Archive for the ‘release’ Category

Exciting news – I’m finally a comic writer!

Back in 2013 I entered the Top Cow Talent Hunt, in which I was a runner up. Off the back of this, I wrote a short script for Top Cow set in feudal Japan, which after much excited waiting on my part is finally coming out in May.

‘One Man’, a samurai-era story featuring the magical Bloodsword, features in Artifacts: Lost Tales #1, released on 6 May. You can see a few more details here, though you have to scroll down the page to find it.

I’m really excited to get my hands on this. I haven’t seen the art yet, and it’s going to be awesome to see someone else’s talent bring my ideas to life.

If you’re into comics then please consider pre-ordering Lost Tales at your local shop – pre-orders make a big difference to how many copies of a comic get onto the shelves, and so how many people can buy it that way.

Yay comics! (I’m a little excited)

AvastYeAirshipsIn a daring history that never was, pirates roam the skies instead of the seas. Fantastical airships sail the clouds on both sides of the law. Within these pages, you will find stories of pirates and their prey with a few more pragmatic airships thrown in. With stories ranging from Victorian skies to an alien invasion, there is something for everyone in these eighteen tales of derring-do!

Tomorrow sees the launch of Avast, Ye Airships!, a collection of stories themed around airship pirates, edited by Rie Sheridan Rose. It features ‘A Wind Will Rise’, my latest story to feature Dirk Dynamo and Sir Timothy Blaze-Simms, gentlemen adventurers of the Epiphany Club, as they battle a slaving pirate airship over the Atlantic.

If you’re anything like me, you probably love stories about both pirates and airships, which makes bringing them together doubly awesome.

So what are you waiting for, me hearties? Hop on over to the publishers’ website to buy a copy. There be gold in them there clouds.

The full contents of the collection:

Beneath the Brass by Stephen Blake
Maiden Voyage by Jeffrey Cook & Katherine Perkins
Colonel Gurthwait and the Black Hydra by Robert McGough
Captain Wexford’s Dilemma by Ogarita
Her Majesty’s Service by Lauren Marrero
A Wind Will Rise by Andrew Knighton
Hooked by Rie Sheridan Rose
Go Green by Ross Baxter
Lost Sky by Amy Braun
Miss Warlyss Meets the Black Buzzard by Diana Parparita
Plunder in the Valley by Libby A. Smith
The Clockwork Dragon by Steve Cook
Adventures of a Would-Be Gentleman of the Skies by Jim Reader
A Clouded Affair by Steven Southard
The Climbers by D Chang
The Steampunk Garden by Wynelda Ann Deaver
Lotus of Albion by Steve Ruskin
And a Bottle of Rum… by K.C. Shaw

I love the Middle Ages, that period in European history when feudal lords spent centuries bullying each other in a battle for domination, and from which the first fragile seeds of our modern society emerged. I love it in the same way that I love villains and traitors – it’s a great subject for stories, but I’m bloody glad I wasn’t there. War, plague, famine and of course death – Europe got a huge dose of the four horsemen during that period, not to mention some pretty unsavoury religious and political practices.

Those of you who’ve read From a Foreign Shore or paid attention to my responses to the Writing Excuses exercises will have noticed that I channel this passion into a lot of my writing. It helps that I have an MA in medieval history and two years research experience, which between them save me a lot of research time. But that experience comes from the same source as my medieval writing, rather than inspiring it. My fascination for that era keeps drawing me back.

Happily, I have medieval stories coming up in the next two issues of Alt Hist, the magazine of historical fiction and alternate history, edited by Mark Lord.

Issue 7, available now via Amazon (the ebook edition isn’t up there yet, but I’m sure it will be soon), features my story ‘Cold Flesh’, a horror story set during the fallout from one of England’s many medieval rebellions. The rebels have been hanged, but will their memory let the victors move on?

Following on from that, I’ve just had a story accepted by Mark for issue 8. This one’s a straight up piece of historical fiction, giving a child’s perspective on the horrors the Hundred Years War inflicted on northern France. When writing historical and fantasy fiction, it’s all too easy to glorify war and focus on its more active  participants. But stepping back and remembering the victims isn’t just important, it’s a way of finding different sorts of stories, different perspectives on life.

