CategoryBook Reviews

Review: Foundation and Empire

Foundation 1

Foundation and Empire Foundation, Book 2 Isaac Asimov Science Fiction HarperCollins 26 September 2019 Audiobook 9h 33m Audible Winner of the Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series. The Foundation series is Isaac Asimov’s iconic masterpiece. Unfolding against the backdrop of a crumbling Galactic Empire, the story of Hari Seldon’s two Foundations is a lasting testament to an extraordinary imagination...

Review: Foundation

Foundation 1

Foundation Foundation, Book 1 Isaac Asimov Science Fiction HarperCollins 26 September 2019 Audiobook 8h 56m Audible Winner of the Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series. The Foundation series is Isaac Asimov’s iconic masterpiece. Unfolding against the backdrop of a crumbling Galactic Empire, the story of Hari Seldon’s two Foundations is a lasting testament to an extraordinary imagination, one whose...

Review: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Return of the King

The Return of the King Lord of the Rings Book 3 JRR Tolkein Fantasy HarperCollins Publishers Limited 11 Oct 2005 Audiobook 17h 2m Audible The armies of the Dark Lord Sauron are massing as his evil shadow spreads ever wider. Men, Dwarves, Elves and Ents unite forces to do battle against the Dark. Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam struggle further into Mordor in their heroic quest to destroy the One Ring...

Review: Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Two Towers: Fan Art

The Two Towers Lord of the Rings (Book 2) JRR Tolkein Fantasy HarperCollins Publishers Limited 26 Dec 2004 Audiobook 16 hrs and 36 mins Audible Building on the story begun in The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring, this is the second part of Tolkien’s epic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings. Frodo and the Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the Ruling...

Review: Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Fellowship of the Ring

The Fellowship of the Ring The Lord of the Rings, Book 1 JRR Tolkein Fantasy HarperCollins Publishers Limited 26 December 2014 Audiobook 19h 53m Audible Continuing the story begun in The Hobbit, this is the first part of Tolkien’s epic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings. Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power – the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth...

Review: Save The Cat

Save The Cat

Save The Cat Blake Snyder How To Michael Wiese Productions 25 May 2005 Kindle 215 pages Amazon He’s made millions of dollars selling screenplays to Hollywood and now screenwriter Blake Snyder tells all. “Save the Cat” is just one of Snyder’s many ironclad rules for making your ideas more marketable and your script more satisfying – and saleable, including: the four...

Review: The Elements of Style

Begin

The Elements of Style William Strunk Jr & EB White Non-Fiction ESBooks 21 Mar 2020 Kindle 97 pages Amazon ‘The Elements of Style’ (1918), by William Strunk, Jr., is an American English writing style guide. It is the best-known, most influential prescriptive treatment of English grammar and usage, and often is required reading and usage in U.S. high school and university...

Review: The Etymologicon: The Hidden Connections of the English Language

Dictionary atop map of England

The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language Mark Forsyth Etymology Audible Studios 1 May 2012 Audiobook 6h 42m Audible A quirky, entertaining and thought-provoking tour of the unexpected connections between words, read by Simon Shepherd. What is the actual connection between disgruntled and gruntled? What links church organs to organised crime...

Review: On Writing

On Writing Stephen King Non-Fiction Hodder & Stoughton 19 July 2012 Audiobook 7h 59m Audible “This is the written equivalent of Delia Smith’s How To Cook. And, like British home cooking, the world of popular fiction will be better off for it.” (The Times) An excellent book that is both a memoir and an excellent outline of the main tools you need in your writer’s...

Review: Legion: Skin Deep

Episode 2 in the Legion series expands the back story a little and drops our protagonist into a new mystery on the fringes of science. Shady characters, hitmen, corporate dealings, science and religion are all intertwined.

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About me

Many (many) years ago, I discovered role-playing and Dungeons and Dragons in one of the after school clubs. It revealed a universe that allowed me to flex my storytelling muscles and enjoy a mixture of fantasy and sci-fi and feed the escapist dreamer inside.

Over time, I played (and story-led - marked with *) many systems including Call of Cthulhu*, Shadowrun, Dungeons & Dragons*, Middle Earth, In Nomine*, Bushido, Chivalry & Sorcery, Chill, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, Gammaworld, Hawkmoon, Stormbringer, Immortals*, Marvel Super Heroes, Paranoia, RuneQuest, Vampire: The Masquerade*, and a couple of systems my own devising (Medieval* and Parody*).

I explored live-action role-playing – eventually running my own club and developing my own LARP systems (Fools Gold and Dream Conquest) – and usually found myself in script-writing or game-master duty, writing over 500 individual live adventures over the period (usually weekly), many linked into the world events of the fantasy land we created. I also volunteered for Curious Pastimes and Lorien Trust at their main LARP events (special effects at the Ritual Circle), and did a little script work, cameos and improv for Curious Pastimes. I was also the South East's Editor (UK) for the LARP magazine The Adventurer.

I was also the artistic director for English Heritage for their live Halloween Horrors events at Fort Amherst in Kent from 1998-1999.

The rest, as they say, is history.