Art Exhibition – A London Eye: Three Artists Look

News from London artist Miranda Benzies (the London Face series etc) about a new exhibitions featuring her work along with Nicholas Borden and Marc Googerham in October and November:

A London Eye: Three Artists Look

Miranda Benzies; Nicholas Borden; Marc Gooderham
Also featuring a painting by Michael Quirke
22nd Oct – 15th Nov 2014
Private View Tuesday 21st Oct 6:30 – 9:00pm 
At The Leyden Gallery
Leyden Gallery · 9/9a Leyden Street · London, London E1 7LE 

‘In our long-awaited London show we have invited three contemporary artists to offer their impression of London, its streets, sights, people, and ever- changing landscape. Looking at the city as a mutable and vibrant space their look is an attempt to trace its marked affects. We hope you are able to join us in this landmark exhibition that brings the work of three exceptional London artists into dialogue.‘ Leyden Gallery

Waterloo Bridge at Dusk, oil on wood, 20x40cm, 2014
Miranda Benzies
In her series of paintings called  ‘London Faces’, Miranda Benzies explores the correlation between people and cities, the architecture that is used and maintained by city dwellers over the centuries is anthropomorphically re-visioned. The buildings are viewed as the organs of the city, as if living proof of its inhabitancy over time. Blending into this way of seeing London, Miranda Benzies is also interested in the idea of legacy, suggesting the inherent human need to leave traces behind.
The Ghost of Southward Street, acrylic on canvas, 24×30″, 2014
Marc Gooderham

Having always lived and worked in London, Marc Gooderham finds the city to be a perfect source of inspiration. In concentrating on the city’s decaying and unique architecture, Gooderham manages to capture the singular beauty to be found in those neglected buildings that have fallen into disrepair, as the living city continues to evolve around them. The artist will exhibit a newly commissioned painting  and a series of drawings and prints of familiar London scenes.
Cavendish Mansions, Clerkenwell Rd, pencil on paper, 2013
Nicholas Borden
Borden brings his distinctly accessible and vibrantly painted views of London Street scenes to this exhibition – the scenes are painted plein air and present a pleasing conjunction of the delightfully known and the curiously viewed. For this show the artist presents exquisite line drawings and a newly commissioned painting made high above the city skyline in Petticoat Towers where the famous Middlesex Street, at the heart of Petticoat Lane Market, is seen anew. 


Festival Profile: Winterville

CP - Winterville


Winterville is coming and Christmas in the capital will never be the same…

Here’s what to expect:

> An alternative festive experience…Winterville is the antithesis of corporate Christmas theme parks. Independent, intimate and above all creative, we welcome all like-minded visitors to our town. Expect a different festive experience altogether. LE - WV - Main
> Free entry and free entertainment…Entry to the town of Winterville is not only free, but plenty of the entertainment on offer is too. Among the free entertainment in theSpiegeltent  are free gigs, club nights, comedy and cabaret. LE - WV - New-Town-Map
> High-quality food and drink…We have Street Food traders scattered all over site, a dedicated Craft Beer Area and a food market serving great food and fresh produce you can take away. LE - WV - Craft-Beer
> We’ve combined Kicking Club Nights and a Roller Disco to create the best kind of party scene. Yes that’s right, we have a series of carefully curated club nights from the likes of Bugged Out and Guilty Pleasures in our Roller Disco and Spiegeltent. LE - WV - Music & Clubs


LE - WV - New-Town-Map


London October Exhibitions: Miranda Benzies

News from London artist Miranda Benzies (the London Face series etc) about two new exhibitions featuring her work in October:


First up is 50/50 starring Olivia de Goaltree, a collaborative exhibition at The Hackney Picture House, London. The exhibition includes photographs, a short film and my contribution of a full length painted portrait inspired by the mysterious and intriguing Olivia de Goaltree.

This is closely followed by the Islington Contemporary Art and Design Fair where I will be showing some of my latest paintings. Please come by and say hello!

All details are below…

50/50 starring Olivia de Goaltree

Artists: Olivier Tafforin, Martin East, Miranda Benzies, Oliver Burton, Alex Blogg.

Private View Thursday October 2nd, 7-10pm.

Address: Hackney Picturehouse

270 Mare Street, E8 1HE London.

The show continues until Friday 31st Oct 2014, open every day and evening, see thewebsite for times.

This event is included in next month’s Whitechapel Gallery First Thursday’s event listings.

Free Entry

Islington Contemporary Art and Design Fair

Part One. Painting, Sculpture, Mixed Media and 4D.

Private View Friday 03 October 5-9pm.

