November 2019 Facebook Posts

Nov 1st
Well, that was a pretty good lump of work done today. I didn’t write any of the book, however. Last night I got an email from Asimov’s asking me to do an author’s Q & A and if I could do a blog post for them about writing, or something, anything. So, this morning I hit the gym, came back pretty knackered (I’ve been every day this week), slumped in an armchair feeling like death and semi-snoozed for an hour with a feeling like my arms were fizzing, then pushed myself to get to work. I find this interview/article stuff quite easy. I went through the questionaire. I was supposed to choose four questions from each batch of questions but answered the lot. That was about 2,700 words. I then wrote an article vaguely about writing but more about Crete (the story they are publishing is An Alien on Crete) and that came to 1,800 words. I suspect the woman who sent the email last night didn’t expect that kind of turnaround!

Nov 2nd
From David Langford’s Ansible Newsletter:

“AS OTHERS SEE US III. Emma Renault, self-proclaimed author of ‘literary fiction’, was challenged about her posted description of all genre writers as fascists. She tactfully qualified the point: ‘… whether they intend to or not, they’re writing fascist propaganda. That’s what escapist fiction is under capitalism. Not to mention the fact that SF/F is structurally and thematically fascist.’ (via Facebook, 21 October) [PF]”

I’m thinking of all those woke SFF writers and commentators in the woke SFF world where both the Cambell and Tiptree Awards are renamed because, well, history has to be revised to fit current pc culture, and guffawing.

“‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’”

They eat their own, don’t they?

Well worth watching. . .

The man.

Okay, I’m enjoying this:
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Nov 3rd
Note the name on the bottom. . .

How things change (this is from 2015). I remember the alarmist articles about saccharine causing cancer.

We know that producer James Cameron and director Tim Miller put together a writer’s room to create a bible for Terminator: Dark Fate. They broke down the

And here I am with my buddy:
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Whole interview with Tim Miller here.

Nov 4th
Bit more about Tim Miller’s Heavy Metal film I was involved with. Shame it never came to fruition.

“I wanted the battle of the Zulus against the British, the Battle of Rorke’s Drift in the Isandlwana, where this incredible last stand and I gave it to this British sci-fi author named Neal Asher. I said “Neal give me that battle with orcs and elves” and he wrote this fucking amazing short story called Half Breed.”

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“Neal Asher who’s just a f—ing idea factory.” – Tim Miller.
Science Fiction Writer

Okay, enough of that nonsense – time to get back to work. I’ll maybe do a blog post about all this Terminator stuff, but I don’t know yet what I can write.

