Adventures in… Bucharest

“Do you fancy a trip to….” began the representative of the British Council. “Ohohohohoh yes pick me!” “… now, hear me out, because it’s important you understand….” “PICK ME PICK ME PICK ME!” Maybe nuanced negotiation isn’t my top thing. But hell, if anyone wants to send me on adventures then I’m totally in, ‘cos it’s amazing. I landed in Bucharest after a storm. And the Pope. Both were considered disruptive by the man who met me at the airport. Floodwater had temporarily blocked off the main entrance to the airport car park, and now gaggles of men with rolled-up…

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European Elections 2019 – Go Vote!!

First: a shout-out to Full Fact, the fact-checking charity which carries a huge amount of information on basically every issue under the sun in British politics, and has succeeded in unsettling both the left and right of the political divide with its pesky ‘reality’. For sheer, clear being informed, I have yet to find anything better. The UK is, despite everything, taking part in the European Elections on May 23rd – this Thursday. It’s not just that we’re still embroiled in Brexit, the endless disaster car-crash that just won’t stop; culturally we’re now in a place where the current political…

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Adventures in Cornwall

Day 0 I hate leaving the house after, say, 8 p.m.. It feels too much like going to a night shift. Things should be winding down, not winding up. But there’s a sleeper train from Paddington to Penzance bording from 22.30, and it’s way cheaper and kinda cooler to start this trip with the overnight train than a day train + hotel stay. So off I go! Paddington as the last trains come and go is a little eerie. It’s suddenly much bigger without all the people, and much too quiet. In a waiting area next to the platform, people…

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Upcoming Events 2019

Hello! A couple of quick upcoming events in case you’re around – come say hi! On Saturday May 25th I’m at London MCMComicon with a whole bundle of excellent scribblers. Not yet sure of the precise shape of the day, but if you’ve not been it’s well worth it, and the writer’s part of the event has got stronger and stronger every years. Also there’s trampolines built into the pavement across the water at Silvertown. Just in case, you know… you need a trampoline. I’m in Romania at the start of June with the British Council for Bookfest in Bucharest!…

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Thank you PKD!

I’m honoured and excited to say that 84K was awarded the Special Citation by the Philip K. Dick Award 2019, with the overall prize going to Audrey Schulman for Theory of Bastards. Anyone who follows this blog knows how much this means to me and how grateful I am; thank you again to the the judges for all their epic reading, and for giving this citation! There was much dancing and screaming round the room. Thanks also to Fonda Lee (author of the awesome Jade City books) for accepting this on my behalf – I wish I could have been…

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In Astonished Praise of… Queer Eye

I hate reality TV shows. Their contrived drama, their oh-so-spontaneous-not-scripted-scripting. Most of the time they thrive on conflict, aggression and dehumanisation, turning people into objects to be mocked, scorned, sexualised or ridiculed. They hypnotise with suffering, or promise a lifestyle that is utterly unrealistic, promoting a consumerist obsession that devaules what people already have or… … long story short, I really hate reality TV shows. There’s perhaps only two exceptions to this. The first is the Great British Bake-Off, which manages to hit the two requisites of a) cake and b) a general theme of people rushing around trying to…

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