Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Chaos Of Collecting Movies

This is a bit of a geeky post unless you’re interested in home entertainment’s future. I try to keep up with what would once have been called ‘B’ movies in the horror/suspense/black comedy/no-budget genres. There are often enjoyable surprises which make the genre worth checking out. I never pirate because I used to belong to […]

Are All Self-Published Books Sh*t?

  The short answer is no, but a gigantic proportion are, and more alarmingly it’s harder to weed out the trash because they exist on an equal platform, with no prominence to any particular title. Many titles sell to the undiscerning simply because they are cheap and long. And now the situation is going to […]

Oh Miss Porter! The Author Nobody’s Ever Heard Of

To my knowledge, at least, no-one has ever read her except me – somebody prove me wrong! What sort of writer numbers their books One, Two and Three instead of coming up with proper titles? And who would deliberately go against all the traditional tropes of the mystery genre? I have to admit I’d never […]

America, You Did Good.

  During the first terrifying upsurge in the AIDS crisis in 1982, two of my best friends had their lives torn apart. They had been happily living together and running their own business in Los Angeles for many years when one became ill. His furious family stole their company, ostracised their stricken son and threw […]

Steed Drives Off Into History

What a crap year it’s been for losing my heroes. Now Old Etonian actor Patrick Mcnee has died, albeit at the ripe old age of 93. He played the young Marley in the definitive ‘A Christmas Carol’, and was terrific in ‘The Howling’, but of course he’ll be remembered as Steed in The Avengers, for […]

The Story Behind The Sand Men

If you care to cast your orbs to the far right of this page, to the bit no-one ever looks at (I assume) you’ll find the first chapter of my next novel posted (hopefully) for your delectation. Those who care for the futurologist Mr JG Ballard may especially enjoy the book, but actually but it’s […]

‘Friends All Over The World!’

‘…None in this country but all over the world!’ That was Tony Hancock talking about the new lease of life ham radio hasn’t given him, but he could have been talking about the internet. It’s the anniversary of Tony Hancock’s death today, so here’s something I wrote on a past occasion; Some time back I […]

The New World Cities Are For Workers Only

It’s like playing Sim City for real – how do mayors attract companies to their working hubs? In Europe the question is taking on new resonance as workforces gets used to handling dual-city living, not always through choice; I have colleagues split-shifting between London and Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels, Madrid and Cologne, even London to […]

A Writer Chooses TV Drama

It’s tough watching TV when you know the tricks other writers use to grab your attention. It makes ‘Game of Thrones’ unwatchable, waiting for the next violent or sexual confrontation beat to come up with the regularity of a metronome, but at least it can be viewed as trashy fun. ‘The Following’, in which a […]

How To Start A Story 1: Don’t Mention The Weather

It’s usually a bad sign when a novel opens with a description of the weather. With so many ways available of capturing the reader’s attention, why start with one we can all see? The exception is the famous opening of ‘Bleak House’ (which I parodied in the opening of ‘The Burning Man’), because Dickens manages […]