Prador Moon by [Asher, Neal]
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Nov 5th
I’ve now brought the latest book to a conclusion at 150,000 words, but I’ve got a lot of work yet to do. Time now to sit down with my contents list and notebook and sort it all out. Lots of rearranging to do and lots of narrative hooks need to go in. I also have a neat epilogue in mind but have to see how the rest works out first. Busy busy.
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Oh well, as noted previously I’ve finished the latest book to first draft. I’ve also mentioned that the time line is all over the place. I’ve now just pulled apart 17 chapters and lots of additional sections and ordered it under three categories: Past, Near Past and Present. I will go through all of these correcting continuity errors and other stuff. I’m also seeing how to bracket the book and am adding a section – a character visiting the Viking Museum on the moon. I also see now that further sections need to be written. When this is all done I’ll tear the whole thing apart again, then stick it back together using narrative rules I’ll think of . . . at some point.
That dull thud you heard was not a firework, but my head exploding.
Surprisingly quiet outside tonight. Hopefully people are pooling all their fireworks to use them as Guy Fawkes intended.
Blimey. November 5th. I’ve been back in the UK for 29 days. That’s 29 hours of reading out loud, writing and learning Greek. It’s about 35,000 words of fiction (not quite 2,000 words a day five days a week). And 17 hours in the gym.
. . .
Must do more in the gym.
Must update my website and my blog – so many missing links and books.
Neal Asher was born 1961 in Billericay, Essex, the son of a school teacher and a lecturer in applied mathematics who were also SF aficionados.
Nov 6th
Slowly getting on the move this morning. I feel in need of a spray of damp-start and like a couple of my spark plugs need cleaning. Maybe my head needs decoking too. And I’m pretty sure the shock absorbers will fail the next MOT, while the gum-gum on the exhaust seems to be leaking.
I wonder how many people have little idea of these, or of splitting a knuckle while lying underneath a car trying to undo the oil drain plug?
Heh. Been a while since I’ve spent a summer in Crete, so I’d forgotten about the yearly letters from utility companies. Anglia Water either think my water meter is broken or I’m somehow bypassing it. Now they want me to phone to book an appointment for the meter to be checked. Spend time in their phone queues just to tell them their meter is fine, not be believed, then have to be here when the meter guy comes? Off you jolly well fuck Anglia Water.
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The Engineer ReConditioned by [Asher, Neal]
Mason's Rats: 3 Short Stories by [Asher, Neal]
Snow in the Desert (Short Reads) by [Asher, Neal]
Hmm. Tolerance levels waning. I feel another wave of unfriending, unfollowing and blocking coming on. Some here are like a guy standing at the bar, listening in on the conversation, and whose only input is to voice disagreement. Arrange these words in a familiar manner: off, fuck.
Yes . . . I should suppress the knee jerk response to twattery and resort to Socratic questions. Allow the answers to reveal the ignorance, the error in basic assumptions, the logical fallacies and non sequiturs. … If I could be bothered.
Right, that’s enough grumping and moaning for tonight. Time for bed. I will wake refreshed and ready to attack that slippery worm ball of a book tomorrow. I’ll soon enough have the damned thing nailed down.
Nov 7th
I get that you can choose who sees your news feed on Facebook, but what is this ‘your story’? How is it any different?
Steadily running through the now chronologically ordered text of the book, filling in the holes and sorting out the continuity errors. I’m pleased with what I’ve gone through thus far and have no expectation that I’ll be displeased with the rest. The difficulties will arise when I tear it all apart to then stick back together with the chronology back all over the place. I’m repeating myself but . . . there’ll be narrative hooks to introduce and new sections to write. I suspect this one is going to be knocking on for the length of The Line of Polity.
I really need to cut down on the veg and salad I buy on each shopping trip. This is not because I don’t like them. Love ’em. But when you’re trying to do fasts there’s always the awareness that something might be going off in the fridge. Just now reached 24 hours of fasting – hoping to go through tomorrow too.
Nov 8th
Somebody after a Darwin Award.
And as the truth comes out they continue to give ecigs and vaping a kicking. It’s the authoritarian instinct and of course the vitamin E acetate THC deaths confirm their bias. Far too many ‘medical professionals’ out there resentful and jealous of a grassroots technology that has achieved more in 5 years than they have throughout their careers.
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“The problem with state securitization of tobacco bonds is that MSA payments are based on cigarette sales. So, essentially, Tlaib’s home state is relying on the lungs of smokers to meet future debt obligations.”
Nov 9th
“When University of Colorado climate skeptic Professor Roger Pielke, Jr. asked the CRU for its original temperature readings, he was told the data had been (conveniently) lost. Lost!?! Do professionals lose something as valuable as original data?” — Kelvin Kemm
So, flat screen TVs, instant communication and access to information and media around the planet, centrally heated homes, shops supplying a variety of world foods that would make a Tudor gape, high tech clothing, cars that just keep on running, advanced healthcare and access to all sorts of gizmos. We live longer than those of previous ages – the biggest danger in that respect merely being excess – world hunger, poverty and child mortality are at all time lows, pollution is way down, food production is way up and using less land. Human ingenuity and science is coming up startling advances every day. And yet, there are people telling us, from their armchairs over the internet, that because their favoured politician isn’t in charge, things are really bad and we’re practically living in a dystopia. We’re not, but we will be if IQ levels continue in what appears to be a downward slide.
Nice delivery in the post. Cheers Bryan Thomas Schmidt.
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Nov 10th
Early dispersal for quadrupedal cetaceans: amphibious whale from middle Eocene

Building the first holographic brain ‘atlas’

“The 0.06 milliSieverts around Fukushima would take 6 months to reach one CT scan (10 millisieverts). It is generally a lot of radiation all at once that overwhelms the bodies repair systems.”

