Monthly Archives: January 2020

Upon Brexit Day

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition; And gentlemen in England now a-bed Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks […]

The Year’s Most Interestingly Strange Films

However you slice it, this was the year that movies hit a fork in the road; Big budget (tentpole or fan-service or whatever you want to call them) films no longer worked, franchises and sequels lost their grip on audiences and genuinely original one-offs started popping up, often facilitated by Netflix funding. Some made money, […]

Inside Writing 2: Why You Need To Know What You’ve Written

The steps between thoughts must be cut shallow. I was once in California and made the mistake of walking across a part of the beach surfers considered to be theirs. They threw rocks at me until I retreated cut and bruised. I had never really encountered aggressively stupid people before and it came as a […]

Inside Writing 1: The Things That Did Not Happen

This is the first of a new series that I hope will explore the actual experience of writing, from the first word to publication. So, What Do You Do Apart From Just Writing Books? I love that question. I get asked it a lot. Some people are surprised that what they consider a hobby can […]

War Of The Worlds In The Narrator’s Own Words

Looking at my research notes on ‘War Of The Worlds’ I found that if you take the key dialogue lines from the narrator in H G Wells’ story you get an interesting synopsis of the main events – what comes through is the extraordinary clarity of the storytelling. Phillip Pullman’s excellent book of essays on […]

What Happened To War Of The Worlds?

War of the worlds Click on the above and you’ll find me banging on about this project. When it comes to science fiction my first question is always; Why aren’t there filmed TV versions of books by Ray Bradbury, Christopher Priest, Arthur C Clarke and at least twenty other superb SF authors? Why are the only […]

Gomorrah Never Dies

…But just about everyone in it does. You probably already know the backstory to ‘Gomorrah’, the fictional TV adaptation of Roberto Saviano’s 2006 real-life exposé of the Camorra, the Neapolitan crime syndicate, and how the writer has to live with bodyguards these days. It was turned into a hit gangster series and became the first Italian […]

London’s New Home

Well it looks like the planning application for the new Museum of London, which is meant to occupy the site of the old Poultry Hall at Smithfields, has only just been submitted this month, which pushes back the start date and significantly, the opening date for the museum. As the new home of the London […]

My Best Picture Prediction

In a way all awards ceremonies are the same from the Annual Meat Supplier of the Year to the British and American Academy Awards (although the latter always had a certain arrogance – for years the media wasn’t allowed to refer to them as ‘The Oscars’). They’re not about rewarding excellence but being seen to […]

The Way We Speak

Today’s oddity thrown up by my current research involves the native tongue. English speakers rarely notice the rules hidden inside their speech. For example, when we describe something to others, we use a pre-ordained system known as the Royal Order of adjectives. This dictates that certain words must precede others. They usually fit in the […]