March 2011

And the Howard books duly arrive. They were sent from Texas on 23 February by Tom. So that’s under a week: excellent delivery from the postal service on that one.


And the books themselves are very impressive. Well produced, clean, crisp, and on very bright paper. These are wonderful books and well worth the money. Of course the content is going to be brilliant too – I’ve never read anything duff from Howard.


I’m really not too sure which one I’ll start reading first. They both have works from Howard I’ve not read yet, and they both have additional material which I’m sure will be illuminating.


Not sure if it’s easily seen in the above picture but I got number 139 for both volumes. They are already on second printings. The books can be bought here.


I used another laptop to browse the Internet while my main laptop was backing up with Norton Ghost – I’ve found through experience that although you can work while important system programs are in progress it’s best not to. Even though my time online recently has gone way down – mostly at weekends, hardly every during the week – the second laptop has picked up some malware. This is probably because it’s hardly used, and I don’t have any anti spy ware or anti virus on it, although I’m pretty sure the built in fire wall is on. (It could be because the laptop hasn’t been upgraded with the latest windows updates for a while.) So I’ll put it to the side until I can find a cure for the particular piece of nasty software that is on it.

I’ve read quite a bit lately -  the books I’m expecting haven’t turned up yet; the Howard books are in the process of being shipped and the Farmer book hasn’t been published yet. I think Subterranean Press are doing a great job but it would be nice if they published books on time. All the books I’ve (pre) ordered from them have been late in being published.

I went on a Yurick binge. Sol Yurick is an American novelist probably most famous for The Warriors. I love the film of that book and years ago had a tatty paperback of that novel which has now disappeared; probably thrown out. He’s a very good writer and recently I thought I’d get a new edition of The Warriors. His books were so cheap on Amazon and Abe Books that I ended up getting practically his whole output – including a hardback edition of one of his books for one pence. Among others I’ve bought there’s been another 3 for 2 from Waterstone’s; two novels from Henning Mankell and a non fiction book. Menkell is famous for Wallander; the Swedish original TV series is quite good but the UK remake is pure drivel. I couldn’t get into the first of his books but ‘Italian Shoes’ is intriguing and interesting.

I’ve also switched back into old habits when it comes to reading. For the last few years I’ve been reading books exclusively; starting and finishing – or abandoning – a book before turning to another. Recently I’ve been going through more than one at a time. It’s pretty weird reading Neal Asher’s The Technician (a really strong book from this author) at the same time as The Histories by Herodotus, An Island Death by Sol Yurick and Menkell but it has been enjoyable. All these books were bought in the last week or so and I’m going through them at a pace. Maybe there’s something in reading more than one book at once.