It's a full life, if a trifle banal

Altariel's secret underwater headquarters

United Kingdom
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aimee mann, anarchism, angsty dark-haired and cerebral, beethoven, blake's 7, brendan kennelly, bureaucracy, cactilinear, callan, capital cities, cardassia, children's literature, chocolate, chopin, chris boucher, classic television, daleks, deep space nine, doctor who, domed cities, doomed love, dorothy l sayers, down and safe, dystopias, elizabeth enright, fabulous skies, fairport convention, fanfic, fanfiction, faramir, fi-coat, folk music, four quartets, garak, gregor vorbarra, hans-georg gadamer, hattifatteners, henneth annun, infj, kirsty maccoll, lois mcmaster bujold, mary sue, max weber, new zealand, newnham college, podfic, powell and pressburger, q-methodology, richard thompson, rosemary sutcliff, saffic, sandbaggers, short attention spans, simone weil, st helens, suzanne vega, sylvia engdahl, t s eliot, the obsidian order, the pogues, the west wing, tiny anarchists, tolkien, tom bombadil, too many interests, tove jansson, truth and method, ursula le guin, utopias, wordcount, writing
"I sat down again in my chair, and waited. But no vision came to me: no call from the past, no summons to the future. I picked up my pen nonetheless. What else was to be done?"

I read a lot, watch a fair bit of telly, and can sometimes even be found writing. I used to be a sociologist, but I'm all right now. I collect "Great Sociologists of Literature": at my last count, there were four.

As Una McCormack, I'm the author of three Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novels, published by Pocket: Cardassia: The Lotus Flower, Hollow Men, and The Never-Ending Sacrifice. My short fiction has appeared in the DS9 anthology Prophecy and Change, the Big Finish Doctor Who anthology The Quality of Leadership, and in various other publications, including Gardner Dozois' Year's Best Science Fiction Vol. 25.

My Doctor Who novel, with the Eleventh Doctor, Doctor Who: The Way through the Woods is out now! Woo hoo! And my other one, Doctor Who: The King's Dragon is still available!

Often I write fanfiction, usually under my pseud "Altariel", mostly based on the works of JRR Tolkien, and sometimes based on other things:

deadship: Blake's 7 fiction by altariel: "Cally and bombs and dry, dry wit."
obsidiangothic: A collection of enigma tales (ST: DS9)
best_loved_sons: Tolkien-based fiction by Altariel, Dwimordene, Isabeau and Soledad
tolkien_podfic: Tolkien-based fiction in audio format
My page at

"The youngest of six children, which familial position has bred within her a blend of determination, fatalism and misanthropy that should warm the heart of any child."
Lucy Mangan

"Why is Punch crookit? Why wil he all ways kil the babby if he can? Parbly I wont never know its jus on me to think on it."
Russell Hoban

"You sing the tune until you can't. Then you sing a harmony."
Lal Waterson

"The monolithic lie frays out into a thousand incompatible truths, and that's what I wanted. But I am caught in the insanity, the stupidity, the meaningless brutality of the event."
Ursula Le Guin

"I thought all my albums were happy."
Richard Thompson

"This old world is mean and cruel
But still I love it like a fool."
Malvina Reynolds
V-Gifts (21)