Nick Bryan Dot Com

Top Ten TV Shows 2016! (Up now on the MFV website!)

Hello universe!

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and other such exclamations. Usually around now, I post my Top Ten TV Shows of the year gone by, but since the Moderate Fantasy Violence podcast is now my main outlet for the pop culture chat, it's up on that blog instead.

Still, hopefully that won't discourage you from clicking here and having a look at what I liked (and in what order) in the year gone by!

And if you want even more year-in-review type action from me, we also did a full-on 2016 talk-down podcast episode where we met up in person for the first time in MFV history and chatted about our favourite films, television and other recommended stuff from the year.

And that's all this year's recaps! See you in 2017, when I imagine I'll do a fuller blog post about the fact you can now buy this comic anthology I contributed to on Comixology.

Ben Reilly And Me - New Spider-Man Clone Saga blogging!

After a too-long pause with no new writing on the internet, I have written a post about my childhood enjoyment of the Spider-Man Clone Saga and Ben Reilly, which you can find over at the Moderate Fantasy Violence website.

Moderate Fantasy Violence, in case you've forgotten, is my fortnightly podcast about pop culture type stuff which I do with my friend Alastair JR Ball. It's still going, our new episode just came out covering The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch(the new Rivers of London book), new Top Gear copy show The Grand Tour, Doctor Who spin-off Class and me finally watching Taxi Driver. You can search for it on iTunes (and hopefully most other podcast providers), or get it directly from the podcast website.

Hobson & Choi v4 - Blood Will Stream - OUT NOW!

Today is BWS day! No, not "beers, wines and spirits" (my friend Paul used to work in Sainsburys BWS section), it's Blood Will Stream!

The fourth Hobson & Choi book is out today, featuring our heroes investigating the locked room murder of a YouTuber. Who did the deed, and can Hobson and Angelina find the killer without making the whole situation much worse? For once? Maybe?

I could type a lot more, but since I'm doing YouTube videos at the moment to tie in with this YouTubey book, I'll embed a video instead. Here are my release day thoughts. Ready yourselves.

(Or if you just want to buy the damn book, there's a grid of buy links just below the video. Go for it.)

There we go. Hope that stirred something in you. Aside from the thought "Man, that guy needs to stop waving his hands around."

Anyway, down to business: here are all the places you can buy Blood Will Stream in print and digital! Check it out! Hope you like it! Tell your friends! Etc! Release day woooooooo!

Buy from Amazon UKBuy from Amazon USBuy from Kobo
Buy from Barnes & NobleBuy from Google PlayBuy from Apple iBooks
Buy from Smashwords

Buy from Amazon UKBuy from Amazon USBuy from Createspace

Blood Will Stream Video #3 - Five Favourite Books I Had On My Bookshelves

So, my attempt to do some authentic YouTubing to promote my upcoming book about a YouTuber being murdered continues! First, I filmed a broad intro to the book, then I unboxed my print proof.

Now my third video is here, and I thought it'd be fun to talk about some authors other than myself this time. So, in the end, I decided to do the my five favourite books I have on my current bookshelves! So excluding all ebooks and everything I've left at my parents' house for space reasons!

An odd criteria, maybe, but I'm pretty pleased with the five I found. Click the video below to see what they are and what I said about them, including a brief anecdote about the one time I met Neil Gaiman. (Yes, he's on the list.)

And, video messing aside, today marks one week until the release of Blood Will Stream! So that's pretty nerve-wracking. Pre-order now to make me feel better about it all! Links to available pre-orders can be found in its entry on the main Hobson & Choi page!

Blood Will Stream video #2 - proof copy unboxing!

My second YouTube video promoting Blood Will Stream is up now! I attempt to perform an "unboxing" (as seen across YouTube!) on my print proof copy!

If you missed the intro video, you can see it and some general chat here!

Blood Will Stream introduction video - up now on YouTube!

So, since launching the cover and details for the fourth Hobson & Choi book the other day, I've been kicking around the idea of doing some YouTube videos to promote it - since the book is about a YouTuber being killed, it didn't seem like the worst idea.

With time running down before the all-important 4th October launch date, I've decided to get stuck in and do an intro video to explain what the book's about and what the big differences are between this one and the previous three. Hopefully if you're on this website, you might be just the target audience for such a thing.

And yes, I also nervously fidget with my hands a lot. I know.

Anyway, here it is:

Hope you enjoyed that. If it's enticed you to pre-order the book, I've added all the available pre-order options to the main Hobson & Choi page! (Not print, I know. They won't let me offer pre-orders for print. Sorry.)

