Category: Other columns

Five daft skyscrapers

What to make of skyscrapers, these days? The new century’s explosion of super-talls and mega-talls might, at first glance, offer to satisfy the scifi fan’s impatient need for humanity to break free of the twentieth century. Future towers conjure dreams of a bold, enlightened age, when discovery in materials, robotics and energy creates not only a new architecture, but a new landscape. The imagination leaps…




New engineering column coming in 2016!

Delighted to announce that from 2016 I’ll be contributing a science fiction column to The Engineer magazine, which has been reporting on engineering innovation since 1856. The column is part of a new look for the mag, and will see me speculate on how the last month’s engineering news might plant the seed of a cracking scifi story. I…




Mad Max, Interviews, reviews, Travelodges and Cons

Just time to post a quick update after a pleasantly busy October. First, I don’t think I posted a link to my Gollancz Blog review of “Mad Max: Fury Road”. Read it here. Read my other movie reviews on thingaboutchickens here. Second, I was privileged in October to speak to Boo from Geek Syndicate – all…




Gollanczfest and FantasyCon

Plenty of joy coming up this October so thought I’d drop a quick post: October 15: I’ll be at the Prince Charles Cinema in London discussing predictions of the future at an event hosted by Pat Cadigan, alongside Gollancz’s class of 2015: Alex Lamb, Antonia Honeywell, Al Robertson and Tom Toner. The Prince Charles is…




ISIS: Drop books not bombs

When David Cameron announces that ISIS must be defeated by “hard military force”, we can finally be certain that history teaches us nothing. Or, more accurately, it teaches only that which we want to learn. We British are experts at this. In our culture history is mostly understood through the Second World War: Hitler, Churchill; The…




The Tortoise and the Lion

Do you ever really know a City? Over years of living in London I’d started to think I was getting the measure of it, or at least certain portions. I can certainly navigate my way on foot about a loose trapezoid of Old Street – London Bridge – Victoria – Camden with ease. That’s a nice skill…




The curious carving and painting of London

My new novel, Steeple, sees Antihero Kenstibec tour the flooded, dying remains of a future London, seeking design inspiration for the colossal new tower he has been commissioned to build – the Hope Tower, a monstrous construct being erected to replace the old city. While writing the book, I began to take pictures on my strolls about London, and think…




The Magic Walk

Last month the German edition of Barricade came out, published by Heyne. It is an utter thrill to have a foreign language edition of my debut novel, and I jumped at the opportunity to produce an article for Nautilis Magazine, helping to introduce the book to Deutschland’s Scifi public. I was asked to write something on the…




Steeple cover reveal + other cover art

I’m delighted to reveal the cover for “Steeple”, the sequel to my debut novel “Barricade”. This cover, and that of Barricade, are the work of Lisa Brewster from Black Sheep. All hail her mighty skills! I admit that I started thinking about covers the moment I was signed to Gollancz. I remember my editor, Simon, bringing up the subject…




Barricade Blog Tour Blogs Blog

I thought I would post something about last year’s Barricade Blog Tour, when it was my great privilege to produce a number of articles for the good and the great of SFF bloggery. I think I most enjoyed writing those pieces which expanded the world of Barricade – adding a little more detail to Kenstibec’s…