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Friday, 27 October 2017

October 31st 2017...FULL TERROR ALERT

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FULL TERROR ALERT

Sunday, 22 October 2017

The Reluctant Terrorist is about to go live

Get ready for the end of the month when the Reluctant Terrorist is set free. Chaos will ensue.

Set deep within the picturesque Welsh valleys lies the quiet village of Gilfach. Nothing ever happened in the village until - the peacefulness is shattered by a confusion of killer clowns and a full-scale terrorist hunt.


John Smith is an everyday sort of man with everyday concerns. He spends his time working at the local supermarket, walking his dog and arguing with his domineering wife, Rose. However, John Smith, thanks to a bizarre series of events, most of which were beyond his control, finds himself with the tag of Britain’s most wanted.






John Smith is the reluctant terrorist.

Both in print and eBook.

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Monday, 2 October 2017

The Reluctant Terrorist

COMING SOON


Set deep within the picturesque Welsh valleys lies the quiet village of Gilfach.  Nothing ever happened in the village until  - the peacefulness is shattered by a confusion of killer clowns and a full scale terrorist hunt.
 John Smith is an everyday sort of man with everyday concerns. He spends his time working at the local supermarket, walking his dog and arguing with his domineering wife, Rose. However John Smith, thanks to a bizarre series of events, most of which were beyond his control, finds himself with the tag of Britain’s most wanted.
            John Smith is the reluctant terrorist.

Re - Discovering Star Trek

I've enjoyed the three episodes I've seen thus far of the new Star Trek series on Netflix - Discovery is set a decade before the events of the original Star Trek, and explores the Klingon/Federation war. The show seems to have been well recieved, though there is debate in the fan community over the appearance of the Klingons. Still, I'm very much enjoying the show...much more than I liked Star Trek Beyond which I finally got around to watching recently.

To celebrate the new show, Netflix have released a list of the most rewatched episodes across all of the show's many incarnations, and what is interesting is how highly Voyager features in the list of rewatched Trek. In fact the Original Series, DS9 and Enterprise don't even get a look in amongst the top ten most rewatched episodes.

Netflix define a 'rewatch' as someone going back and checking out 6+ minutes of a single episode they've previously consumed in full.



Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Unfinished discworld as flat as a pancake

It's kind of sad but oh so Terry Pratchett - when the author passed away he left instructions that his computer drives containing his unfinished works be placed in the middle of the road and driven over by a steamroller. The author, it seems, was no fan of other writers continuing the work of dead writers and he didn't want anyone meddling with his work after his own death.


“Pratchett left instructions that whatever he was working on at the time of his death to be taken out along with his computers, to be put in the middle of a road and for a steamroller to steamroll over them all”. Close friend and author, Neil Gaimen

And this is just what happened a couple of months ago when the hard drives where driven over by a vintage steam roller.

The symbolism of the moment, which captured something of Pratchett’s unique sense of humour, was not lost on fans, who responded on Twitter with a wry melancholy, though some people expressed surprise that the author – who had previously discussed churning through computer hardware at a rapid rate – would have stored his unfinished work on an apparently older model of hard drive.
The hard drive will go on display as part of a major exhibition about the author’s life and work, Terry
Pratchett: HisWorld, which opens at the Salisbury museum in September.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Vinyl is now king

I've written here in the past about the surprising comeback of the vinyl medium,but that facts are that far from being a short lived trend driven by hipster culture it seems that the writing is on the wall - this ancient physical form of music delivery is trouncing digital sales. This is happening right across the board and not only with brand new vinyl  but the secondhand market is also booming.


 In 2017 the British Heart Foundation reported that sales of secondhand vinyl record topped sales of half a million pounds.

Earlier this year Anthem Publishing released a monthly magazine devoted to the format - I Love Vinyl is available on the high street, sold alongside the regular music magazines which is further proof, if any was needed, that vinyl is now mainstream. There is even an official vinyl chart compiled by the Charts Company - at the time of writing Nick Deep, the Welsh band from Wrexham, are at No 1 with their album The Peace and the Panic. And whilst there are a lot of reissues in the top 40 there is a healthy chunk of newer stuff too, in fact the first reissue doesn't appear in the charts until no 7,  so vinyl is not only being bought by aging hacks such as myself.  It may have been the older demographic that initially sparked the vinyl revival but this no longer the case, and younger music lovers are falling for the allure of vinyl records.

 According to a new ICM poll, nearly 50% of vinyl buyers are under the age of 35.  Approximately 16% of people buying vinyl records are aged 18-24 and 33% are aged 25-34.

Personally I think it's great - I'm too long in the tooth for all this digital streaming - I come from a generation where there was only two ways to own music and that was on vinyl and cassette - christ, I was in my late teens when CD's first came out.

Long live vinyl.


Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Raised eyebrows and well groomed hair: A tribute to Roger Moore

Earlier this year we lost Roger Moore, he died at the age of 89 after a short but courageous battle with cancer, and although I didn't personally know the man I was genuinely hurt. I'd lost someone who mattered to me - he was my hero and I was beset with grief. He'd been a big part of my life -  I'd worshipped him as a child; following his incredibly colourful adventures in The Persuaders and then later discovering the re-runs of The Saint. Later still he became screen royalty when he took over the role of James Bond. This was the man I wanted to be and I bowed down before the brilliance of his Rogesty

Moore filled my formative years with glamour and adventure - I was 8 years old when he first became James Bond, and 20 when he retired his licence to kill. Think of that for a moment -  For much of my life, for my entire teenage years,  Roger Moore was THE ACTION HERO - of course screen heroes were plentiful but Moore was unique in his sartorial elegance, his charm and his wicked, often boyish sense of  humour. Such was my worship of the man that he became a role model to me, and I'd practise raising one eyebrow and then the other until my forehead was left with permanent creases. I kid you not - I still have the creases caused by a young boy gazing up at the silver screen and dreaming of being just like his Rogesty.


In the 2014 paperback reissue of the The Saint in New York, I wrote, It was Roger Moore, you know, who gave me my first experience with that debonair, buccaneering gentleman we know as the Saint. Those TV episodes, although broadcast in black and white, were likely the most colourful thing in my young life...

And I stand by those words - and when series editor, Ian Dickerson offered me the chance to write the foreword to the new edition I jumped at the chance, for I was a lifelong fan of the series but I knew that my foreword would not only praise the incredible works of Leslie Charteris but would be equally an admiration of his Rogesty himself.

Now as I said I'd never met Moore but I did meet his one time wife, the Welsh singer Dorothy Squires. In the 1990's she was living in the Rhondda town of Trebanog, which was just down the road from where I was living at the time - indeed when Squires died in 1998 at the age of 83 it was in Llwynapia hospital, which was actually the hospital where I was born. When I met Squires she was an elderly lady and although her break-up with Moore had been acrimonious she never had a bad word to say about him. And I cherish the memories of the several conversations I had with the singer,who at the time was sadly penniless and living a reclusive life. While she had been largely forgotten, Moore was still a superstar but she wasn't bitter, at least not openly, and when I brought up the subject of Roger Moore I detected a wistful look in her eye.

I have that same wistful look now when I remember Roger Moore - of course he's not dead to me. Only yesterday I watched an old episode of The Saint on television, and whenever the mood takes me I can  watch one or other of his  James Bond movie. People like Roger Moore don't die in the conventional sense, for their work is always there and no doubt will continue to inspire and entertain for years to come.

 And so I raise an eyebrow, as well as a glass, to his Rogesty with thanks for all the entertainment.