Sunny Days

So the Irish summer, which officially begins on the 1st of May, seems to have arrived. There is sun in sky, and the temperature is in Double figures(Celsius).

The weekend ahead is a Bank holiday weekend, and due to some fortunate timing, i am able to take today off of work!

I may get out on the bike, and start the process to rebuild my cycling muscles, which i have not used in probably a year, and so i will not enjoy my time on the bike at first!

Saying that though I doubt i will actually get out into the sun you understand, that is just not my way. I will probably stay in bed quite late, and then do some laundry, and maybe finally put some semblance of order on my room!

Who knows what i will do today, tomorrow will involve at least two parties, though there are no plans for Sunday or Monday!


So as i mentioned i was away in Kiev in April. I spent ten days in the Ukrainian capital, during that time i did about five days of tourist things, 3 days of convention, and 2 days of travel!

I Have not yet shared all of my photos from my days in the Ukraine, but the ones i have shared are in the following Flickr locations:

Kiev, Ukraine

Some impressions of the city.

There is a lot of new building going on, but there seems to be a distinct lack of maintenance on some of the older buildings and roads. There were lots of potholes and similar, though i admit that the weather was only finishing been winter during my few days there, and who can say how much of the road damage was just normal winter wear and tear.

The Metros are incredible. They are cheap, about €0.20 for a trip across the city. They are regular, at high peak times there is one about every 90 seconds, and the longest i had to wait was five minutes, and that was at 8pm on a Sunday! Some of them are very deep! and the stations are all a little different.

To be honest everything was cheap. It was a city that the expensive coffee place, usually only cost me about €5 for lunch!

They have a fantastic public transport network. There are the Metros, the Trams, the Trolley buses and the Yellow buses. With all of these it is easy to get nearly anywhere in the city. However these methods of transport are not integrated, with a separate ticket having to bought for each stage of the Journey.

The city has a lot of history, some of it recent, some of it ancient, and yet they all seem to just sit together.

I really enjoyed my time in the city, though i admit that i am unlikely to return for a long time, if ever, which is a pity as i am sure i missed some things. I will however recommend that you do go, however i would suggest staying in a western tourist hotel in the city center, rather than out in the suburbs like i did.


[Review] Star Trek: Into Darkness

So a quick not a review of this movie that i saw a couple of weeks back, while still on a break from blogging.

This is a movie that was trying very hard to be aware of its source material, while also showing the changes the original movie had made. It introduced a main cast member, who reflected a lot on the changes from the original timeline, once you worked out who they were in the orignal timeline.

This is a movie that I enjoyed, but only by turning off my brain.

The Kirk in this series is even more reckless and out of control than the original timeline. Most of this is because he has never completed his time in the academy, he has never had to serve his time learning how to be a captain from others.  He is upset with Spock because Spock followed the rules and didn’t tell Kirk he was going to. Anyone who knows Spock, knows the rules will be followed.

The major problem i have with this movie, and the end of the first is that NO rational organization would give control of a Starship with hundreds of crew to a man-child like Kirk. While it made a small bit of sense in the crazy out of control moments of the first film for Kirk to take command, this sense would not hold after the end of the crisis.

Once you realize that Star Fleet is not rational the movie, plot-holes and all become much more believable.

This is not Star Trek, at least not in the modern sense, though it is a lot closer to the 1960’s version than people might like to admit. This is a world where greek gods are hiding out on planets, where there are beings of incredible power, who do not know Lightspeed is not infinite. It is a crazy world, and so too is Starfleet

I am undecided how i feel about this movie, and indeed the entire reboot, i think it shall take another watch or two, and that can wait for the DVD, or more likely Netflix.


Thoughts on Conventions

I have been going to conventions since 1998. my first ever convention was Octocon Lite, a one day event that to a certain extent has had a very lasting influence on my life.

The first time i heard of Octocon was just after the 1997 Eurocon in Dublin, and I regretted not having heard of it in time, as i am sure it would have been brilliant for me to have attended that event.

Either way 1998 was my first event, and since then I have tried to explain why I love going to conventions.

In those early days it was not the people I had met and become friends with, as I had still not learnt how to handle  my shy and socially akward self. Instead it was the panels.

Here were people like myself who were interested in these topics, whether they were Star Wars or Star Trek or Willow or Lord of the Rings or well anything really, and could talk about in smart ways. It was an eye-opening experience, to see these topics that i rarely had any deep conversation about, been treated so respectfully, though with a bit of comedy thrown in.

While now people can find people of a similar mindset available on the internet, i don’t think there is anything better than a panel for getting into a topic.

If you are wondering why you should go to a convention. It is not about who the guests are, though they are usually awesome, it is about the discussions you will get to watch and be a part of, that is what makes conventions great.

Of course these days I am so busy at conventions, I rarely make panels, and then usually only because I am on them. However that’s a different story for another day!

An update

So part of the reason i started this blog was to talk about conventions that i went to, however i was so busy having fun at Eastercon and Eurocon i never updated, and then i got busy in work.

The biggest piece of news around here is that I have I have been elected to the board of the ESFS as the Secretary. Which is going to be fun. We are currently working on updating the website, and laying a few other foundation stones to hopefully modernise and streamline the organization.

We do hope that we can then keep up with the original purpose of the ESFS, to promote Science fiction in Europe, and European Science fiction to the World.

Exciting times eh!