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Messages - P.G.Bell

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For those of you who are interested, my review of Dead Souls - an anthology of dark fantasy and horror, featuring the talents of Ramsey Campbell, Gary McMahon, Robert Hood, Stephanie Campisi and many others - is now live on the blog.

Read it here:

Another week, another update and the blog has never been busier.

Our coverage of Torchwood: Miracle Day continues, with a series of reviews and commentaries. Our next instalment will be published tonight, immediately after the UK broadcast. Come and give us a listen.

Meanwhile, any Warhammer 40,000 fans might want to check out Olivia's review of the new Killteam game.

A final note - our book review thread will be returning this week! First up to bat will be Dead Souls, an anthology of dark fantasy and horror from Morrigan Books. And that nice Chris Teague has just sent us a couple of titles, including Gary Greenwood's latest, Kingston to Cable. So stop by and say hello!

TV and Film / Torchwood: Miracle Day
« on: August 04, 2011, 04:43:59 pm »
Has anyone else been watching this? After the wonderful "Children Of Earth", I came to this with fairly high expectations - a high-concept hook, a short run of serialised episodes, extra money, Bill Pullman, etc. - but I've been strangely disappointed thus far.

After four weeks, it still seems a little aimless. The writers seem more interested in the peripheral characters, like Dr Juarez and Oswald Danes, who are the only ones dealing with the effects of the "miracle" directly.  The Torchwood team, meanwhile, seem to be stuck in an off-the-peg procedural thriller.

Anyone else have any thought on the show so far?

TV and Film / Re: The Departed
« on: August 04, 2011, 04:33:31 pm »
It was the One Armed Man...

Actually, it was *SPOILER ALERT*.....

Marky Mark.

Books / Re: What are you currently reading..?
« on: August 04, 2011, 04:31:42 pm »
I'm reading "The Girl in a Swing" by Richard Adams. It's the only thing of his I've read beyond "Watership Down" and I must say that, so far, I'm impressed. It's billed as an erotic/romantic mystery with tinges of dark fantasy. Well, his fantasy is very dark indeed and, although it's a very slow burning story, it's building up an impressive head of steam.

General Discussion / Re: Writing Groups
« on: August 04, 2011, 04:28:07 pm »
A couple of friends and I have formed an "accidental" writing group. We're all writers and readers of sci-fi and fantasy, who happen to know each other socially. We meet up every month or two when we find the distractions of daily life are getting in the way of putting words on pages, and spend a day in the local library, hard at work. Then we have dinner, share a few glasses of wine and assess each others' work.

I'm extremely lucky in that everyone involved is absolutely honest about the strengths and weaknesses of each piece. We'll usually take a copy of each others' work away with us, to re-read through the week so we can provide some more detailed notes once we've given the dust a chance to settle.

I realise this isn't a writing group in the usual sense but, as I said. I'm extremely lucky!

Those of you who enjoyed this week's premier of Torchwood: Miracle Day (and those of you who didn't) might want to check out our new commentary. We'll be publishing a commentaries weekly, the night each episode airs in the UK, so stay tuned.

Torchwood: Miracle Day, Ep.1 commentary

We'll also be posting a spoiler-free preview and review at the start of each week, just to whet your appetite. You can find the first of these here:

Torchwood spoiler-free preview and review

Stay tuned for more Game of Thrones and video games reviews!

Are video games "art"? Should we treat them as seriously as we do novels and films?

I promised you video game discussion, and here it is: seasoned gamer Olivia Cottrell explains the ups and downs of sci-fi and fantasy gaming to Caleb Woodbridge, our resident noob.

As well as giving a quick assessment of the best games on the market at the moment, they examine the increasingly important role of good writing and storytelling in modern games, and whether the medium can now stand as an artistic force on its own merits.

Short, sweet and to the point. And so is our podcast. Come and have a listen!

