Category Archives: Science Fiction/Fantasy

How to win the coming culture war in 2017

A version of this article first appeared in The Big Issue magazine in January 2017. Journalism worth paying for. Available weekly from street vendors or subscriptions here. History rarely falls into neat numerical decades. I would assert the 1980s (yuppies, … Continue reading

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Bryan Singer on: Chariots of the Gods, Valkyrie, Star Trek & the mythology of X-Men Apocalypse

Here’s my full interview with the very well-read Bryan Singer on X-Men Apocalypse. We talked the Bible, classic Star Trek, the 60s vogue for theories on space seeding aliens, and why the Holocaust is a presence in so many of … Continue reading

Posted in Comics/graphic novels, Film, Germany, History, Media, Science Fiction/Fantasy, TV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Why Obi Wan Kenobi is pure evil & why R2 D2 is Moses

An excellent panel of minds got together at Conway Hall’s latest #LondonThinks event last Thursday to discuss the theology and ethics of Star Wars films. You can watch it in full here on Youtube (below). Or open it in another … Continue reading

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How the Space Shuttle Broke My Heart

  This weekend’s Radio 4 Extra Floating In Space 3-hour special (9am and 7pm Saturday Mar 1th and iplayer after) with Simon Guerrier explores the history and the fantasy of manned space exploration from the cosmonauts to dreams of Mars … Continue reading

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Inside the world of Angels: the secret history of film & TV costumes

The chill hits me and a slight tang of…meat. I’ve entered the Fur store room at Angels Costumiers. We stand in silence. There are racks of fur coats – like a multiverse of Narnia entry points. Fox stoles are piled … Continue reading

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I Dressed Ziggy Stardust – revisited

I Dressed Ziggy Stardust is getting a re-broadcast on Radio 4 on Saturday afternoon. Here’s a bit about why: When I pitched I Dressed Ziggy Stardust to Radio 4 back in 2012 there was nothing more to it than a … Continue reading

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On location for HG Wells and the H Bomb

As well as this documentary I’ve written this feature for BBC Culture about how the Atom Bomb changed our culture and imagination. And I discuss it with Robert Elms on BBC London here. Listen from 1 hr 39 minutes. In … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Film, History, Politics, Radio, Science, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Uncategorized, War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Desert worlds: JG Ballard, Lawrence of Arabia, Dune & the story of Ishmael

My latest Something Understood for Radio 4 on Sunday April 19th was conceived as a sequel  to The White North Has Thy Bones, about our fascination with the Arctic and the North West Passage. Together with producer Natalie Steed we … Continue reading

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Frozen? That’s not feminism

My daughter finally got me to watch Frozen recently. I think she’s sorry she did. Though I sense 13 year old girls are watching it with a sense of irony and a  kind of knowing detachment in the way my … Continue reading

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The White North Has Thy Bones: Ice stations, submarines & the woman who swam the North West Passage

Here’s a programme to listen to huddled by the fire, like Jane Eyre with her book of polar wildlife as the wind howls outside. Producer Kevin Dawson came up with the idea of our latest Something Understood  programme about the … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Environment, History, Music, Radio, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments