Celebrating 20 E-Books: ‘Frightening’


We all have very different ideas about what frightens us. A few years ago I judged a competition in which we asked first-time writers to produce a piece of fiction about something that genuinely scares them. Fifty years earlier their list might have included fear of poverty, starvation, ghosts, darkness, war, old houses. But now, […]

The Comfort Of Airports


I’m typing this in Comptoir, the Lebanese restaurant at Gatwick airside – yes, Mr Trump, we have a cafe full of Arabs inside an English airport – shaking with fear yet? When it comes to airports, I’m on author Brigid Brophy’s page. You may remember (at least, one or two of you may) that she […]

Goodbye, Big Screen


Remember when Hollywood kept trying to turn video games into films and the results were nearly always horrible?Once again the press is crying out that Hollywood is about to collapse – there are no new ideas left, digital spectacles have replaced all other kinds of film, leading to a top ten that consists of nothing but […]

‘Get Out’ Goes For The Throat


It was one of the odder double-bills of the year. On a baking Saturday afternoon (London hotter than Ibiza shock! in April!) I saw ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (another Disney live-actionification that’s gaudily unbearable for anyone over nine, but I was there in a research capacity) and ‘Get Out’, about which I knew little other than […]

The Full English


One of the very few things I liked about living in Los Angeles were the breakfasts, vast profligate platefuls in Carmen Miranda colours, sometimes also sporting bits of fruit. Before I went there I had never heard of a three egg omelette, let alone an egg-white one (hey, if you’ve that big a cholesterol problem, […]

Unusual Cinema Books


After being involved in the UK film industry for so long I can’t quite break the habit of buying cinema books, but there are surprisingly few interesting ones appearing now, as film publicity is micro-controlled by studios – so we get Disney coffee table books that whitewash the real stories, plus the odd exposé in […]

Glorious London!


We rarely see our cities through the eyes of others. While I was away a good friend from Barcelona stayed here in London, and after heading home her praise for the city was fulsome. It helped that the spring weather was glorious, but she found the sheer choice of activities overwhelming, citing the theatre, the […]

Celebrating 20 E-Books: The Curse Of Snakes


Well, this novel was the one that got away. A supposedly YA book that had the misfortune to open between two (rotten) Medusa films. Everything conspired against me in the writing of it. First, I hit the problem of readers’ ages. ‘The Curse of Snakes’ was intended as a novel that anyone at any age […]

Sexual Frankness In The North


It always seemed a paradox to me, that the further North you travel the more sexually frank many societies become. Latin countries are largely Catholic and repressed, but once you get among the Protestants, Calvinists and Lutherans anything goes. In starting to explore the Northern nations nearest to the UK, I’ve found this true in […]

No Post Today. I’m In Oslo.

…to be more accurate, at the Oslo exhibition of Takasha Murakami’s outrageous, transgressive work (about which more tomorrow). In the meantime, does anyone know whether his Kaikai Kiki Studio anime is collected on DVD? It doesn’t appear to be on any of my internet bookmarks but I’d love to watch his strange space creatures again.