Category Archives: Writing

A Bad Day for the Enemy, by Daniel Taylor

A book written by our eldest son, Daniel, when he was about seven years old. (We don’t know the exact date, but clues in the text indicate that it was written when he was playing a lot of X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, but before he started playing X-Wing Alliance, so around 2005.)

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For some reason, he made the book absolutely tiny — about 4 cm square, as you can see from the staple in the front cover. Continue reading

“Meanwhile, McCarthy heads for Berlin …”

Back in May 2004, my good friend and occasional colleague Matt Wedel emailed me to let me know his and his wife’s schedule for the next couple of weeks, which was incredible complicated — parents visiting, brothers getting married, academic conferences, research trips. I replied as follows:

Tips-for-Travel-the-World-within-your-Budget

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To Kill A Mockingbird is a fine example of how copyright is failing us all

I read this recent piece on how Harper Lee has finally allowed an e-book edition of her classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird, to be produced. Of course, in the absence of an authorised e-book that readers can pay for, there are plenty of unauthorised ones — it’s trivial to find on any torrent site. My eye was caught by a comment on the article, discussing the existence of these pirate e-books:

This is sad, but doesn’t surprise me. Its the reality of the world we live in today. I suspect the biggest purchasers of this e-book will be over the age of 40 – those under don’t tend to realise the purpose or value of copyright.

That is exactly wrong.

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My book is out! The Eleventh Doctor: a critical ramble through Matt Smith’s tenure in Doctor Who

It’s here!

The Eleventh Doctor: a critical ramble through Matt Smith's tenure in Doctor Who by Mike Taylor

My book on the Eleventh Doctor is now out in Kindle editions [amazon.com, amazon.co.uk]! Please, folks, spread the word in any Doctor Who communities that you’re a part of, and on your own blogs!

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I’m looking for Beta-testers for my Doctor Who book

My book The Eleventh Doctor will soon be complete as regards reviews — containing everything I’ve written up to and including the 50th anniversary special. I have only one episode to back-fill before that’s complete, The Name of the Doctor, which I plan to watch tonight and write about tomorrow.

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Tentative frontispiece image for the Series 7 section of the book, based on a suggestion from Andrew Hickey. Original image CC BY-SA from Wikimedia Commons.

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“You can do anything if you believe in yourself”

Trust your heart.  Believe in yourself.  Follow your dream and you can do whatever you want to.  Ubiquitous morals in Hollywood movies and many TV series.  But potentially poisonous.  As Andrew Rilstone has pointed out, “this is a deeply re-assuring message for the high-achievers who make movies. It says in affect ‘We are rich and famous because we deserve it’. It is a very depressing message for the people who make their coffee.”

Plus it’s, you know …  Not true.

(This image is from a T-shirt that I am very tempted to buy.)

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Acaren and the Evil Wizards, by Matthew Taylor

Acaren and the evil wizards By Matthew Taylor  Long, long ago, in a wizarding world lived Acaren, a powerful wizard.  He was brave, but a little bit rude and he had a friendship with a wild dragon named Fearsome.  Fearsome's favourite food is sausaged.  One time, Acaren was having fun on his firebold (the fastest type of broomstick on earth) when he heard and explosion; it was ear splitting.  He rode to the explosion to investigate, and there they were, Thingbanger, Surt and Sploosh, the world's more evil wizards!  Acaren was really scared and at the same time he wanted to blurt out "Well what are you doing here!?"  Thingbanger knew Fearsome's weakness and he wanted to have some fun, so he threw a sausage far away and Fearsome ran to find it.  Acaren hissed some words and cast a spell at the first wizard, Thingbanger, and he fell the ground-dead!   Then he cast a spell at the second wizard, Surt.  He screamed like an American screech Continue reading

How to render a press release tolerable

I had an epiphany: there is simple way to greatly improve the readability of any press release.  All you have to do is cut out all the adjectives.

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