Friday, 18 February 2011

Frakkensakken clouds

Very near the top of my 'to see' list is the Aurora Borealis, and a rare chance to observe this phenomenon has been afforded those of us who live in the North of England.

Helios, it seems, isn't well, and is vomiting vast, planet-sized chunks of plasma as we speak.

As Earth doesn't have a 'duck and roll' button, we're stuck in the firing line, which means, yay!, all that gooey plasma will splash against our magnetic field and upper atmosphere causing Northern Lights to be visible farther South than usual.

So I sat out last night.

But the frakkensakken clouds wouldn't go away.

So I saw diddly-squat.

Which was disappointing.

Clouds upon clouds. Disappointment on disappointment, because last night, I was looking to the heavens to cheer me up after reading a really dreadful review on Amazon UK for The Ardly Effect.

A magazine review had compared the book to Douglas Adams, and this really annoyed the reviewer. He wanted to, "... knock it down a peg." Actually I totally agree, TAE is nowhere near as good as HGTTG. Not even close. But I didn't write that.

He also said, "'Mitis Green' is a pen name concocted presummably to hide the author's embarassment." (his spelling)


I know it's just a review. I know personal attacks from reviewers who can't even spell should be ignored. But still ... it makes me doubt all those good reviews. Were they just being nice? How many of them actually 'got' the questions: what is consciousness? Is a man's head on a woman's body a man or a woman? (What is it to be your gender?) As power comes to us all in the form of enabling technology, who decides who gets what? Should technology be censored for some? What happens if reality TV is taken to its logical extreme? etc, etc. Coddling big questions in bright wrappers of humour may be a big mistake. Or maybe I'm just crap at writing.

And what are my motives in sharing this stuff? In sharing these doubts ...?

To show you, who experience similar, it wont stop me. And neither should it stop you if you suffer a couple of  less than generous reviews.

I'll be glum today. But tonight? Tonight I'll see the Northern Lights, and be put firmly in my place as the tiniest of specks. A tiny speck awestruck by vomit from the Gods. And then I'll carry on writing because .. I have to.

And besides, it's the weekend tomorrow.

Have a great one.


  1. Hey Gary, no matter what the reviewers say, it is most important to know that TAE was written for you first.

    If you liked it, no one else's opinion should matter.

    For what it's worth, I also thought of Douglas Adams when I read it - although I thought it was completely different as well.

    I think that wrapping big questions in humour is a great idea.

    I also think that some people are too anal to get the point to humour.

    Personally, I can't wait to read TAE2.


  2. Is definitely hard to feel buoyant after a bad review. Here, have an internet martini. \o/

    Don't sweat Amazon reviewers. I've always thought they were disgruntled hacks who couldn't get a real job.