Play from Current Slide

  1. Because every story needs a hero

Because every story needs a hero, the hero of this story is going to be Robert Gaskins, the man who invented PowerPoint.

PowerPoint, as you will almost definitely know, is the presentation tool that comes bundled with the Microsoft Office suite of programs. PowerPoint lets you create slide shows which can feature text, images, graphics and videos. You can use these slides shows to present business reports, financial plans, sales pitches, scientific findings and just about anything else.

Robert Gaskins is going to be the hero of this story even though this story isn’t really about PowerPoint. Or not only about PowerPoint. This story is also about Keynote, which is Apple’s answer to PowerPoint, and Google Slides, which is Google’s answer to PowerPoint.

More broadly, this story is about the context in which these presentation tools exist, and the context that these presentation tools create.

Continue reading “Play from Current Slide”

So I won the Moth Short Story Prize…

“Mark Haddon has chosen Owen Booth’s Frankenstein’s Monster is Drunk, and the Sheep Have All Jumped the Fences as the winner of The Moth Short Story Prize 2020, for which Booth will receive €3,000.

“This felt like a winner from the very first sentence – ‘They’d dug him out of the glacier in 1946, pulled him out of the crevasse where he’d crawled after his Hollywood career had given up the ghost.’ The language is confident. The idea is unexpected, eccentric and entertaining. And I could sense, already, the generosity which would underpin the whole story,” said Haddon…”

Read the story in The Irish Times

I’m thinking of you again tonight Vin Diesel

I’m thinking of you again tonight Vin Diesel, as I consider my dwindling options in a French seaside town, and the seagulls won’t let me sleep. The seagulls and everything else.

Vin, the Fast and Furious franchise has made you rich, with the eight films in the series having earned a combined worldwide gross of over $5 billion, but you didn’t appear in this summer’s spin-off Hobbs and Shaw, which was headlined by your F&F co-stars Jason Statham and Dwayne The Rock Johnson.

Vin is true about the feud between you and The Rock? Did you really refuse to play any scenes together during the filming of Fast and Furious 8: The Fate of the Furious?

Vin are you happy? Continue reading “I’m thinking of you again tonight Vin Diesel”

What We’re Teaching Our Sons #362: Martians

[Re-published in honour of Mars Rover Opportunity – rest in peace little friend!]

We’re teaching our sons about Martians.

For the last few weeks a group of lonely billionaires have been all over the news talking about their plans to populate the Red Planet. They’re auditioning for brave and clever and able-bodied young men and women to help them build dynamic new low-tax civilisations on Mars and across the asteroid belt.

In return they’re promising adventure and excitement and the potential for heroic deaths.

Naturally, our sons are intrigued. For as long as they can remember they’ve been following the adventures of the unmanned Curiosity and Opportunity rovers as they roam the planet’s dusty surface. Those brave robots seem almost like family members.

“Can we go to Mars?” our sons ask us. Continue reading “What We’re Teaching Our Sons #362: Martians”

The Bodies

The bodies filled the streets, and people stopped and stared. There were bodies everywhere. They were all going about their business, just like that.

You were there somewhere, walking around.

Some of the bodies were considered remarkable. Some of the bodies were considered obscene. Some of the bodies were considered too big, or too small, or too old.

Some of the bodies were not considered at all. Continue reading “The Bodies”

The Top Ten Books I Should Have Written in 2018

Some I nearly finished writing, some I abandoned before I’d even started work, all would have probably been terrible, but these are The Top Ten Books I Should Have Written in 2018…

1. The Terrifying Horse

A dark, neo-gothic horror/romance set in a haunted North Yorkshire Moors village at the turn of the century. And there’s a ghostly horse, or similar.

2. Something Something Landscape Algorithm

Accidentally William Gibson-esq/Thomas Pynchon-ish waste of my and everyone else’s time.

3.Tiny Dioramas

A psychogeographical survey/walkthrough of classic model railway layouts (I still think this could work). Continue reading “The Top Ten Books I Should Have Written in 2018”