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One of the great things about my job is that on Saturday mornings I can linger over my breakfast, my second cup of coffee and the Guardian review section, and I can call it working – because you never know when a client’s name will crop up! Back in December, for example, there was a review of the SF anthology When it Changed, with a special name-check for Chaz Brenchley‘s contribution.

It isn’t always that direct. Ten days ago there was a review of a book by Richard Milward, which included the offhand remark that "Nobody writes about Middlesbrough [like Richard Milward]". Which made me splutter into the last of my coffee, and wonder how many of Middlebrough’s finest the reviewer had read before coming to this conclusion.

I wasn’t alone, it seems. Last Saturday’s paper brought a letter listing some of the people who’ve written about Middlesbrough, from Pat Barker to Bob Beagrie and beyond. The letter was from Andy Croft, of Smokestack Books, though I suspect that the condescending headline "Middlewhere?" was provided by the sub-editor (probably being post-modern and ironic).

I’d intended to link to both the original review and Andy’s letter, but neither of them has yet found a space on the Guardian‘s web site.

Funny, that…

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