Category: Words

hothouse by Brian Aldiss 0

Review – Hothouse by Brian Aldiss

Review: Hothouse by Brian Aldiss Look, I persevered. It is no doubt an interesting book concept. And I came away from it with a clear and unsettling feeling that I had just spent a week in overgrown and hostile jungles, amongst the sticky, sharp, cloying, impenetrable vegetation of Aldiss’s future...

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Chuck

He withdraws bloody claws, flicks chunks of bone to the side. He thinks about his first kill, back when he was a wee pup. He didn’t know then that Benny wasn’t any old bird. She was one of the family, just like him. There had been anger, then. Slaps. He’s...

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Why I hate writers on the internet

So I’m a writer. I’m even sometimes a paid one (yay!). I have this crazy idea that being a writer means that I should be telling stories – making observations about life, describing tiny parts of the universe, sharing tid-bits about people, both fictional and real. But writers on the...

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The Jungle – Upton Sinclair

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair is an unrelentingly awful tramp through the worst parts of early American capitalism. Normally I would hate something this despairing, but actually I found myself drawn in and – unusually for me – unable to look away. Upton Sinclair’s expose of the Chicago meat packing...

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Did not finish – reading by numbers

Adding a book to the ‘did not finish’ pile always feels like a failure. On whose part, I don’t know – the reader and the writer are sometimes equally to blame. There are plenty of (probably) truly excellent books that I just haven’t been able to finish, and loads of...

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American Gods – Neil Gaiman

Review: A love letter to the great American road trip, featuring gods, demons and zombies. An interesting tale told in fits and bursts. American Gods, Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins, 2001) I’m mostly familiar with Neil Gaiman from his work on Dr Who, and for being the other half of Amanda Palmer....

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The Salt Cellar

When you spill salt on the table, you’re supposed to pick up a pinch and throw it over your left shoulder. This will, it is hoped, ward off evil spirits, bad luck, witches, Brussels sprouts and all sorts of other nasty things. Petra had learned this from a young age....

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Left Behind

Serena thought death would smell, but it hadn’t – at least, not at first. She’d woken up in a room not too dissimilar to the one she’d last fallen asleep in. When she opened her eyes she was standing, actually standing, for the first time in weeks. She blinked a...

The Fall of the Soviet Union 0

The Fall of the Soviet Union – a love story

“They say that when Mikhail Gorbachev first heard the Muzak version of Edge of Seventeen, it knocked him out cold.” This is what Alexis told me, as we sat blowing smoke rings on the banks of the Sava river. The thing about Alexis is, he doesn’t know how to lie....