Media

20 E-Books Before The End Of The Year

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Well, that’s the plan anyway. I’ve had a lot of requests to put my other works online as digital copies. It’s a big project but it now looks like there will be 20 books in all, and I hope to be able to set them at very reasonable prices. I hate collecting stories from authors […]

One To Relish?

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It now seems that the fixed-line telephone – an object which appeared late in my life (we didn’t have one until I was 17) may turn out to have been a relative flash in the pan after all. My mother bought a Trimphone, one of those phones which was so lightweight that it flew off […]

The Arts & The Internet

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I’ve long thought that true creativity is not just about originality; it’s about making connections that others don’t notice. When we were kids it was hard to draw these invisible lines between people and places, objects and ideas. Very rarely someone sprang out of nowhere, fully formed – Mozart, Dickens, Van Gogh – but most […]

Let’s Get Digital

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When I meet readers who won’t touch digital books I usually say ‘It’s not an Either/Or thing – you’ll still love physical books just as much.’ But not all electronic devices are created equal. The Kindle dominates because it’s cheap and easy to use and offers the widest range of books, although I’ve never worked out […]

That’s Twentertainment!

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Demographically speaking, childhood now ends at around the age of nine. The transference of what were once called children’s shows into teen dramas is complete. The BBC has long wanted to ditch that peculiar band of little people’s entertainment, and with good reason. Every few years there’s a demographic shuffle, and the closure of ‘children’s […]

When An Adaptation Adds Something New

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I recently saw two theatrical adaptations of books that were also made into films. The first, ‘Let The Right One In’, added nothing at all to the original – if anything, it reduced the ambiguities to one simple reading. The other added immensely to its former incarnations. The latter was the Headlong production of ’1984′, […]

Stealing Ideas

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When someone says ‘I have a great idea for a novel’, I get apprehensive; ideas are what we create as sentient beings, and don’t amount to anything until they reach corporeal form. So your idea remains an idea until it exists outside of your head in another form. Are there an infinite number of them? […]

We Don’t Need No Writing Classes

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The playwright Dennis Kelly has credits that include ‘Matilda’ (co-credit) and ‘Taking Care Of Baby’, and his first play ‘Debris is being revived at Southwark Playhouse. He recently had this to say in an interview given to the excellent website What’s On Stage. He’s talking about plays and television, but I think it applies to […]

What The Scandiwegians Did For Us

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Countries like Iceland have the highest literary rate in the world (it’s pegged at 100%, while 8% of British adults are functionally illiterate and according to US Dept Education National Institute of Literacy statistics 32 million US adults can’t read). So it’s hardly surprising that Nordic literature, television and films should have finally come to […]

Five New H-H-Half Hours

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BBC Radio 4 is to recreate lost episodes of 1950s radio sitcom Hancock’s Half Hour, with a new cast including Pirates of the Caribbean actor Kevin McNally in the title role originally taken by the late Tony Hancock. The Missing Hancocks will consist of five of the 20 episodes missing from the BBC archives. They are […]