Monthly Archives: October 2019

How This Blog Ended Up As It Is

Books. It’s meant to be about books. Specifically my books. At least, that was the plan at the start – in 2008 my publisher wanted me to start a book blog and dedicate one side of it to direct selling. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I’m the world’s worst networker. At a party […]

When The Jokes Stop

How did we get from there to here? In 1940, comic book villain the Joker was introduced as a lunatic criminal with a warped sense of humour. The DC Comics universe was rich in superheroes but was never so good with villains. Superman had Lex Luther and Brainiac but Batman’s Joker stood out. In the 1950s […]

The Future Isn’t That Much Fun

Remember when you first did something that felt like genuinely being in the future and how excited you were? It might have been getting in a new car, or seeing a movie in 3D, or trying a new kind of computer for the first time. For me, it was a trip on Concorde. I went […]

Out Of Control: US & UK Attitudes To Firearms

Here’s a subject I came across in the online Nature magazine (the academic periodical of British sciences). Today many Americans see the gun as a symbol of freedom from state control, and credit 1791’s Second Amendment for having saved the newly freed US from the fate of Britain’s other colonies. But in the UK guns were […]

Write What You Don’t Know

Writers are allowed to make shit up. What made me decide to set one of my first short stories in New York, when at that point I hadn’t been to America? It felt right for the tale but I got the details wrong. Luckily a good editor bailed me out and made it more authentic. […]