What I’m reading today – Goodreads update

Alex Ankarr is on page 112 of 544 of The Mammoth Book of Time Travel SF: I’m more than halfway through ‘The Wind Over The World’, highly praised and lauded by seemingly every reviewer. Thus far I’m finding it depressing, turgid and ominous. But I suppose everything may be transformed by the ending, who knows?

What I’m reading today – Goodreads update


‘Alex Ankarr is on page 60 of 544’

Immersed in ‘The Truth About Weena’, an H.G. Wells ‘The Time Machine’ homage and extension by David J. Lake. A bicycle made for two!


What I’m reading today

Made a little more progress on The Mammoth Book of Time Travel SF, edited by Mike Ashley.  Finished ‘Walk to the Full Moon’ by Sean McMullen – wonderfully witty, the central joke regarding the Rhuun hunt is especially hilarious. Deft, sharp, charming and a little melancholy, a love story after a certain fashion, with much less head-scratching befuddlement than most time-travel tales.


This sounds so awesome!  It’s not often I wish I was a schoolkid again, but I’m so envious I’m Kermit!15510782533_254e1e29b1_z

Schools are invited to enter a new competition from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851: Catch the Robots Bug! It is a fun and simple competition to generate enthusiasm for robotics, engineering and STEM more widely. Aimed at upper primary and lower secondary schools, little or no equipment is required to enter, or […]

via Catch the robots bug | — Echo Chamber Uncut

Image – Matt Cooper, public domain.

bellybutton time-travel – it’s a thing

An update on my bellybutton time-travel opus/short story – six pages in, and many issues as yet unresolved!


After all – does the time-traveller jump into a new body, forward or back in time, via the medium of the fleshy tree through time?  Or jump beside the chronologically-advanced belly-button owner’s body, in which case how is she attached to the tree?  Does she jump naked?  (I can’t imagine a lot of crimplene shirts and primark denim on the limbs and branches of the tree. It must surely be a jump in the nuddy.)

How does she experience the jump?  Is there any tech involved, or if you’ve gotta navel are you good to go?  Is it witchcraft?  Should I really call her Perdita (I’m feelin’ Perdita) or is there a navel-related name that’d be more appropriate?

Six pages in, and none of these things resolved!  And I’m still so squeamish about b-b’s that I can’t even post a pic of one unless it belongs to a statue…


Image – Guillaume Gautreau under a Creative Commons licence.

billable hours of a superhero


tough gig, man, no-one understands

the paperwork’s a bitch when you shoot lightning from your hands

getting paid by angry clients is no easier it seems

and then there’s the spandex ‘cause it fits with people’s dreams

but you go home to the boyfriend

if not the same time every night

if you’re lucky, he understands

you have to fight and fight the good fight

(even though dating a lawyer or a cop

you’d think they’d know the drill

the bad guy don’t go home and shut up shop

just because your guy has needs to fulfill)

yeah, a gay superhero has it hard

but count it up at the end of the day

the grateful appreciation of the populace

and a mundane boyfriend with super-powered cuddles

go a long long long long way.

– Alex Ankarr, 2016


Photo credit: gunner111, https://www.flickr.com/photos/moto101/

Creative Commons


Netflix infidelity pt. 2: Netflix fidelity

Yeah, you know what Netflix cheating is already.  A sneaky episode when you’ve got an afternoon off work, and then feigning laughs and interest when you ‘watch’ with your partner later that evening.  Then you can’t sleep – BECAUSE OF THE GUILT! – in the night.  You get up, pick up the console and oops, that’s three episodes now!  After that it’s all downhill.  Three days later you’ve finished the season, but you’ve still got to re-watch it all with your poor betrayed, unsuspecting OH…

Yeah.  sob.  What about the other side of the coin, though?  When a show doesn’t irresistibly draw you in like a magnet.  When you couldn’t give a toss about it.  When you wouldn’t be watching it in the first place if your partner hadn’t coaxed you into it with promises that ‘yeah, the first ep’s a bit slow, but they say it reeally gets going later!’

And five nights and ten eps later, they’re still having to coax.  and pout.  while you cling to the computer screen, spend an hour and a half in the bath, and then twenty minutes pouring wine and putting snacks in bowls in the kitchen.  Until they finally frogmarch you to the sofa, for another evening of Netflixed bliss, watching paint dry for two hours, hand in hand…


(not literally watching paint dry, right?  they got rid of the screen saver Fireplace For Your Home shows, didn’t they?)


Just kidding anyway.  Travellers isn’t that bad.