Creating Interesting Post-Apocalyptic Countries

For no reason at all related to current events, I've been thinking about post-apocalyptic settings recently. In a lot of post-apoc fiction, the focus isn't on the apocalypse itself. Most of the time, it sits in the background: sometimes it's ancient history, and sometimes it's been forgotten about entirely. The Hunger Games is a kind… Continue reading Creating Interesting Post-Apocalyptic Countries


Minneapolis Bookstores In Need of Help

The tragedy that's befallen Minneapolis this week is awful. It's hard to watch, even from over here in the UK. I can't even imagine what it's like living through it. I haven't said much on social media because I didn't see how I could add anything to the debate. But it's since emerged that two… Continue reading Minneapolis Bookstores In Need of Help


Fantasy Isn’t Embarrassing Anymore

Sometimes things move fast, sometimes they move slowly. Fantasy's rise to the throne of mainstreamness has happened incredibly quickly. I'm not old, but when I was at school, fantasy was not cool. (Nor were video games for that matter, but now it seems nearly every kid owns a console - which is not a bad… Continue reading Fantasy Isn’t Embarrassing Anymore

Fantasy, Personal and Other, youtube

My First YouTube Video (Why I Like Fantasy)

Yeah, I bit the bullet and made a video. The first one I attemped wasn't very good. I read from a script, and it really sounded like it. Blah. But I have like 30 draft blog posts for this blog now (most are just titles or notes for when I come to write them). I… Continue reading My First YouTube Video (Why I Like Fantasy)


To People Who Think Adult Fantasy Has No Value

I'm not mad at you, don't worry. But I do think you're wrong. There are two arguments I see people trot out when they're bashing fantasy. They are: In a fantasy story, anything can happen, so you can't make a plot with stakes. And: Fantasy fiction has no bearing on the real world, so it… Continue reading To People Who Think Adult Fantasy Has No Value


How To Do A Fantasy Middle Correctly, With Help From Theoden King

I presume you're writing a book, right? Well, not right now. But in general. Maybe you're just brainstorming it? If so, you'll know about the dreaded middle. The beginning and end are relatively easy because they have set structures: inciting incident, pinch points, dark night of the soul, climax, denuement, etc. That's not to say… Continue reading How To Do A Fantasy Middle Correctly, With Help From Theoden King

British Castles, History

Conisbrough: England’s last Norman castle

History Conisbrough gets its name from the Anglo-Saxon Cyningesburh, meaning "King's Fortress." In the late Anglo-Saxon period it was the centre of a large estate owned by Harold Godwinson - who history buffs will know as the last Anglo-Saxon king of England. After his defeat, the estate (it was not yet a castle) was given… Continue reading Conisbrough: England’s last Norman castle