Podcast to YouTube: ffmpeg One Liner Scripts

Here are some examples of how to convert audio podcasts in mp3 format to YouTube videos in mp4 format adding nice black and white wave form visualisations. They require the ffmpeg command-line tool, and are one-liners that must be run from the Windows command prompt.

NB/ I used these one-liner scripts to convert Roy’s Rocket Radio to YouTube-able vids. That was the easy part. The agonizingly slow part was uploading to YouTube.

One File
ffmpeg -i YOURFILE.mp3 -filter_complex "[0:a]showwaves=s=640x480:mode=line:rate=25,format=yuv420p[v]" -map "[v]" -map 0:a YOURFILE.mp4
Replace YOURFILE with the file you want to convert.

All Files in a Directory
FOR /F "tokens=*" %G IN ('dir /b *.mp3') DO ffmpeg -i "%G" -filter_complex "[0:a]showwaves=s=640x480:mode=line:rate=25,format=yuv420p[v]" -map "[v]" -map 0:a "%~nG.mp4"
Sources and More Examples

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Nintendo Switch (NX)

Finally! All hail the arrival of the Nintendo Switch (AKA NX) with this ad clearly aimed at an aspirational, sophisticated, and older (but not too old) audience or, more likely, those who want to be thought of as such. Still, almost 5 million YouTube views in 12 hours can’t be bad. Besides, the ad has me up at 03:45 in the morning writing this, so it must have made an impression.

In essence, it’s a tablet device with detachable controllers that can also be transformed into a console by sticking it into a docking station. So, plenty of flexibility and options.

From a techno-geek’s point of view, I think it’s great because it looks like Nintendo have  bundled all their previous technology into one modular device. If not exactly groundbreaking, it does seem technically innovative.

Online tech sites guesstimate the price to be around £300 (GBP300/USD350). So it’s not Wii cheap, more along lines of the current PS4, and a tad more than the Xbox One or its unsuccessful predecessor the Wii U.

Reservations? The price for one, but those controllers too. Either joined to form one big separate controller, attached to the tablet, or detached completely, they look clunky, and I also wonder how firmly they’ll click into place in each of those configurations. Also, when completely detached, to be used as mini-controllers, they look teeny-tiny with sharp corners. Perhaps comfort and ergonomics might be an issue?

As for ecosystem, most sites are reporting the same range available upon release, so I’m just regurgitating that list here: The Legend of Zelda, The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, Mario Kart, a new NBA game, a new Super Mario game, and Splatoon.

Have a great morning and if you want more of this stuff, be sure to subscribe to my podcast Roy’s Rocket Radio.

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Backup Social Media

With constant changes in T&Cs and encroaching fees, you never quite know where you stand with “free” online services. Keep control of your social media data by exporting a copy from the cloud to your own PC.

To this end I have compiled a list of links to backup options for the most popular social networks:

Remember to do this regularly.

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Something Loud

After listening to the entirety of Royal Blood’s Reading set last night, I was in the mood for some really thumpy music and, after some surfing, found:

Turbowolf – A Rose For The Crows


Eyes Like Twenty – Twenty Pieces


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iPhone 7

Expected Release: Autumn 2016

The strange design decisions at Apple, iphone-6-7-pr-roys-edit-smallpost-Jobs, have continued to confound even the most loyal of Apple’s customer base. Nowhere is this reflected more than in their flagship product – the iPhone.

Hopefully, however, after lens-gate, bend-gate, the truly hideousness of battery-gate and, for me at least, the perennial ear-gate, whereby no Apple earphones have ever fitted my peculiar lugholes, we may finally see some real improvements with the release of the new iPhone 7 in autumn this year.

The iPhone 7 specifications include features such as a composite “liquid metal” casing. This is a clever, but not particularly new alloy originating in the California Institute of Technology, which allows complicated casting in a single process. It is also rumoured that the casing will be waterproof.

The horrible, and thoroughly un-Jobsian, design compromise of a protruding lens will finally be addressed with a new flush-fitted lens.

Some, but unfortunately not all, of the ugly antenna lines will be removed. We can also say goodbye to the legacy headphone jack, though I’m not convinced that this is anything other than a purely ascetic decision.

Finally, we should see wireless charging at a distance! Cool. Though expect millimetres, not kilometres, (damn it).

The most interesting of features, at least for the more serious photographers out there, is an ingenious twelve megapixel dual lens camera system in the iPhone 7 Plus. This technology was sourced from the recent acquisition of LinX Imaging in Israel last April for 20 million dollars. The point being that LinX developed a novel multi-lens systems for smartphones, tablets and other space-limited hardware as far back as 2014. According to LinX, these cameras will enable mobile devices to compete, on an almost comparable basis, with the quality of images taken with DSLR cameras.

On the other hand, even at this late stage of the game, Apple will be playing catch-up. For example, there is still no sign of the most telling feature of many other premium smartphones – an ultra-sharp and bright AMOLED display.

And, though the lack of an AMOLED display is a puzzling omission, perhaps even more perplexing is Apple’s continuing quest for thinness at the expense of battery life.

With people hanging on to their increasingly reliable smartphones, and more than credible competition from both old rivals like Samsung and other newer upstarts, the volume of iPhone sales is clearly under threat. This can be seen in the recent slump in iPhone demand; even with new markets opening up in India and China.

If the iPhone 7 fails to impress, then Apple will have a real problem tackling flat sales in their most sought after, desirable and aspirational of devices.

Addendum et Errata

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Mum and Dad's Birthday Party


Mum and Dad’s joint birthday party over Skype earlier today.


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The Shadow Hero (2014)

Currently enjoying Gene Luen and Sonny Liew’s The Shadow Hero (2014), which reclaims him as a bona fide Chinese superhero. (I’m still waiting for a hero with whom I can culturally identify and it’s 2015!) These panels are for the Jedis out there:


See also martial arts.

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Star Trek: Renegades (Official Complete Film)

This is a fan film starring many of the cast from the franchise. Official site, IMDB.
Even more Star Trek than you can shake a (sadly) empty bottle of Romulan ale here.

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Roy Random: Prediction for Game of Thrones Season 5 Finale and What I Want to Watch and Read

In the Game of Thrones season 5 finale, I predict that the set-piece spectacular will be when Cersei Lannister’s creepy pet necromancer, Maester Qyburn, resurrects a Terminatorised Ser Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane to rescue her from the Sparrows.


Maester Qyburn administers a terrifying, but well-deserved, ear syringing to the vile Gregor Clegane.

What I want to watch in coming months, and will most probably talk about in forthcoming podcasts, include the imminent Jurassic World and, of course, Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the end of the year.

The show I am most looking forward to this year is The duchovny-vancouver-2015X-Files mini-series. Currently being filmed in Vancouver, I can’t tell you how many long, agonising years I’ve waited and suffered through poor spin-offs and average big screen adaptations. Come on Dana and Fox! Come on!

The_Black_Cauldron_posterOne outlier movie that I’d like to see, and really doesn’t fit into any of the above, is The Black Cauldron (1981). I think I came across a tangential reference to this poorly received Disney animated classic, while looking up something about the Black Science (2013) comic book series. I think I must have partially seen this movie growing up – it’s the sort of film they slap on for the kids in the holidays, but I have never sat still for a whole thing. My interest was sparked after I read that it was based on the series of novels The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander from the 1960s, which, in-turn, were based on Welsh mythology.

Which brings me on to what I want to read. The aforementioned Image Comics’ Black Science by Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera, which immediately makes me think of Space Family Robinson, but with the weird knob cranked up to 11.


I have already mentioned the books I am reading in previous podcasts, but have reached the stage that they are no longer the books I want to read. They are now the books I want to finish. Included are Andy Weir’s The Martian (2014), Austin Grossman’s You (2013), Ben Aaronovitch’s Whispers Underground (2012) and Terry Pratchett’s Raising Steam (2013). This is no reflection on the quality of the books, just my slowness in finishing them. It’s odd, but since I started writing every day, my ability to read (and I am, or rather was, a really fast reader) has diminished drastically. Though, this is also the year I started wearing reading glasses, so maybe that is a factor too. The point being that I’m finding the stuff I’m writing damn tiring to produce, but at least I’m also finding my stuff as engrossing as the work of other authors. Which brings me onto a rather disturbing topic…

wizard-of-oz-1939Having written a film script, hung around with indie movie people and media types in general and interviewed a whole bunch of people from genre entertainment, something really quite awful is happening. I’m finding it increasingly difficult to enjoy genre entertainment. Now, instead of getting lost in the story, I’m forever checking the panel layouts of comics, bad camera angles in movies, poor writing in books etc. In short, my ability suspend disbelief has taken a pounding. I’m not sure where I’m going with this post, but I suppose you could read this as a warning about what happens to the fan transitioning into a creative. Forget the staring down into the abyss, the real danger is peering behind the curtain.

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Roy's Rocket Radio Meets SciFi Tech Talk


Tonight I was kindly invited by Julie Kuehl, Mike McPeek and Jeff Syer as a guest on their SciFi Tech Talk podcast.

