CategoryBook Reviews

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...

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 –...

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...

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...

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.

Legion

Stephen Leeds, AKA 'Legion', is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialised skills.

Revelation Space

Nine hundred thousand years ago, something annihilated the Amarantin civilization just as it was on the verge of discovering space flight. Now one scientist, Dan Sylveste, will stop at nothing to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats itself.

Dune

Dune Dune Saga, Book 12 / Dune, Book 1 Frank Herbert Science Fiction Macmillan Audio 31 Dec 2006 Audiobook 21 hrs and 2 mins Audible ☆☆☆☆☆ I enjoyed this book but it was hard going and laborious in places. Having seen the original film, it was clear to see how close the two were in many cases. My only problem with this audiobook was that it switched from being...

The Final Empire

A thousand years ago evil came to the land and has ruled with an iron hand ever since. But now a troublemaker has arrived and there is a rumour of revolt. A revolt that depends on criminal that no-one can trust and a young girl who must master Allomancy - the magic that lies in all metals.

Excession

Excession Culture, Book 5 Iain M Banks Science Fiction Hachette Audio UK 7 March 2013 Audiobook 15 hrs and 55 mins Audible ☆☆☆☆☆ Overall the book is excellent, though the human story often feels secondary to the issues of the OCP but is relevant to put everything into context. The reading of the book by Peter Kenny is, as usual, exemplary. Two and a half millennia...

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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.