Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Refuge

(I couldn't resist - read (sadly out-of-print) The Secret Of Life to find out why.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Just When You Think You're Out...

Sandy Auden very kindly tells me that uksfbooknews has posted a Q&A about Cowboy Angels.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ghost Of A Christmas Present

When I was a kid, I didn’t have enough money to buy new books on anything like a regular basis, so I bought comics instead. I was a devotee of TV21, with its strip versions of Gerry Anderson’s oeuvre and the back story of the Daleks (but not Doctor Who, who was licensed elsewhere), and of Marvel Comics - Iron Man, Thor, and the Fantastic Four (not because I preferred Marvel to DC, but because Marvel comics were what my local newsagents had on their spinner racks). But before that, I was a regular reader of The Victor. I no longer have copies of any of the comics I bought, but I still have the annual pictured above, a Christmas present from 1966.
Inside, we were still fighting not only World War II, but World War I as well (in those days, when post-colonialism was beginning to bite deep into the British psyche, we clung as tightly to those victories, as we still cling to our World Cup victory that year). There were knock-off versions of Tarzan (‘Morgan the Mighty’) and James Bond (‘The Wonder Man’, more like the Man in Black in those Milk Tray advertisments than Bond, to be honest), and a Western strip, ‘The Town Tamers’, led by Dusty Fogg. My favourite, though, was ‘Tough of the Track’, in which working class hero Alf Tupper regularly beat toffs on the athletic field after a hard week of heavy welding, and on a diet of fish and chip suppers:

Each day Alf worked in the scaling yard, and each evening he trained. At night he slept in a tool shed on the recreation ground, unknown to the groundsman...

Things were different then, all right.

Apart from some minor cosmetic work, Unlikely Worlds will be taking a break over Christmas. Happy holidays to one and all - and happy 90th birthday to Sir Arthur.

Listening to: Songs of Survival - Traditional Music of Georgia
Reading: The Hot Kid, by Elmore Leonard; Nonviolence, Mark Kurlansky
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