John Sladek and Black Aura

'Humour and horror are never so far apart, and shaking with laughter often looked like shaking with fear.' I first read John Sladek around the age of fifteen, when I picked up Tik-Tok from the science fiction section of the local library. For a teenager used to the ordered universe of Isaac Asimov, reading this … Continue reading John Sladek and Black Aura

Barry Gifford

"I ain't never heard so much concentrated weirdness in my life..." The return of Twin Peaks prompted a lot of excitement amongst some of my friends. One sent me a Spotify playlist dedicated to the music of David Lynch’s films, while I was persuaded by another to join him watching the original series and film, … Continue reading Barry Gifford

Pascal Garnier and The Ideal

'He left the room and shut the door behind him. No point saying goodbye to a dead man.' Pascal Garnier I recently picked up the novel How's The Pain?, by Pascal Garnier. You know what it's like. You go to a bookshop with a list of things to buy, but none of them feel right. You … Continue reading Pascal Garnier and The Ideal

The Compulsive Joy of the Series

Kurt Vonnegut, maybe. I bought the Dell edition novels when I lived in America. Like Vonnegut, I had been a smoker, and I would find a beguiling correlative between those small light paperback editions and a packet of cigarettes. I devoured those books in a single sitting. And maybe Philip K Dick too. I read his books with … Continue reading The Compulsive Joy of the Series

The Snowman by Jorg Fauser

'Right now, I'd say information is big business.' In the early 1990s, a friend of mine started receiving packages addressed to an 'H. Warner' to his shared house in Acton. You know what it's like with a previous tenants' mail. You let it build up and up, until one day curiosity gets the better of … Continue reading The Snowman by Jorg Fauser