Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Flintstones of Brunei

  I’m currently researching a thriller about ex-pats, set in a country that operates under strict Sharia law. It will appear after ‘Nyctophobia’, from the name publishing house, Solaris, as part of my two-book deal. I’ve been to such places, and usually there’s a hypocritical system in place that protects the rich. But this takes […]

Re:View – ‘Wake In Fright’

Until the start of the 1970s films set in Australia been about grandeur and comradeship, the sort of Old West view of the outback that Baz Lurhmann attempted to revive in the embarrassing ‘Australia’. Then two films changed the way in which Australia had always been portrayed. One was Nicholas Roeg’s ‘Walkabout’, in which two children […]

The Sequel To ‘Spanky’

Someone asked me online if I’d ever write a sequel to ‘Spanky’ and I suddenly remembered that I’d written one. It’s called ‘Spanky’s Back In Town’ and it’s in my collection ‘Personal Demons’. I seem to recall that it involves Rasputin and an excavation site beside the Thames. Apart from that it’s a bit of […]

Looking Down On London

As the planning applications go in for over 200 new buildings of over 20 storeys each, 75% of which will be aimed at rich overseas buyers, there’s a campaign mounting to stop London’s skyline from being ruined. The buildings are being approved without any public debate or consultation. There’s no oversight and vision from the city’s leaders, […]

Gay Marriage Legal, Flooding Expected

Gay marriage became legal in England and Wales yesterday, so that Christian Bed & Breakfast in Cornwall is probably now the only place in Britain not to be hit by typhoons, floods and rains of locusts, after a UKIP councillor reckoned that gay people caused severe weather patterns (something complicated to do with ‘God’s wrath’). […]

Whatever Happened To Anthologies?

I grew up reading the Pan Books of Horror (see columns passim) and eventually entered their hallowed pages as an author, which was a great thrill. After they ended, I continued to collect anthologies (not collections – they’re stories from a single writer), often working for the passionate anthologist editor Stephen Jones, but recently the […]

Re:View: ‘We Are What We Are’

Remakes of films are usually disastrous. The worst examples I can think of are Hollywood’s awful ‘The Vanishing’ and ‘Night Watch’, spun out of their Dutch and Danish originals. But occasionally someone comes along and gets it right. I thought the anglicised ‘Let Me In’, from ‘Let The Right One In’, was very good, although […]

My Favourite Moments In Novels No.4

Robert Bruce Montgomery, born 1921, was the organist and choirmaster of St John’s College, Oxford. This spirited, funny man turned to composing movie music and wrote six scores for the ‘Carry On’ films. He also wrote the Gervase Fen books, eleven joyous volumes, all but one of which were produced between 1945 and 1951. The […]

Visit To Another Planet

It started with my first job. I was walking down Soho’s Berwick Street, which still had a busy, thriving street market back then, and lots of local residents (yes, young people visiting London, there wasn’t a Japanese bubble tea bar in sight). One of the stalls sold science fiction paperbacks and comics, and I became […]

Why Nobody Needs Starbucks

I walked into Gran Sasso, my local neighbourhood coffee shop on Caledonian Road at King’s Cross this morning, and was served my coffee like this; it’s my birthday. The staff also bought me breakfast (they do amazing Italian paninis with creamed eggs and sundried tomatoes). Meanwhile, there’s a run-down looking Starbucks nearby that has a […]