Monthly Archives: June 2008

The Stars of Speculative Fiction #17: Tehani Wessely

And due to the mysterious disappearance of Ben Payne, this week, we find ourselves welcoming Tehani Wessely (who missed her interview a few weeks ago) who takes centre stage in the first interview at the new home of SoSF.

Tehani, spoon juggler and writer of the most number of letters to Slovenia in a month (October 2003), was kind enough to let me interview her about editing, writing and John Denver.

SoSF – Tehani Wessely

Next week we say hello to little known writer and lemur spotter: Elaine Cunningham

I’m sorry I just had to!

It’s all nyssa_p‘s fault…

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Those cover versions in review

So what do I think then? Song comments plus opinion on better or worse than original below:

1. The Breeders: Happiness is a Warm Gun = better, much better. Oh, so it’s a clever song about sex is it, with Mother Superior being a nickname for Yoko Ono and the warm gun Lennon’s dick – well how utterly clever and fantastic… That actually makes me feel rather ill apart from anything else. No The Breeders have it sussed here, they give it some real oomph and succeed where the beatles, generally, fail.

2. Lambchop: This Corrosion = better. Did I need to say anything about that? The Sisters of Mercy are not exactly the most awe-inspiring band, whereas Lambchop, on their day, are absolutely brilliant. I have played this song so so much, and I can’t even remember how the original sounds, just that I don’t like it much.

3. Johnny Cash: Hurt = better. The original is okay, and Cash just blows it away. The words apply to Cash more and it really is one of those tracks where you wonder which is the actual original. I was reluctant to put this on, seeing as 99.9% of you have already heard it but hey, it’s a winner!

4. Stina Nordenstam (with U.N.K.L.E.): People are Strange = probably better. Her cover is sublime and is definitely better than the original (even though I love The Doors) and both her versions kill the god awful one used on The Lost Boys by Echo and the Bunnymen. It’s got a lot to it this one and is much more than the sum of its parts.

5. Sparklehorse (featuring Thom Yorke): Wish you Were Here  = worse. It’s a gorgeous attempt at one of the greatest songs of all time and is only listed as worse due to the absolute quality of the original. The tone works for this and Sparklehorse made the right decision in getting Thom Yorke of Radiohead along, as he adds to the song beautifully.

MUSICK (or the question of cover versions)

Big welcomes to





; I hope you enjoy yourself and decide to stick around!

I keep hearing that cover versions are a waste of time and that artists should focus on producing their own music…

Utter bullshit. I’m sorry but it just is, there are some wonderful cover versions out there, amongst all the absolute shite, and I decided today to share five of my absolute favourites with you:

Mark’s Five Top Covers

I was going to do a mini-review of each song but I thought I’d let you have a listen first and see what you thought before my ramblings begin.

I’m also going to be sending you some piss funny covers too (as I love them as well) but for now enjoy the class.

Of these five I can safely say that three are far superior to the original song, one is probably better and one is nowhere near as good. Any guesses for what falls where?

It’s 07:22 and nearly time to start work…

Starting the day with a bit of A-HA (you never would have guessed it of me would you?)

Interview for Hujådå magazine

Yes, it’s in Swedish but there’s a mention of Gerard Brennan, Simon Brown and Carole Johnstone in there too, which you might be able to read *winks*

starts today, exciting eh? You joined yet? Why not?

There’ll also be another music offer this week too, so watch out for that…

I finished the whole four seasons of Blake’s 7 last night and will be getting ready for my episode by episode review over at A boy goes on a journey soon.

That’s about it I think, what you want more?

Now playing: 09 – i dream myself alive
via FoxyTunes   

And as I open my copy of the SFX book special…

Playing with the big boys? You’d better believe it!

Assessing myself… badly

It seems as though I may well be going back into therapy.

I’ve been there once before (in 98 funnily enough, throwing up considerations of a ten year cycle) and went due to one thing: that I felt that as a completely honest and open person, I was hiding things from myself.

When you start that tactic things get very strange. I have been honest with my feelings of being betrayed by a close friend, that that former friend is now still blaming me in public for her own failures is not as big a deal as it should be for other things are demanding more attention.

We took Maddoc to the summer house we are going to be staying in for five days in a couple of weeks and I was disjointed the whole time I was there. I couldn’t communicate with people for more than a few minutes without running out of stuff to say. I’ve always been okay in basic social situations but seem to have lost the need/desire lately. I seem to be counting time and feeling that this is not worth it.

We have not had a single friend in this flat since before 11th December 2007. It makes sense in one way but makes this place seem very isolated in another.

I haven’t been writing much, even after receiving two invitations to submit and I’m wondering if here is where my natural therapy lies…

Write you idiot! And more of these kind of journal entries – I need them!

I left it a week or two to seem original again…

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Blimey that wedschilde is racing up that chart!!

Back to the music

Yet again, I have been told I have great taste in music and humble as I am I have to agree…

And what better way to prove my musical awareness generosity than to give you some tunes for you to wonder how you could have lived without them?

It’s coming up to the half way point of the year and for the last couple of years I’ve done a review of the year so far, getting ready for the second half and the all important album of 2008.

As of today, My Brightest Diamond has the top spot with Portishead in close pursuit. It’s been a good year as yet, as my little mp3 selection shows.

I decided to go for seven tracks, as that seems to be the order of the day just now.

Mark’s seven track gift of 2008

Any questions/comments/bribes regarding the 7 tracks will be greatly appreciated just give us a holler!

And in the red corner (or is it blue?)

It’s been a strange three or four weeks for me, both in terms of some major high points but also interspersed with waves of melancholy too. I know these two are constants within our lives but I feel like the extremes have been off the scales in both directions.

I mean it’s not every day you realise after only six months of running your new company that you have managed to get hold of two bestselling authors and one of the most respected editors in the business. It’s not every day you find out that baby is following all the curves baby should be and seems healthy and ready for October. It’s not every day you have a good chat with your sister and find out your sister, brother-in-law and niece and nephew are indeed moving to Sweden soon (late September, early October)! It’s not every day you get such wonderful people at your company as


, as in-house editor and graphic artist respectively.

So what’s with the long face then? Well it’s the whole, I’m working my arse off, so as to dwell less on the fact my brother-in-law was murdered, it’s the fact that I feel I am so responsible for Maddoc’s care just now, with Etina unable to go through life normally. It’s watching how this whole murder, trial, appeals court is affecting her and knowing there is only so much I can do. It’s having friends around going through their own stuff and me feeling like I’m just not there for them at all, yet I read the blogs and listen to them on the phone, it’s just I’m disjointed.

Work has kept me going and been my own personal therapy and even though things have tried to get in the way of that I have stood firm because that’s all I’ve got just now. That and my family. Don’t think you can take away my therapy, it’s not going to happen. I’m going to be this way for a few months and I make no excuses for it. None.

It was my grandmother’s birthday on Wednesday. She would have been 75. She died at 49, when I was 12. She was actually my mother until then, as she didn’t allow my mother full motherhood of me. My mother was too young. My grandmother was wise. The more I hear about my grandmother, the more I know we would have had a problematic relationship now. But she died when I was 12 and I took it hard, hard for many years. It was then I lost my belief in god (and I never went back). I put my grandmother on a pedestal and I still do, knowing I shouldn’t. It’s my prerogative be it wrong or right – challenge it, you’ll not change it.

I have my therapy now, I have Morrigan and I have Gilgamesh – I have a goddess and a half-god. With them I am strong. With them I can carry on. I need to carry on. Carry on.