Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

Archive for the ‘blog management’ Category

Five

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Since we last spoke, I have made two significant acquisitions.

Firstly, an xBox 360. In my first year of console ownership I have enjoyed the perfection of Half-Life 2 and the flawless Portal games; the simply pleasure of shooting of Nazi ballbags in Sniper Elite V2; the best and worst of Rockstar Games by following the unputdownable Red Dead Redemption with the unplayable GTA IV; the tedious but therapeutic grind of Borderlands; and, most recently, the gloriously cinematic latest installment of the Tomb Raider series. Secondly, BKP, my son. He is less interactive than the xBox but a hell of a lot cooler.

1) How To Be A Professional Author And Decent Human On The Internet – Boo to Ben Aaronovitch. Er, yeah, Wednesday’s post is already the most popular of the last twelve months.
2) ‘Nine Lives’ by Ursula K. LeGuin – For the sake of high school students everywhere, I should really write a longer piece on this story. (Up three places from last year.)
3) Back To The Mud: The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie (Gollancz, 2011) – One of my rare reviews for the blog: I liked it. (Up four places from last year.)
4) ‘A Worm In The Well’ by Gregory Benford – Boo to Gregory Benford and his stupid ideas about economics, politics and space opera.
5) Epic Fantasy Vs Sword And Sorcery – Exactly what it says on the tin with signal boost from Liz Bourke.
6) Woman On The Edge Of Time – One of my rare reviews for the blog: I didn’t like it.
7) Where Is The New New Wave? – Meta-commentary using one of my review elsewhere as a jumping off point to discus the exhaustion of science fiction.
8) What I Want, Exactly – Talking awards. Again.
9) ‘The Star’ by Arthur C. Clarke – Perennially popular discussion of a story I didn’t like. (Down seven places from last year.)
10) Everything That Is Wrong With Commercial Fantasy In A Single Quote – Boo to George RR Martin and his stupid ideas about literature. (Down eight places from last year.)

Written by Martin

28 September 2013 at 12:47

Posted in blog management

Four

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I was meant to read more in 2012 but I didn’t really manage it. What have I been doing? Mostly playing on my phone. The first nail in my coffin was Cut The Rope; I can’t remember who suggested it but I devoured it and it was my gateway drug. Then obviously I had to look at Angry Birds since I’m not a fan but I still plodded through every level (just outside the top million of a ridiculous 26 million) and returned to the franchise for the promise of new physics with Angry Birds Space. After that I found true love with Where’s My Water?, a pretty much flawless game. I have an insatiable appetite for it, even going so far as to buy obvious rip-off tie-in Where’s My Perry?

Various other games also captured my attention for substantial periods. A friend recommended Robot Unicorn Attack but, whilst there is something hypnotic about it, I soon moved onto Tiny Wings, surely the greatest of the endless scrollers. I am now on Whale Trail having just run Jetpack Joyride into the ground as well as the lesser known Captain Antarctica (more levels soon please). I have even dabbled with tower defence in the epic fantasy form of Kingdom Rush. Oh, and let’s not mention the temporary Draw Something addiction. Oh God, or the teddy bear nightmare of Triple Town.

Anyway, I think I’m getting clean. There is more space in my life for books now and the towers of new acquisitions are starting to sink. If you want a reading recommendation then check out Dark Matter by Julie Zeh, it is simply the best thing I’ve read this year.

1) What’s The Opposite Of Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes? – in which I take issue with the Nebulas.
2) Everything That Is Wrong With Commercial Fantasy In A Single Quote – in which I identify everything wrong with commercial fantasy using a single quote.
3) ‘The Star’ by Arthur C. Clarke – in which I dislike a story.
4)
On Being Libelled By Liviu Suciu – in which I make extensive use of my right to reply.
5) ‘Nine Lives’ by Ursula K. LeGuin – in which I discuss a story which is clearly on a reading list somewhere in 185 words.
6) How Come China Miéville Never Blogs About His Award Eligibility? – in which I confront self-interest masquerading as public service.
7) Back To The Mud: The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie (Gollancz, 2011) – in which I review a bloody good fantasy novel.
8) ‘Covehithe’ by China Miéville – in which I discuss a story that lost the 2011 BSFA Award.
9) ‘The Copenhagen Interpretation’ by Paul Cornell – in which I discuss a story that won the 2011 BSFA Award.
10) ‘Desertion’ by Clifford D. Simak – in which I discuss a story which is clearly on a reading list somewhere in 24 words.

Which means, for the second year in a row, mormon whale rape tops the charts (depsite a stupid title – in your face, SEO). ‘The Star’ continues to receive loads of hits as do other stories from The Ascent Of Wonder. So if you want long-tail hit-bait, short fiction is where it is at.

Goal for next year: something in the top ten that is unrelated to bloody science fiction.

Written by Martin

24 September 2012 at 13:19

Posted in blog management

Three

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Some time last month – sorry, I wasn’t paying attention – this blog was three years old. Hooray! So what’s happened this year? I’m still reviews editor for Vector and I’m still a judge for the Arthur C Clarke Award and I’m still going to too many restaurants. I’m still reviewing primarily for Strange Horizons (who are searching for a new look) but, as well as the short story projects (the next of which will be The New Weird by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer), I’m doing more reviewing on the blog itself. In particular, I’ve been very pleased with how a year of reading women has turned out (although I know there has been a bit of slippage). Hopefully I’ll be doing another long term project in 2012.

