An involuntarily intermittent blogger

I’ve been off-line recently due to an external fault on my telephone line, but thankfully it has finally been fixed. Since I last blogged I’ve:

– found cause to lament that Deanna Raybourn’s third novel isn’t due out until next year, as her second one was as good as the first.

– walked London’s streets with Anna Quindlen, which has whetted my appetite to read further on the subject, starting with Peter Ackroyd’s mammoth history.

– been made to laugh and cry by the decidedly un p.c. Kingsley Amis.

– enjoyed the pistaches of Sebastian Faulks.

– caught up with DI John Rebus in Ian Rankin’s tenth novel.

– and started How fiction works, on which I’ll post soon.

On a serious note, I’d like to draw everyone’s attention to the PEN poem relay being held to highlight  almost 40 writers imprisoned in China. A poem called June by Shi Tao (about Tiananmen Square) was put on the net in Mandarin when the Olympic torch relay began and is virtually following the same route. When it reaches a new country, a translation in that country’s language can be read and heard here.

(Shi is currently serving 10yrs for revealing state secrets i.e emailing details of a government warning against media reporting of the 15th anniversary of Tiananmen Square in 2004. To their shame, Yahoo gave his name to the authorities!)

On a related note, Amnesty International has launched Uncensor to help end China’s censorship of the Internet. It encourages you not to take freedom on-line for granted, and is well worth a visit.