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Dispatch from the Razor's Edge The blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs - author of The Manuscript, Pandora's Sisters, and D-Boys Tue, 20 Apr 2021 11:14:41 UTC en-us Independence Day Going through the process of radically thinning out the contents of the ole domocile, you start to realize the magnitude of all the things you keep simply because you have them. Thu, 04 Jul 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Here Here, Herr Hair - Nice Hair! In the Whole Foods produce section, I happened to see a strapping guy with a smoking brush cut. Intrepidly approaching him, I asked, Sat, 06 Jul 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Finding My Own Road Tried out my new MP3 player today. I can't really recommend this device - a Treo 10 with somewhat limited (and frequently perverse) functionality Tue, 09 Jul 2002 00:00:00 +0000 My Lucky Day So today was bookmarked as the Day of Irrevocable Actions. (Not a bad numerical date for it at all - as my (quarter-)Irish mum might point out.) Thu, 11 Jul 2002 00:00:00 +0000 All About the Gear Saturday, and it's REI run time. Yeah, boeeyyy . . . Picked up: Microfiber Pack Towel: 25"x54" - but folds up to the size of a small paperback and weighs in at 8oz. Ultra-absorbant, and mega-fast drying. Sat, 13 Jul 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Four Things Sunday evening, and swinging by Walgreens I picked up: * A new, black, 200-page, 5.5x3.5 Mead "Fat 'Lil Notebook." * Another $3.99 chrono sports watch, with alarm! Yeah! These are two of the top pieces of gear that got me through Europe last year. Sun, 14 Jul 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Meta-Hypertext Spent a bit of time working on the site infrastructure, recently. While it's not quite precisely a full-blown content management system, it will take a lot of the burden off of me as I publish on the go Wed, 17 Jul 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Architecture I just finished reading an entirely decent book on architecture. Frankly, I had begun to feel a little ridiculous travelling all the way around the world to see these great buildings, and then standing there pointing and muttering, "Look - I think it's Revival something or other . . ." Sat, 20 Jul 2002 00:00:00 +0000 THE SCOOP Oh, Yeah, and What Exactly Am I Doing Anyway? (aka THE SCOOP): I'm closing out my apartment, putting all my stuff in storage, bidding the Bay Area adieu, and flying Back East Mon, 22 Jul 2002 00:00:00 +0000 It Is Done By popular demand (well, okay, Dana's demand): Behold! The shorn head! Sat, 27 Jul 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Reader Mail, pt 1 - The Horror Michael, Welcome to the world of the properly-shorn, ya hippie bitch! "Razor's Edge" is *obviously* a reference to your deeply-seated homoerotic bald-head attraction. :) Thu, 01 Aug 2002 00:00:00 +0000 More Horror; Much More Today, of my own free will - and, in fact, at not inconsiderable personal expense - I went out and had myself injected with Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Typhus. How's that for a dreamy Wednesday morning? Wed, 07 Aug 2002 00:00:00 +0000 We Have Ignition This could lead to excellence / Or serious injury / Only one way to know / Go, go, go Thu, 15 Aug 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Reader Mail pt 2 - The Joy Michael, After some serious consideration, I don't think I could pass up the opportunity both to tour Africa and to have a real adventure with a true friend. Tue, 20 Aug 2002 00:00:00 +0000 I'm A Happy Guy I am slouching shallowly at the edge of a neighborhood (read: "subdivision") pool, out in suburban Atlanta. Two female seven-year-old persons, who are taking turns jumping into the pool from the top of the lifeguard's chair, are charged with taking care of me for the afternoon. Mon, 26 Aug 2002 00:00:00 +0000 2001.09.11 I am watching the reading of the names of 9/11 victims at Ground Zero, on television. (I'm in a place with a television, which today I'm grateful for.) As the names rolled by, as did the images of the loved ones down in the footprints of the missing buildings laying flowers, I was deeply struck by what all these people looked like Wed, 11 Sep 2002 00:00:00 +0000 I'm A Happy Guy Abbe, and her fiance Evan, and I, are padding around in a small, dark room of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. In this one small room are five, count 'em, of the world's starkly limited supply of Faberge eggs. Sun, 15 Sep 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Random Smack! Dateline: Spartanburg-ish, South Carolina, "Quality Hotel" [sic] FACTOID: The state of North Carolina built its Vietnam War Veterans Memorial as part of one of its Interstate Highway 85 South rest stops. Wed, 18 Sep 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Daftness With The New DigiCam Sat, 21 Sep 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Little Expressionless Animals (splashy, splashy, splashy) Michael: OH MY GOD! Michael: Do you happen to have, like, a number for neighborhood pool maintenance? Alex: Hmm, you'll have to ask Jennifer. Something wrong? M: . . . There's a freaking CREATURE in the pool. Wed, 02 Oct 2002 00:00:00 +0000 A Whole New Bunny Reader response to the Bunny Episode was lively and varied. Thanks equally to those who ooh'd and ahh'd at the high cuteness involved; gently indicted me for being such a nancy about the whole thing; provided a bit of genuine empathy regarding my initial shock and horror Thu, 03 Oct 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Sibling Revelry Sara landed in Quito three nights ago. All four of us, my three adult sisters and I, seemingly following some genetically hard-wired agitation timer, have simultaneously thrown ourselves into massive transition. Thu, 24 Oct 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Reader Mail, pt. 3 - The Magic Michael - I'm sorry I haven't replied before - I've been away on 2 holidays no less! One to North Wales and one to the South of France - Nice to be precise - and both were lovely in very different ways. I'm about to embark on a third before the month is out, to ... wait for it... Amsterdam. Sat, 26 Oct 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Jungle Boogie This is it. I've got my last, my very last bit of gear - down to a collapsing travel toothbrush. In the spirit of my first big trip, here it all is (well, except for a few missing items, like the camera for instance). Mon, 28 Oct 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Amsterdam Redux The bad news was that I was flying NorthWorst and my first flight (out of Atlanta) was late getting in, late getting out - and when it finally took wing, after sitting on the tarmac for haunted ages, it had become mathematically impossible for me to make my connection in Detroit. (Which connection would be the overnight flight to Amsterdam - where I was being met by two very important (to me) people in public places at very specific times.) Wed, 30 Oct 2002 00:00:00 +0000 High Above the Rainbow City Thu, 31 Oct 2002 00:00:00 +0000 1997.11.01 Special Dispatch Commemoration: On this day five years ago I set foot off my homeland - landing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada - for the first time ever. Was November 1, 1997 the best night of my life? Fri, 01 Nov 2002 00:00:00 +0000 "We're Out of Here!" Well, this is it. I met an American woman at the bar yesterday morning, while writing and drinking tea, who just got back from Nomad's Cape Town -> Victoria Falls tour (ie the first half of ours). Okay, for one thing, her left arm was in a cast. For another, she advised against the optional elephant-back safari. Sat, 02 Nov 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Putting the "Adventure" in Nomad Adventure Tours I'm sitting in the shade of a bungalow just above the banks of the Orange River, in Namibia. I've just survived being swept down a fair portion of said river, in the process of which misadventure I nearly lost both a fiberglass canoe, and a very nice German gal named Astrid. Mon, 04 Nov 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Flaps Down Well, I've really gotten completely over this Cool Guy Hat Flaps Up pretension, let me tell you. The African sun - as advertised - is a brutal, insidious, and insistent beast. Thu, 07 Nov 2002 00:00:00 +0000 The Namib "But mad dogs and Englishmen / Go out in the noonday sun." - Noel Coward ... Astute readers will recall that the above quote has been previously used on Dispatch from the Razor's Edge. However, it turns out that it really, really bears repeating - the moment one sets foot in the Namib Desert. Fri, 08 Nov 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Spitzkoppe: My Idea of Fun When we did roll on into the camp site - nestled between two tremendous, towering piles of rocks (with others nearby) - jaws were on the ground; and there seemed to be a general consensus that this was the best setting for a camp site anyone's ever seen. Tue, 12 Nov 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Etosha We arrived in Etosha Park earlier than expected on Tuesday afternoon, allowing us the opportunity of a 70km game drive straight off, basically just to get to our camp site. Etosha is widely regarded as one of the world's greatest wildlife-viewing parks Thu, 14 Nov 2002 00:00:00 +0000 The African Queen She came out of the sun, as we motored our way out of Etosha. Mark and I were fast asleep, and roused by Jo's piercing cry: "Lion, lion!" Sat, 16 Nov 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Okavango Delta I Our last night in the world, Paul sat us down before dinner, and gave us the scoop about the Delta: how to avoid becoming meat for any of the local Delta denizens. Tue, 19 Nov 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Okavango Delta ][ We woke with the dawn - to beat the heat, and ideally to meet the animals, who were also beating the heat. We quickly spotted more red litchri, splashed with steeply slanting sunlight, as well as a lonely elephant in the (far) distance. Wed, 20 Nov 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Chobe Betwixt the Delta and Chobe, we paused for a brief respite at something called Planet Baobob - a camp site situated amidst 3,500-year old baobob trees. Thu, 21 Nov 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Fulcrum City What can be said of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe? How about, "Get the *&%$ back right now, you massed, marauding swarms of human stinging flies!" for starters? Sun, 24 Nov 2002 00:00:00 +0000 The "Mighty" Zambezi We moved to a rougher camp site (a bit too rough, in my view), on the banks of the Zambezi River. Mark: I just saw a mamba. Me: Is it dangerous? Mark: Heh heh, ha ha. I wouldn't say it's dangerous. I mean, if it bites you, you're dead. But it's a pretty happy, peaceful snake . . . Though, again, if it bites you, you're dead. Tue, 26 Nov 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Hippos On My D, 1 2 3 I suppose that the trouble really started in Cape Town - the truck trouble, that is. I'm much more amazed than angry that Nomad doesn't maintain their trucks - given that their business pretty much is their trucks, and they (not to mention their customers) are going nowhere fast without them. Thu, 28 Nov 2002 00:00:00 +0000 The Sea Lake Malawi is the 3rd largest in Africa (behind Tanganyika (Burton's discovery) and Victoria), and the 9th largest in the world. It is 580km long, and believed to be 750m at its deepest point. Moreover, due to it's waves, winds, tides, and unpredictable weather, it is officially classified as "the sea." Tue, 03 Dec 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Led Toward Heaven; Driven Through Hell Right, then - so one more beach camp site on the shores of Lake Malawi. And although this one would be indistinguishable from Kande Beach to, say, Martians, it sure was a whole new kettle of worms for us. Fri, 06 Dec 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Meet the Zanzibarans If Africa is the continent the world left behind, but can't stop thinking about, then Zanzibar is the Arab world's Africa. Across oceans of time (as well as the Indian Ocean), the Sumerians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Phonecians, Indians, Chinese, Persians, Portuguese, Dutch, and English have all dropped in here. Tue, 10 Dec 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Get Jiggy With The Zanzibarans I emerge from my "life enjoyment break" in African Gelato Heaven into the lightest, gentlest sprinkle, which has floated in on the offshore breeze. Looping hotelward, but wide, I find myself in the proper, local (non-tourist) market - filled with stalls, vendors, shops, honking vehicles, and thousands of faces (all of which but mine are non-white). Thu, 12 Dec 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Intermissionary Position Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater, that's what reason we have for leaving. In Tanzania, the town of Arusha is the gateway to these places, and that's where we're heading today. But first a few last orders of business in town. Fri, 13 Dec 2002 00:00:00 +0000 The Endless Plain That's what "Serengeti" means, in Swahili. (So "Serengeti Plain" - like "tse tse fly" - is redundant.) Serengeti National Park is Tanzania's - and almost certainly the world's - most famous wildlife preserve. Sun, 15 Dec 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Serengeti Morning Morning on the Endless Plain. We crept along in the sharply slanting light and windy, slightly chirpy quiet - five fleshy periscopes extended through the roof panels, and not another vehicle or human in sight Mon, 16 Dec 2002 00:00:00 +0000 The Lost Kingdom Dawn on the Crater Rim - and major themes seemed to be brutal cold, and sophomoric humor Tue, 17 Dec 2002 00:00:00 +0000 Snows on Kilimanjaro So I actually spent a lot of time worrying about, and trying to figure out how to avoid, dying in that Land Cruiser we took to Serengeti. Wed, 18 Dec 2002 00:00:00 +0000 "Home, Snively." The hop from Amboseli to Nairobi was painless, and our quick drive-by of downtown Nairobi tended to underscore why we weren't being dropped off in the city proper. Lamentably, these days, Nairobi is literally one of the most dangerous and crime-ridden cities on the planet. Fri, 20 Dec 2002 00:00:00 +0000 WSIDWML? How many times do you really face a choice in life? How many times will you get the benefit of arriving at a crossroads, where you don't have to fight the tug of rolling inertia, and your choice isn't going to hurt someone you love? Mon, 07 Apr 2003 00:00:00 +0000 Scranton, PA Mon, 05 May 2003 00:00:00 +0000 Underground Mon, 19 May 2003 00:00:00 +0000 Nan's Basement Nan's Basement, 2003 - (mixed digital media) Sun, 25 May 2003 00:00:00 +0000 My Own Garden I planted a garden - my first (without close supervision). Tomatoes. Turning soil is, of course, good for the soul. Fri, 13 Jun 2003 00:00:00 +0000 Get Me Possibility! Ah! and when the hour-glass has run out, the hour-glass of temporality, when the worldly tumult is silenced and the restless or unavailing urgency comes to an end Thu, 10 Jul 2003 00:00:00 +0000 Of Some Importance in its Way Anyone moderately familiar with the rigours of composition will not need to be told the story in detail: how he wrote and it seemed good; read and it seemed vile; corrected and tore up; cut out; put in; was in ecstasy; in despair Sun, 13 Jul 2003 00:00:00 +0000 Row the Boats Wed, 03 Sep 2003 00:00:00 +0000 Patriot Day "Whatever the duration of this struggle, and whatever the difficulties, we will not permit the triumph of violence in the affairs of men - free people will set the course of history. Thu, 11 Sep 2003 00:00:00 +0000 Summer Night Summer Night, The All-American City, 2003 - Michael Stephen Fuchs - (digital fiddling with digital photos) Sun, 14 Sep 2003 00:00:00 +0000 Young Woman with Pen in Hair Young Woman with Pen in Hair (Piccadilly Line) - michael stephen fuchs, 2003 Sat, 25 Oct 2003 00:00:00 +0000 After the Morning Rain London, Earl's Court, Sunday, after the morning autumn rain. Sun, 02 Nov 2003 00:00:00 +0000 Landmark Events in the Life of a New Londoner Buy an A to Z. Buy your first copy of Time Out. First proper curry. Tue, 04 Nov 2003 00:00:00 +0000 A Pictorial History of - What's, Let's Face It, Is A Somewhat Arbitrary Selection of Moments From - My First Two Months in London Since I became, on 18 September 2003, a legal resident of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island, London has hardly left me two free minutes to rub together - much less to properly dispatch. Tue, 18 Nov 2003 00:00:00 +0000 The Special Relationship "The British people are the sort of partners you want when serious work needs doing. The men and women of this kingdom are kind and steadfast and generous and brave, and America is fortunate to call this country our closest friend in the world." - George W. Bush, yesterday's Whitehall address Thu, 20 Nov 2003 00:00:00 +0000 Reflection (After the Rain) Reflection (After the Rain) - michael stephen fuchs, 2003 Sat, 22 Nov 2003 00:00:00 +0000 Skip This Dispatch Did I mention my resolution to read only English novelists while I'm here? Luckily, England's produced one or two decent ones. ;^) I actually broke down once, which event I memorialized in this poem: Sun, 30 Nov 2003 00:00:00 +0000 The Dispatch That Does Not End Heart is so full, and evening is mostly clear, and so I head out toward Chelsea, laptop on back - preparing to "kick it old school". That is to say, I'm going to find a congenial pub, treat myself to a pint (and possibly a half), and dispatch with great abandon. Tue, 09 Dec 2003 00:00:00 +0000 The Camera Eye If you got through the last couple of prolix dispatches, you definitely deserve some purty pictures. Luckily, I've been continuing to develop my relationship with London in no small measure through my electronic viewfinder. Sun, 14 Dec 2003 00:00:00 +0000 Annual Safe Driving Harangue I've given offense in the past by seeming to suggest that the people in my life don't know how to drive, or need my driving advice. I'm so sorry for that, which isn't what I mean at all. Tue, 23 Dec 2003 00:00:00 +0000 Brightening Up London / Remembrance Day So, Sir Bob Geldof, presumably running short of things to do, decided that London at the end of the year was a slightly too drab place for his taste and he got the idea of colourfully gift-wrapping a number of London's greatest buildings. And how could that be wrong? Wed, 24 Dec 2003 00:00:00 +0000 One Louis MacNeice Poem, Two Passages from Jeanette Winterson, and Eleven Melancholy Pictures The sunlight on the garden / Hardens and grows cold, / We cannot cage the minute / Within its nets of gold, Sun, 11 Jan 2004 00:00:00 +0000 The London Sky "All the forces which have produced the London sky have made something which all Londoners know, and which no one who has never seen London has ever seen." - G.K. Chesterton Sun, 25 Jan 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Michael Fine Long story short: I'm in Spain, but totally fine. I'm actually not anywhere near Madrid (though, since I neglected to send out my itinerary before I left, no one knows this), but rather in Barcelona. Heck, I didn't even know the extent of the carnage until 10 minutes ago when I stepped into this net cafe and got the NY Times. Thu, 11 Mar 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Ground Zero Espana Madrid is draped with flags - Spanish flags, with big black ribbons over their hearts. The workaday flags are all at half-mast, including in the 17-century Plaza Mayor, all be-frescoed and sad. And at the art nouveau building that fronts the Grand Via, there is a 4-story black ribbon. Sun, 14 Mar 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Sunlight on the Garden The opening poem (one of my all-time faves) couldn't be more apt. It went through my head so many times as Josh and I traveled through Spain. The third verse haunted me as we climbed up into the sky, amid the awesome construction of Barcelona's Sagrada Familia. Tue, 16 Mar 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Morocco Photos Part Un Fuchs Dispatch: now with Skeet Shooting! That is to say, I did the first part of the Morocco trip in the company of another snap-happy digital photographer - namely, one Josh Schroeder (nee Skeet). The main result for the dispatch is that you get a lot more pictures of me, which of course is great news if, like me, you really like looking at pictures of me. Sun, 21 Mar 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Morocco Photos, Part Deux The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca is the world's second largest mosque - or religious monument of any kind - outside of the one in Mecca. Its minaret, at 210 meters, is the tallest in the world and is visible for miles - not least when it shines lasers toward Mecca at night. Wed, 31 Mar 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Sunlight on the Garden "My world back after a year, my lost lost world / Like a cropping deer strayed near my path again, /Bewaring the mind's least clutch, turning, I kissed her Mon, 12 Apr 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Pat Tillman Maybe he was thinking Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country... All we know is that 25-year-old Pat Tillman, a rising pro football player came back from his honeymoon seven weeks ago and told his coaches he would turn down a three-year, $3.6 million contract and instead join the U.S. Army. Thu, 22 Apr 2004 00:00:00 +0000 New Flat Some of you recently received an exuberant, triumphal e-mail to the effect that I finally got a proper flat. Here it is with photos: Fri, 23 Apr 2004 00:00:00 +0000 The Fires of Spring So perhaps good humour, good fortune, and general freedom from care have begun to wear you down, get a bit oppressive. If so, I'm pleased to be able to offer the following prescription for immediate and radical mood delevation Sat, 01 May 2004 00:00:00 +0000 City of Gardens Ali took me to Brighton on Friday, which is on the south coast 40 minutes by train from London, and widely regarded as Britain's San Francisco - much smaller, but with waterfront, pastel-painted row houses on hills, cool breezes and sunshine, a thriving gay community and a welcoming vibe. Mon, 24 May 2004 00:00:00 +0000 The Dispatcher Begs a Boon Would someone please let me in on the secret to happiness? And the Answers are . . . : Sun, 20 Jun 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Some Portraits Thu, 24 Jun 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Dusk and a Swan "Like the falling leaves and the shifting past / Sometimes the treasured things / Are not the things that last" Sun, 27 Jun 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Independence Day Happy 228th birthday, United States of America (from an American abroad). As previously noted, America - the only nation-state ever founded on the basis of a philosophy - is not a place nor a people, but a set of principles and ideals. Sun, 04 Jul 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Humanity on its Raft Humanity on its raft. The raft on the endless ocean. From his present dissatisfaction man reasons that there was some catastrophic wreck in the past, before which he was happy; some golden age, some Garden of Eden. Wed, 14 Jul 2004 00:00:00 +0000 The London Sky, Pt. 2 "They look down at the ground, missing. / But I never go in now - / I'm looking at the Big Sky, / I'm looking at the Big Sky now" - Kate Bush Mon, 30 Aug 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Pictures of Things I Have Seen "For the entire earth is but a point, and the place of our own habitation but a minute corner in it; and how many are therein who will praise you, and what sort of men are they?" - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations Tue, 05 Oct 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Have We Made Things Too Hard? Specifically, what I mean to ponder is: Has all our scientific and technological progress - in particular, the foundation-rocking understanding of the universe and ourselves that's been granted us by cosmology, astrophysics, geology, evolutionary biology, evolutionary psychology, cognitive neuroscience, etc. - has all of that grand accumulated wisdom left us without a psychic pot to piss in? Wed, 13 Oct 2004 00:00:00 +0000 London Rain Evening in SW London. Dim. It's raining! I go to the ceiling-scraping window that opens onto the inner courtyard. "Super-fantastic," I say aloud. I love the London rain. Thu, 14 Oct 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Man on the Spot Late afternoon, gorgeous and autumny out, so I dart out of the office to go stand in Trafalgar Square in the rusty last sunlight. Thu, 21 Oct 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Veterans Day / Remembrance Day Today is Veterans Day in the U.S. - and Remembrance Day in the UK. At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the entire country stops, sits in two minutes of total silence, and remembers the men and women who died on their behalf. Thu, 11 Nov 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Bad Ass in Chief From the New York Times: On Saturday night, attending a dinner with leaders from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Mr. Bush had to wade into a group of security agents to pull his lead Secret Service agent out of a shoving match with the Chilean police. Mon, 22 Nov 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Self Portrait (Atocha) Self Portrait (Atocha), 2004 - (mixed digital media) Wed, 24 Nov 2004 00:00:00 +0000 To Begin the World Over Again The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. Thu, 25 Nov 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Super Foods! The World Cancer Research Fund has just published their list of the 20 best foods to prevent cancer. Fri, 26 Nov 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Suffering and Light If the immediate and direct purpose of our life is not suffering then our existence is the most ill-adapted to its purpose in the world. Wed, 01 Dec 2004 00:00:00 +0000 No Sex, Please, We're British According to the UK charity RoadPeace, ten people die on the roads in Britain every day. (I was glad to find these guys because it makes me feel less alone and insane for worrying about this stuff.) Tue, 21 Dec 2004 00:00:00 +0000 Shiva Shiva, 2004 - (mixed digital media) Wed, 22 Dec 2004 00:00:00 +0000 A Melancholy Blue I left the office shortly after 6pm - an hour after the last civil servant had melted away - and walked the streets of Soho. I headed north then west, bouncing pinball-like through the brilliant rectangle of Soho Tue, 04 Jan 2005 00:00:00 +0000 The Next Caper Mark, Would you care to walk across England with me in the last two weeks of March? Wed, 12 Jan 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Three Strikes So, I've had a heck of a 12 hours. First I fell out of bed - it was inevitable, my bed is 8 feet off the ground, in a little loft. Fri, 14 Jan 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Scraps of Useless Information Truly ideal weekend: Friday evening I met up with my mates, as per always on Friday evenings, though this time out in the provinces (Egham). But it was well worth the trip. We laughed an awful lot. Mon, 24 Jan 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Think About Recycling Michael Crichton can discourse on global climate change - all kinds of people do - but you might want to consider leavening your reading of him with some scientists, or science writers, who also discourse on the subject. Tue, 25 Jan 2005 00:00:00 +0000 "Imposing American-Style Democracy at the Barrel of a Gun" (and Oh Yeah, it's All About Oil