Germany Solar and Wind is Triple the Cost of France’s Nuclear and Will Last Half as Long

3-D Printing of Skin with Embedded Vasculature

Interesting. . .

Nov 11th
Now looking through the final page proofs of The Human. Damn I’ll be glad to put this to bed. As I’ve noted before, by this stage I’ve read the book many times and am bored with it.

Leeches! You can guess where my mind is going. . .

Scientists Have Invented a Mind-Reading Machine That Visualises Your Thoughts
H/T Justina LA Robson

Chimera formation could favor the expansion of invasive species in the marine environment

Second ranging shot. . .

Bandicoots feeling ticked off?

Up to chapter 4 now *sigh*. When can I make a copy of my mind, edit out the boredom factor, and set it to work?

Drew Zeigler
11 November at 15:21 ·
Working on my Holiday staff recs at work this morning… Neal, I thought using Fucking Idea Factory was a bit much…

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Up to chapter 7 of the final run through of The Human. Picking up one or two small things here and there – nothing major. I did have a bit of a moment when I thought a particular character should be in a spacesuit at one point, which didn’t tie in well with him nutting a robot and damaging his skull, but no, I was wrong.

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Damned cortisol/adrenaline response to fasting. I’m coming to the end of a full day (last I ate was 7.15 last night) and feel like I’ve drunk a litre of coffee. Get ready for the insomnia postings.
Nov 12th
‎Lee Harrington‎ to Neal Asher
13 November at 03:34 ·
I’m one of those people that likes to read books in order and right now I don’t have the two books after The Skinner so I am starting on Dark Intelligence now .
I should be able to catch up with the others sometime within the next month when I can afford to buy them.
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Just got one of those stick on blue filters for my ipad. Be interesting to see if it has any effect. Nothing actually looks any less blue.
Nov 13th
Brendon Kelly
13 November at 08:24 ·
Awe stuff it Neal Asher, just finished Peter F Hamilton’s Salvation lost and now I need another read… Gridlinked it is then..
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Ah, that’s what I like to see: dark purple on the keto stick. Now just past 64 hours into a fast. I won’t do the 72 hours this time, but maybe next.
Nov 14th‎
Paul Roth‎ to Neal Asher
14 November at 03:18 ·
Nov 15th
Okay, that’s it. I’ve gone through the page proofs of The Human and sent in a few corrections. Back to the next, well, the one after next book.
Hmm. The first time I watched Stranger Things I got bored with it. This time I skipped quite a bit to get to the meat of the thing and really enjoyed the last episodes of the first season. I’m starting the second season now and am enjoying it right from the start.
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Hmm, Stranger Things. I can only watch an episode or two before I feel the urge to fast-forward. As with many books I try to read now I wonder if the problem is mine: getting jaded with stuff I would have loved twenty or more years ago. That time of ennui of those coming towards the end of their second century in the Polity is just a reflection of the everyday reality of now.
Nov 17th
Nov 18th
“This shows that deforestation in July this year was almost four times the average from the same period in the previous three years. This is important as deforestation is almost always followed by fire—the cut vegetation is left to dry before being burned.”
Well today has not been very achievement heavy. Slept badly last night then late this morning, couldn’t push myself to the gym, but did manage to push myself to clean through the house and give the vacuum cleaner an outing. I then shuffled some text around in the book, my brain feeling like only a scattering of neurones were firing, failed to fast, then snoozed in my armchair. Must do better.
Um. Look at the upsides. I did read a lot of science articles so I suppose I can classify that as research. I did clean my house. And I’m way ahead of my publisher anyway.
Nov 19th
Damn it all to hell. Insomnia again. My sleep patterns are all over the place. Perhaps I need to stay up for a night (and no snoozes the following day) to try and get things lined up again
Okay, it is cold today.
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Ah good. A day without snoozes. Hopefully I’ll sleep well tonight and be able to wrap my head around plot complications tomorrow. I came across one today – rather like a shoddy join that won’t lock together – and felt I would need to either change stuff all the way back to the beginning or write a whole new section. In retrospect I realise I will probably have to do both.
Nov 20th
Okay, I’ve just been updating my blog with posts from here. I’ve now decided I am not going to put so much in there – just some selected content from here i.e. no more science post links and no more photographs that might end up being troublesome. Frankly, if people refuse to come on Facebook because of, well politics, it’s their loss. They’re losing all of the interaction that occurs below each post anyway!

