One afternoon some years ago I was driving through the spring countryside with my 90 year-old mother when she announced that she had just finished reading my new novel, The Birdcatcher. That was no mean feat, given that she was already going blind and could only read with a small magnifier and her face almost … Continue reading Writing Fiction | Good and bad titles
There is a type of paranormal phenomena that no one seems to talk about anymore, maybe because it's so difficult to talk about. Here is an example. One night I was having a discussion with my adult daughter about the lamentable lack of interest in literature today, especially among young men. I was referring not … Continue reading Paranormal World | God likes Tolstoy more than me
My perspective on shyness is different because it's the perspective of a loner. During my life I've often been called shy, sensitive, or introverted. But several people, at different times, have also told me that I was the most independent person they had ever met. Well, that strong independence is genetic. It's common on both … Continue reading Shyness | What does a loner know?
The above refers to a Feb 28/2018 “Best of BBC Future” post by Christine Ro. After acknowledging that there has been a lot of research into the negative psychological effects of 'social isolation' (for example, the Royal College of General Practicioners in the UK say that research has found loneliness to have a risk level … Continue reading Rescuing Shyness|Why being a loner may be good for your health
Throughout my life I've been mildly sceptical of this almost universal belief that Homo sapiens is a true social animal. Even primitive humans are always depicted as living in tribes, not in small families or alone. But there is a lot of evidence to the contrary. Sometimes where you don't expect it. For example, recently … Continue reading Homo Selfish|C. J. Meyer and A World Undone
In my novels The Birdcatcher and Skol, and in The Shyness Guide, I’ve said that I think shyness and autism are both usually natural. I've also suggested that, in some people, they may be related to each other. This perception of them isn’t supported by any research as far as I know. But when I … Continue reading Shyness and Autism |Are they related?
In The Shyness Guide I say that if you accept your shyness you will become less shy. This is not a contradiction. If you were born shy – and most of us are – when you try to not be shy you are creating a problem, not solving one. Here are some comments about this … Continue reading The Shyness Guide | Be Yourself
If I could have written only one book in my life, it would have been Skol. Yet the first version of the book, published in 2015, did not sell at all. Yes, this story of the future of shy people, told through one shy young man's odyssey across three centuries, remained the most unread of … Continue reading Skol republished|A return to the 23rd century and the future of shy people
Sociologist Gil Eyal's 2010 book The Autism Matrix: The Social Origins of the Autism Epidemic was a bombshell in the debate over autism. Yet you almost never hear of it. The concept of autism was first presented in the 1940s, more or less simultaneously, by New York psychiatrist Leo Kanner and Austrian psychologist Hans Asperger. … Continue reading Autism | Where did it come from? |A review of The Autism Matrix