Martin Millar is one of my favourite writers. His books are consistently light-hearted and entertaining, and the characters (drawn with a great deal of warmth and humour) are mostly very convincing and often very likeable. Even his Tank Girl
novelisation is really quite funny in a silly, lightweight kind of way, not unlike the film (although it doesn't stick very faithfully to the film's plot). You can download it, should the fancy take you, from his fine web site: http://www.martinmillar.com/
- you can also download several of his short stories and a few other bits and bobs, including a couple of MP3
s of him reading.
Several of his books have been set in the drug-addled subculture of South London, where he makes his home, but he ventures elsewhere in The Good Fairies of New York, Love and Peace with Melody Paradise (set at a hippie/traveller festival) and his latest, Suzy, Led Zeppelin and Me (set in his home town, Glasgow).
Although he was born in Scotland and has kept his Glaswegian accent, Martin Millar has been living in London for more than twenty years now, mainly in Brixton. When he isn't writing, he divides his time there between reading about ancient history, playing the flute, watching TV, playing computer games, meditating and practising Tai Chi (although not necessarily in that order).
As well as his excellent 'Martin Millar' books he writes fantasy under the pseudonym of Martin Scott, centring on the character of Thraxas, a lousy sorceror and an unrepentant alcoholic, but a talented private detective. I have read the third and the fifth books, which are great in their way but which - unsurprisingly really - don't quite live up to his books based on Earth, which I consider to be among the funniest things ever written. So far these six Thraxas books have been published by Orbit books:
Suzy, Led Zeppelin and Me was published by Codex Books, and came out at the beginning of April 2002. It is his first novel to be set in Scotland, the land of his birth, and it has a quite different tone from his other books - more laid-back, concerning itself with the obsessions of the author as a Led-Zep-loving teenager with an excessively vivid imagination. He manages to work in a reference to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which he rightly considers to be the best TV programme ever made, although the book is set in 1972. I consider this to be yet another sign that the man is a genius.
His latest book, Lonely Werewolf Girl, was published by Meadow and Black in 2007. You might guess from the title that it shows a certain amount of Buffy influence, and you wouldn't be wrong. It weighs in at 558 pages, but it's such an easy and engaging read that it doesn't seem all that long. I'm about half way through at the moment, and enjoying it hugely. I hope it gets made into a TV series, but the difficulty of making werewolves that don't look ridiculous on film is likely to be a major stumbling block.