A woman stands amongst the tangled strands of a steel labyrinth. A distant bass rumbles overhead. Pressure grows. No, this isn’t a scene from a Ridley Scott movie. This is Helene Fischer live in concert.
“Mr Holmes doesn’t work here any more.”
Back in September I reviewed Harry Whitewolf’s novel The Road to Purification, Hustlers Hassles and Hash. Author, poet and traveller, Whitewolf’s writing is a fusion of observation, fact and speculation. I asked Harry about his work, travelling, the number 11 and gn****.
Guides to foreign travel tend to fall into two camps: Rough Guide/Lonely Planet hipster real-life travel; and posh folk writing idyllic memoirs of unrealistically tranquil settings, sometimes accompanied by tame wildlife. Harry Whitewolf’s odyssey falls into a camp of its own. An autobiographical miasma of reportage, history lessons and ‘what to avoid’ advice you’ll never … More The Road To Purification – Harry Whitewolf
This interview should have been posted here back in May (possibly 2015!), but thanks to a lethal brew of inertia and pre-occupation with a new job and duff car salesmen – excuses, excuses, they’re all just feeble excuses – indie author Leo Robertson has been forced to wait for his place in the pantheon of … More Interview – Leo X Robertson
Wander from the surfaced path of terrestrial television and you soon find your feet trudging through the quagmires of cable, satellite and freeview broadcasting. There are so many channels, and thanks to a quirk of the universe, twenty-four hours in the day. To any right-thinking person there simply isn’t enough content to fill the millions … More Wheeler Dealers
There’s a Golden Age of television theme tunes, from the mid-sixties to the mid-seventies, a time when the programme and the opening music became one in a perfect marriage. The Persuaders is a stand out theme, along with Van Der Valk, but there’s one more worth mentioning: The Champions. Written by Tony Hatch, who had … More The Champions
There was a time when Sweden’s reputation centred around Abba’s spangliness and Volvo’s lumpen reliability. And then a darkness befell the nation from which we ultimately tripped over The Bridge. To those who aren’t interested in trivia, when the Øresund Bridge was built, connecting Copenhagen in Denmark with Malmo in Sweden, it was the first … More The Bridge
Around about this time of year I meet up with a friend and we dish out our Annual Awards for the year. The awards are highly prized even though the recipients don’t know they’ve won. (That’s how exclusive these awards are) Most people hold some kind of annual review, but I won’t do that. Instead, … More 2015 Awards and Review
A few weeks ago I read How to Sew Pieces of Cloud Together by Greek writer Mary Papastavrou. The depth of ideas and quality of writing buried the accusation that self-publishing and indie authors don’t compare to those in the mainstream. I published my review on this blog back in November, but I always intended … More Interview with Mary Papastavrou
Back in April I wrote this review of Au4’s second album And Down Goes the Sky. I’d like to do a catch up on Au4 for the 1st issue of Alien Noise magazine in January. (Yes, it’s gone from November to december to January.) Problem is, it’s a bit difficult to get in touch with … More A Call To Au4
I was saving this review for the magazine, but I’ll land on the moon before the magazine comes out, so here it is. In full. My latest discovery. At the top of a futuristic tower a corporate Master of the Universe, armed with a couple of androgynous secretaries gets his comeuppance, courtesy of our pale … More The Perfect Cult – Deathstars
‘Oh and she forgot to mention that she suffers anxiety attacks every time she steps on a certain type of wooden parquet.’ It takes confidence to write a line like that at the end of a chapter about suffering and suicide. But Mary Papastavrou’s debut novel How to Sew Pieces of Cloud Together is fearless … More How to Sew Pieces of Cloud Together – Mary Papastavrou
A few weeks ago I read a novel so extraordinary it still resonates. anemogram by Rebecca Grandsen is a road trip, a fairy story, human drama and contemporary urban myth in one unusual package. Its effect on me meant that I had to invite Rebecca to answer a few questions and offer some insight into … More Guest Author Rebecca Grandsen
I promised to give y’all a sneak Halloween preview and I think this little episode sums up the dark and light and frivolity of The One Rule of Magic. The novel is out now, a Halloween release, and expect to see a couple of reviews in the future from a couple of stout yeomen who … More Extract From The One Rule of Magic
Many of you who blog on WordPress will be familiar with Nicholas Rossis’ blog. It’s a deep mine of information on all aspects of writing and publishing. But what about Nicholas’s novels? In this comprehensive interview we find out Nicholas’s writing process, inspiration, and the state of affairs in Greece concerning the publishing industry. It’s … More Guest Author Nicholas Rossis
