at play in infinity

  I spent Friday both talking and listening at the wildly enjoyable Playful 2011 Conference (that’s me on-stage above – pic @thisisplayful). This post is a very quick follow-on to that. I’ve had quite a few requests for both the talk itself and a list of the writers I mentioned. So, I’ve posted the talkContinue reading “at play in infinity”

Kirk 1, Spock 0

Off to Star Trek on Saturday with H; hugely enjoyable, but – when I came back home and picked up my new Sexton Blake compilation (good fun and wide ranging, but not necessarily the best of Blake) to read myself to sleep – something quite interesting struck me. The Star Trek TV series is oneContinue reading “Kirk 1, Spock 0”

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 becomeContinue reading “Aliens, invasions, and the act of reading”

Why I’m writing a Spanish Inquisition cop show

Well, I’ve only ever been able to see ‘The Exorcist’ as a comedy, and if you believe Martin Shaw in the BBC’s nutty new exorco-drama ‘Apparitions’, that probably means I’m possessed. Hey ho, we all have our crosses to bear (or rather, pitchforks). In my defense, the scene in ‘The Exorcist’ that first set meContinue reading “Why I’m writing a Spanish Inquisition cop show”

Made from clay

And also, courtesy of Jeff Vandermeer’s blog, some heavy dark weirdness, as the Demiurge enters children’s TV through the Claymation window. Apparently – and unsurprisingly – this was banned for being too disturbing… <EDIT> It’s from a film called ‘The Adventures of Mark Twain’, which according to IMDB is marvellous… another scene apparently features TwainContinue reading “Made from clay”

Big things exploding, forever

I was reading about the militarization of space, and ended up pondering the militarization of science fiction TV. Take the Star Trek franchise, for example – a set of shows whose heroes are almost without exception members of the military, working compliantly within military structures to achieve the goals it sets for them. Building onContinue reading “Big things exploding, forever”

The butcher’s apprentice

I’m at home, watching trailers for upcoming movies on Five. Guns, fisticuffs – combat as a fundamental dramatic component. It’s so all-pervasive, you don’t notice it any more. And I’m sick of it. Sick of the reduction of the subtle emotional conflicts inherent in drama to meatheaded literal battles; sick of the constant presentation ofContinue reading “The butcher’s apprentice”

Matrices old and new

I’ve been pondering The Matrix movies lately. Key pieces of plot and character information were offered in animes, computer games, and so on. Back in the day, I thought this was lazy and exploitative. Now, I think I was wrong. Narrative is getting old school. For thousands of years, the great public stories were builtContinue reading “Matrices old and new”