Inevitably, and in the midst of really enjoying myself, Star Wars, Star Trek and Doctor Who were, of course, mentioned, but I did also manage to introduce the Scifi Tech Talk team to Blakes 7. };->

Enjoy and LLAP.

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Year of the Sheep!

I was born in a year of the sheep, so this should be a particularly good year! Fingers crossed. Break a leg. The Scottish Play. Spinning around three times and chucking salt over my shoulder. };->

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Rider In The Mist: Latest Update

Rider In The Mist: Remember that lovely little bloody, and rather nasty, old school sword and sorcery game I made over Christmas? Well, I noticed a couple of nice things people have said about it and have decided to big myself up a bit by showing off:

brilliant-review-at-textadventures nice-rating-at-ifdb

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Kissing the Fox

embracing-chromeified-firefoxFox: About a week ago I upgraded to FireFox 35.01. I had a fiddle, liked what I saw and have finally embraced the new Chromeified look. So that’s really it for the old FF28 classic look that I have been clinging to for the last year (with the help of Classic Theme Restorer). Also I really like the alternative Space Fantasy theme.

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Sick and Now Better

sickSick: I’ve been sick in bed for the last five days and have just emerged from a sloth-like slumbernation about an hour ago. So, coffee steaming in front of me, I’m now officially well. Yah!mr-happy

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My Doctor Who(ish) Scarf

my-doctor-who-scarfMade when I was still young enough, (and had the cute Puss in Boots eyes), to hypnotize my gullible cousins into knitting it for me.

It’s 12ft long, though I swear it used to be longer and wider. Can age make acrylic shrink?

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"…who reads the papers." Yes Prime Minister, BBC

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Neo Sword and Sorcery

This morning I’m pre-empting possible responses that might arise from the can of worms I may have opened in my last podcast (ep. 63), after I bemoaned the lack of sword and sorcery (a term originally coined by Michael Moorcock) today.

First read this final paragraph from Wikipedia’s Revival section of the Sword and Sorcery entry:

“…After the boom of the early 1980s, sword and sorcery once again dropped out of favor, with epic fantasy largely taking its place in the fantasy genre. However, the end of the 20th century saw another resurgence of S&S. Sometimes called the “new” or “literary” sword and sorcery, this development places emphasis on literary technique, and draws from epic fantasy and other genres to broaden the typical scope of S&S. Stories may feature the wide-ranging struggles national or world-spanning concerns common to high fantasy, but told from the point of view of characters more common to S&S and with the sense of adventure common to the latter. Writers associated with this include Steven Erikson, Joe Abercrombie, and Scott Lynch, and magazines such as Black Gate and the ezines Flashing Swords (not to be confused with the Lin Carter anthologies) and Beneath Ceaseless Skies publish short fiction in the style. These authors and editors are attempting to return the genre to the status it enjoyed during the pulp era of the twenties and thirties.”

Although I was aware of these other authors, I had no idea that there was such a thing as ‘new or literary sword and sorcery’. It is claimed above that this literary movement is an attempt to broaden the scope of the genre.

However, I want to do the exact opposite and pare S&S down to its bare essentials. This would mean the same types of adventure, but with bizarre plots, containing diverse characters (in terms of physical attributes, character-types, motivations etc), leading to unpredictable dénouements. Therefore, I still choose to differentiate my own S&S work as neo sword and sorcery. Had not its popularity waned, this is the direction in which the genre seemed to be going in any case; just look at characters such as Kane and Elric…

Admittedly all this speculation is rather abstract and meta, so right now I’m going back to actually writing it and not just writing about it. Blame the post on waking up too early and having a laptop within easy reach.

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Rider In The Mist (Update): Sword and Sorcery Fiction

Rider is a gamified version of an unpublished short story. The story itself is a prequel to another similarly unpublished draft.

You will shortly be able to read both as short stories, or incorporated into a novel.

More information to follow shortly.


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Rider In The Mist 1.0b

ABOUT: Rider In The Mist is a completely free, no-nags sword and sorcery game of interative fiction built with Twine. It requires an internet connection and will run on any device with an HTML5 capable browser.


FEEDBACK: Please use the ‘Contact’ link above to let me know what you think of the game, and also read this UPDATE)

HINT: You must play until you reach the page marked with the words ‘The End’ to fully finish the game.

BUGS: This game consists of about six thousand words, broken up into approximately seventy pages and spans a sequence of interlinked events in the lives of three characters. I started writing the game for fun (yeah right) on the 16th December 2014 and then rushed, perhaps unwisely, in order to release it at midnight on New Year’s Eve 2014. This means that, although I have spent untold hours checking for errors, it is almost inevitable that some have made it through – hence the beta suffix. Therefore, let me know if you have any problems and I will fix them immediately.

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New Sword and Sorcery IF Game Released: Rider In The Mist 1.0b (and Happy New Year too!)

Yeah, it’s done.


Sort of still beta, but I wanted to release into the wild at exactly midnight. That didn’t exactly happen, but only by twelve minutes – so still within the witching hour as befits a sword and sorcerer/horror game.

You can play it here and please remember to leave some feedback.

During the development process I learned that:

  1. Writing fiction is hard (but see point 3).
  2. Developing a game is hard.
  3. But writing fiction and developing a game is nuts and I’m never going to complain about churning out a bit of non-interactive prose fiction again!

If you want to hear more, I’ll attempt to put a podcast out later today, but now? Now I’m going to sleep and sleep and sleep.

Happy New Year!

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Interactive Fiction Game: Rider In the Mist: What the Hell is It?

Rider in the Mist is my foray into computer games, as both a writer and fan of good, old-fashioned sword and sorcery.


Sword and sorcery, though similar in theme, is also different to the other zillion fantasy sub-genres in that:

  • It is pulpier than, for example, epic fantasy (LOTR, GOT etc.) That is, it is shorter, more visceral and aimed at being entertaining (unputdownable and cliffhangery – I know, I know – sorry!)
  • There are fewer main characters.
  • There’s usually a wizard and an hero/anti-hero wielding something pointy and lethal and, needless to say, the stories are violent.

This is a very loose definition and others out there have done a far better job of describing this excellent genre in greater detail. See Wikipedia, iO9 and BlackGate.

The point is that I picked up Karl Edward Wagner‘s Dark Crusade when I was only a couple of years out of short trousers and sorely miss the genre. Yes, it is not entirely dead and there are a few ‘zines out there still taking submissions, but the current fashion is for rather more long-form fantasy prose. Nothing wrong with that, but I miss the instant thrill of cutlery-wielding warriors battling power-crazed sorcerers.

Okay, fast-forward to about a year ago when I discovered Chris Klimas et al’s Twine – a simple interactive fiction development tool. Being busy at the time, it wasn’t until this December when, having a moment to spare, I installed it. I also took five minutes to follow Anna Anthropy’s excellent tutorial and I was hooked. So this is my writery way of joining the indie game development revolution and, in my own small way, reboot sword and sorcery.

Rider In the Mist is a short, though hopefully entertaining and evocative dark, violent and devious game. It requires that the player make choices throughout, resulting in various outcomes (grisly or otherwise). Appropriately enough, it will be released at midnight New Year’s Eve/Day. If you want to hear me talking about the game, listen to my podcast, specifically episodes 59, 60, 62, and also episode 63 which will come out shortly after the game is released.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your holidays.

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Roy's Christmas Mix Tape

This is what’s blasting out of my PC speakers at a zillion decibels right now:

roys-mix-tapeAlice CooperElected
Carl DouglasKung Fu Fighting
Dropkick MurphysThe Warrior’s Code
GoldfrappOoh La La
Gowry BrothersBanane Aya Re
Harry RoyMy Girl’s #*%%@
Kate BushWuthering Heights
MisfitsBallroom Blitz
Miles DavisBitches Brew
Pussy Cat DollsTainted Love
RoxetteShe’s Got The Look
Rage Against The MachineKilling In The Name Of
Sex PistolsAnarchy in the U.K.
909 SurpriseDominator
Utah SaintsSomething Good
Velvet Underground and NicoVenus in Furs
Vice SquadLast Rockers

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Roy's Rocket Radio: Christmas Podcast Schedule UK SciFi/Fantasy/Horror/Tech Podcast

rrr-smallMerry Eve of… Christmas Eve!

Until today the needle of my Super-O-Meter™ was firmly pointed at ‘Stylish Supervillain’, while I cackled with glee at the squirming masses of humanity from my Tower of Nerditude™.

Unfortunately, a last-minute dash to the evil multinational for want of two carrots (no, I’m not kidding), indicates that I have finally lost my impregnable ‘Shield of Sneering Schadenfreude’ and have succumbed to the pre-Christmas Shopoclypse.

My solution to all this unacceptable seasonal stress and the terrible deluge of good-will is to podcast a bursting barrel-full of bubbling nerdly nutrition every day until Boxing Day.

So subscribe now!

