Mal Peet

Mal Peet died yesterday. I never met him. I dearly wish I had. I wish every possible comfort on those who did. Life: An Exploded Diagram was the novel that opened YA up for me. It blew the doors off the field. It was everything I wanted a book to be and like nothing I’d ever read before. […]

Talking and Living

To be honest, posting this scares me. I want to tell you about this one specific Wednesday a few months back. There have been other days like it since, but I made notes about this one, so I remember the details better. The day started out innocuously enough with a couple of slices of toast and a […]

“Take it, brave York…”

Ten points for the house of whoever recognizes the reference in the title (twenty if it’s Hufflepuff, I’m biased…) Friday to Sunday this week, it’s FantasyCon at the Royal York Hotel in, well, York. Here’s what I’m doing: Friday 5th September 08.40: Reading! – Not sure what from yet, maybe Our Lady of The Streets, maybe even some […]

Something in the Water

Imagine there’s this shoe factory on a river bank, and the shoes it makes are a work of art:  supple leather, long-lasting, comfortable like you wouldn’t believe. Plus, they’re just-straight up, jaw-droppingly beautiful.  People write fan letters to the designer of these shoes.  They have conventions about these shoes where they cosplay as these shoes, all the while […]

Skynet and Sneezy Pandas: The Economics of Automation

This video by internet stick-figure legend CPG Grey is very cool and interesting, I recommend you watch it. If for whatever reason you can’t, here’s a very sketchy summary: The machines are coming for your job. We already have technology that makes it cheaper and more efficient for machines to do many of the manual […]

In Defence of Sparkly Vampires

(This is the first in a series of posts I’m going to write this week on topics discussed in panels at 9 worlds and Loncon.) I’m just going to come right out and say it: Edward Cullen is one of the most effective vampires ever written. I was on a couple of monster-related panels at […]

Ink, Paper and Gratitude

Well, we did it. Three books down. This might sound strange, if we’ve never met, but if you’ve read any of The Skyscraper Throne books, I think of you as a colleague. We might be friends too, I’d like to think we’d be friends. You obviously have excellent taste in books, and that counts for […]

Insulin and Empathy

A man dies alone in his flat, in the dark, because he’s diabetic and his insulin spoiled in the fridge, because his power was cut off, because his benefits had been stopped in the seventh richest country in the world. At the same time, the lights and fridges and respirators go out in Gaza as […]

Amazon, Consumers, and Melting Polar Ice

I’m gonna wade into the Amazon/Hachette quagmire real quick, because I feel like there’s something obvious that’s not being said. I’m trusting you guys to let me out alive. Background: and Hachette (one of the world’s big 5 publishers) have been bashing out the terms of their latest trade deal. Amazon have been playing […]

The Long Con at Loncon

Loncon is a-comin’ round the bend. Here’s what I’m up to and when. If you’re around in the Excel, do come say hey! Fresh Beasts Thursday 15:00 – 16:30, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL) YA writers seem particuarly keen on supernatural monsters. Have we mined out the traditional ones — the Vampires, demons and zombies? What […]