Monday, 20 February 2012

The Monday Miscellany | An Introduction

I post a whole lot of reviews here on The Speculative Scotsman. Not as many as some sites, perhaps, and as one man I'd have a hell of a time trying to compete with the blog conglomerates - the io9s and the Fantasy Factions and so on and so forth - but if you average it out, I write two or three reviews each week, and that isn't including the articles of mine which appear elsewhere.

You'd think that'd be plenty. You'd think I'd have a hard enough time getting all of the above together and sitting pretty enough that I'm comfortable showing them, and sharing them, and some weeks I do - at the best of times I'm sort of a slow writer - but equally, don't for a minute think that I blog about absolutely everything I read, or see, or play, or whatever: I most certainly do not.

That's been a source of some small frustration to me, not only of late, but all through the years I've been doing this thing. As discussed a little while ago, I have real trouble turning off the critical instinct. For better or for worse - more often for worse, in my experience - I find myself standing in judgement of almost everything I consume. In the privacy of my own home, say, I've slated the nightly news.

But breathe easy: I probably won't be writing about the Beeb in the Monday Miscellany. Never say never, but you know... it's not likely.

Anyway, as it stands, I just don't have a suitable space on the site to offer up my thoughts on things that I either can't summon a thousand words' worth of stuff and nonsense to say about, or are so very far outside the purview of a blog at least ostensibly about speculative fiction that I'd have a right cheek trying to pass said off as such on anything more than an occasional basis.

Well. With the advent of the Monday Miscellany, that sorry state of affairs ends today. Right here, and right now.

As with most of the most interesting things in life, the Monday Miscellany is founded on a fib, because it won't be a weekly thing. There won't necessarily be a Monday Miscellany every Monday, or even on most of the Mondays, of which - fun fact! - there are approximately 52 each year. But from this moment on, some Mondays will be more equal than other Mondays, and on those Mondays, I'll be able to burble about the stuff I wouldn't otherwise cover at all.

The Monday Miscellany, then, whenever there is one, will consist of several short reviews, nominally stitched together whenever possibly, but that's not the point, and I won't be losing any sleep over shoddy segues. The miscellaneous criticism therein won't be comprehensive, and it won't attempt to be; if I have enough to say about any one thing, I'll say it in a traditional review instead. But if I don't, or I don't think the thing I'm writing about is apt to appeal to terribly many of you, then I'll have this special space in which to talk about it.

That said, I solemnly swear to at least try to keep it (reasonably) relevant.

I expect the shorter format might lead to some interesting developments. To begin with, with less space - I intend for reviews featured in the Monday Miscellany to top out around 300 words - there'll be substantially less filler, which yes, I know I've been guilty of before, and as like as not it's an offense I'll be guilty of again, if a little less often from here on out. So there's that.

There's also the thought that, with this new space to fill, I'll be able to blog about some less standard fare. I don't mean malts either. I mean short stories and short story collections. I mean more small press novels... even the odd self-published affair, if it's worth it. I mean one-shot comics and albums I think you might be interested in reading about. I mean Flash games and downloadable content. I mean episodes or arcs of certain television shows; maybe short films and indie movies too.

Really, the remit includes pretty much everything I can think of at the moment, and whatever else occurs to me from this point on.

It's actually quite exciting, to finally start in on this thing. The idea's been rattling around in my head for months - alongside a few others you'll be hearing about shortly - and now that I'm ready to let it loose, I feel... hell, I feel relieved.

Obviously, I have high hopes for the Monday Miscellany. I'm not going to ask you to join me in song over its inception just yet, but I believe a good few of you will like it too. Fingers crossed, as ever!

Before I go, the better to let this new feature speak for itself, do stay tuned to TSS today, because the first proper installment of the Monday Miscellany will be along shortly. Among the stuff discussed: an Oscar candidate that left me wondering what in the world the Academy are up to... the new JJ Abrams show, which I've quite enjoyed, despite hiccups here, there and everywhere... and last, and indeed least, a comic book released to set the scene for Mass Effect 3, which if anything dampened my enthusiasm for a game I was expecting to be one of the best released in 2012.

All that, and more - actually, about that... - at two o'clock today, on the damn dot.

Come along for the ride, won't you?

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