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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
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The steps between thoughts must be cut shallow. I was once in California and made the mistake of walking across a part of the beach surfers considered to be theirs. They threw rocks at me until I retreated cut and bruised. I had never really encountered aggressively stupid people before and it came as a shock to me. A few years ago I had the temerity to write a novel that the SF community decided…
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The Sand Men
14 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Books
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There's not been enough talk about books in these columns lately. Let's start to remedy that. Last week I was in a delightful old bookshop in Palma with a friend when the bookshop owner asked me, 'Are you famous?' Mischievously, I looked at my friend. 'Am I famous?' She considered the question. 'Well,' she said finally to the bookseller, 'he's known.' I was never mainstream enough to carry reader…
9 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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I love modern technology. I'm an early adopter so connected that it requires a masters' degree in electronics to run my life and even Apple geniuses give a low whistle when I have to explain my set-up. But there's no question that it's damaging fiction. That's the thesis for today. First and most obviously, it's damaging for readers. An iPad is for browsing, not reading longform fiction, and it…
12 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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In 'Sunday In The Park With George' we see an artist gradually assembling the component parts for what will become his most famous painting, 'Un dimanche après-midi à l'ÃŽle de la Grande Jatte', by Georges Seurat. We're fascinated by how things are created. Yesterday, reader Anchovee says it's a shame that I should pick apart a successful film into its components. But to find out how an engine…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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A short while ago I expressed admiration for someone I thought was clever, and a girlfriend of mine told me off for being 'elitist'. Here's my thinking on that. The UK's low-rent Channel 4, which is government subsidised (outrageously, it still pays no tax) is currently running a dating show in which people decide who to go out with by staring at their genitals and being encouraged to analyse what…
10 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Bryant & May
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I've been talking to readers a lot this spring, and one subject that kept returning was whether writers can work on many types of book, or if they should stay in one area. Crime was once a part of general fiction until genres separated out in bookshops, so that SF/horror, fantasy (and believe it or not 'Paranormal Romance', albeit mercifully briefly) all became genres. And writers either hop…
8 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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When you think of London books, a familiar list at first appears; Dickens for 'Our Mutual Friend', 'Oliver Twist' and 'Bleak House', Virginia Woolf for 'Mrs Dalloway', George Gissing for 'New Grub Street', George Orwell for 'Keep The Aspidistra Flying', Monica Ali's 'Brick Lane', Colin MacInnes for 'Absolute Beginners', Patrick Hamilton's 'Hangover Square', to which I'd add Alexander Baron for…
4 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Bryant & May
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Occasionally on this site you have to endure a spot of advertising. So; the paperback of Bryant & May: The Burning Man and Bryant & May: London's Glory arrive together on a suitably incendiary night - November the 5th, the latter sporting this mad cutaway drawing of the Peculiar Crimes Unit by Keith Page. There's no official launch party (unless Transworld are holding one without telling me) but I…
11 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
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Before the incredible review for 'The Sand Men' in Starburst came in, a pricey new magazine called Crime Scene reviewed it, and for the most part was a rave, with one cavil; a worry from reviewer David Bradley that it has 'no clear ending'. Personally, I think it has a very clear ending - I've just chosen not to spell it out in huge black and white letters. It was important to me that the reader…
5 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
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I had a lot of self-doubt while writing The Sand Men. It doesn't conform to the traditional shape of a novel, and it has an unusual trick up its sleeve. There are two central dramas, one of which is resolved, and one of which is left open. There's also a third puzzle in the book about the main protagonist. And what is the book anyway, SF, crime, psychological suspense, satire even? Once it has…
9 comments

Years