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Blood Point Folklore

The National Leprechaun Museum

TripAdvisor’s top Dublin museums might include Guinness, whiskey, and Kilmainham Gaol, but no writer or lover of good stories should visit the city without a stop at the National Leprechaun Museum. Ireland’s storytelling tradition goes back to the dawn of Irish history, and the National Leprechaun Museum is a tribute to the nation’s wild oral […]

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Blood Point Nightmare Vacations Novels

The Kinnitty Stone

Mission accomplished! I have photographed the Kinnitty Stone. It’s an ancient Irish artefact uncovered during the extension of St Finnian’s Church, Kinnitty, in the early 1800s, more than 1,000 years old. It’s also almost impossible to find pictures online and it’s been a challenge to see the real thing. On Saturday evening, with the help […]

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Creative writing In Machina Science Science Fiction Space

The Taste of Space 5: Extraterrestrial Meal Times

The zero-g fryer is bubbling, the smell of fresh bread fills your spacecraft and a bell chimes the shift change. The crew gathers in the ship’s mess. We’ve gone from growing food and making meat to off-Earth cooking, so what will meal times look like in space? The first question is when to eat. In […]

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In Machina Science Space

The Taste of Space 4: Cosmic Cooking

The gravity’s turned down low, the larder is packed with space-grown veggies, cultured meat and artificial protein: it’s time to get cooking in space. Astro-chefs have to improvise hard right now, but there are tools on the way which will revolutionise the way space travellers feed themselves. I fell into a research vortex when I […]

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Creative writing In Machina Science Science Fiction Space

The Taste of Space 3: Let’s Meet the Meat*

Growing vegetables in space is one thing, but it’s no place for the animals that most of us still rely on for key nutrients. Will space-faring humans be forever denied the joy of a bacon sandwich? Is the true cosmic horror a solar system populated by evangelising veganauts? I never thought I’d be pondering these […]

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Creative writing In Machina Novels Science Science Fiction Space

The Taste of Space 2: Greening the Galaxy

Astronauts in 2023 take almost everything they eat with them. Future space travellers will need to grow plants in space without regular supply rockets. What’s happening in space agriculture today that I can throw forward a hundred years for my WIP, In Machina? Escaping the gravity well Getting anything into space is governed by “the […]

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In Machina Science Space

The Taste of Space 1: Contemporary Astro Cuisine

From food paste to replicators, our ideas of space food are a jambalaya of clichés and fantasies. I’ve been researching the extraterrestrial cuisine to season scenes set around an off-Earth dining table in an SF novel set in the early 2100s. Neither the 1960s space race nor Star Trek give a useful picture of what’s […]

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Blood Point Creative writing Nightmare Vacations Novels

Horrible folk: mining Irish folklore for new horror

Irish folklore is horrible, and I mean that in the best way. Violence, sex and the supernatural entwine in epic tales of ancient history and everyday stories of ghosts, fairies and ordinary folk. Wry humour and dark twists are never far away. Despite Walt Disney’s best efforts, there’s nothing twee about Ireland’s fairies. There are […]

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AI Creative writing In Machina Psychology Science Fiction

Embodied intelligence: bad news for transhumanists, great news for AIs

Uploading your mind to a computer is a sci-fi trope that’s almost as old as the electronic computer. Yet the more I write about AI, the more I think that it’s never going to happen. The reason: embodied intelligence. Consciousness uploads are also a notion that gets transhumanists and some sci-fi fans extremely agitated. From […]

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Blood River

5 stars for Blood River: a great start with ARC reviews

Blood River has been winning great reviews from advanced readers at ARC review sites BookSirens and NetGalley in its first month. My debut novel is currently riding high at 5 stars on Amazon UK, 4.4 on Amazon USA, and 3.71 on GoodReads. Here are a few of my favourite quotes. “A really interesting supernatural survival […]