Address: Candid Galleries, 3 Torrens Street, Angel, Islington, London, EC1V 1NQ

Opening hours: Saturday 04th and Sunday 05th October, 11am – 6pm.

Entry Free

Alternative stuff to do in London to end September…

It’s a bonanza of film showings, open air and otherwise – if anyone has anything non-Film (or film) to add let us know and we’ll update. Enjoy September people!


Thursday 18th September
BUSSEY BUILDING, 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST
Friday 19th September
The Scoop, Southbank [FREE]
Saturday 20th September
ROOF EAST, Stratford Multistorey Car Park, Great Eastern Way, Stratford, E15 1XE
Saturday 20th September – FILM: NOMAD CINEMA: PULP FICTION – Queen’s Park (profits to charity)
Pulp Fiction
Wednesday 24th September
The Scoop, Southbank [FREE]
Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th September
Earl’s Court; The UK’s biggest & best games show
Thursday 25th September
ROOF EAST, Stratford Multistorey Car Park, Great Eastern Way, Stratford, E15 1XE
Friday 26th September
East Greenwich Pleasance , Greenwich
Friday 26th September
The Scoop, Southbank [FREE]
Friday 26th September
BUSSEY BUILDING, 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST
Friday 26th to Saturday 27th September
East Greenwich Pleasance, Greenwich
Saturday 27th September
East Greenwich Pleasance, Greenwich
Saturday 27th September
ROOF EAST, Stratford Multistorey Car Park, Great Eastern Way, Stratford, E15 1XE


Alternative Stuff to do in London in Early September…

Copied from the London Events page for your convenience – what’s happening in London Town between now and mid-September…

Don’t forget – Half Price tickets through Carabas / Pop Up Screens for the latter’s showings Fight Club on Friday 5th September!



Wednesday 3rd September FILM MORE LONDON: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK The Scoop, Southbank [FREE]
FC1 Friday 5th September – FILM: POP UP SCREENS: FIGHT CLUB *** HALF-PRICE TICKETS THROUGH CARABAS! *** – Manor House Gardens, Lewisham
Friday 5th September FILM THE LUNA CINEMA: GRAVITY Kew Gardens
Friday 5th to Sunday 7th September FILM POP UP SCREENS: LEWISHAM WEEKEND TICKET Manor House Gardens, Lewisham
Saturday 6th September FILM POP UP SCREENS: MOULIN ROUGE! Manor House Gardens, Lewisham
Sunday 7th September FILM POP UP SCREENS: AMERICAN BEAUTY Manor House Gardens, Lewisham
Tuesday 9th September FILM NOMAD CINEMA: THE MATRIX Brompton Cemetery (profits to charity)
Tuesday 9th September FILM THE LUNA CINEMA: AMERICAN HUSTLE Battersea Park
Wednesday 10th September FILM NOMAD CINEMA: THE DARK KNIGHT Brompton Cemetery – SOLD OUT
Wednesday 10th September FILM THE LUNA CINEMA: LABYRINTH Battersea Park
Wednesday 10th September FILM MORE LONDON: THE TRUMAN SHOW The Scoop, Southbank [FREE]
Thursday 11th September FILM THE LUNA CINEMA: DJANGO UNCHAINED Battersea Park
Friday 12th September FILM POP UP SCREENS: HEATHERS Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th September FILM POP UP SCREENS: HAMMERSMITH WEEKEND TICKET Ravenscourt Park Park, Hammersmith
Saturday 13th September FILM POP UP SCREENS: PULP FICTION Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith


On London and Urban Fantasy by Foz Meadows (from LonCon3)

The fantastic LonCon3 is a while back now but we really enjoyed Aberdeen-based writer / blogger Foz Meadows’ thoughts on London as distributed by Pigeon Post on Sunday 17th. With her approval we reproduce them here…


Neverwhere As human habitations go London is not merely old, but ancient: a phoenix-city rising over and over from its own stubborn ashes. Small wonder, then, that Hidden London  has practically become an SFFnal subgenre in its own right. In our minds, the tricksy London’s of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, China Mieville’s Un Lun Dun, Ben Aaronovitch‘s Peter Grant series, Tom Pollock‘s Skyscraper Throne, Maureen’s Johnson’s The Name of the Star and countless other stories, both past and present, all inform its reality as a place both impossibly real and, really, impossible. London is clotted with ghosts and magic, her Spring-Heeled Jack’s and killer queens all dancing to the bonesaw song of the TARDIS. It is a place to love, to be drunk, to get lost in; it is a home and pilgrimage both, older than the Roman Empire, and if you treat it or its inhabitants without due consideration, it will open its glass and concrete jaws and snap. And then, quite possibly, offer to buy you a drink. The City's Son
un_lun_dun Broken-Homes

The last time I visited London, I spent the bus-ride down in the company of a former Uzbek spy whose public defection made the papers, then went to stay in a street where the houses looked so dystopian that they’ve appeared in multiple SF films. So wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, welcome to London. You’re part of her story now, and all she asks in return is that you tell it.