Anyway) "We wanted to be the first to vote here. This is our country. We have to do it. There should be no excuse for anyone not to come. These elections will decide the destiny of the country." - Amir Mahmoud Jawad, 18, Iraqi high school student Sun, 30 Jan 2005 00:00:00 +0000 "Iraq, Home of the Brave" "Defying the suicide bombers and head-hackers, courageous Iraqis went to the polls in huge numbers. Before the vote, the naysayers told us that the indelible purple dye on each voter's finger would mark them out for punishment by 'insurgents'. Instead, it became a defiant symbol of the country's freedom. Wed, 02 Feb 2005 00:00:00 +0000 What I'm Doing "The effortful shepherding of one's confusion and faint nausea, which I assumed was the basic existential package, turns out to have been a temporary condition." - Martin Amis Fri, 11 Feb 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Soon Earth Will Cover Us All In the life of man, his time is but a moment, his being an incessant flux, his senses a dim rushlight, his body a prey of worms, his soul an unquiet eddy, his fortune dark, and his fame doubtful. Thu, 17 Feb 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Darfur We know what's going on. Nicholas Kristof details it in in today's New York Times. It's easy to speak up. In U.S., e-mail your Senators and Congressperson. In U.K., fax your MP. Wed, 23 Feb 2005 00:00:00 +0000 The Caper Expands (Into A Lark) well. presuming that mark also assents, and presuming that the two of you are not afraid for your virtue, traveling with a Member Of The Opposite Sex - i'm in. d Thu, 24 Feb 2005 00:00:00 +0000 The Baghdad Wall Is Down "It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq. I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world. . . . Wed, 02 Mar 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Considering Myself a Londoner What I love about London: I love walking a single block and hearing 5 languages and 12 accents. I love that feeling of dread that I'm irretrievably missing out on the raging river of cultural opportunities that's constantly racing by. Wed, 16 Mar 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Lightning Crashes My first novel, THE MANUSCRIPT, was officially picked up today - by Macmillan, for a UK release in early 2006. Sat, 16 Apr 2005 00:00:00 +0000 The Glittering Isle "You can't blame people for deciding not to live here, but you do have wonder about people who have never at least wanted to live here. Here you will have the worst and best days of your life, and your response to both will be the same: Only in New York." Mon, 25 Apr 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Day 0 And but so I got this idea in my head. Coming back from the holidays in Atlanta, I realised that I needed something. You need something. You know? I'd read a sidebar in the Guardian mentioning the Coast to Coast path. And I thought - Hey! I like to walk! Wed, 11 May 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Day 1 Awoke in St. Bees to sunshine and breeze and calling seabirds - a very propitious morning indeed. Thu, 12 May 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Day 2 - The Best Day Yet So did I forget to mention the American? (Aka the Quiet American, aka the Ugly American.) We first met this august gentleman at the station in Carlisle, where our rail connection to St. Bees was cancelled and replaced by a bus service. Fri, 13 May 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Day 3 - Borrowdale to Grasmere So the Retained Technical Consultant on our Coast to Coast Walk was one Josh Schroeder - extremely experienced hiker/camper, Eagle Scout, and all around prince of a guy. Sat, 14 May 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Day 4 - Breaking Through So, our acute food problem so far had largely consisted of three parts: 1) breaking camp and leaving town before anything opened; 2) getting into the next town after everything had closed; and 3) not packing nearly enough trail food to get us from one to the other. Sun, 15 May 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Day 5 - Dicing With Death As well, we couldn't afford to get lost up here. Miles from any town, isolated up in the peaks, hemmed in by weather . . . we could end up doing circles, or heading off in some wrong direction, until we succumbed to the weather and exhaustion. Mon, 16 May 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Day 6 - The Lovely Slog "Those who struggled to complete the previous stage will be less than delighted to hear that today's hike is, at 21 miles, even longer. Indeed, for many it will be the longest day on the entire route." Tue, 17 May 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Day 7 - Chickens Rule the Planet It appears that on this walk if it's not one goddamned thing, it's another: if you manage to avoid getting blown off the cliff-edge of a fell, you've only survived to later get swallowed whole by a bog. Well, never a dull moment. Wed, 18 May 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Day 8 - Going the Extra Miles Darby: Screw you guys - I'm goin' to the B&B. Us: But- Darby: Eh! Screw you guys - B&B. Thu, 19 May 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Day 9 - Fields of Gold Morning finds Applegarth Camping Barn - and our heroes snug in bed: Mark: I can't tell if that's wind or rain. Me: It's not rain. Go back to sleep. Mark: That's definitely rain. Me: No, you're dreaming . . . I had the most awful vivid dream last night. Mark: Were you trapped three quarters of the way across England with two freaks? Me: That's no dream, that's your reality. Fri, 20 May 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Day 10 - My Little Pony Mark: Wow, that's the first time the sun has driven us from our tent . . . It was true, we emerged to a gloriously sunny day in the back yard of the White Swan. This called for shorts. Sat, 21 May 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Day 11 - The Gratuitous Ones And so morning arrived at the gloriously well-appointed camp site that was somehow wildly inferior to all the pub back yards we'd camped in. Note to self, I thought: Four pints is one pint too many. Sun, 22 May 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Day 12 - 10 Miles Before Breakfast Early morning in the Schesse-frei pub backyard. The very first light of day glances off of the still and quiet (and glisteningly wet) tents. Mark: I suppose there's nothing for it but to get moving. Me: But we don't have to do it now. Mark: I wonder if we could for once manage not to be excruciatingly early or absurdly late for breakfast . . . Darby Danger, we're up! Mon, 23 May 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Day 13 - Moors the Worse For Us "For many, particularly those who enjoy cosy English villages hidden amongst the finest, gentlest, most bucolic scenery this country has to offer, the 13.5-mile stroll down the Esk Valley from Glaisdale to Grosmont is simply the best section of the walk . . . But first you have to get to the valley, and that means getting down off the moors . . . parts of this short-cut are extremely boggy - up to waist-deep, in my experience - and unless you want to end up like the dead sheep that occasionally litter this part of the moor it's probably safer to stick to the roads." Tue, 24 May 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Day 14 - The End of the Tour So, nothing like the best single night's sleep ever (as mentioned yesterday), before the last day of the longest walk of your life. We awoke in the clean, pretty, quiet, sunny room together, and rolled over and stretched and yawned languorously and finally roused ourselves to go downstairs for, oh yes, another ass-kicking breakfast. Wed, 25 May 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Day N+1 - Home, Snively Morning in Robin Hood's Bay. I stretched, yawned, and looked out the window beside my bed. Then I yawned and stretched again. Thu, 26 May 2005 00:00:00 +0000 The Loose End Yesterday I woke up and it was all over and everyone was gone. Mon, 30 May 2005 00:00:00 +0000 The Blitz I'm totally fine. I'm sick of sending these sodding "I'm fine" messages from the scenes of atrocities, I can tell you that. But, otherwise, I'm fine. Thu, 07 Jul 2005 00:00:00 +0000 28 Hours Later And but so walking home through central London last night, I had figured I would be looking at at a total 28 Days Later scenario - walking through the eerily deserted streets of the city, my footsteps echoing off of the centuries-old stone. Fri, 08 Jul 2005 00:00:00 +0000 The Spotless Storyteller Clementine: This is it, Joel. It's going to be gone soon. Joel: I know. Clementine: What do we do? Joel: Enjoy it. Sat, 16 Jul 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Even Bigger Tossers In the days following the attacks two weeks ago, the natural resilience, sang-froid, and stoicism - not to mention sarcasm and dismissiveness - of Londoners seemed to coalesce into a more or less unified reaction to the bombers: "Sod off, you tossers." Thu, 21 Jul 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Administrivia / Armed Police Due to popular demand (well, the two people who made these demands are popular with me), I've implemented a few improvements to the dispatch commenting system: Fri, 22 Jul 2005 00:00:00 +0000 The Battle Is Joined "The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity . . . It was the deep knowledge - and pray God we have not lost it - that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest." Fri, 05 Aug 2005 00:00:00 +0000 RIP Percy "From too much love of living, / From hope and fear set free, / We thank with brief thanksgiving / Whatever gods may be / That no life lives for ever; / That dead men rise up never; / That even the weariest river / Winds somewhere safe to sea." Mon, 15 Aug 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Page Proofs! And so week before last, I got typeset page proofs of the book sent over from Macmillan. Fri, 26 Aug 2005 00:00:00 +0000 The View from 'Marchers' "'Just the place to bury a crock of gold,' said Sebastian. 'I should like to bury something precious in every place where I've been happy and then, when I was old and ugly and miserable, I could come back and dig it up and remember.'" Fri, 02 Sep 2005 00:00:00 +0000 2001.09.11 "All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honour, duty, mercy, hope." Sun, 11 Sep 2005 00:00:00 +0000 2003.09.18 So, exactly two years ago, I was thirty-three-thousand feet over the Atlantic. Down in the hold, I had one big trekking bag, filled with my terrifically pared-down earthly possessions. Incidentally, I used that same bag tonight to carry over 24 kilos of ice from the grocery store, so it's held up pretty well. [laughter] Sun, 18 Sep 2005 00:00:00 +0000 You and I Behind the Veil are Past I saw my first poppy today, while running around the edge of Trafalgar Square. I saw three poppies on my run. The first roasted chestnut vendors are also out, as of last week. Wed, 26 Oct 2005 00:00:00 +0000 A (Birth)Day in the Life (In Pictures) realised in a flash that I could conceivably take the narcissism, self-absorption, and exhibitionism that are so startlingly inherent in vanity web sites in general, and blogs in particular, to great new uncharted depths . . . a brave new nadir of self-promotion and life minutiae documentation. I realised I could photo- (and/or video-)document virtually every moment of an average day of my life. Fri, 28 Oct 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Stand-Up Pinker So anyone who knows me well knows that Steven Pinker is one of my intellectual heroes. Mon, 07 Nov 2005 00:00:00 +0000 The SNAFU Has Landed I rounded her up at Victoria, off the Gatwick Express, and brought her home - where she settled in with my DSL. Thu, 10 Nov 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Bilbao "But who is it that lingers there on the strand in the half-light, by the darkening sea that seems to arch its back like a beast as the night fast advances from the fogged horizon?" Sun, 13 Nov 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Cold Lampin' With Flavor I went and saw Public Enemy at the Forum last night. That might be 'nuff said. Wed, 16 Nov 2005 00:00:00 +0000 Things I Learned at Macmillan Here are some things I learned in my visit to Macmillan last night to discuss marketing plans for the book. Tue, 29 Nov 2005 00:00:00 +0000 My Woodstock "Denmark - a small democracy, which resisted Hitler bravely and protected its Jews as well as itself - a country with an open society, a system of confessional pluralism, and a free press, has been subjected to a fantastic, incredible, organized campaign of lies and hatred and violence - which has attacked its freedom, its trade, its citizens, and its embassies Thu, 16 Mar 2006 00:00:00 +0000 The March - First Take "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." - George Orwell Sat, 25 Mar 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Launch Party! And but so the night before the official launch of Macmillan New Writing (and, perforce, of THE MANUSCRIPT), Macmillan graciously and stylishly hosted a gala launch party at their smokin' King's Cross digs. Thu, 06 Apr 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Reading! And so also the night of the official launch of Macmillan New Writing (and, perforce, of THE MANUSCRIPT), Macmillan and the Pan Bookshop on the Fulham Road graciously hosted another launch party, and reading. Fri, 07 Apr 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Liberation Day Happy Liberation Day to the brave and long-suffering Iraqi people. We stand with you. Sun, 09 Apr 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Reading Redux! And so at long last, a week after publication actually, we had our third and final launch party Wed, 12 Apr 2006 00:00:00 +0000 What To Do Next (Again) Why is it, actually, that May always seems to find me broken up and depressed and alone and melancholy? It's a striking pattern. Mon, 15 May 2006 00:00:00 +0000 When All Else Fails Go Up To Kensington Gardens and Shoot Waterfowl in the Long Lazy Late Springtime Dusk "'I know what's wrong with him now,' said the doctor. 'He had a dream and it's come true. What gives an ideal beauty is that it's unattainable. The gods laugh when men get what they want.'" - W. Somerset Maugham Mon, 29 May 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Krav Maga: So I've recently picked up a new activity: the martial art of Krav Maga. Simply translating as "close combat" in Hebrew, this form was developed specifically for, and is still taught by, the Israel Defense Forces. And this morning, I can tell you, I feel precisely as if a squad of Israeli commandoes has been beating me with lead menorahs - while I ran a half-marathon through the Negev. Jesus. Wed, 14 Jun 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Bruxelles et Bruges And so Alex had to be in Paris for a week, and happily managed to carve out another week on the backside for us to kick around somewhere. I talked him into Belgium. Thu, 22 Jun 2006 00:00:00 +0000 2005.07.07 I am not yet born; O hear me, / Let not the man who is beast or who thinks he is God / Come near me. Fri, 07 Jul 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Things I Did On The Anniversary Of 7/7 Woke up, for some reason, at half-six; couldn't get back to sleep. Put on my black armband and wore it all day. (This is the one I keep for September 11th every year, and which it now appears will be getting use twice a year.) Sat, 08 Jul 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Hero Shot Hero Shot - Laura Seay & Michael Stephen Fuchs, 2006 Tue, 11 Jul 2006 00:00:00 +0000 New Functionality! Dispatch from the Razor's Edge lives to serve! You ask, we respond. (Well, when we can scrape the time together. And when we can be bothered. Basically, when we get inspired.) Fri, 21 Jul 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Operation Big Ben Oh, and by the bye - would you have any interest in taking a crack at Ben Nevis, perhaps in August? Tue, 01 Aug 2006 00:00:00 +0000 All (Book) News Is Good News A North American distribution deal for my novel THE MANUSCRIPT (published in April 2006 in the UK) has been finalised: the book will appear (in a trade paperback edition, with the current cover design) in the U.S. and Canada in January 2007. Sun, 13 Aug 2006 00:00:00 +0000 My Manifesto And so in a recent correspondence with my editor, I laid out in some detail the particulars of my literary mission as I conceive it - an amplification of the ideas I put forward some time ago on my words page. Mon, 14 Aug 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Credit Where Credit Is Overdue So in all my patting myself on the back for recent good news on the book front . . . I've egregiously neglected to pat on the back those who emphatically deserve it most: that is, YOU. Tue, 15 Aug 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Random Photographic Smack "'I have done that,' says my memory. 'I cannot have done that' - says my pride, and remains adamant. At last - memory yields." Thu, 24 Aug 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Go West, Young Men And so I had this other idea. (Yeah, I know.) But the Coast to Coast walk had been, everyone involved had to admit, except maybe you, pretty completely spectacular. And the UK has got something like a dozen national trails. And the first one hadn't killed anyone. Quite. Fri, 08 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Somebody's Conception of Hell Right, okay, so what was that bit about, ah, let me go back and quote myself, that stuff about 'relaxed attitude', and 'short days' and 'lie on beaches' and 'stroll on clifftops'? Bwahahaha! Sat, 09 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 The Rendezvous So, previously on our show, we cut the day's dispatch short, leaving our heroes palsiedly perambulating into the port town of Mawgan Porth - one hobbling and whimpering, and the other cackling and rubbing his hands together: "Yessss... yesss... we will walk futher, we will walk more... we will walk up, and down... there will never be an end to the walking... Mua-HaHaHaHaHa!!!" Sun, 10 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Fording The Gannel Morning in Newquay, early and misty and still, and I was up and out for a pre-departure run by Somerfields for provisions - and also the Kodak shop to burn CDs, and reclaim all of my camera memory. This was the self-same Kodak shop, actually, manned by the encephalitic clowns who lost all my Day 2 pictures. Heigh ho. Mon, 11 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Still Walking Morning breaks on the overpriced Perranporth hotel grey and misty with a moving sky. Tim and I score breakfast in the dining room (unlimited muesli! muahahaha!), then spend a few minutes chatting with "sweet old Doreen". She'd seen a lot of coast walkers come through. Tue, 12 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 To The Lighthouse Another absolutely enormous breakfast - a pleasingly recurring theme - and then we walked out into a cool, slightly overcast, and windy day. Lovely walking weather. Wed, 13 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 "St. Ives! - And Step On It!" And so C&M met us in the morning back at the pub, after Tim and I had broken camp. Here they are looking all cutesy-skippy- happy, and all bad, respectively. I think I can explain the skippy-happiness. Thu, 14 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Zig Zagging to Zennor Awoke ten minutes before my alarm was to go off (I know - but we were meeting for breakfast, and generally wanted to get an early start) to an absolutely glorious morning. While languorously performing my toilette in the sparklingly lit mirrors of the immaculate bathroom, the radio reports: "Twenty-two degrees today, clear skies, cool breezes - and plenty of sunshine!" Fri, 15 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Goodbye and Hello Well, you guessed it - it was another totally glorious morning on the hill overlooking the bay, and we were up at half-7. I showered while Tim packed up (sniff); and we both headed down the hill for a farewell breakfast at the cafe. Sat, 16 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 (Not Quite) There and Back Again (Again) Awoke at, yes, you guessed it, same time as always, 7:30. But alone this time? you ask? Au contraire, mein freund. For, with Tim's departure, the critters have come out in their legions to cheer my morning. Sun, 17 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 The Trip [Would Have] Sucked Without You Awoke at, yes, half-seven again - what is it with this St. Ives campsite reveille? - to, yes, another glorious morning. I packed up much of my stuff, tried to shake some of the overnight dew off the tent (in anticipation of packing and carrying it later) Mon, 18 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 The Michael Show Yes, of course, I know, it's always the Michael Show here. However, it is about to become All Michael, All the Time / Too Much Michael Is Never Enough / I Want My M(ichael)TV Channel. Walking alone, the dispatches inevitably become more or less the Story of Me. Tue, 19 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 2006.09.20 I was up early again (camping!), right on time for a truly fab cooked breakfast - and cooked by a really lovely old whiskered gentleman. I felt like calling him "Cookie" and asking if I could carry the tin mugs over from the wagon for him Wed, 20 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 2006.09.21 Awoke rather dreamy and refreshed - especially after an extra, post-rollover hour of sleep. The new sun and fresh breeze were both blasting in the window - ah, another glorious day, imagine that. Perhaps I am God. How would you know for sure, really? Thu, 21 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Six Minutes in the Mousehole Upon checkout, the nice innkeeper man, Terry (*) , gave me a replacement pen, gratis. Hard to argue with that. The least I can offer in return is some free, and much-deserved, publicity: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 2006.09.23, Pt I : Penzance, I Hardly Knew Thee (Nor Much Cared To) So - Ali was right. The bus driver really doesn't have anything better to do than tell you where to get off the damned bus. Sat, 23 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 2006.09.24 It had stormed overnight. I got up, crawled out of the tent, and moved the now-even-more-soaked travel towel from the fence (where it had been "drying") to an actual clothes dryer in the main building. I then broke camp, stowed my pack, and hoofed it into town Sun, 24 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 God's Own Privy In nomadic camp life, you really do just get into the rhythm of waking at dawn. Badger! badger! badger! What I took to be a badger ran by, along the opposite edge of the field, with a crust of something in her jaws. Mon, 25 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 2006.09.26 Morning now, and I am standing on the stairs to the slide of the camp site playground, soaking up the first sunlight. I am not sitting here, nor anywhere, due to the dew, which is just a monster. The surface of the world couldn't be any more drenched if a thunderstorm had stopped five seconds ago. Tue, 26 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Welcome to the Suck Lying in my tent in the Lizard, near to the pigs, I dreamt long, vivid, grand, yet frustrating dreams. Really long and involved. I wonder how time compression works in dreams. Are we like Data, reviewing video at impossible speeds? Wed, 27 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Brief Epilogue The storm ended by morning; but my train home was from Falmouth, in three days time, and I wasn't planning on taking another step until then. I spent those three days - and three nights - in tiny little Coverack. I came to know it rather well. Sat, 30 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000 The God Delusion "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciouslyly malevolent bully." - Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion Mon, 09 Oct 2006 00:00:00 +0000 The Most Fun I've Had - Ever My hipster Ben Sherman shirt and extravagantly ripped Versace jeans are soaked through - and by "soaked through" I mean soaked through - with fragrant sweat. The outsides of my little toes are raw and, conceivably, bleeding. I don't know. I'm shaking too much to get my boots off. Wed, 11 Oct 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Happy Turkey Day "We cut the throat of a calf and hang it up by the heels to bleed to death so that our veal cutlet may be white; we nail geese to a board and cram them with food because we like the taste of liver disease Thu, 23 Nov 2006 00:00:00 +0000 The Fuches FUQ Q: Just how much Graham Greene do you intend to read, anyway? A: Every word he wrote. Thu, 30 Nov 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Between Heaven and Earth II THE DEVIL: Well, well, go your way, Senor Don Juan. I prefer to be my own master and not the tool of any blundering universal force. I know that beauty is good to look at; that music is good to hear; that love is good to feel Sun, 03 Dec 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Holiday Safe Driving Harangue Yes, it's that time of year again. I'll make it brief: please exercise great care when driving. Thu, 21 Dec 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Harangue Hits Home Last Wednesday (Dec 13), I was involved in a very serious car accident. Exactly what you said was most common happened: Mon, 25 Dec 2006 00:00:00 +0000 Morning on Earth The following story, possibly apocryphal, was related to us by our friend Charles over dinner at a curry house in Clapham Junction a couple of nights ago. Mon, 01 Jan 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Mirror on the Soul "The wing of melancholia flicks at me today, perhaps because I have learnt nothing new here, perhaps because of my bad night, perhaps because of my dreams." - Graham Greene, Congo journal Sat, 20 Jan 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Pretty Pouty English Boys "I knew Sebastian by sight long before I met him. That was unavoidable for, from his first week, he was the most conspicuous man of his year by reason of his beauty, which was arresting, and his eccentricities of behaviour, which seemed to know no bounds. Wed, 31 Jan 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Book Schtuff!! The Manuscript Now Available in the U.S. on! Yes, that's right - while no one seems to be able to tell the same story twice about about actual release dates in the U.S. or Canada, I simply woke up a few days ago to find that it's already on sale NOW on Earth's largest bookstore. Fri, 02 Feb 2007 00:00:00 +0000 The Coming Second Holocaust "Israel will be annihilated." - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Fri, 23 Feb 2007 00:00:00 +0000 "Bitch, We'll Eat You" These are my slippies. I bought them at Wal-Mart. For US$7.50. Verily, America is the land where you can buy anything, anywhere, at any time, for nothing. Sat, 24 Feb 2007 00:00:00 +0000 New Book / Old Book Today is the official U.S. publication date of The Manuscript. It's also the day I finally knocked up a web site for Pandora's Sisters. Have a look. Thu, 01 Mar 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Good Times Emily Bronte (lived at home her whole life), Virginia Woolf (threw herself in the Thames), Dostoyevski (epileptic), Hemingway (shotgun blast to the head), Salinger (complete withdrawal from public life), John Fowles (self-imposed exile in rural Devon), Pynchon (whereabouts unknown, only a couple of photographs exist), Camus (died in car crash - accidental?), Mark Twain (lifelong depressive), F. Scott Fitzgerald (died of alcoholism) Mon, 30 Apr 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Food That Does Not Exist From David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest - "You burn to have your photograph in a tennis magazine." "I'm afraid so." "Why again exactly, now?" Fri, 04 May 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Shit I See Daily "Calm soul of all things! make it mine / To feel, amid the city's jar, / That there abides a peace of thine, / Man did not make, and cannot mar." - Matthew Arnold Sat, 12 May 2007 00:00:00 +0000 We're All Harry Now So if you haven't been following along, Prince Harry - third in line to the throne - joined the Army. Thu, 17 May 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Contemplate Something Else Instead My purpose is to suggest a cure for the ordinary day-to-day unhappiness from which most people in civilised countries suffer, and which is all the more unbearable because, having no obvious external cause, it appears inescapable. Fri, 18 May 2007 00:00:00 +0000 "Losers." "As I write these words, and as you read them, people of faith are in their different ways planning your and my destruction, and the destruction of all the hardwon human attainments that I have touched upon. Religion poisons everything." - Christopher Hitchens Mon, 02 Jul 2007 00:00:00 +0000 More on These Losers Shortly after posting my recent piece on the spectacularly and amusingly unsuccessful attacks in London and Glasgow, I realised I'd mislabelled the perpetrators in calling them "losers". Much more apt would have been the lovely, amusing, and oh-so-useful British epithet of "muppets". These guys truly are muppets of the first rank, and they're running a Muppet Jihad. Wed, 04 Jul 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Hitch v. God One knew, of course, that the whole racket of American evangelism was just that: a heartless con run by the second-string characters from Chaucer's "Pardoner's Tale." (You saps keep the faith. We'll just keep the money.) Thu, 05 Jul 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Pandora's Diner "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt, put in a firefight.'" - Kirkus Reviews Fri, 06 Jul 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Climbing the Walls I'm pretty sure I'm going to be listening to this song over and over for the rest of my life. The rest of my life. In any moments when I can't actually be listening to it, it will be playing in my head. Forever. And ever. Fri, 13 Jul 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Life's Not Much Fun Is it? Sat, 14 Jul 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Or Maybe I'm just really, really bad at it. Sun, 15 Jul 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Is It Over Yet? Tue, 17 Jul 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Saturday No, I don't mean the Saturday that's Ian McEwan's novel, though it's really rather good and you should probably read that, though not at the expense of reading Atonement, which is just amazingly good. Sat, 21 Jul 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Three McSweeney's Style "Lists" Which I Kept Contributing to McSweeney's Lists 43 Actual Names Of Royal Navy Battleships That Very Plainly Suggest You Should Not Fuck With The Royal Navy, And 10 That, Kind Of Confusingly, Do Not : Victory, Revenge, Defiance, Warspite, Lion, Two Lions Sat, 04 Aug 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Why "He who has a why to live can endure any how." - Nietzsche Tue, 14 Aug 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Beauty and Wonder I've come to realise that, aside from all the other things - and there are a lot of other things, most of them more qualifiable and quantifiable - I seem to have lost my senses of beauty and wonder. Thu, 23 Aug 2007 00:00:00 +0000 A Long, Messy War The full story of what happened on three of those four terrible flights will never be known. But we do know something about the final moments of United Airlines Flight 93, the decisive event of the day. Tue, 11 Sep 2007 00:00:00 +0000 In Defense of the War This is an essay that I've been writing in my head - and reciting bits of out loud at various intervals, in variously heated discussions - for five years. I write and publish it now for the following reasons: Sat, 15 Sep 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Truth to Powerlessness "The mission of the United Nations requires liberating people from tyranny and violence. The first article of the Universal Declaration begins, 'All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.' Tue, 25 Sep 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Some Guys You Should Probably Know On Memorial Day/Remembrance Day 2007 (okay, slightly after), I'd like to take the liberty of introducing you to a couple of guys I think you should probably know at least a little about. Sun, 11 Nov 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Free Book So this is my other book: Don't Shoot Me In The Ass and Other Stories. (You might say it's my third book, but I actually wrote it in between the other two.) Mon, 12 Nov 2007 00:00:00 +0000 What It Says On The Tin "Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all-out war, a war which will last for generations." - Yasser Arafat (Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, 1994) Tue, 27 Nov 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Religion of Peace "And fight in the Way of Allah [1] those who fight you ... And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out." Sun, 02 Dec 2007 00:00:00 +0000 NaNoWriMo Blues An amateur novelist doesn't think he's done until his book is under a cover and piled on display tables across the land. Why do these people think this is likely to happen? Moreover, why do they imagine that it will be a rapturous, fulfilling, life-changing event if it does? Wed, 19 Dec 2007 00:00:00 +0000 Shots Magazine Piece The following excerpted piece appears in full in Shots, The Crime and Thriller E-Zine. - When I wrote my first novel, I knew I wanted to include an awful lot of gunplay Tue, 29 Jan 2008 00:00:00 +0000 The Great January of the Soul Today it's February, and the sun is shining bright. We made it. Fri, 01 Feb 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Pretty Much My Take on the Archbishop of Canterbury's Calls For Islamic Law in the United Kingdom, From a Recent Exchange Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and (thus) head of the Church of England, gave a speech in which he predicted that the adoption of some parts of sharia (Islamic religious law) within the UK were "inevitable" Sat, 09 Feb 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Eat the Rich So, in the wake of the Archbishop of Canterbury's call for Islamic Law in Britain, I've been making an ass of myself by debating the issue with a friend, and for some reason not really giving a damn about politeness or civility or humility. Mon, 11 Feb 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Infidel Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the Somali-born feminist, writer, and politician who has been living under 24-hour guard since a promise to kill her was found pinned to the body of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gough Mon, 18 Feb 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Holocaust Countdown The most vile anti-Semitism imaginable, not to mention incitement of terror and incitement and planning of genocide, pour from the leaders of a UN member state, and the world is too polite to take any notice. Fri, 22 Feb 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Overclocked I've just gotten around to reading Overclocked, Cory Doctorow's latest collection of short fiction. Doctorow, you will recall, is digital rights activist, fellow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, bane of DRM implementers everywhere, and co-proprietor of the world's most popular blog. Sun, 02 Mar 2008 00:00:00 +0000 A Thing I'm Looking Forward To You know, we all feel a little down sometimes. Some days are better than others. But, lately, whenever I'm feeling blue, I like to think about a little something I have to look forward to: Dancing on that cocksucker bin Laden's grave. Mon, 03 Mar 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Letters to the Editor Sir, Martin Samuel adduces a variety of compelling reasons why it would be impossible to free-range breed the 1.6 billion chickens consumed in the UK every year (comment, Feb 29). Here's an idea: how about just refraining from tormenting, killing and eating the 1.6 billion sensitive birds altogether? Thu, 06 Mar 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Fuches Index For March Year Israel Gave Gaza Back To The Palestinians: 2005 ... Number Of Rockets The Gazans Have Launched At Israel Since Then: 4,000 ... Number Of Seconds Residents Of The Israeli Town Of Sderot Have To Seek Shelter After The Sirens Go Off, But Before The Rockets Hit: 16 Fri, 14 Mar 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Fuches Quotes 12 Since the periodicity of my long-running quotations series has been getting asymptotic with infinity, here are the quotes that have been piling up since the last edition Tue, 18 Mar 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Five Years On In part because I've been posting relentlessly gloomy political dispatches - pre-emptive capituation to sharia in Britain, heroic human-rights activist under death sentence, messianic dictator plans to kill all the Jews again - but mainly because it's important, and the mainstream media aren't doing it, here's a brief and digestible rundown of how great things are (finally) going in Iraq recently. Thu, 20 Mar 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Fitna I actually have no idea how much coverage in the U.S. has been given to Dutch politician Geert Wilders - and his new short film, Fitna ("Strife" in Arabic). Wilders is a self-proclaimed defender of free speech and harsh critic of Islam, who has sought to restrict immigration into the Netherlands from non-Western countries. Fri, 28 Mar 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Greater Love As winter yields to spring and the Earth renews itself and you and I walk peacefully through the lengthening days, others remain toiling in the mountains and deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq. They are American and British (and Australian and Polish) men and women, and they are working and sweating and fighting and dying on my behalf, and on yours - and on behalf of millions of people they'd never before met, but who now have a chance of freedom and self-determination and prosperity and peace, after decades of knowing only tyranny and war. Sun, 06 Apr 2008 00:00:00 +0000 A Political Age Sat, 12 Apr 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Young Americans Forty-two year old Pat Dollard is hurtling through the air in the exploding Iraqi night. An IED has just blown up at the back bumper of a Humvee he's riding in - killing the Marine sitting next to him, and sending him shooting 30 feet out of the vehicle, with a broken leg and shrapnel wounds. Tue, 15 Apr 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Military Motivators I know I've been a little hot and heavy with the political, and also the pro-military, stuff. I've had one or two unsubscriptions from dispatch lately, presumably as a result. I confess these give me pause (and, okay, sting a little, too) - though of course A) I have no expectation that people will always read my stuff, and B) if I weren't annoying anyone, I probably wouldn't be saying anything very interesting Fri, 18 Apr 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Moment of Truth Michael Yon has spent more time embedded in Iraq than pretty much anyone. He's got a new book coming out detailing what he saw: Moment of Truth in Iraq. Mon, 21 Apr 2008 00:00:00 +0000 The Second Plane I'm a Martin Amis fan. There, I said it. Ordinarily, when people ask me who my favourite contemporary novelists are, I usually slip Amis in - but almost always add that "he's a guilty pleasure" or some such similar wiggly qualification. Mon, 05 May 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Horticulture Well, it's that time of year. I'd say the gardeners of Hyde Park must have planted the bulbs, the special bulbs, around March. You know the ones I mean. The ones that sprout blooming flowers on these warm days. Young, shapely, beautiful, nearly completely naked women - wearing only the equivalent of string underpants - lying on their stomachs, all over the grass fields of the park. Thu, 08 May 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Weekend Sublime Saturday picnic in Kensington Gardens, beer and olives and blackberries, sun and breeze, perfect day, video goofiness. Sun, 11 May 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Is That All You Got? Regular Dispatch readers may recall previously reading about me getting handed my ass. Well, lately I've switched to getting my block knocked off. That is to say, I've taken up "the Noble Art" - of boxing. Mon, 12 May 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Happy Birthday Israel (from Mahmoud) Today, May 14th, is Israeli Independence Day. On this day, 60 years ago, the founders of Israel proclaimed a national homeland for Jews, a sanctuary from the slaughter in Europe, and an end to two millennia of wandering. So happy birthday, Israel - and here's to you Wed, 14 May 2008 00:00:00 +0000 C'est Tout Bon "Bon voyage, you cheese-eating surrender monkeys." - Homer Simpson ... I'm going to hell for opening with that quotation. The French, even (in particular) the Parisians, have hardly ever been anything but nice to me. But, hey - who can resist? Thu, 22 May 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Post-Post-Impressionism Morning took us by the street Anna always stayed on as a girl. And then, naturellement, for coffee, on the Boulevard Saint Germain. Fri, 23 May 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Jews for Jefferson So, Danielle, in her inimitable way, suggested "you should take off your sunglasses for at least one damn photo." I've scoured the entire set - and this is it. A tiny, silly photo taken in a mirror at the back of a restaurant. That's the one photo of me from the entire trip not wearing sunglasses. Oops. Sat, 24 May 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Sunday Morning Rain I really love the sound of the London rain. On a Sunday morning, warm in bed, after just coming back from a trip, it's pretty much the greatest. Sun, 25 May 2008 00:00:00 +0000 29 Reasons (And Counting) Why The New Indiana Jones Film Sucked Ass 29) The rehashing of every ridiculous cliche we've all seen at least 100 times. 28) Could anyone in any of these movies ever, just once, find something without the bad guys appearing that second behind them with guns to take it away? Could somebody just one time find something and go home with it? Mon, 26 May 2008 00:00:00 +0000 The End is Nigh In his most recent disptach, Michael Yon speculates that the war in Iraq may be winding down: Tue, 03 Jun 2008 00:00:00 +0000 "Hope for the Future" Today I was pleased to receive my copy of the UVa Alumni Magazine in the post - and to discover that the current cover story is about UVa alumni (graduates from 1976 - 2005) who have served, or are currently serving, in Iraq. Mon, 09 Jun 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Chelsea Sunday Sun, 22 Jun 2008 00:00:00 +0000 RIP, Class Clown I grew up listening to George Carlin's Class Clown album in secret. (I seem to recall my aunt buying it, not having a good sense of what she was getting into, and then needing to get it out of my grandmother's house - and into my mother's, and mine.) Wed, 25 Jun 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Paperbacks Today is the release date for the paperback of Pandora's Sisters in the UK - available in your high street bookshop (touch wood) or from Today is also the day I've finished writing my new novel, D-Boys. Fri, 04 Jul 2008 00:00:00 +0000 The Price of Glory It will not have passed the notice of regular readers that I have taken up boxing. I've mentioned that the weekday sessions are fairly light-hearted (if not painless); but that the Saturday sparring sessions can be pretty brutal. Here are some results from my latest sparring session. Thu, 31 Jul 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Non-Stop Fun! (Pt 1!) I'm finally going to fulfill my pledge of publishing nothing but Non-Stop Fun! for five days, perhaps in a row. Fri, 01 Aug 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Non-Stop Fun! (Pt 2!) XKCD XKCD is the best web comic in the universe - most especially if you're a computer geek, or a math geek, or a romance geek. It's also the most bizarre. Mon, 04 Aug 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Non-Stop Fun! (Pt 3!) One of the strange things about living in the UK is that nobody seems to be familiar with The Onion. I'm not sure how anyone gets through the workday without it. Wed, 13 Aug 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Non-Stop Fun! (Pt 4!) Few of you will recall (few indeed probably even noticed at the time) that was the web's first daily publication - and, up until its tragic and era-ending demise in 2001, the web's longest-running. Thu, 14 Aug 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Show Me The Money Yesterday I went on a bit of a nostalgia trip. Since I'm the very modest and unassuming fellow that I am, I declined to make any mention of the fact that I myself was published in Suck once or twice back in the day. Fri, 15 Aug 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Non-Stop Fun! (Pt 5!) Sat, 16 Aug 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Non-Stop Fun! (Final!) I got such a good reaction to the GI Joe PSAs - well, if you can consider comments in the form of "about to get fired due to laughing my ass off at work" to be good - that I'm providing two addenda. Mon, 18 Aug 2008 00:00:00 +0000 "Electrifying" I've been sort of making a conscious decision not to weigh in too much, or at all really, on the U.S. presidential election. This for a few reasons: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Joe-motional Everyone likes Joe Lieberman. Well, some people, like Erin, are disappointed in Joe Lieberman. But everyone likes (and respects) him. He's like your favourite, goofy, Jewish uncle. Uncle Joe. Wed, 03 Sep 2008 00:00:00 +0000 The West Highland Way So once again I wasn't doing all that much and also good old Master Tim Corrigan was once again both free and keen - so off we went for a third long-distance walk along one of Britain's National Trails. Fri, 05 Sep 2008 00:00:00 +0000 West Highland Way Morning, tea in our room, and Tim happily moblogging from his bed. Me: This feels like redemption. I can't tell you how much time on how many trips I've kept people hanging about while I typed, or edited images, or battled net-cafes. Sat, 06 Sep 2008 00:00:00 +0000 West Highland Way, Day Two : Milgavnie to Drymen Morning, breakfast in an amazing upstairs room with, reassuringly (to, you know, me) several guns on the wall. Rather less reassuringly, there was this countour map of the West Highlands, which our hosts thought they were being helpful in pointing out to us. Sun, 07 Sep 2008 00:00:00 +0000 West Highland Way, Day Three : Drymen to Rowardennan During our breakfast at the big table in the big kitchen of the bunkhouse-y B&B, we were joined by a man leading a tour... So then it pretty much a matter of getting ourselves down off of Conic Hill, and onto the shores of Loch Lomond - the bonny banks of which we'd be walking along for the next two days. Mon, 08 Sep 2008 00:00:00 +0000 West Highland Way At 3295 feet, glowering over the eastern shore of Loch Lomond, Ben Lomond is Scotland's southern-most Munro. Today was the day we would pause our northerly march to climb it. Tue, 09 Sep 2008 00:00:00 +0000 West Highland Way We bid farewell to the Crap YHA, and its lovely lochside backyard, on what was already starting to look like a nice day... I realised something today that was already probably obvious to anyone with a head: photography is all about light. Wed, 10 Sep 2008 00:00:00 +0000 To Kill An American / West Highland Way, Day 6 : 19.5 Miles from Inverarnan to Bridge of Orchy Well, the Large Hadron Collider had gone online. And we were still there. That was a nice start to the day - not having been sucked into a small black hole, nor woken up to find that stranglets had devoured the entire planet, leaving only an inert hyperdense sphere 100 meters across. Thu, 11 Sep 2008 00:00:00 +0000 West Highland Way We enjoyed a lovely breakfast in the well-appointed, if slim, West Highland Way Sleeper dining room. The morning train went by outside. Fri, 12 Sep 2008 00:00:00 +0000 West Highland Way Awoke from a series of long, vivid, detailed dreams (probably something to do with being in a real bed!); and Tim and I went down to the dining room (a dining room!) for a leisurely continental breakfast (breakfast!). Sat, 13 Sep 2008 00:00:00 +0000 West Highland Way Well, it was the last walking day, and all we had to do was climb out of this strangely industrial Shangri-La. That of course meant Up. Sun, 14 Sep 2008 00:00:00 +0000 West Highland Way Given that my foot/leg hurt like hell overnight, just lying in bed, I figured mountain climbing today might be out. And when Tim threw the curtains back at 7am, outside was: soup. Mon, 15 Sep 2008 00:00:00 +0000 West Highland Way So when we last left our heroes, I was banged up with a bum leg, nursing pints in the Glen Nevis Inn, counting curios; Tim had hiked off alone to Ft. William, just by way of something to do; and we were both locked in a death struggle with boredom and unaccustomed idleness - and wondering if the jewel in the crown of our hundred-mile Highland hike, Ben Nevis, was going to be forever out of reach. Tue, 16 Sep 2008 00:00:00 +0000 West Highland Way Well, my notes from the last day of the walk are pretty damned scanty. Suffice it to say we got up at a leisurely hour, showered - at the beginning of the day! - packed our bags one final time, and moseyed on down that last stretch of road. Wed, 17 Sep 2008 00:00:00 +0000 The Light Dims "He makes the rest of us feel hollow for being so unoriginal in our writing and in our lives." Thu, 18 Sep 2008 00:00:00 +0000 "The Mind-BlackBerry Problem" At some point last year, I was struck - like, nearly literally, knocked back a couple of steps - by an article in the Telegraph reporting that talking on the phone while driving has been shown to be more dangerous than drunk driving. Sat, 01 Nov 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Bob Barr for President The fact that McCain lost me has now freed me to vote my conscience: to vote Libertarian - the Party of Principle. Mon, 03 Nov 2008 00:00:00 +0000 There Are No Stockings In Iraq Back home it's morning... your wife and kids must be opening their presents without you. As you return to base you're in a bad mood. Surprise, the USO is handing out pre-paid phone cards so you can call home and for FREE! Mon, 17 Nov 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Cory Doctorow Live And so Cory Doctorow is doing a signing for the UK launch of his new book Little Brother at Forbidden Planet on Shaftsbury Ave tomorrow, Sat 29 Nov, at 1pm. Fri, 28 Nov 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Driving While Intalkicated Statistics often fail to impact. So here's some multimedia - video, audio, and a few images (even a PDF) - which underscore the risks you impose on yourself, other drivers, and loved ones, by talking on the phone while driving. Sat, 29 Nov 2008 00:00:00 +0000 There Are No Stockings In Iraq It's Christmas Day in the desert. You're on patrol. It seems Santa's been kidnapped by the Air Force. Fri, 12 Dec 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Little Brother Little Brother is science fiction author, digital rights activist, and all-around caped-blogging-crusader Cory Doctorow's entry into the literary space of "young adult" (or YA) fiction. Tue, 16 Dec 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Happy-Making Happy New Years Videos And so you're probably back at work now and probably really have some time to kill. And if you're like me you've probably got a bit of the New Years post-holiday blues and could use a cheer-me-up. And so here are some videos to watch. Wed, 14 Jan 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Pandora in Paperback This month sees the paperback release of Pandora's Sisters in the US - theoretically (though probably not actually, unless you ask them to order it) available in bookshops but definitely from Makes a dandy Christmas gift. Wed, 28 Jan 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Snow! "Britain comes to standstill after 1ft of snow" - The Daily Telegraph Mon, 02 Feb 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Bale Out And but there's this whole Christian Bale blowing up on the set of Terminator: Salvation in this stunning, infantile, megalomaniacal, wildly profane, seemingly unending rant/temper tantrum... And now here's the absolute king of mashups: it's called "Bale Out", by a guy called RevoLucian - and it's a gem, and completely danceable. Sun, 08 Feb 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Five Reasons Why I'm Keeping My American Passport "Liberty, as a principle, has no application to any state of things anterior to the time when mankind have become capable of being improved by free and equal discussion. Thu, 12 Feb 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Geert Wilders' BANNED House of Lords Speech As you will have read (and some of you thoughtfully commented upon), Dutch MP Geert Wilders was refused admission to the United Kingdom yesterday due to his political views... Below is the speech that Mr Wilders would have delivered in the House of Lords, had it not been banned. Fri, 13 Feb 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Iraq the Model A belated message of congratulations and admiration and best wishes to the brave and long-suffering Iraqi people Sun, 15 Feb 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Best of ROFLrazzi "Doing the important and ignoring the trivial is hard because so much of the world seems to conspire to force crap upon you. Fri, 20 Mar 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Best of FAILBlog "The world has agreed to shuffle papers between 9:00AM and 5:00PM, and since you're trapped in the office for that period of servitude, you are compelled to create activities to fill that time. Fri, 27 Mar 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Daniel Hannan, MEP Anyone who knows anything about the European Parliament - and you're really better off not - will know that one of the few non-horrifying things about it is that British guys who are totally opposed to the European project can get elected as Ministers to the European Parliament (MEPs) and then turn up and rubbish the place anytime they are allowed to speak. Sat, 28 Mar 2009 00:00:00 +0000 DFW Post-Death Watch, Day 200 D.T. Max has a totally stunning piece in The New Yorker: The Unfinished - David Foster Wallace's struggle to surpass Infinite Jest. Tue, 31 Mar 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Book Clubbing It's occurred to me maybe I should be doing more mini-book reviews. So this is the first instalment of Book Clubbing: either as in my clubbing you over the head with books (ones I've read recently and find really worthy), or as in boogying all night to the swinging sounds of really good books. Take your pick. Tue, 07 Apr 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Best of T-Shirt Humor Special for Easter