Hot Topic login not working

Due to a security issue1 at Hot Topic’s web host, login to the site has been disabled until the problem is resolved. I have no information on when that might be, so if you’re trying to log in to leave a comment, or to register for the first time, please accept my apologies. You could always take the conversation over to Hot Topic’s Facebook page

[Update 1:25pm – seems to be fixed.]

  1. There has been a rash of attempts by hackers to break in to WordPress sites in recent months, and disabling login is one way that hosts can act to reduce server loads during attacks. []

Hot Topic interruptus

It had to happen eventually. The creaking old laptop that was once my pride and joy1 has finally gone to the great orchard in the sky, and I have been forced to visit the grocer for a new piece of fruit. Being that I am a creaky old geek, I couldn’t just nip down to the computer store and buy an off-the-shelf model. No, I had to have the processor upgrade, the maximum memory and a Fusion drive, which means it will be about a week before I can access all my files2. Until then I will be servicing the digital world from this iPad, which is a wonderful device for everything but writing. Posting will be (even more) intermittent, at best, and brevity will be my watchword. You have been warned…

  1. It was new when Hot Topic was born. []
  2. You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone, etc. []

Eyes on the prize

A few weeks ago I burned a little midnight oil and, hunched over this very keyboard, wrote a little story about The Last Climate Denier in New Zealand. If you were to think that it was a tad satirical, you would not be wrong. It’s a sad story, set in a parallel universe that bears a striking resemblance to The Burning World, and was my entry in this year’s Royal Society of NZ Manhire Prize (fiction section). Now I learn that by some strange misjudgement my short story finds itself in the shortlist for the prize. I can’t publish the story here until after it loses (which will be late November), but in the meantime you can download it here. It’s a two hankie story, so be prepared…

[The superb Mavis Staples.]

The Aviator: new book now in flight

At last it can be revealed — the project that’s been swallowing most of my writing time over the last year. The Aviator is a work of speculative fiction1, the first in a series set in The Burning World, and it’s my first foray into extended fiction — in which a plot idea borrowed from a bloke called Swift is wrapped around a dystopian vision of a climate-changed near future, all garnished with tales of strange people with even stranger ideas. This is how the great NZ comics artist Dylan Horrocks, who provided the book’s magnificent cover, describes it:

The Aviator is a light-hearted journey (by state-of-the-art airship) around a world transformed by climate change and subsequent political collapse. Rock God Evangelists, super-rich survivalists, back-to-nature primitivists, heavily armed luddites, goats with the secret of eternal youth, and a horny artificial intelligence with a taste for bluegrass and classic Hollywood films; The Aviator is a Gulliver-esque romp through a future we hope won’t come to pass.

I’m grateful to Mike Mann (yes, that one) for a generous note of approbation, and to sci-fi author2 Sonny Whitelaw for describing it as “a brilliant and wickedly satirical romp.” The first extended review — by my fellow sciblogger Ken Perrott of Open Parachute — has just been published, and provides an interesting and very positive take on what I’ve been up to.

The Aviator is currently available via Amazon for Kindle readers, and as an epub for other devices. You can download a free sample of the book — roughly 10% of the 100,000 word total — at Amazon. Editions for sale via Apple’s iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Kobo are in the works, and a paperback edition will be available in September. All digital editions are DRM free. When the publishing process is done and dusted, and I’ve stopped jumping through promotional hoops, I’ll be starting on book two. I have lots of ideas I want to explore from the vantage point of Thunderbird (the airship), if she’ll let me.

Buy now:

  1. Which I have sometimes described as a science fiction adventure comedy satire, or, via a tweet of Margaret Atwood’s, cli-fi. []
  2. And regular HT reader. []

Get a grip!

David Mitchell (on his soapbox) tells it like it is, with an appropriate degree of emphasis. By way of being a place-holder to mark my return to NZ and climate blogging. Currently overwhelmed by the amount of catching up of all sorts that I have to do, but something like normal service will resume shortly. Meanwhile, my heartfelt thanks to Bryan for doing so much work in my absence, to Simon for his thoughtful contributions, and to Glenn and John for keeping the Climate Show ticking over so well. Thanks all!

[Hat tip: Dan at Irregular Climate.]