Martin Ash


OoOM 29/04/2020 Words (and what we do with them)

Words. Aren’t they strange and wonderful. And what do they tell us about human beings? For example: tsujigiri (Japanese), meaning ‘to test your new sword on a chance passer-by’. Quite an acceptable practice in feudal Japan, providing one was of samurai status. Also Japanese, ‘boronji‘, which translates as ‘a person who goes about with his head and face concealed in

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OoOM 30/03/2020 Amazon Escapades

Another day, another tributary.This one, though, was the keeper of a secret. A four-and-a-half hours or so speed-launch trip upriver from Iquitos had delivered me to somewhere so far off in the Amazon Basin that I could barely believe I was there. Later came a three-hour trek through lush, dense primary rainforest, along with a couple of other reasonably seasoned

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OoOM 1/3/2020 Agent Running In The Field

I’ve always admired John le Carré’s fiction. ‘𝑻𝒉𝒆 π‘Ίπ’‘π’š 𝑾𝒉𝒐 π‘ͺπ’‚π’Žπ’† 𝑰𝒏 π‘­π’“π’π’Ž 𝑻𝒉𝒆 π‘ͺ𝒐𝒍𝒅’, and ‘π‘»π’Šπ’π’Œπ’†π’“, π‘»π’‚π’Šπ’π’π’“, π‘Ίπ’π’π’…π’Šπ’†π’“, π‘Ίπ’‘π’š’ trilogy, rank as modern classics. No other writer in the field has quite matched him in his unravelling of the complexities of the secret world. My own fiction owes a debt to him as he has greatly enhanced my understanding

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OoOM 09/02/2020

Some years ago I found myself chatting to a bloke in a bar about a shared love of music. He turned out be be a local musician/composer. This being Camden, Β it’s not unusual to find oneself sharing barspace with arty folk, and his name, as it happened, was Kieran Hebden, better known as Four Tet (not to be confused with

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OoOM 27/01/20120 NEVER FORGET.

Holocaust Memorial Day 2020, marking 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz.There’s a troubling resurgence of racism around the world, and populist governments and organisations openly or tacitly encouraging it. Auschwitz has become the archetypal symbol, warning us of where this can ultimately lead.I visited Auschwitz some years ago and wrote a feature, with photos, for the (now defunct) Hampstead

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The Machinist

Just watched The Machinist for I think the fourth time since its 2004 release. A nightmare of a movie featuring a truly remarkable performance from Christian Bale, who starved himself skeletal to play Trevor Reznik, an industrial lathe operator who hasn’t slept for a year.Mentally unravelling via an unending clamour of paranoid/psychotic delusions, haunted by a man whose fingers have

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OoOM Nov 2nd 2019 What in hell are we doing?

This is a long one. A story. A cautionary tale of sorts. It could begin β€˜Once upon a time…’ Instead, it goes: Decades past, a young writer called Philip First had his first novel published. Arguably callow, at times defensively callous, introverted, hyper-sensitive, ill-at-ease, nay, aghast at finding himself in a world that made no sense, he predicted in that

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OoOM 07/10/2019 Joker!

JOKER!Wow, what a movie! No superhero/mega-villain shenanigans here, just the story of an unhinged incel loner being relentlessly and systematically hammered by life until he finally snaps, while around him a disturbingly familiar and unsympathetic world descends into bedlam. What comes later is DC history, with Batman deftly prefigured, but this is a total re-imagination of the earlier fan-friendly comic

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OOoM 24/8/2019 Free Promo Enchantment’s Reach 1

Just a quickie today.For anyone with an interest: I’m running a promo on Enchantment’s Reach Vol One (e-book). It’s FREE for the next 48hrs.Go get – and enjoy! Β 


OoOM 26/06/2019 Going Places

I love to travel. Nothing beats finding oneself in a remote, or even not-so remote, other culture, absorbing elements of the world with almost every breath.I travel when I can – not as often as I’d ideally like, and sometimes things don’t go entirely to plan, but that can add to the experience. I had a plan to visit Chernobyl

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