The Lord of the Rings on BBC Radio

I love my boxed set of The Lord of the Rings. I’m not talking about the Special Edition DVDs of Peter Jackson’s movies (cherished though they are), nor my rather smart hardback of Tolkien’s novel. No, I’m talking about the radio show. The series was broadcast by the BBC way back in 1981, in 26 … Continue reading The Lord of the Rings on BBC Radio

Why don’t authors switch genre?

Cinema and literature. Movies and books. It frustrates me how people take for granted certain things in one but not the other. Take genre. Movie directors – if they so desire – are allowed to tackle a range of genres. In the course of his career, Steven Spielberg's bounces from The Sugarland Express to ET … Continue reading Why don’t authors switch genre?

Quantum of Solace? Inconceivable!

Quantum of Solace was on the telly last night. Way past my bedtime of course, plus the clocks were going forward so I knew I’d lose an hour’s sleep. I wondered what James Bond would do in the circumstances, and decided to live dangerously. Sadly, staying up late with a glass of Southern Comfort proved … Continue reading Quantum of Solace? Inconceivable!

Paul – a review

If there’s a word I’d use to describe Paul it’s affectionate. It’s not a gutbuster, but it is funny and it is warm. It’s the warmth, actually, that struck me the most. As a road-trip movie about two science fiction geeks who help a wise-cracking alien get back to his ship, it could have all … Continue reading Paul – a review

Kraken bites

China Miéville must be good with Lego. Give him a pile of bricks and he'd lock them together in ways you never thought of. That's what he does with words at any rate. In his novel Kraken his skill with language ranges from the deceptively simple - "his tongue flopped over, momentarily meatlike" - to … Continue reading Kraken bites

>127 Hours

>I saw 127 Hours yesterday, so thought I'd review it today. I've tried writing my reactions to the movie a dozen times, but I just keep ending up with a list of Reasons Why I Like Danny Boyle movies. So that's exactly what I'm going to give you.1. Dynamic camera angles2. Energetic editing, plus profoundly … Continue reading >127 Hours


>During the Christmas holiday, I finally caught up with everyone else and watched Inception. Liked it a lot. Another great performance from Leo, and I don't believe director Christopher Nolan dropped the ball once in the execution of his complex storyline.I say complex ... actually, you know, I think it's pretty straightforward. In a good … Continue reading >Inception

>Horns by Joe Hill

>I pegged Joe Hill as one to watch after reading his wonderful Heart Shaped Box. Now I've read his latest novel, Horns, and the peg ain't moving from the spot.Horns defies categorisation - something I like in a book. Chances are you'll find it shelved under Horror, but it is by turns a mystery, a … Continue reading >Horns by Joe Hill

>I blame Frank Darabont

>I blame Frank Darabont and the walking dead.It’s like this: I’ve become resistant to new TV shows. I think it’s partly because of the arc. Not Noah’s, nor that of the Covenant, but the one that means there’s no such thing as a series any more – everything’s a serial. I’m old enough to get … Continue reading >I blame Frank Darabont

>Ash by Mary Gentle

>I just finished re-reading Mary Gentle's Ash, having devoured it joyously when I first got the paperback in 2001. It's an alternative history of the 15th century, told through the eyes of warrior-mercenary Ash, who's kind of a cross between Joan of Arc and Ellen Ripley.The period detail is compelling, but the novel's real hook … Continue reading >Ash by Mary Gentle