Monthly Archives: January 2016

If You Have An e-Reader You May Like This

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I’m busy writing 20 introductions to the e-versions of my past novels and short story collections that will be coming out later this year. One of the things I’m trying to do for these intros is to recall all of the films, plays, shorts and audio adaptations that have been made from the stories. I […]

Is London Losing Its Views?

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For me, one of the most unspoilt old views of London is one of its least visited – the churchyard of St Pancras Old Church, a site associated with the sons of Bach and Benjamin Franklin, John Polidori, Mary Wollstonecraft, Dickens, Hardy, Byron, Shelley and Gilbert Scott. It may well be the oldest site of Christian […]

I Think I Have An Addiction Issue

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Well, that was unpleasant. No website for a week, and it taught me a lot. First, that we as a household have an addiction issue. If it wasn’t for our plethora of little screens it would look like we’ve been burgled – we own nothing, none of the junk they advertise on TV, just the […]

Goodbye Again, And Don’t Call Him Shirley

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I had the great pleasure of writing audio scripts for Leslie Nielsen many times, first on ‘Airplane!’, then most enjoyably on the ‘Naked Gun’ movies, where he played the deadpan hopeless detective Frank Drebin. Canadian Nielsen died at 84 some while back but news of his death trended again this week – WTF?  Nielsen had […]

Bryant & May: The Shaping Of A Series

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I’m currently working on the 15th Bryant & May novel, but it’s only now, this far into the series, that I’ve started seeing the shape of what I’m producing. As I have friends who are just starting out on reading the books I’ve been trying to see them through their eyes, and by that process […]

The Best Album You’ll Never Hear

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If you think that minimalism is a sort of modern classical version of roadworks, you’re sometimes right. There are composers and bands like those of Steve Reich, Wim Mertens, Sigur Ros and Michael Nyman who can turn these strange repetitive loops into the music of the urban 21st century, and others like Popul Vuh and […]

How Game of Thrones Reflects Life (no, don’t groan)

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My more academic friends are quick to dismiss Game of Thrones as a sex-and-swordplay soap opera with silly names, but it’s been pointed out by many that George R R Martin’s cycle of ‘The Song of Ice and Fire’ books follow a theology and social structure much closer to our own heritage than, say ‘Lord […]

London Gets An Old Pub Back

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While the trend of emptying out fine old pubs and turning them into flats isn’t slowing, there’s been a lot of talk lately about saving some London pubs by having them listed as assets to the community. Sadly, this hasn’t helped boozers at the city’s heart much because they don’t serve ‘communities’ anymore. But every […]

Word On The Street

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The Londonist points me toward a new map which places works of fiction in their correct city locations, and I’m a bit on the thrilled side to say I’ve made the cut (although I haven’t seen the finished thing yet). The Map of Fictional London takes you from The Wombles to Dracula, and provides a […]

Derren Brown – ‘Miracle’ Man

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No Spoilers ‘Tell no-one about the show,’ says mentalist Derren Brown in his seventh outing on the stage, ‘Miracle’, which is a bit disingenuous considering he’s all over our TV screens like a cheap suit. Britain’s most beloved showman can always be relied upon to give audiences thrills and a few shivers even if this […]