no idea at the time that he was a Scottish author I simply picked up a copy of “Whit” whilst waiting in the lounge at Glasgow airport. I liked the sound of the blurb on the back and started reading. This was to be the first of many of his books that I devoured over the years. I went back and read “The Crow Road” then “Complicity” and “The Wasp Factory and many others. I am unsure wither I have read all his books but if not I have made a good stab at it and any that I have missed I will mop up when I get the chance.
As a youngster I loved science fiction novels with a passion and read so many that I really sickened myself with the genre and could not bring myself to read another one. This was a combination I think of overload as well as much of the science fiction being written in the eighties was just not as good as some of the material produced in the seventies. Alternatively perhaps I was reading the wrong books, no matter, I lost the taste for Science fiction completely (strangely I was reading more science fact than I ever had before) and I do not think I read another science fiction novel until I picked up “Excession” by Iain M Banks. I did not realise until I started reading it that Ian Banks and Iain M Banks were one and the same person. This was a long time ago now after all.
There was the same sly and slightly smutty sense of humour, the ballistic imagination, the twists and turns that I had grown to associate with Ian Banks. For a change I read the inside cover and the author bio and found them to be one and the same. It came as no big surprise but what did was that “Excession” was so good that it rekindled my love for Science fiction, especially imaginative Science fiction. I could not believe that any author could have taken two or three chapters of their book to explain another dimension in mathematical terms so complex that even the above average reader would not be able to follow it. Worse the audacity of the man, it was all put in for the sake of a punch line (a very funny punch line in my opinion). To me this was as important a sequence as I have ever read. Many other authors have done the same thing since then and I am sure it will be copied again and again. But no one had ever taken that chance before. Or perhaps I should say that no one before had taken that chance and succeeded.
Much the same applies later as after reading Mr Banks “Feersum Endjinn” I noticed his use of pigeon or semi-machine language has been used time after time by other writers.

Oh I could go on and on about bits of his books that I enjoyed, his novels or his dark humour, his insight and a dozen other things but I will not. Let me just say that he is one of my favourite writers ever (I think the fact that we are both Scots is coincidental). He has the singular honour of having encouraged me to like science fiction again and is an author whose lines and jokes and imaginative observances jump into my mind most days at some time or another.
A great writer who will be sorely missed by me. As well I am sure by many others.

Not for Scot’s independance but there is a wee a thing.

I am not for scots independence and will vote no when the referendum comes. Well I will except for one thing. If there is a chance that we will leave the European union then I will go against my personal politics and vote for independence.

The united kingdom as a whole has voted for the EU. We have to imagine that a scots independent state and country realise that then we would then need Europe. Which we would. Should the UK withdraw from the European union then Scotland would need to remain a partner to  live as a separatist country.

The state of British politics.

I feel rather ashamed with our country at the moment. Not a usual state for me who is proud, normally, to be British. Yet we seem to be on a crusade as a people these days to hurt the most vulnerable amongst us, the people that are most worthy of us looking after are neglected in favour of the rich. So few British politicians these days know what real life is like. They do not teach you about that at Eaton except in statistics and social studies.
There is barely a politician in parliament never mind in the cabinet who has any idea of real life out here. I am lucky compared to most, I have a job. I cannot count the people out there now that wish to work that cannot get one. Well at least one that is not part time or absolute shit. I have been there, I know what its like and its bloody murder. Yet we are ruled at the moment by a party in coalition with the liberals. A party by the way that I personally voted for at the last election (the liberals I mean) yet they seem to have no grasp of social politics. My own party the liberals seem to have lost their way even Vince Cable, a man I have always respected and admired seems to have capitulated to a great extent. And so the country again is run by a bunch of old Etonians salting away the spoils for themselves at the expense of all but the rich and that they have done it in a “Tony Blair” style that lets the majority of the British public think it is necessary.
I am the first fool on the list for I voted liberal at the last election. Many other fools will follow me into the idiot pile as the rich get richer

Ray Manzarek

It was a shame to hear yesterday about the death of Ray Manzarek. I always liked the Doors though i was never thier greatest fan but i always remember that it was Ray Manzareks keyboards that attracted me to them in the first place rather than the excesses of jim morrison though i grew to appreciate him also.
I still can hear in my head the intro to riders on the storm.

And probably even better the intro and the whole song with light my fire

He will be missed though i am sure that he had a good life and luckily did not die too young as mr morrison did.
Mind you i think that we all die to young be we nine or ninety there is always so much more out there and we rarely experience a tithe of it- lol- old measure meaning a tenth.
Goodbye to Ray Manzarek May you rest in peace or better still with the intro to Riders Of the Storm echoing in your mind. You will be remembered.

New books and the pressure upon authors

I was reading today about the release of Inferno. Dan Brown’s new book and it seemed as though no one had anything good to say about it. Amongst the other things I read and heard (on the radio) I heard, badly written, contained spelling mistakes, bilge.

Now i have not yet read the book but i shall soon and i find all of  those comments very hard to believe (obviously reserving judgement until i have read it myself) . Admit it, Dan Brown writes a damn good thriller. Angels and demons was my favourite and digital fortress the least but even his not so good thrillers are still enjoyable that is why we always buy them. Dan Brown does not pretend to be the new Shakespeare, he is never going to be the writers writer, or the aesthetes writer, he will never be as grandly descriptive as Hermann Hesse for example nor as overwhelming as Nabakov could be but lets be honest here he is not trying to, he is writing a story that keeps you gripped to the very end and i really do not care if there is a spelling mistake or a bit of bad grammar and i am really glad that he does it just the way he does as in the end you get to enjoy a very gripping and enjoyable thriller. That is Dan Browns job and a job that he does very well indeed in my opinion.