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Big Pics: Doctor Who 2014 Christmas Special, Wallpapers and 2014-2015 Annuals


s08-tardis-16x9 tardis-crash-16x9daleks-16x9


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The Millennium Falcon from Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens Infinitely Looped

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Website Update and Podcast: A Lot of Doctor Who, TV and Movie Talk (It's Going to be BIG!)

Website: If you have visited my main website before (RoyMathur.com) before you will notice lots of changes.

This is because in the past few weeks I have submerged myself in the semantic web, HTML5 and fluid design – the result of which you see above.

While it’s not perfect, it does mostly scale on various display resolutions and mobile devices and is coded entirely in HTML5. The site is also a lot less visually blingy than it used to be and contains a lot less code.

This all means that I will have to spend less time writing code, fussing with graphics and other distractions and more time writing articles, fiction and podcasting. Huzzah!

Podcast: After three weeks we’re back on Sunday! Here’s what you can expect:

Doctor Who (1st Doctor, Series 3, 8 The Gunfighters 1-4, 1966)
Doctor Who (1st Doctor, Series 3, 9 The Savages 1-4, 1966)
Doctor Who (1st Doctor, Series 3, 8 The War Machines 1-4, 1966)
Doctor Who 8.10 In the Forest of the Night
Doctor Who 8.11 Dark Water
Doctor Who 8.12 Death in Heaven
The Big Bang Theory Season 8 (2014)
Constantine (2014)
Glue (2014)
Homeland (2014)
Spartacus: War of the Damned (2013)
The Walking Dead Season 5

Bell, Book and Candle (1958)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 2014
Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006)
Into the Storm (2014)
Hercules (2014)
Horns (2014)
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)
Lucy (2014)
Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles (2014)

The Massive: Black Pacific (2013)

Nexus 6
Nexus 9
iPad 2 Air
iPad Mini 3
27 inch iMac with 5k Retina
Mac Mini
Dell Alienware vs Rebadged Clevo from PC Specialist Gaming Laptops
Don’t Use a SIM Adaptor!

Blimey, I think I may need a caffeinated beverage or three. Subscribe now!

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What's on Tonight's Podcast (Available Later)

I’m back again and, as well as lots of the usual weaving, tangential wittering (about games and tech etc.), I’ll also be chatting semi-coherently about:

  • Doctor Who (1st Doctor, Series 3, 7 The Celestial Toymaker 1-4, 1966)
  • Doctor Who 8.8 Mummy on the Orient Express (2014)
  • Doctor Who 8.9 Flatline (2014)
  • The Flash (2014)
  • The Code (2014)
  • Homeland (2014)
  • Ascension (2014)
  • Dark Matter (2015)
  • The Expanse (2015)

You can download the show later tonight (GMT + 0 London c. 2300).

Enjoy tonight’s Doctor Who and see you later!



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It's My Birthday!

Mum, Dad and Me on Skype:



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#Tech #UK: Watch Via Live Stream New #Motorola Product Announcements: #MotoG2, #Moto360 etc.

This event will include, I assume, news about the new Moto G, now with 8 MP rear and 2 MP front cams, a bigger screen and a UK price of around £200 £145 (3G only – no news about LTE version yet). If you’re considering the extremely popular Moto G, it might be worth waiting until after tomorrow’s event before making a decision.

We’ll also be getting more information about the new Moto 360 smartwatch.

Watch it in (20 hours) right here:

, or on YouTube

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EMF Camp 2014!


A little west of Bletchley, Electromagnetic Field Camp 2014 kicked off today. Hackers and Makers from around the globe converged on bright, breezy, hay-threshed fields set in the gently undulating countryside south of Milton Keynes.


We arrived just after ten in the morning, amongst the slowly building multitude of cars, caravans and campers, and, slightly more esoteric vehicles, such as a Soviet-era military mobile radio transmitter – complete with red hammer-and-sickle flag rippling from the towering antenna.


As we walked around the temporary tent-city, we met some very modern blacksmiths from the, not-so-rural, London,  already oversubscribed for practical smithying lessons later that day.


Outside another tent I saw a sandwich-board offering jewellery-making classes to assist people in fashioning their very own “One ring to rule them all” (and, presumably, “…In the darkness bind them.”)


The practical-tinkering even extends to the rather stylish PCB event badges, which are custom Arduino-based, single-board programmable computers, with a built-in joystick, input buttons and a rather cute little LCD screen.

Everyone we met, participants, visitors and organisers were refreshingly friendly and fired up with geeky enthusiasm for tech; all within an atmosphere more reminiscent of Burning Man than the Googleplex.

The sponsored event is the brainchild of Jonty Wareing (below left) and other enthusiasts from the tech industry, events management and the arts. Its purpose is to gather a diverse range of international tinkerers in a convivial community – to share knowledge and, more importantly, to have fun.


And it’s not only techno-wizardry that’s afoot. When I asked Jonty what event he was particularly looking forward to, he told me that renowned science author Simon Singh would be giving of an demonstration of enigma machine, on-loan from nearby Bletchley Park (AKA Station X).

Electromagnetic Field will continue until Sunday and, if you are going, remember to have a drink at The Robot Arms: a pub with a name that is most definitely not just a metaphor.

Words, photographs,  graphics and video-editing by Roy Mathur. Additional media by Anthonia Ngozi Beddall and EMF Camp 2014.

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What to Expect In the 50th Roy's Rocket Radio Show

tardis-slimDoctor Who is back and, very soon, so will we be! The following is a small selection of what to expect in our upcoming, and very special extra-long, 50th show:

TV: Doctor Who (1st Doctor, Series 3, 4 The Daleks’ Master Plan 1-12, 1966), Doctor Who 8.1-2 Deep Breath and Into the Dalek (2014), Extant (2014), The Strain (2014), Lost: The End (2010) [Revisited], Movies: The Woman in Black (2012) [Redux Review], The Losers (2010), 300: Rise of an Empire, Pompei (2014), The Basketball Diaries (1995), Hold Fast (2007),  The Double (2013), Snowpiercer (2013), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Comics: Sleeper Season Two (2009), Ex-Machina: The Deluxe Edition Book Two (2010), Metamorphosis Odyssey (1980), Games: Swing Copters (2014)

The fact that just the show notes run to five pages and aren’t even complete yet should tell you how chock-full of nerdy geekiness this event will be. You can also expect (FOC) the usual stumbling dialogue, clumsy segue and uncomfortable silences – though this time buoyed up by lashings of ginger ale, a spicy chicken patty or two and booty from the sweet shop. So celebrate the return of the Doctor and subscribe now to the best podcast in the Multiverse (and the UK).

Subscribe ~ Other Options


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Roy's Rocket Radio Show IS Coming Back! (SciFi, Fantasy, Horror UK)

the-captainDon’t lose faith in the podcast – it IS coming back! Next Sunday, or earlier, I’m just waiting for a new audio recorder to arrive. Please peruse the archives in the meantime.

rrr-smallSubscribe ~ Other Options

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YouTube Trawl: First Moon Party by HelloFlo

Great filmmaking, great twist, great… ad:

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What Roy Did

roy-manga-long-hairSo here I am, currently exiled to audio Siberia, i.e. not able to podcast.

But it’s not as if I don’t have anything to do. Changes are afoot at the blog and the website, and the notes for the next podcast continue to grow more voluminous.

I also appear to have more hair than I have had for years. In the last few months, my hairstyle has gone from slap-head, to spikey, to emo, to the horrendous, tarantula-like travesty of a barnet squatting on my bonce right now. I supposed I’ll have to see to that sooner or later, but I haven’t been to a barber-shop in years. I also suspect that a glamorous hairdo now costs more than a couple of brass farthings. Still, to celebrate this new excess of head-hair, I have created a new favicon via FaceYourManga.

What else? Well, I’m editing the novel like crazy and trying, as usual, to make up for lost time. This new effort is largely thanks to Mum and friends’ encouragement (you know who you are). Oh, and my writing circle meets tomorrow evening. Let’s hope more than two people show up!

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A Tribute to Robin Williams Uploaded on the Pirate Bay

Last week, and one day after his death at the age of sixty-three, pirates uploaded a tribute to actor Robin Williams in the form of a giant bundle of all his movies:


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Roy's Rocket Radio: Yeah… No… Not Back This Sunday After-All

Despite forcing myself to scrutinise the multiple, malign machinations of the evil Mavic Chen (Doctor Who reference) and writing up a ton of show-notes, I still find myself unable to produce a podcast as promised. My amazing solution of plugging a mic into my old netbook worked only that one time. Now it seems that the port is completely buggered. And believe me I’ve tried every which way to configure the mic, but it’s the hardware that’s at fault. So the show’s a, er… no show. Sorry.

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Alan Moore: BBC HARDtalk Interview (2012)

I completely missed this TV interview, in case you did too, here it is again via a kindly YouTuber:

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Roy's Rocket Radio: Back This Sunday!


