Fear. It’s an instinct that appears to have changed little since we first emerged from our caves, or indeed since we first climbed down from the trees. It’s necessary for our survival, of course – it alerts us to danger and prepares us to either fight or run like hell – and yet it also… Continue reading The Fear Factor
Consider these three different scenarios: 1. The hero of a Regency romance stalks into a drawing-room and greets his bewildered valet with the words “What’s up, dude?” 2. A generally well-researched novel set in Mediaeval Europe has a scene in which the protagonist gets out of bed and puts on his underpants. (Underpants, so I’m… Continue reading The Dreaded A-Word
If there’s one thing that my years as a horror fan have taught me, it’s how to survive in the event of a massacre, zombie apocalypse, or demonic possession. Yep, horror clichés are so unanimous that they can only be based on a set of universal truths! Put it this way: if any of the… Continue reading Horror Clichés: the Ghostly Tropes that Never Die
Having imaginary friends is, like being afraid of the dark, something that you’re supposed to grow out of. According to conventional wisdom, by the time you reach adulthood you’re supposed to be grounded in the real world – whatever “real” means – or grounded enough, at least, to focus on the flesh-and-blood people who inhabit… Continue reading Life with my Imaginary Friends
Turin. Say the name, and most people straightaway think of the famous Shroud. Others think of Fiat. Still others think of Gianduia chocolate, or the city’s elegant Parisian-style boulevards. As I recently discovered during a long weekend there, however, there is far more to this city than these iconic images alone account for.
… as the first writing composition of the academic year was always entitled, when I was in primary school.
“Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Aristotle