Notes on Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

Last night, after the South Manchester Writers Workshop (14/11/17), we headed to the Dog and Partridge and got to talking about our projects. The subject turned to speaking – the author I was in discussion with was developing a talk on Evolutionary Theory – and how much time to allow. He expected to read at just under 200 words Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Check out free reads on Deviant Art

Put some free reads on Deviant Art. Here’s an up to date list.

Lucky (SF / Space Opera – see below for details)
The Human Hunters (SF / Military)
Writing Day (Dystopia)
Ice Made (Magic Realism)
Fickleday- Visitors (Alternate Earth)
The Faerie Tree (Alternate Fantasy)
Nurse of the Night (dying gangster)
Sky High (Dystopia)
Taxed (General)

Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CPD – Continuing Professional Development

Well I’ve finally come to the end of that, for a while at least. In a way it’s essential part of the condition – demonstrate adherence to the principle of maintaining your relevance in a changing world, and frequently, learning for learning’s sake. Long a staple of legal profession and others, Continue reading

Posted in General, Links to Fiction, Opinion | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

An Afternoon With 3 Authors

I go to too few book readings and I suspect this is as much to do with the weakness of the local writers’ grapevine as it is with ivory tower syndrome. It’s also more of a rarity in my neck of the woods. Today I go over t’other side off t’Pennines to an author reading at The Gallery. Enough of the colloquialisms already. Slaithwaite is 5 miles south-west of Huddersfield on the A62. I use satnav – I know how to get to Slaithwaite but my route will involve getting lost on the A62 plus a brief tour of the inner ring road in Huddersfield – I’ve been lost there before so once I gravitate there at least I’ll know where I am, and possibly an excursion to discover if pie shops in Huddersfield open on Sunday. But I haven’t the time, so it’s the M62 and a switchback route down steep, single lane roads. I am early so there’s plenty of time to locate the reading room which is in the café in the basement floor. The event is graciously hosted by Wendy Beattie, Gallery Owner. Pretty soon I realise I am going to blog this regardless of the fact I’ve come unprepared. Evidence:

An Afternoon With 3 Authors - the evidence

An Afternoon With 3 Authors

Reading time approx 15 mins each. Continue reading

Posted in Review, Trivia | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Raymond Chandler and Science Fiction

I’ve always felt the influence Raymond Chandler. Unrelated to this, I’ve been aware for quite some time that SF has its detractors. Eighteen months back, I came across an article linking the two:


cover to Unfinished Tales by Carley the Slothmeister

cover by Carley the Slothmeister

SJ Perelman said of the pulps “they have juxtaposed the steely automatic and the frilly panty and found that it pays off”. Chandler wrote for the pulps but gave the readers more than sex and violence. His novels and short stories reshaped the Detective genre. In correspondence dated 14 March 1953 to HH Swanson, he parodies Science Fiction as it was then. Let’s make some time for Raymond Chandler; his SF parody was actually a challenge. How has SF responded?
Science Fiction started off as a potpourri of novelty; its theme: ‘anything else’. Early authors were formulaic ER Burroughs did Tarzan, Barsoom, Pellucidar or Amtor but read one and you’ve pretty much read them all. E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith and Asimov left you gagging for a real character. Asimov’s laws –let’s not forget these were pre-articulated by John W Campbell –turn out to be aspirations; (obvious once you do AI design). The Milford Method named after the place where Judith Merrill, Damon Knight & James Blish lived was a 1950s step in the right direction. Heinlein apart, genre writers struggled to get informed feedback. The New Wave SF movement tried to fix that. Harlan Ellison’s Dangerous Visions flirted with notoriety and Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds then the UK’s leading SF periodical folded. It had become a vanity project.
Are Chandler’s points still valid? I’m always conflicted on matters of SF; although I’m fiercely loyal, too often it’s a let down so I’ll stick: Is it plausible? Is it authentic? These tests have been around a lot longer than the long form fiction narrative we call novels. The evidence from Amazon is promotion works and trash sells.

Posted in General, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

List of Works

Here’s a list of works as of 18/10/17. These are mostly on Lulu. If you don’t mind paying to use Google’s book ordering technology, that’s fine by me but it’s usually cheaper to order direct from Lulu. The web links below go direct to the pages they can be ordered. What does POD mean? It means Print-on-demand; find a book you like, when you buy it, it triggers a system where an individual copy is remotely printed and delivered. Printing on demand means it’s no longer necessary hold a stock of books.

Short story collections and novels.

The Tau Device (POD, POD XL, Kindle)
Space Opera, Romance, Alien culture, Manifest Destiny meets Terraforming plus an interstellar crisis just as humans get into space.

The Tau Device

The Slow Holocaust and other stories (POD)
Short, dystopian fictions.

The Slow Holocaust

Unfinished Tales (POD)
Detective fiction plus historical fiction (set at the time of Norman Sicily)

Unfinished Tales

A Guide to First Contact (POD, POD XL, POD HB, Kindle)
Nothing like my original 1st novel, yet eternally linked by bonds of sweat and fatigue. Civilisation is about to end, humanity is about to be wiped out, aliens have been contacted, the Rapture is at hand, sub-humans are waiting to spawn, an ancient source of life delivers a last gift and the Mandat Culturel lies ready. Continue reading

Posted in Links to Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Burnley Literary Festival 2017

This year’s festival seemed a good deal bigger. Circumstances got in the way of attending all the events I’d have liked but you do what you can. Unlike last year’s blogathon (beginning here)  it’ll be just this post.

Kate Field.

Kate has been writing for 18 – 20 years. Her early works were Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Have to blog this. Writing means not just having the correct form of words, but capturing the essence of a thought. The way it comes out is the form.

Going back to 06/09/2016, we were in the middle of preparing to move house. Continue reading

Posted in Trivia, Writing | Leave a comment

KPMG Audit of HBOS

Backlash as watchdog closes probe into KPMG’s doomed HBOS audit

KPMG audited HBOS in 2007. HBOS had to be bailed out following extreme financial conditions in late 2008 (ie the debt crisis). Continue reading

Posted in Opinion | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Best Philip K Dick Novel

Best Philip K Dick Novel

The Guardian ran an article on Dick’s Best Novels chosen by Nicola BarkerMichael Moorcock, and Adam Roberts on 27th August 2017 at Philip K Dick Best Novels. There’s all the normal stuff you’d expect to see – Adam Roberts sensibly chose Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? You find out Moorcock’s take on Dick –as editor of New Worlds, Moorcock sought out voices to flesh out his vision of Science Fiction, indeed Moorcock was one of the high prophets of New Wave SF. Nicola Barker’s take set my brain into gear.

Dick: “the core of my writing is not art, but truth”, and – still more perplexingly: “I am a fictionalising philosopher, not a novelist.” Continue reading

Posted in General, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment