Ah, 1986. The Beastie Boys' "Fight For Your Right" on the radio, Rocky IV showing down at the Odeon... and Peter Ayrton breathing life into a new publishing house called Serpent's Tail. "Committed to publishing extravagant, outlaw voices neglected by the mainstream," goes their mission statement. I don't know if it was the same back in the 80s, but it sure has lived up to that objective for most of the quarter century since. Happy birthday Serpent's Tail. Without you, the High Street bookshop would be a whole lot greyer.