GRR... ARGH...

On a non-intellectual level... It's weird to have sporting favourites among athletes you've never personally met, and it's not entirely beneficial when martial arts become spectator sports. (According to Bertrand Russell, yer ancient Greek intelligentsia - whose MMA-equivalent was of course the pankration, the number-one Olympic discipline - thought that spectators were superior to athletes. Even though Plato was a grappler.) But I'm rooting for Lyoto Machida and Ronda Rousey in the UFC this weekend, even though their opponents seem to be perfectly nice, respectable people (and Rousey's into trash-talking).

Lyoto is of course the poster-boy (poster-36-year-old) for shotokan karate, although every MMA fighter needs to add to their core discipline, whichever art it is. (You want to know what the ultimate martial art is? The really, truly ultimate art? ...It's the one you actually train in.) And he respects the people he fights. He's aiming to take the middleweight world title, having dropped down from light-heavyweight, where he had the belt but didn't hang onto it.

And Dana White, president of the UFC, referred to Ronda Rousey as "the new Chuck Liddell", which has to be the highest compliment he could possibly pay any fighter. (Chuck was DW's friend as well as an amazing champion who showed that striking could beat grappling, so long as your grappling defence was good.) Rousey won silver in the judo world championships, plus Olympic bronze, before moving into MMA. Her mother won gold in the 1984 judo world championships, and Rousey trains with Gene LeBell and his guys. The USA isn't a particularly strong judo nation (perhaps because they still have serious competitive wrestling, which certainly disappeared in Britain with the advent of televised "show" pro wrestling), but these people are the best.

Meanwhile, didn't I say I wasn't going to do any writing for four months? Well, I thought I was telling the truth...


Blogger Miles Campbell said...

You certainly deserved at least a 4 month break after Resonance. I'm going to have to read the whole lot back to back to get the full experience but i loved every page whilst reading it. The various strands were all equally compelling and the weaving in of Nulapeiron and the crystal lady's back story was fantastic. Kudos.
Any hints as to what you are working on next?

July 11, 2014 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger John Meaney said...

Well, thank you, Miles!

So here's a secret: when I started the trilogy, I had no idea who the crystal lady really was (only that she was going to be in volume 3). Shh, don't tell anybody... Let them think I was smart enough to know it all in advance. Her transformation into the crystal lady surprised me as much as anyone - it all just poured out of the subconscious mind.

In my own head right now, the 20th century timeline seems most real. But I might not feel that way in, say, a year's time.

The only reason I'm not saying much about the next book is that it's not sold yet, so there's no guarantee it'll see the light of day. I've actually started a rewrite of the whole thing, which is not normal procedure when my agent has already sent the book out.

It's an entirely contemporary cyber crime/counterrorism thriller. There's also a hidden Easter egg, in that the protagonist (of what I hope will be a series) is mentioned once by name in Resonance.

Promise I'll share more when I can!

July 12, 2014 at 10:00 PM  
Blogger Miles Campbell said...

Good luck with it. I shall be trying to work out who that protagonist could be now.

On a slightly different tack, do you have any input/control over which of your books gets converted to ebook format? Every time i visit Amazon i check the 'i want this as an ebook' box for your Tristopolis books and, as yet, nothing. Just wondering if you were aware of any plans to release your back catalogue on Kindle?

July 17, 2014 at 8:14 PM  
Blogger John Meaney said...

I'm not very good at keeping track of all the versions, or at telling anyone what I know!

The Tristopolis books should be available as ebooks soon (though I don't know exactly how soon). I recently signed a contract giving Gollancz the ebook rights, which weren't in the original contract.

The ebook rights to the two Josh Cumberland books, Edge and Point, have reverted to me, but I'm too busy to decide on their future for the moment. At some point they'll be available again.

As for the protagonist, there might be a mismatch regarding the first name (it's not the one I want to use in the new books), but I'm sticking with just referring to the person's surname for now...

July 18, 2014 at 9:57 AM  

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