Update: I was talking about my blog. I am not going to put so much FROM HERE in my blog. That is, I am not going to put the science posts FROM HERE IN MY BLOG! FFS!

So, some people hate FB and some hate Twitter. In my experience that opinion is mostly formed by the followers they have. But it’s easy enough to filter out the dipsticks on either platform. As for how each is run, whether they cut content, ban people or otherwise censor stuff, well, they’re private businesses. Personally I’m quite grateful to promote my books and interact with thousands of people effectively for nothing. I don’t like that they are monopolies, and definitely some debate needs to be had about that. Equally I’m very wary of the idea of government intervention in either, since the state itself is a monopoly. What do you think about all this?

4 hour power cut today while something was being done. Probably work involving the sprawls of house building all around this part of Essex. The words ‘staggering infrastructure’ spring to mind. Because of that I didn’t get a lot done on the book. I did however spend three hours learning Greek. Nothing quite like being devoid of internet to focus the mind, though the devoid of central heating wasn’t much fun.

Well I looked at this and I looked at that on Netflix and Amazon and nothing new appealed. I’m now watching The Expanse from the beginning again. #TheExpanse

Yup. I have nearly a whole shelf full of these Michael Moorcock books and much enjoyed the Elric ones. Nice to see a TV series but, as ever, so long as they stick to the stories and the spirit of these tales and don’t start injecting the usual wanked up agendas.

Nov 22nd
Hey guys, my brother, who is into 3D printing and drones – including using Fusion 360 to design items and a slicer called Cura . . . including building his own drones and using Fatshark HD3 goggles . . . is finally interested in getting on Facebook to find people of similar interests. Anyone out there into this stuff? Anyone out there able to make intelligent comment on all this stuff?

Nov 25th
Delightful. I had so many of these in my right eye at the weekend I had illusory flies zipping round me and illusory flocks of birds in the sky. This happened while I was on Crete in the other eye, but I ignored it and it went away. This time I went for an eye checkup and got the expected diagnosis: old bastard.

Nov 26th
FFS. Do something new! That being said, the ‘f–king idea factory’ would take any money they want to throw about.

Hmm, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have not been giving myself sufficient recovery times from fasting and heavy gym work. Add on top of that session of drinking Jack Daniels, above and beyond what I’m accustomed to, and the result is not clever. I’m taking a lazy do F-all week now. Hopefully I won’t feel like a washed out dish rag at the end of it.

Nov 27th
I often make comparisons between the functions of the brain and those of the rest of the body e.g. if you want more imagination then exercise that muscle. Exercise results in damage, then the body repairs and upgrades to new parameters (grows more muscle) . But it doesn’t do this during the exercise but during rest. Same for the brain it seems, and that is of course logical.

Transferring a post from here on Facebook to Twitter can be an excellent exercise in précis. I recommend it for writers. It will help for that time when you have to render a book down into a two-page synopsis.

Nov 28th
Ah you can tell an election is coming up. Everyone is big time falling back to using their hard wiring and confirmation bias. Hopefully some rational thought will re-establish by Christmas. Ho ho ho. #scifi #sciencefiction

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Nov 29th
Knife wielding bearded nutter stabbed up five people and has just been shot on London Bridge. Doubtless a hipster who drank one or two more craft ales than he should have. . .

Nov 30th
I wonder how many people are thinking about what to carry in their pockets or bags on their next trip into london? I’m guessing a narwhal tusk might be too overt.

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Again, as above: I post a lot more on Facebook that you will find here. I don’t want to risk infringing on someone’s copyright as far as pictures are concerned, so I’ve limited them, and I cannot be bothered anymore transferring the links here to all the science articles I post. And of course, just reading here you miss all the conversation and interplay underneath each article. Sorry to those of you that have an aversion to Facebook – your loss. If you change your mind I am here on Facebook.

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