Monthly Archives: October 2017

How The Compass Lost Its Way

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I suspect that when it comes to fantasy (although tell me I’m wrong) that you’re either a Harry Potter fan or you prefer the Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell trilogy. A more divisive choice lies between ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ and ‘His Dark Materials’. The choice is complicated by the issue of […]

Woman Wanted: Must Be Ornamental And Under Thirty

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We’ve come a long way since James Bond slapped a girl on the bottom and told her to fetch him lunch. Watching old Hollywood films yesterday, it was shocking to note how many of them gave no dialogue lines to women but simply dumped them from the plot once they’d taken a shower and walked […]

Author On Tour 2

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It was a glorious summery day yesterday in Somerset, which was just as well as it involved about seven hours’ travel to attend a literary festival in Yeovil. The oddest part of this already odd job is the juxtapositions it throws up. So, squeezed into a taxi with Michael Portillo and Mark Billingham (both big […]

Trolls, There Are Some Things We Need To Discuss

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Dear Trolls, Yesterday the president of America introduced yet another layer of check-ups on all arriving overseas passengers, effective immediately. When I politely mentioned this on Twitter I got a tsunami of poisonous racist mail back. You called me ‘Bitch’ and told that London was in fact ‘Londonstan’. You mailed me hate-photos of British Muslims. […]

Help Save London’s Unique Cinema Museum

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  Here’s a perfect example of another quirky London venue now in danger of being lost. London’s extraordinary Cinema Museum is in serious danger of closure. Despite numerous attempts to buy the building over the years and promises in writing from SLaM (South London and Maudsley NHS Trust) that they would sell it to the Museum […]

On Tour With The Author

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There was a time when authors were regularly packed off around the UK and the USA to talk to the grand matrons of the book clubs. There are authors who still get the star-treatment world tours, but they’re the famous ones, the centres of the Venn diagrams, the movers and shakers who have their own […]

Netflix, You’ve Got A Nerve

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This week I received in my emails an invitation from Netflix to help them kill cinema. They’re inviting BAFTA members to see the film ‘Okja’ and vote for it in the upcoming awards season. Netflix isn’t the only streaming service to eschew theatrical releases and opt instead for online debuts. It knows that in order to […]

Bringing An End To Bibliophobia

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Blame the information age; I have a tendency to overshare. Flicking through Amazon Books I stumbled upon (yes, honestly, I really wasn’t looking for them) the comments section for some of my more experimental novels. If you’ve only read the Bryant & May series you have no idea how perverse my mind can be. And […]

Big Day Out

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Yesterday, Saturday 22nd October, unseasonably warm, a quiet Saturday in London. Well, not quite. We started the day in a craft fair just a short walk away. The usual unimaginative selection of scarves, jewellery and knick-knacks managed to be decorative but not useful or original. Unfortunately the stands were overshadowed by the venue, a graceful church […]

London Is A Little Less Peculiar Every Day

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Chris Webb, from whom I stole the above photograph, pointed out that this minuscule Soho pub is older than America – or rather was, because it’s just gone the way of nearly all the rest and is being turned into offices / flats. It’s a common refrain on this site, but the speed with which […]