I published a piece this week in The Friend, the independent Quaker weekly magazine, about the novelist Una L Silberrad and her novel Sampson Rideout, Quaker (1911). You can read the article here. If you've already poked about behind the Now In Print tab above, you'll find several other things I've published about Una L … Continue reading A post about Quaker fiction
I finished reading James Blish’s really excellent space opera novel Earthman, Come Home (1955) in a towering anachronistic feminist rage. The novel is exciting, expertly-paced and has rightly been acclaimed as one of the truly innovative masterworks of science fiction. The edition I have – the 2010 SF Masterworks edition, as it happens – gives … Continue reading James Blish: A feminist gets angry
This podcast was written for a miniseries on Thrillers for Gentlemen, looking at the kind of thriller or spy novel that was masculine without being brutal, and that was written about men of a certain generation who understood the value of the gentleman’s club, and worked within its rules. This time, I was exploring a … Continue reading Running through the south of France with John Welcome and Run for Cover (1958)
This is a book for those curious about where the Internet comes from. I don’t mean, where are the servers, or what has the modem done with my document, but, where does the information come from, and go to? When I press Send in Belgium, and Juliane gets the email a few seconds later in Australia, … Continue reading Following the Internet underwater in Nicole Starosielski’s The Undersea Network
The life of Storm Jameson was crammed full of writing, journalism, campaigning, witnessing for human rights and standing up for women and authors. Her private life was chaotic. Read what I said over at Vulpes Libris today about the two biographies now prowling the aisles for your attention.
This podcast was written for the miniseries on Thrillers for Gentlemen. I was looking at the kind of thriller or spy novel that was masculine without being brutal, and that was written about men of a certain generation who understood the value of the gentleman’s club, and worked within its rules. These thrillers were tough, … Continue reading Was James Bond a gentleman?
There is so much to say about The Black Cloud: let me count the ways. (1) It’s written by one of Britain’s most pioneering, persistent and celebrated maverick physicists, Fred Hoyle. (2) It’s a fine novel in the tradition of British science fiction that speculates what would happen if (the then) present-day society had something … Continue reading Male scientists save the world in Fred Hoyle’s The Black Cloud (1957)
This podcast for Why I Really Like This Book was for the miniseries on Thrillers for Gentlemen, looking at the kind of thriller or spy novel that was masculine without being brutal. These novels were written about men of a certain generation who understood the value of the gentleman’s club, and worked within its rules. … Continue reading In the mud with Geoffrey Household’s Rogue Male
If your musical taste is taken by a group of Vikings singing a cappella in a German railway station, you will like Árstíðir. They’re an Icelandic band, mostly strings players, with a pretty big following, in Iceland, Germany and the US. I now have their third album, Hvel, which was crowdfunded entirely through Kickstarter. I … Continue reading Splendiferous music by Árstíðir
On most Sunday mornings in the 1970s and 1980s when I was growing up, my family had a ritual. My mother would cook a fried breakfast (fried bacon and eggs, fried bread, sometimes black pudding for my father, sometimes tomatoes and mushrooms). This glorious feast, that we only ever had on Sunday mornings, would be … Continue reading Alistair Cooke’s Letters From America: 1946-1951