reading

Zone One

Zone One isn’t so much sci-fi as apoca-lit. Whitehead uses the zombie apocalypse to examine humanity, what we do when we’re pushed to the brink, and the capacity for the government to regain control, assert their systems, and categorise everything. So we have paperwork, and corporate sponsors. We have Post Apocalypse Stress Disorder – PASD […]

Hey guys! It’s been a month. Uni started up again, and I think it’s doing well so far. One assignment handed in, and waiting for the grade on that is gnawing on my nerves. Still, I’m more on top of things than I usually am. I’m even getting most of my readings done! (I know, […]

Bird by Bird

Bird by Bird is a book about writing, for writers. You will know if this is you. Anne Lamott isn’t telling you much you haven’t heard before. You’ve read it all in writer interviews and blog posts and pep talks, in irritating articles that tell you not to use adverbs, in other writing books you’ve […]

Decay is a favourite artistic theme of mine. The melancholy of nostalgia is another. A Visit from the Goon Squad, roaming back and forth across time, has both in spades. The question has been raised whether it is a novel or a set of short stories; I’d come down on the side of “novel”, personally. […]

We lost Richard Adams in the last week of 2016, so it seemed appropriate to talk about how one of his books, Watership Down, was a touchstone throughout my childhood. The opening scene is one of those “classic English countryside” images, something timeless. “The primroses were over.” I don’t know why that first line has […]

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All I’ve written this week is a sort of incoherent stream-of-consciousness, influenced by the new Nick Cave album Skeleton Tree and Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley’s new EP. Also influenced by Maus, although I couldn’t tell you how. I’ve started reading Pale Fire, which is the sort of work of genius that just makes you […]

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I have Difficulty with Jane Austen. I found Pride and Prejudice a moreish read; I attribute this characteristic to its sexual tension. Romantic tension… ? No; throw Mr Darcy in with modern readers, and sexual tension it is. It was not “good” and yet it was a satisfying read. The prose was pleasant, yet the […]

This week involved the launch of Pokémon Go, and I do love me a good dose of fiction invading reality. I mentioned it back on the 25th of May, which really was more about characters, but shows how narratives dig into our minds and become a part of our world. Shrines to Jon Snow in […]

Nineteen Eighty-Four

I was unsure whether I wanted to write about Nineteen Eighty-Four. I don’t feel like I’m really “qualified” for it. It’s one of those books that tends to be studied, and I read it… Well, I was going to say “for pleasure”, but really I chose to read it because it is a Modern Classic […]

Hemingway said “Write drunk, edit sober”. This sounds like a great idea when you’re stuck and feel like an excuse for a glass of something. In practice, it never really works out for me. I had this great plan once of drinking a couple of glasses of absinthe and spending all night writing poetry. Absinthe […]