Kindle Singles and “The Weight of Reason”

A highly ambitious move for me here but I have spent today editing The Weight of Reason, ensuring that it is polished as perfectly as possible, that I am as happy with it as I am ever going to be… that it cannot be improved any further.

Now I am happy with it. This really is the completed piece though admittedly it didn’t take much changing – edited to death as it has been over the last few years, firstly for The Writer’s of the Future competition and then with the intent of going into my ebook. Continue reading

Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS – Episode Review & Analysis

Ah, ah, ah… spoilers

We’re on board a the USS Nostromo a salvage ship floatin in quite a pretty part of space. On board are three individuals displaying all the scifi cliches of a messy workspace, family photographs pinned in prominent places and wearing boiler suits and vests. ALERT – INCOMING SALVAGE. The trio discuss the alert and it is revealed that one of their number is an android. Oh dear, I hope he doesn’t malfunction a la Ash. Continue reading

The 10 best words the internet has given English

Fascinating article here on the linguistic contributions that the internet has given the English language. We now use all of these every day, I’ve even seen some of them migrating from webspeak into real life. Geek has always been in common use hasn’t it?

My favourite is Scunthorpe problems. For anybody who has ever been on an online dating site, Plenty of Fish has a pretty common one. “I like wine bars and wouldn’t say no to the occasional ****ail!” The word being deleted is, of course, cocktail. Continue reading

Hide – Episode Review & Analysis

Ah, Ah, Ah… Spoilers

It is a dark and stormy night (a cliche already, hmmm). A young woman and Dougray Scott are setting up some equipment in a large and forbidding house. Thankfully no sign of Yvette Fielding or Derek Acorah just yet and this couple turn out to be far less annoying. Anyway… her ethereal style marks her immediately as a psychic and his glasses mark him as the generic “scientist”. He fiddles around with some equipment. Oooh, it is the 1970s. In the likeness of Most Haunted they try to communicate with “the spirit that occupies this place”. There’s some interference and we see a ghostly image proceeding down the corridor.

A ghostly knock at the door, Crooked House style… but it is The Doctor and Clara who introduce themselves as The Ghostbusters. Continue reading

Book Review: To Set Prometheus Free by AC Grayling

A C Grayling is a British thinker and philosopher who has published over thirty books on freethought, atheism, religion and secularism. Much celebrated then but this book acts as my introduction to his work. It is a short collection containing just six essays which means you could easily read it on a warm and lazy weekend morning or afternoon (just as I did!) and they cover a range of issues concerning atheism, science and freethought.
Continue reading

Book Review: Mortality by Christopher Hitchens

Published just after his death, this is a short book (or lengthy essay depending on how you look at it) about a man coming to terms with his own impending doom at the hands of lung cancer. Christopher Hitchens was a polemicist, a political commentator, an eloquent writer and deeply thoughtful human being who was just at home with a cutting remark against his opponents as he was with proseltyzing atheistic philosophy.

This is a poignant chronicle of the final months of the life of “The Hitch” yet far from being full of platitudes, “poor me” and outpourings of anger, it is often delightful and typically in Hitch fashion, darkly humorous. He laments the lost opportunity of writing the obituaries of life’s villains such as Josef Ratzinger (which is an amusing statement and one that only Hitch would dare to utter and no doubt would have utterly destroyed the character of the man). With the recent abdication of Ratzinger and the death of Margaret Thatcher, we all wish he would have lived that little bit longer to offer his choice words on those two events. Continue reading

Catching Fire trailer

Fans of the Hunger Games books and the film will be excited to know that the first official trailer has been released. Here it is on YouTube, roughly 2.5 minutes.

I will discuss my expectations of the film closer to release date but I will say this: I have never been the greatest fan of Woody Harrelson but having recently rewatched the first film, he got Haymitch pretty much spot on. Catching Fire is where the character starts to shine so if he can pull it off, I might just become a fan of the actor.

Book Review: Zombie Apocalypse! Fightback by Stephen Jones (et al)

Here is book two of the now planned “Zombie Apocalypse!” trilogy. If you’ve read the first one, you’ll know what to expect from the tone and format of the first. If you haven’t read it, you’ll need to because firstly the format will come as a surprise to you and much of this book will not make sense anyway. Like the first, the story does not progress in a conventional narrative format but through collections of documents, emails, official reports, letters, tweets etc.

Only this time, the earlier part of the book focuses almost entirely on the man who was responsible for the zombie outbreak, the “Zombie King” Thomas Moreby who in the 18th century built the church and the crypt beneath that housed the fleas that carry the disease. Who was he? What was he like? How was he responsible for the zombie apocalypse hundreds of years after his life? More importantly, who is this man in the modern day now claiming to be him? Did he really come back from the dead? Continue reading

Cold War – Episode Review & Analysis

Ah, Ah, Ah… Spoilers

A The Day After Tomorrowesque intro sequence tells us that we are at the North Pole and it is 1983. It’s Alex Drake, she was shot and that bullet sent her back to Doctor Who. Is she dead? Or in a coma? Err, sorry, right year wrong series. So it is 1983 and we are aboard a Russian nuclear submarine who speak with very convincing English accents. They are about to fire nuclear missiles when David Warner interrupts with a rather poor rendition of Ultravox’s Vienna (now you see why I got confused with Ashes to Ashes?). David Warner saves the world again, huzzah! Well not really, it was a drill. A shame Doctor Who got cancelled at the end of the 1980s, I think he would have made a good Doctor. Continue reading

The Rings of Akhaten – Episode Review & Analysis

Ah, ah, ah… spoilers

A young, professional looking man in a suit is walking along a queiet street reading his newspaper when a leaf blows down from a tree and promptly hits him in the face. Stunned by the Tysonesque punching power of this leaf, the young man staggers into the road and is almost run over by a brown Austin Allegro (I always know people who drove those cars were inept!) He is promptly saved by a pretty young lady and clearly it is love at first sight. The Doctor is watching them over the top of a Beano comic. The 1970s have arrived! Continue reading