• Tolkien, Fantasy And The BBC

    by  • June 9, 2017 • 0 Comments

    Interviewed live on the BBC the other day. I was talking about the influence of Tolkien and the large and still growing impact of fantasy in literature and popular culture in a debate with Oxford University scholar Dr Stuart Lee and the author Robin Hobb. Stuart and Robin are both knowledgable people, as you’d...

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    Pendragon Proofs Now In

    by  • May 18, 2017 • 0 Comments

    The road to publication follows familiar landmarks – finishing the first draft, the various edits, through the delivery of the first box of books to publication day and the subsequent round of publicity and signings.  One of the key moments is the arrival of the uncorrected proofs – softbound copies of the novel, usually...

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    A Guide To The Pubs Of Britain

    by  • May 12, 2017 • 2 Comments

    I like pubs,and not just for the amber stuff.  Map out any history of writing in Britain and you’ll find pubs woven into the heart of it.  Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese in London has entertained the likes of Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, G K Chesterton, Samuel Johnson, Alfred Lord Tennyson and P G...

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    The Swords Of Albion Redux

    by  • April 2, 2017 • 4 Comments

    When you write a series of fantasies about swashbuckling Elizabethan spies, you don’t expect them to take on a contemporary relevance.  But here we are. Elizabeth is on the throne.  A technology boom is underway.  We have a flowering of the arts and a rapidly growing capital city. There’s talk of buccaneering trade deals....

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    Trump: What Now?

    by  • November 13, 2016 • 0 Comments

    Sometimes you don’t need words. The expression on the face of President-elect Donald Trump – an entertainer who was only ever interested in being watched and adored – says volumes.  This is a man who has just had his first presidential briefing.  He’s heard about the bio-terrorism weapons about to be unleashed, the dirty...

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    Trump And Putin And The UK Right: The World Turned On Its Head

    by  • November 5, 2016 • 0 Comments

    “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever.  We begin bombing in five minutes.” US President Ronald Reagan’s radio sound check joke in 1984 perfectly caught the mood of America-Russia relations throughout most of the twentieth century.  For Conservatives particularly, the Soviet Union was...

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    The New Counterculture Tarot

    by  • October 28, 2016 • 0 Comments

    There’s a rising spirit of rebellion in the air – and the whiff of repression – that seems very much like the sixties.  The parallels were driven home when I visited the excellent  ‘You Say You Want a Revolution?’ exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  It examines how a range of cultural activities...

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    Why I Stopped Watching The Walking Dead

    by  • October 25, 2016 • 1 Comment

    (Some minor spoilers here for the season seven premiere of The Walking Dead – no names, but some context.) Halloween is just around the corner and like the coming of the Jack o’Lanterns a new season of The Walking Dead has launched. AMC’s zombie apocalypse show has been a ratings juggernaut and a huge...

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