Victims of the author

Imagine that you are walking past a lonely graveyard at night, when you hear a terrifying shriek, improbably smell garlic or blood, and see white things flitting about. You run home as fast as you can, lock the door, and then start to wonder. What...

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My birthday presents

I boasted on Facebook that I was given eleven books for my birthday (thank you very much to the donors!) This is just as consumerist as boasting about any other item I have bought or someone has bought for me, but never mind. Many of...

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CS Lewis – a celebration

Most people in Britain today who are even half-literate will have heard of CS Lewis, and a large proportion will have read one or more of his books, or had it read to them. When you think about it, this is quite impressive for someone...

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Prime-time replacements for Paul and Prue?

Welcome back to the tent, writers! Last week, the Great British Write-Off featured Romance in all its forms. Star Writer was, perhaps surprisingly, JK, and we had to say goodbye to Bernard. Today, for the first time, The Great British Write-Off is featuring an SF/Fantasy week. So...

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The Sadducees and Julian Barnes

Recently I was reading the section in chapter 22 of Matthew’s gospel where Jesus is asked a question by the Sadducees “who say there is no resurrection.” “Now there were seven brothers among us; the first married and died, and having no children left his wife...

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Servants 2

I promised to come back to the theme of servants in literature. (The patchiness of my reading will doubtless be very obvious.) This is my investigation on whether a servant can be a hero. Let’s make a list of types. Traditional servants. These, going back (I believe)...

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Commentary on the book of Job

I’ve recently been reading the book of Job. Everyone loves this book in theory, because it reassures us that it’s Biblical a) to notice that life isn’t fair, and b) for suffering people to resent being told to cheer up or repent; and because some of...

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Servants

As a dyed-in-the-wool Tolkien fan, I have read the Silmarillion, which covers arguably the whole history of Middle-Earth. It doesn’t just tell us the First Age legend of Beren and Luthien, and the Second Age drama of Numenor’s downfall. It also contains a delightful section...

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