More audio frustration today after I gave up trying to drive my new dynamic microphone from my Mac Mini’s pathetically under-powered line-in socket. Then I tried my old, cheapo netbook’s microphone socket and… hey presto! It works! Not only that, but the sound quality from my sub-twenty quid audio kit seems a lot better than from my iPhone. Hey Apple! You listening?

This all means that we’re back on Sunday with a monster, monster catchup show. It’s going to be one  humungo nedorama. Expect TV: Doctor Who (1st Doctor, Series 3, 4 The Daleks’ Master Plan 1-12, 1966), Extant (2014), The Strain (2014), Movies: The Woman in Black (2012) [Redux Review], The Losers (2010), 300: Rise of an Empire (2014), Pompei (2014), The Basketball Diaries (1995), Hold Fast (2007),  The Double (2013), Snowpiercer (2013) AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!


Click here to check out past shows

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Looking for Techie Work in Vancouver? Job Agencies List

For those looking for techie work in Vancouver, here is a list and contact details of Vancouver ITC job agencies. Good luck!

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Hold Fast (2007) from #Moxie Marlinspike (@moxie) on #Vimeo (#Sailing #Documentary)

Excellent movie that we’ll talk about in the next podcast:

Hold Fast from Moxie Marlinspike on Vimeo.

See also – http://www.blueanarchy.org/holdfast/

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Weird Science: What the Hell is a Radiolarian?

What the Hell is a Radiolarian? While contemplating a Raspberry Pi B+ as a cheap streaming server solution, I came across this weird 3D printed case called the piLarian:


Apparently its design is based on a real-world species – Radiolaria. With a name like that, I just had to search for images on the web. What I wasn’t expecting was to fall down the rabbit-hole into the weird world of these tiny bizarre sea creatures:


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Lota Screwdriver

Here is my lota full of icy cold vodka, orange juice and Fanta:

2014-08-03 16-05-screwdriver-in-roys-lota


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A Bit of Glub from the Captain's Tub: Guardians of the Galaxy, Jupiter Rising, Dreadstar Movie

No time for podcasting this week, as I have a couple of passengers heading for Alderaan,  but next week we’ll be talking about Guardians of the Galaxy. Huzzah!

I still can’t believe the Wachowskis’ new flick Jupiter Rising is not out until next year. With the two big trailers, the PR circus, the blah and the frenzied Mila and Channing photo-opps – we sadly already know the whole plot. Great strategy there. Absolutely fantastic. WAY TO GO.

BTW, if you clicked on the GOTG link above, you’ll have noticed that I’ve been pushing for a Dreadstar movie from way-back-when. Guess what? It may just be in the works! See here and here. If that isn’t an O/E-MG moment I don’t know what is.


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The Captain's YouTube Trawl: Mad Max: Fury Road

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Muffed Plot Logic in SciFi Movies: Looper, After the Dark (AKA The Philosophers) and Edge of Tomorrow,

You’re going to either have watched the following movies to know what the hell I’m taking about, or be one of the idiots responsible for writing-in the following screenplay muffs in order to give each of these films a happy ending. If filmmakers are going to attempt such a travesty they, at least, shouldn’t be so lazy that they don’t stick to the internal logic of their own universes. I mean do they seriously think that an audience packed full of ultra-logical, OCD, SciFi Spock-nerds are going to miss the constant bumbling? GET YOUR GAME ON!!!

Here are some, not-so-shining, examples:

Looper (2012): Why is the narrator still speaking after he died at the end of the movie?

After the Dark (AKA The Philosophers) (2013): If the final scenario was completely fresh, by what logic did one of the students remember the exit code from the penultimate scenario?

*Edge of Tomorrow (2014): How did the protagonist wake up again (after he had already lost the ability to do so) in a past where the invaders had already been defeated by him in the future.

edge-of-tomorrow-2014-ticket-stub*I watched this movie today and, other than the mumbo-dumbo ending and the derivative look reminiscent of The Matrix Revolutions (2003) and Oblivion (2013), I pretty much enjoyed it. I thought Emily Blunt made a terrific heroine – tough as nails, beautiful and, refreshingly, without so much as an ounce of hooah machismo. I also loved the batty plot based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka and Yoshitoshi ABe’s YA novel All You Need Is Kill.  Didn’t you also think that there was something very PKD (a good thing) about the story of a PR guy thrust into the thick of it? Good stuff, apart from that awful plot gaff at the end.

Emily Blunt wielding makeshift FF-style Basutāsōdo. Oh, oh, ohhh…


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Electromagnetic Field, August 29th–31st 2014, Bletchley, UK

Roy’s Rocket Radio and Maybe Magazine will be podcasting (and/or vodcasting) from:



“Imagine a camping festival with a power grid and high-speed internet access; a temporary village of geeks, crafters, and technology enthusiasts that’s lit up by night, and buzzing with activity during the day. Over a thousand curious people will descend on our friendly open space to learn, share, and talk about what they love.

Over a long weekend, you can expect to see a huge variety of talks across three stages, a slew of workshops, as well as music, games, and installations dotted around the site.

At previous events we’ve heard talks about everything from genetic modification to electronics, blacksmithing to high-energy physics, reverse engineering to lock picking, computer security to crocheting, and quadcopters to brewing.

We’re inviting attendees to set up their own villages — camps within the camp — where like-minded people can camp together and put on their own activities. Our hard-working team of volunteers will supply you with power and internet to your tent.

Our internet connection — last time it was 380 megabits, this time we’re aiming for much more — will be beamed in from a datacenter nearby, and distributed to your tent by (hopefully) the most reliable conference WiFi network you’ll ever use, housed in a series of specially repurposed high-tech portaloos.

You’ll also be able to take advantage of our well-stocked bar selling great beer, cider, and soft drinks at distinctly non-festival prices. Sadly we can’t get hold of the motorway bridge that housed the bar at our last site.

When you arrive, you’ll be issued with an attendee badge unlike any you’ve seen before. Our badge is a full-blown Arduino-powered computer with an LCD screen and wireless connectivity. During EMF, you’ll be able to view the schedule of talks on your badge. After the event, instead of sitting in a drawer, it’s fully reprogrammable to do whatever you want. If you don’t know how, you can learn at the event!

What makes Electromagnetic Field unique is that everything is created by attendees like you. The entire event — stewarding, water, electricity, internet, stages, toilets, and the bar — is organised by a dedicated team of volunteers, and everyone who turns up does their part to make the event an amazing place to be for a weekend. We’re a non-profit organisation, so every penny you spend on your ticket goes towards making the event happen.

Expect to run into spork-making workshops, bottle rocket launches, high altitude balloon releases, ad-hoc music installations and so much more.”

Credits: Raw text and images from Electromagnetic Field’s ‘About’ page. Edited graphics and additional text by Roy Mathur.

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Google Glass: Inverse Surveillance?


‘‘Wearable’ computing’

Google Glass, as a product hardly needs and introduction – a small computer, a compact camera, display and audio system built in to a lens-less pair of spectacles.

What might not be so well known is that the idea for a head-mounted overlay display is hardly new. ‘Wearable’ computing has for years had niche groups of enthusiasts developing the technology, for example, at academic institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the US military’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency. Later companies like, MicroOptical tried unsuccessfully to monetise a clever and, arguably, better looking precursor to Glass called MyVu aimed squarely at field applications. Their idea was to market the device to engineers who need to frequently consult blueprints whilst having their hands free to use tools. However, the time was never quite right and MicroOptical went bankrupt in 2010.

Google Glass, though not particularly original or high-spec is, nevertheless, a fairly clever bit of kit. According to Google, Glass features a side-mounted touchpad, a 720p HD video/5 MP stills camera, an LED high resolution display equivalent to a 25 inch screen 8 ft away from the viewer and audio supplied via bone-conduction. Connectivity is via WiFi (802.11b/g) and Bluetooth. The unit also has 12 GB of usable storage syncable with Google Cloud and there is a MyGlass iOS/Android app available for your device. The batteries will allow up to one day of use. The device costs £1000 and comes with a micro-USB cable and charger. In future there will also an option for using prescription glasses. 

‘privacy objections’

But it’s not just the hyped tech that is interesting. The social implications have already become an issue, with those whose vehement and vocal privacy objections at being filmed, have resulted in the unflattering label of ‘Glasshole’ foisted upon some unfortunate early adopters choosing to flaunt their gear in public.

‘Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?…who doesn’t?’

But there is a flip-side to that argument that has not been fully considered. For years governments and corporations have spied on us with nary an eyelash batted except by activists campaigning, without much hope, to turn back the tide of technology aimed squarely at documenting our shopping habits, religious and political views and even our biology. The excuses for this mass surveillance have always been that we should submit to this scrutiny for our own good – for reasons national security, goods and services better suited to our needs, or simply to commodify our information.

But is that tide turning? In fact, is growing and truly universal, bidirectional surveillance, possibly the most awesome example of operational blowback ever? In the light of the Snowden revelations with the leaked collateral murder video and the murder footage captured on Marine B’s helmet camera, we increasingly see surveillance technology reflected back against those same big players.

