Breakfast in the Ruins

Breakfast in the Ruins

Friends old and new join me in Derry and Toms roof gardens to discuss the work and influence of prolific British fantasist Michael Moorcock, as well as other bits of 60s and 70s genre fiction that came to me via my Grandad in the 80s and informed my world view. Books, music, role-playing games, wrestling in Featherstone Library and many other digressions await.


December 7, 2023 110 mins

Simon Perrins (artist, graphic designer and co-host of Can I Pod With Madness) returns to Derry and Toms so we can finally conclude our re-read of the second Corum adventure, The Queen of the Swords.

Between wading gods, crackles from beyond the veil and other interventions from the old gods of chaos, we managed to get through books two and three of this adventure intact. So join us for small talk about Moorcock, fighting fantasy b...

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Power up your voxcaster, recite a litany of protection and light a lho stick as beer lover, wargamer and death metal LEGEND Karl Willetts braves the Immaterium to warp over to Derry and Toms and discuss Memoriam, Bolt Thrower, Warhammer and his three rules of beer…

Memoriam's latest release is Rise to Power and it and their back catalogue are available at all good stockists.

I also wistfully recall my first exposure to Bolt Thrower...

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Miles and Phil brave nuclear Armageddon, mutant rats, zoom meltdowns and horrific rabies treatment to join me in Derry & Toms and check out our patron-selected Halloween double-bill of James Herbert's Domain and Bruno Mattei's Rats: Night of Terror. So paint your windows white, lock the dogs and cats outside, get safely ensconced in your inner sanctum and JOIN US!

... and listen to the Casual Trek Podcast

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In this, the second blow of that one-two punch of GNS brain matter, Graham and I welcome Tara Paulsson to Derry and Toms to talk about her Dad and his work.

Tara will be at Tamworth Castle's Tales From the Darkside Week on Saturday 28th October and you can find details about 'An Ode to Guy Newman Smith's, 1970's Pulp Fiction Horror' and how to book at  

You can find all of Tara's GNS content on Ins...

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Graham and Phil return to Derry and Toms to tackle our third adventure in the company of the mighty Professor Cliff Davenport in the first of a one-two punch of GNS-related early Halloween action. Disturbing violence, saucy language and copious amounts of pus await the unwary traveller. Be sure to check out Graham and the Duck Pond Sailors' latest release Urban Navigators. There's much more to say on Guy and his extensive b...
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Phil returns to Derry & Toms to tackle the second Erekosë volume - The Pheonix in Obsidian, also known as The Silver Warriors in the USA.

Misery, perversion and very metal methods of conveyance abound in this tale of an Earth in its final ebbs of existence.


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September 15, 2023 116 mins

Chris (AKA Dirk the Dice) returns to Derry and  Toms to discuss Michael Moorcock's sort-of-memoir of his time in LA and wider California in Letters From Hollywood. Along the way we drink fusty northern beer, console one another about Pernod-soaked catastrophes in our salad days, wistfully recall the Moorcock/Tolkien Weekender and muse on what form it could take in the future (Dannus/Lud-in-the-Mist Premier Inn Takeover anyone?*). 


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August 29, 2023 102 mins

Andy Darby shakes off the Monkey for an evening and drops by D and Ts to take a look at one of Moorcock's 60s SF tales, The Fireclown (later retitled The Winds of Limbo but I'm sticking with the original title for vaguely defined reasons related to being old and finnicky).

Strap in for a political thriller laced with astute observations on the natures of media and personality politics, the odd sprinkling of futurism and some oddly ...

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Graham returns to Derry and Toms to pick up the chat regarding another Uncosy Catastrophe, on this occasion recommended by listener Paul Miles... 1985's The Fungus by Harry Adam Knight, a book that somehow passed us by despite being firmly in our wheelhouse.

Exploding landlords, extremely poor mission personnel choices, sweaty liaisons and deeply unfortunate children await in this tale of an England overwhelmed by scientifically bo...

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July 14, 2023 93 mins

Dave returns to Derry & Toms to pick up our thread with The Sword of the Dawn Book Two, the third instalment in Michael Moorcock's epic The History of the Runestaff.

Hawkmoon gets some swish togs but seems to have a real blind spot when it comes to fighting pirates. Meanwhile, D'Averc is... sort of there?

