On the turning away

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One of my favourite authors is the late Clifford Simak. He remains best known for his unique approach to fiction writing, combining some of the precepts of hardcore science fiction with a humanely pastoral approach to the ways in which … Read More

The magic notebook

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Many of those of us who, usually mistakenly, believe that our spontaneous thoughts are of some intrinsic merit, carry notebooks through whose agency our ideas are intended to be immortalised. Some of us even bear the conceit that, when we … Read More

The blank page

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We often talk of “turning over a new leaf” with relish. The prospect of a fresh start is almost always an attractive one: the opportunity to renew one’s creativity is presented and indeed symbolised by a new sheet. Whether it … Read More

Old fart at play

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There are innumerable literary perpectives upon the subject of autumn, many of them metaphorical. As the nights become earlier and colder the prospect of book and armchair becomes ever more alluring and the consideration of literary procedures becomes a seasonally … Read More

A man who fell to earth

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At a height of around 100,000 feet, the sky is pretty much black, the Earth is predominantly blue and the curvature of the horizon is quite apparent. To all intents and purposes, save for the continued presence of gravity, one … Read More

JG Ballard – a brief farewell

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Ballard was not quite unique but the company he kept is indicative of his stature. I don’t mean his connections with Alldis, Moorcock or Sinclair but rather his almost unique quality of adjectivisation: Shakespeare begat Shakespearean, Swift begat Swiftian, Dickens … Read More

National treasures

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Consider if you will the words “worth” and “price”. On the face of things, they’re of quite similar meaning. “Worth” means the value and, by implication, what something costs ie. it’s price: “price” measures what we’re willing to pay for … Read More

Radio radio

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A recent radio news item reminded me of an oddly unsettling experience. In the summer of 2007, my book “Fundamentals of Sonic Arts” had just been published and was generating a gratifying amount of response. I was contacted by Michael … Read More

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