Sunday 30 November 2008


As of the 29th December 2008 my Doctor Who adventure will be available on DVD. It's crammed with extras including interviews with yours truly and a commentary track where I can be heard desperately trying not to moan out loud at the awful bits. I am deeply ambivalent about this project but I have to say it wasn't nearly as bad as I remembered it being.

As a writer there's a special embarrassment that goes with a script that goes horribly wrong. Like a sexual encounter that ended badly you don't want to think about it and you resent having people bring it up in public. Still sexual failure doesn't (in my case) generate residuals so I'm not going to complain too loud.

Here's a good review and here's a bad review and here's the relevant page at Why not buy it and make up your own mind - at the very least you can revel in the near future zeerust and Jean Marsh's frocks.

Saturday 29 November 2008

Altogether now - 'It's the eye of the....'

It is a day of joy because finally 'Blake's 7: The Early Years; Eye of the Machine/Point of No Return' is out. The CD is almost as long as its title and packed with Blake's 7 goodness. In addition to Eye of the Machine you also get, purely as a bonus, James Swallow's Point of No Return which deals with a critical point in Travis' career. I'm very pleased with the way both of them turned out.

So buy Eye of the Machine/Point of No Return (or Point of No Return/Eye of the Machine as James insists on calling it) it's got drama, excitement and some quite reasonable writing.

It's available from Amazon, and the Blake's 7 Website

Friday 28 November 2008

The Painted Man

I was given a proof copy of this book at work, I am the resident geek after all, and because free stuff is free stuff I started to read. I had very low expectations, apart from the Blade Itself (reviewed below) I've become increasingly discontent with fantasy novels. I expected this either to be the kind of generic fantasy in which the author ticks off a list of cliches - obscure hero, wise mentor, vestigial empire - or one of the new breed of 'oh look how cynical I am' anti-Tolkeins where the same cliches are ticked off only this time upside down.

Instead the world building was startlingly fresh and original and the characterisations had that quality that all good writing aspires to - they felt 'true'. Not realistic you understand since human beings are almost never realistic in real life but true.

I'm going to pay the author the greatest compliment I know - I'm going to buy the second volume with my own money.

Thursday 27 November 2008

Play More Dungeons and Dragons

Once your youth has passed you by there is a tendency to look back at the things you did with a mixture of awe and incredulity. One thing that has struck me recently is how much time I spent bored out of my skull doing stuff I didn't really enjoy in the vain hope that someone would get off with me. So if you're aged 17-21 and slightly geeky listen carefully...

Play more Dungeons and Dragons, or go fishing, or get involved in cosplay or join a Carnival Krewe or something that you want to do. Don't spend your time in nightclubs listening to music you don't like very much, damaging your hearing and utterly failing to get off with someone nice. It doesn't matter how many hours of nightclubbing you do, if they don't fancy you, they don't fancy you.

It's good to socialise but utter boredom is nature's way of telling you that you're not having a good time.