Monthly Archives: July 2011

Story Takes Wing

My short story ‘Beautiful Men’ in the anthology ‘Visitants’ has been nominated for a British Fantasy Society Award, which is very vindicating as I felt it was an odd sort of fable at the time, and I can’t always tell if the odd ones are working as I intend them. It’s a terrific anthology from […]

Curtain Up!

The Royal Vauxhall Tavern has been knocking around since 1863. I’ve been going there since I was a kid, when it used to be two separate bars with a stage and a trapeze. Pole-dancers, drag acts and low comics would race along the bar, so you had to whip your pint up pretty sharpish not […]

Interactive Books: Fad Or Novelty?

After a rather ordinary eco-book called ‘Our Choice’ was enhanced with an app that allows your breath to power an onscreen windmill (people are easily amused) it seems that the next generation of online books will have enhanced features. This will be a boon to republishing sure-fire bestsellers (I bet the first titles will be […]

How Could I Not Have Known This?

Having recently been described as ‘cantankerous’ (i.e. having an informed opinion and being over 40) I can now add ‘utterly mystified’ to my description. I’ll admit it now. I have no idea at all who this woman is. Apparently she’s a model and a best-selling author, but somehow it seems I’ve never heard of her. […]


There should be a special English word for the feeling you get when you realise that summer is more than half over and won’t materialise again this year. Already I’m taking bookings for October – how depressing is that? Here’s something that won’t depress – a bumper new crop of chills from Steve Jones and […]

US or UK Memory?

For any collectors out there, you’re going to kill me. I’ve just noticed that there are two slightly different versions of the next Bryant & May book, ‘Bryant & May and the Memory of Blood’. This is because the UK and US lead-times were different, and the edits came in separately, so I edited them […]

The London Mob 60 Years On

To celebrate the re-release of the classic comedy ‘The Lavender Hill Mob’, a cycle tour was undertaken to compare London then and now. You can find the route here. The Guardian are running a nice little video showing the sooty old postwar London and the shiny new overcrowded modern London – take your choice here! […]

From Hardback To Paperback In 6 Months?

Despite its idiosyncrasies (shorter battery than promised, occasional blackouts for no reason, no wi-fi) I still love my Sony eReader. But last weekend I bought half a dozen books, some of which were secondhand, some new. There were a couple of hardbacks I wanted – available on Kindle but not ePub – so what do […]

100 Architects VS Town Planning

I might have known – London’s most inept council is responsible for the pig’s ear that will be the redesigned King’s Cross Station. The miserable plan for the new square at King’s Cross has come about because Camden Council refused to allow any new structures, sculptures, water features or anything except the existing pavement. There […]

Re:View – ‘Out Of This World’

Entering the science fiction exhibition at the British Library, you are greeted with a giant flying saucer having crash-landed into shelves of books, an appropriate metaphor for SF’s impact on the world of literature. There’s also an immense tripod bestriding the show. much as the shadow of HG Wells continues to fall across SF. The […]