Matthew Kresal was born and raised in North Alabama though he never developed a Southern accent. His essays have been featured in numerous books and his first piece of fiction was published in the anthology Blood, Sweat, And Fears in 2016.
The Kneale Legacy: An Interview with Andy Murray
Nigel Kneale might well be the most important television writer you've never heard of. If you have enjoyed a piece of British science fiction made since at least the 1960s, chances are that you've encountered something either written by or influenced by his writings. It could be Doctor Who, its spin-off series Torchwood, or even works from across the Atlantic such as Stephen King's The Tommyknockers.
Dear Mr. President, Condemn The Alt-Right
Watching the events in Charlottesville unfold, I've been trying to collect my thoughts. To try and say something worthwhile about the whole mess, even before someone decided to use their car to ram through a crowd of protesters. That it's come to this, in 2017 America, simply boggled my mind.
Stalin's American Spies
There is an old saying that truth is often stranger than fiction. Works of non-fiction can often prove that to be the case, revealing sometimes hidden or forgotten stories from our history. The Cold War, that epic conflict of ideologies fought largely in the shadows and still influencing the world we live in today, is just such an example. While so many great fictional spy stories were inspired by it ranging from Ian Fleming's James Bond novels to John le Carré's George Smiley, the real world of Cold War espionage can be just as fascinating as any thriller. The non-fiction work The Haunted Wood proves that to be the case with its exploration of the Americans who spied for the Russians in the 1930s and 1940s.
Spies, Moles, And 'The Game'
It seems as though the Cold War spy thriller is making something of a come back in recent years. The last few years have seen a spate of new adaptations of the classic Cold War era works of author John le Carre ranging from the Oscar nominated film adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy to a slew of BBC audio drama adaptations of the various novels. Authors such as Charles Cumming in his novel The Trinity Six have also explored the legacy of the Cold War as well. Yet there's also been new tales told as well, pastiches of a thought dead genre. One particularly interesting one was the BBC's six part thriller The Game, created by Toby Whithouse, which took viewers into MI5 in early 1970s Britain.
Doctor Who: Heralds Of Destruction Review
Ever since Doctor Who came back to our screens in 2005, it seems as though past doctors have been sidelined somewhat in prose. Indeed the novel range featuring them disappeared, there have only been sporadic novels since then, and their appearances in multi-Doctor comic arcs. It's only been in the last couple of years that Titan Comics has sought to readdress the balance somewhat with a string of miniseries featuring past Doctors. The latest features the Third Doctor (played on-screen by Jon Pertwee between 1970 and 1974) and sees a return to Who by writer Paul Cornell. Cornell's past Who works include both the novel and later TV adaptation of Human Nature as well as the 2005 episode Father's Day and the groundbreaking 1991 Who novel Timewyrm: Revelation. He was also, back in the day, not a fan of this era at all. Which makes it all the more interesting that what he wrote is essentially something of a blast from the past for this Doctor and Cornell's apparent farewell to Who as a writer.
Moving 'Beyond Earth'
For decades at least, the dream of a human colony moving our species beyond this planet has been a dream shared by both science fiction and science fact. It's an idea that has yet again come into vogue. Yet the question remains: how would we even set about the task and where do we go? While the popular answer seems to be the Moon or Mars, writer Charles Wohlforth and planetary Amanda Hendrix's Beyond Earth: Our Path To A New Home In The Planets seeks to answer both and propose an altogether different destination: Saturn's moon Titan.
Review: 'The Trinity Six'
For those with an interest in espionage, the Cambridge Five remain well known. Five graduates of Trinity College Cambridge, the group infiltrated high levels positions inside the British government between the 1930s and 1950s and spied for the Soviet Union. They handed over names of agents, exposed entire operations, revealed details of the Enigma code-breaking effort, and helped to tip the Soviets off on efforts to build the atomic bomb. It took decades to expose all five but imagine, for a moment, that there was a sixth Cambridge spy. One who has managed to remain hidden but is now on the verge of being exposed. That is the premise of Charles Cumming's 2011 novel which sees the past coming back to haunt the present.
'White Man's Burden': Reality Just Changed Sides
One of the things that film can do is give the viewer a new perspective. It can be an empathetic medium, allowing us to see the world through a different pair of eyes. Or even turn the world on its head in the modern equivalent of fables. 1995's White Man's Burden from director Desmond Nakano is just such a modern fable. It's a film that takes the racial and economic status quo of America and turns it on its head with fascinating results.