the last of…

So here’s Iain Sinclair, talking about London while wandering in Haggerston Park and Bethnal Green: He’s sadder here than I’ve ever seen him. He talks in the film about how London has changed into something he can no longer engage with – that writers in general can engage with – in any particularly constructive way. […]

A Vanishing

Waking in the morning to the tumbling of a stream outside my shining window and the dreams I had recede like strangers, met on the road. I think of stories of hitchers buckling their seatbelts, pale in the night picked up perhaps at a crossroads perhaps at a cemetery gate who talk of nothing much, […]

William Blake understood as a West London Shopping Mall

On Sunday, I went to the William Blake 1809 exhibition at Tate Britain, reviewed here in The Guardian. It’s absolutely fascinating; it restages his first and only public display of prints and paintings, and sets them in a context which helps explain their abysmal critical reception. I wanted to do a video review of it, […]

Aliens, invasions, and the act of reading

Nigel Kneale’s masterpieces ‘Quatermass and the Pit’, ‘The Quatermass Conclusion’ and ‘The Stone Tape’ cast a fascinating light on the nature of fiction, because each one shows the future invading from the past. In ‘Quatermass and the Pit’, the Martian invaders are five million year old fossils, in ‘The Quatermass Conclusion’, Neolithic stone circles become […]

A short post about hauntings

Late night Bank Holiday Monday, and rather than enjoying the delights of the Notting Hill Carnival the hard working writer of Weird Fiction finds himself enjoying a glass of whisky and the Amicus portmanteau semi-classic ‘Vault of Horror’. Terry Thomas, Tom Baker (in possibly the maddest ginger false beard and wig combo in cinema), Anna […]

‘Ghosts’ lives!

Well, much excitement here at Allumination Central as my short story, ‘Ghosts’ has hit the streets in the latest issue of ‘Midnight Street’ – and it’s the cover story! Which I didn’t know about at all until my copy popped through the postbox, so a lovely surprise. Anyway… the story’s about the problems of exploring […]

Truant heart

Following on from today’s earlier quick post, another quick post, about magnificent Dubstep artist Burial – the anonymous Fisher King of modern bass culture, bleeding out nostalgic futures from the South London suburb of Croydon. I’ve been grooving to his wonderfully haunted album ‘Untrue’ since just before Christmas, but have reached a new level of […]

I was a poltergeist once, you know…

Well, it’s mid-August, and my brain is winding down. Holidays are beginning; I’ve got Monday off next week to recover from a Stellas recording session (we’re going from midday Sunday to 4am Monday), Friday to head to the Green Man Festival with H, Raagnagrok and co (where we shall in particular be enjoying Strange Attractor […]

M. R. James the dramatist

And one more thing about M. R. James; he wrote his stories to be read out loud, and they still perform incredibly well. Come Halloween – or indeed any other cold, dark, spooky night – it’s well worth getting a few friends round, sitting down in front of the fire, and reading him to your […]

Seeing the world

At Arvon last week I was ranting – as you do – about John Burdett’s ‘Bangkok 8’, the only psychedelic transvestite Thai reincarnation police procedural you’ll ever need to read (apart, of course, from its sequel ‘Bangkok Tattoo’). And, if that whets your appetite for Thai mythology, there’s much else out there – S.P. Somtow’s […]