Monthly Archives: May 2015

Collecting Reprinted Stories

Readers always express surprise when they discover a writer has prolific output; it’s as if a good book should take a defined number of years to mature, but this is not the case at all. We each work at our own speed, according to what we can manage. Our normal lives still have to be […]

How Hard Is It To Get Into SF?

My former agent once told me, ‘I accept any kind of fiction except science fiction.’ When I asked her why, she explained, ‘I just don’t think I could do it justice,’ which was a polite way of saying that she didn’t understand it. But to me, not understanding everything was the point and purpose of […]

Darkness Over England

Recently there have been moves in Paris and New York to darken lights above certain floors in order to help migrating birds and to generally improve the quality of life in cities, but London and England show no sign of following suit. Residents of the North London area Dartmouth Park want to douse their lights, […]

London Gets A Creepy New Street

The SF novel The Day of the Triffids has links to Hampstead in North London, and is set to be celebrated with a new road name, for an alley that will be opened after being shut for years. Author John Wyndham’s 1951 book tells the story of how the ambulatory poison-spewing plants take advantage of a […]

On The Move Again

For the next few days I’ll be posting at slightly different times than usual as I’ll be in North Africa, grabbing a few days’ R&R in Morocco, which is always  a good way to chill out (or get gastro-enteritis, depending on how late you eat in the Jemaa El Fnaa, the market place in the […]

Home Technology: We’re In Control Now

A few months ago, Google Glass opened a very snazzy store in my neighbourhood. It looked like an opticians run by supermodels. Each time I went in I found a few people trying out Google Glass then beating a hasty retreat. They didn’t even stay for the free coffee. I tried them and found them […]

What Bryant & May Did Next

Cats, eh? They just won’t stay in bags. After my day-long online Q&A over at GoodReads the other day, I think I let slip a little more than I intended about the future of Bryant & May. The main question I kept being hit with was; ‘What are you going to do now that you’ve […]

What’s Your Point?

There’s a scene in ‘Trains, Planes & Automobiles’ when Steve Martin rounds on John Candy and says, ‘Here’s a good idea; when you tell a story, try to have a point.’ It’s pretty good advice. Watching ‘Wild Tales’ the other night that simple idea was driven home to me six times in a row. Having […]

After Close Up Magic, Here’s Close Up Terror

That’s the second night in a row I’ve been spattered in blood. After the first time, we walked blood across the pristine white floors of our apartment and made the place look like an abattoir. I had just seen ‘Carrie’ on stage at the Southwark Playhouse, an energetic production of the pulp novel that boasted […]

Crime Collectives: Why ‘Killer Men’ Wouldn’t Work

Crime fiction accounts for a third of all UK fiction sold, and the majority of its readers are women. As the crime festival season gets into gear this weekend, starting with Bristol Crimefest, a new collective of crime writers has formed called Killer Women. A vast swathe of novels fall into the mid-list category, where […]