Machines Like Me – Reviewed

The pronoun ‘me’ underscores the debate at the core of the novel about the benefits and dangers of Artificial Intelligence, a debate which becomes quite cerebral at times. We are invited to reflect on a taxing question: when does sentience become cognition and, when cognition evolves an identity – ‘me’ – does a robot become… CONTINUE READING

Sex Education

No. I’m not offering advice or therapy so don’t ask. I’m talking about the Netflix series, Sex Education, which is far and away the best thing I’ve seen on the idiot box for a very long time. Otis, a sixth-former, has a problem with masturbation: he cannot bring himself to a climax. He surmises that… CONTINUE READING

Humphrey and the Squirrel

Humphrey and the Squirrel is a prequel to Ian Thomson’s successful novel, Humphrey and Jack. Humphrey does battle with his nosy neighbour, Mrs Bellingham – with Aristotle the cat – and with a malicious squirrel – each of whom is a threat to his beloved garden birds. You could read the story as a taster… CONTINUE READING

Assorted Reviews

🎬Hacksaw Ridge ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Deserving of its accolades in some respects but I can’t escape feeling there is something schizophrenic about Gibson’s work.There is a celebration of Desmond’s refusal to bear arms and his decision to work in the middle of the battle as a medic. This alternative heroism is portrayed powerfully with messianic imagery. We… CONTINUE READING

The Northern Elements – Endgame

I am finding that you reach a point in making a story where everything falls into place and you can see the destination. There is still some way to go but you know what happens – what has to happen – to get to the end. There may still be some research to do for… CONTINUE READING

Humphrey & Jack – The Movie

It’s only a matter of time, you know. Here’s my dream cast (unless you know better – why not make your suggestions at the bottom of the page?) Humphrey – Martin Clunes  Jack – Asa Butterfield Mrs Bellingham – Maggie Smith Secondhand Sue – Julie Walters Flake – Rys Ifans Cora – Imelda Staunton Garth… CONTINUE READING

Q & A

How do you deal with writer’s block? I know that this is a very serious question for some writers but I don’t honestly suffer from it. Not to date anyway. If I feel I might be getting stuck, there are three ways I might try to get out of it: 1. Give it a break… CONTINUE READING

Amongst the woolly plebs

I am in rural Yorkshire, a few miles outside Harrogate, staying at The Granary, a delightful first floor loft conversion, where I am working flat out on The Northern Elements. This is a novel set on the other side of the Pennines in my native Blackburn and set in 1890, 1960 and 2015. That very fact… CONTINUE READING

Two Book Reviews

Baby, you can drive my car… This is Simon Dell’s first foray into publishing fiction – he has already published on marketing – and it is already imaginative and assured writing. If science fiction is your bag then this is for you. It takes the topical issue of anxiety about Artificial Intelligence (and specifically driverless… CONTINUE READING

The Favourite – Review

📽 If you have not seen this film, drop whatever you are doing and book tickets now. It has been nominated for ten Oscars and if it doesn’t sweep the board, call me Jemima and paint me cerise. It is quite extraordinary: classy, funny, bawdy, violent, heartbreaking – and very very strange. Deadly Rivals It… CONTINUE READING