passive-digressive

There are two kinds of people* – those who like forewords, introductions, prefaces, author’s notes, footnotes, appendices, bibliographies, notes on the text, maps etc, and those who don’t. But we’ll get back to that shortly. * there are more than two kinds of people. Possibly…

the book even of my secret soul (about books, again)

I love books. I want books. Post-Christmas I’m in the enviable position of having – not money, but in a way even better, virtual money that can only be spent on books. What I don’t have though, is a lot of space for books. So,…

2024 – welcome to the/a future(s)

  Another year – and the actual name of the year itself gets ever stranger and more unlikely and exotically futuristic, if you grew up in the era when the film 2001: A Space Odyssey was still set in the future. And here’s the annual…

jack told him about the thing – updating children’s books

  There’s a strange moment near the beginning of the 1982 Puffin Books edition of Robert Westall’s Fathom Five (1979): Dad never talked about Life and its Meanings; only fried bread and thrushes.‘What’s got you up so early?’Jack told him about the thing in the…

a portrait of the author as a young arse

      Between the ages of 19 and 21, I wrote a series of notes (the longest is about a page, so somewhere between a sketch and a mini-essay I guess) that made up a kind of summary of my worldview at the time….

music of my mind (whether I like it or not)

Since the age of 13 or so, music has been an important part of my life. I have written about it for various places, including here, here, here, here and, um, here, but more than that, I listen to music that I don’t have to…

gateways to horror: the watch house by robert westall

  What was the first thing that scared you? The answer to that question is no doubt buried deep in your subconscious and could be almost anything. What was the first thing you sought out because you wanted to be scared? That should be easier…

church, going*

But superstition, like belief, must die, And what remains when disbelief has gone? Grass, weedy pavement, brambles, buttress, sky, A shape less recognisable each week, A purpose more obscure. Philip Larkin, Church Going (1954) Given that Christianity seemed to be – in the sense of…