The Early Days of a Better Nation

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Back, I'm well

This morning our luggage came home, a week almost to the minute after we did. So now I feel I've really returned from Australia, and have no excuse for not catching up. I was in Australia for Swancon, followed by some signings, interviews and research, not to mention R&R. Swancon was a joy and I may write about it later. Likewise about the phone interview with the Sunday Herald, during which I wandered about in the dark talking on my mobile, very close to a sign that a day or two later I found read: WARNING! ACHTUNG! Crocodiles inhabit this area ...

While I was away, 'Lighting Out' won the BSFA Award in the short story category, and The Execution Channel was shortlisted for the Prometheus Award.


Good to have you back. Trip to the Tap sometime?

Thanks! Monday or Tuesday next week?

Is that an echidna? Coooool!

Yes, it is. At Ferndale Wildlife Park, in the suburbs of Sydney. Needless to say, I was thrilled to see a live montreme. (To explain - this is a warm-blooded, hairy, spiky beastie that lays eggs.)

"...a warm-blooded, hairy, spiky beastie..."

No, that's just the echidna. The platypus is furry, and the only spiky bits are the male's poisoned spurs. Their milk is still just modified sweat, with no nipples.

The eponymous part of (mono)(treme) is that they only have one hole they use for reproduction and excretion.

If that's the Tap O'Lauriston you're talking about you're making me jealous.
I've been living in home counties exile for about a decade now and miss Edinburgh something awful.
I suppose all my favourite pubs have been refurbished beyond recognition by now anyway: does the Southern still host science fiction meetings?

Peter, just the echidna is what I meant, but I didn't express it clearly.

gjm, the Tap in question is the Ferry Tap in south Queensferry. Don't know about the Southern - I suspect the scene has moved on, but there are still regular pub get-togethers of various fan cohorts and cliques.

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"a sign that read: WARNING! ACHTUNG! Crocodiles inhabit this area ..."


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