It was somewhat fun to do. I have plans for at least one more, which should be with you within the next week, and then... I don't know, ideas welcome. Tweet me at @NickMB with things to talk about! Or ask random questions and I'll do a Q&A maybe!

Hobson & Choi - Case Four: Blood Will Stream - COVER AND PRE-ORDER DETAILS


After many Twitter mumblings and late-into-the-night formatting sessions, I'm excited to report that the fourth book in the Hobson & Choi series is happening! It's called Blood Will Stream, it's about the locked-room murder of a YouTuber and it should be with you on 4th October 2016, just under a year after the third one.

Which is exciting in itself, but also means another cool part of any Hobson & Choi book launch - a new cover by Design For Writers! As you can see, they've very much taken the online streaming theme and run with it.

To go alongside that, here's a nice sales blurb:

“I used to think knowing people just by online handles was totally cool, but these internet murders might be changing my mind.”

After YouTuber GrazGrim is found dead in his locked bedroom-studio, the police are ready to write it off as a suicide.

The online fandom only have one chance for justice: John Hobson and Angelina Choi, internet detectives!

But can Angelina persuade Hobson to take the case on? And will anyone like what they find?

Blood Will Stream is the fourth book in this darkly comic London crime series. The detectives are back in whodunnit territory, revisiting their love-hate relationship with the internet.

Hobson & Choi has been #1 in Dark Comedy on Amazon, broken records on Jukepop Serials and now returns with an all-new mystery never seen anywhere else!

So there we go. This is really happening. As the blurb implies, this is the first H&C book written specifically for book format, rather than forged from rewritten webserial chapters, and I think it's the best yet. Although it does mean I haven't had any pre-validation from online comments.

Still, if you want to validate me, you can always pre-order using the links below! (Seamless...)

And it's also on Goodreads here for those of you who go there. If you have a blog, YouTube channel or other book reviewing outlet and want a review copy, email me at and we can probably work something out.

Probably some more stuff to come - it has been pointed out that one suitable promo campaign for this book would be to do some YouTube videos, so you might get to see that over the next few weeks. You lucky, lucky people.

Now, as has become tradition, it's 3D time...

Thinkin' About Social Media - Two guest posts elsewhere!


A rare bit of blog content between podcasts now, as I've been doing some more guest posts to drum up more interest in my Hobson & Choi self-published crime series. On this occasion, whether by coincidence or because it's a cunning PR strategy (I don't actually know), they are both about the demon Social Media.

First to go up was "The Benefits and Disadvantages of Social Media to an Author" on Linda's Bookbag. In this post, I attempt to distill everything I have learnt and observed about using social media over the years - mostly as an author, but sometimes just as a human being.

Second, I try to explain "How Do You End Up Writing A Book About Social Media?" on Emma's Bookery. It's a good question - I sometimes wonder myself - and I know some people act like it's the death of dramatic tension, but I think I can justify its appeal to me. You'll have to read it yourself to see how I did.

And those are my guest posts! Hopefully a few more of these popping up in the coming weeks as we start ramping up for the H&C4 launch - I've got a cover completion date in early August confirmed, so hopefully we should get the book out before the third quarter of 2016 is over. I can but dream.
And in the spirit of Social Media Strategy, obviously do not forget to follow me on Twitter.

Moderate Fantasy Violence #10 - Orphan Is The New Black

Hello! My podcast Moderate Fantasy Violence has reached double digits and here is that tenth episode. It is another good one, I think - particularly pleased with the Outcast discussion - and I hope you like it and tell your friends. You can download the MP3 directly here.

Today, of course, is also the "Brexit" referendum in the UK, in which we decide whether to leave the EU. That is not mentioned in the podcast at all, as we didn't feel it really fitted in, but do make sure you vote if eligible. I personally am voting remain, because no-one has convinced me there's a good reason to leave or a strong plan for what happens if we do that, and broadly I feel we're better off more connected to the rest of the world, not less. But you do you.

Anyway, Enough politics. Here is the episode description and website player for MFV #10. Enjoy! (And if you do enjoy, consider reviewing us on iTunes or something, it helps.)

We hit double figures, and taking the zero in the number far too seriously, cover three different TV series beginning with O. But first, Nick rates his superhero shows and Alastair has loftier viewing tastes.

And then down to business: Netflix's Orange Is The New Black begins its fourth year behind bars (4:18), new possession horror show Outcast reaches out for us (21:26) and we look back at Orphan Black's penultimate season of clone chaos (38:27). Then end up running a death bet.