So if you’re in the mood for something medieval, why not pick up a copy of Alt Hist or check out their website.

AvastYeAirshipsYou like airships, right? And everybody likes pirates.* So what could be better than a whole collection of stories about airship pirates?

Nothing. Except maybe if I had a story in that collection. Oh wait, I do!

Coming out at the end of February, Avast, Ye Airships! is an anthology of stories about airships, pirates and of course airship pirates. It features the latest adventure from Dirk Dynamo and Sir Timothy Blaze-Simms, the heroes of my Epiphany Club stories, as they tackle a flying slaver in the skies above the Atlantic. With only their wits, their fists and a pedal-powered flying machine, can these brave adventurers end this aerial menace?

Other authors in this collection include:

  • Rie Sheridan Rose (editor) – writer of various things, including steampunk and horror
  • D Chang – game writer and designer
  • Robert McGough – writer of steampunk, horror and southern gothic fiction
  • Ross Baxter – sci-fi and horror writer who started writing to fill the time while at sea – how cool is that?
  • Steven R Southard – writes all sorts of historically flavoured genre fiction
  • K. C. Shaw – author of several airship pirate stories
  • Steve Cook – writer and teacher, a combo I’ve also been
  • Lauren Marrero – romance novelist
  • Steve Ruskin – I’d tell you more, but sadly I can’t get his webpage to load
  • Jim Reader – writer, house husband and Texan, which is close enough to ‘cowboy’ to make me jealous
  • Jeffrey Cook – a writer whose first book came out of NaNoWriMo, proving that motivating month can work
  • Charlotte Hunter – writer of creepy things
  • Stephen Blake – from southwest England, a land traditionally full of pirates, smugglers and other seafaring rogues
  • Libby Smith
  • Diana Parparita
  • Wyenlda Deaver
  • Amy Braun

I’m really looking forward to this collection, and will share more details nearer the time. Hopefully by then I’ll also have some more Epiphany Club-related news, but that’s dependent on me finding editing time, so don’t hold your breath.

Polly want a cracker?

 

* Not the real ones who terrorise the Indian Ocean with assault rifles. The ones with parrots and dubloons.

“I have no objection to truth,” I said, “but I enjoy untruths too, they’re the building blocks of human culture. Actors pretending to be kings, singers faking heartbreak or elation, novelists inventing heroes in their heads to escape the mindless dullards around them. Reality is a vast sea of tedium interrupted by brief flashes of the repugnant – why would anyone chain themselves to that?”

Lies - High Resolution

Out now on Amazon, Lies We Will Tell Ourselves is the latest, and for now last, of my anthologies pulling together my previously published stories. This time it’s the turn of science fiction…

A spin doctor forced to deal with aliens who loath lies.

A squad of soldiers torn apart by the fiction in their midst.

A hunting submarine with its dead captain strapped to the prow, the crew promising that one day they’ll revive him.

We all tell lies to get through the day, some of them to ourselves, some to other people. Now read the extraordinary lies of the future in these nine short science fiction stories.

Includes:

  • How We Fall – trapped behind enemy lines, faith and duty clash for Sergeant Grund’s squad.
  • So Cold It Burns – long cut off from home, Gandpa Jo must decide the future of his frozen wife.
  • Distant Rain – the submarine Promethean hunts a mutant whale through a polluted Pacific.
  • Our Man In Herrje – Julius Atticus lives by lies, but can he defend them to the alien Gatherers?
  • Day Labour – a dark secret waits for the farm labourers of a distant world.
  • Digits – a robot finds his humanity in a hand.
  • The Extra Mile – race driver Geordie proves how far he’ll go to win.
  • Second Skin – stock trader Eddy’s symbiont has all the latest apps, including one no-one told him about.
  • The Harvest – as aliens devour the Earth, an anthropologist recognises an unsettling truth.

