The rise and rise of self publishing

January 24, 2017

OK, I’ll admit to a little self interest here, but bear with me.

I’m involved with publishing. You’re reading it. Blogs have unequivocally levelled the playing field when it comes to getting one’s thoughts out there for others to see at little or no cost. There is something unspeakably cool, however, about seeing your words printed and bound, and self publishing is on the rise. Read the rest of this entry »


Well that’s (a) novel

December 7, 2016

I’m writing a story. So far it has only a few hundred words, but already I want to find out what the characters in it do next. In fact, that’s the most exciting bit about writing so far. I have some idea about the general scheme of the story and what I want to be “true” for the world I’m weaving, but as it evolves gently before my eyes I’m still constantly in awe of the ease with which I can conjure and construct whatever suits my needs. Read the rest of this entry »


Reading for Pleasure

March 3, 2016

It’s World Book Day. Hurrah! I love reading and I love books.

I’m not on either side of the Kindle debate, having both more books than I should comfortably fit on the available bookshelves and also an e-reader with more to enjoy. But I am a keen advocate of recommendations. And lists of personal favourites. Read the rest of this entry »


Writing about Games, Writing Games to Write About

January 23, 2016

I’m a massive fan of the Metrozone (Petrovitch) series by Simon Morden, and have read a number of his other books. He’s been a speaker at Greenbelt, which was fun to listen to. On the side column of this blog, you can even see the Freezone flag. Click it to find out more.

So, I was delighted to read recently that he’s invented a new game too. Read the rest of this entry »


Book Worm

September 5, 2014

In the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed posts on Facebook about ten books. Here is mine:

With sufficient respect to Nigel for asking, and in the hope people may find it interesting, here are my ten books. Books that have stuck with me for one reason or another. Read them all.

1. Equations of Life, Simon Morden
2. Rock and Roll is Dead, Steve Lawson
3. Jingo (and Guards! Guards!, Men at Arms and Thud!), Terry Pratchett
4. The Horse and his Boy, CS Lewis
5. The Crow Road, Iain Banks
6. Poetics of Music, Igor Stravinsky (translation from the original French)
7. And now let’s move into a time of nonsense, Nick Page
8. Sharpe’s Waterloo, Bernard Cornwell
9. Pigeon Post, Arthur Ransome
10. The White Cat. I’m not even sure who wrote this but it was my boyhood favourite bedtime story. “There once was a King who had three sons… we shall see what we shall see.”

Please do feel free to share your ten. I’m not going to nominate anybody. It’s been quite fascinating reading other people’s though.

And beneath, in the comments, Nigel was kind enough to wonder how and why these books have a hold. So I decided the best way to address his interest would be via the blog. Here again are my top ten books in no particular order, this time with a little about each. Read the rest of this entry »


Independence Day for Books in Walsall

March 25, 2014

How many independent book retailers are there in Walsall?  Not many I can think of, although I’m certain there are some somewhere. That’s the trouble if I’m honest about this. I don’t have the time to go looking for shops unless I know they’re there, and I usually just look up a book on Amazon if I want it. I’m not given to browsing through shelves of books. It’s a dying art when my phone can tell me everything about the book (well, the bits that make it to Wikipedia, anyway).

Great news for people like me who are bookish but not bookshoppish. A NEW ONE IS COMING! Read the rest of this entry »


Equations of Life by Simon Morden – a Review

September 26, 2013

Samuil Petrovitch, a Russian scientist living in what remains of London, makes a life changing decision one morning. Faced with a choice to act or not, he acts. In that one moment a chain of events is set in motion which will leave scars etched into the landscape. Sam loses the life he had. He loses the anonymity he had carefully cultivated, and worst of all, he loses his heart.

Samuil Petrovitch saves the girl. This isn’t the end of the story, you understand, but only the beginning. Read the rest of this entry »