You Don’t Have To Be A Rocket Surgeon

Things I Have Learned Recently:

Teaching is hard work, as is editing books, and travelling, and there will be no time for anything else, so don’t even try.

Which is to say that I’ve been just keeping my head above water work-wise for the last two months, so lots of things – this blog included – which don’t generate money or demand attention RIGHT NOW have slipped. But now things are starting to wind down, so it’s time to catch my breath.

Things I am chuffed about:

10717778_10152406743719366_1915569106_nI hope to have two BIG publishing announcements in the very near future…

Four of the five papers are now in for the special edition of Nova Religio I am editing, on “Conspiracy Theories in New Religions”. It is due to come out in November 2015, and I would be genuinely excited even if I wasn’t involved.

I sold a short story to this volume, Dreamscapes into Darkness. It’s called The Story of Alfred Maus, and is a very meta take on the Lovecraftian style. More about that next year.

Things I am Less Chuffed About

I still don’t have a job. Or any money. Or time to see films, or to write.

I do, however, have a cold.

Right now…

I am enjoying Peter F. Hamilton’s latest, The Abyss Beyond Stars, a complex mix of space opera and fantasy. It’s the latest in his Commonwealth series. They alway have a strong arrative thrust, but this one has a particularly interesting and effective structure. I’ve been reading on the Kindle app on my iPad for the first time, and was able to play the book’s ambient soundtrack from Spotify at the same time – it worked pretty well. Next, I’ll be reading The Mystery of Farholt by my friend Jonathan Johnston-Wilson.

I may well end up starting it on the plane to Belfast on tuesday. I’m going over to give a guest lecture on Queen’s University’s course on Apocalypticism, and to talk at the anthropology seminar on my research on Whitley Strieber. I’ll be recording a couple of interviews for the Religious Studies Project, too.

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