2. Patsington's album launch gig is tomorrow night! Come one, come all! It kicks off at about eight at Crawdaddy.
3. I am reading Gordon Dahlquist's The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, which Penguin kindly sent me in the ten installments which are being sent out on a weekly basis to a limited number of subscribers prior to its proper publication in January. Except as I am a journalist not a subscriber, I got sent them all together. For free. Heh heh. Anyway, as you can see from the link, it is a sort of fantastical gothic Victorian melodrama, which is of course just the sort of thing I like. And for the first 40 pages or so, it was pretty good. However. It is swiftly turning into an object lesson in "not writing things about which you know nothing" and also in "not using your novels to express your slightly dodgy-sounding sexual fantasies". It's set in Victorian England, but I guessed after the first few pages that the author was actually American, and I was right. Jesus, if the people who post at hp_britglish can check to see whether English people say "trousers" instead of "pants" and "clothes" instead of "clothing", so can you, Dahlquist. And let's not start on the way in which the heroine Miss Temple sees a big mansion and thinks things like, "a Lord must live here".
But what has really started to turn me off is the increasingly p0rny tone the story is taking. And by that I don't mean erotic or explicit, I mean kind of icky. It's all fine at first, as our daring heroine follows the man who recently jilted her to a mysterious mansion where a masked ball is in progress. But then she's mistaken for a lady of the evening and given some skimpy garb to change into. And then it gets ickier, because when she's left alone to change, instead of figuring out a way to escape, she just can't resist trying on the sexy silk crotchfree underwear (which is described, by the way, in terms which imply the author doesn't actually know what items of underwear are actually called - Victorian women's underwear did not include anything called "breeches") and posing in front of a mirror. It's all written in a borderline fetishistic way which is both creepy and profoundly unsexy. I have absolutely no problem with sexually explicit writing, but not this sort of "oh, I'm just so sensual, I can't help putting on these crotchless pants even though I am stuck in a creepy castle in the arse end of nowhere where God knows what is going to happen to me and I might be better employed in actually getting out as fast as I can." Give me good clean filth! Later the heroine defends herself against a would-be rapist - the attempted assault scene isn't written in a would-be erotic way (thank God), but after she's defeated her assailant and faces another one there's a frankly unpleasant reference to the fact that her clothes are shredded bloodstained and she "might as well be naked". Ick, ick, ick. I'm disappointed because I would really like to read a big entertaining steampunk sort of novel, but I can't be dealing with all this cloying, creepy Anne Rice shite.