Kent Comes Back

After years in an unloved wilderness, the county of Kent in Southern England is, it seems, coming back to life, but not in the way it once was. When I was a child it was known as the Garden of England, a hard-to-navigate county of winding roads, impossible-to-find villages and rivers that stood between London […]

Beside The Seaside, Beside The Sea

Pity the poor British seaside town – unloved, unrespected, unvisited. While Europeans flock to Italian, French and Spanish equivalents (they even have great beaches in Holland and Poland) we get the remnants of once-attractive working class towns which have either had no investment or investment of the wrong kind from dubious town councils. Why no […]

The Tragedy Of British Seaside Towns

Tourists come to the UK for all sorts of reasons, one being its ‘Englishness’, something I only start to appreciate after returning from overseas. The cities are enjoyed for their vibrancy, the countryside for its beauty, but the coastal seaside resorts are largely sidestepped. Our seaside towns had a different history to their European counterparts. […]

Why FantasyCon In Brighton Works So Well

Brighton, once the vacation home of the Prince Regent, now more commonly referred to as ‘The Slag Riviera’, has seen better times. Forget its beachfront facade, ruined by greedy developers and dodgy council decisions. Ignore the mounds of trash on the beach that a handful of workmen were hopelessly attempting to clear up. Avoid the […]

All Things Bryant & Peculiar

Don’t forget I’ll be at the British Fantasy Society Convention in Brighton this Friday and Saturday morning, where I’ll be attempting to make up for the destruction and vulgarity wrought on this once-beautiful seaside town by its corrupt, venal councillors, through the beauty of literature… Here’s how the West Pier has looked before and after […]

We Do Love To Be Beside The Seaside

The British coastal resort is a unique (and often uniquely revolting) institution. Not for us the glamour of the Riviera or even the Costa Del Sol – British holiday venues can often be more Costa Del Arsehole, with their revolting rock shops, unamusing amusements and festering chip stalls. When the now-sadly-deranged Morrissey wrote ‘Every Day […]

Pan’s People

The Pan Books of Horror were Britain’s most influential collections of horror stories and ran from 1959 onward, producing volumes over the next thirty years. Toward the end of the run I was privileged to make it into the collections a couple of times. Now, the volume ‘Back From The Dead’ under editor Johnny Mains, […]

Brighton Birthday

Realising that my birthday coincides with the World Horror Convention, I had arranged to throw a party there until the hotel tried to stiff me for the bill. But I’ll still be buying drinks and be signing copies of ‘Paperboy’ and my teen horror novel ‘Hellion: The Curse Of Snakes’.