The Prisoner Remixed

A few years back an old mate of mine brought out a great CD of remixed soundtracks called ‘Power Themes’. My favourite, his take on The Avengers, can’t be embedded here, but you can find it on YouTube under ‘The Avengers (Peel The Reel)’. Meanwhile, here’s his take on The Prisoner.

Robin Hood Estate Hailed As ‘Masterpiece’

It’s not often I find myself agreeing with the Daily Mail, but their invitation to Lord Rogers to meet at the East London sink estate he compares to Bath’s Royal Crescent hit the right note. This claustrophobic concrete hellhole is deemed a marvel for the poor by architects who live in £4 million town houses, […]

The Swine Flu Diary

Living in the centre of London and traveling everywhere by tube probably meant I was bound to catch it sooner or later. The virus crept up on me; I was stressed, tired, flushed, then coughing. The NHS advice is good; they also made the Tamiflu drug incredibly easy to get hold of. One short online […]

Blu-Ray Challenge From China

The new China Blue HD discs cost a quarter of the cost of its Hollywood counterpart and the players are cheaper. In the two months since it was launched, it’s been outselling Blu-Ray three to one. We always knew that prices for Hi-Def had been fixed at ridiculously high rates, and now here’s the proof. […]

New Witch Announced

The Wookey Hole caves near Wells were looking for a new witch to teach visitors about witchcraft and magic after the previous incumbent retired. The job offer comes with a salary of £50,000 and its own broomstick. The job advert, placed in local newspapers and job centres earlier this month, says the successful applicant “must […]

Proof That Working For Government Sends You Mad

Renegade MI5 officer David Shayler blew the whistle on his former colleagues 12 years ago. He claimed that MI6 funded Islamist fighters to assassinate Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi and that MI5 failed to keep track of an IRA bombing cell – revelations that ultimately forced him into exile and earned him two spells in prison. Now, […]

Alien Illness Update

I’m going to try and do the Alien event at Somerset House as my recovery from swine flu has been faster than I’d expected, and I’m no longer contagious – a relief to the audience, I imagine…

Pocket Paperbacks 3: The Publisher’s Viewpoint

Simon Taylor, Transworld editor, responds to the formats issue: ‘In the UK, (the large size) is generally referred to as B format. Trade paperbacks tend to be larger still – Royal octavo or Demy formats. But in the US they call it trade paperback; whereas the smaller format is referred to as A format, or […]

The Pocket Book Campaign: Downsizing The Word

Over the years, the paperback has moved in the opposite direction to everything else – it just keeps getting bigger. What used to be referred to as a Trade Paperback is now becoming the Mass Market paperback (and sometimes it seems that these paving slab-sized novels inversely reflect the slender talents of their authors.) But […]

Bring Back The Pocket Paperback!

I’m going to compare books and toasters, but stay with me. The reason why the toaster made so much money was because it was the first kitchen gadget invented to do only one thing – to toast machine-sliced bread. Recently I noticed that French people don’t use toasters much, because everyone has different bread and […]