The Best Rejections


 The Chinese Rejection.  “Dear X, thank you for your submitted novel.  I read it in a fugue, tears pouring down my face with every word.  I can honestly say that your text stunned me, sometimes to the point of just rocking where I sat, crying out in mute, hollow despair.  It is absolutely magnificent, it is, indeed, so magnificent that I am now forced to admit that yay, though my publishing house should flourish for 10,000 years… though my competitors should wither away, though indeed I and only I were to receive the Nobel Prize for Services to Awesome, still… …

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Adventures in Torun

The alarm went off at 3 a.m.. Because my alarm doesn’t usually go off at 3 a.m., I was already wide awake ready for it, having kept myeslf awake most of the night with the anxiety born of thinking I would probably think through anything beeping at such an obscene hour of the night. I slapped it into instant silence, so as not to wake my partner, who had staggered in from work at midnight. The room was hot and muggy, smelling of late summer, drawn curtains and overdue rain. My clothes were in the kitchen already, so I could …

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Dear Twatfaced Gits


Dear The Twatfaced Man Being Rude to the Bus Driver At Stanstead Airport, You ARE the problem.  You swagger up to the unfortunate bus driver trying to get people’s bags onto the Liverpool St coach, you curse, you swear, you demand to know why you can’t just get on without a ticket, you’re told politely to please go speak to a ticket vendor, you give the driver the finger, then slink off to the nearest bench.  There, you sit by the ‘no smoking in this area sign’ and light up your cigarette and mutter, audibly and noticably ‘fuck fuck fuck …

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Adventures in Aviles

July 2016 127

You know when someone says ‘the hotel is in a converted ducal palace’?  Of course you laugh.  This very funny.  Hahaha. Well don’t you feel stupid when it turns out they weren’t lying? Earlier this year, I got on a plane from Heathrow to the city of Aviles in Northern Spain.  Like most small airports I’ve ever flown into, there was one guy on the customs desk as the clock ticked down towards midnight, inspecting 300 passports.  I was there to attend Celsius 232, an annual science fiction festival, and once customs was cleared, I think it’s fair to say …

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In (mournful) praise of…. Constantine


It starts with the comic books, obviously.  The massively, massively inconsistent comic books.  At their greatest – scary, powerful, funny, dark, lively, magical, hellish and full of heart.  At their worst: what even is this inconsistent rubbish?  Let’s face it, they’ve fluctuated, and are very guilty of having naked women getting cut up with knives on more than a few occasions, but hell.  When Hellblazer is good, Hellblazer is really very damn good indeed, and can proudly claim the honour of having spawned endless less good knock-offs which probably didn’t even realise they were pinching from the best. (Personal highlight, …

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Dark Societies – September 21st


This is a thing I’m doing!! Whoopee and it’s gonna be awesome!  There are many things that are gonna make it so, not least the guests, who are excellent despite me being there – and include Mike Carey, who is let’s not kid ourselves, sickeningly talented and the nicest man in comics – but also… It’s at a sexy, sexy Central London location, which I’m a big fan of, personally…. It’s hosted by the Post Apocalyptic Book Club, which is run by a woman who’s sheer awesome is sorta mind-blowing and who I need to play Mario Kart with.  …

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