Simon’s Backup Weblog


The moon in the trees

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 30, 2005

The moon in the trees
Originally uploaded by sbisson.

On a winter’s day the trees snatch the moon from the sky and toss it between their branches, in an arborial game of catch.

Richmond Park, December 2004

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Sunset over Ham

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 30, 2005

Sunset over Ham
Originally uploaded by sbisson.

A winter sunset on a frosty day. A view over Ham from Richmond Park, December 2004.

21<sup>st</sup> Century English.

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 30, 2005

Introducing the extremely obvious Metric Shedde.

As in: “Blimey, you’ve got a metric shedde-load there, mate.”

If SF writers wrote CAMRA reviews…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 30, 2005

As the story I’m working on seems intent in turning into William Hope Hodgson’s “The Free-House on the Borderland”, somehow I started thinking of just what the pub reviews of great SF and fantasy writers would be…

So, we have J.R.R. Tolkein’s “The Last Friendly Tied House”, George R. R. Martin’s epic study of pub pianos “A Sing-along of Ice and Fire”, Anne McCaffrey’s “At the sign of The White Dragon” (and of course, her paen to Fuller’s – “Lyon’s London Pride”), Arthur C. Clarke’s examination of the beer purchasing patterns at one London off-licence “Ales from the White Hart”, Dan Simmons’ guide to strong beers “Hard as Ales”, and William Barton’s “When We Were Real Ales”.

The list goes on, I’m sure…

C’est le fin de Clochette

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 30, 2005

So Regis Loisel has finally finished his masterpiece. Destins, the 6th and final volume of his Peter Pan cycle is here at last.

No more cute fairies and complex plots. Loisel has given us six volumes of wonder, in some of the best BD to date.

(thanks to for carrying it back on the Eurostar for me)

Sun screen anyone?

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 29, 2005

Here’s a wonderful picture of a solar flare found thanks to the The Sideshow

Who needs APOD?

Really really annoying spam…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 29, 2005

…it had my physical address in.

I really really dislike 419 scammmers.

Flash-fiction snippet: Lock-in (Part 2)

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 29, 2005

(continued from Part 1)

Charlie’d not been the first to go. The Peabody brothers had taken an old Cortina and a couple of sawn-offs south of the river. They said it would be safer in Kent. But they never called back. They’d been followed by a handful of folk who remembered safe childhood summers in Clacton and Frinton. Their convoy of battered Transits had been swallowed up by a patch of rogue assemblers somewhere on the A12. No one had the courage to leave now – it was too dangerous out there.

Now there were just a few people left, huddling in a maze of terraces and squares. Not long ago these streets had been the homes of artists and civil servants. The roads bustled with cars, and the tube trains hummed their way in and out of the centre of the city. The cars were wrecks, scavenged for copper by the swarms of bush robots, and the last tube had been delayed somewhere under Aldwych for the last three months.

Midnight, and the robot was gone at last. But that didn’t mean that they could go home. Sure, Jack had his HERF gun, and the capacitors were charged and ready for whatever rogue machines might try to break through the oak doors. If it wasn’t machines, Jack would still be ready, posse of yardies had left a cache of machine pistols in a nearby lock-up, and he kept a couple under the counter. It hadn’t taken long for things to fall apart in London. It was less than six months since the quantum oracle at the LSE went live, decided it was one of the Great Old Ones and ate the minds of all the traders who’d been hooked up to the new neural-interface terminals. Transhuman is as transhuman does, and the uploaded souls lived on in the many worlds of the oracle’s quantum processors.

Now the streets weren’t safe, the LSEyaropteth’s bush robots were always looking for new souls to add to the eternal possibles that roiled throught the heart of the hungry machine. You were unlikely to be assimilated if you kept them fuelled and stayed indoors at night – or were prepared to give them a dose of home-made EMPs.

(more to come)

Fast fiction snippet: Lock-in

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 29, 2005

(The blame for this story snippet goes to and her comments about Eastenders…)

The bush robot was knocking on the locked door of The King’s Head again. Jack had left it some potato-peel potcheen a while back, but it hadn’t been enough to satisfy the thirsty collective.

“Back in Kernow the damn piskies would work for bread and milk. What does that fucking robot want? Dry roasted peanuts? Best bitter?”

The ragged folk at the bar looked round at the shimmering glass robot, and, as one, turned back to their drinks. No use thinking about the outside, not while there was a fire and rough booze. They’d have to head home soon enough.

Jack adjusted the wick on the oil lamp. There hadn’t been any electricity for a month, not since the National Grid had been possessed by the Hungry Ghosts. The way things were going there probably wouldn’t be any city left in another month. The robots were scavenging anything organic for fuel, and carting rubble off to the West End. Charlie claimed they were building rockets in Hyde Park.

“Concrete rockets. Moulded out of whatever those machines make from our homes.”

He’d vanished last week. The note he’d left at The King’s Head had said he was off looking for fuel cells. He’d have done anything for ice in his whisky.

Charlie’d not been the first to go. The Peabody brothers had taken an old Cortina and a couple of swan-offs south of the river. They said it would be safer in Kent. They’d been followed by a handful of folk who remembered safe childhood summers in Clacton and Frinton. A convoy of battered Transits had been swallowed up by a patch of rogue assemblers somewhere on the A12.

(continued here)

“Who’da Blunkett”…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 28, 2005

..or perhaps, “Beach Blunkett Babylon”?

David Blunkett and Boris Johnson: The Musical

Casting is currently under way for the characters of Mr Johnson, Ms Wyatt and Mr Blunkett’s former lover, Kimberly Quinn.

Mr Witts said the show will be similar in format to Michael Frayn’s Noises Off, with the actors commenting on the action.

He described it as an “amusing piece”, focusing on Mr Blunkett’s journey from humble beginnings in Sheffield, his rise to political power and his “tragic” downfall.

“It is not going to be a knocking piece. It is an entertainment. It will be a hit.”

Scared now.

But who’s the “well known rock star” who will be playing David Blunkett?

(thanks to for spotting the link and putting up with the resulting puns…)

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