I had just finished reading Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute by Jonathan L. Howard and was trawling through Goodreads when I came across a review that compared Johannes Cabal and his brother Horst to Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, and it was like a cartoon lightning bolt of epiphany had struck me (I understand that I’ve alienated most of you with this sentence but trust me, it’s accurate).
I have a problem.
I don’t read books; I devour them.
It may seem like it’s an exaggeration to call this a ‘problem’, but I assure you, it is very much a serious issue. Let me give you some context.
Murder at the cricket, afternoon tea with the Archdeacon and a country home asylum exposed. Hold on to your straw hats, Grantchester is back.
Doctor Who used to be my favourite television programme. Every Saturday evening my dad, my sister and I would sit down in front of the TV and watch David Tennant fighting aliens on some strange alien planet or talking to William Shakespeare in Elizabethan England, and I would love each and every episode, then go into school Monday morning and discuss it with my friends during morning registration. It was a simpler time.
If you are like me a fan of the supernatural, the weird and the wonderful; Dracula is a must read. It offers a fascinating look at a critical moment in the evolution of the genre, and you can trace the threads leading from it to all subsequent writing and film and television about the supernatural, specifically vampires.
I don’t know what I expected when I sat down to watch Simon Amstell’s Carnage, a film I had heard described as a vegan mockumentary of sorts that kind of made fun of vegans but also inspired people to become one themselves.
The clouds are edged with gold as if someone has drawn around them with a highlighter pen, and in between them great gaping tears in the fabric with soft corners where the evening sun shines through, a portal to another place floating away from me inch by inch. I wish I could paint so I could capture the smudged grey-blue of the clouds, delicately illuminated from the centre like a palette brought to life. The contrast between the stormy grey, the pale amber, the sky blue, all shot through with white trails.
I fiddle with my phone, take a few shots and look down, and when I turn back it has gone.
Image Credits: Seeta Parmar
Oryx and Crake. A strange title, right? It sounds like it’s from a made up language, originating on some distant planet in the far reaches of the galaxy. The sense of oddness only intensifies when you open the book and start reading about a strange being named Snowman, seemingly marooned on a desert island in some far off post-apocalyptic wasteland, surrounded by non-human beings that are as alien to him as they are to us.
There’s a long enduring stereotype that Americans don’t get irony. Like all sweeping generalisations this is quite obviously false and borderline insulting, but in my opinion, there is something to this that speaks for a real difference between the type of comedy that can be found on British television as opposed to American.
Who do you think of when someone says “NASA” or “space programme”? Most people would probably think of famous astronauts like Neil Armstrong or Buzz Aldrin, fewer people would be able to name the engineers and scientists that made their journeys possible and the names Katherine Goble, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan would most likely be met with blank faces.