Category Archives: writers

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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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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Booker’s Dozen

The longlist for the 2014 Man Booker Prize was announced yesterday: To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, Joshua Ferris (Viking) The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan (Chatto & Windus) We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen … Continue reading

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Shadowboxer

I love hearing about other people’s trades. We were in a cabinet maker’s workshop yesterday, hearing a young craftsman tell us about how his father, a former train mechanic, turned to working with wood when he was made redundant from … 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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Judgement day

While I’m writing this, the Clarke Award judges and their chairman are in a meeting, making their final decisions (and, we would hope for nothing less, having their final arguments) about which six novels should make up this year’s Clarke … Continue reading

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Annihilation

“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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