Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

I watched something..

Posted: January 19, 2018 in Random, Uncategorized

Well, actually, I watched two short films but it took me about four days to view the collective forty minutes. It doesn’t really explain my six month absence from blogging however..

Things have been hectic, as life goes, and training has gotten manic recently (trying to keep up with training partners 20 years younger isn’t a great plan). I’m teaching more wrestling at the gym and on top of looking after my son and getting work done, the blog ended up being left by the wayside.

However, in amongst it all I saw some talk about Neill Blomkamp’s latest project. More to the point, his latest decision to start a film company to explore lots of different ideas and projects; an incubator of sorts for film directors and editors. Searching for Oats Studios will reveal all. It’s a fantastic idea, in my opinion, especially with the current reboot mania the major studios seem taken with.

I’ve also started watching The Punisher, which is proving to be very enjoyable; Luke Cage, a show that has some great moments and some slightly stilted ones; and I finished watching the season seven of The Walking Dead. More on all of that later.

Honestly, this post is just a marker for me; a way to push me back into blogging and recording the books I read and the films I watch. So, whilst I’ve been bouncing around like Sam Beckett, desperately trying to make the leap home, I’m back and will, hopefully, be blogging once again more regularly.


As I’ve mentioned (once or twice) my wife, son and I have made the move back to the UK. There were a few things I was looking forward about our return, including high speed internet and second-hand bookshops. Unfortunately, whilst there’s quite a few charity shops in the area we’ve relocated to, the pickings are slim when it comes to books. I’ve been used to discovering all sorts of sci-fi and fantasy gems at my old haunts but it seems that around here people either don’t donate books or they just read James Patterson novels.

But, decent internet speed means online second hand books! And that means working down my wish list of reads. I’ve been wanting to read Piers Anthony’s Battle Circle for a while and though the cover art is laughable, the premise has ensured I’ll be reading it next…

The three novels are: 1. Sos the Rope (1968) 2. Var the Stick (1972) 3. Neq the Sword (1975) The trilogy takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth. The history is not given in detail, but the landscape is filled with the ruins of the previous civilization, and large areas (referred to as the “badlands”) are still deadly because of radiation, presumably from nuclear war. In North America, there are three main civilizations: the crazies and underworlders, and the nomads who are the main focus of the novels.


And then there is The Walking Dead. My wife and I totally missed out on season 5 so we are catching up with the zombie apocalypse and Rick Grimes and his crew. The screen writers have done some great work with the adaptation to TV, especially post Governor. We are only about half way through and though our nerves are frayed, it’s good to see the character development continuing with respect to the internal logic of the show. It’s what makes The Walking Dead such compelling viewing; the character driven plots and the realistic portrayal of the situation.

As ever, this season is just as fearless at having central characters meet their endings, sometimes under shocking circumstances. I’ve no idea where the rest of series 5 is going but I’m enjoying the fact that Rick has become such a deadly and unrelenting force while Daryl, Glenn and Carol are really coming into their own. The fact that season 6 is underway and being recorded (plus Fear The Walking Dead) means my zombie addiction will be well fed for the foreseeable future.

On top of all that, I’m reading a great novel by one of the new names in fantasy right now (though, again, I’m catching up) so expect a review in the next few days…

I am one of those people who find it very hard to walk past a charity shop and not have a quick look to see what books might be hidden away inside. With a young son who needs his fresh air, my wife and I now have a daily early morning walk come rain or shine. I have also, during those necessary ‘he needs to sleep’ moments, devised a route that takes me past a few of my favourite secondhand book shops whilst hoping that my boy will be lulled into a nap. Cunning, I know. But also very straining on the already loaded bookshelves in the house.

However, of late, I haven’t been able to find much that’s peaked my interest. Sure, there’s piles of Fifty Shades of Grey but not much in the way of the kind of hidden gems I used to so regularly find. Though I did mange to pick up two interesting looking zombie novels on my recent travels. Firstly, Outpost by Adam Baker and, secondly, Monster Island by David Wellington. I know, I know, I have a zombie problem lately…

Bemoaning the change in the charity shop’s inventory is pointless though. Instead I took the chance to go hunting on the internet for a few titles I’ve been eager to read. Today the mad and muttering postie delivered, with a rousing chorus of expletives and quite probably a swift kick to the letter box, Armor by John Steakley.

I’ve heard so many good things about this book that I dived straight in and I’m enjoying it so far. Very different from my last read and I’ll get a review up soon. In the meantime, check out the blurb below.


The planet is called Banshee. The air is unbreathable, the water poisonous. It is the home of the most implacable enemies that humanity, in all its interstellar expansion, has ever encountered.

Felix is a scout in A-team Two. Highly competent, he is the sole survivor of mission after mission. Yet he is a man consumed by fear and hatred. And he is protected not only by his custom-fitted body armor, the culmination of ten thousand years of the armorers’ craft, but also by an odd being which seems to live with him, a cold killing machine he calls “the Engine.”

This best-selling science-fiction classic is a story of the horror, the courage, and the aftermath of combat and also of how strength of spirit can be the greatest armor of all.

Either way, whether it’s a stumbled upon jewel amidst the piles of Jeffery Archer in your local charity shop or a tracked down novel you’ve been wanting to read for a while found on the interweaves, secondhand bookshops are a godsend.

The Bookbeard blog’s beginning…

Posted: May 22, 2014 in Random

old book


I’ve been writing about combat sports for the best part of a decade and a few years ago decided that I’d like to write about my other hobby – sci-fi and fantasy literature. I’ve written a fair amount of content for the BSFA site, a great resource for fans and writers of the genre, but thought that now was a good time to go it alone into that great expanse that is the interwebs…

This is my first foray into social media as I’m not on Facebook or Twitter (not sure if that is a humble boast or the confession of a Luddite) and I’m hoping this blog will allow me the space to consider all the great books that I read – and the occasional film should I get the chance. There will be reviews of older books and newer titles, second-hand bookshop finds and, hopefully, some ARCs and the odd interview, along with a random Quantum Leap reference every now and then. So, after much beard stroking and procrastination, lets begin this book blog.


If you want to get in touch with me about reviews or anything book related, email me –
thebookbeardsblog at gmail dot com