Friday, April 2, 2010

The Real Lottery

I've been buying vinyl LPs on ebay for a couple or three years. I have yet to buy a new LP - they are far too expensive; I can buy them in Dublin cheaper and that's a real indictment. My limit is about ten euro, including postage. So I need to be patient and take lots of risks. So far it's working out okay. I've bought lots of old LPs - stuff I never owned back in the day or replacements for long lost gems.
I grew up buying my books second hand. For two reasons: one, I didn't have money to buy new books and needed to trade the stuff I didn't want (or my dad took his eye off) in order to feed my habit. Two, none of the REAL bookshops stocked much SF and none of them carried American comics. So I've still got a taste for second hand bookshops - I guess it's the thrill of the chase. You walk into an ordinary bookshop and you have a vast choice, but in a second hand shop you have to search thoroughly and be lucky and smart to find decent books. I suppose buying Lps on ebay replicates that feeling.
Today, even though it's Good Friday and the pubs are shut, the postman came and delivered to LPs. Today I got the worst LP of my short ebay career. Did you know that some surface scuffing translates into 'This was used extensively as an ashtray in the seventies and has been buried in my garden for the past decade.'Light marking on the cover apparently means, 'You may recognise the contents from the evidence of the cover, if you have training in forensics and a really good imagination.
Still, the second LP looked just as bad but it played perfectly. However the problem is that the first LP is one I never got around to buying back when: Dark Side of the Moon, would you believe? And anything quiet is drowned out by the sound of frying chips (cooking French Fries, to our colonial cousins) and Money turns out to be about one minute fifteen long due to skipping.
I guess I'll simply have to roll them dice again and hope for a better result. Still, it's my first snake eyes.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Translation News

Despite the Irish Art's Council's continued disinterest in the written word in general and Sf in particular we continue to forge ahead in our efforts to bring fiction from other languages into English (or as close to it as we can get in Ireland). Through the good offices of UK author Colin Harvey, I may have discovered a way to circumvent the Arts Council and get to the EU directly for funding for translations and perhaps also for some aunthologies. If anyone reading this has any interest in European fiction as a writer or publisher they should contact me. If you comment on this piece I can probably track you down, or you could leave a comment on the Albedo One fan page on Facebook.