SpaceCraft Rotating Header Image

Books

Books! Company Town – Madeline Ashby

A kick-ass heroine, disturbing vision of the future and a twisty plot are the key ingredients of this gripping sci-fi thriller.

 

Oh Company Town, you nearly broke me. I was expecting an engrossing sci-fi action thriller with a kick ass protagonist, I was not expecting the emotional hit of lead character Hwa’s back story. I don’t want to give too much away but it totally blind sided me. It’s nearly a week since I finished reading the book and it’s still with me.

I love a good kick ass heroine and Hwa of Company Town is one of the best. In a world where nearly everyone has “edited” away their imperfections,  she’s one of the few entirely organic people left. Hwa has Sturge-Weber syndrome and because of that has a vascular birthmark running down one side of her face and body. She lives with the constant threat of seizures but her “stain” also messes with surveillance cameras and people’s enhanced vision meaning that her face is rarely truly seen. She’s working for the Union as a body guard for sex workers when she’s hired by the Lynch family who’ve recently bought the town sized oil rig where she lives. Their youngest member, Joel Lynch, is receiving death threats but when Hwa’s friends are targeted by a serial killer she has to balance her job with trying to catch a murderer.

Ashby’s future is particularly disturbing because it doesn’t seem so far fetched. There are people who want to live forever, endless surveillance, bodily enhancements like “muscle regimes”, one of which comics fans may enjoy seeing is called “Liefeld” and food subscription services for those who can afford them.  It’s a fantastic read. Oh and I loved Dr Mantis the AI medic with his six limbs and attempts at a bedside manner.

Hwa is so kick ass, she is steely and resourceful and I wish this book wasn’t a stand alone because I’d really like to read more of her. In the acknowledgements Ashby says that she has published two stories set in the same world in different anthologies and I hope to track those down soon. There’s also a Company Town playlist if you want to check  it out. It’s the first of Ashby’s books that I’ve read, which in hindsight is sad as I already own vN. I want to read that this year.

Company Town by Madeline Ashby is published on May 17th.

Disclaimer – I received a digital galley of Company Town in return for an honest review. 

14th Blogiversary!

Oh poor neglected blog. It’s about eighteen months since I last posted.

So a little catch-up: I’m still knitting, but not as much as I used to. I have an inprogress cowl from before Xmas that I haven’t picked up since then. What I am doing though, is reading. I’ve been taking part in the GoodReads yearly challenges for the last few years and last year read over 100 books. This year I’ve challenged myself to read 40 books. So far I’ve read 14 but whether I’ll reach my goal remains to be seen but since I read all of The Expanse series, most of which are over 500 pages long, perhaps I’ve actually read twice as much 😉

I got to spend Christmas and the New Year in New England in the USA. Eric’s from there and his parents invited me to stay for the holidays. The time flew by. I did buy some local yarn while I was there and many books. Oh and there were blueberry pancakes!  🙂

More later…honest…

Eleven Years Ago Today…

I blogged for the very first time.

It’s still rather strange to think of old Space Craft is. Scifiville is even older, I bought the domain back in June 2000.

 

So I’ve made some new aquistions

 

I picked this up in my local Aldi for about £2.50 I think.

image

 

It contains this assortment of various sewing thingies

image

Perfect if you’re like me and have to have more than three of everything. 🙂

I’ve had the same pair of fabric scissors for thirteen years and unfortunately they had an untimely death recently. But really, I probably should have replaced them earlier.

I bought these at the same time as the sewing tin and I have no idea how good they’ll be.

image

 

I’m visiting Helen this weekend and as well looking forward to seeing her my thoughts are also turning to which knitting project I’ll check with me. I’ll probably elect for something fairly simple and mindless. But the dilemma is whether is to start something new or take an existing project. I’ve not yet decided…

 

 

 

The End of the One Year Blogging Challenge plus 11 years of SpaceCraft…

So, this time last year I pledged to blog every Monday for a year. Why? Well, because my blogging had pretty much dried up. The last few years had come and gone with only a few posts to show for them. So to herald the eleventh year of this blog – yes, that’s right eleven years, I thought I would see if I could commit to writing another 52 entries.

I’ve been strict and I’ve held to it although it’s been difficult at times. Some Mondays I’ve only just managed to get the post up before midnight….

It can also be hard to generate the energy for writing. Content can also be a problem. This is primarily a crafty blog but, like everyone else, I go through periods where I’m just not doing anything crafty. That can be for a whole raft of reasons, I might just be busy with something else like my garden or decorating a room. With gardening I can take a photo and I guess I could of the room but that green paint stubbornly refuses to allow itself to be captured in pixels.