Sunday: hilariously rude t-shirts. This might seem like kind of a strange thing to anthologize. But, back when I was working for the Civil Service, I did find the T-Shirt Humour site to be one of those things I checked in on when I was bored and depressed and needed a laugh. (And sent around when they were particularly good.) And what are rude t-shirts without a good soundtrack? Sun, 12 Apr 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Pretty Much The Only Conceivable Way To Make Dealing With The F&^%ing UK Home Office - Upon Which Your Continued Life As You Know It Pretty Much Totally Depends - Remotely Any More F&^%ing Stressful: Add in the F&^%ing Royal Mail to the equation - as the only way to get your irreplaceable documents to, or back from, the F&^%ing Home Office. Thu, 16 Apr 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Young Angry Smart Men of Various Shades Here are two extremely energizing political commentators upon whom I've stumbled in my various trawlings of the rightward edges of the InterWebs. Both are young, both are hip, both are right-wing nutjobs, both have beef, and - perhaps most importantly - both are funny as all heck. Seriously. Fri, 17 Apr 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Washington, We Have A Serious Problem "On the current course, nuclear terrorism is inevitable. Indeed, if the United States and other governments keep doing what they are doing today, a nuclear terrorist attack on America is more likely than not in the decade ahead. With a ten-kiloton nuclear weapon stolen from the former Soviet arsenal and delivered to an American city in a cargo container, Al Qaeda can make 9/11 a footnote." Mon, 20 Apr 2009 00:00:00 +0000 The Manuscript in Cesky - Ano, Prosim! And but so I got a big, unexpected package from Macmillan in the post today. Imagine my surprise and glee when it was actually the Czech edition of The Manuscript. Tue, 21 Apr 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Friday Fun Break Fri, 24 Apr 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Le 21e Arrondissement Plus Orwell Complet Well, it's official: Kensington is now the 21e Arrondissement. Mon, 27 Apr 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Freedom Has A Ninja Daniel Hannan, whom I've extolled previously, has a tongue like a serpent's tooth, an indominitable protectiveness over liberty - and a seriously mean streak towards Gordon Brown. Tue, 28 Apr 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Olympics Update the Two - Wiggy, Wiggy, Wiggy!!! As you may not know if you've been crushed under a rock, Bradley Wiggins became last month the first Brit EVER to win the Tour de France. And today he became our most prolific Olympic champion on top of it... And we were there!!! Wed, 01 Aug 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Not Friday Fun Break If you're just dragging yourself back from the May bank holiday - or if, perhaps, you're celebrating Cinco de Mayo - you may need these. Tue, 05 May 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Book Clubbing So I just read the new Denis Johnson, which follows up his National Book Award-winning Tree of Smoke. I'm sure a lot of people will remember me going on about Johnson - his novel Already Dead, A California Gothic has long been my second favourite novel of all time. Sun, 24 May 2009 00:00:00 +0000 In Memorium "At the core, the American citizen soldiers knew the difference between right and wrong, and they didn't want to live in a world in which wrong prevailed. So they fought, and won, and we all of us, living and yet to be born, must be forever profoundly grateful." Mon, 25 May 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Out Here All Night So it seems an awful lot like this song makes me cry. It certainly did on my run today. Wed, 27 May 2009 00:00:00 +0000 I Take It Back Wed, 03 Jun 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Book Clubbing I've read kind of an enormous volume of military memoirs. Ditto military history and nonfiction and tech. Many of these books are nothing short of stunning. Sat, 06 Jun 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Despatch from a Tube Strike Another year in London, another fracking Tube strike. Wed, 10 Jun 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Tube Strike Day 2: Frack TFL I told him that really a Tube Strike is pretty much like the weather - no one can do anything about it, so everyone just works around it, and I like running, anyway. Well, by the end of yesterday, I've changed my position. My position now is: Frack TFL. Thu, 11 Jun 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Oh Well, Whatever, Never Mind I've never been a die-hard Nirvana fan, nor really much of a grunge-head. But I do remember exactly where I was standing when I first laid ears on "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Tue, 23 Jun 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Iranian Embassy Protest (tonight) As you will no doubt have noticed, Iran continues to burn - both with the oppression of the mullahcracy, and also with a tremendous desire for freedom and human rights. There's a semi-organised protest/rally outside the Iranian Embassy every night this week, 6-9pm. Thu, 25 Jun 2009 00:00:00 +0000 With the People of Iran Last night I had the privilege and honour of turning up for the nightly, running protest rally outside the Iranian Embassy, on Prince's Gate, opposite Hyde Park, in London. Fri, 26 Jun 2009 00:00:00 +0000 The 4th At The Front A few days from now, Fourth of July celebrations will be held in small towns and big cities all across America. At the same time, halfway around the world, 170,000 brave young men and women will demonstrate their patriotism in another way: by putting their lives at risk to defend everything America stands for. Sat, 04 Jul 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Book Clubbing In 1993, thirty-three-year old Tibor Fischer crashed the London literary scene with his debut novel Under the Frog. The title co-opted the traditional Hungarian lament about being "under a frog's arse in the bottom of a coal mine" Sun, 05 Jul 2009 00:00:00 +0000 2005.07.07, Four Years On I'd forgotten, until reminded late this morning, that today is 7/7 - the fourth anniversary of the London Tube and bus bombings. So today seems a good, if not entirely un-controversial, day to point up the recent report: Sharia Law or 'One law for all'? from the think-tank Civitas Tue, 07 Jul 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Friday Fun Break! "This is really interesting, Brad. You know, Iraqis don't really seem good at fighting, but then they never really completely surrender either." Fri, 24 Jul 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Some Sanity The world - or, rather, the U.N. and the "international community" - are now so far through the looking glass that the leader of the Jewish State had last month to stand up in front of the U.N. and wave the Nazi minutes planning the extermination of the Jews, and the plans for the Auschwitz-Berkenau camp, to demonstrate that one third of the Jewish race was actually exterminated. Sun, 04 Oct 2009 00:00:00 +0000 The Wolf You Feed "I'm not about to pretend that I'm the leading expert in this field, so I tell him a fable that I remember my dad passing on to me, about the Cherokee Indian teaching his grandchildren. Mon, 05 Oct 2009 00:00:00 +0000 How This Ends "How small a fraction of all the measureless infinity of time is allotted to each one of us; an instant, and it vanishes into eternity. How puny, too, is your portion of all the world's substance; how insignificant your share of all the world's soul; on how minute a speck of the whole earth do you creep." Wed, 07 Oct 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Some Better Animal Pictures, From The Telegraph Animal Pictures of the Week, Part I "I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals." - Winston Churchill Tue, 20 Oct 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Some Better Animal Pictures, From The Telegraph Animal Pictures of the Week, Part II "Adapt yourself to the environment in which your lot has been cast, and show true love to the fellow-mortals with whom destiny has surrounded you." - Marcus Aurelius Wed, 21 Oct 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Book Clubbing In 1997 or 1998, I forget which, two very important women in my life (only one of them a sister) independently, and within about a month of each other, decided it was very important that I read Nick Hornby's novel High Fidelity. Fri, 23 Oct 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Some Better Animal Pictures, From The Telegraph Animal Pictures of the Week, Pt III "Dogs are important." - Joe Laltrello Sat, 24 Oct 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Bring a Soldier Home "You will never know how complete you have made me. You saved me from loneliness and taught me how to think beyond myself. You taught me how to live and to love. You opened my eyes to a world I never dreamed existed." - Army Pfc. Jesse A. Givens, in his last letter home Wed, 28 Oct 2009 00:00:00 +0000 DFW Post-Death Watch, Week 59 The Howling Fantods - your source for all things David Foster Wallace - reports that Wallace's final novel, The Pale King, may be delayed until autumn 2010. Sat, 31 Oct 2009 00:00:00 +0000 The Kopp-Etchells Effect Michael Yon is an independent journalist, and former Green Beret, who has spent more time embedded with American and British units in Iraq and Afghanistan than any other human being. His latest dispatch contains some remarkable photography - and a remarkable tribute. Thu, 05 Nov 2009 00:00:00 +0000 The Sun on My Face So today I ran with the sun on my face. This was my first run in, oh, probably three months. Which is the longest I've gone without running in, oh, probably about 15 years. Sun, 15 Nov 2009 00:00:00 +0000 On Flyleaf So allow me just a moment here to plug the new album from Flyleaf. These songs are just about too good for words. Tue, 24 Nov 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Tunes to Move You So today marks the launch of this new thing I've been fiddling with on and off for a couple of months now. It's a music site - tailored totally for runners, cyclists, weightlifters, aerobicizers, gym rats, and all others who rely totally on their workout MP3 playlists to get themselves moving. Fri, 27 Nov 2009 00:00:00 +0000 The Apocalypse Fucking great. Now not only are we going to be assailed by sidewalk-hogging, escalator-blocking, over-foot-rolling, twice-the-space-of-normal-people, thumpity-thump-goddamned-thumping, draggy luggage people - but now they're all going to be stopping periodically to get at their coffee in their draggy luggage-mounted *cup holder*. Tue, 01 Dec 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Good Luck, Bad Luck, Who Knows? "I keep remembering this strange little story I heard in Sunday school when I was about the size of a fire hydrant. Fri, 18 Dec 2009 00:00:00 +0000 . . . "Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle." Thu, 31 Dec 2009 00:00:00 +0000 Arise and Be "So sleep tonight, we'll sleep dreamlessly this time / When we awake we'll know that everything's alright Fri, 01 Jan 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Friday Fun Break! Happy 2010. Welcome to the new decade (much the same as the old decade). Fri, 08 Jan 2010 00:00:00 +0000 In Praise Of The President "I understand why war is not popular, but I also know this: The belief that peace is desirable is rarely enough to achieve it. Evil does exist in the world." - Barack Obama Wed, 13 Jan 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Helping Out in Haiti In a certain way, it's a lovely (albeit tragic and bittersweet) thing to be able to sit on your couch, and read about millions of people in serious trouble a half a world away, and without even getting up be able to contribute to their aid. Wed, 20 Jan 2010 00:00:00 +0000 WTF??!! George will know, though Noel probably doesn't, that I probably played more Rolling Thunder than God. And I was good. I seem to recall that I got to the point where I could get through all ten screens on a single quarter. However - I never beat the motherfraker. Wed, 27 Jan 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Book Clubbing Regular readers won't soon have forgotten my fawning tribute to military memoirs - and, not at all incidentally, to the service members whose stunning stories inspired the stories. Sat, 30 Jan 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Some Photos, and a Movie, That I Discover Have Been Lying Around My Camera, Since I Stopped Really Carrying My Camera With Me, Or Doing Anything With It, Which Looks, From the Timestamps, To Have Been Not Quite A Year Ago Sun, 14 Feb 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Having Loved Something More Than Yourself ...anomie and solipsism and a peculiarly American loneliness: the prospect of dying without even once having loved something more than yourself." Wed, 17 Feb 2010 00:00:00 +0000 The Nature of the Fun Thu, 18 Feb 2010 00:00:00 +0000 A Round Thing In Your Democracy This, right here, just a few minutes ago, was - not only the only household in the world - but almost certainly the only household in history in which Democracy in America (unabridged) was being read aloud while Sir Mix-A-Lot played in the background. Mon, 22 Feb 2010 00:00:00 +0000 My Walk Home "Bliss - a second-by-second joy and gratitude at the gift of being alive, conscious - lies on the other side of crushing, crushing boredom." - David Foster Wallace Tue, 23 Feb 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Friday Fun Break So this is what is widely known on the Interwebs as The Amazing Predator Rap. Maybe you've already seen it, or perhaps not, but in any case for once the hype is fully justified. Fri, 26 Feb 2010 00:00:00 +0000 F/X Porn I am herewith additionally reprinting David Foster Wallace's essay, "F/X Porn" Mon, 01 Mar 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Edification Wednesday So I recently had occasion to re-read Steve Pinker's How the Mind Works. It is, I genuinely believe, the most important book of the 20th century. Wed, 03 Mar 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Iraqis Defy Blasts in Strong Turnout for Pivotal Election "We are Iraqis. We have had it much worse than this." Mon, 08 Mar 2010 00:00:00 +0000 The United States Marines Are Going to Fix Helmand Master Sgt. Julia Watson said the effort has had one major unexpected consequence. "Men have really opened up after they see us helping their wives and sisters," she said. Sun, 14 Mar 2010 00:00:00 +0000 This is What You Shall Do (Commandments Reimagined) With a hat tip to Andrew Sullivan, here are Christopher Hitchens's Ten Commandments Reimagined. Tue, 16 Mar 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Dependence Day There's a pretty important and powerful line of argument against the nationalisation of health care. I figured right-wing nut-job columnist Mark Steyn would have done the best job articulating this. Tue, 23 Mar 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Premature Ejaculation (On Chesil Beach) Ian McEwan's now-no-longer-quite-new book, On Chesil Beach, is, it turns out, is an entire short novel, in the classic English pastoral literary mode, about a wedding night premature ejaculation. Thu, 25 Mar 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Help For Heroes So I was walking to work across Westminster Bridge this morning, when I slowly overtook three blokes in camouflage shorts and carrying little donation kitties and one of whom had a backpack with a Union flag on a little pole flying out the back. Fri, 26 Mar 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Good Friday Fun Break! - Cutesy Animal Videos So what better cutesty animal video to kick off Good Friday with than Christian the Lion! (No, he didn't get the name from eating Christians.) Fri, 02 Apr 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Random Lovely Photo From Iraq, and Random Enormously Insightful Quote from de Tocqueville, for Easter Sunday "I happen to like Iraqis. They're different from us, but in their own way they're very special. They're worth everything we can do for them." Sun, 04 Apr 2010 00:00:00 +0000 GIVE THEM NOTHING!!! Okay, sorry, but I'm pretty convinced this version of the 300 trailer remains just about one of the most completely kick-ass trailers of all time. Mon, 05 Apr 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Book Clubbing Regular readers will recall from the review of Ed Macy's book Apache in this space that Captain Madison, then known to us only as Charlotte, set a probably unbeatable record for most ordnance fired (nearly half a million pounds worth) in the least amount of time (about six minutes). Thu, 15 Apr 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Acts of God I was just outside - and I did not see speck one of volcanic ash. Nonetheless, UK airspace is closed. Fri, 16 Apr 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Not In NYC Well, you finally get around to booking a big holiday - and on the exact same day here comes the worst disruption of commercial air travel since WWII. Sun, 18 Apr 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Edification Wednesday Following our theme of reasons for optimism, here's the estimable Robert Wright with 19 outstanding minutes on "non-zero-sumness" - a concept that may explain all of our human accomplishments to date; and which gives us very good reasons to hope that things will continue to get better. Wed, 28 Apr 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Brown in a Nutshell Yesterday our Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, out on the campaign trail, had a very pleasant, smiling chat with a local woman, then jumped in his limo with his wireless mic still attached, and proceeded to completely slag her off. Thu, 29 Apr 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Black Tidings So those of you who have already seen Iron Man 2 will not need me to explain which sequence of Scarlett Johansson's I'm talking about here. Sat, 01 May 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Vier and Sechs in Munchen And so Alex rang up and said, Dude - I'm going to be in Munich for a few days if you want to cruise over, and I thought, Hey - Random jaunts to the Continent are precisely what Americans living on this side of the Atlantic are supposed to do Sat, 08 May 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Vier and Sechs in Munchen So Tag Zwei opened with the traditional free hotel buffet breakfast. Sun, 09 May 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Vier and Sechs in Munchen Sunday morning and Alex came in all geared up for business battle, and the three of us lay around chatting happily (me in a towel), and then we hit the road Mon, 10 May 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Helping Help For Heroes So after my various long-distance walks around the UK, undertaken for no better purpose than to amuse myself, I'm now doing my first sponsored walk for charity: the Help for Heroes Hero Walk - Avebury to Stonehenge. Wed, 12 May 2010 00:00:00 +0000 The Revolution in British Politics I'm very pleased to say, and feel obliged to say (after my spew of vitriol about Brown), a few quick, heart-felt, gushing things about the new PM, Deputy PM - and 'our Liberal Conservative government' (to borrow Cameron's phrase). Mon, 17 May 2010 00:00:00 +0000 David Foster Wallace "The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you." - David Foster Wallace (1962 - 2008) Sun, 30 May 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Israel - Still "The Jew Amongst Nations" Watching the "international community" rush to pour condemnation upon Israel once again, for having the temerity to defend itself, is deeply depressing. Wed, 02 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Sturm & Drang In K&C We wandered into a warren of barricades and ranks of police officers, some of them visibly equipped for heavy weather. My onboard radar for such things perked up and I declared: "Gotta be the Israeli Embassy. Sat, 05 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Video Recap In case you haven't been keeping up, or if you have, here's a rundown of the video evidence of the Zionist storm troopers' brutal and unprovoked attack on the pro-Palestinian peace activists. Sun, 06 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Girls of the IDF Just because I can, here are the girls of the Israel Defense Forces. Aren't they just heartbreakingly beautiful? Wed, 09 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0000 "The struggle of Israel is the struggle of the world." In every pro-Palestinian European forum I hear the left yelling with fervor: "We want freedom for the people!" Not true. They are never concerned with freedom for the people of Syria or Yemen or Iran or Sudan, or other such nations. And they are never preoccupied when Hamas destroys freedom for the Palestinians. They are only concerned with using the concept of Palestinian freedom as a weapon against Israel. Thu, 10 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0000 The Existential Mood It occurs to me today that perhaps the proper antidote to the Existenial Outlook is to regard life instead as an opportunity. Tue, 15 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Self-Portrait (Void) Self-Portrait (The Void), Michael Stephen Fuchs, 2010, Mixed digital media Wed, 16 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0000 The Longest Day I'm sitting in the back of a parked Discover Adventures mini-bus. My head is lolling. My back hurts whichever way I array it; but I haven't the energy to keep wriggling around. I'm covered in salt. Plus dust. Sat, 26 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0000 The Longest Day It's 6AM and I'm woken by my phone alarm - direct from a vivid dream where I'm manning a WWI machine gun emplacement. I don't think that can be a good omen for the day. Sun, 27 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Three Wise Quotes This is the conclusion that turns up again and again... Everything must be its own reward. Mon, 28 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0000 The Longest Day So having topped up water and touched in with the team at the first checkpoint, I've once again taken off at speed to try and catch up the leaders. Tue, 29 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0000 The Longest Day Finally, Tim and I pick ourselves up, gear up, and head out. Me: Well . . . it's not going to suck itself. Tim: I've been waiting for that. Me: I've been letting the tension build. Wed, 30 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0000 The Longest Day Right, so at the 17-mile checkpoint, major themes were shade, and foot maintenance. We both topped up with water - going dry out here could be a serious problem Thu, 01 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0000 The Longest Day So when we last left our heroes, they were hiding out from the marauding solar death ray beneath the canopy of the 20-mile checkpoint, lapping up Lucozade and choking on trail mix, reaching down deep for the necessary sack to tackle the final 6.2 miles. Thu, 01 Jan 1970 00:00:00 +0000 2005.07.07 Today is the fifth anniversary of the 7/7 attacks. As is now customary, here's a brief list of things I did to commemorate it: Wed, 07 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0000 More Good Than Anyone Ever Tue, 13 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Alone and Free Unless he belonged somewhere, unless his life had some meaning and direction, he would feel like a particle of dust and be overcome by his individual insignificance. Wed, 14 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0000 The Long Process When she had last been around this group, they had all been full of optimism and excitement and initiative and self-confidence. Now, they had been out in what we call the real world for three years. And all of that was just gone. Thu, 15 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Stuck in My Brain In what might perhaps be a semi-regular feature, here's a song so great that I think we should all be singing it for 100 years. Fri, 16 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0000 The Attenuated Tail So my agent sent me this article in The Nation: Tue, 20 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0000 No, Minister This morning I sent the following to my MP, the Rt Honourable Malcom Rifkind, MP for Kensington. Thu, 29 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Equality Proud to be an American again today. A federal judge has ruled that the state's ban on same-sex marriage violated the 14th Amendment's rights to equal protection and due process of law. Thu, 05 Aug 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Sisyphus Ages It suddenly strikes me that the myth of Sisyphus has such profound resonance - that we have a myth of Sisyphus at all - because life itself is essentially a Sisyphean endeavour. Tue, 10 Aug 2010 00:00:00 +0000 The Fading of the Hitch You will have read that the inimitable - I might say, as I have said of Orwell, the indispensible - Christopher Hitchens has been diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. Sun, 15 Aug 2010 00:00:00 +0000 The Few Today marks the 70th anniversary of Churchill's Battle of Britain speech. When all of Europe was engulfed by a horrendous evil, Churchill stood at the head of the British people and swore eternal resistance. Fri, 20 Aug 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Sources Of The Conflict "Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all-out war, a war which will last for generations." - Yasser Arafat (Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, 1994) Sat, 21 Aug 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Will in the Holy Land George Will, whose intellect, erudition, and facility with language I have always admired greatly (while disagreeing with him on a number of issues), has just published four columns in a row on Israel, dispatched from Jerusalem, and appearing in the Washington Post. Sun, 22 Aug 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Shit That Can Go Horribly Wrong On A Much-Anticipated, Twice-Delayed, Two-Week-Long, Five-City, Trans-Atlantic, 1712-Miles-Of-Driving-Requiring, Circa-5000-Pound-Costing, Epic Trip To And Across The U.S. East Coast 1) You could get separated from your partner at f*&^ing passport control, because one of you holds a U.S. passport and one doesn't, and because there's no queue for "mixed couples". Sat, 28 Aug 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Stuff That Can Go Right In Manhattan "The city brings everyone up a notch. Or down ten notches. Or up a hundred notches. It sorts them out. Sun, 29 Aug 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Shit That Can Go Horribly Wrong On A Much-Anticipated, Twice-Delayed, Two-Week-Long, Five-City, Trans-Atlantic, 1712-Miles-Of-Driving-Requiring, Circa-5000-Pound-Costing, Epic Trip To And Across The U.S. East Coast 11) You could for instance pick up a bad head cold in NYC, probably while shouldering your way through herds of insalubrious New Yorkers, which will later find its full flowering in DC. (Ah-CHOO!! <splutter> <snort> Crap!!) Wed, 01 Sep 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Lovely Things That Can Happen in DC (and Parts Further South) "Whether at Naishapur or Babylon, / Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run, / The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop, / The Leaves of Life keep falling one by one. Thu, 02 Sep 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Liberalism Is Back "The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good, in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it." - John Stuart Mill Thu, 16 Sep 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Nope To The Pope So I generally take a pretty live-and-let-live attitude toward religious people and clerics. As regards the Pope's current state visit to Britain, my position is probably that he should be allowed to visit Britain like pretty much anyone else Fri, 17 Sep 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Loping Against the Pope Recap So, as mentioned, I think we've probably got bigger problems than perverted priests... But damned if I didn't go anyway Sat, 18 Sep 2010 00:00:00 +0000 A World Without Shia Labeouf Is there really any need for Shia Labeouf? Would we, perhaps, be better off without Shia Labeouf? Wed, 29 Sep 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Memories of Me Okay, this is pretty damned cringe-making, but here are a huge number of photos of me. Fri, 01 Oct 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Muahahahaha... The passport has definitely made it feel a lot realer than the (admittedly lovely) citizenship ceremony. Thu, 07 Oct 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Preparing for Disaster Preparedness In a couple of months, Ms Havrilesky has her first book coming out - a memoir. This event provides a critical re-balancing of a universe in which I had book deals, but members of the original Suck cadre had not. Mon, 18 Oct 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Things I've Learned From My Father, So Far * Work hard. * Appreciate what you've got. * Especially if it's a great family. Fri, 22 Oct 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Roads and Serfdom Sometimes it takes a friend to remind you of who you really are. Mon, 25 Oct 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Total Knob I happened to catch some bits of the last Prime Minister's Questions. This man is a total knob - a muppet of the first rank. And Mr Cameron gives him a well-deserved, and well-executed, spanking. Wed, 27 Oct 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Is It My Imagination - No. Natalie Portman is still an Israeli-American Ivy League graduate who speaks four (and a bit) languages (including Hebrew and Japanese) Tue, 09 Nov 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Dispatch 2.0! Today I have completed what probably counts as the biggest one-shot refurb of the blog - and can proudly announce the launch of Dispatch from the Razor's Edge 2.0! That's right, we've integrated tagging, popularity, social media, and search - without question bringing the blog smartly up to 2006 standards. Sun, 21 Nov 2010 00:00:00 +0000 XMSF Mon, 22 Nov 2010 00:00:00 +0000 The Battle of Algiers It's like the Battle of Algiers out there. I counted no fewer than 41 police vans on, or just off of, Parliament Square. Tue, 30 Nov 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Pandora on Kindle Pandora's Sisters Kindle edition, Rockn' music from Damone, running like a maniac out in the snow, and fun-making military videos - all in today's entertainment-packed dispatch. (Warning!: music auto-start.) Fri, 03 Dec 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Christmas Time in London Town Anna and I made what's sort of turning into maybe our quad-annual sortie out of Kensington & Chelsea - this time to check the Christmas lights, the Christmas window displays, and the general Christmas vibe of central London. Sat, 04 Dec 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Republican Punks Apparently your student population isn't pleased about paying ANYTHING for a higher education... Fri, 10 Dec 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Trailers Rule I love trailers - all that emotion compressed and distilled down into a roller coaster two-minutes. A great story well and successfully told, out there in the world now, waiting for you to come into its world. Sun, 12 Dec 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Let Slip The Water Cannons Of War Well, it looked like it was happening again. ("It" being student protests-cum-riots.) I passed this one police constable (PC) who looked like he was completely loaded for bear Mon, 13 Dec 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Book Clubbing Reviewed: The Singularity Is Near, by Ray Kurzweil; Wired For War, by Peter Singer; CyberWar, by Richard A. Clarke; The War After Armageddon, by Ralph Peters; and How to Survive in a Science Fictional Universe, by Charles Yu Wed, 15 Dec 2010 00:00:00 +0000 look how cute they are Most wild animals will only attack you if you directly threaten them or their children. But polar bears will track humans down and take a week to do it. Thu, 16 Dec 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Friday Fun Break It's over; it's official. I have identified the coolest thing ever. The floor is closed for nominations. Here it is. Hang on to yourself. Fri, 17 Dec 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Snow, Yo Awoke Saturday morning to snow chucking it down outside the window... So we did what any self-respecting Brits would do: repaired to our very cosiest local pub and proceeded to get slowly pissed. Sat, 18 Dec 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Troops Phone Home Through the USO's At Home In Our Hearts holiday campaign, supporters like you have the chance to give our troops something really special: the opportunity to make a phone call home. Tue, 21 Dec 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Manuscript on Kindle Well, I've gotten another nice little early xmas present this morning - The Manuscript seems to be available for the Kindle now, completing the matched set. Wed, 22 Dec 2010 00:00:00 +0000 A Metaphysical One So on the very long list of reasons why London rules is the fact that you can just turn up for things, as I did recently, like the annual Faraday Prize & Lecture at the Royal Society. Feeling very jaunty, I guess, I made so bold as to ask a question – and, worse! a metaphysical one. It made it into the video. Tue, 28 Jan 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Some Xmas Shots 'I see it only that thyself is here, and art and nature, hope and fate, friends, angels and the supreme being shall not be absent from the chamber where thou sittest.' - Emerson Wed, 05 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Suck It, Stieg More evidence for my solidifying theory that anything you see being read on public transport, more than about once, is rubbish. Thu, 06 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Your Handy Guide To The New Iraqi Government If you haven't already got a program, here's your concise guide to a few of the new Iraqi ministers (not a few of whom have pretty interesting and, in some cases heroic, backgrounds). Fri, 07 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Monday Morning Mood Boost Here's a little something to get you through the Great Monday of 2011. Michael Macintyre is our - not to mention Britain's - consensus favourite funnyman. He rocks. Mon, 10 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Rich Fuchs He was the cutest and most generous man I ever knew. Tue, 11 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000 What Will Survive Of Us Is Love Love is an abstract noun, something nebulous. And yet love turns out to be the only part of us that is solid, as the whole world turns upside down and the screen goes black. We can't tell if it will survive us. But we can be sure that it's the last thing to go. Wed, 12 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000 How To Not Get Cancer Cancer is on the verge of overtaking heart disease as our number one killer. Cancer is also primarily an environmental disease - with 80-95% of cases due to environmental factors which can be controlled. Thu, 20 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Friday Fun Break! The Photoshop Rap from is nothing short of sublime. It's so good you can actually pick up useful Photoshop tips from it. Fri, 21 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Day of Anger First-of-their-kind anti-government protests have rocked Egypt. As many at 15,000 people gathered yesterday in al-Tahrir Square in Cairo. Word on the street is that there will be a demo outside the Egyptian Embassy in London (Mayfair), today--from 3pm to 6pm. Wed, 26 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Revolution Movement The Egyptian regime has done what police states always do in a crunch - they cracked skulls, rounded people up in unmarked vans, and hauled them off to secret prisons. In a modern totalitarian twist, they've also blocked Twitter. Thu, 27 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Embracing The Suck One degree centigrade. Iron grey skies. Freezing, blasting wind across Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. This was officially one of those "You Don't Have To Enjoy It / You Just Have To Fucking Do It" runs. Fri, 28 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Some Things I Think You Should Know I don't want to see your underpants. I do not want to hear your music. I do not want to listen to one half of your worthless, jabbering mobile phone conversation. Mon, 31 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000 With the Egyptians I was privileged to be able to turn out on Saturday to stand with the incredibly brave Egyptian people in their struggle for freedom. It was a wonderful, inspiring day. Sat, 29 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000 The Revolution Rolls We owe it to the brave men and women of Tahrir Square - and to our own history and values - to make one thing very clear: We stand with the peaceful throngs pleading for democracy. Tue, 01 Feb 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Tyrant Tyrannizes If you've been ruling a country of 80 million people by fear for 30 years, you can certainly roust up a few hundred, or even a couple of thousand, thugs on a week's notice - to go out and rough up peaceful protestors, to instigate violence, to foment chaos. So that you can cling to power as the saviour from chaos. Bastard. Thu, 03 Feb 2011 00:00:00 +0000 We Are All Egyptians Now Okay, I know I'm turning into a broken Fuches on this subject - but as long as Egyptians are still pouring daily into Liberation Square and facing down machete-wielding government thugs, the least I can bloody well do is keep on blogging. Speaking of heroics, Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times has been dispatching daily from Tahrir Square for several days now (despite serious risk of violence or disappearance). This video is awesome, especially if you happen to be of a feminist bent. Fri, 04 Feb 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Clues You Can Use! Well, since I realised yesterday's post was nothing more than &bull; 34.5% blatant vegetarian agit-prop; and &bull; 65.5% unbridled and horrifying vanity... it's occurred to me to try and atone by posting a couple of personal favourite health and fitness tidbits (which might actually be of use to some of you out there). Sun, 06 Feb 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Egyptian Awesomeness Not one to give you a moment's rest from news of the Egyptian Revolution, nor to pass up an opportunity to trumpet the Egyptians' awesomeness, here are a few new awesome things... Here are Egyptian folks self-organising to clean up Tahrir Square (not to mention provide medical care, and feed people). These guys make me proud just to be a human being. Mon, 07 Feb 2011 00:00:00 +0000 January People Yeah - you know the January people: The young, pumped guys - grunting, picking up way too much weight, then letting it crash to the mat like a construction site disaster... The middle-aged disco queens trotting in and out of 'Legs, Bums, and Tums' in fresh-from-the-packaging lycra... Sat, 08 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Some Better Animal Pictures, From The Telegraph Animal Pictures of the Week, Pt IV Back yet again - not precisely due to popular demand, but let's call it high page impressions - here's more of this sort of thing. Somewhat unlike Failblog, the cutesy animal photos just never get old. Thu, 10 Feb 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Ma'shallah Fri, 11 Feb 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Horreya/Freedom &bull; Rocking With The Egyptians In London &bull; A Couple of Video Recap Highlights &bull; And "A New Beginning in Egypt" Sat, 12 Feb 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Egyptian Motivator FREEDOM - Not to be fucked with Mon, 14 Feb 2011 00:00:00 +0000 A Divine Afflatus Thu, 17 Feb 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Comes The (E-Book) Revolution I couldn't conceivably be any happier to announce the publication of my new, my favourite, and I'm pretty sure my very most entertaining book: DON'T SHOOT ME IN THE ASS, AND OTHER STORIES. Tue, 01 Mar 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Friday Fun Break! Schneier's newsletter, Crypto-gram, recently-ish had a special on the absurdity of security questions that one sets and is asked on the phone to authenticate one's identity. The resulting piss-takes were classic. Fri, 04 Mar 2011 00:00:00 +0000 THE CONTRACTOR I'm tickled to announce the stand-alone publication of my short-ish novella (or long-ish short story), THE CONTRACTOR. Wed, 09 Mar 2011 00:00:00 +0000 That's Life That's life, that's what all the people say Fri, 11 Mar 2011 00:00:00 +0000 All The Very Best Of... Hot Chicks With Douchebags Yes, Dispatch from the Razor's Edge trawls everybody's favourite micro-site, Hot Chicks With Douchebags, so you don't have to. Tue, 15 Mar 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Freakin' Paperbacks This, to my mind, is really well beyond a revolution - little short of a miracle, really. Here I have in hand beautiful paperback editions of the first half and a bit (about 500,000 words) of the epic story that Glynn and I have spent the last two years of our lives imagining - and there's no publisher or other middleman involved. Sat, 05 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Why Is The Official Line So Wrong? This following is excerpted from Roberts' essay "The Value of Self-Experimentation". I think this is a powerful line of explanation about why there are still so many question marks over health, nutrition, etc. Thu, 17 Mar 2011 00:00:00 +0000 The 4-Hour Body In 4 Minutes Renaissance marketing guru Tim Ferriss' new book is about hacking the human body. Amidst the wackier bits, I think there are some real gems in here for health, nutrition, and fitness. So, in about four minutes, here's what I got out of this book that I'm actually using ("Fuches Take-Aways"). Fri, 18 Mar 2011 00:00:00 +0000 How To Cure (Probably) Your IBD Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a chronic, debilitating inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract affecting 1.4 million Americans. I believe that many or most of these people are suffering unnecessarily; and that in many cases their conditions can be reversed through diet. Here's how. Mon, 21 Mar 2011 00:00:00 +0000 (T)Edification Wednesday This four-minute TED talk is totally lovely (plus funny and wise). Everyone likes firefighters. Wed, 23 Mar 2011 00:00:00 +0000 We Are All Of Us Brothers &bull; Female medic awarded Military Cross for bravery &bull; Hitch on the Iraq Effect in the Arab Spring &bull; Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library Wed, 13 Apr 2011 00:00:00 +0000 IT'S HERE Fri, 15 Apr 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Friends of the IDF The IDF is on the very front-lines of the struggle against terrorism, extremism, and indiscriminate violence. They are also the valiant defenders of history's most comprehensively kicked-around, assailed, and dispossessed folks: the Jewish people. Aside from warming your heart, I hope this 3-minute video will increase your appreciation for what these wonderful young people of Israel struggle with everyday and what they contribute to the world. Sat, 16 Apr 2011 00:00:00 +0000 To Proceed When Things Look Bad Tue, 26 Apr 2011 00:00:00 +0000 D-BOYS Preview I'm modestly happy to announce the publication of a special sneak preview of my forthcoming (keep touching wood there) novel, D-BOYS. This one's free as the clouds. Wed, 27 Apr 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Til Someone Tells You To Sit Down Thu, 28 Apr 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Hahahahaha. My little bin Laden's Dead Boogie. Mon, 02 May 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Up Out The Water... This one goes out to the boys in DEVGRU. Fri, 06 May 2011 00:00:00 +0000 The Selected Wisdom of J.A. Konrath There's a word for a writer who never gives up... published. Sun, 08 May 2011 00:00:00 +0000 The Corvids Are Laughing At Us Stepped out of Westminster Station and came nose-to-nose with this gloriously pretty magpie. Thu, 19 May 2011 00:00:00 +0000 King Leo A few photos from Leo Fife's very lovely very first birthday party. Wed, 25 May 2011 00:00:00 +0000 XMSF Tue, 07 Jun 2011 00:00:00 +0000 When Heroes Go Down As you will have read, on Saturday America's community of special operations forces (SOF) suffered its worst single-day loss ever. These people are, in a word, the very best of our best, and their loss is a grievous one. Mon, 08 Aug 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Live Blogging The Riots Thought it might be fun to live blog tonight's riot. Latest entries first. This page will auto-reload every four minutes. Tue, 09 Aug 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Riot Wrap-up Wed, 10 Aug 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Having Written One or two of you have kindly inquired why the dispatching has all gone silent. After a feverish pace through 2010 and the first not-quite-half of 2011, I've withdrawn from the field to try and get my new book written. Tue, 06 Sep 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Those Who Paid As I put this up, it shows only a thousand of the 6,026 American servicemen and women who have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. (I'm going to keep adding to it.) There have been no terrorist attacks on the American homeland since 9/11. Fifty million Muslims and others, previously living in two of the most oppressive and brutal regimes on Earth, are now free. Sun, 11 Sep 2011 00:00:00 +0000 We're Back! (Yay!) Well, it's done. After eight months of bashing full-time... and two years of doing story and structure work... and coming out of probably six years of reading and research... I've finished the new novel. It's by like a factor of four the most ambitious thing I've ever attempted. But I think I may have just pulled it off. Thu, 29 Sep 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Don't Ask, Don't Care Just a belated cheer for the end of the Don't Ask Don't Tell and the ban on gays serving in the U.S. military. Plus congratulations to all our serving and deployed gay soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coastguardsmen. Fri, 30 Sep 2011 00:00:00 +0000 DFW Life & Work Appreciation, Week 159 A major aspect of my putting-life-aside-until-I-get-the-freaking-novel done austerity was: I didn't read The Pale King. A lot of really totally fascinating DFWabilia has appeared on the web in this time - dead, the man just goes from strength to strength - and here it all is now! Mon, 03 Oct 2011 00:00:00 +0000 The Secret History of the Military Adventure Novelist It was when I was looking at a PDF which recounts in horrifying detail, with body diagrams and a lot of Chinese, the 108 acu-points/acupunture cavities on the human body that when struck can result in "pain, numbness, unconsciousness, internal organ damage and/or death." And that's when it hit me: if anybody saw my browsing history, they'd probably call MI6 or the FBI on the red phone, and/or run screaming. Wed, 05 Oct 2011 00:00:00 +0000 The Art & Art of Video Game Trailers Video games are now fairly widely recognised to be an art form. And, perhaps in the same way that a movie trailer can condense a lot of emotion and adrenaline down into a 90-second speedball, video game trailers seem to have gotten pretty damned good while no one was looking. Thu, 06 Oct 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Secret History 2, Electric Boogaloo So I got such a good reaction to my experiment of publishing the actual browsing history of a writer of high-tech, special forces, nuclear terror action thrillers, that I've done it again. Also, here are the very last two short stories that I amused myself by doodling covers for. Thu, 13 Oct 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Monday Morning Mood Boost "Routine, repetition, tedium, monotony, ephemeracy, inconsequence, abstraction, disorder, boredom, angst, ennui - these are the true hero's enemies, and make no mistake, they are fearsome indeed. For they are real." - David Foster Wallace, The Pale King Mon, 17 Oct 2011 00:00:00 +0000 On Celldweller I think this is one of the most stunning albums of all time - smart, tight, powerful, melodic, literate, lushly layered, a total tour de force, completely seminal in electronic rock. I've never stopped listening to it. Weirdly, it's on sale for $1.99 right now. Thu, 20 Oct 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Look At This F*&%ing Hipster VERSUS People of Walmart A 'Best Of' Smack-Down Between Everyone's Two Favourite Micro-Sites Fri, 21 Oct 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Veterans / Remembrance Day 2011 Thank you, Grandpa, for taking four years out to save civilization in the 20th century. Fri, 11 Nov 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Remembrance Sunday 2011 Today is Remembrance Sunday in the UK. The Queen, along with every living former Prime Minister, turn out in Whitehall to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph - the UK's memorial to all of its war dead. Sun, 13 Nov 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Best [Sic] of People of Walmart This is a threat kept from the Look At This F*&%ing Hipster VERSUS People of Walmart Best Of Smack-Down, when I ran out of hipsters before people of Walmart. Dispatch from the Razor's Edge: trawling the depths of horrifying sites for the good stuff, so you don't have to! Enjoy! [sic] Sun, 04 Dec 2011 00:00:00 +0000 FYML Complete &amp; total asskicking runs on consecutive days this weekend. Six degrees and brilliantly sunny, monstering around the perimeter of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park in a muscle shirt and gloves, all powered by the sublime new Kidneythieves album. Power to burn--which, alas, hasn't quite been universal this past however long. Sat, 10 Dec 2011 00:00:00 +0000 The Passing of the Hitch He was truly one of my intellectual heroes; and one of my fondest ambitions would be to one day wield anything like his level of intellect, erudition, wit, or moral courage. So have a drink tonight to celebrate the remarkable life of a man who truly was as uncompromisingly moral as he was devastatingly, crushingly intelligent. Fri, 16 Dec 2011 00:00:00 +0000 New Book: D-BOYS I'm incredibly excited to announce the publication of the first book in my new D-Boys series of high-concept, high-tech special operations military adventure novels. Mon, 19 Dec 2011 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN, Book Two My writing partner Glynn James and I are enormously excited to announce publication of the second book in our ARISEN series of spec-ops zombie-apocalypse dark action thrillers. And to celebrate, we're giving away up to 6.97 billion copies of Book One (Fortress Britain) absolutely free, for the next five days. Thu, 27 Sep 2012 00:00:00 +0000 How To Not Die In A Car Crash Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for Americans age 1-44. In 2009, 33,963 Americans died in road crashes and 2.3 million were treated in emergency rooms for injuries, many of them disfiguring or disabling. Here's how to survive your drive. Tue, 20 Dec 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Christmas Bimble So in a regularly occurring feature, Anna and I intrepidly departed Kensington & Chelsea to soak in the vibe of Christmas-time central London. (Well, okay, Mayfair.) Sun, 18 Dec 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Alpha Annus Mirabilis Pleasingly reminiscent of the Notebooks of Lazarus Long. Tue, 10 Jan 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Friday Fun Break: Shit That's Said So here's a meme you may have missed. It all started here with Shit Girls Say... and spiralled well out of control from there. Fri, 27 Jan 2012 00:00:00 +0000 But If He's Been Murdered By Crystal Meth Tweakers... Watching Hangover Part 2 on a Saturday, staying in drinking Coronas and cooking full English breakfast. Would be really churlish to complain. New song totally worth the price of admission alone. Sat, 04 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Snow Persons This morning, on a single circuit of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, I personally counted 144 snow persons. Sun, 05 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000 The Zombie Apocalypse So my latest fabulous (weapons-themed) Xmas gift from Alex was a day at a shooting range which will rent you various high-powered fully-automatic firearms to play with. I brought my camera. The rockn', Zombie Apocalypse-themed, heavily annotated, music-video bullet festival results are below. Sun, 18 Mar 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Day of Egregious Indulgence So this was the Great Friday of 2012. The long years of my three-month contract were finally drawing to a close. And since it was by far the nicest day of the year so far, we all repaired to the best spot in the universe: the garden of The Troubadour in Earl's Court. Sun, 01 Apr 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Avengers Abridgeable Having dashed out, all atremble, to see the Avengers movie, I'm now able to offer a clear judgement and recommendation: You're much better off watching this (two-and-a-half minute) trailer. It had better writers. Tue, 01 May 2012 00:00:00 +0000 TEDification Wednesday Welcome back, after a long hiatus, to TEDification Wednesday. Amongst all the other good reasons to listen to TED presenters is that they don't typically get to be TED presenters by being stupid, uninsightful, or unsuccessful. Wed, 23 May 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Hometown Tourists So of a recent Saturday, Anna and I decided to head into town and act like we just hit London. Herewith, the results. Sat, 10 Mar 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Decennium Mirabilis I'm happy and grateful to report that today is the exact 10th anniversary of Dispatch from the Razor's Edge. In these lovely and strange ten years I have published 517 dispatches, 10,955 images, and 372 movies. Wed, 04 Jul 2012 00:00:00 +0000 To Fulfil Their Dreams For some reason the 7/7 anniversary always sneaks up on me in a way 9/11 doesn't. Luckily for me, my regular running route takes me directly beside the 7/7 Memorial, tucked in the SE corner of Hyde Park. And there, every year, as they did today, the massed flowers and notes on the hillside overlooking it tell the tale. Sat, 07 Jul 2012 00:00:00 +0000 London to Mitt: Screw You So, as you will or will not have read, U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, just before his big visit to London, executed the blinding diplomatic maneuver of slagging off London's epic seven-year preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games. Fri, 27 Jul 2012 00:00:00 +0000 LONDON 2012 "As I write these words there are semi-naked women playing beach volleyball