I am being productive. I promise. However, the story I’m working on took a bit of a dark turn and I needed a break for some light relief.
Where do I turn? The internets, of course.
Following my previous call for a “see who can find the most disturbing search term that leads to this site”, I had a browse through the recent searches to see if there were any significant entries. No such luck. Apparently there’s a new and improved version of Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook and every single cheating bastard in the universe has apparently clicked on a link to this site off a variation on Googling for “Bejeweled Blitz Cheat”.
The winner has to be “can bejeweld make u ill”, though. To give that one worried browser an answer: yes, yes it can. I don’t play it and I’m fucking sick of it already.
What else? I continue to be bombarded with spam comments, although not so much since I banned a whole bundle of Russian IP addresses. Also, I’m not sure if it’s just sloppy advertising or they’re peddling fake drugs but it’s spelt V-I-A-G-R-A. Come on, guys, show some nous at least. It’s just tiresome and from the general experience of dealing with spammers, if I was made King of the World tomorrow I’d spend a serious chunk of energy hunting them down and having them spayed as an example to everyone.
So, what else. I read a bunch of Charlaine Harris novels; Grave Sight, Grave Surprise and Ice Cold Grave. They’re pretty enjoyable for stuff in the mystery thriller genre, much better than the Lee Child book I read. It covers the same sort of plot points – there is a murder in Hicksville, the outsider with unusual talents can’t leave until it’s solved – but I much preferred Harris’s style to the clipped, macho, trying-too-hard tone of Killing Floor (“He was a cop. A tall one. He looked tough but I could take him. I can take anyone. ” – I’m paraphrasing, of course).
That said, whoever is doing the proofreading for Gollancz needs a slap. I really don’t mind spelling mistakes, but when things like attribution errors (early on in Grave Sight, the waitress appears to drink Harper’s coffee), gender shifts (Detective Young turns into a man at least once in Grave Surprise) and just general continuity breaks (Mariella, Harper’s younger sister, is eleven in the first book and nine in the second) creep in it really starts to niggle at me.
In a similar vein, I was willing to let slide the Swiss-cheese nature of the Malazan Empire until Steven Erikson started wittering in the preface to Ian C. Esselmont’s shared-universe novel Night of Knives about how scrupulously they had maintained a complete history of the world, which is, in the face of the overwhelming contrary evidence of his novels, complete bunkum.
Granted, Harris makes no such similar claim, but with an author as successful as she is I would have expected someone at the publishing house to flag some really basic and obvious copy errors before they started the paperback run.