Would I spy again?

By John Fullerton It’s a sunny Saturday at Newlands rugby ground in Cape Town. We’re back in the 1960s. Squatting on my heels behind the touch line along with my schoolfellows, I’m watching the all-white Springboks play the British Lions. Every time the ‘boks score,...

Still learning how to write

By John Fullerton     Perhaps you are not old enough to have begun your writing career with a typewriter. I certainly am. Aged 19, I joined my local paper as a trainee – a cub reporter – and sat facing a large, heavy-duty manual machine with keys that made...

A very special place in hell

By John Fullerton The other day someone – a stranger – tweeted that there was a very special place in hell for journalists who work as spies. It caught my attention partly because there has to be a special place across the Styx reserved in my name because...

Spy or Reporter – what’s the difference?

By John Fullerton Brian, scruffy in rumpled t-shirt and jeans, sits in the front row, perfectly still, eyes closed, notebook in his lap, pen loosely held in one hand. There’s nothing to suggest he’s awake, let alone listening to the politician speaking on the platform...

But is it fiction?

By John Fullerton It’s a fair question and I get asked it all the time. The characters of Spy Game are fictional. Brodick’s case officer, for example, the former army officer named Hermitage, is based very roughly on the late and great headmaster of my boarding...

How not to be a spy

By John Fullerton Usually, it’s a tap on the shoulder. She might be serving in the armed forces. He might be at university, or already well-qualified, a linguist perhaps, or working in a technical field such as fibre optics. The tap is followed by a meeting well away...

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