Micheal Cobley

Interstellar Tactics




The Rattle of Pneumatic Drills

(Mood: teeth gritted. Music: the Jam – In The City. Drink: coffee)

Wherever I`ve lived, here in Glasgow over the last 20-odd years, roadworks have sooner or later arrived and set up camp. We live in the west end, on one side of a bridge which crosses the river Kelvin, and the bridge it seems is in need of strengthening; this also demands use of the process known as grit-blasting, bit like having a focussed roaring, shrieking whirlwind parked a few dozen meters away from the front door. Lovely. Back in the dim and distant past I recall when I was living on Ruthven Street (in a poky bedsit where I wrote my first subtantial piece of fiction, a 48000 word fantasy novella which I still have, somewhere) the council decided that the tenement across the road would have to go. Machines arrived, workers, drills, and The Loudest Compressed Air Generator in Scotland, parked outside me window, right across the road. This battered,ramshackle contraption blasted forth a grinding, shattering roar, frequently from about 7.15am; not the best way to greet the day, especially for a young unemployed lad with a late disco to DJ that evening (for LO! back then I did indeed spin da discs, real vinyl ye ken!).

Anyway, here we are, some 25 years later and I`m still having to put up with the same krap, and me with a novel to write. TANJ!

As for the reception my short story got at the Glasgow SF Writers circle meeting – yeah, it was broadly well-received, i thought, with a number of caveats, while my attention was drawn to various over-purpled passages, not to mention the Attack of the deadly Yoda-speak. Hmm, writing that way…you will not. Hmmm.

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