Gaza response

…and a quick response from David to all the Gaza talk going on in the comments from Blood On The Rooftops.


Gabe, I’m sorry. It was totally remiss of me not to comment on Hamas, and to assume that you (out there on the web) should know what I think of terrorism. Living in London in the seventies and eighties, I grew up in a society that feared going out socially – visiting city centre pubs, for instance – because we were likely to be blown to bits by IRA bombs.  All we learned from that was that terrorism achieves nothing.

Put simply, I have no time for Hamas. However, what I think or feel about Hamas does not stop young Arab men from joining the ‘cause’.  Quite the opposite, in fact. What Israel are doing in Gaza is making it easier for Hamas to recruit more and yet willing young men. Martyrs to the cause. Just as the IRA did during the Troubles.

A hard line is not what is called for here. Like Kaneda, I really do think that a policy of restraint would achieve far more for Israel. It would get the western world on its side, for a start. But things will never change if current policies are maintained. They will just escalate, year by year. Added to which, the provocative measure of taking over Palestinian land and building new settlements really, really does not help.

Reading through Kaneda’s comments, I cannot but agree with him. I’m sorry, Gabe, but I think Netanyahu’s got it wrong. That said, it’s no excuse for some of the anti-semitic behaviour that has broken out. A bit of reasoned thought is what we need, and a lot more understanding… of both sides of this argument.

That’s it for now.

David  22 August 2014

Of Worldcons And Other Matters

As promised, David’s sent along an update from Worldcon. Sounds like a blast — wish I could’ve been there. Full text after the break.



Of Worldcons And Other Matters

Okay, I did promise to blog during the World Science Fiction Convention, but sheer exhaustion kept me from the task. Travelling across London in packed trains – Highbury to Stratford (with a ten minute wait), to Canning Town, to Prince Regent and back – ain’t no fun, and after a day spent wandering about the gigantic aircraft hangar that’s the ExCel centre, I had little energy for anything when I got back here. Mike (Cobley) was staying with us for the duration, and he can vouch for how tiring it all was. Oh, and if you haven’t read Mike’s books then do. It’s big screen space opera of an intelligent and humane kind. The Humanity’s Fire trilogy.

So. What can I say? I both enjoyed and didn’t enjoy it – it all depended on what time of day it was, what was happening about me, and lots of other factors. I didn’t watch as many panels as I planned, but I did meet a lot of old writer friends, and even got to shake hands with George R R Martin. Of which more later. Continue reading Of Worldcons And Other Matters

Blood On The Rooftops

It’s been a little while since we’ve heard from David, but he’s just checked in with this piece about the situation in Gaza, plus some news about appearances and the next book in the Roads to Moscow series. Thanks to David for sending this along; full text appears after the break.


Blood On The Rooftops

It’s a rainy Sunday morning in North London, and on TV they’re discussing the Gaza situation in the usual kind of ‘tolerant’ fashion we have in this country, with both sides trying desperately hard to see and acknowledge the other’s point of view. Only on topics like Gaza it’s pretty hard to keep a dispassionate, tolerant opinion. Right now, Gaza itself seems like some absurd and horrible (and inhumane) mix of concentration camp and shooting gallery. I can’t remember where it appeared, but one woman wrote in to one of the major papers to argue that if we (us Brits) had reacted in the same way that Israel has, during our “Troubles” (back in the seventies), then we’d have been bombing council estates in Belfast and having our snipers pick off anyone they fancied, man, woman or child, on the pretext that they’d been acting as human shields for the IRA. Continue reading Blood On The Rooftops