Shops and venues have used cameras for years and many private cars are also so-equipped to record police interactions or to provide evidence in insurance claims. So isn’t personal surveillance technology the last logical piece of the jigsaw puzzle?

When we start accepting devices like Glass, prepare to expect some kind of hypocritical authoritarian backlash under the guise of looking after our privacy concerns. Whilst bureaucracies and corporations would like to continue to focus their surveillance apparatus on us, the thought of Joe Public looking back at them sends shivers up their collective spines. The question then will not be Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? But who doesn’t? Welcome to the age of civilian inverse-surveillance with a legion of little sisters staring right back at big brother.

You can intercept Roy’s non-linear timeline at RoyMathur.com where he writes about his adventures through space, time and a multitude of weird dimensions.


This article was later published as a feature in the October 2014 edition of Maybe Magazine, E-Zine 6. See Google Glass or this link for the complete magazine. NB/ I also edited several of the articles within the magazine.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past DVD Release Autumn 2014

Months in advance of its DVD release, and an interminable time spent avoiding trailers, spoilers and reviews; I finally took myself down to budget day at the local flicks. All this, so that by the time you read this, you can judge for yourself whether the latest of the ever-expanding X-Men franchise will enliven an otherwise dreary Autumn evening betwixt now and Halloween. Don’t even start about those rich Autumnal colours unless you want to help rid me of the leaves that will be blocking my gutters whilst, no doubt, hiding vicious squirrels. But I digress! X-Men: Days of Future Past is based loosely on the eponymous storyline that ran in two issues of Marvel’s The Uncanny X-Men comic book back in 1981.


“If you’re new to the X-Men”

If you’re new to the X-Men, I’m not sure how much to bore you with an explanation of their fictional universe. However, for the two Rip Van Winkles out there who have managed to miss any mention of the last six movies (yeah, THAT many), and have never picked up a comic book (shame on you), thus follows the skinny. The X-Men are a comic book team of superheroes dreamed up by god-like comic book writer, and serially annoying cameo-meister, Stan Lee and, the equally divine, golden pencil of ultra-artiste Jack Kirby in the early sixties. Why ‘X’? The X-factor is the characteristic in DNA that gives these superhumans their powers. It was also a reference to the civil rights movement in America at the time and, given the strong allegorical parallels between mutants struggling against paranoid human-supremacists and African Americans struggling for civil rights, the ‘X’ also parallels the ‘X’ of Malcom X.

“send …Wolverine …into the past”

Lecture over and back to the movie. We are in the future; bang-in-the-middle of a genocidal culling, of anyone displaying even the slightest sign of mutation, by a human-supremacist government. Terminator-like Sentinels are also being used to destroy the last vestiges of resistance led by the X-Men. But wait! There’s a plan! We must send John Connor, whoops sorry I meant, of course, Wolverine (a buff, to the point of exploding, Hugh Jackman), into the past to prevent a key event in history from happening which will inevitably lead to this nightmare future.

“scenes lifted from other movies”

I already mentioned that there is a strong resemblance to The Terminator franchise, but there are also scenes lifted from other movies. For example, there’s a wakey-wakey scene straight out of Groundhog Day (1993). Though here, instead of Sonny and Cher’s I Got You Babe, we have Roberta Flack’s 70s hit The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face as the iconic track that lets you KNOW we are right back in the day. That and the lava-lamp. Oh, and the big moustaches and wide clothes too. Then there’s the care that has been taken to weave the plot into the fabric of real-life past events, like the Vietnam War and Nixon’s paranoia. I also particularly liked the overly colour-saturated TV news coverage typical of the time.

“rocking …super-speed superhero Quicksilver”

There are some standout performances of note too. One of my favourite aspects of the movie was easily the, all-too-short, ditzy and rocking interpretation of teen super-speed superhero Quicksilver, AKA Pietro Maximoff by Evan Peters. His fun and laugh-out-loud portrayal eclipsed all other performances and just begs to be spun off into a standalone movie. Other great performances included the prolific and excellent Peter Dinklage, who ably played mad scientist Doctor Bolivar Trask, and the frighteningly beautiful and fabulously named Fan Bingbing, as teleporting super-heroine Blink.

“did I like it?”

The question is did I like it? If this move came out way back, I would have responded with a resounding yes, and possibly have thrown in a huzzah or two for good measure. But now, in the light of dime-a-dozen superhero movies, I don’t think it quite works as a film for the big screen. Also, while I appreciate nostalgia, that lovingly crafted retro-look has been used in so many other movies. For example, near-past eras, that straddle the decade fore and aft of this movie, have been artfully modelled in films like X-Men: First Class (2011), set in the 60s, and Watchmen (2009), set in the 80s.

“incessant …music”

And, while I’m in nit-picking mode, let me just tell you about the other non-plot problem I have – the incessant, never-ending, background music that builds and builds, but never quite reaches a crescendo. While such a device worked well in Inception (2010), here it is simply a frustrating irritant.

However, since X-Men: Days of Future Past has been widely lauded, my fussiness is a minority view. In any case, we are talking about the movie’s suitability for a vid/pizza night at a particularly boring time of the year and, in that respect, I say – yeah, go for it! And maybe invite me round for a Guinness (or six). Laterz. };->

You can intercept Roy’s non-linear timeline at RoyMathur.com where he writes about his adventures through space, time and a multitude of weird dimensions.

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The Captain's YouTube Trawl: The Flash, Big Hero 6, Gotham

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YouTube Trawl: Doctor Who, Lucy, SciFi Trailers, UK

Doctor Who Series 8 2014:

Lucy (2014):

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A Quick Solution To The World's Most Recent Conflicts…

…would be to send my mum, with her stick, to beat some sense into each of the world leaders, past and present, responsible the current mess dominating all our TV screens.

Admittedly, sending mum in might be a little difficult right now, so instead, I would like to dedicate the following video clip to the aforementioned nitwits, ninnies and nincompoops:

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Writing Progress and Unashamed Plug for My Upcoming Techno-Thriller The Horus Box

eye-of-horusHere is a progress report, aimed primarily at interested publishers and agents. The most notable item on the list is my upcoming techno-thriller The Horus Box, the rough draft of which I will have finished next week. After that I will be editing it in preparation to query potential publishers and agents. I will also be writing a screenplay based on the novel and starting my next book — a space opera.

  • 2014, The Horus Box, Screenplay [Starting on 2014-06-25]
  • 2014, The Horus Box, Thriller (Techno-Thriller) Novel, [Rough draft will be complete on 2014-06-24], Blurb:

“Amidst the dot com boom, a traumatised bicycle messenger and an enigmatic war reporter are drawn into the mystery of the century, deep in the dark heart of London.”

  • 2014, Untitled, Science Fiction (Space Opera) Novel [Starting on 2014-06-25]
  • 2014, Untitled, Fantasy (Contemporary Fantasy) Novel [Planning]
  • 2014, Untitled, Fantasy Novel [Planning]
  • 2013, A Lesser Death, Science Fiction Short Story [Re-editing]
  • 2013, The Black Tower, Fantasy (Sword and Sorcery/Dark Fantasy) Short Story [Re-editing]
  • 2013, Honey, Honey, Horror (Creature Feature) Short Story [Re-editing]

If you want to get in touch, please do so via this email address:


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YouTube Trawl: Best Ever Game of Thrones Moments… EVER, EVERRR!!!



Red Wedding


The Red Viper Versus the Mountain


Battle of the Wall


Giants riding mammoths! GIANTS RIDING MAMMOTHS!!!

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YouTube Trawl: Capo Di Monte Goth and Spam

I’m saving the following ad for posterity as it cracks me up no end. And also in the spirit of growing older disgracefully, which is the only way to fly:

The following clip is dedicated to the tireless spammers at

Hey, I’m watching you, I’m watching you with my Gorgon eyes:

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Celebrity Frenzy: TV Fans Flock to Central Milton Keynes

Recently Central Milton Keynes has been the scene of monster crowds of excited and mostly female fans queuing for book signings outside WHSmith. First to visit was Made in Chelsea’s Lucy Watson (23) promoting her new book The Dating Game. Later, Joey Essex (23) of TOWIE, attended to sign his autobiography Being Reem.


Milton Keynes Theatre is also playing host to renowned actress Rula Lenska (66) for their production of Pygmalion. Ms. Lenska’s long career has included parts in Doctor Who, To the Manor Born and Coronation Street. The star of stage and screen recently attended a book signing for Rula: My Colourful Life at Waterstones.


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Tired of Firefox Problems?


I’m fed up of Firefox hassles. Despite getting the latest chromified 29.0.1 looking like good old 28, I have been beset with Flash hangs* and print scaling problems. So I have taken the nuclear option and I am now running longer-term support Firefox ESR. Windows users can download the portable version for their language here. BOOM!

*Quick update: Flash problems persist which suggests this might be partly Adobe’s fault. If you too are experiencing browser problems, try updating Flash, which might or might not work, so good luck. What a total pain. Adobeee!!! Mozillaaa!!! Someooone!!!

