Think these posts might be getting too long so this one’s only 3 days long.
Friday 22 November 2013
Wanderings of a Wazzock
Some years ago I was writing a book – actually a science fiction novel. I’ve been reading SF for about 60 years now. I got turned on to it by reading an “Astounding Science Fiction” mag at a friend’s house.
Anyhow, I’d got about 200 pages done when the computer went splaaaaaaa with a virus thing. I got the computer fixed but, with a total lack of common sense, installed Linux on it in order to safeguard against more virals – this wiped the disc. Obviously there were no backups or even a printed version. All I’ve got left is a rough outline and some character descriptions. I’ve tried to rewrite it but without getting the same feeling of “rightness’, so I’ve scrapped it.
I suppose my sf inclination began before I went to school, with Alice in Wonderland (don’t mean I went to school with Alice but that’s what my sf started with) I think that Alice could be called sf, very loosely. I do remember that I was possibly better read than my first infant school teacher. In an infant school spelling test the words included “chimney”. I spelled it “chimbley”. When it was marked wrong I argued that I had “read it in a book” – I didn’t get the mark. The book I’d read it in was Tom Sawyer (or Huckleberry Finn?) the teacher had no idea what I was talking about.
I used to go to Sheffield Central Library with whichever parent could be cajoled into the task. I recall my father being all snooty about a book I wanted to borrow: “What do you want that for? It’s all dragons and dwarves” – it was, of course, The Hobbit. Back then there was a publisher “Gollancz” who had genre related colours to their books. I pretty soon battened on to their yellow SF series. Apparently: “In December 1998 the Orion Publishing Group acquired Cassell & Co and turned Gollancz into its science fiction/fantasy imprint.”(wikipedia).
On with the pictures.
I’m an avid BBC Radio Four Extra (R4e) listener – at least to the comedies and one or two other bits, but now tend to get my ears bent to the internet. There’s a couple of sites that play a continuous diet of stuff that I like, in particular ROKLink which takes me back as far as 60 years.
Listening to some of the programmes on here can be quite an eye opener. Everyone knows of the umpteen double entendres in “Beyond Our Ken” and “Round the Horne” but you can find thinly disguised smut in many old programmes. Hugh Jampton is a recurring character in “The Goon Show” for example*.
Some progs are so terrible that they’re not listenable to: “Ray’s a Laugh” comes to mind – by today’s or anyone’s standards it’s very amateurish sounding. Sadly it’s one of the progs that I remember well and thought I liked until hearing it.
Why do I like this stuff? It’s more a matter of disliking everything else – I’m totally non sporting and not particularly musically inclined. The news is anathema at the moment – I hate the Tories with a hatred so intense and feel totally betrayed by the LibDems – so can’t cope with it. I often say that I was born before the NHS and the way things are going it’ll be dead before me.
*Hugh Jampton → huge ‘ampton → huge Hampton Wick → big prick (rhyming slang)