Home Computing In The Pre-Cambrian Era

I’ve talked about many of my influences before, but another massive part of my formative years was having a childhood that corresponded with home computing becoming a reality, and not a far off pipe dream only talked about on dusty science programmes. Our childhood computers were the quirkily Anglocentric Sinclair ZX81 and 48k Spectrum, rubber-keys […]

Look For The Helpers

Something I’ve really found heartening lately is the explosion of community, care and innovation from people determined to make the best of this difficult situation we find ourselves in. I’ve titled this piece after a well-worn meme that circulates social media whenever something awful happens – it’s ascribed to Fred Rogers, who I know will […]

Silver Linings

I’m sure you have had quite enough of people talking about the thing which shall not be named but, in a roundabout way, I am going to talk about the current state of the world, or more particularly, the current state of my corner of the world. The forced upheaval to all of our lives has seen […]

The Deuce, And The Ripple Of Story

I am a massive fan of David Simon, like many, chiefly due to his work on THE WIRE, a contender for the best TV show of all time. I’ve followed his work ever since, from larger pieces like TREME, to smaller works like GENERATION KILL and SHOW ME A HERO. I’ve just finished THE DEUCE, another of […]

No Such Thing As A Bad Idea, Just Bad Timing

You’ve heard it. I’ve heard it. “Where do you get your ideas from?” is the all-time cliché question for anyone who has ever thought about writing at any kind of serious level. And understandably so. The question can sometimes mean “what’s the secret because I’d love to do it?” as I think nearly all of us enjoy the experience […]

IT, And The Hopeful Death Of The Jump Scare

As a complete u-turn from my usual choice of viewing fare, I thought I’d treat myself to a nostalgia trip, and see whether the latest iteration of IT created anything that might cut through culture like the first iteration of Pennywise did all those years ago. Like most people, I have read a few Stephen King […]

Hell Or High Water, And Challenging Expectations

As I’ve mentioned, I’m finding it important to take solace in distraction at the moment, for obvious reasons. With that in mind, I sat down to watch a few films this week, with HELL OR HIGH WATER the first one I’m going to talk about.   I’m definitely someone who likes to be surprised by the […]

No Safe Place

My brother Craig has just written his first book. It’s a tense and addictive thriller that isn’t a million miles from my own books.    And, of course, now that Lee Child is ceding the writing of the Reacher books to his brother…    Kidding. I’m not ready to stop writing yet – and won’t […]

Escapism And The Need To Find Your Own Peace

My head is spinning. Pretty sure yours will be too, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve found it hard to concentrate on anything much this week, as an abstract health story from halfway around the world has now become the single most dominating and pressing story in possibly my entire life. What I’m finding most […]

Better Call Saul

I am incredibly excited to see that BETTER CALL SAUL is back for its penultimate season. It’s such a good show, on every level, possibly even surpassing the heady heights of BREAKING BAD in terms of the slow-burn characterisation and the intricate, Swiss-watch plotting, as Jimmy completes his journey to becoming Saul Goodman.   As […]