Why am I here? The origins story…

So, another blog full of book reviews. Hip-hooray, just what the world needs. One more antisocial hermit banging away at the keyboard from the safety of his cave, attempting to spread his affliction to the world at large? No thanks. But it’s not my fault you see, it’s a compulsion.

Ever since I left the UK to teach in Asia I have suffered. Unfortunately a Tardis-bag has yet to be invented which would allow me to carry my book collection with me. As Asia isn’t exactly renowned for a love of literature – unless you include the ever-present comics – it has been difficult to source books locally. Yes, Amazon exists. However I feel uncomfortable having lumps of dead tree flown around the world using dead dinosaur-powered aircraft just to suit my whims. Enter the Kobo…

Prior to 2011 I was an e-book skeptic. You can’t read on a screen. It doesn’t feel the same. It doesn’t smell the same. How can you dog-ear a page? Or write notes? You know the drill. Practicality (spurred on by my father’s generosity) got the better of me though and soon I had a vaguely paperback-sized lump of plastic in my hands.

Power – on! E-Ink screen – activate! First page – flick! Skepticism – destroyed.

So I read. I read and I read and I read. The stories flip and flail around my skull, desperate for me to spread the word about them so they can find new home. My cranium is cosy but sparsely decorated, they deserve better. Unfortunately my choice of career and locale limits transmission. Children and Chinese speakers are not the most enthusiastic recipients of garbled rants extolling the virtues of near-future sci-fi, post-apocalyptic wonderlands or cautionary tales of the demons lurking behind every door. Hence this blog.

Before I sign off, thanks should go to my literary comrade Splendibird at her virtual home, The Mountains Of Instead. Two years ago, knowing my rotting taste in books, she invited me to review Max Brooks’ wonderful World War Z for a zombie week she was hosting. A year or so later she invited me to submit regular reviews and I have been doing so with gusto. Without her I’d probably never have started this. (Don’t worry m’dear, I’m not abandoning ship. This just allows me to post more than I would normally, not to mention giving me a chance to spill the gory details on works which might not be to your readership’s taste. Things with guts flying everywhere.)

So that’s it. Book reviews. Sci-fi, fantasy, horror mostly. Stay. Enjoy. Thanks for listening.

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