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Edge of Tomorrow: Final Trailer

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Trailer for Upcoming Hieroglyph TV Series

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The Dodge Challenger SRT 2014 is Male HRT


I am a man, but one with limper wrists than an 18th century, lace-bedecked dandy. A man willing to run shamelessly from confrontation and who suffers anxiety when hearing even moderately raised voices. One who would even flee Richard Hammond should he threaten to raise those savage hamster brows. I am beta-prime, the very antithesis of Doc Savage. Ayn Rand would not be a fan.

Why is it then, that when I see a Dodge Challenger, my heart threatens to leap out of my throat?

Let’s just say that I have been heavily influenced, in no small part, by the shades-at-night, leather-coated machismo of movies like Vanishing Point (1971), Mad Max (1979), Blade (1998) and TV shows like Supernatural. Sadly, over the years, my only experiences of driving anything vaguely muscular was as a result of free rental upgrades – once to a souped-up Oldsmobile and, years later, a base-model Dodge Charger.

Now let’s back up a little, back to a few years ago when I lived, or rather subsisted like an unwelcome budget-priced wart, amidst the Richie Richs’ play-ground of the Pacific Northwest, also known as Vancouver. I remember quite clearly the day when the Detroit mean-machine returned to local showrooms after a long, sad absence. Not having a bean, however, did not stop me from paying homage to the sinister, elder god reborn. No doubt much to the annoyance of the prim salespeople, I slithered onto the hotseat of an unwisely unlocked display model. Purrrfect. It felt just right – threatening and raw. Sitting there, low-slung, I was a dragon, the Grendel, the Great Beast. I was imbued with the power of Thor!

Fast-forward a few years to 2014 and I’m living back in Blighty when Dodge unveil this year’s Challenger SRT. Given that the price ranges from $27,000 to $47,000 (£17,000-£29,000) between from the lowest specified model the top-trumps SRT, surely the SRT is a cooler, arguably better looking and much, much cheaper alternative to something like Jaguar’s new F-Type R Coupé kitty rocket?  While the big cat throws out 80 bhp more than the paltry 470 bhp of the SRT, it also costs a tad more at £85,000+

Still not tempted? For around $15,000 less than the SRT, there is the R/T, made iconic by car culture vultures’ all-time favourite existential movie mentioned above: The Vanishing Point. Just ask Kowalsky.

So, if want to get in touch with your inner Viking, forget beating drums in the woods; just get in one of these and turn that meow into a proper grrr on your way to the shooting range.

I was tempted to conclude this article with something like “Gentlemen, I present the Dodge Challenger SRT, the best car that you can’t buy here”, but that would be a horrible cliche, so instead I’ll say: ‘…on that bombshell…’ No, no, no… I just want to drive it and look like a bad-ass.

For more Infernal Combustion Engine fun (thanks Harry Harrision), check out my Pinterest board entitled Vrooooooom! See also Audi and Ford Capri 2.8i.

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Heads Up

Here’s a little head up. I write feature articles/columns, many of which never see the light of day and are consigned to the rejection pile of newspaper and magazine editors the world over. So instead of letting all those words go to waste, I have decided to start posting them to my blog. I not sure how long I’ll keep this up, but now you know. Just look for whatever random thing to which my mind is currently attuned. In fact, expect one, very, very shortly.

aliens-hudson-express-elevator“We’re on express elevator to hell, goin’ down!”-Hudson, Aliens (1986)

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YouTube Trawl: Fan Film Based on Iain M. Banks The Player of Games Culture Novel

Not sure why this great little fan film, based on Iain M. Banks widely lauded The Player of Games, hasn’t got a BAZILLION views. Let’s see what we can do about that:

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Writing 2000 Words a Day To Finish My Novel

I am currently twelve thousand words into my mystery/horror novel and have just finished the sixth chapter today. Here is the back cover blurb:

The Horus Box

Amidst the dot com boom, a traumatised bicycle messenger and an enigmatic war reporter are drawn into the mystery of the century deep in the dark heart of London.

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Firefox 29 to 28 Interface Downgrade Attempt 2

I finally, got it working properly. It’s all very well making the Classic Theme Restorer available for disgruntled 28 upgraders, but it’s still a right, royal pain fiddling with all the settings. Stop Chromifying Firefox!


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Milton Keynes Collectormania: Joseph Gatt, Garret Wang, William Atherton Etc, Etc, Etc!

I’m just back from Milton Keynes annual Collectormania event and, wow, they really picked the right day for it. The sun was blazing, with not even the merest possibility of rain (for a change), as I pulled up in the car park area reserved for the event at Milton Keynes Dons Stadium.

I arrived there about half and hour after it opened at nine, and took in the plethora of colourful stalls mostly selling comics and collectibles.



I met a few excellently dressed cosplayers, including this fantastically detailed clone Stormtrooper, who also had a rather brilliant robotic sounding voice changer, and a blaster with a wicked cool plasma effect:

And here’s Rob from Manchester dressed rather nattily as Tom Baker’s Doctor:


I spoke to the charming Joseph Gatt (Star Trek ID and GOT), who is a even larger in real life. A LOT larger:


I met and chatted to the debonair Mr Garrett Wang (Harry Kim Star Trek Voyager); hey, somebody make this guy a captain!


I saw William Atherton, who I remember being stun-gunned by Holly in Diehard 2, glimpsed Robert Beltran (Chakotay Star Trek Voyager), Tony Todd (Candy Man), and snapped Gigi Edgley without the Farscape makeup:


You should have seen the queue for the incredibly popular Giancarlo Esposito (Gus from Breaking Bad):


And finally, here’s a clip of me completely muffing my vid for YouTube, though stay until the end to catch a glimpse of a particularly intimidating Darth Maul:

Funnily enough, primarily on my mind, towards the end of my little visit, was the fact that I had not yet written today’s 2000 words, so… smoke me a kipper!

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Tweeting First Line of Daily 2000 Words, My Fiction, Your First Fiction?

2000 Words Okay, just to prove that I’m not a total flake after the magazine debacle, I’m encouraging myself to keep writing by tweeting the first line of each piece of fiction I write each day. Each piece, whether a chapter of my book or a short-story, is about 2000 words long. I have found that 2000 words is about my daily limit. Interestingly, back when I was writing research papers, i.e. non-fiction, I could manage around 5000 words. Fiction is harder. Much harder.

My Fiction I’m writing one mystery/horror novel, tinkering with several other novels and re-writing every single short-story I have ever started since my age could be counted in single digits. This time, I’m going to try to find a publisher too; a publisher who makes books made with paper. Hey, books really do grown on trees and so, for that matter, does money. (Please don’t quote THHGTTG back at me).

What was the first fiction you remember writing? Mine was an unfinished horror scene, where the victim was about to have his heart removed, Aztec-style. I remember writing it at an uncle’s house in Mauritius on something that looked like, or was a knock off of an ancient, steampunky Royal typewriter. I think I enjoyed using the typewriter more than the writing itself. It made me feel very grown up.


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Star Adventurer Magazine

First, a big apology to the people and organisations that started following and/or subscribing to Star Adventurer Magazine. The simple truth is that, after a few 18 hour days, it became apparent that I did not have the time to do the task of running a magazine justice. To progress past the blog or ‘zine stage is a considerable undertaking, requiring an investment in time and money, both of which I lack. Also running the whole thing as a one-man-band was unbelievably exhausting.

However, I have learned one important lesson from this experience. There inevitably comes a time when you have to decide whether you wish to remain on the creative side of the media industry, rather than heading off into the lofty, managerial heights of owner/editor. At the moment, I just want to write and concentrate on finishing everything I have on my plate right now.

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Firefox 29 (Australis) Downgrade Tweaks


Okay, after some stumbling around in the dark, I managed to get Firefox 29.0.1 (Australis) looking (almost*) like my slick version 28 (Aurora) config (see above). I used an old favourite Add-On called Compact Menu 2 which sticks a menu button back where it should be, i.e. on the Tool Bar, and removes the need for the horrendously ugly AppButton. The biggest help, though, was from the Classic Theme Restorer Add-On which lets you un-Chrome things back to normal.

*Whoops, just realised that my tabs are in the wrong place. MOZILLAAArghhh!!!

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Trailers: Godzilla, The Expendables 3, Maleficent, Jessabelle, The Quiet Ones

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Trailer: Oculus (2013)

No, not the 3D, scuba-diving, cyclopian mask of doom, but a horror movie starring Doctor Who’s Karen Gillen. We’ll probably review this in a few weeks time.

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Firefox 29.0.1: Arrrggghhh!

Firefox 29.0.1 – Firefox continues to go Chromified, to the annoying extent that I had to search for a plugin just to stick my tabs back under the toolbar. Why can’t they just improve the guts, which is what counts instead of tinkering with the surface, which, by-the-way, works just fine? Grump, grump, grump. Anyway, I’m going back to 28 which seems to work with all my add-ons. Inevitably there’ll be security reasons to upgrade (actually there already are), but if you want 28 on Windows, the last version with the old-style interface before 29, get the portable version here.

