Aug. 27th, 2002

incandescens: (Default)
Well, let's see. Washing machine problem taken in hand, and visit by engineer booked for Monday. (It would have been sooner, but I tend to work later than they come out, and GenCon UK ruled out Saturday.) I hope that it'll be sorted out by the time my parents get home: not so much because I'm worried that they'll feel it my fault, but because I _know_ that they'll have a pile of dirty washing with them, and that is the wrong moment to find out that the washing machine's not working.

Otherwise -- hm. Work okay, if slow. Enjoyed reading book, called 24/7: setting was that of a "reality show" where the contestants on an island suddenly find they've been infected with a deadly disease, and that their supply of a temporary vaccine depends on the daily vote as to who stays and who goes (dies), and that all the traps/challenges on the island have been ramped up to lethal. And how long before we get closer to something like this for real?

I read a marvellous story by Kim Newman, I believe it was, as part of a horror anthology -- I was prowling around in the library, picking up this and that -- which was presented as a set of interview transcripts and meeting recordings about a group of tv executives arranging a new show. The _players_ thought that it was a "live tv cute people in nice house" show. The producers knew that the people had been deliberately selected for flaws, phobias, manias, and to get on each others' nerves, that the house had been deliberately built with uncomfortable-to-the-eye angles and creaking boards and doors, and stocked with plenty of glass, and alcohol, and kitchen knives, and gardening tools, and . . . well, you can see what's coming. What is, in fact, deliberately planned for.

I think the story was called Going to Series, and was in the Gollancz anthology Dark Terrors 5. But I couldn't swear to it.

And in the meantime, I start something else.


Madeleine had opened the window to catch the afternoon sunlight, but the wind that shook the cherry petals from the trees outside was too brisk to be comfortable, and still had the occasional touch of winter's cold to it. Her coffee had cooled in the mug, and sat there with a skin on it, dumbly insolent. Her essay on Cicero still wasn't finished, her private study project on what she privately termed Basics Of Magic kept on running aground on uncharted reefs of diverging opinions from the writers she was reading, and she'd just scored ridiculously low in her third consecutive game of Tetris.

Downstairs the house was quiet. Natalie had commandeered the kitchen in order to produce supper, recipe direct from her vacation in Morocco, but for the moment no noises or dubious smells were emanating from that quarter. The regular slap, slap, slap of bread being kneaded had enlivened the earlier part of the afternoon, as had curses at failed attempts to separate the dough from various surfaces. It had been a good afternoon to be well away from the kitchen. Her other housemate, Karen, had discovered a sudden need to do some direct research at Mortlake College Library, and had vanished in that direction.

Madeleine chewed on the cap of a biro. Work was uninspiring, and leisure was unprofitable.


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