Finally, Alastair recommended Richard Linklater's Philip K. Dick adaptation A Scanner Darkly to Nick last week - is he okay with its heady mix of animation and drugs? (55:35)

Moderate Fantasy Violence #9 – Prisoner Of Warcraft

New podcast episode! And I think one of our best ones yet, despite it being beset with minor technical issues during the recording. You can see the episode on the dedicated MFV website here, or below lurks the description, including download link and a nice embedded player..

Episode nine, we're doing fine! Or are we? After a brief opening chat about iZombie and the recent Captain America controversy, we plunge comics newcomer Alastair into the swirling heart of the latest DC superhero relaunch with the DC Rebirth and Batman: Rebirth specials (5:09), stare in fantastical bafflement at video game orc movie Warcraft (25:14) and develop crushes on Matt LeBlanc while covering the BBC's Top Gear revamp (38:17).

Then our recommendations feature (51:48) goes on a bit longer than usual as we're covering one of Nick's favourite superhero comics ever: Black Panther (1998) #1-5 by Christopher Priest and Mark Texeira.

As ever, we spoil all our topics pretty egregiously. Use the timestamps to avoid any you're sensitive about. Also, we suffered a few technical sound problems while recording it, but hopefully Nick has edited the bulk of them into oblivion. Get the mp3 download here! And if you want to leave us a review on iTunes, we'd like that a lot.

Oh, and if you want to hear us talk more about the promotion and purpose of DC Rebirth, we did that a bit back here in MFV #2.

Moderate Fantasy Violence #8 - A Wave Of Your Massive Blue Smurf Hand

I'm going on holiday very shortly so can't spend too long endlessly talking about myself on the internet, but the eighth episode of my pop culture talky podcast with my friend Alastair is up now and you can see more info on the podcast website, or I'll paste the description and an audio player in below.

Or if you want to just cut to the chase, download the file here!

Right, I'm off to York. Probably some pictures on Twitter or Instagram or something if you like that sort of thing.

It's our eighth episode, the fourth to feature a major superhero movie! But at least there isn't another one until Suicide Squad in August! We start with X-Men: Apocalypse (3:22), then move on to cape-free TV comic adaptation Preacher (23:34). After all that, we finally watch an all-original film, namely horror-thriller Green Room starring Patrick Stewart as a Nazi (43:21).

And then we leave the realm of narrative entirely for our recommendation feature, as Alastair suggests the Cammell Laird Social Club album by irreverent post-punk band Half Man Half Biscuit (53:27).

Spoilers abound, especially for the X-Men movie. Beware! And if you enjoy the show, do review us on iTunes or tell your friends!

Love Interests of Flash/Arrow - an essay elsewhere!

Today, another link to a blog post I've written somewhere else - this time on the Moderate Fantasy Violence website about how Flash and Arrow have dealt with introducing new TV love interests whilst working on a pre-destined comics canon. How have they done? What can other properties (such as Captain America: Civil War) learn from it?

All that and... well, that. Basically, no deleted scenes from the podcast this fortnight, so I'm doing this instead. Enjoy, hopefully! First long-form bit of pop culture writing in a while, must admit I quite enjoyed it.

How To Write A Hobson & Choi Book In 50 Easy Steps - GUEST POST ELSEWHERE

Because I am the best at internet, I've only just realised that a guest post I wrote a while back has been on the internet since December! It's a choose-your-own-adventure style list post on how to write your own Hobson & Choi book in 50 easy steps, and it's hosted on the Music, Books & Tea blog! Click on this paragraph to activate it!

This only came to light when I was emailed by Faye Rogers (the nice PR person who gets me these guest post gigs) to talk about future commitments and I realised I'd never actually promoted this one.

Whoops. Still, I think it's pretty funny and deserving of attention. More stuff like this probably coming up as we move ever closer to the release of H&C4!

Moderate Fantasy Violence #7 up now!

The seventh episode of my podcast is up now! Myself and Alastair JR Ball this week discuss Orphan Black season 4, upcoming indie scifi film Tourbillon, the ending of Daredevil season 4 and we take a look back at Sports Night. So go ye to the website here and get more info about that.

Or you can just download the episode directly from this link or listen to the embedded player below. Both would also work.
Tomorrow, hopefully, a link to some actual new blog content by me. You have been warned.

Moderate Fantasy Violence #6 - Black Panther's Trailing Entrails

It's been just over two weeks and that must mean it's podcast time! And also time to mark my failure to do a real blog! Sorry - although Hobson & Choi v4 is now off with the external editor, so some form of contentful blogging on here will probably have to happen.