in the middle of the Horse Guards Parade immortalised by Canaletto. They are glistening like wet otters and the water is plashing off the brims of the spectators' sou'westers. The whole thing is magnificent and bonkers." - Boris, the Mayor Mon, 30 Jul 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Olympics Update the One! So yesterday was the first actual Olympics-day-stroke-workday - and thus the big test if anything/everything would work. Tue, 31 Jul 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Olympics Update the Three - Mind the Spinning Blades! USA Knots Up the Medal Table with China! (18 golds each - and 37 total medals to 34, our way!) YEAHHH!!! And Team GB edges out France - and that, really is all we ask, beating the French! - for 4th place!!! Fri, 03 Aug 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Olympics Update - Six Golds!!! Okay, first things first again: Britain Took Six Golds Today!!! On the water, on the track, and in the velodrome... they're calling it the greatest day in British sporting history. Sat, 04 Aug 2012 00:00:00 +0000 New Book Series: ARISEN A world fallen - under a plague of seven billion walking dead. A tiny island nation - the last refuge of the living. One team - of the world's most elite special operators. The dead, these heroes, humanity's last hope, all have... ARISEN. Mon, 06 Aug 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Olympics Update - Triathlon in Hyde Park!!! Amazing day today watching the Triathlon blast through Hyde Park! Total luck on my part - I was sitting at my machine in the morning, about to go running, when Barney (aka St. Barnabas) rang and asked if I wanted to meet to watch the event. Tue, 07 Aug 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Sic Transit Gloria Mundi Hyde Park is all empty and lonely and forlorn. The thundering herds of Olympics visitors have gone. They are tearing down the BT London Live viewing point - only hours after tens of thousands cheered Mo Farah as he blasted into Olympic history. Mon, 13 Aug 2012 00:00:00 +0000 What's At Stake I really think everyone ought to watch the recent speeches by President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu at the U.N. The vivid moral clarity shown here - about orgiastic religious violence, about a nuclear-armed and messianic terror state in Iran, about a citizenry-slaughtering dictator in Syria - is much needed, and frankly awesome. Fri, 28 Sep 2012 00:00:00 +0000 The Top Four Wrenching Things I Learned Reading The DFW Bio So I've just finished Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace. Here are the top four wrenching things I learned from this engrossing and heartbreaking book. Sun, 30 Sep 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Yes, You Have A Choice Spend just a few minutes watching these delightfully entertaining two-minute videos introducing you to your real, thrilling alternative to Dipshit (Romney) and Spendthrift (Obama). Mon, 01 Oct 2012 00:00:00 +0000 COUNTER-ASSAULT COUNTER-ASSAULT is the second book in my D-BOYS series of high-concept, high-tech special operations military adventure novels. It is also the biggest, smartest, most ambitious, and most thrilling work I've ever produced. It assaults off the page, and does not relent. Sat, 06 Oct 2012 00:00:00 +0000 In Defense of Obama on Defense Here's a bit of contemporary history for you. After the 2008 election, but before the handover of power, Bush invited Obama over to the White House for a one-on-one sit-down meeting, in which he begged the incoming president to preserve just two programs... Mon, 15 Oct 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Bestsellers! Delighted and amazed to announce that our new ARISEN books have both pleasingly popped up on Amazon's bestseller lists - and have proceeded to climb them. Thu, 25 Oct 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Remembrance Day 2012 Remembrance Day, and the run-up to it, is my favourite thing on a long list of reasons I love the UK. That an entire nation pauses to visibly, and palpably, give thanks to the millions who sacrificed, fought, and died to gift us with our lives, freedom, security, and prosperity, and does so every year without fail, is incredibly beautiful to watch - and to have the privilege of being part of. Sun, 11 Nov 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Selected Tableaux from Anna's Burfday Week Very many thanks to all who came out. And lots of love to those far away. Sun, 25 Nov 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Holiday Safe Driving Spiel 2012 This holiday season, in the U.S. alone, 1,161 people will die in motor vehicle crashes, and 124,100 will be injured, many cripplingly and permanently. Please don't be amongst them. Please drive very carefully. For this years's harangue, I'm publishing excerpts from a totally fascinating book I read last year, called Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us). Mon, 10 Dec 2012 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN : GENESIS I'm enormously excited to announce publication of the new prequel to ARISEN - our bestselling series of spec-ops zombie-apocalypse dark action thrillers. It rather rocks, if I do say so myself: loads of heartstopping action, moments of genuine terror, lovable heroes, and oceans of existential dread. Just in time for Christmas! And of course nothing says Christmas Time like the end of the world... Fri, 14 Dec 2012 00:00:00 +0000 The Next Big Thing I've just been meme-slapped by novelist/psychologist Ian Hocking with a Ten-Questions-About-Your-Book thingy that's going around. So come with me now for a candid, behind-the-scenes, insider tour of the making of ARISEN : GENESIS. Sun, 16 Dec 2012 00:00:00 +0000 The Next Next Big Thing Since two days ago I meme-slapped a first-time novelist who (scandal!) doesn't run a blog, I'm pleased to post her responses here. You should check out her new book. Compulsion Reads describe it as a "highly passionate and cerebral character study of a woman on a mission to make the world a better place" which paints characters in "vivid colors and spins truly sharp and erudite dialogue." Tue, 18 Dec 2012 00:00:00 +0000 The Best Is Yet To Come In part because I'm struggling to keep my mind wrapped around the Edge books, and in part just to preserve the sense of wonder these engender (and perhaps also as antidote to the logic of human self-destruction in my latest book), I've decided to publish some excerpts. Because it's Christmas, I'm starting with a nice happy one. Thu, 20 Dec 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Christmas Bimble 2012 Sat, 15 Dec 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Enjoy the Ride Tue, 25 Dec 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Cinque Giorni a Cinque Terre (1) She said she had just gotten back from this cracking place in Italy called Cinque Terre (literally: "Five Lands"). She said it was five little rustic villages all stuck on the face of the mountainous Mediterranean coastline, and you could hike from one to the other, and it was just a totally lovely place. Sat, 12 May 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Burtonalia Attended a lecture at the Royal Geographical Society - which counted amongst its members Darwin, Shackleton, Livingstone and Stanley both, and Hilary... and that sponsored Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton's expeditions to darkest Africa! Thu, 17 Jan 2013 00:00:00 +0000 One Life, Baby I dug this book and its author's voice. It's a blast to read - witty, funny, and breezy, as well as grabby and well-organised with lots of mini-case studies and tips broken out - and profoundly insightful and most especially inspiring. Sat, 02 Feb 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Cinque Giorni a Cinque Terre (2) Awoke to the sound of the surf crashing gently on the cliffs below. Sleeping and waking to this was, frankly, beyond price. We listened to the church bells while we had our coffee on the balcony. Sun, 13 May 2012 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN, Book Three Readers are calling the ARISEN series 'a non stop thrill ride' ... 'unputdownable' ... 'the most original and well-written zombie novels I have ever read' ... 'riveting as hell - I cannot recommend this series enough' ... 'the action starts hot and heavy and does NOT let up' ... 'astonishingly well-researched and highly plausible' ... 'non-stop speed rush! All action, all the time - got my heart racing' ... 'A Must Read, this book was a hell of a ride' ... and 'may be the best in its genre.' Wed, 27 Feb 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Nobody Knows Anything I've used this famous quote, about how nobody in Hollywood has any idea what is going to work at the box office, many times - most often, to reapply it to the publishing industry. Here's the fuller version from Hollywood screenwriting legend, and novelist, William Goldman. Mon, 15 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Brideshead, Visited Simply, Castle Howard is Brideshead. And Brideshead is, in my considered view, such an inseparable part of the soul of the English character that to visit it is to make a pilgrimage to, perhaps, the very heart of post-war England. Sat, 13 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 ULTRAnumb "Ultranumb", is to my mind one of best, most powerful, and most thrilling rock songs ever recorded. It is also - and I say this after a decade-long career of collecting thousands of tracks to power my workouts and runs - THE SINGLE BEST WORKOUT SONG OF ALL TIME. Sun, 28 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Remembrance Day 2013 Some photos from the dedication of the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey, the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, and from Remembrance Day itself; plus a video of the two-minute silence. Mon, 11 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Cinque Giorni a Cinque Terre (3) Our third day in Cinque Terra dawned with us lounging long in bed, gazing out the thrown-open patio doors, listening to the gulls wheeling and calling over the harbour. Mon, 14 May 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Not Only Meaningful, But Sacred And what did I find on TED but that someone had done sort of an animated version of David Foster Wallace's celebrated Kenyon College commencement speech. Someone rescued this amazing, obscure, audio-only recording by a dead guy, and brought it to brilliant life. Sun, 19 May 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Defiance Well, that - the horrific stabbing murder of a British soldier wearing a Help for Heroes t-shirt in broad daylight by Islamist asshats in SE London - at least settles the question of what I run in today, and every day for the rest of the month. Thu, 23 May 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Memorial Day 2013 Mon, 27 May 2013 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN, Book Four Glynn and I are ridiculously excited to announce the launch of the next book in our ARISEN series. Both sales and reader response to the books have been super-fantastic, and we are so happy and grateful for it all - so we figured the best way to live up to that was to fill the next book with even more of the things readers have been cheering about. That means CRAZY-ASS OVER-THE-TOP NON-STOP ACTION, in spades, and poured on with a dumptruck. Fri, 14 Jun 2013 00:00:00 +0000 THE POWERS, by Valerie Sayers Set in a completely entrancing and fully realized early-forties New York, just before America's entry into WWII, it tells the story of Joltin' Joe Dimaggio's historic hitting streak for the Yankees - as a background to two love stories, a family drama, and (most of all) a coming-of-age tale. It encompasses pacifism, spectacle, duty, hero worship, ways of seeing, death - particularly the early death of parents and the abiding ache their absence leaves behind, sex (and its enchantments and terrors) before 1963, and the power of mystical thinking - and maybe even of real magic. Sat, 29 Jun 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Tour du Mont Blanc - Day Zero Gobsmackingly beautiful mountain vistas... ass-smashing, neverending, unprecedented, merciless climbs... traverses over treacherous icy escarpments and steep snow diagonals... at least one genuine, no-bullshit, breath-stealing, this-could-really-be-it dice with death... climbs over cols and around glaciers of soul-tweaking beauty and grandeur... close encounters with Alpine wildlife (such as ibex, chamois, and marmots)... and nights in remote refuges perched in absolutely unbelievably stunning mountaintop settings (that could only be reached by Alpine trekkers, and resupplied by helicopter). Wed, 13 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Tour du Mont Blanc - Day One TMB Day 1, Les Houches to Les Contamines: to include the first punishing climb; the first stunning mountain col - and (not unrelatedly) the first snowfield across the path; the first knee-murdering, endless descent; plus the amazing Refuge di Miage, Lynchian cows, and also much witty banter. Thu, 14 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Tour du Mont Blanc - Day Two Planning catastrophes, sniffy French, closed-out mountain passes, crushing climbs, severely beautiful mountain vistas, dicing with death on snow diagonals, braving ridicule in snow gaiters, assault by the sun, the best refuge spot ever (so far) - and of course the titular miracle. Fri, 15 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000 I &#x2764; the Adverts Before UK Movies I not only don't want to be late for the trailers, I don't want to be late for the adverts. Movie magic. Sun, 14 Jul 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Tour du Mont Blanc - Day Three Morning douches, a killer snow descent, shin betrayal, a murderous slog in the sun, the ascent of death, raging runoff, the most stunning col yet, my best photography ever, God's front room, badass Aussies, shower follies, and Tim's sledding fail. Sat, 16 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Tour du Mont Blanc - Day Four The photo above depicts me in, or just before, the moments when I felt, more than at any other time before or since, that it was possible I might lose my life. Obviously I didn't die, and reasonable people seem to disagree about how much danger I was actually in. But there can be no question that I've never been so scared. In my mind, at the very least, this was a no-bullshit, breath-stealing, pulse-supercharging, this-could-really-be-it (the end of my whole story, right here and now) tango with death. Sun, 17 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Hey, Here's This Really Hard Impossibly Smart Thing. F^%$ You. See if You Can Read It. &ldquo;Every two or three generations the world gets vastly different, and the context in which you have to learn how to be a human being, or to have good relationships, or decide whether or not there is a God, or decide whether there's such a thing as love, and whether it's redemptive, become vastly different.&rdquo; Sun, 11 Aug 2013 00:00:00 +0000 TMB Day 5: Rivendell Day Five of the TMB was a day of superlatives, including: * The longest, hardest climb I (for one) have ever done; * The biggest single hunk of towering massif we'd ever see in one place (the Grandes Jorasses) - at the foot of which sat: * By far the most amazing refuge (or, perhaps, lodging of any kind) most of us had ever enjoyed. Mon, 18 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000 TMB Day 6: The Enchanted Valley Today's walk was to include: * a leisurely ramble through a flower-and-butterfly-filled valley; * a climb up to an entirely decent col overlooking a big ole glacier, with a herd of ibex down on some cliffs below, and which took us over the border into Switzerland; and * a couple of hours of actual rain, and a slog therethrough - the only real rain event we experienced on a TEN-DAY WALK. Tue, 19 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000 TMB Day 7: Boys' Own Adventures Today we would be walking through more undramatic forest and hillsides and river paths. But it made a change. And it would end at Champex-Lac, a village on a lake - way higher up in the mountains than you'd expect to find any kind of lake. Wed, 20 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000 TMB Day 8: Tripping the Alp Bovine Morning in Hotel du Glacier, Champex-Lac. Though there wasn't a cloud in the sky, the forecast for the day wasn't good - and we met a man who had just been turned back from the Fenetre d'Arpette. Basically, it was too early in the season for such a dicy, glorious, adventuresome variante. I bowed to the inevitable. The Alp Bovine route it was. Thu, 21 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Captain Swenson Says Goodbye U.S. Army Captain William Swenson has been awarded the nation's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Battle of Ganjgal in Afghanistan. Amazingly, a bit of Swenson's heroism was captured by the helmet cams of a medevac pilot and crew chief, as he helped his terribly wounded top sergeant into the helicopter - and said goodbye. Wed, 16 Oct 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Helping the Philippines Here's probably as long a list as you need of reputable and effective charities helping people in the Philippines. As usual these days, the U.S. military continues its transition into the world's best and most effective disaster relief service. Tue, 12 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Bebe y Me Raul Leo y me. Sun, 17 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000 EXODUS - Arisen, Book Five It's time. The epic conclusion to the first half of the ARISEN story - and the most terrifying and thrilling adventure yet - starts today. Fri, 22 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000 A Cruelty-Free Thanksgiving Fabulous cruelty-free Thanksgiving spreads from master chefs (along with no cancer and heart disease, or environmental destruction); versus 50 million horror-movie deaths. The choice is yours! :) Thu, 28 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000 TMB Day 9: On the Air of Heaven The sun is behind the escarpment, and so off of our little lofty bowl of lake and refuge. But it is still emphatically lighting up the massif, including the grand old white beast, Mt. Blanc herself, out to our west. The sight is completely majestic and magnificent. "This is it," Tim says. And I know he's nailed it. This is everything we came to see, in one sprawling, stunning, glowing, larger-than-life tableau. This is it. Fri, 22 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000 TMB Day 10: The Last Ascent So. We had one last mountain to climb on this day, and on this walk: Le Brevent, at 2525m. And, along the way, we would make two big decisions that would change our memories of this walk forever. Sat, 23 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Tour du Mont Blanc: the Greatest Hits So the shootin' was pretty good in the Alps. Here's a flier at a photo greatest hits collection. It's a bit subjective, and I'm sure I made a few wrong calls, but I think it still makes a decent little high-speed review. Sun, 24 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN Audiobook Deal So Glynn and I have just inked a deal with Podium Publishing, to produce audiobook editions of all the main-series ARISEN books. Wed, 25 Dec 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Authors Reject Publisher Last week Glynn and I met with some very nice folks at a small-to-maybe-midsized publisher who wanted to buy the print rights to our Arisen series. I just sent them a very gently worded rejection letter. Tue, 18 Feb 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Beautiful, Alive, Urgent You find certain writers who when they write, it makes your own brain voice like a tuning fork, and you just resonate with them. And when that happens, reading those writers becomes a source of unbelievable joy. And I sometimes have a hard time understanding how people who don't have that in their lives make it through the day. Sat, 22 Feb 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Workout Shirts Post-Christmas, this is my new very favourite workout/running shirt. The first person to recognise it in the wild is going to get some sort of very special prize. Tue, 14 Jan 2014 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN, Book Six - The Horizon With over 100,000 copies sold, the ARISEN series returns. This is the Zulu Alpha at its most psychologically complex, dramatically tense, and intimately perilous - but with all of the pulse-pounding, page-ripping, combat chaos that has made it the favorite of fanatical ZA readers the world over. Wed, 07 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN, Omnibus One We have just released the first three ARISEN books as an omnibus edition, sold at a significant discount to the cost of buying all three books separately. Yay. And it's got an awesome 3D box-set cover. Sun, 11 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000 STORY So it turns out that immortal, affecting stories tend to work for surprisingly universal and archetypal reasons. Understanding these archetypes and principles, and how to employ them, gives the storyteller seemingly magical powers. I feel like I have just gotten my first glimpse or two behind that veil; and am now at the very beginning of being able to do these things myself - just, and fumblingly. Tue, 27 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Memorial Day 2014 Mon, 26 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000 The Obstacle Is the Way This is the best - and by far the most useful - book I've read in a long time. It's roughly based on the Stoic philosophers. It is a pleasingly quick, light, and breezy read - particularly for something which may contain the secret of life! My father told me that "attitude is everything". As I go on, I realise he was much righter than I (or perhaps even he) ever knew. Wed, 28 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000 The Operators Saved My Life The ability to operate effectively under conditions of adversity might actually be the secret to life. And where I personally got (belatedly) instructed in this was from the military world's special operators - for whom RESOLVE and RESILIENCE are everything. Thu, 29 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Happy Palindromic Birthday, Doctor Huckabloon Happy (palindromic) birthday, man. We love you. Sat, 21 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000 My Independence Day In December of 2012, I had the first month of my life when earnings from my writing actually paid my bills - thanks utterly and entirely to Kindle Direct Publishing. I have been writing full-time ever since. And I have now achieved my dream of being a jobbing novelist. ALL THANKS TO JEFF BEZOS AND KDP. Fri, 04 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Arisen : Genesis Audiobook Arisen : Genesis audiobook edition launches today. $0.00 with Audible 30-day free trial! (And, erm, no, I haven't listened to this myself - too scary!) Fri, 11 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sinking Ship The EU is the body who thought - on the one continent in the world that is not experiencing economic growth - it would be a good idea to make each of 500 million people spend five minutes a day reading about and clicking to consent on cookies, on every single web site they visit, forever. Mon, 14 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Nothing Without Work The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work. Wed, 16 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Show You Want It / Spartan Race Sat, 19 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Paperbacks Arrivee! Okay - the paperback editions of the Arisen are here! Glynn just did an amazing job of book design on these, and they came out really beautiful (and just like we want them). And the prices are not terrible. Sun, 27 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Equality "Until gay marriage is legalized, a fundamental element of personal dignity will be denied a whole segment of humanity. No other change can achieve it." Fri, 26 Jun 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Even Newer ARISEN Audiobooks! So while I've been head-down in new ARISEN material, Podium Publishing and R.C. Bray have quietly produced and launched the next three ARISEN audiobook titles! Sat, 27 Jun 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Destroy Your Comfort Zones So as of this morning, I am officially registered to do the Spartan Race Super in South London. And today, which was day one of Spartan training, I endeavoured to: DESTROY MY COMFORT ZONES. Fri, 01 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Spartan Race for Spec-Ops Warriors The Special Operations Warrior Foundation provides full college scholarships to every child who has lost a parent serving in the Special Operations Command. Our special operators train like professional athletes, perform like minor Gods, and lay it all on the line every day in defense of freedom and decency. The Spartan Race is for civilians whose lives are too damned cushy and sedentary, and allows maniacs to go out there for a day and crawl through mud and jump over fire and throw spears and get pummelled with pugil sticks. I'm running the Spartan Race South London Super in support of the SOWF. Sat, 16 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0000 DONE It is done. I finished writing on Thursday. This is the point that I've come to think of "the end of principal photography." Quite a lot of editing and post-production remains. But I no longer have to suffer the terror of coming in every morning to face the blank page. (Yeah - it never goes away.) And I no longer have to rent my entire head out as a full-time story engine/narrative designer/idea generator/character developer/plot problem fixer/dialogue polisher. I can actually just take a run and enjoy it - thinking about whatever I damn well please. The freedom is delicious. Tue, 14 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 THE WORK There's a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don't, and the secret is this: It's not the writing part that's hard. What's hard is sitting down to write. Thu, 20 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Je Retire Dear Teresa Sullivan - I do not wish to be contacted by you, or any representative of the University of Virginia, on any matter, ever again. I am ending, utterly and forever, my association with the University of Virginia. Tue, 25 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires Readers call the ARISEN series: "Wall to wall adrenaline - edge of your seat unputdownable until the very last page" ... "utterly compelling" ... "Blows World War Z out of the water" ... "The pace and action are breathtaking" ... "rolls along like an out of control freight train" ... "well written, sophisticated, witty, compelling, exciting, well-researched, and supremely enjoyable" ... "THE BOSS of the zombie apocalypse genre" ... "the most amazing and intense battle scenes you've ever experienced" ... "Holy crap!! Nail-biting, pucker-factor 11, non-stop, badass, blow-by-blow action from the get-go to the very end" ... "Just WOW. Five Stars just doesn't cover this one. WOW" ... "I cannot believe how great this series is" ... "a knock down drag out kick ass read - the best ZA book series around, period" ... "six stars nothing less - I thought this series could not get any better, how wrong I was" ... "insane propulsive storytelling" Wed, 26 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 New ARISEN Audiobooks So - what with writing and editing around the clock - I've been a bit remiss in