Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Bridge

Looking at my last few posts here, you could be forgiven that I've turned this blog into nothing more than an advert for my book (which you can buy here). Sorry an' all that. Here's a proper post.

The majority of the world's great cities are built on or near water: rivers, canals or creeks. And where you get a body of water dividing a city, you need to build the means to cross it. Ferries and tunnels are fine, but nearly invisible. Some cities have become defined by their bridges. Think of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Tower Bridge in London, the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol or the Forth Bridge near Edinburgh. They are all marvels of engineering design.

The one those Americans thought they were buying

More recently we have the Millenium Bridge in London, which is purely for pedestrians. And what a beauty it is. It opens up a vista between St Paul's Cathedral and the Tate Modern Gallery, and is a superb example of what city governments can do to improve the environment for citizens.

So, I was very pleased today to come across images of a new bridge to be built across the Creek in Dubai on the UAE Community Blog. I've always thought that Dubai needed landmark bridges. The Maktoum and Garhoud Bridges are nothing to write home about: they are utilitarian devices for getting vehicles across the Creek without them getting wet. The Business Bay Crossing is also nothing more than a road over water. The new one, as yet unnamed, although I suggest that The Keefieboy Krossing would be a suitable name, is sexy, curvy, big and bouncy, and I love it! Kudos to the designers, FXFowle of New York and even to the RTA for commissioning it.

Images from Popular Mechanics

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Travels in Xanadu-du: Update

To those of you who have already pre-ordered a copy of my book: thank you, thank you! To the rest of you, here's a little incentive. Several of my buddies have expressed a wish that I sign their copy (in the mercenary and entirely unlikely hope that I turn out to be the next J.K. Rowling). Sadly this is not possible, because the books will be printed in Milton Keynes and sent out from Liverpool in sunny England, whilst I am stuck here in Madrid in (currently) cloudy Spain. So, here's the deal.

There is a map of Xanadu-du. It will be printed in greyscale in the book, and you may well need to refer to it in order to follow the action. Pre-orderers will get a full-colour version of that map (the same size as the book), personally signed by moi. Is that cool or is that cool? So get your order in:

Have we gone to press yet? No. Awaiting final proofreading by Don Colin (no pressure mate!), and then we get a printer's proof, and then we are in production. We're still aiming at the end of February.

And I love you all! Mwaah! Mwaah!


Friday, February 08, 2008

Travels in Xanadu-du: Get It While It's Hot!

The deal with the printer is confirmed, so we are now taking orders for my fantastic book, Travels in Xanadu-du. Orders will be shipped before the end of February. So get clicking on the banner below.