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February 2016
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April 2016

The Ides of March!


Our annual excuse to share Rose Biggin's wonderful "Put to Silence" - a story about a story about a murder within a murder:

The director told me the aim was for Brutus, he told me Brutus deserved it, and he gave me a figure and a cash advance. He told me who was in on it: Julius Caesar, Cassius the Conspirator - and now me. They wanted somebody strong and reliable in the chorus, because they weren’t all as accustomed to the act as I was. They were all committed to the job, don’t get me wrong, he said; but until you’ve truly gone through with it, you don’t know for sure.

Read the whole story here.

Friday Five: 5 Majorly Helpful Marketing Manuals

How to lie with statistics

Slightly outside our normal remit, but, hey, we encourage people to share the things they're interested in, and I really like this stuff. 

The thing is, 98% of the time, when anyone asks "what should I learn about advertising?", the answer will be "Ogilvy". And - you know what? That's right. I can't even set this up as a controversial "Nogilvy" (see what I did there?) hot take, because the eminently quotable David Ogilvy managed to churn out advice that's, frankly, both practical and timeless. Darnit.

So start there.

Continue reading "Friday Five: 5 Majorly Helpful Marketing Manuals" »

Stark Reviews: Duck, You Sucker A.K.A. A Fistful of Dynamite (1971)


Stark says: “If you shoot me, I’ll fall. And if I fall, they’ll have to alter all the maps.”

A Fistful of Dynamite… sounds almost like a Leone film doesn’t it? Yeah, well that’s because it is a Leone film: his least known and most overlooked Western, but a Leone film all the same. It also marks his exit from the Western genre with a deafening, nitroglycerine-fuelled bang.

We’ve covered a few Western subgenres – weird westerns, acid westerns, dinosaur westerns, surrealist animated Westerns – but get ready because here’s another one coming at you: a revisionist-epic-spaghetti-Zapata Western.

Continue reading "Stark Reviews: Duck, You Sucker A.K.A. A Fistful of Dynamite (1971)" »

One Comic travels to Bitch Planet


We each came to this issue of Bitch Planet with a different level of familiarity with the series - so how this one-off story worked for all our perspectives made for an interesting starting point.

Fun-fact: Bitch Planet was almost one of the first titles we ever reviewed, so it's good finally to get under its skin.

Are we ready to get the Non-Complaint tattoo too? Listen and find out.

'90s Music in Karachi. It wasn’t all bad.


In the early 90s, when I was going my A Levels in Karachi (yeah, that's how old I am shhhh), we didn’t have music online.

Hell, we barely had music anyway. MTV was in our lives via satellite dishes but it wasn’t the same MTV the rest of the world got - we seemed to get far fewer videos on rotation and you had to wait around for something you liked to come on air. I guess that hasn't changed much.

Continue reading "'90s Music in Karachi. It wasn’t all bad. " »

Atwood, Thompson, Chambers, Ness and More!


Last night saw two literary awards recognise speculative fiction.

The Kitschies, now finishing their seventh year, handed out the following prizes:

  • Margaret Atwood's The Heart Goes Last (Red Tentacle - Novel)
  • Tade Thompson's Making Wolf (Golden Tentacle - Debut)
  • Jet Purdie's cover for Sally Gardner's The Door that Led to Where (Inky Tentacle - Cover)
  • Square Enix's Life is Strange (Invisible Tentacle - Digitally Native Fiction)
  • Patrick Ness for his fundraising efforts for Save the Children (Black Tentacle - Judges' Discretion)

Plus, Margaret Atwood wore an octopus on her head all evening

Meanwhile, over at the Baileys Prize, the judges released this year's longlist, and we're delighted to see Becky Chambers' The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet hobnobbing alongside Kate Atkinson and Hanya Yanagihara. 

The Long Way is a gorgeous, beautiful book, and it is wonderful to see it tearing up (and tearing up, homonyms!) the literary establishment. Becky's also a regular contributor here - way to class up the joint, Chambers! The shortlist for this terrific prize will be announced on 11 April.