First Thursday London SF Fan Virtual Drinks

London SF fans have met up every first Thursday of the month for a long time, and we are continuing to do so in lockdown. But we can’t do it in person, so we’re going to be at

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85046521686

on the first Thursday of the month from 6pm to 10pm for the forseeable. The next meeting at time of writing is 1 March 2021.

Note that depending on your platform, this link will try download Zoom if you don’t already have it. …


City of the Future, Frank R Paul for Amazing Stories, 1942 (detail)

“I can’t justify the cost of mobile data.” “My husband has no interest in having a smartphone.” “I don’t have a smartphone and have no plans to get one.” “Can you think of any other time a technology has been this disruptive?” “It took me 20 minutes to register to pay — I wish I could just put money in a slot” “I want to be able to print off a paper ticket”. “I’ll just stop using this service rather than access it by smartphone”. “I don’t want to do anything complicated with my phone”.

All these comments, some lightly…


The lovely people at Anker sent me a set of Soundbuds Curve Wireless Earbuds to review. I’d have loved them even more if they’d sent me them two weeks before I bought a pair of Taotronics Bluetooth earbuds, rather than two weeks afterwards. But there we go. And why had I bought new earbuds? Ah, therein lies a long, long tale.

Anker SoundBuds Curve

People who’ve known me a long time know that I have a love-hate relationship with headphones. They seem essential to me, and I’m happy to spend on them, but the product I want doesn’t appear to be available. That…


Hello men! I’m so pleased that you engaged with all of our #MeToo posts. If you’re being a bit smug about what an ally you are right now, could you please not…

a) post about things you might have done in the past which might be construed as sexual harassment or even assault but which were ‘innocently meant’. Just learn and move on.

b) explain that while you are of course an ally, free speech means it’s just fine for a man to write about how his female colleagues are inferior at their jobs, on a work intranet on company…


Blade Runner 2049: Three Men and a Chatbot

So, back from Blade Runner 2049, and some thoughts, which will be spoiler free for the first paragraph or so so that you aren’t spoiled, but don’t keep reading unless you’ve seen the film or don’t care.

It’s really pretty. There are lots of very beautiful, well-thought out vistas. But there’s about thirty minutes too much in the way of establishing shots. The film would have been better without that and spending a few more minutes patching up the plot.

We saw it in IMAX 3D due to that being what was available at the time we wanted to see…


Ads are clearly at their best when they channel dystopian science fiction. This reminds many people of Black Mirror, but it reminds me of Brazil because I’m just that much older. And I think the music is deliberately calling back to Brazil.

Black Mirror has won its first Emmy, for the lovely episode “San Junipero”, which we failed to give a Hugo to. Nobody will remember Hugo winner in 20 years’ time, but “San Junipero” is a classic. Also not as utopian as it appears at first glance. Eat the ice cream.

Meanwhile I’ve been using Nuzzel’s newsletter system…


Some of you may already know I’m writing a book, tentatively titled ‘Sell all the things, make all the money’. That book now has a Facebook group. If you’re interested in selling things and making money, come along and join us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/128930791077189/. Website coming shortly for sure.

It’s currently one of those joke books like “The Wisdom of Donald Trump”; it’s got a cover but it’s completely blank inside.

In an attempt to latch on to trending topics I’ve designed a light-hearted nuclear war shirt. Dave O’Neill suggested that I should make one to reference the old LWT sitcom Whoops Apocaplyse, which I have never seen and which seems distressingly topical right now so I’m going to catch up.

Finally for today, a short film about t-shirt culture and the t-shirt as an art form. My favourite line: “This is my suit.” Mine too. The journal T-World, which KRin Pender-Gunn alerted me to, appears to be hard to track down though.


First Trailer for the new, commercial, GBBO.

Marianne tells me there are three reactions to this — “I like this video, but GBBO will never be the same again”, “GBBO will never be the same, and this video proves it”, and “this video is great and everything will be fine, why are you worrying?”. Which are you? At any rate, you’ll need to set up your series timer, unless you fancy “Who’s this week’s star baker, and whose soggy bottom is going home? Find out after the break!”


Our family likes playing games together. We do so quite a lot, all things considered, especially if you count Hearthstone, where we play each other, play co-operatively, and spectate each other. We also periodically spectate each other playing other games, play asynchronous two-handed phone games, and battle to finish the daily round of Leap Day.

But we like board games too; the only thing we don’t like about board games is that they’re big, and our house is full. “Not so full you don’t have room for more board games”, I hear you say, and that is true, but a…


We went to watch Dunkirk last night. The timing of this film could not be better, given that it celebrates Britain’s all-time most spectacular withdrawal from Europe after a disastrous mistake. But remember Churchill; ‘wars are not won by evacuations’. Damn right.

I’m not a great fan of war movies, but the combination of Nolan, Rylance, and a rather splendid trailer (which I saw during Spider-Man) pulled me in. And the film is astoundingly neutral; although some characters behave heroically, and some survive against all odds, it’s free of the cloying sentimentality and ludicrous bravado that mars the genre. …

Alison Scott

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