Other Media / Re: What games have you been playing?
« on: July 07, 2011, 12:59:52 pm »
I used to be quite a serious gamer but have fallen seriously behind the times in the last ten years. Now I'm the proud(ish) owner of a Nintendo Wii that's steadily gathering dust, although I do get it out of mothballs to play Mario Kart whenever I get the chance.

I'm greatly intrigued by the new generation of MMOs though. We've just started a video game thread over at the Impossible Podcasts blog and I'm currently editing a review of Dragon Age 3, which sounds really rather good. The Dragon Age series, along with Mass Effect and Portal, keep coming up in conversation online and I can't help feeling I'm missing out. It's just a lack of time and money holding me back!

BFS Events / Re: Wales Open Night
« on: June 28, 2011, 05:32:05 pm »
Any plans for another Welsh Open Night this year? I'd certainly be up for it!

But I think what you're talking about is the classic scenario of a first time writer labouring for years over his first novel. Best advice in my opinion? Put it away now in a drawer for at least 8 years, and in the meantime write as many more completely different and better novels as you can. Move on. You will only grow as a writer through trying new ideas and plots, and you learn from every single one. I lost count.... my so-called first novel (published) was actually about my sixth or seventh.

I've experienced this very recently. My first serious attempt at a novel stalled somewhere in the third draft and has been on a backburner for about four years now. I've since written first drafts of two other novels, with the intention of revisiting that first, cherished project and whipping it into publishable shape. Upon re-resading it though, I find that most of the characters and themes have leaked into the two subsequent projects, which are both far superior (in my wholly subjective opinion, of course). As much as I hate to say it, I think that first novel will never see the light of day. But I had to hammer out those 200,000+ words to figure out what I wanted, so it wasn't wasted time by any means. Still hurts a little though!

A few updates for you today (I've been away on holiday, so there's plenty to catch up on!)

Game of Thrones review
The third of our weekly Game of Thrones reviews has been posted to the blog. Our reviewer, Kieran, seems to be warming to the series.

Doctor Who's Story Arc of Infinity (and Beyond?)
One of our podcast regulars, Swithun Dobson, isn't happy with the changes Steven Moffat has been making to his beloved Doctor Who and turns a critical eye on other TV series formats for inspiration.

Tolkien & Wales - interview
Caleb Woodbridge talks to Dr Carl Phelpstead, author of the new book "Tolkien and Wales: Language, Literature and Identity". Find out how the history, folklore and language of Wales helped to shape Middle Earth.

The Return of the King? Finding Arthur in The Lord of the Rings
Caleb Woodbridge starts a series of posts exploring the links between The Lord of the Rings and The Once And Future King. Was Tolkien trying to build on or react against Arthurian myth when he wrote his most famous creation?

So, plenty to keep you busy. And stay tuned for our special podcast on storytelling in video games, which will be appearing soon!

Just a quick update: our review for Episode 2 of Game Of Thrones (The Kingsroad) is now live. Come have a look!

Once upon a time, a group of friends gathered around a microphone to talk over the latest episode of Doctor Who. More than three years later, we're still at it and Impossible Podcasts is proud to call itself not only home to the original Doctor Who fan commentaries, but one of the fastest growing genre podcasts on the web.

And there's more to us than Doctor Who. We love fantastic fiction in all its permutations and you'll find a healthy mix of reviews, discussions and interviews on the site. We've already started a week-by-week review of HBO's Game of Thrones and have just posted the first of our in-depth features on the life and work of Tolkien. There's even more to come, with discussions on story arcs, Arthurian legend and the evolution of storytelling in video games arriving very soon. Stay tuned!

So pay us a visit at Have a read, have a listen, then join us for a chat on Facebook or Twitter.

Impossible Podcasts. Because "it's kind of fun to do the impossible."

Check out our latest posts:

New! Tolkien roundtable discussion.

Our Game of Thrones reviews start here.

Doctor Who - A Good Man Goes to War - Commentary

BFS Events / Re: Wales Open Night
« on: January 19, 2011, 04:59:19 pm »
Count me in! I've started checking out potential venues - have sent you an e-mail. Would be very happy to see this happen.

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