Thursday, 23 December 2021

Rebutting the rising "We will all catch COVID" narrative

There is an increasing narrative that we will all inevitably contract some variant of COVID at some point and that we should all accept this fact and allow our government to get on with conducting business as normal and not have any further restrictions placed on our (economic) freedoms. 

This is just herd immunity under another guise. It is immoral, pernicious and plain wrong. For the reasons I give in his video. 

Stay safe and get boosted. 


Monday, 20 December 2021

Ecological catastrophe, global pandemics, cyber-warfare, a satirical take

 So in the light of my fury at Cop26, I drew up some ideas for cartoons and called on my old cartoonist collaborator Wilbur Dawbarn (we'd collaborated on a series soon after Trump's inauguration). 


This is what we came up with. It's what happens we you vote into power a bunch of middle-managers, who can only think in terms of economics, rather than the value of human life. Happy Christmas! 











Sunday, 11 July 2021


 

On July 15th my new novel "Stories We Tell Our Children" is published by Lendal Press. A novel in 30 thematically linked short stories, which explore many different types of story and narrative that we offer our children in their early years. From the early picture books, through fairy tales to detective and science fiction, to non-literary narratives such as advertising, boy bands and fandom's social media, football, Punch and Judy, ballet and visual art, the novel examines what these narratives offer, how they are structured and whether they are healthy or not, in what is increasingly becoming a more complex world. 


REVIEWS:

JoyZine  "The book has been written by an author who is intelligent, an acute observer of our society, well read and loves his art. Combined with the ability to make you smile and cringe on occasion, it’s a job well done."


Never Imitate  "The overarching theme may be the stories we tell our children and how these impact their development, but the tales also bring to light the stories we tell ourselves."

*


There are quote cards with short examples from the book here.


The video below is a reading from one of the chapters "Father Trismus"



The video below is a short discussion about how rich children's imaginations are and how information given to them in good faith, they can run with and take to damaging extremes and which formed the basis for the story "Father Trismus". 


The video below examines why story plays such a central role in all our lives and the two after it talk about the dangers of too much story and how there is a need for new narrative structures and new stories, for the sake of our planet.



The little white lies we carry on as traditions, such as Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, are developmental stages from which the child will eventually pierce the illusion and the joyous mutual conspiracy will fall by the wayside. But what happens when that isn't the case with a white lie, or if a child plays it to their advantage against the parents? 




Language is a key component of children's play. They voice dolls, action men, football games and the like. But adults lose this sense of story, because their play takes much more rigid lines, such as competitiveness in sports, or the art of creation where the art form is the narrative. 


I talk about retaining the playfulness of language in "Stories We Tell Our Children" and how writing itself can be playful simply through language.






When you talk about the constituent elements of a novel, one that is often left out of discussion is that of time. Time is multi-faceted in novels, working in three different ways and I talk about these different applications 






The novel is available from all good UK outlets, but I would encourage you to support local and independent bookshops to help them recover from the pandemic by ordering from here if you can't get to those shops in person. 

Thursday, 8 July 2021

Literary Lacrosse Schtick 2 - A Bookish Quiz



So in 2018 for the publication of my previous novel, I put up a cryptic clue literary quiz where all the answers were book titles. You can view it here and the answers here.


So with a new book out in exactly a week's time, the quiz is back too with a whole bunch of new clues. The answers can be viewed here

An example of how the quiz works. I give the year of publication and the country of the author and then a cryptic clue which in true crossword style, is a play on the words of the book's title. So for example, after giving you the year ad country, the clue might be UNADORNED NOONTIME REPAST. For which the answer is William Burroughs' "Naked Lunch"


Enjoy and feel free to post your total in the comments. Try and avoid posting the answers.


1) UK 2018 THE GUY WHO MAKES BELFAST DOORSTOP DELIVERIES?


2) US 2017 POTUS 16’S BUDDHIST SOUL SEARCHING? 


3) US 2011 DISPOSITION OF AWE


4) UK 1928 BIOGRAPHY OF DISNEY WORLD? 


5) Mexico 2017 SALT & PEPPER TROPICAL STORM?


6) US 2020 BETWEEN SOHO AND THE THEATRELAND OF THE MIND


7) US 1993 A FISTFUL OF CHASTE SELF-IMMOLATORS


8) S.Africa 2003 ELVIS’ SOUTH AFRICAN AUNT?


9) UK 2006 CONSTANTINOPLE’S ILLEGITIMACY? 


10) US 2020 METEOROLOGY


11) UK 1995 PLANETARY GIRDLES MADE OF ICE AND ROCK


12) Australia 2018 JUVENILE CONSUMES ALL THE MILKY WAYS IN EXISTENCE


13) US 2000  RESIDENTIAL FOLIAGE


14) UK/ Ireland 2016 SUBJACENT NEIGHBOURS OF THE MORAVIANS?


15) Japan 1994 COPPER MNEMONICS?


16) UK 2020 THOMAS MORE’S HOME ADDRESS? 


17) UK 2020 LEXICON FOR A PERJURER? 


18) Chile 2014 ANSWER A, B, C, OR D


19) US 1996 THE JOKE’S ON YOU IN PERPETUITY


20) UK 1962 25 CARAT MOLESKIN?


21) UK 2020 PETTY ABRASION? 


22) US 1992 SECOND GENERATION DIVINE OFFSPRING? 


23) France 2015 SEPTIMAL FACULTY OF FRENCH, OR LATIN, OR ENGLISH OR DANISH… 


24) Palestine 2017 LESSER MINUTIA?


25) UK/India 2019 BEAUTIFUL CORPSES?


26) Mexico/US 2013 FIRST PERSON CHRONICLE OF DENTITION? 


27) US 2011 SENDING THE BOYS ROUND?


28) France 2018 NOCTURNAL SANGUINARY SHADE


29) US 2020 OCTO-GRANARY?


30) UK/Ireland 2020 SIDEREAL TOW


31) UK 2015 COMPLETELY SURROUNDED BY A SEA OF GLOSSY FABRIC?


32) UK 2020 EINSTEIN’S DEVOTED METHOD?


33) US 2020 SSSSH!


34) Germany 2015 THE THREE OF THEM ARE NO LONGER HERE, THOUGH YOU MIGHT STILL CATCH

 THE LAST ONE


35) US 2012 SHADY MAN’S NYCHTHEMERON TOME BOUTIQUE



Thursday, 24 June 2021

Some short samples from my upcoming novel "Stories We Tell our Children" published July 15th. It's a novel told through short stories and explores the many different types of narrative that our children are exposed to in their development, both those in books, but also those non-literary narratives such as advertising, Punch and Judy and unspoken parental aspirations. 




























You can pre-order my new novel "Stories We Tell Our Children" (also available for international shipping) from here https://uk.bookshop.org/books/stories-we-tell-our-children/9781912436941 




The Rather Strange Genesis Of My New Novel

I talk about the rather strange origins of my upcoming new novel "Stories We Tell Our Children" published by Lendal Press on July 15th.

Touching on partial writer's block, life-creativity balance and the role of careers' counselling, as well as how much of the book involved autobiographical material and how much was purely the work of the imagination.




You can pre-order my new novel "Stories We Tell Our Children" (also available for international shipping) from here https://uk.bookshop.org/books/stories-we-tell-our-children/9781912436941 





The story of the cover https://sulcicollective.blogspot.com/2021/06/cover-reveal.html

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Cover reveal

 My new novel "Stories We Tell Our Children" is published on July 15th. Here's a short video revealing the cover and talking about where the concept for it emerged from.





You can pre-order my new novel "Stories We Tell Our Children" (also available for international shipping) from here.