I’ve been a fan of boxing all my life. Perhaps it’s admiration for those who do what I cannot– I can’t fight for peanuts, and had the snot beaten out of me regularly throughout my schooling career by a succession of anencephalic bullies. Perhaps it’s a function of my cultural background– I was the poor son of poor parents from a poor City in a poor part of England, where the fight game was a genuine option for clambering out of poverty and into some sort of money and independence. Perhaps there’s just a part of me that remains brutish and primal, no matter the veneer of civilization I drape around me.

Whatever it is, I love boxing. It stirs my blood, pumps my heart, and gets me bouncing with energy when I’m getting ready to roar into a situation and tie one on. I genuinely watch a bout or two before a performance or an appearance, and often use bouts as a form of reward or regular intervention when faced with a long, boring task. I grew up with Jeff Fenech, and the bloated over-hyping of Mike Tyson, the saga of the Waters’ boys, the rise and fall of Lester Ellis and Jeff Harding. From there, like fans of any pursuit do, I discovered history: the greats, the not so greats, the classic moments, the controversies, the gods, the villains. The story. And I discovered my own favourites, many of them from the land of my birth, perhaps because they represent a story that I sidestepped, or maybe because they’re just, somehow, better. More exciting. Greater.

That is, perhaps, an argument and a list for another day. For now, here are five bouts that never fail to get me going.


5 for Friday: Ready to Rummmmmmmmmmmble



And that’s the first line-edit of Ghost Tracks done: 201 pages; 56,000 words; and far too many scribbled corrections.

Now for the inputting, which takes waaaaay longer: every decision leading to another decision, and down the rabbit hole we shall go, dancing……


And we’re back! It’s been some time since I’ve inflicted a 5 for Friday post on you all. Blame Real life ™ and the fact that editing has a tendency to crowd all other considerations out of my teensy, tiny little mind. What has also occupied my mind, at least that section devoted to music, while I’ve been editing is an old, old favourite band of mine. The Angels have been on high rotation, jacked up to 11, and making the walls bounce.

I’ve spoken elsewhere about my love for this band, particularly in response to the death of their iconic front man Bernard ‘Doc’ Neeson a few years back. While every bogan that surrounded me in my teenage years was obsessed with AC/DC, The Angels were my particular escape of choice. They were nastier, edgier. AC/DC celebrated drinking, sex, and a particular thick form of fuck-the-police-ishness that resonated with the junior thugs of Rockingham. The Angels were more pointed, more personal, political without the fine edge of rage (and also without the overweening smugness) or Midnight Oil, describers of street level culture and community rather than the nebulous drinking culture reflection of AC/DC. I once described the two bands in the terms of a bar fight: AC/DC was the loud, drunken thug throwing beer glasses and overturning tables; The Angels the guy who waited quietly at the bar until the combatants stumbled past, and then silently shivved them in the ribs with a flick knife.



A rare four-panel attempt, here. This definitely fits into the category of ‘I can see what you were attempting…’

I’ve also gone for something wordless, which was a departure from my usual humour– more often than not, my captions were long, probably too long, so this was clearly an attempt to go in a different direction. Which isn’t to say it worked. In fact, let’s not say that at all.



If you like my work, you’ll be interested to know that I’m running a bit of an experiment over at Curious Fictions. Curious Fictions is a website offering readers works by established authors: for a small monthly subscription, you can access works by hundreds of authors including exclusive, subscriber-only stories and newsletters.

So far, I’ve uploaded four stories that you can read for free, plus the first monthly subscriber-only post, including another story. The subscriber-only posts, featuring stories, writing ephemera, and some of the works and snippets that have never seen the light of public ridicule, will be going up on the 1st of every month.

Right now, however, you can read the following just for the price of turning up to have a look:

  • At The End There Was a Man — first published in Anywhere But Earth, Coeur de Lion Press.
  • The Emperor of Moscow — first published in Europa Universalis: What If?, Paradox Books
  • A Suitable Level of Reward — first published in Canary Press, and
  • The Daughters of John Anglicus — first published in Crusader Kings II: Tales of Treachery, Paradox Books


So head on over, have a read, and if you’d like to support this experiment, and get a monthly dose of cool stuff as well as access to hundreds of stories by hundreds of excellent and talented authors, consider popping down a buck or two.