(Week 16: April 14 – 20)

Had a bit of a breakthrough this week with my new short story. I’d previously starting writing it as a sort of memoir, which I think is what negated any of the potential drama in the story. I’ve taken a bash at reworking it in the present tense, and so far it’s made for a huge shift in the impact: it’s now punchy and ‘immediate’. Whether the story ends up being good or not is an entirely different matter, but for now I think I’ve cracked the right narrative style for it.

Given that Alien Day is fast approaching, I’ve also taken the opportunity to do a fresh edit on my Alien story, The Eighth Passenger. While I’m pretty happy with the story overall (and it was such an indulgent pleasure to write an Alien story), it was written to a [self-imposed] deadline and there are a few things that I’ve wanted to tidy up for a while. Mostly there are just instances where the narrative trips over its feet a few times—story points are needlessly repeated, and there’s a bit of sag in the middle that needs trimming. It’s all stuff that one last edit would have sorted out, so now I’m taking the opportunity to do just that.


The Elderbeast had an urge to rewatch The Social Network on Sunday—I’m not sure what it is about the film, but he really likes it. This time around I found the story particularly depressing. I’d already come away from our last viewing that it’s a basically a story about men fucking each other over. Obviously this [third] viewing did nothing to change that interpretation. Most of the characters are depicted as being completely without empathy. Meanwhile the one character who is relatively sympathetic (namely, Andrew Garfield’s) is the one who ends up being shafted in the biggest, most gutting manner possible.

As good a film as The Social Network is, I’m not sure I’ll be rushing to watch it again any time soon.

For Fridate horror, we returned to Hammer Studios for Scars Of Dracula, the fifth entry in the Dracula series. I had relatively low expectations for this one, but it may well end up being my favourite. There are some bizarre tonal shifts (there are a few scenes that could have come right out of a Carry On movie, and then there are a moments of schooling violence) but it’s better value as a Dracula movie than any of the other sequels.

Christopher Lee, at last, is given more to do than snarl and show off his relatively poor dental work.He even gets an army of bats to control here, though sadly his powers don’t extend to the delivery of convincing special effects.

Particularly successful here is the concept of Dracula lurking in his dilapidated castle, waiting for careless travellers to cross his path. I would happily watch entire movies of Christopher Lee being disarmingly courteous to his guests, while effortlessly delivering an undercurrent of menace.


Not sure if I’m going to persist with The Subtle Knife. It simply hasn’t grabbed me in the same way that The Golden Compass did. Definitely starting to see why I failed to remembered it in any substantial way. Pretty disappointing.