My review of Jonathan Carroll’s amazing novel, Bathing the Lion, is now on Adventures in Scifi Publishing. I recorded my review for the podcast, and the text is replicated on the website. This is my first audio review for the podcast and host Shaun Farrell claims I have “an accent” – who knew?
The first book in my Bad Seeds series, Hack 1: Enter Sandman, has just come out for the Kindle. I am issuing free copies to anyone who may be able to write a short review on Goodreads or your blog. Just message me and I will email you with a copy (I can provide .mobi or .epub or even .pdf format).
London, the near future. A brain hacker has found a way to make people’s nightmares real and plans to destroy the world they know. The only hope is a group of talented but dysfunctional agents operating in the interstices between the official channels of Church and State. Led by a former suicide, Alex Marshall, this group of “bad seeds” not only has to find a way to stop the monsters of the id that can bring about an end to all things, but figure how to handle their own self-destructive natures. Bad Seeds, Hack 1: Enter Sandman is the first book in a continuing novella series.
I was truly thrilled by this great review of my YA novel, The Mechanikals on Amazing Stories. I used to read the paperback version of Amazing Stories as a teenager, jumped at the chance to blog for the new version, which is a website.
Now, don’t misunderstand, the bossman, Steve Davidson would be opposed to any form of sycophancy. The deal was the reader could read and decide not to read if whoever it was didn’t enjoy the first few pages.
The review duly appeared and I was, as some standup comedian once said, incandescent.
My YA steampunk superheroes novel, The Mechanikals, came out recently for Kindle. Some excellent customer reviews have come in so far, so thanks to those who’ve taken the time to give feedback. Incidentally, some readers picked up errors, but these have now been fixed.
4/5 stars from Ms. J.M. Pryke: “An excellent book, enjoyable, fast moving, very vivid situation. Well-developed characters who are caught up in a kind of parallel universe. The hero goes through a great turmoil of emotions linked to his experiences. I’d recommend anyone to read it. I only gave it 4 stars as it was an unusual genre for me to read but for science fiction readers …Go for it!”
5/5 stars from Andy Kitchener: “Very clever and enjoyable read, loved the approach, reminded me of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and reading H.G. Wells, or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books I loved from the past. Great read thanks.”
5/5 stars from Capot: “This is basically a story of good vs evil and the discovery by a poor orphan boy of his special powers and those of his friends. There is a good twist in the plot towards the end of the book that most will not see coming. The plot and characters were well thought out and the ending would seem to lead to a follow on book. I’d recommend this book to readers of all ages.”
Free review copies are available on request – just use the comment box below.
My YA steampunk superheroes book, The Mechanikals, is free on Amazon for Kindle today, so please help yourself….
Coming out soon on Amazon, the first volume in my continuing science fiction/supernatural thriller series, Bad Seeds.
Here’s the opening section of the first novella, Hack 1: Enter Sandman. Each volume will be self-contained but with continuing back stories. Comments welcome, even at this stage.
Bring me a dream
Make her complexion
Like peaches and cream
Give her two lips
Like roses in clover
Then tell me that my lonesome nights are over
— The Chordettes
THE DAY I DIED it was sunny and the birds were singing. Typical. I’d been hoping for a minimum of some gloomy stormclouds and a dramatic drumroll of thunder. Not too much to expect since that’s my city’s default weather pattern. Still, once you’ve decided to off yourself you’ve forfeited the right to be choosy.
On the upside there was one thing I could be choosy about: my exit strategy. Suicidal or not, I’m no masochist. Pain not being my thing, I had to figure out the best way to shuffle off my mortal coil so that it wouldn’t sting too much.
I considered the following options:
Gunshot to the head.
Jumping off a tall building.
Slashing my wrists.
All of the above have more cons than pros, though. Gunshhot; a chance of not hitting the relevant vital organ straight away. Poison; could take too long and the potential for a futile change of mind. Jumping: like they say, it’s not the fall that kills you but hitting the ground — and the falling would be a little too scary. Blade to the wrists; again, too much thinking time. Hanging — a snapped neck is okay, but slow suffocation isn’t.
It took weeks to hit upon the final method. It was a stroke of genius, too. Not that my damned guardian angel thought so.
A double whammy (as we say in the UK): a review I did of Mike Resnick’s book, The Doctor and the Dinosaurs, and a podcast interview with me, both on Adventures in SciFi Publishing.
The podcast mentions that the audiobook download version of Bone Machines is $1.99 – sorry, but that offer has now been closed. However, the new price, still discounted, is $14.96.
In the interview, show host, Timothy C. Ward, and I talk about the craft of writing. We cover a range of topics, including:
- How to ensure your dialect is accurate when writing in a non-native culture
- What idioms can we use when making up worlds and civilizations?
- “The rhythm of the language is more important than the words that you use.”
- How religion affected early censorship as well as in modern books, but also the surprising openness to sex that non-religious people react to.
A big thanks to Tim for the interview. Though, to be fair, I thought I was online to interview Kay Kenyon, but Tim snagged some of our informal chat beforehand to put into the podcast. You’re so sneaky, Tim!
My YA steampunk superhero novel, The Mechanikals, is now free, on Wattpad. Although written with a teen audience in mind I hope that adult readers will enjoy it also.
Books and Blogs
Some news for the week, a couple of things about what I’ve been up to and some noteworthy stuff from others.
First, my latest blog on Amazing Stories is called Cyberpunk’d and is up now.
Second, my YA steampunk superhero novel, The Mechanikals, is being released episodically , for free, over at Wattpad. I plan to put all the chapters in as fast as I can, time permitting. I hope you’d consider giving it a read, leaving comments or voting.
Podcasts of Note
Writing Excuses is an excellent podcast show for aspiring authors. It’s presented in useful, bite-sized chunks of around 15 minutes an episode. The show hosts leading lights in science fiction, fantasy and horror in both narrative and comic book format, Mary Robinette Kowal, Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler and Dan Wells.
Tales to Terrify – the horror podcast on which I have had stories and for whom I have narrated work by others a couple of times – has been named 2013 Podcast of the Year by This Is Horror. Very well done, chaps and chapesses!
My own blog has fallen by the wayside for the moment, it seems. In my defence, I am hard at work writing my new novel, teaching and doing blogs for other people. I thought it would be useful, therefore, to give you links to some of the work I’ve been doing for Adventures in SciFi Publishing and Amazing Stories Magazine. I was especially pleased that my post, Clinging to the Wreckage: How to Save Science Fiction, got more feedback than any in the podcast and website’s history.
Here are some recent postings, which I hope you will find interesting:
This River Awakens by Steven Erikson. The master fantasist’s first novel, which is not fantasy at all.
Anno Dracula: Johnny Alucard by Kim Newman. A very smart vampire tale.
The Art of the Big ‘O‘. Yeah, yeah, I know what it sounds like, but it’s actually an art book.
Clinging to the Wreckage: How to Save Science Fiction Pitch in to the debate – let’s see if we can’t get the feedback up to 100.
A Sentimental (Science Fiction) Education Flaubert would be proud – not!