Category Archives: writing

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

I just finished listening to Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow in the form of an excellent podcast reading by Mark Douglas Nelson.

The book is set in a near future where Whuffie – a measure of reputation or kudos – has replaced money as a means of payment, and recounts the battle for hearts and minds (and therefore necessarily Whuffie) in the reconstruction of treasured rides at Walt Disney World in Florida.

A little research for this blog post revealed that the narrator, Mark Douglas Nelson has his own site and podcast (available from his site, not iTunes).

I strongly recommend this book and will be investigating other readings by Mark Douglas Nelson.

Excellent sci fi podcast, "Friction"

I just started listening to some science fiction podcasts. Very useful when hands are otherwise occupied. The following caught my ear, Friction, by Will McIntosh, a beautifully imagined and carefully paced short story.

Another science fiction blog I have been listening to a bit is Starship Sofa. Recently they broadcast short stories nominated for the BSFA Award Best Short Story 2007. I particularly enjoyed The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate by Ted Chiang.

The Bourne Ultimatum

Moscow, Russia, 6 weeks before final cut of The Bourne Ultimatum

Scene: a small hotel room, mostly dark except where a lamp dimly illuminates the bedside table, on which we see an old black telephone, a packet of Gauloises, and an old sliver flip lighter. From out of picture left we hear indistinctly two arguing voices approaching outside. Suddenly, we hear a loud bang as one of the men is slammed into the hotel room door.

Но я не могу, это невозможно!” (shouting in Russian – subtitles: “But I cannot, it is impossible!”)

“Если у нас нет пленки в течение трех недель, вы подохнете!” (subtitles: “If we do not have the film in three weeks, you will die!”)

Another loud thump… running footsteps… a car door slams… screech of tires. Silence.

A key turns in the lock, and in staggers the Editor. A tall thin man, his clothes are ruffled. His face is mostly in shadow but we can discern a cut on his left cheek. His eyes are set into deep sleepless sockets. The door clicks shit behind him and he pauses for a moment in the hallway.

“God gammit!” he shouts suddenly, punching the wall. “It’s impossible!”

He walks into the room