Monthly Archives: March 2016

Don’t Give Readers What They Expect

oldnick

Recently a small arthouse film set in the 17th century called ‘The Witch’ became a massive US box-office hit, but many audience members took to Twitter to complain that it wasn’t their idea of a horror film, by with they presumably meant that it didn’t feature a woman in a pointy hat casting spells on […]

Young VS Old: An Argument For Urban Life

london, hyde park, old photo of people feeding pigeons

I once came out of a Sunday morning screening with a friend who pointed to some little people dressed in hipster clothes next to us and asked; ‘Are they dwarves?’ I replied; ‘No, Sarah, they’re children.’ It was such a rarity to see tots in central London that the mistake was understandable. But in the […]

What On Earth Is Wrong With Austrians?

film_1409430048423346

First they gave us ‘Funny Games’, the original shocker that analysed our predilection for vicarious violence in cinema, then they remade it ten years later in a film so hated by the Roger Ebert column that it only earned half a star, but was described by the Guardian in a top-rated review as ‘an icy […]

Here Come The Kindle Editions!

CF_NOVELS_EN MASSE_ii

When it came to putting out e-versions of my back catalogue, I decided to take a similar approach to the Bryant & May Christmas annual of short stories, ‘London’s Glory’. Instead of merely sticking some tales in a book I added explanations and essays. So rather than simply transcribing the various novels and collections into […]

No, I Haven’t Been Burgled. This Is My Stuff.

Penthouse apartment in Albert Dock, King's Cross, London

There’ve been a lot of articles this week about de-cluttering. The British, it seems, have suddenly become minimal, joining their neighbours to the north in living stripped-back lives. Ten years ago we were spending 26% of our total household budgets buying physical goods, and now that figure has fallen to a smidgen above 20%. So […]

It’s Miserable Out So Here’s A Bit Of Comic Genius

SL

Stewart Lee on those damned immigrants, from his BBC show. Priceless, bizarre, mad. Buy his books and DVDs.

Everybody Wants Content – Nobody Wants To Pay

type-for-hot-stamp

First a quick history of 20th century print; Newspapers employed journalists, who carried out court reporting and studied investigative journalism, and had salaries at the publishing house, which paid the printers and distributed papers. The press barons were bigoted – the Daily Mail supported Hitler – and the print union chapels got greedy and destroyed […]

The Ghost Train Stops In London

Train Rehearsal Feb16 - 01

I’ve never been able to read scripts. I seem to be script-blind. I’ve read thousands in my career, and hardly any of them have ever made a jot of sense. So when I got involved in a horror play and found the old problem recurring, I didn’t worry so much. Critic and writer Kim Newman […]

Why Everyone’s An Author Now

biblioteca-joanina

The Observer just ran an interesting article that confirmed my suspicions. A marketeer uploaded a fake book onto Amazon, took a photo of his foot for the cover and added it into Amazon’s format, bought three copies and was awarded a ‘Number 1 Amazon Bestseller’ banner by the company. What he did was tick two […]