"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars" - O.W.

Current Study

Current Projects:
Science Fiction exhibition at The Science Museum in London.

Forthcoming Books:
Sideways in Time: Alternate History and Counterfactual Narratives (Liverpool University Press, 2019). Co-edited Collection.

Imagining the Unimaginable: Speculative Fiction and the Holocaust (Bloomsbury, 2020). Monograph.

Current Sub-Studies

Areas of Interest:
> literature, trauma, and ethics
> science fiction and alternate history
> 20th and 21st century literature
> history and literature of science
> comics and graphic Novels
> science communication

5 March 2018

SF Interviews Mar-Jun '18

Sci-Fi Sessions continues apace with a wide range of events schedules over the comings months. As ever, these events will be held in the art gallery space in the basement of Waterstones Gower Street. Tickets will appear on Waterstones.com soon but in the meantime place these dates in your diaries.

March 19th: #SciFiSessions no. 6 - Zoe Gilbert and James Brogden.

April 16th: #SciFiSessions no. 7 - Golden Age Science Fiction panel (in association with the British Library) with Mike Ashley, Pat Cadigan, John Clute, and Roger Luckhurst.

May 14th: #SciFiSessions no. 8 - Claire North, Megan Hunter, and Anne Corlett.

June 13th: #SciFiSessions no. 9 - Emma Newman and Adrian Tchaikovsky.

Hope to see you there!

6 January 2018

SF Interviews Jan-Feb '18

A new year brings new SF interviews. I'll be talking to five authors in January and February and as ever it would be great to see you there.

Mon 15th Jan - #SciFiSessions no. 4 with Lucy Hounsom, Vic James, and Anna Smith Spark in Waterstones, Gower Street [tickets]

Mon 15th Feb - #SciFiSessions no. 5 with Gareth Powell and E. J. Swift in Waterstones, Gower Street [tickets coming soon]

22 October 2017

SF Interviews Oct-Nov '17

I may post about these in more detail later, but for now here's a schedule.

I've got a busy few weeks ahead of me interviewing a real variety of excellent writers of SF, if you're around then central London then some of these talks might be of interest to you:

Mon 30th Oct: #SciFiSessions no. 2 with Alison Littlewood and M.R. Carey in Waterstones, Gower Street [Tickets]
Weds 8th Nov: Cory Doctorow and Ada Palmer in Waterstones, Gower Street [Tickets]
Thurs 9th Nov: Gary Budden and M. John Harrison in Waterstones, Gower Street [Tickets]
Weds 22nd Nov: Anne Charnock for the BSFA monthly meet, upstairs in The Artillery Arms [FREE]
Thurs 23rd Nov: #SciFiSessions no. 3 with Nick Harkaway and Paul McAuley in Waterstones, Gower Street [Tickets]

I've given myself a hell of a lot of reading to prepare for all these, but it's going to be worth it to meet and chat to so many excellent writers about so many marvellous books. Please do join us if you're able.

27 August 2017

#SciFiSessions 1: Adam Roberts

I'm really excited to be able to announce a new series of monthly events at Waterstones on Gower Street in Bloomsbury. Each month I'll be talking to some science fiction, fantasy, or horror writers about their work. The aim is to showcase some of the most mind-expanding, exciting, innovative, and fun fiction in our genre today and we're calling these events Sci-Fi Sessions!

Our first session will be held on September 25th at 6.30pm and I'm delighted to be welcoming Adam Roberts, three times-nominee for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, professor of 19th Century literature at Royal Holloway University, and a leading scholar of science fiction. Adam will be discussing his latest novel The Real-Town Murders: a murder mystery thriller in the style of Alfred Hitchcock, set in near-future England. Adam has been a keynote speaker for me for both CRSF and Sideways in Time, and I wrote a chapter for the collection of essays based on his work edited by Anna McFarlane and Christos Callow and published by Gylphi in 2016. I've known Adam for a number of years now, and been a fan of his fiction for even longer, so I can be sure this will be an entertaining and insightful conversation.

As a bonus, he'll also be joined by another exciting writer who will be announcing in the coming days. Watch this space!

