Showing posts from May, 2011

The Girl-Witch (In a Graveyard of Sand)

I walk down the street and suddenly I see the face of a witch. It's the first thought that enters my head. Witch . Perhaps it is a harsh thought on reflection, as I crouch down to get a better glimpse of her face. There is definitely something uncanny about seeing her like this. She had caught my attention as I was strolling past, some distance away from her. I had glanced across to my left and seen her dark form, and the milky-white oval of her face. She is surrounded by common detritus: discarded, crumpled crisp packets; sweet wrappers; empty plastic bottles. To see her there is startling, and yet she doesn't seem out of place. It is as if the worthless things that surround her are trinkets or votive offerings; a shrine in honour of her presence. Upon closer inspection, she is just a young girl. She may or may not be a witch, a person adept at the practice of witchcraft . It's her clothes that make her appear as if she is, and make her black and white image appear sini

Fantasy Fiction- Feist

Raymond E. Feist is one of my favourite fantasy authors. He is most famous for his debut novel 'Magician', which is a modern masterpiece. His fantasy sagas are set on the fictional worlds of Midkemia and Kelewan, worlds that were created by he and college friends during Role Play Gaming and Dungeons and Dragons play sessions. With the exception of his novel 'Faerie Tale', all of Feist's novels are set in this fictional universe. Like many in the fantasy genre, Feist is heavily influenced by Tolkien and also by Ursula Le Guin's 'Earthsea' books. Feist's world is populated by the familiar staples of fantasy fiction: kings and queens, good and evil wizards, warriors and thieves, demons, dwarves and elves in a largely medieval/historic Earth setting, and essentially his books are about the eternal struggle between good and evil. However, what sets Feist apart from the rest of the Tolkien imitators and more average writers is his masterful, majestic story

The Muse; or, Where Do The Ideas Come From?

The most frequent question addressed to writers is: where do you get your ideas from? Well, I can now exclusively answer that question. Let me let the uninitiated into a little secret. No writer is responsible for his own work. There are a very small number of Independent Muses and Imagineers living across the world, who construct all fiction that is ever written. If you have ambitions to be a writer, you simply approach them and they provide you with a suitable manuscript, short story, book or script - whatever you require. It was the film director and screen writer Woody Allen who let the cat out of the bag, as it were, when he was asked where his ideas came from. It was a man in China who mailed his ideas to him, and it was that man in China that I decided to seek out when I decided to become a writer. I don't actually write my own work, in fact its a Chinese gentleman by the name of Zhiang Miao who is responsible for my scribblings. We have a relationship of convenience: he d

Reading Matter

I recently finished reading 'The Northern Clemency', by Philip Hensher. It was a surprisingly gripping novel, considering the subject matter. The story mainly follows the lives of two families and their woven fates over the course of twenty years, with various sub-plots. I was expecting something stereotypically 'gritty' and suitably 'northern' but the book was both moving, suspenseful, tense and also very funny (albeit darkly comic). The characters' personalities were very recognisably human and flawed. The children carried recognisable echoes of aspects of their parents' characters, as the general plot took shape, while others characters were reflected in one another like mirror images. (In some ways I was reminded of D.H Lawrence, notably his novel 'The Rainbow'). There are various themes in Hensher's novel: class aspirations, cultural divide between north and south in England (south represented by 'London'), sexual desire and rep

Brian Lumley's Vampire World

One of my favourite writers of horror fiction is an author called Brian Lumley. His stories are deeply imaginative and he evidently enjoys the frisson of describing the gruesome detail! He is very clearly inspired by H.P Lovecraft, and it's his earlier works and short stories which most clearly demonstrate his Lovecraftian influences. Although I enjoy the 'Titus Crow' series of novels, and the 'Psychomech' trilogy, the books that Lumley is probably most 'celebrated' for, if that is the right word, are his five Necroscope novels (the original series, as opposed to various prequels and sequels that he has published since), and his Vampire World trilogy, which was a series that chronologically followed those five books. I'm going to talk about 'The Vampire World' trilogy in this post mainly, but as they follow in terms of content the 'Necroscope' series, I'll briefly describe what those five books were about (SPOILERS ALERT).

Photos and writing samples

If you have a spare moment, please check out my Redbubble profile for various photos and some samples of my work: I've added some photographs here that I thought had particular aesthetic value. Many of them were taken in the 2006-2011 period and used to be on my facebook page. I've selected some which I thought that were worthwhile to look at. Many thanks to all!