Don your wafters and JOIN US!

(and check out  SÖNUS on bandcamp)

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June 29, 2023 105 mins

Miles of the Casual Trek Podcast returns to Derry & Toms as we turn flagellant and cast our eyes over the first in John Norman's GOR series (and the Cannon movie adaptation as a Brucey Bonus).

Publishers disdain it, booksellers sneer at it and the literary establishment would rather just not talk about it. But the GOR series still has a habit of popping up in the second-hand bookshops we frequent, because there are still millions o...

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For our latest exploration of multiversal gaming, friends of the show Dave and Steve bring games mastering knowledge and expertise to Derry and Toms (as well as a couple of afternoon libations of course). Whilst we consider whether Stormbringer is the Moorcockian RPG to rule them all, we also yak about the lineage of the Stormbringer RPG (see terribly boring powerpoint slide below), gaming as shit-kickers, when games get too met...
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Goran Gligović stopped by Derry and Toms to discuss his art and influences, as well as his work on the recently kickstarted Black Sword Hack: Ultimate Chaos Edition, a Moorcock-influenced roleplaying game from The Merry Mushmen 

We rove around the joint and, for possibly the first time, Excalibur gets a mention on Breakfast in the Ruins... how it took so long I honestly can't say. We also do a prize draw for some lucky Patron Demon...

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May 15, 2023 102 mins

Simon returns to D&Ts to look at the first part of the second volume of the adventures of Corum, Prince in the Scarlet Robe and tell us all about his new(ish) podcast Can I Pod With Madness (available wherever you consume your pods).

Beer mistakes and dodgy audio can't dampen our enthusiasm for some fantastic world-building and the first true appearance of everyone's (well ours anyway) favourite companion/hat/cat combination.

JOIN ...

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April 28, 2023 97 mins

Loz returns to Derry & Toms to brave the final gate (and the depredations of the beer slate) as we conclude our re-read of Michael Moorcock's 1989 Elric novel The Fortress of the Pearl.

Expect revisionism (both textual and personal), rose-tinted reflections on the dole, a beer challenge best described as cyclopean and some RPG-focused grumbling as we complete our re-evaluation of a novel we haven't read in over 30 years and fail to...

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We're back in Derry and Toms in the company of Joe Banks to take a look at Robert Fuest's 1973 film take on Moorcock's The Final Programme (AKA The Last Days of Man on Earth).

As is traditional we roam around, but mostly we evaluate The Final Programme as both an adaptation and as a work that stands (or falls) on its own merits, and Joe has a startling take on that ending that I'd never considered. And we talk about some other stuf...

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March 24, 2023 107 mins

Andrew Nette returns to Derry & Toms to look at the legendary UK publisher of horror, science fiction and alarmingly violent but sociologically savvy pulps -New English Library. NEL looms large on my shelves but I've never delved into their bikersploitation output... UNTIL NOW!

Rum content ahead as we talk about the publisher, the key players behind some of their more exploitative output, and two similar yet very different biker no...

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March 7, 2023 130 mins

Allister Thompson, musician and author of The Music of the Spheres, is back in Derry & Toms to talk about the scientific romance and hardcore disco prog phenomenon that is... The War of the Worlds.

We look at our entry points into WOTW fandom, the original 1897 classic by HG Wells, a number of adaptations and spin-offs, and the one adaptation that looms large over all the others (the Jeff Wayne album, obviously).

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February 27, 2023 91 mins

Dave AKA SÖNUS returns to Derry & Toms and we pick up the exploits of Dorian Hawkmoon and his amusing companion Huillam D'Averc in The Sword of the Dawn, third volume of Moorcock's epic The History of the Runestaff.

Meliadus gets miffed, Hawkmoon's stoicism is tested, D'Averc gets naked and Count Brass is bored shitless.

Join us as we discuss this and much more!

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Graham and Miles join me in Derry & Toms to delve into more James Herbert disaster action and muse over the glut of uncosy catastrophes coming out of the 70s paperback boom to answer Aldiss's dismissal of the British sci-fi apocalypse novels of the 60s.

We talk about The Dark and touch upon some other examples we've been picking up.

As trailed in the show you can find The Casual Trek Podcast on all good podcatchers and you can stil...

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