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Coming Up: Doctor Who Marathon Continues!

Great news for listeners of RRR ‘cast as the Doctor Who Marathon Continues. This Sunday we will be chatting about:


  • Doctor Who (1st Doctor, Series 1, 7 The Sensorites 1-6, 1964).
  • Doctor Who (1st Doctor, Series 1, 8 The Reign of Terror 1-6, 1964).

Non-Whovian stuff is also covered as we also take a look at the crowd funded movie of the US cult teen TV series about the highschool girl detective Veronica Mars (2014).

In the meantime, you can catch up with old episodes right here, and enjoy this brilliant Doctor Who stamp gallery courtesy of the Royal Mail:


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I have moved!

I have moved to:


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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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Very Quick Review: Sleeper Season One Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips (2009) (Wildstorm)


Holden Carver is James Bond with Rogue-like superpowers. He is a high level double-agent undercover in a supervillain’s cabal. Noir, hardboiled with superpowers thrown in for good measure. Not bad, though it is difficult to feel any real empathy whatsoever with any of the characters. Also, I can’t tell if Ed Brubaker’s heading for a full-Frank Miller implosion, but until then…


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System of a Down: Chop Suey

Great vid, a few years old, but I’m catching up… Soon I’ll even be in the right decade! Must recalibrate the yearometer };-> (NB/ This particular video won’t work on some mobiles, sorry).

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RPG/Nerd Gaming Movie Trailer: Zero Charisma (2013)

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Oscar Results 2014

oscarYesterday’s 86th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, LA was presided over by Ellen DeGeneres. Along with Gravity scooping up the most awards, the results were:

  • Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
  • Best Lead Actor: Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club
  • Best Lead Actress: Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine
  • Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club
  • Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years a Slave

I would have liked Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) to get best actor, Barkhad Abdi (Captain Philips) for best supporting actor and Naomie Harris for best supporting actress (Mandela).

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This is Not a Review: Jonathan Creek (2014), Series 5, Episode 1: The Letters of Septimus Noone

jonathon-creek-2014Being a fan of the show, but a little slow, I caught the latest Jonathan Creek on iPlayer, two days after it’s return to the small screen.

And…? Flat as a pancake, Alan Davies seemed barely there for most of the episode. And then, instead of a fiendish whodunit, we were presented with a Columbo-like pre-revealed howdunnit. All the “humour” seemed to consist of a self-referential poke at Davies’ own past biting proclivities and an agonisingly overplayed, drawn-out, heavy-handed and hamfisted satirisation of Sherlock. Possibly not such a good idea when the central conceit of a locked room mystery and delayed murder brought to mind one of the worse Sherlock plots (The Sign of Three).

In other really, really unrelated, but disturbing news, two nights ago I had a dream in which Joanna Lumley ravenously tore into pieces of particularly juicy, barbecued chicken skewered on a mini-shish-kebab. True story. But that, at least, was interesting.

jonathon-creek-windmillLumley aside, let us invent a different, happier end to Creek and not this sad return. The final story in which he retires to that West Sussex windmill and shacks up with a nice, quirky girlfriend. She spends her days writing horror novels, while he continues to perfect a spin on the guillotine trick and occasionally annoys the police.

Bye Jonathan.

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Divergent (2014), Coming Soon

Divergent (2014), based on the SciFi novel by Veronica Roth:

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Whoooooooooooosh: Space Season on Channel 4

Space Season on Channel 4 starts in March, see:


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GI Joe Retaliation: Repression of Bad Memories is Like a Scorpion Stinging Itself

I’ve now started, and aborted, watching GI Joe Retaliation twice now (1, 2).  The first time it was so bad, I developed a selective amnesia to block out the experience.  This, inevitably, meant that I started watching it again recently.  It has not improved with age.

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UK SciFi and Horror Trailers: Godzilla and Only Lovers Left Alive

Godzilla: New trailer, movie released in the UK on May 16

Godzilla: Last year’s teaser trailer

Only Lovers Left Alive: Out now in the UK

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How to Fix "Content Not Found" #Facebook #Error (#Computer #Problems)

PROBLEM: Just a quick tip. If, like me, you’ve messed with Facebook’s rather confusing privacy settings and have found that you can no longer navigate to your profile page without being logged in, then this is what has probably happened-

Remember this setting?


SOLUTION: You might have, innocently enough, turned this off… Well turn it on again! };->

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Email is the ONLY Reliable Way to Contact Me

My updates are automatically cascaded down to social media via blog postings.  So, if you contact me through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc…, I probably won’t receive your message.

This is by design, and as a way to handle my addiction to the sweet, sweet nectar that is the internet.

The point being is, that if you want to contact me about the podcast , blog or to give me a giant sack of money, please email: roy.mathur@gmail.com  http://roymathur.com/blog/contact/

p.s. When did “e-mail’ become “email”?

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Welcome to the #YearoftheHorse(y) & #KungSheeFatChoy #2014!




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#UK #Retro #Comics #TV #KungFu Free Gift from Look-In Magazine in the 1970s

I still occasionally wear this cool pendant, souvenir of the Kung Fu TV series, “liberated” from an older cousin BITD and dated via this retrotastic page.


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I had a House in Canada…

I was the last resident of this historic house, now immortalised in Google Maps.

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Welcome to My Little Corner of the Web };->

As I type these words, there have been:

  • 20,077 visitors to this blog.
  • 29,893 visitors to the main site.
  • …And er, well, some people have downloaded the podcast. Looking at the awstats, I’m getting about 100 downloads/month now.

So thanks for visiting and all that.

Very busy day today doing manual labour (urgh) type things around the home, like cleaning etc…  And there’ll also be gardening to do tomorrow (more urgh).  But crank out episode 25 tonight.  The good news is that the car is now running again.


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#RoysRocketRadio #UK #SciFi/#Fantasy/#Horror, with a Touch of Vanilla, #Podcast: What's On

rrr-smallThe next two “Sunday” shows will actually be recorded, edited and released two days early, i.e. on the immediately preceding Friday.  The reasons are twofold.  First, The Wolf of Wall Street opens in the UK tomorrow and I don’t want to be scooped by everyone else!  Secondly, the Sunday after that, I have a social engagement that involves a chainsaw (absolutely true- don’t ask).

The proposed line-up for tomorrow is:

News: It’s too cold, Writing update, The nose laugh test, Movies: The Captains, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Woman in Black, TV: Hostage, Sherlock Season 3 Finale, Tech: 4OD, Waze, And Finally: Life on a boat somewhere hot

The week after that you can expect some rantiness regarding Star Trek and its spin-offs:

What’s Wrong with Star Trek?  This week we will explore every Star Trek cock-up, nonsensical technology, contradiction, annoyance and other assorted stupidity… …And Why I still Love It.

Finally, we return to a Sunday slot, with a show devoted entirely to Doctor Who.

No set agenda for this show yet.

Enjoy previous shows here.

Igor!  Release the Monstrous Macaws of Mayhem!

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Makar Sankranti!

Makar Sankranti!

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#RoysRocketRadio #UK #SciFi/#Fantasy/#Horror #Podcast Ep 23 & 24 Starting Sun 12 Jan

Episode 23 (This Sunday): Just to fill that diabolical ennui of existence that is Sunday morning, Ill be recording another podcast.  You can expect more measured, thoughtful and learned discussions (or not, well maybe, but certainly better than that found in The Gruniad or Daily Heil) regarding the following topics: Movies: Captain Phillips, Her, How I Live Now, Iceman, TV:  Hannibal: Rome’s Worst Nightmare,  The Tomorrow People, Tech: Gmail

Episode 24 (Next Sunday): Actually, though without any solid guarantee, I am planning to do a regular(ish) podcast every Sunday which, and I can’t help re-emphasising this, should fill the void of that most terrible of days.  Next Friday sees the release of The Wolf of Wallstreet and thus, that will be one of the movies discussed in the next show.  (Yes, I did SO pompously use the word “thus”.  Not only that but, in the future, you can also expect me to add a “ly” and use the word “thusly” too.

rrr-smallAbout the podcast: At moment the podcast is one of the few UK-centric podcasts about genre entertainment aimed squarely at, and I’m sorry to over-use the words again, geeks and nerds.  Oh, and the show is still mostly SciFi/Fantasy/Horror-based, but occasionally other tropes/media/news/(and even)guests appear.  Just don’t rely on using the podcast, blog or me as an early-warning-system for national, or planetary emergencies (i.e. as a legitimate news service), because I’ll probably sleep through the whole thing.

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SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT #UK #SciFi/#Fantasy/#Horror #Podcast Roy's Rocket Radio Episode 22, Available Just Before Midnight GMT

rrr-smallA new show should be available in roughly 7.5 hours.  You can look forward to:

News: break from writing, can’t review Ender’s Game, my book collection, Storm Bringer, Movies: Upstream Color, TV: The River, Sherlock, Books: And He Built a Crooked House, Comics: Saga, And Finally: downloading, fellow podcasters

Previous shows are available in the meantime and you can subscribe, review or bookmark via this page.



