Visiting the first 3 Martian landing sites in H. G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds”…

While I was recently out on a road trip for another reason, I took the opportunity to visit the first three fictional landing sites for the Martian’s cylinders in H. G. Wells’ novel “The War of the Worlds” (serialised in 1897, first hardcover published in 1898). Unlike many ‘classic’ science fiction stories, this tale hasContinue reading “Visiting the first 3 Martian landing sites in H. G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds”…”

Greenham Common – nuclear nightmares…

I often find that people either have little awareness of Cold War history or they just weren’t tuned into what was happening. So before I talk about my recent trip to settle some old nightmares at Greenham Common and its infamous ‘GAMA’ facility, here’s a small introduction to the dark world of the mid-1980s… SoContinue reading “Greenham Common – nuclear nightmares…”

Lots of Progress with my Cold War / New Cold War stories…

… it has been nearly a year since I revealed that I was now writing a series of fictional stories and articles with a Cold War theme… – although I have been quiet, a lot has been happening behind the scenes! This is the current status of my writing projects: The ‘Lissa Blackwood’ novels wereContinue reading “Lots of Progress with my Cold War / New Cold War stories…”

Astronomers Thrill at Giant Comet Flying into Our Solar System – Scientific American

The internet is bubbling with news stories about comet C/2014 UN271 (Bernardinelli-Bernstein). Current size estimates are that the comet is about 100-370 km across – much bigger than the previous size winner, Hale-Bopp in 1997 at 60km. There are big uncertainties at the moment, with C/2014 UN271 some 20 AU away. Those uncertainties will narrow,Continue reading “Astronomers Thrill at Giant Comet Flying into Our Solar System – Scientific American”

Book review: “A Treachery of Spies” – Manda Scott

Over forty years many of the books I have enjoyed were ‘very good’, some ‘excellent’, and just one was ‘nearly perfect’ (Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – you might say that ‘he went on a bit’). Now I’m excited to share what I consider to be a PERFECT story – Manda Scott’s 2018 ‘A TreacheryContinue reading “Book review: “A Treachery of Spies” – Manda Scott”

‘Sinister yet pathetic’: how the UK was primed for nuclear war | Books | The Guardian

I’m very interested in how propaganda was (and still is) used to influence the general population to accept nuclear weapons, even though it quickly became clear that nuclear war was not survivable in the hydrogen-bomb era. Taras Young’s “Nuclear War in the UK” is on my reading list for 2021. In the meantime, this shortContinue reading “‘Sinister yet pathetic’: how the UK was primed for nuclear war | Books | The Guardian”

John le Carré (David Cornwell) died on 12th December 2020… the master of espionage thrillers was 89 years old.

Sad to hear that John le Carré (David Cornwell) died on 12th December 2020. His books were great fun to read and very inspiring. Was his greatest legacy Smiley or Leamas? I reviewed some of le Carré’s stories on my blog in 2018 – that article can be found here. A legend in his ownContinue reading “John le Carré (David Cornwell) died on 12th December 2020… the master of espionage thrillers was 89 years old.”

Book review: “The Truth Machine” – James L. Halperin

I found James L. Halperin’s 1996 novel “The Truth Machine” a curiously dull-yet-interesting read… an unusual combination. The cover looked exciting and the tagline of “In the Year 2004 The Truth Will Be Told” promised ‘excitement, adventure and really wild things’… to misquote Douglas Adams. Unfortunately Halperin chose to tell the story from the ratherContinue reading “Book review: “The Truth Machine” – James L. Halperin”

Nuclear weapons treaty: Campaigners hail new era for nuclear disarmament – BBC news report…

Honduras has just ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, meaning that the minimum number required for it to come into force has been reached. There are currently 193 member states of the United Nations – 122 (63%) of them have approved the accord on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Now 50 statesContinue reading “Nuclear weapons treaty: Campaigners hail new era for nuclear disarmament – BBC news report…”