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I've been a writer for as long as I've been a reader, in the sense of simply putting words onto paper. I wrote a novel at Quilters Infants School in Billericay which featured dinosaurs climbing out of the trenches at the side of the games field and attacking the school. I was less than seven years old and I remember filling an exercise book. I'm sure that this was horrendous writing and not as long as it seemed at the time, but at least I had felt the need to create something, even back then.

I've dabbled here and there ever since, but started taking writing seriously after reading an article by Jerry Pournelle on writing. I began a daily writing project I called The Million Word March that was designed to improve whatever talents I had as a writer, by following Pournelle's advice to write, write, write; to finish what I started; and to reach a million words.

While I shifted away from that project after a while, I never shifted away from its goal. I have no idea when my word count clocked past the million mark but I do believe that my writing reached the point where I could be deemed a Writer in March 2010 while reviewing films at Apocalypse Later. I've lost count of the millions since then and count books instead (five in print, more to come).

I do often cringe when looking back at what I wrote years ago, but then that's precisely the point. We're always learning and we have to hone our craft.


Index page to Apocalypse Later Press, which publishes my books

ALP001: Huh? An A-Z of Why Classic American Bad Movies Were Made
ALP002: Velvet Glove Cast in Iron: The Films of Tura Satana
ALP003: Charlie Chaplin Centennial: Keystone
ALP004: The International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival: The Transition Years
ALP005: A Hundred in 2016

A Hundred in 2016 won the Alan Black Book of the Festival Award at Cirque du Livre 2017.

Special Projects

Index page to Special Projects, many of which will end up as books
2016 Centennials, remembering filmmakers on their 100th birthdays with interesting obscurities
Doc Savage Runthrough, reviewing a Doc Savage novel a month in the original pulp publication order


Apocalypse Later
Apocalypse Later Now!
Index page to my reviews for The Nameless Zine

Index page to the Poe Station Blog (archives)
Captain's Blog (archives): May 2002 | June 2002 | July 2002

The Million Word March

Index page to The Million Word March, my daily writing experiment in 2001

Most Popular Piece: Pubic Hair in a To Go Box
My Favourite Piece: This Aphorism Affliction
Best Piece (Maybe): Grand Subtleties and Evil Gods

Major Articles

Norman F Astell and the Raiding Support Regiment
Why the RIAA is Obsolete and You Don't Have to Care
Setting Up a Watched Film List in MS Excel


Index page to Scribbles, my short stories, poems and peoms

Key Titles
In the Footsteps of Lewis Carroll
Lovely Creature
Rocking Chair
The Sound of Shattering Glass
Happy Birthday
Black Monday: A Ballad of the Chimp
Remember, Remember
50 Ways to Lose at Cosmo


Index page to Hal and Dee at the Movies
The IMDb Project

Index page to The Musical Box
Musica Extremis
Why the RIAA is Obsolete and You Don't Have to Care
Probot II, Mr Grohl?

Index page to The Last Page Bookshop
The Horror Reviews
John Slater and the Nazi Romance Novel


Index page to North American Tour '99
My Favourite Episode: Within Four Miles of a Lake

Index page to Millennium Roadtrip
My Favourite Episode: Grand Subtleties and Evil Gods

(Auto)biography and Family History

Index page to (Auto)Biography and Family History

Norman F Astell and the Raiding Support Regiment
Names in the Mist

Guest Poetry

Index page to Guest Poetry, works not by me

Home Mail Hal C F Astell - Site Map