The Early Days of a Better Nation

Friday, October 13, 2017

Return of the return of the Martians

At the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2017 I chaired an event with Stephen Baxter on his new book The Massacre of Mankind, the first and only authorised sequel to The War of the Worlds. Baxter's account of his book and its inspiration was enlightening, wide-ranging, and sometimes surprising. The event is now available as a podcast, and well worth a listen -- even if you were actually there, because you can hear everything much better than you probably did on the day. Like the book, the podcast is better than the original.
2 comments | Permanent link to this post

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Six reviews and an interview

My latest novel The Corporation Wars: Emergence (Amazon UK / US) has had some good reviews, in Scotland on Sunday and on the blogs of Forbidden Planet, Blue Book Balloon, Geek Chocolate, and SF Crowsnest.

For those who'd like to know how the story has shaped up so far, the first two volumes in the trilogy were reviewed by Paul Di Filippo in Locus. I've been interviewed about the latest book and the trilogy as a whole at MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape.
6 comments | Permanent link to this post

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Corporation Wars: Emergence, and other coming attractions

The Corporation Wars: Emergence, the final volume in the Corporation Wars trilogy, is due to be published on Thursday 28 September. It's available for pre-order on Amazon UK, and Amazon US. Last Sunday it got a long and appreciative review in Scotland on Sunday, so I have high hopes for it.

I'll be talking about it, the trilogy as a whole, and no doubt much else, at two forthcoming events. The first is at Portobello Book Festival on Saturday 7 October (17:30-18:30, Portobello Library, free).

The second is on Tuesday 17 October at Waterstones, Bath (18:15-19:45), which has a strong record for hosting SF events.

Speaking of events, the book's Event Horizon launch (below) was a blast, with a wide-ranging conversation ably steered by Andrew J Wilson and with book sales and signings organised by Transreal (which now has signed copies in stock). Shoreline's next Event Horizon, on Tuesday 10 October, looks set to exceed even their usual standard of brilliance and panache.
3 comments | Permanent link to this post

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Event Horizon launches Emergence

Next Wednesday, 13th September, Edinburgh's monthly SF mini-festival Event Horizon is doing me the honour of launching my forthcoming novel The Corporation Wars: Emergence (available for pre-order here). By special courtesy of the publishers, advance copies will be on sale at the event. Caroline Grebbell and Russell Jones will kick off proceedings, followed by a conversation between me and Andrew J. Wilson, author, reviewer, and stalwart of the spoken word scene.

The evening starts at 7:30 pm at The Banshee Labyrinth, Scotland's most haunted pub and the venue for many science, SF and sceptic events. Admission FREE.
5 comments | Permanent link to this post

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Mike Levy Project

Long-standing SF/F critic and fan Dr Farah Mendlesohn is asking for volunteers to help her complete a colleague's book after Mike Levy, likewise a much respected fan and critic, died very suddenly in April 2017. The book is on aliens in popular culture and she needs people to write about alien conspiracy theories. If you are willing to write 1000 words (credited, but unpaid*) on one of these topics by 1st September please contact her on to discuss your proposal.

The topics are:
Sun Ra
Alien Autopsy
National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) 540
Condon Report
Mack, John: Harvard experiments
UFO Hunters
Cover Ups
polar aliens
*There is no pay as the contracted pay for the entire book was relatively small and Farah has decided to donate the sum to the IAFA in Mike's name.
0 comments | Permanent link to this post

Monday, July 10, 2017

Edge-Lit 6

This weekend (Saturday 15 July) I'm a Guest of Honour at Edge-Lit 6 in Derby. This one-day event (tickets £30) packs in a programme that many a weekend-long convention or literary festival would be proud of. Sponsored by Writing Magazine, a sheaf of small presses and the Horror Writers Association UK, Edge-Lit has an impressive range of dealers' tables and an imposing line-up of guests and participants. Where else could you see and hear Joanne Harris, Stephen Baxter, Jeff Noon, Andrew Michael Hurley, Peter Newman, Samantha Shannon and a dozen more all on the same day? Having been a guest at Edge-Lit before, I know you can expect a lively atmosphere and interesting conversation, on and off the platform, all day and well into the evening.

I and Stephen Baxter will be talking with Tim Hunter about Arthur C. Clarke, and later I'll be giving a reading and Q&A. Check out the rest of the programme (pdf) here, and if you like what you see, book here.
0 comments | Permanent link to this post

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Improbable Botany

Some years ago I wrote a story set in approximately the same world as that of my novel Intrusion. I'm still inordinately fond of its title: 'The Bicycle-Frame Tree Plantation Manager's Redundancy'. It was commissioned by Wayward, an innovative art, architecture and landscape practice. The bicycle-frame trees themselves featured in an exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery. I read an extract from the story at an event there, and was impressed and touched by the quality of the artwork associated with my story, as the other authors involved were with theirs.

I'm delighted to say that the anthology, edited by Gary Dalkin, is now about to see the light of day – but only if enough people believe in it. And they should! I mean, look at this:

It's sumptuous. Lush. And the content is unmissable:
Improbable Botany, a brand-new science fiction anthology about alien plant conquests, fantastical ecosystems, benevolent dictatorships and techno-utopias.

Part survival handbook, part page-turner, Improbable Botany is a fond companion piece to many of Wayward’s past collaborations and features newly commissioned short stories by ten multi-award winning science fiction authors: Ken MacLeod, Cherith Baldry, Eric Brown, Simon Morden, Adam Roberts, James Kennedy, Stephen Palmer, Justina Robson, Tricia Sullivan and Lisa Tuttle. The book has been edited by Gary Dalkin, a former judge of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and former editor of Vector: The Critical Journal of the British Science Fiction Association.

We are also delighted to say that Improbable Botany features incredibly rich and evocative jacket artwork, alongside six full-colour illustrations (which are being offered as A2 art prints to backers across multiple reward tiers), by Jonathan Burton – whose outstanding body of work has been featured by The Folio Society, Penguin Books, BAFTA, HarperCollins, Random House and The New York Times.

This is the book plants don't want you to read...
If you want to read it, back this project on Kickstarter.

If you don't ... well, you'll never know what the plants are whispering about.
2 comments | Permanent link to this post