Change to Archive

23 07 2011

This blog is now dark. Posts are kept up as an archive only.

Following events on Saturday, 23rd July 2011, these archives have been altered with satirical and comment pieces referring to the late Amy Winehouse being removed.

Neil still blogs over at his own site where a longer description behind this edit is available.


19 02 2011

Just a quick reminder: my blog has moved here: Please update your links if you have been kind enough to link to me or update your feed if you read via RSS.

I’m moving most of the content from this blog to the new one as maintaining multiple sites is too much of a bind. Some content will – alas – disappear because it has limited appeal to most of my audience now.

I will try to point to the new home for the content wherever I can.

Favour: my blog has now moved

20 05 2010

Hey. If you’ve been kind enough to link to my old blog in the past please could you update your blogroll to my new address:

If I missed anyone on my new site please drop me a comment (or an email if you have my address) and I’ll sort it out.

Many thanks.

3 is the magic number

13 05 2010

This blog is three today.

Back in 2007, when I started the blog, I wasn’t entirely convinced I’d be able to keep it going. I have had a variety of web presences over the years since 1998 when I dragged my arse up to Bradford to Get Educated but none have ever lasted this kind of time. At its peak the site was pulling in four figure visit numbers per day, even these days with me posting rather less it still pulls in a few hundred a day and I’m sure it could be pulled up a bit again.

But I’m not going to.

It’s been a good run but I’m finding the restraints of the platform – fab though it is – a little too much now. I’d like to have more opportunity to hack around my own analytics (helps with the day job); run the odd affiliate link to publications carrying either my content or that of my friends; include richer widgets and generally do what I want. It gives me more room to play.

I’m hoping as many of you as possible will come with me over to the new site:

My new blog, the imaginatively entitled Flotsam: The Other Side of the River Vol. 2, can be found at

If you read the blog on a feed reader then you can update your feed to this address:

If you want to sign up by email or update your email subscription please sign up here.

NB – This site will remain live for the foreseeable future.


6 05 2010

Election night in the UK.

I had, once upon a time, a long ranty post planned about how poor the choice was in this election. I had a belligerent plan to ignore it.

I still feel the old system of monolithic parties that you follow on *every* policy (a la Polly-whats-her-face at the Grauniad) is a pretty piss poor way to implement your democracy – bordering on a bi-decade elected oligarchy. And don’t get me started on the baby boomer agenda. In the end I voted for the party that least annoyed me.


At least there appears to have been engagement, people cared, and that’s important. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll get real change.

And I don’t mean Cameron.

NB – If you are swinging through because of my various attempts at satire, please do – if you weren’t too offended – check out my fiction.

Just do it…

14 04 2010

It’s been a bit quiet round here of late.

I’ve taken some time out for Eastercon and G’s birthday. I’ve done a bit of writing, rather more reading and some overdue thinking that has helped me clarify that I do need to make some changes to my approach if this writing thing is going to work. Primarily being a bit more realistic with my time, not surfing as much and setting expiry dates for projects.

In this vein I am – as previously stated – very near completion of The Scarred God (manuscript is there, I am really just cleaning up), have a new short story about to do the rounds, and am in the process of trunking older stories.

I’ve also been working on some changes to the blog and I anticipate a return to more regular content in the near future.

Stay tuned…

Eastercon 2010

6 04 2010

I’m back from Eastercon.

It was a great con: really good to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen in a while and, indeed, to make some new ones. I couldn’t help feeling a little frustrated with myself that I had not quite managed to be in a position to actually pitch The Scarred God, but I’m only a fortnight to a month away (line edit and synopsis), I may need to just attend the Autumn cons instead – it’s a tough job but someone has to do it.

A good haul of books including Joe Hill’s “Horns”; Adam Roberts’ “New Model Army”; Gareth L Powell’s “Silversands” and Lauren Beukes’ “Moxyland”.

Most importantly I’m feeling more focused than I have been in a while. To be fair this started before the con, but being around like minded people, not having to talk day-job shop, and having some thinking time, really has turbo-charged that feeling. At one point I found myself writing on my i-phone in a corridor, something I haven’t done in months and it felt great (the writing on the spur of the moment rather than the device). Preserving this feeling as I go back to work next week will be tough but I think everything will benefit if I do.

Now I need to go let my liver recover.

Near yet far

31 03 2010

I didn’t quite hit my deadline.

As of two minutes ago I did finish the major rewrite on The Scarred God’s fifth draft. However, strictly speaking it will need a line edit; a continuity check; and probably a slight trim for length. These will probably be quite quick passes, throttled only by my need to read the thing out loud to line edit it as at this stage it’s the only way I will spot problems, and I will probably finish in around two weeks time. And as I said before: then I really am done on this one.*

Nearly there.

* Unless someone pays me.

The Future

27 03 2010

My sister found this. I really like it, especially at the moment.

The week that was: treading water

14 03 2010

Actually on time with this for once.


I’ve been really dreadful at keeping track of the news lately. I see that the UK government continues to show itself as technically illiterate lobby responding halfwits with the hacked about and totally unworkable digital rights bill. Personally I’d quite like the people legislating to actually understand the medium they are passing law on but, you know, I’m funny like that. Election fever continues to grow in the UK even though Brown looks set to leave it to the last minute to set a date and no one seems to realise the parties have no actual policies.It’s enough to keep my head down and away from the press.


It’s been interesting to watch Apple, Google and Microsoft squaring up for what feels like a new phase in their corporate celebrity death match. Bing’s new ads have started rolling out in the UK but haven’t – as far as I can see – had much impact. Meanwhile Google seem to be making in-roads on mobile but Apple have such a lead now – especially on usability – many speculate Android will have difficult moving beyond the tech sphere. What’s certain is mobile internet has now entered that high proliferation phase where browsing habits shift permanently with all the inherent new challenges that presents. It’s going to be  a fun couple of years.


I’ve been reading outside of genre (don’t gasp at the back, I read wide, sometimes). “Foe” by J.M.Coatze (award winning author don’t you know) is a riff on Robinson Crusoe and a fairly trippy, dream like novel, that I cribbed off my sister once. I enjoyed it although I think it had technical problems with the structure that occasionally took me out of the narrative. I suspect it’s best enjoyed – given the length – in one sitting.


During the week I only managed a minimum amount of words on The Scarred God (I’m working the final, final draft). However, this weekend has afforded me some free time that has enabled me to crank through another three thousand words of new material and a bit of polishing on stuff I retained. I am very near the end of the major rewrites and with in a gnat’s hair of the last line edit. I finish on March 31st – whatever. I have too many other stories to work on. The plan is to either a) submit to agents (if I think it’s commercial and good) or b) issue as either an audiobook or e-book (if I think it’s good but not commercial) or c) trunk (if it’s not upto par).

To keep me honest if I trunk it I will burn one hard copy and pass all digital files to G for safe keeping.


I appear to have injured myself. I’m not sure how but I have pulled my trap and so have been walking around like an old man most of the week hence no gym time. On the positive side I did watch my food levels and I dropped some weight. I’m hoping this week goes better.

That’s it for this week. I suspect their will be more next week simply by virtue of the fact I have actual Stuff planned and, of course, Eastercon looms.