Monthly Archives: May 2010

What Bank Holidays Are For

Not for creeping around retail outlets or visiting flower shows, not for four-day-long knee-deep-in-mud rock concerts or dragging reluctant kids to museums, not waiting for British Airways to stop striking so you can spend a long weekend in a country that sees actual sunlight more than four times a year – no, Bank Holidays are […]

Hands On With iPad

I braved the crowds at the Apple store, Regent Street, to fiddle about with a gadget today when I could have been at any one of a dozen or so new cultural events in London. Apart from the fact that the iPad is weirdly slippery and awkward to put on your lap, costs 600 quid […]

A Writer’s Life 3: Life Between Sentences

There are side-effects of working from home, one of them being that your displacement activities include cleaning the spaces behind furniture that no-one will ever see, and visiting the fridge at ten minute intervals. I decided it was OK to get up and peer into the fridge every time I was stuck, and that this […]

Riding Easy Now

So, hellraiser Dennis Hopper has ridden off along the empty highways into the sunset with two sensational performances, ‘Easy Rider’ and ‘Apocalypse Now’, under his belt and dozens of other memorable moments in his career. Now that corporations micromanage screen actors’ lives, we won’t see this kind of wildness again. I never liked to admit […]

Why Readers Are Smarter Than Journalists

Today’s Guardian reports from the Hay Festival and has authors interviewing themselves with the questions journalists never ask them. The article’s here. It set me thinking; the questions I’m asked by readers are markedly different from those asked by journalists. Often readers ask the very things journalists fail to ask. The most common questions readers […]

Re:View – Sherlock Holmes

I’d been putting off seeing this because, as the author of a few Sherlock stories in my time, I wasn’t sure I was ready for the Guy Ritchie super-testosterone version, but I was wrong – it’s light, sharp and pleasurable. Holmes at feature length is tricky because while the short stories were wonderful, the novels […]

Is There A Football Match On?

Well, the tube was packed with tiny Mexican fans in emerald shirts and huge straw hats the other night, so it’s a safe bet there’s some kind of sporting event going on. They were singing some very nice songs. Everyone assumes you’re able and/or willing to talk about football. Cab drivers are happy to ask […]

Winning Stories

The first ten writers whose stories were chosen from the Campaign For Real Fear will be appearing in Black Static 17: ‘Copy Degradation’ by Gemma Files ‘The Rude Little Girl’ by Kaaron Warren ‘Nice One, Truly’ by Alan Morgan ‘On The Beaten Path’ by Janos Honkonken ‘In The Night Supermarket’ by James Burt ‘Shades of […]

Double Oh!

Outrage! The new James Bond is American! Jeffery Deaver is set to take on the 007 books. Best known for the quadriplegic detective Lincoln Rhyme, the star of books including The Bone Collector and The Stone Monkey, Deaver has been commissioned to write a new Bond novel by Fleming’s estate. He’s following Sebastian Faulk’s period […]

‘Tell Him What I Said’

I’m quietly working on a book called ‘Film Freak’, which tells scandalous stories from the film world and the London party scene in the 70s and 80s. Sometimes, though, you need a visual jolt to remind you of what the period was like. When it came to going out, there was certainly less attitude and […]