A New Look and A New Engine

Hello folks, and welcome to the new version of vestige.org. After more than a decade using a content management system called Movable Type I’ve determined that it’s no longer able to let me do the things I want to do easily, so I’ve decided to switch to WordPress instead. Half the world runs on WordPress these days, so this will also be an excuse to learn how it works. For right now I’ll be using a modified off-the-shelf theme rather than designing my own. Things will look a little rough for a while, as importing my data has left some images looking weird, and so on. I’ll be trouble-shooting and tweaking all my old posts on an ongoing basis to get it looking as right as possible on this new system. I’d appreciate it if you’d forgive a little weirdness on older posts over the next few weeks or months.… Continue Reading

A Bit of News

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated. Some things have happened that have kept this blog a low priority: I did some freelance work, switched jobs a couple of times, and have gone through some personal issues. I’ve taken on a new job in northern Saskatchewan, where I will potentially be without regular Internet access three weeks out of every month, for non-business related things, anyway. The job is set to last about two years, so vestige.org will be quiet for most of that time. I’m going to try and update once a month or so, mostly with quick personal notes or nature photos and stuff (there will be lots of nature to photograph), just to let everyone know I’m alive and still reading, but the silence that has become usual around these parts is probably going to continue. The job is a good opportunity, for a whole bunch… Continue Reading

Looking Ahead to 2012

I don’t do resolutions. Not because it’s a cliché; I sometimes think those are all right. Rather it’s because I just don’t ever stick to them. Things happen, blah blah blah. I could give you excuses, but that’s how things wind up going. So, inspired by Adrienne’s post (and obviously aping her post title) I’m going to say a few words about what I hope the new year has in store. First of all, I’m going to get a new job. This really isn’t optional, since I’ve just been freelancing since August (and I’m definitely going to be doing more of that; I’ve already been doing some freelance editing this year, and I’ve been back from the holidays for less than a week), but at this point anyway, it’s not paying the bills. I’m trying to keep optimistic, but this is honestly going to be simultaneously the hardest and the… Continue Reading

Recent Events

After a spurt of activity, vestige.org may be going dark again for a few weeks, and I thought I’d tell you why. First, there are health issues, and then there are job issues. Let’s start with the health issues. For years now I’ve been sick with a disease that I thought was Ulcerative Colitis. Recently I started seeing a new doctor who believes I have something far less severe. He ran some blood tests and scheduled some other things. So far all I’ve got are the results of the blood test, but he determined that I’ve had a severe vitamin B12 deficiency, probably for the better part of a decade, and that judging from my symptoms it’s been getting worse recently. The side-effects of this deficiency include: severe fatigue, severe depression, forgetfullness, difficulty sleeping and focusing, and a bunch of similar things that have made doing anything other than my… Continue Reading

Some Changes For the New Year

I’m discontinuing my “Reading 20XX” series, starting immediately. It’s not because I agree with Mr. Beattie’s opinion on “challenges” and quantity tracking or what have you (though I very much do agree with his call to read better). I think that paying attention to the numbers, and participating in things like the Canadian Book Challenge simply appeals to a kind of quirk, a kind of geekiness, that Mr. Beattie doesn’t have. It’s much more prevalent in fans of science fiction, fantasy, video games, and so on (and I qualify, in a, er, qualified way), and I don’t think there’s a right or wrong in it. It’s an impulse to classify, to organize, to manage and compartmentalize. In my case it manifests temporally; even my bookshelves are organized (when they are organized) to reflect when a book came into my life, or when in that author’s career that book appeared. I… Continue Reading

Not Dead (Yet)

This is just a quick note to let everyone know that I’ve neither died nor drifted off into space. I have been very busy reading and writing, sometimes even for money. Which means I’ve got a backlog of reviews for the blog, though some are already in early drafts (yeah, I’m even doing drafts now). Here’s what you can expect hopefully in the next few weeks: Pattern Recognition, by William Gibson Spook Country, by William Gibson What Boys Like, by Amy Jones Before I Wake, by Robert J. Wiersema The World More Full of Weeping, by Robert J. Wiersema The Lady in the Lake, by Raymond Chandler The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman Five Days Apart, by Chris Binchy I’ve also written some reviews for publication in the last few months, which has been really fun. I’ll let you know when those see print. Anyway, still here, still reading, still… Continue Reading

A Question

I’ve been running vestige.org for just a touch over a decade now, and one thing that I have always, always, always said, is that I didn’t want the site to be about making money. No advertising, no affiliate links, no donations or sponsored posts or any of that nonsense. What you do on your site is your business, but I didn’t want any of that here. Most of my current readership was not around back when I used to be vocal about this sort of thing, so it probably won’t matter to you folks, but I remember it quite clearly, and it matters to me. But. This site isn’t very expensive to maintain, if you define “not very expensive” in relation to some kind of objective measure, like the average income for a thirty-something, university-educated white male living in Toronto. The thing is, I don’t make the average income for… Continue Reading

Goings On

My eyelids are heavy and my hands are cold for no apparent reason because I left the window open and this is a basement apartment wherein the heating is controlled by someone in an apartment the heat rises to rather than from, so what we have here is just a “hey, I’m alive” post for those of you that don’t follow my ramblings on Twitter. There will be no e-books post this weekend, because apparently there’s some holiday called “Easter” coming up, and I’m going to be out of town visiting family, which is the sort of thing I do on holidays. Not having a laptop or other portable computing solution makes posting while out of town a touch difficult. On a related note, there won’t be any post on the Jeff Rubin book for a while either; I’m taking extra care reading it because I think it will help… Continue Reading

God Bless You, Charlie Stross

Last June I followed all of the BookCampToronto posts on Twitter, and read as many of the follow-ups and round-ups and blog posts dissecting it afterward as I could. Most of them focused on e-books and social media and various technologies (though I’m sure there were other things discussed at the “uncoference”—is it okay that I don’t like terms like “unconference?” ’cause I really don’t), which are still the hot topics in the publishing industry. Ever since then I’ve wanted to collect all my thoughts and opinions about e-books into a single coherent post. The problem is that even after almost ten months of turning them over in my head, I’m still not sure I really know what all my thoughts and opinions are. Clearly it’s time to start writing. I’m going to try to have something for you by the end of next week, but there’s been so much… Continue Reading