Tickets for the event are £6 (£4 for students), you get a glass of wine on arrival, and if you buy a book on the night you can claim your ticket price as a discount. You can buy them in store or online, here: https://www.waterstones.com/events/sci-fi-sessions-adam-roberts/london-gower-street

26 August 2017

Madness is Better than Defeat

On Wednesday 13th September I'll be conducting my first interview as a resident of London: talking to Granta Best Young Novelist (2013) Ned Beauman about his fourth and latest novel Madness is Better than Defeat for Waterstones Gower Street.
Ned Beauman is the author of Boxer, Beetle, The Teleportation Accident, and Glow. His books have been nominated for numerous awards and are filled with a love and appreciation for science fiction, narrative trickery, and darkly wicked humour. It should be a good evening.

Tickets are £6 (£4 with a student card), you get a glass of wine on arrival, and if you buy a book on the night you can claim your ticket price as a discount. You can buy them in store or online, here: https://www.waterstones.com/events/madness-is-better-than-defeat-an-evening-with-ned-beauman/london-gower-street

12 March 2017

King's College London Speculations - 23rd March, 6pm

On the 23rd March I'll be a giving a talk as part of King's College London's new series of talks "Speculations". To be held at 6pm at K6.63 King's Building, Strand Campus, King's College London

My talk is entitled Blurred Lines: Interplay between Biography and the Fantastic in the Graphic Memoir

Comic books represent a narrative medium which fuses visual information with text in a manner very likely unique, certainly amongst commercial markets in the West. Perhaps because of their pulpish origins, and their recent history of writing themselves into literary respectability, comics and graphic novels have an unquestioned ease of association with speculative fiction and the fantastic. This presentation will examine a subset of texts which exploit this association by blending elements of the fantastic with the non-fiction of graphic memoir. These fictive breaks within otherwise realist narratives challenge traditional notions of biography and memoir and their necessary adherence to mimetic representation.

As such, these blurred narratives become especially useful when discussing experiences which challenge the limits of communicative narrative: trauma and ill mental health, as such this examination of fictive incursions will use examples from Steven Seagle’s It’s A Bird, Katie Green’s Lighter Than My Shadow and Paul Dini’s Dark Night, amongst others.


The talk is free to attend so if you're in the area please do come along.

I was invited to present my paper by the series organiser SinĂ©ad Murphy.

The facebook event for the talk is here.


'Speculations' engages in current research in speculative and science fiction, but with a particular interest in intersections across a spectrum of disciplines which engage in varieties of speculative thought.

'Speculations' is supported by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at King's College London.

25 February 2017

A Conversation with V.E. Schwab (August 2016)

A Conjuring of Light, released 21.02.17
Disclosure: I got this copy free courtesy of Titan Books,
as I did with my copy of This Savage Song for the interview
A Conjuring of Light, the final book in V.E. Schwab's fantasy trilogy Darker Shade of Magic series has been released and I'm looking forward to diving into it. Victoria has also announced that following a bidding war the series has now been optioned by Sony, with Gerard Butler's production company G-BASE set to produce, the intention being to turn this colourful and exciting trio of books into a limited run series, with Victoria herself writing the pilot!

With all this going on, it seemed that it was the perfect time to finally get around to doing something with the audio recording I made when I interviewed Victoria for an event in Waterstones Liverpool in August 2016. I was asked to sit on the audio for a couple of months because we accidentally leaked some teeny details about the book cover for A Conjuring of Light which weren't supposed to be out in the world at that time, but then I got really busy finishing my thesis and all that entailed and so this audio just sat in on my hard drive for a while.
Interview in action
At some point I'll come back and transcribe the interview, and re-post it here, but in the meantime have a listen to the original audio. We mainly discuss the first book in another V.E. Schwab series This Savage Song as that was the book being toured at the time, but we also cover Darker Shade of Magic stuff, some Vicious stuff, and some other nice anecdotes. Overall it was a fun interview and Victoria was the perfect subject. Thanks again to her, Lydia at Titan Books, and Waterstones for making it happen.
Some of the audience in Waterstones Liverpool
NB - For now I've left the questions from the audience in the audio. Because we only had two mics it's almost impossible to hear the actual question so there are quiet pauses towards the end of the recording, but I paraphrase the questions where I can. Later I might come back and try to do something to improve the quality here if I can.