Iain M. Banks Interview on CNN

One of my favourite authors is interviewed on CNN – go here for the link http://edition.cnn.com/2008/TECH/space/05/15/iain.banks/

Interesting to hear that he cites Brian Aldiss as one of his influences. I often remember how good Aldiss’s Helliconia books were – they almost feel like a combination of Sci Fi and Fantasy – well a pre-industrial world with a scifi story framework around it, which is an influence on my own writing. Banks usually sticks to straight Sci Fi, but in some books he does experiment with pre-industrial societies, or he mixes technological levels – so the high Culture being the highest level, but in for instance Use of Weapons, the main character works as a mercenary on a lower technology world. An interesting comment on our world perhaps where technologies still vary around the world in actual take-up if not application. For instance although you can get Wifi in Kenya I don’t suppose there are many Masai bloggers?

Off at a bit of a tangent here, but well worth reading anything by Banks or Aldiss!

UK UFO Archives

Novelty UFO in Moonbeam, Ontario, Canada
Image via Wikipedia

Is this release a joke or something? Very odd, drawings on the back of a napkin done by some schoolkids with crayons by the looks of it – and they say education standards are slipping – certainly looks like we weren’t very creative or good at drawing back in the 60’s!

More info at the National Archives – http://ufos.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

Perhaps the government is hiding the real stuff?

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Terry Pratchett on the One Show

Great to see Terry Pratchett looking so well on the BBC One Show last night. It was a very moving piece about the problems early-onset Alzheimer sufferers have to get drugs on the NHS – it’s becoming more and more of a problem as the population ages. Terry seemed mentally very eloquent – apparently it is affecting him more physically than mentally, which is a good thing for his writing. I wish him all the best.

I haven’t really read him since the first five or six books – during my idle youth, but I will definitely have to go through the rest of his works. Its a shame he has been sidelined as a supposedly cult writer, when in actual fact he is probably more ‘mainstream’ than that dreadful Rowling. His books tend to be satires on our modern society using Fantasy as a lens.

Link to the One Show on iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/page/item/b00bf008.shtml?src=ip_mlt

And the One Show website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/theoneshow/