– Foz Meadows, 17/08/14


Wonderful stuff – cheers Foz.


You can find and follow Foz Meadows online on her website: Shattersnipe: Malcontents & Rainbows


Bank Holiday Treats and things to do for the rest of August!

Copied from the London Events page for your convenience – what’s happening in London Town between now and the end of August…

Don’t forget – Half Price tickets through Carabas / Pop Up Screens for the latter’s showings of Blade (Friday 29th August) and Fight Club (next month – Friday 5th September)




Thursday 21st to Monday 25th August FILM FRIGHTFEST Vue West End Cinema, Leicester Square
Friday 22nd August FILM POP UP SCREENS: THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW Morden Hall Park, Morden
Friday 22nd August FILM NOMAD CINEMA: LABYRINTH (profits to charity) Bushy Park
Friday 22nd to Monday 25th August FILM POP UP SCREENS: MORDEN WEEKEND TICKET Morden Hall Park, Morden
Saturday 23rd August SPECIAL Last day of CAMDEN BEACH – [FREE] – See 26th July above or click the link for more details The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1
Monday 25th August FILM POP UP SCREENS: THE HANGOVER Morden Hall Park, Morden
Thursday 28th August – FILM: BFI SCREENING: THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE – (Part of the BFI’s blockbuster Sci-fi Days of Fear and Wonder project) Open air screening at the British Museum Open air screening at the British Museum
Blade Friday 29th August – FILM: POP UP SCREENS: BLADE *** HALF-PRICE TICKETS THROUGH CARABAS! *** Bishop’s Park, Fulham
Friday 29th August FILM POP UP SCREENS: BLADE Bishop’s Park, Fulham
Friday 29th August FILM BFI SCREENING: MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH  – (Part of the BFI’s blockbuster Sci-fi Days of Fear and Wonder project) Open air screening at the British Museum
Friday 29th to Sunday 31st August FILM POP UP SCREENS: FULHAM WEEKEND TICKET Bishop’s Park, Fulham
Saturday 30th August FILM NOMAD CINEMA: E.T. (profits to charity) Bushy Park
Flash and Vultan Saturday 30th August – FILM: BFI SCREENING: FLASH GORDON – (Part of the BFI’s blockbuster Sci-fi Days of Fear and Wonder project) Open air screening at the British Museum [MARQUIS’ SPECIAL RECOMMEND!]
Sunday 31st August FILM POP UP SCREENS: BACK TO THE FUTURE Bishop’s Park, Fulham



Destroying London! From LonCon3 and beyond…

Capital cities tend to get destroyed in Science Fiction – they represent the country and it’s civilization as a whole. So they’re natural targets of aliens [substitute fantastical antagonist as applicable] and the evil genius authors who guide their attack.

The University of Liverpool had the simplest of exhibits up at LonCon3, A4 printouts with pictures on a display board, but if you’re talking destroying London, our capital, and my home city, then you’ve got me at ‘The Destruction of London’.

From the guide: Drawing upon the prophecies of medieval astrologers and soothsayers to modern science fiction and fantasy (Richard Jefferies, George Griffiths, H G Wells, John Wyndham, Doctor Who), this display will look at some of the imaginative and sinister ways the destruction of London has been imagined. 

We start off around 1524 when there was a Europe-wide panic due to astrologers forecasting downpours and floods on the 1st February. The Thames was meant to have burst its banks and drowned the whole city. 20,000 Londoners fled – but not a drop fell. The embarrassed astrologers (like any good apocalyptic doomsayers thwarted by reality) issued a statement saying that they really meant 1624. Then comes a poem by Horace Smith, a friend of Percy Bysshe Shelley (who helped to manage his finances). The two agreed to submit poems (sonnets) to the Examiner having been inspired by Diodorus Siculus (Book 1, Chapter 47) which is on Ozymandias – Shelley’s of course became better known but I was very pleased to discover Mr Smith’s contribution of the same name, printed February 1, 1818 a week later in the Examiner.

IN Egypt’s sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desart knows:—
“I am great OZYMANDIAS,” saith the stone,
“The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
“The wonders of my hand.”— The City’s gone,—
Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.

