Tag Archives: literature

Is there a transphobic equivalent to blacking up?

I wrote a piece for the BBC News website today, originally commissioned about the idea of white actors playing black roles, but I wanted to explore further issues Juliet Jacques had touched on when she came on Front Row recently … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Film, History, Media, Theatre, TV, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

What should we read into bookshelf wallpaper?

This article first appeared in The Big Issue Magazine in August 2015 I went to a fancy middle class holiday camp the other week. You know the ones. It was fabulous. We did fencing, crossbows, rode Segways and swam every … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Culture, Design, Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

On The Road with Buddha: The Prince Who Walked Out of His Fairy Tale

UPDATED SEPT 2 What happens when a prince walks away from his kingdom? I love the symbolism and and dream like metaphors of fairy stories. So  a “real life” one is all the more intriguing. I’d been fascinated with the … Continue reading

Posted in Books, History, Music, Religion, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What If…? HG Wells, Arnold Bennett and your alternative future

It is early January in a new century and a group of  technicolored-Victorian gentlemen are awaiting the return of their friend from the future. I’ve always loved the 1960 film of HG Wells’ The Time Machine. Drawing inspiration from the … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Film, History, Politics, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Plotting the arc of darkness with Joss Whedon

Here’s a link to my interview with Joss Whedon for Radio 3’s Night Waves on June 12th. We covered his writing for Roseanne, Shakespearean superheroes, his love of musicals — especially Brigadoon —  the way studios treat writers, (take Firefly … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Children, Comedy, Comics/graphic novels, Culture, Media, Radio, Science Fiction/Fantasy, TV, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Malala, Muslim women and “misery” memoirs

Oct 10th 2014 update: This was originally posted ahead of an Asia House panel discussion about women, freedom and the Islamic world, when the multimillion pound book deal of Malala Yousafzai was announced. It seems just as relevant since her … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Culture, Religion | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Murder, Mirth and Care Bears: The uses of an Oxford English degree

Photo copyright and courtesy of: Ian Fraser at Virtual Archive Writing for news bulletins, writing for standup comedy, writing murders for tv drama, writing for comics and fantasy gaming novels. These were some of the uses to which a group … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Comedy, Comics/graphic novels, Culture, Education, Media, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How The Middle East Became Another Planet

From Flash Gordon’s Ming the Merciless with his harem and his war rocket Ajax, to Frank Herbert’s prophecy-obsessed desert tribes in Dune battling over a valuable resource, the Middle East has always been another planet to western science fiction creators. … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Culture, History, Politics, Religion, Science, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Call Me Sir: Ben Kingsley, Fifty Shades of Gray and Victorian erotica

A tech journalist once told me that if watching tv on your mobile phone was such a great idea, loads of people would have been walking around with a primitive giant tv on their brick sized phones long ago. By … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Culture, Film, Media, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment