Category Archives: writing

I have been here before

My first encounter with J. B. Priestley’s time plays was in a 1983 BBC adaptation of his 1932 play Dangerous Corner, starring a young Daniel Day Lewis in the role of Gordon. The play explores what happens in two alternate versions … Continue reading

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Wood for the trees

“Meaning is a bit of a bore, but storytelling is alive. The novel form can be difficult, cumbrously serious; storytelling is all pleasure, fantastical in its fertility, its ceaseless inventiveness. Easy to consume, too, because it excites hunger while simultaneously … Continue reading

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When you think of all the ways that a person can die, the powerlessness we feel in the face of cancer, or a violent earthquake or even simple old age, it would seem to be the ultimate expression of human … Continue reading

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On reflection

Writer and arts project manager Irenosen Okojie had this to say in today’s Observer about the Booker Prize longlist: “If the panel was more diverse, then perhaps the list would be more inclusive. Here’s a radical idea – next time, … Continue reading

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Back in the Lot

While boxing up books this week, I’ve had Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot on audiobook to keep me company. I think I’m right in saying that SL is actually the first of King’s novels I ever had contact with – not … Continue reading

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On playing catch-up

David Hebblethwaite of Follow the Thread recently wrote this fascinating post about his recent experience of being a ‘shadow judge’ for this year’s Desmond Elliot Prize and Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, as well as reading and critiquing this year’s Clarke … Continue reading

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“Science fiction allows us the possibility of transgression.”

“To read good speculative fiction from multiple perspectives is to get a little drunk on unfamiliar liquors, so that one can no longer walk straight and oblivious through the pathways of one’s unexamined assumptions.  We need to intoxicate the imagination.  … Continue reading

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Bloghop: three things I don’t write (& three things I do)

OK, so people have been stepping into summer with this latest writers’ meme. I was tagged by Douglas Thompson – you can find his typically forthright and entertaining (watch out, vampires) post here. So what don’t I write about? This … Continue reading

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“Will you come after me if I don’t come back? If you can?” Reading Jeff VanderMeer’s new novel Annihilation this weekend, what struck me most forcibly was how old it felt as a text, how ingrained within the New Weird … Continue reading

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Wolves at our door

Dogmen have me surrounded. They yip and slaver, waving crude knock-off AKs, their bandoliers glittering in the Middle’s glass reflections of a red and bloated sun. The streets are swimming in their oil-black blood but still they mass, overcoming the … Continue reading

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