Monthly Archives: February 2010

Black Static, Back From The Dead, Bryant & May On The Loose,

I work at home. ‘Yes, but what do you do all day?’ I’m often asked. So in the spirit of keeping you up-to-date with what I’m writing, here’s what I’m actually doing this year. I think it’s probably about the same as any other writer, a mix of projects that will remain stillborn and others […]

The War Of The Gods

Anyone who thinks that supernatural novels have no basis in the here and now might want to read this astonishing story, one that is presumably better known in the US. A science teacher in a Bible Belt school brands children with a tesla coil, ostensibly to make a point about scientific principles, but in actual […]

If You Don’t Know Much About Popular Music…

…Watch this. Akira The Don is one of those annoyingly talented guys who hit his widest audience with the catchy ‘Oh What A Glorious Thing’, but his dense rap is sometimes tough to decipher. He fills his work with childhood references and is clearly producing some kind of autobiographical catalogue in music, working the way […]

eReader Fans Look Away Now

This is an old thriller published in 1961 by Robert Van Gulik. I bought it for a quid in a junk shop. It turned out to be part of a set. I bought the others for a quid apiece. I enjoyed them all. This is a book by Edmund Crispin. It cost me 10 pence […]


I need a laugh after the last post. This cracked me up.

London Fails To Make ‘Most Liveable’ List Again!

Once again the Economist Intelligence Unit has placed London outside the Top 50 world’s most liveable cities. We come in at a strategic 51st. Vancouver comes first, Vienna second, and three other Canadian cities lead together with a mix of Swiss and Australian places, and Helsinki, Stockholm and Hamburg. The placing takes into account social […]

‘Compass’ Spins Out?

I came late to Phillip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy, having stumbled over the first few pages and wrongly assuming it would be another Harry Potter. The college setting, the masters with secrets, the talking animals – I set it aside and came back to it during a recent hospital stay. Discovering that it was […]

Let’s Have Some More Lists!

And while we’re on the subject, here are… Eleven Things I never thought I’d live to see; Water being sold for £1 a bottle under the label ‘Portable Hydration’. A popular television show that consisted of uninteresting people bickering and sleeping. Anti-Semitism returning after the horrors of the war. Football being derailed by the players’ […]

Films With Windows

I don’t like screenwriting guides. Most of them are bombastic and out of date, and they’re all obsessed with Hollywood blockbusters. Not so Your Screenplay Sucks! by William M. Akers, which, despite its hectoring tone, is rather good and has 100 simple rules for why your script isn’t working. The book’s lessons could equally be […]

Writing What You Don’t Know

Anyone who reads my books knows I do a hell of a lot of research, even though I end up using less than 10% of it. For years I obtained my background history from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, but as my hardback set became dated I switched to online use and finally moved to all things […]