6 Inches of London Snow

Day 0. The weather report says snow is coming.  Some of us still remember when this was a regular thing, but that was 20 years ago.  Transport for London starts issuing warnings.  Not “don’t travel” just, “expect disruption” because they know from bitter experience that it’s not enough to say “there might be snow”.  If you want to avoid the irate emails, the snarky tweets, the furious interviews from shuttered platforms with local news, you gotta say “it’s gonna go wrong”.  Somehow that makes everything already better. It’s the same with the ad campaign on the underground.  “You plan for…

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Recovering

In December of 2017, I walked into a door.  This was not my intention. This was a few days before Christmas, and though I’ve had more spectacular black eyes, the lump on my head took a week or so to go down. I was also struggling to use words after 5 p.m., falling back on sitting mutely at the kitchen table and occassionally making grunting noises.  Short-term memory was having a bit of a pisser, and everything seemed extremely hard.  “You can do this,” I would mutter under my breath, going to buy a pint of milk.  “You can do…

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Natural Medicine

A sound engineer friend had a baby monitor in his kitchen.  One night, without any warning, the plug caught fire.  “Can you smell smoke?” asked the missus, and in they ran to find flames beginning to lick up the walls.  They got it out in fairly short order, but in the process my friend suffered some burns to his hands.  It was frightening, but thank the heavens, could have been much, much worse.  “Imagine if we were asleep,” he fumed, “I don’t even want to think about it!” As burns went they remarkably mild, and the entire family, thankfully, got…

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Damnit Speedy Kat!

There are certain biological differences between men and women. There, I’ve said it, tada!  And I haven’t really said it before, because the second you utter those words total wankers tend to jump on them with a cry of “yes, men are more logical and strong, and women are more emotional and teary, see!” which is… uch… so much bullshit. Obviously, ladies make babies… boys tend to be warmer in winter and more likely to have haemophilia.  There are definite genetic tweaks brought about by that pesky Y-chromosome.  And yes, men tend to be physically stronger, and women tend to…

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Ursula Le Guin

A few weeks ago, Ursula K. Le Guin died.  She was one of the bad-ass bosses of fantasy/SF writing, and with her passing it feels like a whole era is ending.  She was also one of the writers who inspired me as a kid, first through sheer love of reading her books – A  Wizard of Earthsea basically got me into fantasy along with Pratchett’s Discworld – and later through a growing awareness of the role of women writers in the field.  ‘Cos fantasy/SF is still pretty firmly male.  Many many awesome males, but still more than there are women,…

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More Upcoming Events 2018

Some dates for the diary coming right up… Saturday 24th February, I’m part of SFX’s BookCon at Foyles on Charing Cross Road, chatting about Adaptations with the wonderful Adam Roberts and Richard Morgan, whose recent adaptation of Altered Carbon I’m also really looking forward to. On March 16th, I’m coming to Waterstones Oxford to chat with the ever-awesome Mike Carey (here dressed up as M.R.Carey of Girl With All The Gifts fame) about… well, probably books and the universe, but to be honest we’ve spent so much time geeking out that it’s now almost impossible to predict where things might…

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