Ben Aaronovitch: Broken Homes

Capture Broken homes

A mutilated body in Crawley. Another killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil; an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man? Or just a common or garden serial killer?

Before PC Peter Grant can get his head round the case a town planner going under a tube train and a stolen grimoire are adding to his case-load.

So far so London.

But then Peter gets word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on an housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans and inhabited by the truly desperate.

Is there a connection?

And if there is, why oh why did it have to be South of the River?

Full of warmth, sly humour and a rich cornucopia of things you never knew about London, Aaronovitch’s series has swiftly added Grant’s magical London to Rebus’ Edinburgh and Morse’s Oxford as a destination of choice for those who love their crime with something a little extra.

London’s rivers are full of gods – or rather genius loci. There are Fair Folk living in the Underground System and ghosts haunting the streets who can definitely pack a punch. There are real cat girls – and worse things – in Soho, and vampires in Purley.

(Incidentally, that last section of blurb on the dust jacket of the first book was what inspired me to take it to the counter. I mean, vampires in my home suburb? HOT DAMN.)

Continue reading “Ben Aaronovitch: Broken Homes”

So, about Reign on The CW…

This upcoming series, and I quote,

Chronicles the rise to power of Mary Queen of Scots (Kane) when she arrives in France as a 15-year-old, betrothed to Prince Francis, and with her three best friends as ladies-in-waiting. It details the secret history of survival at French Court amidst fierce foes, dark forces, and a world of sexual intrigue.

Here’s the trailer.



Continue reading “So, about Reign on The CW…”

The Dracula Tape

So, in preparation for the upcoming NBC version of Dracula…


…I was planning to do some sort of post on how I first came to read Bram Stoker’s most famous novel, and how I think this latest adaptation will…compare to the original.

Capture The Dracula tapeBut then my attention was caught and held by The Dracula Tape, a 1975 novel written by Fred Saberhagan, which seeks to tell Dracula’s side of the story in his own words. Namely by waylaying some descendants of Jonathan and Mina Harker in their car one snowy night, and proceeding to tell his version of the events while preserving it on a tape recorder.

Sounds rather familiar, doesn’t it? I would cry copy-cat, except that Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire was published the year after this book. Then again, said Interview with the Vampire was based off a short story she wrote in 1968… Continue reading “The Dracula Tape”

Of ‘Man of Steel’, genetic engineering and body births in science fiction.

First of all, let me say this; I really liked the latest film of Superman’s exploits, ‘Man of Steel‘. Some bits were rather strange and, as is common with Zack Snyder, the fight scenes really went on for far too long, but I walked out feeling happy and satisfied for having seen it.

However, I also walked out with some complaints that I proceeded to discuss with my (male) friends. I’ll get into the others at some point down the line, but for now I’ll stick with my first one:

‘How was Lara able to a) conceive, carry and give birth naturally, given that she’s the result of thousands of years worth of selective and genetically engineered breeding via mechanical means and b) manage to do all of that without anyone noticing?

Capture man of steel

My (male) friends were naturally somewhat surprised that this was what I was most curious about, so I hastened to explain: I believed that, since organic reproduction was a barbaric thing of the past, and a relatively distant past at that, Kryptonians would have been genetically engineered to no longer possess the ability to procreate naturally. After all, it’s made pretty clear that reproducing naturally is kind of against the law by now in any case. So sure, they’d have the hormones in order to ensure physical development up to a certain point, and be able to have sex and love it, but neither male sperm nor female eggs would be viable.

“In fact,” I said as I hopped up onto a small wall and walked along it, “Kryptonian females would no longer have fertility cycles or a uterus at all, or whatever their equivalent is, since if natural child bearing was fully obsolete and, as we saw, even illegal, I know most human women would delight in not having to put up with menstruation without resorting to pills or operations.”

Continue reading “Of ‘Man of Steel’, genetic engineering and body births in science fiction.”

So, guess what? It’s Camp NANOWRIMO time!

Yes, that time when we attempt to write a novel of 50000 words in a months is finally here again!

This post really should have been up yesterday.

I am ashamed.

Anyway, I’ve decided to take a leaf out of the book of a friend and post excerpts of my efforts on my blog, in the hope that it will inspire me to keep going and actually, just possibly, finish this event for once.

Miracles, as they say, take a little longer, but perhaps I might just be able to stay in for the long haul.

In any case, here is a sample of my work. First draft, naturally. Enjoy 🙂

(Yes, I know it is not anywhere near 1,600 words. What comes after is not really fit for anyone’s eyes yet.

Not like that, you little pervs. 🙂

Continue reading “So, guess what? It’s Camp NANOWRIMO time!”