So this week I’ve been moving furniture back into my bedroom, sorting through old clothes, reading, going to the cinema and watching tv. Oh and of course working at my dayjob. I’ve looked longingly at my knitting several times but haven’t knit a stitch.

The things that I want to work on are these two cabled Ysolda berets. Both of them have been WiPs for a few years.

image

So hopefully I’ll be able to sit down and work a few rows on one soon.

Now that my Monday blogging challenge is at an end I probably won’t be blogging every week. I think I’ll only blog if I have something that I feel is blog worthy. I say that but I may feel differently next Monday, I may still blog then. Time will tell.

Meanwhile the indoor hyacinths are starting to bloom.

image

 

 

New Blog – Nanowrimo, procrastination and James Bond.

It sounds like a strange 1960s team-up show, I know. But the madness of National Novel Writing Month is almost upon me. I have only two days of sanity and freedom left before November first.

Back in February I pledged to blog every Monday for a year. Some of my entries have been a bit scrappy and brief but they’ve still been there. So that won’t change but they may still be short. The word count gadget will be on the blog too. I honesty have no idea how it’s going to go this year. I have less of a plot idea than last year so I’m going to be doing even more creating on the fly than usual. My craft output may suffer I’m not really sure.

 

Speaking of which, here’s a quick shot (ie blurry pic) of my latest wip

image

 

Ok, so it’s red and there are cables. Oh and it’s for me 🙂 No idea when I’ll finish it of course…:)

I love my job, I get to speak to the most fascinating people. Today I got to chat to a security expert about James Bond. He recommended that I read some of the Fleming novels so I’m going to add Casino Royale to the ever increasing pile of books by the side of my bed.

I’m only a recent convert to Bond. Casino Royale was the first Bond film I’d ever seen at the cinema. It was a breath of fresh air. Prior to that Bond films were a sort of boring, sexist kind of stain on Bank Holiday tv schedules. Although, even that said I’ve always had a fondness for the original 1960s Bond. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is still one of my favourite films. Perhaps it’s just the Roger Moore films that I have an aversion towards?

Seeing Skyfall – and if you haven’t already, run don’t walk to see it – made me want to revisit the 60s Bond films and watch CR again. I’ve got a subscription to Sky’s NOW TV film streaming service and they have all the Bond films ready to stream so since I couldn’t find my dvd copy I tried streaming it. Awful. It was like the worst You Tube-esque copy ever. So I had to quickly give up on it and find another copy. I did stream OHMSS and that was a lot better. Watched half of Dr No and then fell asleep. I did rewatch CR – it’s still brilliant – and the quite appalling Quantum of Solace over the rest of the weekend. When Bond’s best chat up line is “do you want to help me find the stationary?”, you know that it’s not really going very well…

Another issue with Quantum is that I forever associate it with these alternate theme songs by the legendary Adam & Joe.

Finished – Edinburgh Rock

I’m really pleased with how this turned out

 

Detail of the leaves

 

I’ve never blocked a scarf before but I’m tempted to block this one so that the yarn over design shows up

 

Another view

 

Unfortunately I don’t have anything new to show you this week. I’ve had to stop and start a few projects including, Wild as the Wind, where I’ve ripped everything out and changed the yarn and needles. Most of my energy this week has gone into decluttering, again. Yes, again. I seem to do this a couple of times a year. Well, I say that but what I really mean is that I take some things from one room and put them in another. This time I’ve been taking things to the tip and recycling centre instead. I have some bookcases on my landing and they used to have boxes of crap, sorry, I mean vitally important things, in front of them. They don’t anymore. This has brought the added benefit of my no longer having to do contortions in order to switch off the landing light. This is good.

My plan is to finish off the reorganising before my birthday on Saturday. I have next week off and hope to make another dress, watch a few fillums and possibly do a bit of cooking or baking. 🙂

 

Oh and my friend Shea Wong has an article in the Huffington Post today.