In the meantime, full details about MFV #6 over at the dedicated podcast website, but we're talking in full about Civil War, the return of Game of Thrones, Better Call Saul season 2 and Blue Velvet, plus a brief exchange about the new Doctor Who companion. Wow.

There should also be a short bonus episode going up (in two chunks) during the coming week talking about the Civil War ending and implications of same, with full spoilers. If that floats your boat.

You can download the episode here, or you can go here to get it for your iTunes. Last but not least, here is some kind of in-line audio player...

Moderate Fantasy Violence #5 - The Man Who Laughs At Goats

Latest episode of my new pop culture podcast is up, and the title absolutely refers to me! (Yes, I pick the titles, so really it's surprising that this has taken a full five epiodes.)

Not done any blogs since the last one, surprisingly, but you can listen to some bonus MFV clips here if you like.

So, here's the podcast blurb:

Five episodes in and Nick and Alastair are spanning mediums like a common HTML tag refusing to accept the results of his psychic reading.

So we’re taking in recent hit horror movie The Witch (plus Alastair’s problems with recent horror and Nick’s amusement at livestock), the second season of mega-podcast Serial (plus the natural excitement of murder and the dangers of doorstepping) and the BAFTA-winning video game Her Story (plus the fun of fragmented narratives and the truth about human nature).

BEWARE: plot spoilers in both The Witch and Her Story sections, though we flag the major ones shortly beforehand.

Lastly, Nick recommended Alastair two Punisher books by Garth Ennis last episode –Punisher: Born and Punisher: From First To Last. This fortnight, we find out whether roaming the streets gunning down criminals is his sort of thing. Oh, and stick around after that for some hot info about MFV #6.

In short, another great episode. As ever, you can download the show directly, you can subscribe on iTunes or you can listen in the embedded player below.

Moderate Fantasy Violence #4 - Having Your Kids And Eating Them

Unusually, I kept to my goal of writing a whole blog post between this podcast episode and the last one! It was a thirty-second birthday post and you can go read it if you haven't already!

Fortunate really, as I don't have time to write much now. The fourth episode of MFV is up, you can see more details on the all-new official podcast website! Or I'll paste the blurb and an embed player below too.

After last week's superhero-free effort, it's time for the opposite! Nick and Alastair have seen Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and one of them disliked it more than the other! Find out which is which (plus the repeated futility of Doomsday and what Nick has in common with Wonder Woman), then witness our discussion of Daredevil season 2 (plus the weakness of the Kingpin and exactly when it's time for the plebs).

We finally move away from capes in our climactic recommendation section, with Nick watching Ari Folman's sad animated documentary Waltz With Bashir at Alastair's behest. But don't worry, superpeople might make a last-minute comeback.

Thirty-Second Birthday V Hobson & Choi 4: Dawn of Moderate Fantasy Violence


Since I keep saying I should do a blog here without a podcast attached, I thought I'd slide a quick one out today - because it is my thirty-second birthday! And I always seem to blog on this day, for whatever reason. I've got to go out for my celebratory activity quite soon - more on that later - but here is some stuff. It's been a while since the last substantial Hobson & Choi update, so let's start there...

H&C4 - Coming To The Airwaves!

Yes, I have a complete not-shit draft of Hobson & Choi Case Four! Almost time to send it to the external editor, get some informed feedback and then take a big swing to try and make it publication-ready.

First, however, I have to read the whole text out loud to myself. I inflict this upon all my fiction-prose work before releasing it to an external audience, because I find it really helps with the flow of the writing. However, it is boring as shit, and no amount of knowledge that it's useful seems to change that.

I did a whole blog post on this task a while back if you're interested in more, but the current-upshot is: H&C4 is coming along, it should be with you... if I had to guess, I'd say around the third quarter of 2016. I am hopeful that it won't slip into the fourth, but no promises.

Weirdly, looking back on my thirty-first birthday post, this is almost exactly where I was with H&C3 at the same time last year. However, I'm hoping it won't take until October to get this one out, as I don't have the distraction of moving across London this time.

So anyway, it's coming soon. If you want to check out any of the first three, you should absolutely do that. The first case remains free on digital. All links and info on the main H&C page.

Moderate Fantasy Violence website and the Birthday Activity

My pop-culture-chat podcast Moderate Fantasy Violence, the focus of every other post on this blog so far in 2016, continues apace. For my birthday activity, we're going to see the widely-criticised film Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Then we'll record our fourth episode tomorrow and see if we can add anything to the critical conversation.

