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Showing posts from November, 2014

The Long, Hard Road to J.G. Ballard

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A couple of months ago a conversation started online. Spurred on by Nick Hornby's comments on whether we should feel obliged to finish a book, the discussion quickly became a literary confessional. All those classics we'd given up on, all the bestsellers we'd left half-read on a beach somewhere - it all came pouring out, as if we'd simply been waiting for the opportunity to confess our failure as readers. In my case, my sin came in the form of J.G. Ballard. I'd attempted Ballard's books several times during my adolescence, my interest sparked by the British author's connection with William Burroughs, one of my literary heroes. I was certain that I'd love them the way that I'd loved Naked Lunch and Junkie , so my reaction came as a surprise, and a disappointment. I tried Crash (inspired in part by the Cronenberg film), The Atrocity Exhibition , High-Rise . Each time I'd get a few pages in and be swamped by the density of the language, the

From Cardiff to London: Looking Back at October

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October was a crazy month: live readings, pitching panels and author interviews turned it into an impromptu tour, as I hit the road for three very different events. From the drooling zombies of Cardiff (not a comment on the local populace - I was at the city's horror convention) to the hirsute hipsters of Shoreditch (definitely a comment on the local populace), October was a month of travel, madness, and pre-packed sandwiches. First up was our Litro Book Club event in Shoreditch. I had the pleasure of meeting Marc Pastor, author of gothic crime novel Barcelona Shadows and rabid Doctor Who fan. It's always a pleasure to meet a fellow Whovian, especially over a few pints of Meantime's excellent London beers. You can listen to me interviewing Marc Pastor here , on the Litro Podcast. If you haven't already read Barcelona Shadows , be sure to check it out. Then came SCARdiff 2014 , as horror fans, writers, actors, producers, editors and... erm... pythons descended on