How do you…fill your days?’ My editor was looking at me with a hint of concern, in a cafe on Portland Street. She was worried I was losing my edge. It had been almost a year since my first book had come out, and still I hadn’t started working on another. Well, I thought to Read more…

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The nice thing about having lived in Russia is that everyone assumes you must have been a spy. Acquaintances drop knowing hints about MI6. One relative even claims she heard me sleep-talking one night, mumbling in Russian, before shouting out: ‘Not this time, Karla!’ The truth, sadly, is that neither MI6, nor the Foreign Office, Read more…

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I was on the Tube yesterday

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There are two main views of nature which one finds in philosophy, culture, and science fiction. In one view, nature is a benevolent, nurturing mother. In the other she is a vicious and destructive bitch. You see both views play out in science fiction, in how we imagine beings from other planets. One view of Read more…

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I’m going to see Alasdair MacIntyre give a lecture this evening. He’s my favourite living philosopher – better than my other faves: Martha Nussbaum, Michael Sandel and Charles Taylor. MacIntyre is more radical, and the influence of his ideas keeps on growing. He wrote a ridiculously ambitious book, called After Virtue, back in 1981. His Read more…

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