Blog

Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Media & Observatory
Image
There weren't any. I mean, let's be honest. We'd be better off listing the least worst things, but even their most shining moments were tarnished. Why didn't the good people of London Town drag 'Spaffy' de Pfeffel Johnson out by his fat little ear and shut him in the stocks? Because we need people with conviction, knowledge and morals to stand up and be counted, not sarcasm on on Twitter. So…
35 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
Image
What do writers think about when they're not writing? They think about writing. They try to imagine impossible dilemmas for their characters. I once spent five months trying to unknot a stubborn plot twist in a short story. I failed because I was at fault, not the story. For me Bryant & May were always different, deliberately kept on the outside of mainstream events. There are authors' characters…
27 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
Image
In Barcelona I had a wonderful Polish friend call Joanna, one of those friendly people you instantly click with. If you think my life is full of incident, you should hear about hers; buses going over cliffs, trapped on sinking boats, caught up in terrorist attacks etc. When I met her she was working for a large, successful property agents. The men running it only seemed to hire tanned, leggy…
43 comments
Christopher Fowler
Image
I'm currently reading hard SF writer Paul McAuley's majestic dissection of Terry Gilliam's 'Brazil', written for the BFI. Like most writers, he delivers other pieces outside of his regular novel output. I realised that I'd kept a huge electronic file of old articles, unseen pieces and bits of fiction, many of which have dated but are nevertheless worth a trawl-through, just to remind me of a time…
26 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Media & Reading & Writing
Image
*Oops, that headline looks like it was written by Anne Elk, especially if you put 'Chris' after it. It was Noel Coward who commented on the potency of cheap music, touching on something that has always fascinated me. It applies to music, but as much to images and phrases that linger in the mind for days - or a lifetime. A grade Z movie, an obscure soundtrack, a barely remembered pop song. Why is…
27 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Film
Image
This year comedy has been forced into virtual extinction. Looking through the seasonal films it feels as if Christmas has become just another Netflix category, colour-coded in red, white and gold. The worst offenders are 'Slumberland', featuring charisma-bypass Jason Momoa, which takes Windsor McKay's delightful 1905 comic strip original and removes everything joyful about it. The strip owed its…
39 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
Image
At this time of the year it feels as if every day is like Sunday - gelid, grey, silent. We could be in the depths of the Kent countryside rather than at one of the world's most trafficked spots, partly because we are beset by national postal, air and rail strikes. A friend has no regrets; after she had been forced to cancel a Christmas holiday in Trieste she felt a sense of relief that she could…
40 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
Image
'I'm either taking feminist studies in eighties Hollywood films or unleashing my inner fairy,' I was told by an intelligent, educated young woman deciding on university courses. She seemed (to me at least) to have so little understanding of her own identity that these were being held before her in equal balance as viable alternatives. Mimetic desire became the late 20th century's defining…
30 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
Image
I'm always astonished by the number of brilliant authors we have in this country who, if Amazon is to be believed, barely register on popular book charts. The problem is with the chart itself which is always the same, starting flat, curving gently upwards and eventually descending to tail away. Let's call the centre of the chart Peak Readability, where simplicity, emotional intelligence and…
14 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
Image
The first piece of classical music I ever remember hearing was Mozart’s Horn Concerto No.4 at the age of 7. I know it was this because our headmistress had it played every Monday morning at the start of school assembly in the Invicta Infants School, Blackheath. This was followed by ‘Jupiter’ from Holst’s Planet Suite and ‘Fingal’s Cave’ by Mendelssohn, a piece of music I still can’t listen to…
29 comments

Years