Monthly Archives: November 2012

5 Underrated SF Movies

Looking through the SF racks in Barcelona’s FNAC today I saw lots of science fiction films I’d never heard of, which made me want to see some of the rarer items on my shelf again… Gattacca Too cold, too talky, said some critics, but the emotional power of the story grows stronger the nearer we […]

Can The UN Save London Boozers?

The traditional London pub has long been a cultural institution, but every week one closes. Cheap supermarket beer, wine bars and the economic downturn are all being blamed, but the real fault lies with the chain breweries who don’t look after their properties and rapacious developers. They’re perfect for snapping up and flogging off as […]

In With The Old! Bryant & May Are Back With A Vengeance!

I’m very excited (and a bit hungover) today after celebrating the news that Bryant & May are set to return in the UK with two new novels, ‘Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart’ and ‘Bryant & Man and the Burning Man’ – so with the US getting back on schedule and the UK too, […]

How Skyfall Saved Bond

Balancing character and plot is a trick I’ve only properly learned in recent times. For many years I hid my characterisation deficiencies beneath overly clever and carefully structured writing, but my Bryant & May mysteries forced me to reconsider my working methods. The reading journey must always remain true to the characters. The moment you […]

The End Of An Error

When typewriters went wrong – and they sometimes did – nobody ever said ‘Have you tried switching it off and switching it on again?’ You just untangled the keys, wiped the ink off yourself and carried on laboriously banging away. I mention this because the last typewriter to be built in the UK has been […]

Re:View – ‘The Impossible’

How do you make a film about kindness and decency without tipping into schmaltz? One way would be the approach taken by Juan Antonio Bayona and his writer Sergio G. Sánchez, who have based their story on the true events surrounding one family in Thailand during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed almost a […]

How East Soho Lost Its Crown

Coming out of ‘Skyfall’ recently into rainy Beak Street was like still being in the film – the neon shop God’s Own Junkyard was having a party and its colours were striping the puddles with rainbows, fractured by passing taxis. people were standing outside The Sun And Thirteen Cantons drinking, and the area’s old warehouses […]

The Detective Did It. Now Go Home.

The Mousetrap, the world’s longest-running play, just celebrated its 60th anniversary. Agatha Christie’s knackered old whodunnit has been dulling the senses of audiences for longer than I’ve been alive, and just hit its 25,000th soporific performance. The eyelid-dropping warhorse was past its sell-by date long before it even opened, a time when Francis Durbridge thrillers […]

Britain ‘Most Powerful Nation On Earth’ Shock!

I’m really struggling with this one. Britain is once again ‘the most powerful nation on earth’, according to a new survey, when it comes to ‘soft power’. From Danny Boyle’s Olympic ceremony, to 22 No 1 albums overseas, to Andy Murray’s first Grand Slam title, Britain projects more ‘positive influence’ around the world than any […]

Official: Bryant & May Set To Return

The morning sky is still red but the week has started with a bang as news reaches me that Bryant & May have been given the go-ahead in the US for a further two novels! My American friends are still waiting for the arrival of ‘Bryant & May and the Invisible Code’, but this will […]