 

 

 

Making Monday – First post of the Year

This blog, Space Craft, is ten years old this month and as part of celebrating and marking that, I’ve decided to set myself a little blogging challenge. From this week onwards I will blog every Monday for a year. It’s a challenge and a bit of a kick up the backside for me. I can always think of stuff to blog about but I rarely get around to writing it. I’m still making things but I don’t document them as often as I could. And well, I’ve had over two months off from blogging as it is 😉 It also means that I can join in with Natalie from The Yarn Yard‘s Making Monday. 🙂

I don’t know if it’s a seasonal thing but now that it’s colder I seem to be spending more of my time knitting than sewing. It could be related to a recent sewing disaster but more on that in another post. Current knitting WIPS are Rose Red by Ysolda and She’s Electric by Ann Weaver. I had intended for She’s Electric to be my Xmas project and I was going to knit as much of it as I could, possibly even finish it, over the Xmas holidays. It didn’t work out that way.

 

About 11 rows completed on She's Electric

 

Instead I finished off the Cosmic Pluto top-down cardigan which had been on the needles for about three years, and I didn’t get a great deal further than casting on SE. Incidentally I partly knit the TDRC in some Lamb’s Pride Worsted that I bought way back in Dharma Trading in 2004 when I met Rachael Herron and Mariko for the first time! I’ve just realised that I also bought the LPW in Magenta shade that I’m using for SE at the same time! You can see it in the pic on this archive entry. The Pink skein at the top is the pink I used on the TDRC and the LP just under it is what I’m using on the SE. OMG I’ve just realised that it’s over eight years since I bought that yarn! It’s been in my stash for all that time. Ah well, at least I’m using it now 😉

It’s not photographed that well this time in my 11 rows picture. It’s a lot more vibrant in real life and the old pic is more true to its colour. I could have knit a lot more on this than I have as asides from checking which way your increases are going, it’s mostly stocking stitch. But I bought a red coat in the sales and decided that it was time to pluck the two balls of Debbie Bliss Rialto DK in colour 23012 out of my stash and cast on for a much promised Rose Red beret by Ysolda.

 

Rose Red Beret in progress

 

 

It doesn’t quite match my coat – the coat is more of an orangey red and the yarn is more of a blue red – but they’ll go together fine.

My new coat with my Rose Red for comparison

I’m currently wearing the coat with a scarf from Rowan Biggy Print that I made I-can’t-remember-how-long-ago but I want to make a cowl to go with the coat. I have some yarn in my stash for that but am not sure how long it’ll be before I cast on for that since I have to finish RR first!

I’ve had so many problems with RR though. It’s no fault of the pattern which is very well written, alas it’s all down to me. I have to really focus when knitting it and count my stitches every row. So far I’ve had to rip out lots of rows and in one case rip it right back to the icord start, because I’d made a mistake. I love the way the design is building, it’s gorgeous. It’s just that this isn’t tv watching knitting, at least not for me. And it’s certainly not something I can work on while watching Borgen and keep up with the subtitles! SE is perfectly suited for that but I just haven’t been picking up the needles.

Something else that can take away from crafting time is reading. Since last year I’ve really got back into it with a passion. I love Good Reads and their book reading challenge is great. This year I’ve set myself the target of reading 30 books. That’s mainly because a lot of the books I’ve been reading have been quite long and whereas I can easily whiz my way through 300 pages, it’s a bit harder when it’s over 700. I’ve just finished This Perfect day by Ira Levin which had a really big impact on me, I’ll be thinking about it for a while.

Hip news

My MRI came back clear which means that I haven’t damaged any of the soft tissue in my left hip. I’ve been having physiotherapy since November as all of the slowing down recommended by the GP has meant that my muscles had become very weak. They’re building up more now and I’ve been able to go back to my pilates classes. The impingements haven’t gone away of course, and there will still be things that I can’t do like some movements in pilates. I don’t know when I’ll have to have surgery on them, probably not for a few years anyway, but I’m seeing the surgeon again next week for the MRI follow up.

Finished!

I’m going for a lie down now…

NaNoWriMo

The word count widgets are now ready so you can see how I’ve been doing. Most days it’s just been get home, make tea and then head down writing for two hours. Some days are easier than others but I’m over the halfway point now. Just have to keep going!

Post Card from the Edge…

Wish you were here?

This is where I am at the moment, in the midst of the madness that is National Novel Writing Month. The word widgets aren’t ready yet so I can’t put up a count of my words just yet but yesterday I got up to the 11k word mark. Today the words just aren’t coming so it’s time to have a break for a bit!

In hippety hip news on Friday I had an MRI scan along with an arthrogram – basically they injected a dye into my hip joint before the mri. Not the greatest experience but at least it’s done and dusted now. Not sure when I’ll get the results but should be within six weeks. I hope.

There’s also been some knitting going on as well as some reading 🙂 But more on that in a later post I think. Now, I must eat something!