Lies We Will Tell Ourselves is out now on the Kindle. I’m just releasing it there for now as experiment, and I’ll get into my reasons another day. But because it’s exclusively on Amazon I’m able to give it away through there for a few days, and so it’s free from tomorrow until Sunday, after which it will still be only $1.99.

So what are you waiting for? Go forth and read your way into a bright new future!

7157894410_963d3a7d82_zThe ground shook beneath him, cobbles rattling down to the road, and he sank to his knees. To his left, a shop front trembled and started to grind back along the road. The terrace to the right was moving as well, threatening to leave the barricade exposed in the middle of a crossroads, with reactionaries closing in on three sides.

Apparently new stories from me have become like political scandals – nothing for months and then suddenly the internet’s full of the buggers. But stories are awesome and I love writing them, so the internet will just have to cope.

Hot on the heels of ‘Feathers‘ comes ‘Goddess of the Barricades‘, out today in Plasma Frequency magazine and free to read on their website. This started out as my attempt to write a steampunk romance, but romance really isn’t my forte and other parts of the story grabbed my attention more. There’s still romance in there, but there’s so much more as well. It also reflects my fascination with France’s long tradition of street protest and revolution, and my continuing mission to address the less comfortable elements of the Victorian era in my stories. After all, the century that gave us the steam train was also an era of class divisions and colonialism. If we can find ways to fit those issues into exciting and evocative stories then we can face important issues without getting bored, and surely that’s a good thing.

If you enjoy this story of moving buildings, racing pulses and battles with authority then you might also enjoy ‘Urban Drift’, available as part of my steampunk collection Riding the Mainspring. And as always I’d love to hear what you thought about my story.

So hop on over to Plasma Frequency, read my story and let me know what you think – that’s what the comments are for.

 

Picture by Nefariousenator via Flickr creative commons.

“I have no objection to truth,” I said, “but I enjoy untruths too, they’re the building blocks of human culture. Actors pretending to be kings, singers faking heartbreak or elation, novelists inventing heroes in their heads to escape the mindless dullards around them. Reality is a vast sea of tedium interrupted by brief flashes of the repugnant – why would anyone chain themselves to that?”

Lies - High Resolution

Coming out on 17 November, Lies We Will Tell Ourselves is the latest, and for now last, of my anthologies pulling together my previously published stories. This time it’s the turn of science fiction…

A spin doctor forced to deal with aliens who loath lies.

A squad of soldiers torn apart by the fiction in their midst.

A hunting submarine with its dead captain strapped to the prow, the crew promising that one day they’ll revive him.

We all tell lies to get through the day, some of them to ourselves, some to other people. Now read the extraordinary lies of the future in these nine short science fiction stories.

Includes:

  • How We Fall – trapped behind enemy lines, faith and duty clash for Sergeant Grund’s squad.
  • So Cold It Burns – long cut off from home, Gandpa Jo must decide the future of his frozen wife.
  • Distant Rain – the submarine Promethean hunts a mutant whale through a polluted Pacific.
  • Our Man In Herrje – Julius Atticus lives by lies, but can he defend them to the alien Gatherers?
  • Day Labour – a dark secret waits for the farm labourers of a distant world.
  • Digits – a robot finds his humanity in a hand.
  • The Extra Mile – race driver Geordie proves how far he’ll go to win.
  • Second Skin – stock trader Eddy’s symbiont has all the latest apps, including one no-one told him about.
  • The Harvest – as aliens devour the Earth, an anthropologist recognises an unsettling truth.

 

As an experiment in book marketing I want to try to get some reviews of this book up on Amazon on the day of release. So if you think you’ll have time to read around 20,000 words by 17 November (maybe a quarter of a novel’s worth) and you’re willing to write an honest review in return for free stories then drop me a line or leave a comment and I’ll send you a free copy of the ebook. All I ask in return is that you do your best to read the book and leave a review and rating on Amazon on 17 November.

*

NaNoWriMo update:

5306 words so far, so I’m on target. The detectives have their first lead, and I have to plan chapter two before I write any more.