Category Archives : Blog

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Today’s Writing Club exercise consisted of a number of short bits to warm up, followed by a piece based on one of them. 1st: An opening line based on time. Once upon a time, time weighed heavily upon the once-timely clockmaker. 2nd: A confession. If I told you that I […]

Plastic Obsession

This story was written for an exercise in Writing Club, the setup of which I don’t remember – but I like it, so I’m publishing it here. The last one got ideas. A stack of coins here, a stack of notes there – who would notice? No one knew how […]

The Paymistress

Songs My Mother Taught Me by Marlon Brando My rating: 3 of 5 stars I don’t know why I wanted to read a biography of Marlon Brando. And I really don’t know why I wanted to read an autobiography of Marlon Brando. This is the actor, mind you, who was […]

An intentional weirdo

Podkayne of Mars by Robert A. Heinlein My rating: 4 of 5 stars Podkayne, known as Poddy, is the titular character in this book. She’s an opinionated teenage girl who was raised on Mars. Her opinions range across several subjects, mainly the superiority of women, the superiority of Martians, and […]

A pleasant interplanetary ride

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë My rating: 3 of 5 stars The story: Mr Earnshaw adopts a young boy on the streets of Liverpool (Heathcliff) and brings him home. Son Hindley doesn’t like the new addition to the family and is mean to him. Daughter Catherine and Heathcliff hit it […]

The heights, they are a-Wuthering

For my short story 20,000 Yards Across the Frontier, which also forms a segment of my novel Copout, I needed to write a western. I wanted to model it on the spaghetti western trilogy featuring Clint Eastwood’s “Man With No Name”. So I set to work, putting my character Donovan […]

Busting genres and joining a grand tradition

Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis My rating: 3 of 5 stars For a novel written about Mars in the modern age this book shows little awareness of the scientific data that had been gathered about the red planet by the time it was written. (When Edgar Rice […]

Mars but not as we know it

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov My rating: 5 of 5 stars I Robot is the book that first introduced the world to the Three Laws of Robotics, which are: 1. A robot may not… yadda yadda yadda. 2. A robot must obey… etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. 3. A robot must protect… […]

I writer, you robot

A large part of Copout’s subject matter is dreams. Half of the book’s text takes place in dreamscapes. So what do I think of dreams, you must surely want to know? Why did I write a book that gives so much time to them? I’ll answer the second question first. […]


Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky My rating: 4 of 5 stars I’m not personally keen on historical fiction. I like the idea in principle but not in practice. Somehow, despite the drama of the events, I’m not very susceptible to the charms of reading about fictional people in real times, […]

The French collection