BootsnAll Travel Network

Archive for August, 2007

« Home

Newsflash: `World Enough and Time’

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Star Trek New Voyages: World enough and Time
George Takei, Mark Zicree

A perfect day at Worldcon finished with the screening of a new Star trek episode.

‘World enough and Time’ left not a dry eye in the house. (Google for more info please, I’m writing this in a hurry)

The actors took some getting used to, but this is a heartfelt episode and I think we’ve got next year’s Hugo winner on our hands. It received a standing ovation.

Select quotes. Mark: “I guess the moto was was: No Studio, No Problem!”

George: (after some mutual backslapping): “Well, the credit belongs to Gene Roddenderry. He was the great bird of the galaxy.”

They are on episode 3 now: a Kzinti episode!

This could be will be a new cult. What started as a fan film project is about to go mainstream—they are in talks with Paramount—but the webbies were at it first. The first online screening got “more viewers than the old Enterprise” (Mark again). Said George (with regard to internet productions): “We live in a science fiction world”

No blogging from Japan

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

For the time being, I can’t blog or upload pictures since all I have access to are coin-operated computers without USB.

Yes, the Zaurus tanked.

I also have problems with some characters and can’t log into my email for the time being. I’ll keep trying.

I wonder how this will work out for the rest of the trip. There are no internet cafes (people have the net at home and on their phones), perhaps there are gaming palaces instead. But how can I find them with no guidebook? They were sold out at the airport (Thanks, Borders! With monopoly in place, now you can really fuck over your customers!)

This promises to be an interesting trip (as in interesting times).

Must go, I’m out of coins.

Goodbye English Summer

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Sorry for not posting, I really am busy. Alas, the more I write, the more dire it gets. So much for having a complete first draft ready in time for Worldcon…

All the same, it’s nearly time to go. I have the writers’ workshop tomorrow (discussing the first three abysmal chapters and the so-so synopsis) and I’ll be on the plane to Japan 3 days later. No going back now.

Despite checking the weather reports daily, I can hardly believe that I should pack only light summer clothes. So the temperatures in the Yokohama/Tokyo area hover around 30°C? It’s sticky and hot? Ha! The weather forecasts for South-East England have been talking about sunshine for the past 3 days now (“It will dry up! It will get warmer! Honest!”) and I’m still waiting. I’ve dug out the long-sleeved shirts and wooly leggings. Hell, I’ve forgotten what the sun looks like. (Actually, that’s not true: yesterday afternoon, there was a strange, yellow light around for a few hours. It confused me because on the planet I’ve relocated to while writing the novel, the light is coppery orange due to the dense atmosphere (the star is smaller too, but not so small that that would make much difference))

Hmm, there are on average ten days of rainfall in central Japan in September. My trip lasts for ten days after the con…

Japan Preparations

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

I haven’t gone away, I’m just busy.

If anyone had told me a few months ago that revising three chapters of a novel plus synopsis would take three weeks, I’d have laughed in their face. Thing is: that’s all I have to hang the whole novel on. Agents request the first three chapters or fifty pages, whichever is shorter. At present, my chapters fill half that space, and instead of expanding, I’ve been chopping them ruthlessly. Now I’m thinking about merging some, and…

Ah, to hell with work. In just over 3 weeks time I’m going off to Japan (3 days after my writers’ workshop—hellufalot threes around…).

John, who’s a sweety, has just sorted out insurance. The post office currently runs a great offer for UK residents, but their website is down: after you have recalculated your quote, ticked all the boxes, registered (and come back and done it all again), you’ll find that you can’t proceed from the final questionnaire because it won’t let you choose one of the options about how you first heard about the site. Then you open up Internet Explorer and try once more. Then you join the phone queue and forego your online discount. But the prices they quote are still a hundred quit cheaper than the brochure, with a 14 day trip extension. Go figure.

It pays to shop around. The Japan Rail Pass (which you’ll need to buy from an authorized agent outside Japan) varies in quotes from 118 quid on Japantravel to a whopping 169 quid from Seat61. Yes, that’s for the same pass. Seat61 is an excellent information source, but I guess they’ll have to make the money back somehow. However, at the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, the lesser agents still don’t accept online payment, which means yet more phone calls and snail-mail transactions.

It’s almost done. I’ll have to book accommodation for my final three nights in Tokyo and work out a rough intinerary.

I’ve compiled my luggage list. Aside from the usual trinkets (toiletries, first aid, pills, books, camera and (in my case) Zaurus with usb drive and a few printouts of the first three chapters of my Magnum Opus plus synopsis to shop around agents), I’ll take the following:

3 dresses (one semi-formal which I just bought for a fiver down the local charity shop 🙂 ),
1 pair light cotton pants or leggings,
1 T-shirt,
2 pairs socks (I wear them at night),
1 pair pyjamas (yes, really. I feel safer wearing proper clothes at night, in case there’s a fire drill or the tent gets swept away in a typhoon. Polycotton is light and dries super-fast for frequent washing on the road),
2 bras,
3 lots underpants,
sleeping mat,
duvet cover (in lieu of sleeping bag),
flip flops,
cotton pumps,
court shoes (heck, it’s the Hugos!)

Yes, you got that right. No jeans, sweaters, raincoats or boots. Apparently the lowest temperature in Japan will be around 24°C (ha!) and a rain coat won’t help much in a typhoon. I’ll pick up an umbrella locally, if needed.

All the same, this is about the most idiosyncratic list I’ve ever compiled. The advantage of taking dresses along is that they are quick to slip into and look presentable with a minimum of fuss. They’ll do as easily for the street as for meetings or parties.

I just hope that I won’t regret not packing warmer. It may be August, but down here it could be October. Strike that: we’ve had warmer autumns than this.