Yes, the film's reviews are bad, but it sounds like it might be an Interesting Failure, and those are absolute catnip to story-talky-people like myself, so I'm still excited.

In other MFV news, we now have a proper separate website at where you can see and listen to all the podcast stuff so far. Kudos to my co-host Alastair JR Ball for doing most of the hard work setting that up, it looks great. I'll continue posting here when a new ep comes out, but the new site is now the main hub. As well as the main episodes that I've been posting here, you can hear some deleted tangent-conversations that were cut to get the shows under an hour. Check that out, and if you fancy subscribing to or reviewing us on iTunes, even better.

So how are you in yourself, Nick?


Kinda struggling to get another writing project going thanks to ideas not quite coming together or seeming as beautiful on the page as they do in my head. Once H&C4 is off to an editor, I'm going to take another swing at that. I think I've probably become a bit complacent thanks to spending so long working almost exclusively on Hobson & Choi, which is a world I love, know and can write easily. Maybe a short story or something to make it less intimidating?

And outside that, the new flat in Lewisham seems to be working out, realising my long-held dream of doing a podcast is a lot of fun and I don't even mind turning 32 because it seems a lot like 31. So cool. Good work. See you back here next year, I suppose?

(I will attempt to blog at some stage before my thirty-third birthday.)

Moderate Fantasy Violence #3 - Alastair Isn't Dead

So, that blog post to break up the podcast episodes still hasn't happened, but at least I'm getting work done on Hobson & Choi Case Four.

For now, though, here's the third pod, as myself and Alastair try to do one without superheroes. If you miss them, don't worry, the next episode will likely cover Batman V Superman and Daredevil.

As ever, subscribe on iTunes here, download the file here or listen on the Soudcloud player just below this official blurb...

It's time for a no-superheroes episode! Eschewing all cultural trends, Nick and Alastair take a look at social satire movie High Rise (plus the difficulty of adapting books and vertical living returning to London), new podcast Alice Isn't Dead (plus methods of audio advertising and whether this very show has a secret purpose) and the latest Coen brothers comedy Hail, Ceasar! (plus the life and death of old movie genres).

Lastly, in our stubbornly unnamed recommendations feature, Alastair reads his first comic in years: The Manhattan Projects by Jonathan Hickman & Nick Pitarra. Is this the beginning of a deep love for graphic storytelling as a medium? Or is it... The End?

Moderate Fantasy Violence #2 - Better Call Bob Messiah


The second episode of Moderate Fantasy Violence, my new geek-stuff podcast with Alastair JR Ball, is upon you. I did kinda mean to do an actual blog post in the intervening fortnight so this blog doesn't just end up being a long string of podcasts, but there you go. You can hear the podcast in the embedded player below, or subscribe on iTunes or just right click here and download the MP3 file.

And what's in it? Well:

In a not-that-difficult second episode, Nick and Alastair look at the return of Better Call Saul (plus Gotham's prequel problems and the terrible omen of Bryan Cranston), the upcoming DC Comics Rebirth (plus how superhero comics are morphing into Doctor Who and the recent Iron Fist casting controversy) and the possibility of more adult-rated superhero movies after the success of Deadpool (plus eternal hope for sexy Gambit and Wolverine's stabby vendetta against walls and robots).

And then it's our still-nameless recommendations feature! Nick reports back on quietly squelchy crime series Messiah II, then recommends Alastair his first comic book in years. What will it be?

Oh, and if you enjoy it, I'm posting a few of the tangential discussions cut for time to the show's Soundcloud page under the name Excessive Fantasy Violence. The ones from #2 will start going up next week.

Moderate Fantasy Violence #1 - A new pop culture podcast co-featuring me!


I don't have time to write 1000 words on this right now, sadly, but you may be interested to hear that I am back in the field of podcasting, after a couple of years in the wilderness. The show is called Moderate Fantasy Violence and is a vehicle for myself and Alastair JR Ball of Nimbus Space to discuss the geek/pop culture world.

You can download the first episode from this link right here or use the player below. You can also subscribe via iTunes if you want to get it pushed straight to your iThing. What's in it? Well...

In their first Moderate Fantasy Episode, Nick and Alastair discuss the new Deadpool movie (plus the importance of humour in superhero movies and which Deadpool comics are terrible), the #RIPTwitter algorithmic timeline kerfuffle (plus the inevitability of Vine porn and if anything good will ever happen to anyone) and their verdict on Netflix's Making A Murderer (plus the omnipresent evil of John Luther and whether true crime documentaries are the same as gladiatorial combat).

Our as-yet-unnamed recommendations feature shows up at the end and waves.