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Showing posts from November, 2020

Two Recent Interviews, and Mortal Engines hits Netflix

  Here's a link to an interview I recorded back in the summer with Tim Taylor of the Time Team website - the online successor to the long-running and fondly remembered Channel 4 series of the same name.  The website archive features loads of interviews and much more - it's well worth checking out. I should have cleared all the DVDs out of my bookcase and filled it with more learned-looking volumes, but I forgot. And here's another interview , this time audio only, for Andrew Hall's Dead Hand Radio , a podcast which deals with the Cold War but branches out sometimes to encompass sci-fi and UFOs. I havent had a chance to listen to any of the other episodes, but I really enjoyed talking to Andrew and we covered quite a lot of ground. And finally, Christian Rivers's film of Mortal Engines has arrived on Netflix in the UK and Ireland. The story is much changed from the book, but it's full of good things and good people, so if you can approach it as a different take

Bookplates for Christmas

The author Holly Bourne has come up with a neat way for authors to support indie bookshops this Christmas , in a year when those shops have been forced to shut for months on end and even more business than usual has been going to the online giants. Holly is encouraging authors and illustrators to supply free, signed bookplates to any customers who purchase one of their books from an independent bookshop. If you check the #SignForOurBookshops hashtag on Twitter you'll find a lot of big names have already pledged their support, so if you're planning to give books as presents, or just buy a big old stack of them for yourself, this is a nice way to personalise them. Naturally Sarah McIntyre and I wanted to get involved, so Sarah has designed 100 exclusive Reeve&McIntyre bookplates. They feature Kevin, the roly-poly hero of The Legend of Kevin, Kevin's Great Escape and Kevin and the Biscuit Bandit, but all our characters share the same universe so they'll look just fi

The Queen's Gambit

Walter Tevis was an interesting writer, and an exceptionally good one. I don’t think he’s exactly a household name, but several of his books were turned into movies which are - The Hustler (and it’s sequel The Colour of Money ) and The Man Who Fell To Earth . As a teenage sci-fi afficionado I knew him for the latter, and for a handful of good SF stories. Which must be why, sometime in the eighties I picked up a copy of The Queen’s Gambit. I don’t recall much about it except that it was a real page-turner: a memory of the grotty living room of my student house where I sat up all night reading it came back to me powerfully when I saw that it’s been adapted as a Netflix series. Since The Hustler and The Colour of Money are about the lives of professional pool players there’s an obvious thematic connection to The Queen’s Gambit , which is about a world-class chess player. But it also has a lot in common with The Man Who Fell To Earth , another story about a not-quite-human genius laid l