Monday 27 January 2014

KILLING TIME by Jack Giles

KILLING TIME by Jack Giles is now available on Kindle at Amazon and other e-readers and downloads.

This is a new departure for me - embracing the world of digital publishing. So my thanks go to Endeavour Press and Amy Durant for making it happen.

This is an old book with a new title and one that, I think, has to be one of the best. Way back it was reviewed by Steve Myall of the Western Fiction Review blog and later found a discussion of 'The Fourth Horseman' on a horror site.

There is a strange aspect to this one as it is thirty years since I wrote my first western - emphasis on wrote - but it was not published until 1984. At the time I was living 200 yards or thereabouts from where I am living now. The offer to publish came in 2013 and the publication has happened in 2014. History does repeat and simply because of that it has awoken something that may have lain deeper.

Let's just say that the during the gap between 'Lawmen' and this new e-book I have just been 'KILLING TIME'.

Saturday 11 January 2014


Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's just another Superman.

I've never been much of a fan of Superman - in fact of all the DC comic creations that I enjoyed (as a kid) really it was only Batman.
Still I did watch the old George Reeve reach for the sky and marvelled at the mystery of Clark Kent's clothes. I was pretty sure that if I stopped off to make a phone call and found a bunch of clothes in the phone booth I would check the pockets for a wallet or something that would identify the owner. It wouldn't take a Lois Lane to put two and two together long before Superman took her up for a quick flight.

Filmwise along came three Superman movies with Christopher Reeve of which I found the second one the best of the lot - but not enough to add to my DVD collection. As for the fourth film the less said the better.

Smallville still didn't do it for me or the other Superman series.

So why should I sit down and write a few thoughts on the new 'Man Of Steel' if I am so anti-Superman?  Simple, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Writer David S Goyer and director Zack Snyder were for the most part responsible for that.

The opening scenes from the first Superman movie with Russell Crowe in the Marlon Brando role and Kevin Costner turning up as Clark's adoptive dad harked at the original movie but then General Zod turned up - played by Michael Shannon - which was a good thing because I thought that this was going to be a re-tread of the first two movies. Terence Stamp dominated Superman 2 in the General Zod role but Shannon equalled - possibly surpassed that.
The peaceloving 'twee' Superman of the past was swept aside by Henry Cavill's performance. Here was a real superhero who would leave no stone unturned in his quest to fight the bad guys. Metropolis was destroyed in the process but Superman still saved the day.

Maybe, this is a Superman to fit the expectations of a modern audience. If so, then he has my attention.

Next up Superman will be joined by Batman and Wonder Woman - sounds like the beginnings of the Justice League Of America.
If the team behind this Man Of Steel movie have the run of the next movie then it could be another interesting adventure.

Monday 6 January 2014


First off there seems nothing to link these BBC productions except that Ripper Street and Peaky Blinders are period pieces.
Peaky Blinders is set during 1919 in the industrial district of Birmingham known as Small Heath. The Shelby family are an organised gang of illegal bookmakers who deal with the black market and protection. A supply of guns goes missing which is an open invitation for the British Government, Communist Revoluntionaries and the I.R.A. to take an interest in.
Most of the Shelby gang former soldiers from a Pals Regiment of the First World War.

On the other side is Ripper Street - set in the wake of the Jack The Ripper murders - here Inspector Edmund Reid is put in charge of the notorious H Division with the brief to take control of Whitechapel in London's East End.

On the surface both are a touch above the average fare dished up by the Beeb. At first, with Peaky Blinders I thought of a British take on the likes of 'The Godfather' and the early part of 'Once Upon A Time In America'. That was until the final showdown......

This, in turn, made me think about Ripper Street.

The pub in Peaky Blinders looked more like a wild west saloon.
Ripper Street's Reid and his two deputies....not forgetting the brothel madam with a heart of stone.
Fortunately, I am not the only one to see the western genre influences at work.

A second series of Peaky Blinders is on the way.....but a third series of Ripper Street hangs in the balance. Public opinion demands more but since when has the BBC considered what the licence payer thinks?

Whatever no one can dispute that Ripper Street's creator Richard Warlow and Peaky Blinders' Steven Knight have found a winning formula.