We wonder,—and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro’ the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.

Battle of Dorking Hartmann the Anarchist The Sleeper Awakes
 Next we’re off to 1871 and Chesney’s ‘The Battle of Dorking’ (kicking off the invasion genre and an important precursor to science fiction) and other fictional invasions of London including Hartmann the Anarchist, before we move on to HG Wells’ and his dystopian future-London setting of The Sleeper Awakes.
Then there’s the sidestep into gaseous fog threats across the decades, in William DeLisle Hay’s The Doom of the Great City 1880 and Conan-Doyle’s The Poison Belt (1913), before we start to see familiar images from screens small and large and we’re up to date and looking forward to seeing what the next destruction of London will look like. daleks-london
  And on that subject, just across the way is this fantastic diorama by Nick Cobb of a post-apocalyptic Peckham, circa it’s car park and cinema; you can see more of this epic work on Nick’s Flickr page

London is an awesome place. London will still be awesome post-apocalypse – just rather more… apocalyptic.

Again big cities tend to get destroyed in science fiction. Their remnants show scale. The scale of disaster and the scale of what has been lost.

Great stuff.


LonCon3 Friday – The Urban Fantasy: London panel…

Having read Hellblazer in my late teens it never occurred to me that the adventures of, for example, a modern day wizard would be something considered fresh and innovative; enter Jim Butcher and his Chicago-based wizard Harry Dresden, now around a decade on and a Sunday Times – as well as a New York Times – bestseller. And he’s not the only one to have success on the urban fantasy scene, a genre very much alive and ever more so in modern day London.

So what is UF and what’s going down behind the scenes in the big city? With Gollancz’s Gillian Redfearn moderating five authors discuss: Tony Ballantyne (author of Dream London and others), MaryAnn Johanson (critic and author, who came over to London from NYC three years ago and has yet to leave), Suzanne McLeod (author of, Tom Pollock (author of the Skyscraper Throne trilogy), and Russell Smith (Author of the Grenshall Manor chronicles).The moderator opens by asking them ‘What is urban fantasy to you?’

It must have at least something of our world, Susan McLeod shares and Mary-Ann Johanson agrees: it’s about the use of the real city, and the author making it ‘alive and haunting’. Tom Pollock continues the thread talking of how cities have their own personality and, given that London is both London and all the old towns and villages that grew together to form it, there’s a great deal of personality to explore in our big city.

So what is it about cities? Russell Smith expresses a sense of authorial spirituality here and later, saying that there are more stories than there are authors to tell them. But, of all cities, what is so special about London? It’s the juxtaposition of the historic and the modern, says Mary-Ann Johanson – that and all the places in which things could be hidden. We move on to its multicultural aspect, London being a melting pot of people from all over but who, collectively, bring a flavour to the area in which they live. It’s noted that its multicultural nature has been the case since the city was called Londinium.

Dream London
Sweet Smell of Blood
The City's Son Could the authors write an urban fantasy elsewhere and where would they like to? Berlin, says Tom Pollock without hesitation, to do so being an ambition of his (it’s an apt choice, the city having been infused with years of turmoil, of the Second World War and then the Cold War, division and being united and is still a city very much in the process of becoming). For Suzanne McLeod it’s Edinburgh, a selection met with the vocal approval of the panel. Russell Smith likewise has his answer ready: ‘Unquestionably Barcelona’.Then we’re into the discussion of whether you could write an urban fantasy in a city or place without the depth of history common to such cities. Perhaps this sort of question is a red rag to a writer, and maybe any creative: can something be written if…? Yes, yes and thrice yes. (In fact Jim Butcher’s non-urban fantasy series, the Codex Alera, seems rather too random compared to the well developed Dresden Files until you realise that he wrote them as a ‘bet’ with just that in mind. A good writer can turn anything into a good book, was along the lines of what he’s supposed to have said and, when his friend challenged him on this: give me two elements. All right – Pokemon and the Roman Empire.)
Oblivion Storm

But yes, you can write an urban fantasy in a city without history, the panel agrees: the apparent conflict of such a lack will bring its own solution – and doubtless something new to the genre.



Check out more Urban Fantasy including Tom Pollock’s concluding volume of The Skyscraper Throne on our Jan-Jun 15 Urban Fantasy Page here!



Writer Profile: Alan Devey

Alan Devey / ‘Al Likilla’


Alan Devey Website:
See also our Home Defence Website Profile:

Alan Devey is the author of three self-published novels and the Co-Creator and Contributing Editor of British satirical webzine Home Defence. He lives in London.

