Jeff Bridges in Starman

John Carpenter’s Starman: not as good as ALF

Some claim Starman as the misunderstood gem in John Carpenter’s back catalogue. There really should be too much good there for it to be bad: an alien road-trip romance featuring a comic Jeff Bridges performance, a Karen Allen lead, Mike Douglas producing and a Stand By Me screenwriter? It’s also the only Carpenter picture to…




Halloween

John Carpenter’s Halloween: I still don’t get it

Halloween is the Carpenter movie I never got. I always suspected I was missing something. Close friends set their horror watches by it. But it always bored me. Unlike the same year’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers, this was not a film that spooked me. I tried it on a number of occasions in my…




5 things about “In The Mouth of Madness”

In the Mouth of Madness is a gateway to Sam Neil, and for that the film instantly wins praise. Many, of course, discovered the Kiwi kook through his leading turn in Jurassic Park, others perhaps even earlier via Dead Calm. But, for some of us, it was the one-two of this shlock horror caper, followed…




The Fountain (2006)

The Fountain is a chuckle, in the right way. The truly batshit can be fun, and for a while the sheer unpredictability of the picture is enough to carry us by space bubble all the way to Xibalba. Unfortunately, as the soundtrack grinds on, a sense of frustration sets in as two promising stories are…




The latest book store buys

tsundoku

I have just been reading about the excellent Japanese word “tsundoku”, which essentially means buying books only to let them pile up unread. This is such a common sickness I’m surprised the term hasn’t more thoroughly penetrated the English language. I myself have a bad case: When my wife and I first combined our libraries,…



Christine

Christine: 5 good and bad things about John Carpenter

Christine is, well…not too good, but there are moments that prevent it from uglying up the Carpenter forecourt too badly. This model had a lot to live up to, following a trio of outright classics (The Fog, Escape from New York and The Thing) and certainly might be cited as the beginning of the end for…




Snake Pliskin and matches

Escape from LA: 5 easy upgrades

Yes, there is a lot of silly fun on display in the 96 Snake-fest, Al Leong is still merrily energising the background, and it features a late Carpenter soundtrack with at least one or two nice moments – but there’s an equally powerful sense of wasted opportunity here. Great actors are sidelined while a charisma-lite…




Rig in Forbidden Planet best of 2017

Pleased to say that Joe at Forbidden Planet has listed Rig, part 3 in the Kenstibec trilogy, among his best of 2017. Read what he has to say about Rig (Kenstibec 3).




Joint interview with Antonia Honeywell

I was delighted to speak alongside the magnificent Antonia Honeywell, author of The Ship, for The Writer’s Toolbelt Podcast, hosted by Andy Chamberlain. He approached us at the recent Gollanczfest thinking that we’d make for a good natter combination, and sure enough we did. There are some striking similarities between book three in the Kenstibec…




The Manitor: New story in Kaleidotrope

Thrilled to say that I’ve had a new story published in the Autumn edition of Kaleidotrope. I guess you could say it is my first ever Steampunk story. It’s heavily influenced by Twain, has had a somewhat interesting history, and I am bloody thrilled to see it featured by this most excellent mag. Read read…