Kim Newman

The Ghost Train Stops In London

I’ve never been able to read scripts. I seem to be script-blind. I’ve read thousands in my career, and hardly any of them have ever made a jot of sense. So when I got involved in a horror play and found the old problem recurring, I didn’t worry so much. Critic and writer Kim Newman […]

The Play Wot We Wrote

I don’t know what it is with me and trains. When I was a little kid I saw ‘Dr Terror’s House of Horrors’ (which should have been called ‘Dr Terror’s Train of Horrors’ – an indication of what a sloppy piece of what it was) and was fascinated by the ghost train at the end […]

Make Money As An Author: Die Young

Seriously, they’ll be able to republish your first novel while people are feeling sorry for you. It’ll be a good career move. It’s a long-standing maxim that while ‘no man except a blockhead ever wrote except for money’ (cf. Samuel Johnson), no-one can really make a living doing it. The traditional answer to that statement […]

When Is It Plagiarism, When Is It Homage?

It’s a question that vexed me recently in these columns when we talked about the new TV series ‘Penny Dreadful’ and the very similar books of Kim Newman which long-preceded the series. All artists learn from one another and develop new strands out of the art they admire, others see a commercial main chance to […]

Stealing Ideas

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? […]

Gothica Britannica

If you’re going to create gothic literature, you have to do it properly, which is why I hate books and TV shows that lazily set themselves in a peculiar non-existent Victorian gothic past. Sometimes, accessing the best bits and mashing them together into a movie works, as in the hilariously inaccurate but delicious Guy Ritchie […]

The Fascination With British Gothic Cinema

Year after year, books continue to appear on the subject of  British horror film and the ways in which they vary from US horror output. They can generally be summed up like this. US Horror films – the great silents featuring Lon Chaney, the 1930s Universal cycle, 1950s SF leading to ‘The Fly’, ‘Wax Museum’ […]

The Next Big Thing

It’s spreading like a virus, or possible a minor rash, but I’ve foolishly agreed to encourage an author round-robin that goes like this… The Next Big Thing works by getting an author to answer these ten questions on his blog. He then tags five authors to do so the week after. Which presumes the author […]

Looking For The Funniest Book Ever Written Part 2

Here we go with another batch of books vying for best comic novel. Stephen Fry’s debut novel was everything everyone hoped it would be; erudite, intelligent and really filthy.Of course, Fry really only ever writes about himself, but this is the best, up there with Waugh, about the schooldays of a boy born with ‘a […]

Cursed Are The Listmakers

I am afflicted with what I’m told is a deeply male disease; the need to collect, to catalogue, to alphabetise, to thematise, to build empirical data, to complete. It seems I share this with many other writers (far more than with artists, who are often happily disorganised). Today six writers had lunch – we hang […]