Playing Favourites

I was going to do this blog entry based on this article, but my feelings about the subject are so very strong that I decided it was too nice and sunny a day to get overly serious. I’ll save my thoughts on it for another day.

So instead, here’s a bit of random frivolity to celebrate the fact that I’ve blogged every day for a week. For the first time ever.

The lovely folks from the Black Library Bolthole did one of those author interview things with me yesterday. It’s up here.

Author interviews are strange things. I had enough trouble coming up with an author biography, so when people ask me questions about anything other than what I’m writing about, I sort of flail around a little helplessly. But the worst of these is ‘favourites’.

For example… being asked what my favourite drink is. I’m utterly hopeless at listing favourite anything. So I’m going to have a try in this post. I’ll read it back later and go ‘OH NO! I MISSED ZZZZZ OFF THE LIST!’ I guarantee it.

The hardest one for me is my top songs of all time. The list keeps changing around, although the top five more or less stays the same. For posterity, here they are, in current reverse order:-

5. Hotel California – The Eagles
4. Should I Stay or Should I Go – The Clash
3. Wicked Game – Chris Isaak
2. Boys of Summer – Don Henley
1. Man in the Long Black Coat – Bob Dylan

Sometimes they change order. Boys of Summer was my favourite for a long time and then Dylan finally beat it into submission and has held the top spot for about fifteen years. After the top five, things get a bit hazy. For me, ‘favourite’ is a fluid term. It could be what I like at that particular moment.

‘What’s your favourite Horus Heresy book?’ That’s another one that sets me to panicking when I’m asked. For the record, I love both ‘Flight of the Eisenstein’, ‘Prospero Burns’ and ‘A Thousand Sons’ in equal measure, with the original ‘trilogy’ coming in a pretty close second. What always gets me is if I don’t mention a specific title, the number of people who chip in with ‘what, you don’t think xxxx by yyyy is the best book in the series?’ Er, no. If I did, I’d have said so, right?

Favourite film? That’s a horrible one. You can generally spot the people who are trying to impress when they answer this question. They come up with some artsy-schmartsy thing that only they and their Uncle Bob saw after seventeen pints, when it was on late night BBC2 TV. A bit like my list of top five songs, this is a pretty changeable affair, but if I was pushed into answering, I guess it’d look something like this:

5. The Usual Suspects
4. Highlander
3. Star Wars
2. American Beauty
1. The Empire Strikes Back

‘Empire’ has been number one pretty much forever. ‘Highlander’ climbs up and down the list depending on my mood. Sometimes, ‘Silent Running’ pulls a fast one and shoulder-barges its way onto the list.

Favourite non-Warhammer books? Ah, now this one –does- change a lot, although the number one has been number one since I was about ten years old. Prior to that, the current number five on the list held the top spot.

5. Charlotte’s Web – E.E. White
4. Dragons of Autumn Twilight – Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
3. American Gods – Neil Gaiman
2. Jitterbug Perfume – Tom Robbins
1. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

Someone asked me once what my favourite holiday destinations were. I struggled to list five. The best place I’ve ever been fortunate enough to visit is probably Rome, closely followed by Prague, Vienna and San Francisco. Does that count? I JUST DON’T KNOW.

When people put you on the spot and expect you to list your favourite anything, it can be really hard to do. Give it a try. Turn to your work colleagues and get them to list their top five songs. I bet very few people can just go ‘bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!’ Unless all their favourite songs are called ‘Bang’, of course.

Any questions on my favourite other things?

Don’t necessarily expect seriousness…

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5 thoughts on “Playing Favourites

  1. Flickums says:

    I hate the favourite film question. I always get asked it after mentioning my degree. Apparently at graduation we get told the secret to what the best film in the world is.

    Next time I’m going to reply with “Scary Movie 3” just to see the look on people’s faces.

  2. Alec McQuay says:

    I think I’d be able to answer if I was asked my number one favourite but the whole list of five thing…

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