It probably seems like a school essay: “What I did in lockdown”, but I have to say that living on a Scottish island and having a lot of writing to do is the best possible way of getting through this uninteresting, worrying and as yet unfinished period. Here, in reverse order, is the product of my last seven months in enforced seclusion:
I have written an introduction to a new book with what might seem an unpromising title: My Father’s Things. When you discover that the “My” is the photographer Wendy Aldiss, the “Father” is the author Brian Aldiss and the “Things” are all the possessions he had after a lifetime of writing, travel, family and collecting, then maybe it’ll seem a lot more interesting. I found it fascinating, both for the nosey satisfaction of seeing behind the scenes of a long, productive and successful life, and for the quality of the beautiful images. Wendy took more than 9,000 photos as she went sadly through his house, and the book is a selection of the best.
Wendy is seeking crowdfunding for the project, and is already well on the way to achieving her target. Do check out the Kickstarter page, and become a supporter.
During the short recess in the lockdown, at the end of summer, we briefly breathed the heady air of freedom and went to see the new Christopher Nolan film, Tenet. This coincided with reading for review a new book by Tom Shone, The Nolan Variations. The book consists of transcriptions of many long interviews with the great man, film by film. I take a special interest in Nolan’s films, and the review is published today.
My book, The Magic, which is about the making of Nolan’s film version of The Prestige, is still available in hardcover and paperback. Details here.
Most of the last seven months, though, has been fully occupied by a new novel, which I completed and sent to the agent this week. The title is Expect Me Tomorrow, probably the most complex book I have written to date. I’m reluctant to say anything about it at the moment. I’m still too close to it for that, but it’s a weird feeling, sending something out into the world that has been a private obsession for all these months.