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Reading Lists: Stoya, Professor Elemental, Ben Hammersley

Ben Hammersley, author, speaker, non-executive director, trainee trapeze artist

Present Shock, Douglas Rushkoff (for the immediate second time to grab all the googlable references out of it. Is good.)

Bursts, Albert-László Barabási (which is driving me slightly batty)

The Portable Dorothy Parker

On Craftsmanship, Christopher Frayling

And Aleks’ book, Untangling The Web, which I’ve read at every stage, but really look forward to reading in full when the copies get in at home.


Stoya, columnist, performer, aerialist

That’s what I’ve got lined up for the next couple of weeks:

Professor Elemental, aka Paul Alborough, purveyor of fine chap-hop

In memory of the neutering of John Constantine, I’ve just started reading my way through the entire run of Hellblazer. Working through the early Jamie Delano issues at the moment, is a bit like having a some kind of fever dream brought on by too many psilocybin ‘shrooms. How nice.
There’s nothing I like more than a good anthology, so I am determined to finally finish off ‘Stories‘ edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantino. Sarrantino edited my favourite horror anthology ever (entitled ‘999’) and like all anthologies, this is a mixed bag- but the high points pack more of a punch than your average short story.

Likewise, I working my way through the superbly angry, although slightly repetitive  ‘Chav’ by Owen Jones and fully intend to read Tony Benn’s Diaries this year. I was lucky enough to see him speak the other day and he left me all fired up and inspired.

Comic wise- having long given up on DC, I am very happily romping through Marvel’s renewed titles: Daredevil, Uncanny Avengers, Hulk and especially Thor are all floating my boat at the moment. Might get to that ‘Marvel comics: The Untold Story‘ too. Likewise Mark Millar‘s cinematic treats and any of the noir flavoured tales that Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips put out are always right up my alley.

Not a comic, but should be, are Toby Frost‘s Captain Smith books. All cups of tea, space adventure and elder gods I have just started them and they share some common ground with some of my stuff. I shall work hard not to steal any of the excellent ideas.

I’ll also be dipping into ‘the incomplete Tim Key‘ for a spot of poetry, likewise The point of Inconvenience by A F Harrold is waiting for me to read at the moment, like a special treat. He is always very heartfelt and my favourite poet ever, can’t recommend him highly enough.

Oh and finally, somehow, someway I am going to track down the out of print, ‘I stole Freddy mercury’s birthday cake‘ , the autobiography of Malcom Hardee. Nothing like a biography of an eccentric to inspire and energise.

…I will also be reading a lot of old Plastic Man & Ambush Bug comics, probably in the bath or late at night, when no one is looking. But that, frankly, is none of your business. 

Published in guest informant