announcing that the audiobook versions of the first three ARISEN books have been released, with a fourth available for pre-order. Check out these flash new covers Podium Publishing did for them. Approve! Samples embedded. Fri, 28 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Book Eight Launch Date So it's typically about 36 hours after we launch a book that the flood of messages starts: WHEN'S THE NEXT BOOK!? Usually, our answer is: Jeesh, we just finished this one - and it cost us months of our lives and gallons of blood! But this time, we've got a better answer: ARISEN, Book Eight - Empire of the Dead... launches on December 17, 2014 . Sat, 29 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 GLORY So regular readers will know my friend Jana and I ran the Spartan Race South London Super in August. Here's a recap of race day! Sun, 31 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0000 THE FEAR So - having gotten back into the thicket of my notes, and the story design I attempted to do previously, I can now officially report: I have absolutely no idea how I'm going to write this next book. Thu, 11 Dec 2014 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN, Book Eight - Empire of the Dead With 140,000 copies sold, the ARISEN series returns - putting Alpha team, MARSOC, and One Troop Royal Marines face-to-face with their most lethal adversaries ever - in the most blistering and heart-stopping chapter yet of the epic saga. Fri, 12 Dec 2014 00:00:00 +0000 First Principles This month and next, as I execute a novel I've been planning for years, and which certainly feels like the most high-stakes book I've written in a long time, I am endeavouring mightily to keep at the absolute forefront of my mind at every waking second... the core dramatic principles. Nobody does those like him, so thus to David Mamet. Sat, 17 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0000 What I Do With My Evenings And, incidentally, how I learned to write (SOF) military fiction. Wed, 11 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Nemesis Launch Date Salvation. Vengeance. Vanity. NEMESIS. - ARISEN : NEMESIS launches on April 30th. Wed, 15 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN : NEMESIS The biggest and most harrowing Arisen adventure yet launches NOW. Thu, 30 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Story Design So I've gotten really, really interested in story design. I may actually have gone a bit too far down the rabbit hole at this point. In any case, herewith is a glimpse into my complete story design for the latest book. Sun, 03 May 2015 00:00:00 +0000 A Twittorial History of NEMESIS I did (rather unprecedentedly) tweet occasionally, while writing the new book. Taken together, I think perhaps these present a decent little window into the process, or at least the mental contortions, of novel-writing. Tue, 05 May 2015 00:00:00 +0000 D-BOYS Audiobook! So I'm terrifically excited to announce the launch of the audiobook edition of my book D-Boys - performed by Kevin Arthur Harper. Thu, 14 May 2015 00:00:00 +0000 New ARISEN Paperbacks! So it's a great pleasure to announce that glorious matte-finish trade paperback editions are now available for: ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires ... ARISEN, Book Eight - Empire of the Dead ... ARISEN : Nemesis Tue, 16 Jun 2015 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN, Omnibus Two It's the second ARISEN omnibus edition - 1,297 pages of madness, mayhem, and heart-stopping heroism. Yay! Fri, 03 Jul 2015 00:00:00 +0000 American Independence Day Get some. Sat, 04 Jul 2015 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN Update There's been rather a flood of inquiries about Book Nine, so a brief update: Work continues daily (i.e. seven days a week) at a blistering (and occasionally back-breaking) pace. It's way, way closer to being done than it was two months ago. But, as always, it's not done until it's amazing. Sat, 11 Jul 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Down in Flames What if it sucks? I'll take my lumps and learn my lessons. I'll look to the next book and the one after that. But nothing will stop me from giving this book my all. I will NEVER back off. I will NEVER give the work anything less than 100%. If I go down in flames, so be it. I’ll be back. Mon, 03 Aug 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Good For the Work Ultimately, as awful as all that sounds, I've sort of made peace with it because it's good for the work. It just is. Sat, 08 Aug 2015 00:00:00 +0000 The Kirn Review of Infinite Jest I was horrified to discover that the Walter Kirn review from New York Magazine, had gone missing. I hereby reprint it. It might be the best overall review of the book. (I've often said there's no way to describe or synopsize Infinite Jest. Kern comes closest.) It was also certainly cited and quoted a hell of a lot, announcing, as it seemed to, a conquering literary colossus. Sat, 22 Aug 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Less Now Than When I Started At this point, having done this 20 plus years, I kind of know what I'm doing. I don't feel like that at all. I feel like I know less now about how to do it than I did when I started. Tue, 25 Aug 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Happy Suckiversary Rather gobsmackingly, today marks the 20th anniversary of the very first column on Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Proof There is a Point to Being Here "What we seek is a spiritual connection, the sense of something important happening in our lives, the proof that whether we get what we want or not, there is a point to being here." Sun, 30 Aug 2015 00:00:00 +0000 They Earned It The first two women in history completed the Army's storied and notoriously crushing Ranger School - and are now entitled to wear the Ranger tab, which tells you a great deal about anyone you see it on. Mon, 31 Aug 2015 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN, Book Nine - CATACLYSM Alpha team is back - in the most anticipated and devastating chapter yet in the ARISEN saga. Wed, 30 Sep 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Book Ten Launch Date Desperation. Heroism. Survival. THE FLOOD ... ARISEN, Book Ten - The Flood launches 21 October 2015. Thu, 01 Oct 2015 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN, Book Ten - The Flood The Floodwaters are rising... Desperation. Heroism. Survival. THE FLOOD. Wed, 21 Oct 2015 00:00:00 +0000 A Twittorial History of ARISEN Books Nine & Ten In my quest for 90-second breaks, and to provide mini-updates on the progress of the work, I seem also to have created a decent little window into the process, or at least the mental contortions, of novel-writing. Mon, 26 Oct 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Story Design Redux So, as last time, here for grins and posterity is a glimpse into the complete story design for my latest, ARISEN Books Nine and Ten. Tue, 27 Oct 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Story Work - For Real "Story talent is primary, literary talent secondary but essential... Only by using everything and anything you know about the craft of storytelling can you make your talent forge story." - Robert McKee Tue, 01 Dec 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Even Newer ARISEN Paperbacks! Yes, you are seeing that right - a mere three years after first publication, ARISEN : Genesis is finally getting a paperback edition. At least I beat the end of the world. Thu, 10 Dec 2015 00:00:00 +0000 20 Years of Heat Today marks the 20th anniversary of the theatrical release of the second greatest motion picture of all time (okay, in my canon): HEAT, written and directed by Michael Mann. Tue, 15 Dec 2015 00:00:00 +0000 How Did You Love? Happy New Year! Happy New Year! Thu, 31 Dec 2015 00:00:00 +0000 The Art of Fiction Sun, 10 Jan 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Delayed ARISEN Audiobooks! Book Seven is out today, and Book Eight will be released on 19 FEB (but is available for pre-order now) Tue, 19 Jan 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Infinite Jest at 20 This month marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest - which I believe to be, and can give my reasons why, the best and most important novel of the 20th century. Tue, 16 Feb 2016 00:00:00 +0000 D-BOYS Paperbacks! So I'm super-tickled to announce that - many years and thousands of lives later - I have launched lovely paperback editions of my D-BOYS books: D-BOYS and COUNTER-ASSAULT! Mon, 22 Feb 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Memorial Day 2016 If you are able, save them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Mon, 30 May 2016 00:00:00 +0000 New Audiobooks! (In Two Series!) So I'm super-tickled that I've got two new audiobook releases out: COUNTER-ASSAULT, and ARISEN : NEMESIS. Wed, 08 Jun 2016 00:00:00 +0000 The Big Crash We were doing so great. Our project was in high gear, we were almost finished (maybe we actually were finished). Then inevitably... Everything crashes. Sat, 25 Jun 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Book Eleven Launch Date ARISEN, Book Eleven - Deathmatch launches August 17th. And ARISEN, Book Nine - Cataclysm, Audible edition (performed by RC Bray) launches August 9th. Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN, Book Eleven - Deathmatch Humanity's most fearsome enemy is no longer death. Tue, 16 Aug 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Book Twelve Launch Date The beginning of the end has only just begun. ARISEN, Book Twelve - Carnage... launches 03 September 2016. Fri, 19 Aug 2016 00:00:00 +0000 A Twittorial History of ARISEN, Books Eleven & Twelve Sat, 27 Aug 2016 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN, Book Twelve - Carnage ALPHA TEAM LOOKS THE DEVIL IN THE EYE... ONE TROOP RALLIES AGAINST DECIMATION AND DEFEAT... THE CREW OF THE KENNEDY BATTLES BACK... Defiance. Valor. Consecration. CARNAGE Fri, 02 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Story Design: TNG So, as on previous occasions, once again here is a glimpse into the complete story design for the latest cycle of ARISEN material, Books Eleven and Twelve. Mon, 12 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000 The Sound of ARISEN As you will know, there’s almost no ARISEN without the soundtrack. For the first time, I did the entire playlist I wrote these books to as a Spotify playlist, so you can actually listen along as you read. Tue, 13 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Book Club with Booze Last week I was privileged to do an online video/audio reader Q&A with the fabulous Book Club with Booze. If you'd like to get a deep dive into the background and themes of the ARISEN series, my personal pick of weapons for the ZA, the special operations community, literary theory, the writing life, and deep storycraft - all enhanced by HEAVY DRINKING - with a bunch of great and super-smart people (many of them active-duty military), you can now do it right here! Any time! Yee-hah. Wed, 14 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Three Passes of Everest Trek From 12 November 12 - 04 December of 2016, I will be trekking the Three Passes of the Everest Region of Nepal in the Himalayas (with the estimable Darby Kimball). I'm asking friends and loved ones to chip in a couple of bucks/quid to help provide health care, education, and a safe environment for the children of Nepal - one of the poorest countries in the world, further devastated by last year's earthquake, which left hundreds of thousands homeless. Thu, 15 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Yet More ARISEN Audiobooks! These were a long time coming, pretty hotly anticipated by the rabid ARISEN audiobook fans - and in the crush of publishing two new titles, I totally forgot to blog about them. Fri, 16 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Threat to the Republic The rise of Trump, and Trumpism, is the worst thing I've witnessed happen in or to American in my lifetime. It is a hundred times more dangerous and damaging than 9/11, as it strikes at the very heart of what America is and represents. Right now, simply, America is having a close call with fascism. Mon, 19 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Governor Gary Johnson For President Governors Johnson & Weld are in favour of a balanced budget, term limits, and end to military adventurism, a simplified tax system, continued immigration to strengthen our immigrant nation, and strong protections for civil liberties including marriage equality. In other words, they believe in what most Americans do: fiscal responsibility, and social tolerance. Mon, 26 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN 11 & 12 Paperbacks New ARISEN paperbacks. Probably my favourites so far, as physical objects. (Also, happily, these seem to be reader favourites...) Wed, 12 Oct 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Weight Management for Pros Weight management seems to be one of the biggest challenges in modern life. Here's what I've learned about what works. Sat, 15 Oct 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Feel the Johnson! "I wholeheartedly agree with Donald Trump in his number-one issue in this campaign; and I wholeheartedly agree with Clinton in her number-one issue in this campaign: DON'T vote for Hillary Clinton... and DON'T vote for Donald Trump." - Governor Gary Johnson Sun, 16 Oct 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Disaster Strikes So, because I’m an idiot, I decided to try my first Crossfit session – six weeks before my Nepal trek. Even as we were walking down there, I idly wondered out loud to my friend, "Hmm, I wonder what the injury rate is among first-time Crossfitters…?" Well, 100% it turns out, regarding me. Yeah, I got injured. Sat, 22 Oct 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Thom Jones was a Friend of Mine Author (and high school janitor, and Iowa Writer's Workshop graduate and teacher) Thom Jones has died. He was the best writer of short fiction in the entire history of the world. You have never heard of him. Sun, 30 Oct 2016 00:00:00 +0000 As If Love is Real and Death an Illusion For the last seven years, Steven Pressfield has published a weekly column called "Writing Wednesdays." If you are a writer, artist, entrepreneur, or anyone trying to do something hard and creative in the world, Pressfield should be your patron saint. Tue, 01 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Vote for a Better America A vote for the Libertarian candidates, Governors Gary Johnson & Bill Weld, is the most meaningful ballot you can possibly cast today. It is because they are on the cusp of the historic accomplishment of getting more than 5% of the popular vote. And when they do, the Libertarian Party achieves "major party" status - and the two-party duopoly stranglehold on American government is broken, probably forever. Tue, 08 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Tired of the Two-Party System Yet? The Republicans gave us Trump, and the Democrats gave us just about the only candidate so compromised and unloved that she could lose to Trump. Utter catastrophe ensues. Fri, 11 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 I Reject Meditation - A Manifesto I have come to realise that it is absolutely, urgently critical that I gain mastery in controlling my mind appropriately. Absolutely everything depends upon it: my happiness, my human goodness, my commercial & artistic success, my ability to be some kind of force for good in this world. Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 +0000 The Great Secret, Version One ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE Fri, 16 Dec 2016 00:00:00 +0000 The Great Secret, Version Two "Who you are, what you think, feel, and do, what you love - is the sum of what you focus on." Sat, 17 Dec 2016 00:00:00 +0000 The Great Secret, Version Three Today, you won't control the external events that happen. Is that scary? A little, but it's balanced when we see that we can control our opinion about those events. You decide whether they're good or bad, whether they're fair or unfair. You don't control the situation, but you control what you think about it. All we have is our own mind. Sun, 18 Dec 2016 00:00:00 +0000 "GOOD" How do I deal with setbacks, failures, delays, defeat, or other disasters? I actually have a fairly simple way of dealing with these situations. There is one word to deal with all those situations, and that is: "good." When things are going bad, there's going to be some good that will come from it. Thu, 05 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Theme is Everything "If there is a single more powerful piece of wisdom for any writer, artist, or entrepreneur, I don’t know what it is. Theme. Theme is everything." Thu, 02 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Three High Passes of Everest Since there's zero chance of me producing proper dispatches of the Nepal trek until after I've finished this little series of books I'm working on, herewith a few highlight photos (republished, i.e. rescued, from facebook) with brief commentary. Sun, 26 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 How I Tackle Story Design "I'd love to hear about how you tackle story design, something you talk a lot about..." Sat, 04 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 "Deeply, Dangerously Alone" "A person living in a modern city or a suburb can, for the first time in history, go through an entire day - or an entire life - mostly encountering complete strangers." Sat, 18 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 So That Others May Live The job of a police officer is to preserve life - and a hero is one who sacrifices his own life so that others may live. Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Deathmatch & Carnage Audiobooks The latest two ARISEN titles, performed by the incomparable RC Bray, have hit Audible. Sun, 07 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Ass Plus Chair Lately I've found myself having the same conversation with people over and over about what's actually involved in writing. Unrelentingly, people bring up "inspiration", and "the Muse", and "writer's block" - all of which are myths. Total myths. None of them exist. Sat, 13 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 46 Years, 6 Months, 23 Days As of today, I have outlived David Foster Wallace. Sat, 20 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 "Just, Simply, Not Fun" "It's no fun to write. I don't know where people get this notion. I mean, if you're a serious writer, you've got to put a gun to your head to get in the chair. Writing is just, simply, not fun. " Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 DAVID F*&^ING MAMET And but then... here comes the DAVID F*&^ING MAMET Masterclass. Oh, my God, what a hilarious and fun and brilliantly instructive ride. Wed, 31 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 "Writing is the Worst. It's the Worst. The Absolute Worst." Here we go again. Honestly, the last thing I need is to convince myself that the work I'm doing right now is any harder than it actually already feels (which believe me is like death), but this just seems to keep coming up... Sat, 10 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000 DONE. (Again. <phew>) It is done. Yes, after six months of intensive story-design work - really, after six years, 14 books, and 1.5 million words building up to this - I sat down and wrote nearly 1/3 of a million words, in about 100 days. (Because I am a moron, and a masochist. But I guess we knew that.) The climax and conclusion of the entire ARISEN epic. Fri, 25 Aug 2017 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN, Book Thirteen Launch Date Fri, 15 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN, Book Thirteen - The Siege There's Nowhere Left To Hide. Sun, 15 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN, Book Fourteen Launch Date This Is It. Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The Writer's Journey "I seen a million writers with talent. It means nothing. It's work, you gotta work, do the f*&^ing work." Mon, 30 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Live Reader Q&A So, to celebrate the launch of ARISEN, Book Thirteen - The Siege, answer questions about the writing thereof and the series in general - and, mainly, get to hang out with the lovely and amazing readers and fans of the series - I did a 90-minute online video Q&A session, live from a rooftop balcony in my favourite windy southern Spanish town. It was really good fun. Here it is in case you missed it. Tue, 31 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 3PoET Day -1: It’s Happening So, after four years of the usual routine of planning, debating, wangling, and negotiating, Mark begged off, Tim dropped out, and Darby convinced me to go anyway - just the two of us. Predictably, we decided to do the Three High Passes of Everest trek - the big one. This three-week epic passes through pretty much all the valleys, high passes, popular trekker’s peaks, and general glories of the Khumbu - the Everest Region of the Nepal Himalaya. We were going to get seriously stuck in. Sat, 12 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN, Book Fourteen - ENDGAME This Is It. ... ALPHA TEAM GOES ONCE MORE INTO THE BREACH ... HANDON FIGHTS HIS WAY BACK FROM THE DEAD ... THE LAST SURVIVORS MAN THE ALAMO OF THE ALAMO Tue, 14 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Story Design: The Apotheosis Writing - and, mainly story-designing - the climax & conclusion of this (6-year, 16-book, 1.6-million-word) epic series was by far the hardest thing I've ever done in my life - or, I ardently hope, trust, and hereby pledge - the hardest thing I ever will do. Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Bearing Witness "Where were you during the holocaust of the animals?” - Helmut Kaplan ... This book was pretty enlightening. Thu, 23 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Day 0: Kathmandu Reconfigures Your Map Making the best out of quite a lot of strung-everywhere electrical lines was a major, and somewhat charming, theme. It did rather offset the dirt, mud, noise, smells, and constantly almost being run down by scooters and small lorries, all of which were less charming. Sun, 13 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Day 1: The World's Most Dangerous Airportâ„¢ Did I mention that, built by Sir Edmund Hilary, the runway slopes at 11 degrees - because, at an absurd 1,729 feet, it would otherwise be too short for anything either to take off from or land upon - and which also means one end is 200 feet lower than the other? And that one end of that runway is a sheer 2,000-foot drop-off - and the other a solid stone wall? This is not the airport of second chances. Mon, 14 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 OMG Books Podcast Check out ME on the OMG Books Podcast with the very lovely William Oday. Some rather deeper (and more personal) stuff about me and the writing process, including from the grim early days of my writing odyssey. Also, actually, this was my very first podcast interview. Tue, 05 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Paperback Edition of The Siege So I'm equally tickled and relieved to report that the paperback edition of ARISEN, Book Thirteen - The Siege is (finally!) available! Mon, 15 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Paperback Edition of ENDGAME The paperback edition of ARISEN, Book Fourteen - ENDGAME is finally out. And now… my work is done. Sat, 27 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 The Greatest Crime in History Fri, 02 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0000 The Chance of Living There's been a lot of hue and cry recently about how things are going to play out socially when the robots and AI take over all the jobs (and which eventuality appears to be coming fast). I was very amused to find Orwell had the major implication sussed out - in 1937. Wed, 07 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Life Like This, In a Tribe Why does loneliness cause depression and anxiety? Human beings evolved in Africa, where we lived in small hunter-gatherer tribes. You and I exist for one reason - because they figured out how to cooperate. They only made sense as a group. And every human instinct is honed not for life on your own, but for life like this, in a tribe. Fri, 09 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Spiritual Imbalance In Our Lives Our society is having a crisis of depression and anxiety not because of chemical imbalances in our brains, but because of spiritual imbalances in our lives. We have all become disconnected - from meaning and purpose, from useful work and meaningful values, but mainly, overwhelmingly, from one another. Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN : Fickisms So I'm super-excited to announce that, not only have I made this wacky thing (originally suggested by readers) actually happen, but I've been able to do an unprecedented simultaneous e-book and paperback launch. Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Don't Shoot Me In The Ass & Other Stories, Paperback Edition Well, I'm tickled to death to announce that - many years and thousands of lives later - I have launched a paperback edition of my second least loved book of all time, the story collection. Sat, 24 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0000 A Billion People Out of Poverty News headline you won't see today: "NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN EXTREME POVERTY FELL BY 137,000 SINCE YESTERDAY." You also didn't see it each day for the last 25 years, on each day of which it was also true. Fri, 02 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 The Gifts of Modernity This isn't a thorough survey of this book and its arguments, but it's a good sample. And, critically, I suggest Pinker brings some direly needed evidence-based analysis to our conversation about politics and the human condition - overshadowing even his prior book in telling the most important human story not nearly enough people know. Sun, 04 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 The Siege Audiobook The penultimate ARISEN title, performed by RC Bray, is out today. Tue, 06 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 The Cost of Modernity Modernity is a deal. All of us sign up to this deal on the day we are born, and it regulates our lives until the day we die. It offers humans an enormous temptation, coupled with a colossal threat. Omnipotence is in front of us, almost within reach, but below us yawns the abyss of complete nothingness. Modern culture is the most powerful in history, and it is ceaselessly researching, inventing, discovering and growing. At the same time, it is plagued by more existential angst than any previous culture. Wed, 07 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Day 2: A Gorge is A Gorge, Of Course Of Course "Jesus, we just hiked up to that bridge we've been staring up at all day..." And soon after we were looking down at it - because it was actually two bridges: one high, one ridiculously high, the two together allowing us to climb and criss-cross our way up this increasingly steep and dramatic river gorge... and up into the Himalayas. It was also the most thrilling scene on the trek so far. Tue, 15 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Create Your Own Meaning From Scratch "We are species built on tribe; yet we live increasingly alone in societies so vast and populous our ancestors would not recognize them; we are a species built on religious ritual to appease our existential angst, and yet we now live in a world where every individual has to create her own meaning from scratch." Mon, 12 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Day 3: The "Acclimatisation" Day We had gone from 1440m to 3440m in two days, which was a hell of an elevation gain. Today we'd be climbing up to 3880m, hanging out there for a bit to acclimatise, then coming back down again. And it was a gorgeous day for it - the main reason one treks this region Sep-Nov is the blemishless skies, riven by the snowy 8km peaks... Wed, 16 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Eating Animals Herewith excerpts from Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals. I really love this book because the author undertakes to begin from a neutral, unbiased, truth-seeking position, and then reaches the conclusion it seems to me anyone even modestly rational and compassionate, and who thinks about it for five seconds, inevitably ought to. Sat, 31 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Already Dead Denis Johnson died last year - the third of my three favourite American fiction writers to fall, after David Foster Wallace and Thom Jones. I always described Johnson as "the best American fiction writer you've never heard of" - though that stopped being quite so true after he won the National Book Award in 2007. Now he's left us a last gift, a posthumous, second, and final collection of short fiction. Even in death, he can still write sentences like this one. And I'm not sure anyone else can - or ever will. Sat, 07 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Day 4: The Monastery Above Thame The walk up to the monastery, with all the mane, and prayer flags, and stupas, and the two valleys plunging down below us to either side, and the ice-capped and still sun-spotlit peaks smiling down on us from above, is completely magical... Thu, 17 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Day 5: The Magnificent Valley Just so we're clear, 4400m is 14,436 feet - shit-gets-real territory. And we'd actually be climbing up above 4500, on Aakash's latest little end-of-day mandated acclimatisation stroll. (That bastard. :) But, that would be then. Right now, it was another completely glorious late-autumn morning dawning in the Khumbu. Fri, 18 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Final ARISEN Audiobook Launch Dates ARISEN, Book Fourteen - ENDGAME Audiobook edition performed by R.C. Bray Launches May 1st / ARISEN : Fickisms Audiobook edition performed by R.C. Bray Launches (for free) May 3rd Sun, 15 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Day 6: The First Pass - Renjo La Here's what you need to know about the first pass-crossing day, up and through Renjo La: * It's basically 1000m of ascent - straight up. * At the top (17,585 feet), there's roughly half the oxygen in the air as at sea level. * There is nothing - absolutely nothing - between our starting point of Lungdum and our destination of Gokyo. It's either complete the day's walk, or die on the mountain. Sat, 19 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Day 7: The Melt-Down Day In purely physical terms, this was a doddle compared to yesterday. The big differences were we that were still mentally crushed from yesterday; the payoff from this was a fraction of what that had been; and we'd had to cross the pass to continue the trek. But this? Really, I don't think it was abundantly clear to anyone why we were doing it... Sun, 20 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Day 8: Ten Minutes on Gokyo Ri I stop on a wall, and stand facing the mountain-setting sun. Long harsh flashes of light skitter off the lake surface, while the water laps at the shore, and muted yak bells tinkle tinnily in the distance. Everything is very vivid, and dark brown hills and bright white mountains huddle protectively around. Mon, 21 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Day 9: Crossing the Moon Last morning in Gokyo. And then off we set - for today's crossing of the largest glacier in Asia... Tue, 22 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 ENDGAME Audiobook The final chapter in the ARISEN epic, performed by RC Bray, out today. Tue, 01 May 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Fickisms Audiobook Audiobook edition of ARISEN : Fickisms, performed by RC Bray, out today - and absolutely free. You can either listen to it right on this page, or download it to your device If you're new to audiobooks, or the soul-capturing cultist magic that is the work of R.C. Bray, this is a great chance to see what all the mania is about. Thu, 03 May 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Day 10: Cho La - The Frozen Pass Climb. Coldest I've ever been. Fingers hurt like hell, toes following suit. "Hey, remember 14 hours ago baking in the sun on that bench in 30 degrees? Me, neither." Also, it turned out there was a freaking glacier at the top of this pass, which was devastatingly beautiful - and would shortly prove to be nearly as deadly... Wed, 23 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Day 11: The EBC Superhighway Darby noted that all the people we passed today looked like EBC trekkers who had been on the trail two days, and were basically shell-shocked by the instant-immersion Nepal Himalaya experience. Me: "Amateur hour." Thu, 24 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Day 12: EBC - To Come Here Is Folly Getting here involved crossing a moraine - a vast lunar wastescape of boulders and dust, left after a glacier blasts through - in a freezing howling wind, then out onto the ice fall, which is like some Nordic conception of hell done in ice rather than fire. To come here is folly... Fri, 25 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Day 13: Kala Patthar - The Roof of Our World The approach to the summit was a proper knife edge, culminating in a knife *point*. With a sheer (and sure to be lethal) drop inches off my right elbow, I was won over. And at 5545m (18,192 feet), it was the almost certainly highest I would ever get outside a pressurised cabin - not just a personal elevation record, but a permanent one. Sat, 26 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Day 14: The Last Pass (And My Best Day) The Imja River Valley on the other side of the pass is the most beautiful place I've ever seen. A crushingly long and hard pass-crossing day. But also, perhaps, my best day. Sun, 27 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Day 15: The Earthquake (& Descent) Day It's all gravy now. No peaks, no passes, no climbing anything. Late wake-up calls, coffee breaks. O2. And bragging rights: EBC trek? Annapurna? We did the 3 f*&^ing high passes of Everest. Mon, 28 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Day 16: Back to Namche I give Aakash one of my cards, and tell him his will live forever inside my copy of the Dalai Lama's book. "As a bookmark?" he asks. "As a reminder." Then he hefts his pack, goes out the door, and climbs the stairs, heartily and mellifluously singing the bit of song he's been happily and unashamedly solo'ing on the trail since the beginning... Tue, 29 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Day 17: The Last Trekking Day Plus Days N+1 Through N+4: World's Most Dangerous Airport Madness, Back to Kathmandu (1400m), Kicking it in Kath, Olgapuri Children's Village, and Trek Wrap-Up Wed, 30 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 The Slide Into Fascism So, secret concentration camps for children - how far down are they on the slide into fascism, actually...? (Are we close? There already?) Sun, 24 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +0000 London to Trump: F-O Attention HMG: The normalisation of Trumpism is NOT okay. A racist, misogynist, nativist, ableist, authoritarian, violence-inciting, press-assailing, know-nothing, conspiracy-mongering, foul-mannered, pathologically lying, narcissistic, fascist kidnapper and confessed sexual predator should not be welcomed (or, indeed, allowed) in the UK. Sun, 15 Jul 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Demand for Impeachment Dear Congresswoman Eshoo - I am writing to demand that you personally and immediately bring Articles of Impeachment against President Donald Trump. As of two days ago, he has committed treason by siding with an enemy of the United States against the people and democracy of the United States, for his own self-interest. Tue, 17 Jul 2018 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN Schtuff Herewith updates in a broad array of categories - from merch, to a live talk, to the new book... to Hollywood (maybe). Thu, 02 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Death is Chasing You I've long had this essay brewing, this grand apologia about how the ZA novel is actually the ultimate sandbox for the exploration of existential themes, how I swear up and down if Graham Greene were alive today he'd be writing ZA novels, &c. I instead put it together as a talk for the recent Nine Worlds London GeekFest Convention. Mon, 13 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Six Reasons Why Shane Black Bit the Big One with The Predator There was absolutely no excuse (other than the obvious one of avarice) for continuing to flog a beloved, 30-year-old story. Tue, 18 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Writers' Brains Picked Brain Pickings's Maria Popova has recently published an anthology of virtually everything she's ever written and collected on writing ("Timeless Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers"), all 116 entries, and I couldn't make myself not spend a little time on it; plus copy out the most priceless bits. Sat, 22 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0000 48 Special day, special running shirt, one I rarely take out. (And very special time of year. 8^) Sun, 28 Oct 2018 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN : Odyssey Launch Date ARISEN : Odyssey ... launches 30 November 2018 Wed, 31 Oct 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Hope The first Native American and Muslim women elected to Congress. The first female governors in Maine and South Dakota. And the first openly gay governor in America. Wed, 07 Nov 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Thanksgiving and Kindness An absolutely magnificent, cruelty-free Thanksgiving feast. Thu, 22 Nov 2018 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN : Odyssey One Tier-1 Naval Special Warfare Operator. One ex-cop civilian survivalist. An endless continent heaving with 400 million dead guys. And the world's last surviving SEAL team, led by a piratical monster. Welcome to the Zulu Alpha. Fri, 30 Nov 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Done. Not Done. 'Note from the Author' for ARISEN : Odyssey Sat, 01 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Paperback Edition of Odyssey Years earlier, and thousands of lives fewer, than on previous occasions, the paperback edition of ARISEN : Odyssey is on sale now! Thu, 27 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN : Books In Order With two prequels and a side book (and counting), I'm constantly getting asked (and so, evidently, are Google and Amazon) which damned order to read these things in. Sat, 05 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000 The Protein Myth *Nobody Doesn't Get Enough Protein * There's Protein in Everything That Grows Out of the Ground * The Myth Gets Everyone (Even Me) * Where Does the Protein Myth Come From? Thu, 10 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000 The Case Against Eating Animals Here it is, in four bullet points and four minutes. 1) We Torture the Animals We Eat Before We Kill Them; 2) The Animals We Eat End Up Killing Us; 3) Eating Animals Is *Definitely* Killing the Planet; 4) A Plant-Based Diet Is Awesome Thu, 24 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000 The Demon "The haunting Demon never leaves you, the knowledge of your own terrible limitations, your hopeless inadequacy, the impossibility of ever getting it right." Mon, 28 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Stakes Vs. Spectacle "Without stakes, action quickly devolves into spectacle, which enthralls an audience for roughly one and a half seconds." - Christopher McQuarrie Wed, 06 Feb 2019 00:00:00 +0000 The Perennial Pandemonium "Some of us wage wars. Others write books. The most delusional ones write books. We have very little choice other than to spend our waking ours trying to sort out and makes sense of the pandemonium." Mon, 11 Feb 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Here I Am "Life is precious, and I live in the world." Mon, 18 Feb 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Safety Briefing Humans take 3.1 billion flights per year, each watching an aircraft safety briefing, for 17,682 years of aircraft safety briefings per year. But no one dies in aircraft accidents. Not relatively few, or virtually none. Literally none. However - 1.25 million people are killed in motor vehicle crashes every year – with another 20-50 million injured or disabled. Almost anything you do wrong behind the wheel, even for a second, can get you and everyone around you killed. Not one of those drivers gets a safety briefing. Ever. Tue, 19 Feb 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Stream-of-Consciousness Rants of an Attention-Craving Narcissist "Trump, of course, is a troll - both by temperament and by habit. His tweets and offhand taunts are the very essence of trolling - the lies, the scorn, the invective, the trash talk, and the rabid non sequiturs of an angry, aggrieved, isolated, and deeply self-absorbed adolescent who lives in a self-constructed bubble and gets the attention he craves from bashing his enemies and leaving clouds of outrage and dismay in his path." Wed, 20 Feb 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Despair "There's two kinds of despair that a writer can feel, one of which is: I will never make something good... But the second is: nobody could ever make something good. And that's a real despair. And every writer and artist I know has experienced both kinds." - Jonathan Safran Foer Thu, 21 Feb 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Car Chases Don't Buy Movie Tickets So Martell is this wonderful, hack, B-movie action screenwriter to whom so many people have gone to fix their actions scripts that he got sick of doing it piecemeal and just wrote the cult bible on the topic. Tue, 26 Feb 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Where To Put the Tired After spending two weeks just taking longer and longer walks out the Thames Path, watching the light fade and trying to remember how to breathe, I've been going back to all the foundational texts (Pressfield, Holiday, McKee) trying to find some way back, some way to rebuild. Unfortunately, while there's tons of great stuff in there about how to get yourself going, there's precious little about what to do when you've been battling for many years, had some artistic and commercial success, and then blow up spectacularly and don't think you can get back in the fight anymore. Here's some. Tue, 05 Mar 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Never Resolved, Only Endured This is a book that has been on my radar for a while, mainly because Pressfield swears by it - mostly, he loves the bit where, after multiple #1 singles and Grammys, Cash had a dream where Art calls her a dilettante, and so she sends herself back to school, getting a new voice coach, reading books on songwriting, going deeper, paying attention, changing the way she sang, worked, and lived, all in humility, getting out of comfort zones, "awakened into the life of an artist." Sun, 10 Mar 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Calm Down and Get Back to Work And so in my continuing efforts to try to rebuild and find my way back, I had a strong sense I should next turn to this book, again. I was first turned onto it by my friend Marianne, who had just heard Gilbert speak; and while I would probably sooner eat my own face than actually read Eat, Pray, Love, I dug this book enormously, finding it a wonderful and genuine chronicle of the journey of a committed artist. She's the real deal. Tue, 19 Mar 2019 00:00:00 +0000 How to Keep Doing It And so in my ongoing (and increasingly coherent, and maybe even successful) attempts to figure out HOW TO KEEP DOING IT (i.e. be a working artist, over time, without utterly destroying myself in the process), I came across another book seemingly written personally for me, at the exact moment I needed it. Wed, 01 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000 The Skye Trail The Skye Trail is a challenging, unofficial - i.e. un-waymarked - long-distance (128km) route, aimed at experienced hillwalkers, which takes in some of the finest landscapes on the celebrated Isle of Skye, and indeed in the whole of the UK. Skye itself, I can report - aside from let's call it a little challenging to get to, and from - is just absurdly beautiful; and its people are beyond ridiculously lovely and kind. Mon, 13 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN : Odyssey Audiobook The latest chapter in the ARISEN epic (a standalone story!), performed by the incomparable R.C. Bray(!!!), is out on Audible today! Yay. Tue, 11 Jun 2019 00:00:00 +0000 General MSF / ARISEN Update! So, having finally provided a tidbit of news on social media (about R.C. Bray being in the studio to record the Odyssey audiobook), I realised I had been badly out of touch in general, and should really update everyone on what's up. So - here's what's up! Wed, 12 Jun 2019 00:00:00 +0000 The Game Changers Super excited about this. Awesome trailer. The beautiful truth will out! 8^) Mon, 15 Jul 2019 00:00:00 +0000 The Floor of Vileness Well, once again, Trump has gone blasting through a previously unimaginable floor of vileness. After mocking a disabled reporter, attacking the bereaved parents of a fallen serviceman, bragging about multiple sexual assaults on tape, and his defense of neo-Nazis and white supremacists, it was impossible to imagine being shocked by anything - and yet this one left my jaw scraping the floor. Tue, 16 Jul 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Fight for the Soul of Our Nation I'm reprinting Ilhan Omar's NYTimes piece because it's so glorious, gorgeous, and steeped in sanity. (Plus wonderfully well written.) And mainly because it offers a hopeful call to action in a dark political time. Wed, 31 Jul 2019 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN : Last Stand Launch Date One platoon of Rangers from a legendary regiment. An isolated combat outpost in the Spin Ghar mountains. 150 Taliban survivors - armed with Tier-1 weapons... And all the rampaging dead guys in central Asia. ARISEN : Last Stand Tue, 10 Sep 2019 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN : Last Stand One platoon of Rangers from a legendary regiment. An isolated combat outpost in the Spin Ghar mountains. 150 Taliban survivors - armed with Tier-1 weapons... And all the rampaging dead guys in central Asia. Sun, 06 Oct 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Perception This is a continuation of a series of dispatches where I think I may have actually stumbled upon the secret to life. As the old folk wisdom has it, Life is all how you look at it. The psychological evidence on that one seems to just about be in. "Life is what you pay attention to." Sun, 13 Oct 2019 00:00:00 +0000 The One Relied On Tue, 15 Oct 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Paperback Edition of Last Stand Handily setting a modern-day speed record of barely two weeks and change after the e-book launch, the paperback edition of ARISEN : Last Stand is on sale now! Wed, 23 Oct 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Live Reader Q&A 2019 So, on the occasion of launching of ARISEN : Last Stand, to answer questions about the writing thereof and the series in general - and, mainly, get to hang out with the lovely and amazing readers and fans of the series - I did another online video Q&A session (on the eve of my birthday), live from my desk. Mon, 28 Oct 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Happy Veganuary!!! So I leave people alone all year about killing and eating animals. But one month a year I let fly. I hope you’ll drop in, and take this opportunity to reconsider how closely your choices are aligned with your values. (Presuming you’re not pro-animal-cruelty, pro-environmental-destruction, or pro-heart-disease, which I find pretty much no one is.) Wed, 01 Jan 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Vegan Awakening So I've been vegan for 19 years. (And vegetarian for 10 before that.) Initially, I thought I was never going to be one of those preachy vegans who tells other people what to do. But a couple of things have happened on the way to the forum. Sun, 12 Jan 2020 00:00:00 +0000 The Fight Against Injustice I don't think I was alone in finding Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar acceptance speech brilliant and inspiring. And the way he tied the fight for animal rights into the fight against all other forms of injustice and exploitation was inspired. Tue, 11 Feb 2020 00:00:00 +0000 STARSET I couldn't say enough great things about the band we were privileged to see last night, Starset. They're ridiculously smart and creative, wonderfully theatrical live, and frequently hard and heavy enough to support both my running and writing - in fact, they have been indispensable in the creation of more than a few of my books. I love them. You should love them, too. Fri, 14 Feb 2020 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN : Last Stand Audiobook The latest tale in the ARISEN epic (a totally standalone story!), performed by the legendary R.C. Bray(!), is out on Audible now! Yay. Sat, 15 Feb 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Hollywood Undead So I don't suppose I could very well blog about seeing my second favourite band in the universe without doing one for my very favourite - the next night. Sun, 16 Feb 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Zoonosis 3 in 4 emerging diseases are zoonotic - meaning they transferred over from animal species to humans. And virtually all of those are in the context of animal agriculture - raising and killing animals for food. Sat, 14 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Zoonosis II Raising and killing animals for food is the leading cause of emerging diseases and pandemics, and we need to stop doing it. Also, you do not need to take my word for it... Tue, 05 May 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Beautiful and Damned I can always smell the first trace of autumn. It doesn't mean autumn is here, not for good. But it does mean it's on its way. And I smelled it last night, this morning, and again this evening. Autumn is my spring - the season of awakening and rebirth, when I come back to life. Mon, 20 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Upcoming Releases Recap! It's been a while (too long? not long enough?) since I've been in touch, and a lot of readers have kindly written in individually to ask what's up - so I am herewith providing a quick recap of forthcoming new books by me... Wed, 01 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0000 7/7 + 15 I managed to remember the anniversary of the 7/7 attacks - the 15th, in fact - and donned my usual running shirt for the day, now sadly denuded - and headed out to run in Hyde Park... slowing and taking my headphones out when I got to the 7/7 Memorial. I try to stop by there every year. Tue, 07 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Blood On Our Hands Animal Rebellion turned the fountains of Trafalgar Square red yesterday, demanding that the government transition toward a just and sustainable plant-based food system - to end the environmental devastation caused by animal agriculture; reduce the risk of more devastating zoonotic pandemics; and end the horrific suffering of billions of innocent, sensitive, social, and intelligent factory farmed animals. Sat, 11 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0000 If you'd like not to be one of the 26.6 million people who die of cancer or heart disease every year - or one of 800,000 who require coronary bypass surgery - this outstanding documentary, free now but soon going off Netflix, is pretty indispensable. Thu, 01 Jan 1970 00:00:00 +0000 Forks Not Scalpels If you'd like not to be one of the 26.6 million people who die of cancer or heart disease every year - or one of 800,000 who require coronary bypass surgery - this outstanding documentary, free now but soon going off Netflix, is pretty indispensable. Tue, 14 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 1 - The Collapse Launch Date Two teams of pipe-hitting special-operations Marines, left to die in the fall of North America. One nuclear supercarrier strike group, humanity's last best hope for survival. And seven billion ravening dead guys, rampaging across an overrun planet. Wed, 26 Aug 2020 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN : Raiders Volume 1 - The Collapse Two teams of pipe-hitting special-operations Marines, left to die in the fall of North America. One nuclear supercarrier strike group, humanity's last best hope for survival. And seven billion ravening dead guys, rampaging across an overrun planet... Tue, 01 Sep 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Shake the Earth "I am in earnest - I will not equivocate - I will not excuse - I will not retreat a single inch - AND I WILL BE HEARD." - William Lloyd Garrison Wed, 09 Sep 2020 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 2 - Tribes Launch Date ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 2 - Tribes launches 01 October 2020 Fri, 18 Sep 2020 00:00:00 +0000 "Ethical" Vegetarianism I just want (and need) to lovingly suggest to vegetarians, whose hearts are absolutely in the right place, that they spend nine minutes just to educate themselves about the horrendous (indeed, worse) animal suffering and death they are still unfortunately directly paying for. Tue, 22 Sep 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Why Are We Having to Convince People to Go Vegan? So were all sitting around ogling another absurdly sublime plant-based meal at another glorious vegan restaurant, when it occurred to me to ask aloud: "Wait, why are we having to CONVINCE people to go vegan?" It just seemed crazy. Thus, herewith, some of the culinary sublimity that's waiting here for you when you, too, finally decide to stop torturing baby animals to death and embrace plant-based cuisine. Thu, 08 Oct 2020 00:00:00 +0000 ARISEN Q&A 2020 w/MSF! So, a bit belatedly, here's the Facebook live Q&A session and hangout we did for the launch of the new ARISEN : Raiders series. Sun, 27 Sep 2020 00:00:00 +0000 WHY AM I VEGAN? Thu, 19 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Why Do I Keep Banging On About Veganism? Mon, 23 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0000 The Most Powerful Strategy for Healing People and the Planet "It's what our patients are eating. It's the food, it's the food, it's the food." Wed, 25 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0000 BLACK SQUADRON The first non-ARISEN release from Michael Stephen Fuchs in nearly a decade... Fri, 29 Jan 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Note from the Author Herewith aftermatter from my new book Black Squadron. Tue, 02 Feb 2021 00:00:00 +0000 The Artist's Recovery This is, perhaps, the final entry in my series of dispatches about "How to Keep Doing It" as an artist. Sun, 14 Feb 2021 00:00:00 +0000 SURGIDOS! So beyond excited to announce the launch of the very first foreign-language translation of ARISEN: namely, SURGIDOS, Libro Uno - Fuerte Inglaterra! Wed, 10 Mar 2021 00:00:00 +0000