Nowness: December 2023

December 2023 is almost over and I should be thinking about my end-of-year roundup more than updating the Now page. What can I say? I live in the Now.

My partner and I still live in Glasgow, Scotland. I’m a writer, though much of my work these past few months have been writing-adjacent or administering the necessary business side of writing. I’m fine with that.


From the Sublime… just published a piece I wrote about Pogs and nostalgia in their second issue. It was fun to write about the idiotic cardboard discs and I like the whip-pan “Dudley via Honolulu” structure I came up with.

I’m making a film with Mark Cartwright and Anthony Irvine about the Iceman. We’re basically adapting my book into a documentary. It’s been nothing but fun so far. We’re trying to cover some of our expenses with a Kickstarter so please chip in if you can.

Issue 15 of New Escapologist is out now. It’s been my main workload for at least two months: writing, commissioning, editing, proofing, printing, promotion, shipping. I’m trying to arrange proper distribution for this one too, which I think will happen in January thanks to distributor Ra & Olly.

My first novel, Rub-A-Dub-Dub just scooped a Saltire Award for Best Book Cover. Amazing. September also saw a nice interview about the book with my old friend Reggie Chamberlain-King in Pop Matters.

I’ve almost finished editing John Robinson’s second book about Momus. It’ll be published by P&H in February.

This is a lot of work for me. I’ve loved every minute of it but I’m looking forward to a proper break while the world enjoys Christmas and probably a deceleration in the year of the orangutan.


I’m currently reading Bore Hole, the memoir of Joe Melen who drilled a hole in his own head. Recommended.

I also recently read Butts by Heather Radke, a cultural history of arses.

Nina Simon’s Gum by Warren Ellis, meanwhile, is the story of how the Dirty fiddler pocketed Dr. Simone’s gobbed-up gum at a concert and what happened next. It’s fab.


My partner was finally granted citizenship this month. Rejoice! It’s been a long journey. Her passport also arrived today (a separate process, by the way), which means we can leave the UK for periods longer than 180 days if we want to. Ironically, citizenship means the ability to stay without fear of deportation but also the ability to get off this blasted island.

I was in Paris recently, visiting the Asia Now exhibition, dossing in a hostel, and hanging out with Landis who was over from Chicago, signing books and consorting with publishers.

I visited the Netherlands in November ostensibly for a day of Le Guess Who? festival in Utrecht but also flaneuring around (and hostelling again) in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Delft. Oh! And Luxembourg, which isn’t even in the Netherlands! It’s hard to convey how much I enjoyed this trip: the freedom of solo travel, all those lovely European trains, a rich variety of experience.

I was filming in Wolverhampton and Birmingham later in the same month with Anthony and Mark, and also meeting the amazing Fliss, Jim, Michael and Arthur.

Time Wasting

Most weeks, we attend a particular Monday night pub quiz. It’s a waste of time, money, and health but we continue to attend for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe it’s because we keep WINNING. Oh yeah.

For TV, my partner and I have been watching Moonlighting (1985-89), which is a lot of fun so far with its fast-talking silliness and two charismatic leads but I worry about all the fourth-wall breaking that’s starting to happen in the second season. On my own, I’ve been watching Season 5 of Fargo, which is awesome. The pared-down minimalist narrative doesn’t get my blood up like Seasons 1-3 but is a welcome reduction after the messy Chris Rock season.

A film I enjoyed recently was Other Music, a documentary about the important record shop in New York City. I also enjoyed Wil Hodgson’s comedy show Barbicidal Tendencies, free to watch on YouTube thanks to GFS.

Here’s my picture of the “month” (this time with Mark and Anthony) so you can continue to monitor my ongoing decay:

You’ve already seen that one? Okay, here’s another:

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