Monthly Archives: February 2010

Horror: Something For The Boys?

In the US, one woman owns the horror/fantasy world, occupying the slot that used to belong to Stephen King. Stephanie Meyer has made the genre popular with a once undreamt-of demographic section of the public; teen females. Look down the list of the top fifty horror novels and collections and you’ll find a great many […]

Superman Hits A Million

Action Comic No.1 originally cost 10 cents. That was in 1938. Now a rare pristine copy (one of 100 in existence) has sold for a million dollars to an undisclosed collector, creating a new world record. This is particularly annoying to me, as I used to have Spiderman issues 1 -100 in perfect condition when […]

Brand New Days

When it came to the future, JG Ballard got it right, of course. Here are two wonderful examples of where consumerism will strand us in the coming years. One is ‘Augmented Reality’, the other a clip from the Oscar-nominated ‘Logorama’, a full version of which can be found online.

The Writers’ Rulebook

What rules do professional writers set themselves? Number one on Elmore Leonard’s list is Never Open A Book With Weather. Margaret Atwood is obsessed with pencil sharpeners and back massages. Helen Dunmore wants you to memorise Keats. Geoff Dyer warns against writing in public. Richard Ford tells you not to have children. Esther Freud suggests […]

Let’s Go To Hell

Perfectionist director Henri-Georges Clouzot never finished making what may well have been his greatest masterpiece ‘L’Enfer’, but what’s left of it can now be seen in a new documentary later this year. Here’s Romy Schneider’s screen test for the film, sent to me by Anne Bilson. The film was halted after Clouzot’s heart attack, and […]

No, Helene, You’re A Thief And It’s Called Stealing

Behold the attractive young woman. At 17, she finds herself in the enviable position of being a bestselling, prizewinning author. Her novel ‘Axalotl Roadkill’ describes hedonistic days searching for sex ‘n’ drugs, and has been hailed a classic. Unfortunately, she clearly lifted great chunks of the text from the novel ‘Strobo’ by a Bavarian blogger. […]

Paperboy Paperback Out Today

I know there’s a credit crunch and we’re all cutting back. I know the last thing you need to is to buy another book. But as ‘Paperboy’ has been described as ‘Billy Elliot for writers’, I had to quickly remind you that it’s out in shops from today. It’s common for authors to post the […]

Collision Course For Crash – The Exhibition

The Gagosian Gallery in King’s Cross, London is currently presenting “Crash,” a major group exhibition that takes its title from the novel by JG Ballard. Ballard’s books remain among the most visionary, provocative literature of the twentieth century, with his ominous predictions regarding the fate of Western culture and his insights into the dark psychopathology […]

The Singer & The Toothless Old Dog

When Stephen Gately, the lead singer of Boyzone, died from natural causes on holiday, the press prepared to shred his reputation. Daily Mail sleazebag Jan Moir barely waited for his body to cool before she went to town in her column, insinuating that that a man with his lifestyle could expect to die. Stephen was […]

The Beacon 2

I was incredibly heartened to receive such great feedback from my item ‘The Beacon’, which I wrote from the heart and was a little uncomfortable about putting out in public, so thank you everyone. I’ve already made moves to translate this into positive action. The first step is the formation of a collective to bring […]