Heeeerrrre launchy launchy launchy

So the Singapore book launch for A Certain Exposure now has a Facebook event page! It’s quite bare at the moment – more of a placeholder than anything else, because people kept asking me about it – but I believe the good folks at Epigram are working on material with which to populate it. The basics, though: 17 April, BooksActually, 7.30pm. I’ll be doing a reading and the lovely Teng Qian Xi will be hosting a Q&A.

7485441In case you were wondering, here’s a literary picture of me looking all literary and stuff (copyright © 2014 by Dan Yeo for White Room Studio and used with permission). Being angrily feminist for a living and all that, I am hyper-conscious of how much the results of studio photography are typically shaped by lighting, make-up, airbrushing etc., but what I never knew till I did this shoot was how unnaturally photographic subjects are posed. You basically identify every joint that you ordinarily never think about and hold it at some previously unimaginable awkward angle. I had to spend most of the session willing my lips out of laughter (I was really dreadful about corpsing in my student acting days). It’s funny how hard it is to control rogue lips.

tl;dr: that picture looks remarkably normal given how weird taking it was.

The Arrows of Time is a bit of a departure from its predecessors. Both the science and the gender politics are comparatively less prominent; instead, we get more of a straight-up space travel thriller, with some familiar Egan ruminations on the nature of free will. (The setup is very much reminiscent of The Hundred-Light-Year Diary, one of the short stories in the collection Axiomatic.) I was sufficiently engaged to want to keep reading, and to feel satisfied that the whole trilogy has seen a resolution (a planet saved from destruction, hurrah!), but it wasn’t nearly as special as the rest of Orthogonal.

Things have otherwise been quiet on the reading front, as I’ve been hugely busy with Day Job. I’m pleased to say that revisions for the novel are underway, though, and after some to-ing and fro-ing we’ve nearly settled on a title, which I hope to be able to share with you soon.

In the meantime: you probably meant to do so anyway, but you really should go see Catching Fire, which is a significant improvement over the first film in the series. It’s shed the pointlessly sick-making cinematography, and the trilogy’s underlying themes about the effects of violence and hierarchical control on the authenticity of human relationships are presented a lot more clearly. The film’s emotional moments are powerful but also refreshingly economical for a Hollywood action movie. I’m now greatly looking forward to Mockingjay, though given that I wept while reading practically all of the source material, I think I’m in for some teary evenings.