March 2010

To be sung to Where the Streets Have No Name by U2 (or the Pet Shop Boys cover version):
I wanna blog
I want to speak
I wanna see through the fog
That makes us all weak
I wanna reach out
And touch the flame
Where the tweets have no name
I want to feel
The book of my face
To see the cloud as it appears
Without a trace
I want to shelter from the trollish reign
Where the tweets have no name
Ho…ha… (more…)

After visiting Japan in 2007 for the Worldcon (Nippon 2007) Charlie Stross wrote in his travelblog that Japan had “got our future, damn it!”. I’ve just moved into a new-build apartment in Tokyo and thought I’d share some initial impressions of up to date living conditions in Tokyo, some of which clearly represent Charlie’s impression, but some of which are not ideal or futuristic. (more…)

I went to IKEA in Minami Funabashi in Eastern Tokyo yesterday. I kept noticing the music because it seemed like they’d copied a random selection of music off my media player: Suzanne Vega, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, and many others. Obviously, I’m in their target audience. I didn’t buy anything, though we may get a sofa from them, at least partly because they keep stock in unlike most of the companies where it’s a minimum three week, and up to eight week, wait.

I’m part of the committee running HalCon next month in Omiya just North of Tokyo. It’s a (hopefully annual) bi-lingual Japanese/English SF convention. We’ve got two guests this year, Charlie Stross from the UK and Ooishi Masaru from Japan. As part of our con online presence we have a blog on which I posted the following piece about Charlie Stross, which I thought might interest people here as well.

Charlie’s Just This Guy I Know (more…)

In all the time I’ve spent in Japan over the last three years I’ve never felt a significant earthquake. People keep asking me if I’m OK whenever they hear there’s an earthquake in Japan, but I’ve either slept through the minor ones tangible in Tokyo or they’ve been in Hokkaidoor Kyushu. But, we’ve just moved in to a new apartment on the 9th floor of a building and on Sunday night there was a minor tremor with epicentre close to Tokyo. I definitely felt that one. It seemed to go on for quite a long time, but I suspect some of that was the building anti-earthquake measures stretching out the energy into smaller vibrations which go on for longer, rather than shorter time scale but bigger movement. Or maybe it was just a relatively long but minor earthquake. This convinces me about my wife’s concerns regarding furnishing the new apartment fully, making sure particularly the bookshelves are securely fixed to the walls, and have either bars on the front of the shelves, or doors with anti-earthquake latches on them.