Birotech – “Limb”

Here's another of my Birotech doodles. Why "Birotech"? Because I draw them with a Bic biro. It's called "Limb" for no other reason than that it looks like some kind of robot arm. Maybe. The truth is I've no idea what it is, any more than I knew what my previous drawing in this series … Continue reading Birotech – “Limb”

Visual Effects of “The Machine” – Cinefex Blog

If you're a fan of movie robots, head on over to the Cinefex blog, where we've just published my article on the visual effects of The Machine. If you haven't yet seen this indie sci-fi film, you've missed a treat. Directed by feature first-timer Caradog James and featuring a compelling performance by Caity Lotz as the android Ava, … Continue reading Visual Effects of “The Machine” – Cinefex Blog

The Picture

The Picture has been hanging on my wall for many, many years. I drew it when I was seventeen, egged on by my good friend Andy Wicks. One of these days I'll prise it out of its frame, slap it on a big flatbed scanner and make myself a decent digital copy. Until then, you'll have to … Continue reading The Picture

Birotech – “Station”

I used to draw for pleasure all the time. Now I rarely have the urge. However, today the mood took me and I spent a happy hour sketching this strange futuristic structure (I have old sketch books filled with stuff like this). I've called it Station but really I've no idea what the heck it is. … Continue reading Birotech – “Station”


Houston, I have a problem. I want to review Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity, but I'm lost for words, incapable of communicating my reaction to Sandra Bullock's intense, emotional performance, to the streamlined elegance of both plot and storytelling, to the incomparable majesty of the overall visual concept and art direction, to the well-conceived 3D that's both brilliantly … Continue reading Gravity

Iain Banks 1954-2013

Iain Banks died yesterday, aged just 59. After his terminal diagnosis earlier this year, his final novel The Quarry was fast-tracked by his publishers for a June 2o release date, specifically so he'd get to see it on the shelves. Sadly the cancer beat him to it and we lost one of the true greats. … Continue reading Iain Banks 1954-2013

Harbinger Down

Huge congratulations to Alec Gillis, Tom Woodruff and the rest of the ADI team for raising the $350,000 they needed to make their feature-length sci-fi horror movie Harbinger Down. For a while it was touch and go whether or not they'd hit their Kickstarter target, but a steady groundswell of support from a big fanbase … Continue reading Harbinger Down

Ten Reasons to Write Science Fiction

"Why do you write science fiction?" It's a fair question, only slightly complicated by the fact that personally I tend to write more fantasy than SF, but if I go down that road I run the risk of getting sidetracked into the endless debate about what the difference actually is between science fiction and fantasy, … Continue reading Ten Reasons to Write Science Fiction

Revisiting Cinefex (27): Aliens

The human star of Aliens might be Sigourney Weaver, but it's her extraterrestrial adversary - the ferocious alien queen - that features on the front cover of Cinefex #27, No surprise, then, that this issue is devoted entirely to the Oscar-winning visual effects of James Cameron's 1986 blockbuster. The cover shot shows Stan Winston's remarkable full-size queen … Continue reading Revisiting Cinefex (27): Aliens

Digging up Saturn 3

If, like me, you like to read about how films are made, you'll know that movie disasters (as opposed to disaster movies) can sometimes be more interesting than success stories. One such disaster is the 1980 science fiction thriller Saturn 3. I had the misfortune to watch this dreadful film on its first theatrical release. … Continue reading Digging up Saturn 3