Witch Bottle

Who knows what a witch bottle is?

Without Googling, thankyouverymuch (and you… yes, you at the back, don’t think I can’t see you firing up that Wikipedia app under the table).

A witch bottle, traditionally speaking, is a small glass bottle or jar (usually, but not necessarily, blue or green) filled with odds and ends: needles, pins, hair clippings and threads–all designed to draw evil away from a witch’s target. As this is a meandering sort of post, all bits and bobs and very little coherent thought, it seemed like an apt sort of title.

Mind you, strictly speaking, witch bottles were usually topped-off with urine. So, umm, moving on.

Firstly, I’m thrilled to report that “Murderess Lane” has appeared on Ellen Datlow’s “Honorable Mentions” list for 2010.

It’s a very long list, I know, but it includes many writers far better–and in most cases, wiser–than me; people I look up to and respect immensely (as well as the author who has probably been the single greatest influence on me over the years, and who still renders me unable to string together a sensible sentence–but y’all know about my latent fangirl already. Most of the time, I just hit her with a shovel and tell her to get back in the basement.) so I’m bowled over to make an appearance.

So yeah. Big list. On it. Very pleased indeed.


Oh, yes. I just finished reading Charles Yu‘s “How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe“, which is brilliant in the truest sense of the word, and which everyone should read. It’s clever and funny and geeky, and surprisingly touching, and I’ll try and talk about it in a little more detail later in the week.

Moving from SF to horror: the Zompocalypse is coming. What foodstuffs would you stockpile? That’s what The Zombie Feed were asking last week. Granted, claiming that flamethrowers were a food group was probably a long shot (I knew I should have gone for rocketlaunchers: they’re higher in fibre), but I think I came up with the next best thing; a true multi-tasker. Vodka. You know it makes sense. Although looking at the other answers, Jared from Pornokitsch has a very good point.

Cats v zombies. There’s a thought. My money’s on the kittehs and I, for one, would welcome our new feline overlords.

One last thing: over on his blog, Michael Marshall Smith has turned his considerable attention to the Culture of Free. And cheese.

I do love it when he gets cross.



There’s something very, very familiar about this video: I thought it the first time I saw it, and I’ve thought it every time since. It’s reminding me of… something, but I’ve yet to work out what that something is.

Bearing in mind Pendulum know how to do sci-fi and are clever with their references, I can’t help but wonder if I’m supposed to be thinking of something, what with the shiny triangles and the groovy jumpsuit going on there. The fact there’s a title and, you know, a font and stuff makes me highly suspicious too.


It’s probably slightly Logan’s Run, but only a little. The film: The Island, maybe (also, as an obligatory aside to that: *cough* Spares *cough*)? Cookies and blog jellybeans to anyone who can figure it out and make the itch behind my eyes every time I see this go away…

Of course, if I work it out first, I’m having the jellybeans. All of them–except maybe the green ones…

Leave Out All The Sunshine

Or something.

One of my favourite recent sci-fi films is Sunshine, for a good number of reasons. I like its look and its plot, and it doesn’t creep me out like Event Horizon does (and boy, does that film creep me out. I first saw it on some bizarre late-night cable channel out in Bangalore the best part of a decade ago and sweet lord, it still bothers me). But I digress.

How I’d not come across this video before, I’m not sure, especially as it’s one of my favourite songs from the last Linkin Park album (in spite of the Twilight connection, it’s a song that actually has very real meaning for me). But it’s definitely got that Sunshine feel to it. In more ways than one….

It’s making feel all warm and fuzzy.

Or maybe that’s the supernova. It’s hard to tell.