In Frankly Astonished Praise of… Person of Interest


The premise of this show is this: a few years ago, a computer-genius made a machine – wittily dubbed ‘The Machine’ – which could access all the world’s surveillance feeds, every computer, smartphone and technological nitbit you can name, and with this information predict crime. He then gave the Machine to the government, on the understanding that it will only give information about Big Acts of Disaster where many, many people will die, and generically speaking the privacy of the citizen will not be violated.  It is a big spying tool… but it’s ok, because the Machine just gives a …

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Self Doubt


Here it is… here it comes.  Can you feel it?  It’s there, just lurking on the edge of your awareness, needling… the voice of self-doubt. Everyone gets it.  Me… I’ve always been lucky enough to do stuff pretty much by myself, for myself.  As a scribbler I don’t read my own reviews, I definitely don’t go looking for them, and even if bad stuff is written about my books I figure, meh, everyone’s entitled to their own point of view on something as subjective as writing. But then other things start to nag.  In the five years in which I’ve …

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Walking to Kew


I walked to Kew from where I live the day after the London Marathon.  For the London Marathon, about 40,000 people ran nearly 27 miles, including one dude who ran the distance while in space.  I walked about 15 miles and was knackered. To put it another way: marathon runners, I salute you! I walked for two reasons.  1.  I had to get to Kew to help my Mum with some stuff, and who takes the District Line?  I mean seriously, what is up with it?  How can any underground service be that slow and unreliable?  It just makes me …

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Sudden Appearance of Hope Published Today!

Sudden Appearance of Hope

Whoopee and whoop whoop!  The Sudden Appearance of Hope is published!  Let there be much eating of cake and making merry! For those who haven’t seen, it’s the story of Hope Arden, a woman who no one can ever remember meeting.  Stuck with this tricky little problem, she has no friends, no family and no home, but thankfully can be a fantastic thief.  Being a thief usually gets her by – nothing more, nothing less – until a crime spirals out of control, and she finds herself caught up in a fight for something much bigger than being remembered. Fingers …

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In Praise of… Pattern Recognition


To clarify – this was a dance show at the Platform Theatre in April 2016, rather than a book.  It was put on by Alexander Whitley, and I was taken to see it by my partner not ‘cos we know anything about dance (we don’t) but because it was a show in which dance and lights collided  in a way we kinda had to see. The premise is pretty simple.  Two dancers perform on a stage, while three XBox Kinect sensors monitor their movements.  That data is then translated and transmitted to eight moving lights.  In various different ways, these …

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Natural and organic


Two annoying things.  In the EU there are over 2000 products banned from cosmetics, ‘cos of the damage they cause to people, animals and the environment.  In America, of those banned products there are just 36. My skin appears to responds better to face cream made from beeswax and oil than anything else I can buy off the shelf. I find both these things depressing for very different reasons.  Firstly, the things we as a species do to ourselves in pursuit of beauty, youth and… well, no, those two mostly… makes me a little bit sad.  We also do things …

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