Without further ado, the greatest hits of this blog this year as voted for by you, the public:

1) What’s The Opposite Of Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes? – in which I take issue with the Nebulas.
2) ‘The Star’ by Arthur C. Clarke – in which I dislike a short story.
3) 2011 Arthur C Clarke Award Statistics: The State Of The Art #1 – in which I analyse who we see and how we see them in British science fiction.
4) 2011 Arthur C Clarke Award Statistics: The State Of The Industry – in which I analyse who publishes who in British science fiction.
5) A Long But Necessary Response To Athena Andreadis – in which I make extensive use of my right to reply.
6) The Ascent Of Wonder: The Evolution of Hard SF, edited by David G Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer – in which I dislike a very large anthology.
7) At Least It’s An Ethos – in which I summarise the bankrupt nihilism “debate”.
8) Let’s Push Things Forward – in which I implore SF bloggers to raise their game.
9) 2011 Arthur C Clarke Award Statistics: Sex And Violence – in which I analyse, er, violence and sex in British science fiction
10) 2011 Arthur C Clarke Award Statistics – in which I summarise my analysis of British science fiction.

So for the second year in a row, ‘The Star’ takes second place which was perhaps appropriate since my series of posts on the Arthur C Clarke Award otherwise dominated the list. ‘The Star’ is also my most popular post ever, although this year’s winner has been rapidly catching it up.

Written by Martin

27 October 2011 at 16:06

Posted in blog management

Two

with 9 comments

When I started this blog I was keen it didn’t just become about science fiction. I have succeeded: it has become a blog about science fiction and restaurants! I would go so far as to say it is the best blog about science fiction and restaurants on the whole damn internet.

Everything Is Nice is two today. Hooray! My average number of page views has doubled over the last year and I think I’ve worked out what I want to say and found a bunch of people who want to hear it. I’d still like to make the contents of this blog more diverse but it is pretty clear I’ve settled down into a pattern. Over the last year I have become the reviews editor for Vector and a judge for the Arthur C Clarke Award; science fiction is a big part of my life and it is obvious that it is one of the things I most enjoy writing about.

The greatest hits of this blog this year as voted for by you, the public:

1) CAPS LOCK RAGE – in which I implore SF reviewers to raise their game.
2) ‘The Star’ by Arthur C. Clarke – in which I dislike a short story.
3) ‘The Fifth Head Of Cerberus’ by Gene Wolfe – in which I decided Wolfe isn’t all bad.
4) Epic Fantasy Vs Sword And Sorcery – in which I muse about, well, the title is pretty self-explanatory.
5) Inferiority Complex – in which I implore SF readers to raise their game.
6) Margaret Atwood Steals The Bread From Neal Asher’s Mouth – in which I don’t care whether science fiction is dying.
7) ‘Light Of Other Days’ by Bob Shaw – in which I dislike a short story.
8) Dark Waters of Hagwood – in which I wonder if Dark Waters of Hagwood is ever coming out.
9) Dark Fantasy – in which I wonder what the fuck Dark Fantasy is meant to be.
10) ‘The God Of Dark Laughter’ by Michael Chabon – in which I dislike a short story.

So, for the second year in a row, Andy Remic is what it is all about. The entry on ‘The God Of Dark Laughter’ is the only re-entry from 2009 (it was the eighth most popular last year) which means I really should get round to writing a proper piece about it.

Written by Martin

14 September 2010 at 15:54

Posted in blog management

Shoulda Put A Rang On It

with 2 comments

Right, I am off to sit on a beach in the Indian Ocean with this little lot:

See you on the flip side.

Written by Martin

2 October 2009 at 13:48

Posted in blog management

Tagged with

One

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Everything Is Nice is one today! Hooray! Actually, it was some time last week but I didn’t notice. The year has gone very quickly.

In hindsight I should probably have picked a unique name for this blog rather than one that throws up loads of other references but fuck it, it felt right at the time. And it still does, I’m still beating the nice nice thing to death with fluffy pillows.

The greatest hits of this blog so far as voted for by you, the public:

1) Taking An Ethical Stand
2) Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology
3) Lists, Beautiful Lists
4) Xenopath
5) Dying Earth
6) ‘Hell Is The Absence Of God’ by Ted Chiang
7) ‘Sea Oak’ by George Saunders
8) ‘The God Of Dark Laughter’ by Michael Chabon
9) 2008 Everything Is Nice Book Awards
10) Top Dog

So there obviously is a demand out there for writing about short fiction. I’m not sure that it was a demand that was especially met by those pieces though…

Written by Martin

26 September 2009 at 21:42

Posted in blog management

Everything Is Nice

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We could’ve called this record We Are Unreasonable People, but we’ve beat the angry-fuck-you thing to death and murder is still illegal. Instead, Matador Records chooses to celebrate our 10th or 11th year in the entertainment business by ignoring the first 7 or 8 and refreshing your recent memory glands. Many styles, sounds and zodiac signs are represented here. If you get dizzy, please consult our websites for a waiver absolving us if you fall down and break something. 

Now we’re beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows). Cigarettes Are Nice. Feet Are Nice. Police Are Nice. Typhoons Are Nice. James Woods is Nice. So may of our early years were spent in a confusing haze: resentment and sexual tension combined to form an inarticulate rage, as typified by our last compilation, Fuck You, You Fuck, Vol II. Everything is better now. Everything Is Nice. 

Everything Is Nice, Madator Records, 1999

Written by Martin

14 September 2008 at 17:08

Posted in blog management, quotes

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