In my recent invite to authors KS Ferguson was swift to respond and provided an insight into her writing methods, novels and views on publishing. There’s a lot to chew on, so I won’t take any more of your time. Dive headlong into a world of creative ideas and characters who are very much outside … More Guest Author KS Ferguson
According to anecdotes, the Inuit have fifty words for snow. Jack Flacco has a similar number of words for zombies. You’ll find them all in Ranger Martin and the Search for Paradise: chewers, gut grinders, belly rippers, rot suckers… The third and final instalment in the series throws Ranger into another bout of munchers’ mayhem … More Ranger Martin and the Search For Paradise – review
Stop me if you’ve heard this before. I can’t remember if I’ve blogged this subject, but even if I have it’s worth seeing again. A few years ago, the BBC in the UK held a poll to find Britain’s favourite comedy moment. The winner was the Four Candles sketch by the Two Ronnies. But I’ve … More Comedy Sketch Face Off
Many years ago, and I’m talking decades, like, last century dude when everything was in black and white, my Uncle George convinced himself we, the Harrisons, were related to another set of Harrisons at Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire. His proof, which probably wouldn’t hold much water in court, relied on the portrait of a man … More Samlesbury Hall and Ancestral What-Might-Have-Beens
There was a moment, a few years ago, that struck like a harbinger of death; I should have recognised it at the time. In a record shop I asked for the new album by Rush, Test For Echo, and the shop assistant and I both agreed that more people should listen to Rush. It turned … More Rush – When the Music Stopped!
The publishing world is awash with romance, erotica and young adult dystopia. Every day another 400 million novels are published. With this in mind you’d think only a madman would consider writing a short story anthology dealing with none of the above. Rupert Dreyfus isn’t mad. At least I don’t think he is, but in … More The Rebel’s Sketchbook – Rupert Dreyfus
If I mentioned the phrase folk music, you might think of bearded men with one finger stuck in their ear singing songs about wassailing, with lyrics like ‘Oi ‘ad one lassy in the dewsoaked ‘ay, and we went with a way and a hay ninny nonny…’ Jake Thackray wasn’t like that. Unbearded, fingers focussed on … More Jake Thackray
This post was written a couple of days before the sad news of George Cole’s death. I hope this is a fitting tribute to the actor and his greatest character… There are few people whose names enter the lexicon of a language. If you hate the thought of spending money you’re a Scrooge. Block progress … More Arthur Daley
In the third Toten Herzen story Raven has lost her mate, Rob Wallet, and suffered a second setback when Susan Bekker does the dirty on her promise to turn Raven into a vampire. After a brief meeting with an Interpol investigator Raven lets off steam in a phone call to a friend back in Britain. … More There Will Be Blood – Extracts: Raven’s Dilemma
I’ve got a suspicion my fondness for all things German happened in 1979 when Barcelona defender Miguel successfully managed to kick an important Fortuna Dusseldorf player off the pitch during the opening minutes of the Cup Winners’ Cup final in Basel. Johan Cruyff had retired, I’d eaten the last of the Edam and my peculiar … More Oh To Be German
I feel terrible. I feel as if I have instigated a great wrong. When I wrote Toten Herzen Malandanti and Who Among Us… I portrayed witches and Satanists as violent criminals, hell bent on selfish pursuits and ‘removing’ anyone who got in their way. But the thing is, they’re not really like that. My excuse … More Apologies To Witches And Satanists
When I was at school at the turn of the decade, a number of sinister forces roamed free. From 1979 to 1981, hormones ruled, self-image was more important than the Cold War and if you weren’t into punk or the New Wave of British Heavy Metal you were the lowest of the low. An absolute … More Are We Safe To Talk About Abba Yet?
“We’ve been reading through this mountain of inanity, boring ourselves senseless.” Not the sort of line you’d expect from a ghost, but this was one of many violent outbursts from the foghorn mouth of General Sir George Uproar (KCMG), self-appointed leader of the Ghosts of Motley Hall. Between 1976 and 1978 the Ghosts of Motley … More The Ghosts of Motley Hall
‘Electoral democracy, for pretty much the entire nation, is nothing more than a spectators’ sport.’ Rupert Dreyfus’s debut novel Spark explores the individual in the face of big business and reacting against a system geared towards a select self-interested few. In this author interview I asked Rupert about writing, self-publishing and a worldview that led … More Author Interview – Rupert Dreyfus