Book Review: Hunters of Dune

Hunters of Dune

Hunters of Dune, by Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson, published by Hodder Paperbacks

I first discovered Frank Herbert’s Dune at the impressionable age of 18 and it made a huge impact on me. It was the most exciting book I had ever read. I have re-read it several times since, and it is still the most exciting book I’ve read. Turning its pages, I discovered a far-future world in which interstellar space travel rubbed shoulders with primitive religion and ancient prophecies; and evil tyrants and galactic emperors did battle with powerful corporate conglomerates, human computers, secret societies and good old-fashioned sword-fighting heroes. Continue reading

Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus

I’ve been reading a lot of crime fiction lately. For me, one author stands out: Ian Rankin. His Inspector Rebus novels, set in Edinburgh, are taut and atmospheric. His writing style has often been emulated but rarely matched. Why?

I’d like to explore Rankin’s style with examples from his second Rebus novel, Hide and Seek, published in 1991. I won’t talk about the plot here, but mainly writing technique and style. Continue reading

Why there should not be a second Brexit referendum

European Union Flag by Yanni Koutsomitis

There’s much talk now in the UK – and in Europe – about the possibility of a second referendum on Brexit. The Brexit deadline is looming ever closer with still no sign of a post-Brexit deal on trade. The pound has fallen 8% against the US dollar and 13% against the Euro since the vote to leave. It’s looking more than ever like Brexit will be an economic car crash. But even though I voted to remain, I believe it would be a mistake to run the vote again. Here’s why. Continue reading

The wolfsbane experiment

By the waterside by Randi Hausken Creative Commons licence (CC By 2.0)

Wolfsbane, also known as Monkshood because of the shape of its flowers, is the common name for the perennial shrub Aconitum. A native of Europe and North America, it’s a herbaceous plant with a tall stem, often with blue flowers.

I planted a batch of Aconite seeds as part of my research into werewolves. Continue reading

My werewolf phase

The Woods at Dusk by A Quiverful of Photos Creative Commons licence (CC By 2.0)

I’m doing a lot of research into werewolf legends and lore right now, as part of writing my Lycanthropic series of werewolf books. It’s a fascinating topic.

My kids think it’s some kind of problem.

They snigger at me openly, talking about “Dad’s werewolf phase.” Like it’s some sort of mid-life crisis and not a smart career move. Continue reading

Sky Garden, London

It was my 50th birthday in January, but I had to wait until yesterday to receive my birthday present. For my 30th birthday I took a trip in a hot air balloon; for my 40th I flew a helicopter; for my 50th, my wife Margarita took me to London, where we dined in Sky Garden, London’s third highest restaurant.

Apologies for the image quality – these photos were taken with a camera phone. Continue reading

Birthday status – 50 and counting

It’s snowing today, and it was snowing fifty years ago too. I know that, because fifty years ago I was born. (Actually my birthday was January 19, but I’ve been too busy to blog – sorry!) Continue reading