Monthly Archives: June 2014

Mad, Mad Michael Moorcock

First, an apology for the shot of Jon Finch; it seems insulting to start a piece on Michael Moorcock with a still of the film he must hate (‘The Final Programme’) – but  it’s not easy to pin down quicksilver. For a long time he was seen as primarily a fantasy writer – a genre […]

The Arts & The Internet

I’ve long thought that true creativity is not just about originality; it’s about making connections that others don’t notice. When we were kids it was hard to draw these invisible lines between people and places, objects and ideas. Very rarely someone sprang out of nowhere, fully formed – Mozart, Dickens, Van Gogh – but most […]

Morricone Forever

A few years ago I saw Ennio Morricone at the Royal Albert Hall, on stage for the best part of three hours, delivering one of the most superb concerts I’d ever attended. It was a bumper year – I saw John Barry’s final performance there, and my small local theatre hosted Michel Legrand and his […]


Because it made me laugh, and I used to do this with my brother too.

What The Author Did Next

Friends think that when I’m in Barcelona I’m at the beach or in tapas bars. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’m working at twice my normal pace, thanks to the siesta that breaks my working day into two distinct halves and seemingly doubles my output. As I return to London and face the […]

Let’s Get Digital

When I meet readers who won’t touch digital books I usually say ‘It’s not an Either/Or thing – you’ll still love physical books just as much.’ But not all electronic devices are created equal. The Kindle dominates because it’s cheap and easy to use and offers the widest range of books, although I’ve never worked out […]

E-Readers Set To Beat Books

Every morning I’m locked in a cell and forced to extend my social reach for a couple of hours, twimbling about on this website and on other media nets, and have long used Facebook as a sort of silliness catchall – largely for the shop windows I have a habit of snapping on my travels. […]

That’s Twentertainment!

Demographically speaking, childhood now ends at around the age of nine. The transference of what were once called children’s shows into teen dramas is complete. The BBC has long wanted to ditch that peculiar band of little people’s entertainment, and with good reason. Every few years there’s a demographic shuffle, and the closure of ‘children’s […]

Does An ‘English Look’ Still Exist?

When I’m describing a character, it’s tempting to fall into easy categorisation. If the person I’m writing about is ‘typically English’, it suggests a Golden Age detective novel description that was once ubiquitous. Ladies in floral frocks, gents in waistcoats and suits – now the idea seems ridiculous. But then I read Dan Brown’s description […]

A Career In Cool

I’ve always loved animated films,and remember the shockwaves caused by Ralph Bakshi’s ‘Fritz The Cat’ when it first appeared. The dope-smoking criminal sex-pest cat first created by Robert Crumb wouldn’t cut it in today’s world (he was very much of his time), but Bakshi wasn’t just out to shock. He animated a version of ‘Lord […]