Read about 45 again this year, not including all the dreary academic palaver related to my doctorate. Watched way, way too much film and television. I’ll stick to books here, other than to say I very much enjoyed Blade Runner 2049 and Dunkirk at the movies, and for television thought The Good Place, Better Call   Read More …

Walking out of The Last Jedi, sometime past midnight, I had a moment of clarity. I was done with Star Wars. The emotional investment I’d made, kept making, through horrific prequels and then through better, though blander recent Star Wars, had been extinguished. The enduring hope each new film would live up to the sense   Read More …

“With Britain’s mouth watering over Beijing’s investment cheques and the rest of the West dizzy from its own civil wars among political correctness, Muslims and Donald Trump, Western governments, media and liberals see the world with blurred vision. ‘Turning and turning in the widening gyre, the falcon cannot hear the falconer,’ a brave pro-independence Irish   Read More …

Then there was the time Donald Trump cost me a book deal. The feedback from one of the major publishers came in via my agent. The editor praised the high quality of the prose, the East Asian noir setting, and compared my work favourably to Philip K Dick. So far, so pretty fucking good. But   Read More …

200 shots fired in my ongoing campaign to have you motherfuckers read one of my stories. Not many have hit: 14, to be precise, new sales*. Good sales, most of them, to be sure – many professional, six to the excellent Interzone, one to Australia’s Grimdark mag, the venerable Asimov’s, a few others. But fuck-a-duck   Read More …

The varied and rich philosophical strands of Blade Runner 2049 will be analysed and debated for years to come. Already in the world are some top-shelf articles on the use of light in blade runner, the neglect of children, the relationship of the movie to Nabokov’s novel, Pale Fire, and the way in which technology   Read More …

Part 2 is dedicated to my theories. Part one was a review of the film, part three discusses philosophical themes. Spoilers below, obviously. Without further ado: Theory 1: the Nexus 7 Roy Batty is a Nexus 6. Inception date 8 January 2016. Sapper Morton is a Nexus 8. Inception, 22 Match 2019. A leap from   Read More …

Blade Runner should never have had a sequel. It was and is a work of art, self-contained. It bears watching and re-watching. Today, thirty-five years after it was first released, it still feels contemporary, is unarguably prescient. Blade Runner imagined a future history of urban decay, multiculturalism, corporate greed and corruption, boundless commodification and alienation,   Read More …

I used to say: ‘watching David Lynch is like listening to jazz – it’s not meant to be a logically understood, it’s meant to be experienced.’ I was wrong. Twin Peaks: the Return is as close a viewer will come to experiencing a coherent Lynchian cosmology. In genre terms, Lynch is a masterful world builder.   Read More …

It’s a question writers ask throughout their careers. While it is one, I suspect, most frequently posed (yelled, sighed) at the beginning, even the best have been known to lament. Richard Flanagan, for example, nearly quit writing to be a miner. 2013 and he was broke. A professional novelist for many decades, and one of   Read More …

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