KA SON Wallfloweresque


Website Profile: Home Defence

Home Defence

Satirical website by Al Likilla (Alan Devey)

Home Defence
Also Writer Profile on Carabas:
“Watch the news these days, you know, it’s unbelievable. You think you just walk out your door you’re immediately going to be raped by some crack-addicted, AIDS-infected….. pit bull.” – Bill Hicks


Writer Profile: Nick Bryan

Nick Bryan Detective Fiction: Hobson & Choi
Nick Bryan is a London-based writer of genre fiction, usually with some blackly comic twist. As well as the ongoing self-published detective saga Hobson & Choi, he is also working on a novel about the real implications of deals with the devil and has stories in several anthologies.
Full details of his published stories, as well as links to buy the ones that can be bought, can be found on here. He is also on Twitter as @NickMB, where he updates with perfect and reasonable regularity.
When not reading or writing books, Nick Bryan enjoys racquet sports, comics and a nice white beer.


Latest on Carabas: Crime in London Comes to an End – at least for now in Hobson & Choi


CA - The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf

⇐ Cover for Book 1 July 14

CP - Rush Jobs

Cover for (coming in January 15) Book 2. NB. may not be actual cover ⇒

Praise for Hobson & Choi

“This is one of my must-read serials. If you enjoy mystery, a bit of crudeness, and dark humor, Hobson and Choi is definitely a serial you should check out.” – Colleen Vanderlinden, author of Hidden

“I’d definitely recommend this story to mystery enthusiasts, especially those who favor dark humor.” – Palladian, author of Super

“H&C is just plain fun… Even when it’s being grim and ghastly, it’s still packed full of wit.” – Dan Weatherley, author of The New Devil

“By turns serious and darkly funny… my hat’s off to the author.”

“Witty and just a bit gross!”




Writer Profile: Alastair Ball

CPP - Alastair Ball new CONTACT
Twitter: @alastairjJRBall
Website on Twitter: @nimbus_space
I also write a politics blog which can be found here: and can be followed on Twitter @RedTrainBlog

Events Profile: Pop-up Screens


Fancy a film in the park this Summer?

Pop Up Screens is an outdoor cinema showing open air screenings of generally awesome films, so if you’re bored of faceless multi-screens and their sticky carpets come along and spend a summer’s evening in the park and enjoy a proper cult movie.

Pop Up Screens Website Website:

Read the rest of this entry »

Writer Profile: Corey Brotherson


corey_brotherson_portrait Magic of Myths cover Clockwork Watch Bayou Arcana cover Stolen cover Vampire Boogie cover


WEBSITE: – other sites for Corey’s work can be found here


Writing Gaijin (cbrotherson “at” is a writer who creates copy and content for websites, publishers, magazines and TV. He’s also a published comic book writer: the co-creator/writer of Bad Luck Inc., L33tspeak, A Twilight’s Promise, Fragile, The Twilight Cleaner, Magic of Myths and other forthcoming projects including several ongoing series’ and full length graphic novel, Butterflies and Moths. Since 2000, Corey has worked as an editor, staff writer, producer and critic for over a dozen publications and companies, including Channel 4 Teletext’s Game Central, Eurogamer, Games Domain, Sony, Yahoo, Official PS2 Mag, Vivendi Universal, ComiX-Fan, Electronic Arts, Sky One,Central/ITV, Boomtown, and more.


Writer Profile: Chele Cooke

Part time author and full time fantasist, Chele is a Science-Fiction and Fantasy writer living in London, UK. Her first novel, Dead and Buryd, was released in October 2013, with its sequel, Fight or Flight set to follow in the summer of 2014. chelecooke
Chele is working on a number of projects, as well as procrastinating in a wonderful fashion. Occasionally she posts pictures of cross stitching, knitting, and sketching.

Twitter: @CheleCooke

The Books

Chele’s writing is very character based, often gritty, and never set in shiny worlds. Fans of The Hunger Games, Wool, and Divergent, are sure to find common ground with her books.

> Click on the covers to go direct to more title information on Chele’s website <

CPP - CC - Dead and Buryd
CPP - CC - Fight or Flight
CPP - CC - Teeth


Book I of the Out of Orbit series

A single life could liberate an entire race, but the life required may be her own.

Georgianna Lennox has spent her life helping others. When a friend is sold into slavery, she must weigh this one life against the harsh consequences of defying the ruthless Adveni oppressors of her people.

Putting her trust in a group of rebels, Georgianna becomes caught in a web of lies and cruelty, where the sparks of the revolution may consume them all.