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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Spectacular New Year's Eve #Fireworks, #London

Spectacular New Year’s Eve fireworks display in London, near Big Ben and the London Eye a few hours ago:

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Mum and Dad Skyped me tonight so that we could celebrate the New Year together. I took some screenshots:

2014-01-01-0018-mauritius-mum-blowing-prayer-conch 2014-01-01-0023-mauritius-mum-ringing-prayer-bell 2014-01-01-0027-mauritius-mum-dad-waving 2014-01-01-0037-mauritius-mum-dad-roy-toasting

Join me in a drink too, wherever you are… Happy New Year!

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SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Standby for #NewYearsEve AND #NewYearsDay Episodes of Roy's Rocket Radio #SciFi/#Fantasy#Horror #Podcast

rrr-smallYeah, so I have a few things on my mind, which is why I have ground out so many podcasts during this season of good will.

Amongst other things, I’ll be talking about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in the first podcast, which will be available on New Year’s Eve, and Sherlock Series 3, available on New Year’s Day; well before the premier of Series 3 at 9pm (GMT London) on BBC1.

In the meantime, please download, some previous shows.

All comments welcome, even the nasty ones, because, like Batman, I “can take it”, grrr.

Now I have to ring mum and explain how I overslept and missed her call!



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Mmm… Christmas Lunch Done!

Just as Massive Attack starts thumping out of the speaker, my lunch appears ready:


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Christmas Playlist

(Currently listening to 99 Red Balloons… using the excellent Foobar 2000)

Balkan Beat Box – Sunday Arak
Big Bad Voodoo Daddies – Go Daddy-O
Buzzcocks – Orgasm Addict
Damned – Grimly Fiendish
Dropkick Murphys – The Warrior’s Code
Hawkwind – Orgone Accumulator
Iggy Pop – The passenger
Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watchtower
Jimi Hendrix – Hey Joe
Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze
LL Cool J – Phenomenon
Levellers – Just the One
Massive Attack & Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Indian
Misfits – Ballroom Blitz
Motorhead – Ace of Spades
Nena – 99 Red Balloons
Nirvana – Come As You Are
Orbital – The Girl With The Sun In Her Hair
Pet Shop Boys – Always On My Mind
Plasmatics – Tight Black Pants
Presidents of the United States of America – Lump
Primal Scream – Kill All Hippies
Prodigy – Narayan
Rob Zombie – Dragula
Skatalites – Mesopotamia
Skunk Anansi – Twisted
Spiderbait – Ghost Riders In The Sky
Stiff Little Fingers – No Sleep Till Belfast
Suede – Electricity
Suicidal Tendencies – Institutionalized
The King – Dock Of The Bay
The Who – Pinball Wizard
Unknown – Goldorak Go
Vice Squad – Last Rockers
Wall of Voodoo – Ring of Fire
Weird Sisters –  Hippogriff

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Roast Chicken Dinner with Honey-Mustard Glaze (Before Oven)

I hope everyone is having a great Christmas out there.  Right, my phone’s set to ring when this is done-


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Merry Christmas!

Making Christmas tree decorations:


…Stuffing face with chocolate while glue dries:


…Merry Christmas!


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Every Single 47 Ronin #Trailer, Starring Keanu Reeves, Ken Watanabe… #UK Release 26 Dec 2013

Rōnin = masterless samurai

Below is possibly the most famous quote from Hakagure (The Book of the Samurai), quoted in Ghost Dog (1999), but also almost entirely appropriate here. I say “almost” because I’m sure the author (Yamamoto Tsunetomo) never had to deal with DRAGONS!

“The Way of the Samurai is found in death. Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day, when one’s body and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles, spears, and swords, being carried away by surging waves, being thrown into the midst of a great fire, being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake, falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease or committing seppuku at the death of one’s master. And every day, without fail, one should consider himself as dead. This is the substance of the Way of the Samurai.”

I’m watching these as I post, over café mocha and croissant, now that’s breakfast!

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All 4 #Trailers for #SciFi #Movie: #Transcendance, Starring Johnny Depp, In #UK 25th April 2014


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Latest Gameplay Trailers for #Elite Dangerous and #Hyperlight Drifter

Here’s a couple of trailers from some Kickstarter-funded games, currently in development, that I’ve been following. Enjoy:

Elite Dangerous

Hyperlight Drifter

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Bollywoodized: Ring of Fire

While feeding my current obsession with London-based Mariachimexteca, also known as the Dorito mariachi band, it occurred to me that perhaps there were other interesting culture-jammed spins on western pop. I was right, and above is a Bollywoodized version of my karaoke party-piece.

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Hellraiser: Origins Teaser Trailer for Reboot Pitch

Hellraiser Origins

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#Nerds, #Writers, Earthians, Buy Me A Beer: Theron-Unpwned, Unwisely Consuming…, Old Olds…, Goat Attack, Grossip…, Prod-cast

Theron-Unpwned: Hi. Yeah, see, the thing about saying you’ve “gone-writing” is that it inevitably means that you’re not. So I thought I’d take a break from “not” and try to shake something loose by blahing on a bit.  So what happened since the last post?  Amazingly, readership of the blog seems to be increasing and, by the time you read this, I’ll be up to 19,000 visitors.  But before you join me in wohoo-ing, the thing is, instead of reading my blog posts about movies, comics etc…, i.e. the good stuff, visitors tend to be focusing on my previous (barely-even-nerdly-content-tangential) rants.  So I’m not going to feed The Great Internet Beast today, instead I’ll talk about some interesting bit-and-bobs that have stirred my interest. And no, that does not mean me waxing poetical something regarding Charlize Theron (again).  Mainly because yet another blasé raft of J’Adore Christmas ads have killed it for me. BTW “Theron-Unpwned” actually (nearly) rhymes (in Afrikaans).

gradisil neonomicon moonshadow once-upon-a-time-in-wonderland

As usual, I’ve been unwisely consuming a vast mountain of nerd-media (in fact, as I type these very words, I can hear Spock pon farring in the background). Currently, I have several things on the go, including Gradisil (2006) by Adam Roberts, Neonomicon (2011) by Alan Moore and Moonshadow (1989) by John Marc DeMatteis.  I have also dug into Once Upon a Time In Wonderland (2013) that will be coming to the small screen in the UK sometime next year. To hear about them, you’ll have to listen to the next neRRRdcast.

Old Olds/New News: In “The Great Ghastly Mundaneity” which is my phrase for the non-nerdish world, I have recently been idly perusing a few mags, but have noticed an alarming relevancy-lag in many tech and computer publications.  By the time the articles are published in the magazines, the news has become olds.  Newspapers are a little better, but many feature articles tend to be rather lacklustre these days and so I spend more time reading online.  (NB/ This bit is for the hacks: it also means that freelancing your articles to editors can be an exercise in time-wasting.  And spec-only?  Good luck with that).

esquire-1-2014Goat attack: Two things which got my goat, in the pettiest and most trivial ways possible, which is what happens when you sink into the tetchiness that comes of spending too much time at home, was an article from a library-loaned copy of Esquire (issue 1, 2014).  The phrase “nouvelle vague” was bluntly bandied in an article warning against the potential arsiness of the donning non-manly-scarfs.  This annoyed me for two reasons.  First, I assume that the use of arty-French parlécinema (see?) indicates that the writer listens to Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s BBC Film Review, because I refuse to believe that he actually knows what the term means. (I still don’t, though wiki, wiki, wiki). Secondly, I am a wearer of said sudarium-modo de Gluteus maximus (again, see?) Send latin grammatical corrections to…)

Grossip Gob’alists: A quick look at the staff page of the above-mentioned rag also frightened me into thinking about where my career is going (okay, I mean not-going). Combined with a recent re-reading of James Herbert’s Creed, wherein one of the characters, a gossip columnist, suffers the most vicious (and, no doubt, accurate) textual depiction/character assassination ever printed; made me realise that aiming for a post-career as a lifestyle columnist in a glossy is a bit naff and no great loss if it never happens.

Prod-cast: In the meantime, I very strongly recommend (insist) that you download one of our, (the nicest way of explaining this is by telling you that I’m using the royal plural here) and excellent (that’s one description), previous neRRRcasts.

Oooh, now that’s off my chest, I can bedeck my neck with this stylish (though manly) sophistiscarf and get back to writing some fiction.

What-evs. Roll on Season 4 GOT.


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Whitewashing: Check Out Racebending.com

Check out this laudable anti-whitewashing effort from the people at Racebending.com:


In their own words:

“Racebending.com is an international grassroots organization of media consumers that advocates for underrepresented groups in entertainment media. Since our formation in 2009, we have been dedicated to furthering equal opportunities in Hollywood and beyond.”

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Happy Birthday Mum and Dad!

Happy birthday Dad (10th December) and Mum (12th December), and have a great day!

2009 may flic en flaq dad mum

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