Author Archives: observeroftimes

The Hoarder’s Daughter

Has anyone else noticed a growing trend towards novels titled The Something-or-other’s Daughter? Apparently they have. Lists abound. Mine, a short one, includes The Astrologer’s Daughter (2014), The Botanist’s Daughter (2018) and The Clockmaker’s Daughter (2018). According to Canadian author … Continue reading

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The illusion of realism

There was a time when painting from photos was radical, or denounced as cheating. Now it’s taken for granted, while styles like expressionism are out of fashion. It’s as if the ubiquity of the photographic image, fuelled by digital media, … Continue reading

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Interview with a good old-fashioned troublemaker

Initially I encountered X through a random assignment via the automated system on a writers’ site. Unlike most of the thousand or so other site users whose work I’d critiqued, he was breaking the rules of how to write publisher-friendly … Continue reading

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Where do atheist writers go when they die?

I first met Michael Alan (his pen name) in 2007 on a British Arts Council–funded writers’ site when his work was randomly assigned to me for review. In those days YouWriteOn attracted real talent; writers of high calibre along with … Continue reading

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The Sky’s the Limit: notes towards a profile of today’s flat-Earth mindset

The first I heard of the recent revival of suspicions that our Earth is a disc, not a sphere, was early last year, from a business-minded friend with a post-grad degree. F and I had met up one clear summer … Continue reading

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The Indivisible Forest

We live in a medial reality. All modern experience is mediated: via technology, the media, language and even thought. Our processed diets and sterile environments promote dissociation from our bodies and from nature. We enter a forest only to find … Continue reading

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Visions from Underground

Has anyone, lately, glanced up from their smartphones for long enough to notice how fast our planet appears to be going to hell in a handcart? My fringe-dwelling friends are responding in various ways. One chooses to boycott the news, … Continue reading

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