Archive for the ‘Reading’ Category

Wired UK redesign

Wired UK redesign. Finally, a magazine that realises that a widescreen desktop PC is not an iPad. Who knew? I’m still reading their article list in stripped-down RSS, though. And then pushing interesting articles through Instapaper to my old-school Kindle ereader. Sorry, designers. Very pretty and all that, and it even scrolls sideways. But until […]


New research report from Nesta and Bloomberg Philanthropies, i-teams: the teams and funds making innovation happen in governments around the world, from nudgers to nerds… This report tells the stories of 20 teams, units and funds established by governments and charged with making innovation happen. They work across the spectrum of innovation – from focusing […]

Wolverhampton Books & Collectables

Hand in Glove takes a peek inside the Wolverhampton Books & Collectables shop. It’s great to see places like this hanging on, in the face of eBay, Amazon’s sale of used books, and free online scans of old printed material. But the age of bargains has generally passed. The owners of such used bookshops, charity […]


Blurb’s self-published print-on-demand photobooks are going to be listed on Amazon UK. There doesn’t appear to be a listing fee but Amazon will take 15% of the cover price, on sales.

Blognix 2014

14th June 2014: Blognix 2014. A one-day event for bloggers, at the Custard Factory, Birmingham. Looks a bit too expensive for me.

Shelf and safety

The new Library of Birmingham brought to book. Or rather, not brought. If a book is down in the storage stacks, or up on a public shelf that’s too high, its reported that Council’s health ‘n safety rules mean that it can’t be retrieved.


I just found out that the 2014 World Science Fiction Convention is being held in August 2014 in London. The trailer video may be especially interesting to Midlanders who have always rather fancied seeing the perfidious capital attacked by giant monsters, space aliens etc…

To celebrate its fifth birthday my academic search-engine has updated its front page, to reflect the fact that it has grown beyond the arts and humanities focus. JURN can now search and access full-text on most academic topics. All open access or otherwise free. Tip: searching using intitle:keyword “key phrase” works very well.

Mind the Watford Gap

Cameron Neylon has rustled up a useful map of the public libraries in the UK which are set to offer free access to 8,000 commercial paywalled academic ejournals… Very nice if you’re in the leafy Home Counties around London, not so useful for those in the industrial Midlands or the North. Although the use terms […]

Which three thousand books…

Riffing off the “which three books would you take…” idea, introduced by George Pal at the end of his classic movie adaptation of Wells’s The Time Machine, The Long Now Foundation is choosing 3000 books you would most want to use to rebuild civilization, for their new Long Now space in Fort Mason, USA. 2014 question, in Kindle .mobi conversion

The world’s leading thinkers on the Edge question for 2014: What scientific idea is ready for retirement? Since the single page is the length of two novels (130,000 words), and thus the likes of Instapaper will choke on it, I’ve taken the liberty of making a simple free Kindle .mobi conversion which looks nice and […]

The ideal page count for a magazine?

From the major Magazine Reader Experience Study research, undertaken for the American Association of Magazine Editors / Magazine Publishers of America… “Key Findings: … Across magazines, page count has no impact on reader usage.” On having a longer page count, in regard to the extra space available in PDF and other digital-only magazines, only 23% […]

FeedDemon goes wholly freeware

My desktop RSS reader FeedDemon has sadly just stopped development with a new 4.5 version. But the developer Nick Bradbury (the genius behind the classic HomeSite HTML editor) has very kindly made FeedDemon advert-free and has also enabled the Pro version for everyone… “As promised, this last version of FeedDemon is completely free. All of […]

JURN updated

My JURN search-engine has just had its annual full check-and-repair. JURN lets you search inside 4,538 free ejournals in the arts & humanities, and the results gives full-text access to all articles. My JURN Directory is also repaired and updated. This organised directory contains links to the home-pages of 3,000 of the English-language ejournals included […]

Library of Birmingham slideshow

The new public Library of Birmingham is due to officially open tomorrow. The BBC have a photo slideshow of the interior.

Good Old Mac: Henry Everett McNeil, 1862—1929

Available now as a paperback book, my new scholarly biography of a key member of the H.P. Lovecraft circle, Good Old Mac: Henry Everett McNeil, 1862—1929.

Andromeda One: new SF literature event in Birmingham

Hot on the heels of the successful Wolverhampton convention for fans of science-fiction literature, comes a one-day SF convention in Birmingham: Andromeda One is a one-day SF, fantasy and horror literature-oriented convention taking place on Saturday 21st September 2013… “GUESTS OF HONOUR include Paul Cornell and Jaine Fenn. Plus sessions with an impressive range of […]

Glass for scholars

I do like the idea of Google Glass. A few iterations down the line (eta for v1.0 is the end of 2013), it seems set give the same boost to scholarly production in old age that the original invention of eye-glasses once did many centuries ago.

Lovecraft in Historical Context #4

Available now in paperback, my book Lovecraft in Historical Context: a fourth collection. My fourth annual collection of scholarly essays on H.P. Lovecraft, his works and times. 76,000 words, 300 pages.


Volume, a book fair for the opening of the New Birmingham Library.