September 21, 2018

The problem with funny books – I mean, really funny, giggling-uncontrollably-whilst-everyone-in-your-crowded-train-car-speculates-about-whether-perhaps-someone-ought-to-call-the-paramedics sorts of books – is that you can get so wrapped up in the pleasure of reading that you forget to take the story seriously. That would be a terrible mistake in this case, because Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman is a seriously funny book.

September 18, 2015

Why do we want to know about musketeers and ninjas? There are three questions which have plagued mankind since time immemorial. The first two deal with uninteresting subjects like world peace and macro-economics and will thus never again be referred to in this article. The third, ah, yes, the third, however, is of vital importance:…

August 28, 2014

By far the most common question you get asked as an author is “where do your ideas come from.” Of course, my ideas come from the same places as your do: the crazy parts of your brain intersecting with the crazy parts of the world around you. Human brains are hard-wired to find patterns even…

July 23, 2014

Fight scenes are dangerous territory for writers. On the surface, they seem as if they’re guaranteed to keep the reader glued to the action in the same way as they often do at the movies. In reality, though, readers tend to skip over fight scenes – skimming the long, tedious, blow-by-blow descriptions in favour of…

July 7, 2014

Note: I originally wrote this for ScienceNow.com back in 2014. Human beings have a complicated relationship with the sword. On the one hand, it’s an instrument of violence with a long history written in blood. Yet it also has the capacity to mesmerize us with the beauty of its varied forms and the way a…

July 7, 2014

I hate knights. How is it that the biggest bunch of self-involved bullies in all of European history became the most prominent heroes in fantasy literature? These are the same brutish and brutal thugs who murdered, raped, and pillaged their way across Europe and the Middle East in the name of God (thanks a lot,…

May 1, 2014

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is a tragic play fraught with intrigue, betrayal, and murder that makes us question the very foundations of human nature.
It starts with a joke…