The Work In Progress Blog Tour

Blog tour! Always fun.

The blog tour has some rules (which I’m going to break), but just so you know:

  1. Link back to the post of the person who nominated you.
  2. Write a little about and give the first sentence of the first three chapters of your current work-in-progress.
  3. Nominate some other writers to do the same.

Thanks to Michael Patrick Hicks for the nomination.

Mike’s debut novel Convergence was an Amazon Breakthrough Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and is a fantastic dystopian read.  Mike writes the kind of futuristic page-turners that are not only action-filled, but also get you asking the big questions about the nature of humanity.

I was  lucky enough to beta-read for his second novel Emergence, and regular readers of my blog will see more about his work here soon. I enjoyed both books so much that I asked him if he’d be willing to let me pepper him with questions about them, so keep an eye out for that.

He’s also the author of short story Consumption (which I really must read, because I’ve enjoyed his others so much) and Revolver.

Revolver is a story in the No Way Home anthology which features some of the best up-and-coming speculative fiction writers working today (including me: brag brag). But seriously, No Way Home is a fantastic set of stories. I thoroughly recommend it, and not just because I’m in it. No Way Home is due out on 2 March so watch this space.

First breaking of the rules (or at least bending a little), I’d also like to mention my fellow nominees Lucas Bale and S. Elliot Brandis, as well as J.S. Collyer who nominated Mike. They’re all authors well worth taking a look at.

My Work In Progress:

I’m busy with the third in the London Bones series titled Hive Memory.  I hate writing blurbs (so it should be shinier later) but this is what it’s about:

London’s famous werebees are about to select a new queen, but just at the most politically sensitive time, one of their own goes missing and returns three days later with no memory of where he had been or what had happened.  

Second breaking of the rules: I am a terribly disorganised writer. I write scraps and bits as they grab my attention from all over the story and then only decide later what order they go in. (Makes me sound great doesn’t it?).

In other words, here are three scraps, that may or may not be in the first three chapters:

Excerpt One:

Like many people, merely being around the police was enough to make me feel guilty. It didn’t help that the last time I saw Zee Haddad she’d given me a thorough dressing down. I shifted in my chair and tried to look innocent, or at least authoritative. This was my territory after all, and the werebee had come to me.
Zee sat in the client chair opposite mine, an untouched chamomile tea in front of her. We’d covered all the basic pleasantries — the how-are-yous, the miserable autumn weather, the tube delay that had made her fifteen minutes late. I’d provided her with a beverage. Then we’d chatted about my promotion to manager at the Trust. We were half an hour in, and I was still waiting for the reason she was sitting in my office.

Excerpt Two:

‘We’re meant to be workers, not lovers. Chastity’s a big thing in our culture.’
‘But?’
‘But we’re human too, and since when did humans keep it buttoned up? It’s like a French farce in the hive some mornings. Peek out the window and everyone’s sneaking out of one door and in through another.’

Excerpt Three:

I leaned back in my chair and studied his face. He wasn’t a conventionally attractive man. His face was a little too round, and the last of his hair made a Saturn-style ring around most of his head, but there was an intelligence to his eyes that made up for the lack of physical beauty. I could see why she liked him. What I couldn’t see was how he could be so blase about what happened.
I leaned forward. ‘You were missing for three days and you have no idea where you were. Doesn’t that bother you, even a little?’
He shrugged. ‘No, not really. It doesn’t feel like anything bad happened to me. And I’m clearly fine now. I wish she’d stop worrying.’
My internal weirdometer was pinging like crazy. Normal people don’t lose three days of their lives and just shrug it off. Despite the weirdness, I thought he was telling the truth. Anyone with the brain power to become one of the country’s leading fertility experts would also have the brain power to come up with a better lie. It was just a damned odd truth.

 Nominations

My first nominee is W. Freedreamer Tinkanesh.  

W’s writings have appeared in unknown, obscure zines and in the last ten years in various anthologies: ‘Write Now’ (UK, 2001), ‘Threads’ (UK, 2009, edited by Cassandra Lee aka Shawn-A-Lee McCutcheon-Bell), ‘Eclectica’ (2011, edited by Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc), ‘No One Makes It Out Alive (2012, edited by Hydra M. Star), ‘Blessings from the Darkness’ (2014, edited by Kelly J. Koch), ‘Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror 2014 (edited by Jennifer L. Miller).
W. Freedreamer Tinkanesh is the author of the novel ‘Outsider’ (2012) and the collection of short stories ‘Tales for the 21st Century’ (2014).

Walki’s novel Outsider is one of the most original books I have read in a while and I thoroughly recommend it.

Connect with W. Freedreamer Tinkanesh on:  Livejournal, Twitter, Goodreads.

 My second nominee is Heather R. Blair, who readers may remember did an author interview for me a little while back.

Heather writes fantasy and paranormal fiction, including Shivers, a collection of (shivery) short stories, the Celtic Paranormals series of novels, and Phoenix Rising. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

Connect with Heather: WebsiteGoodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.

I may have another nominee coming, I’m just waiting for her to let me know she’s happy to accept the nomination. Watch this space.

Author Spotlight – Lucas Bale

I first came across Lucas Bale on Twitter before he’d published his debut novel, The Heretic.  We chatted about self-publishing, he bought my book and said nice things about it, and I ended up beta-reading for The Heretic.

I mention this to brag and ensure it is recorded for all posterity that I knew Lucas Bale before he was a big deal. Because I think he will be. Remember you saw it here first.

The Heretic is the first book in his Beyond the Wall series, a magnificent space opera set in a terrifyingly authoritarian society.  The book has a delicious Firefly-ish feel to it, and if you don’t immediately go ‘ooh’, I’m assuming you haven’t seen Firefly.

As a beta-reader, I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak of Defiance, the second in the series which was released yesterday. If The Heretic is good, Defiance is even better. This is the book that made me realise just how talented Bale is. He has a fantastic talent for imagery that makes a fictional planet in a far-future feel like a very real place. He also has a very annoying habit of ending chapters in a way that make me immediately turn the page and go to bed far too late.

If, like me, you’re broke, there’s good news too. The Heretic is  now free for a few days, so get it quick. For those of you still reading on actual paper,  there’s a Goodreads giveaway which will be open until 24th November. And if that wasn’t enough,  new short story What It Means To Survive  is also free.  (FWIW, I’ve read this too, and it’s another I’m adding to your ‘Recommended Reading from SW Fairbrother’ list.)

There’ll be plenty of good deals going. I suggest signing up to his  newsletter so you don’t miss anything.

Once you’ve read his stuff, and got all excited about it, don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon. He’s an indie author, like me, and every review makes a huge difference.

You can find Lucas Bale on Twitter (say hello while you’re there. He’s very nice and unlikely to bite), on Goodreads,  or on his website (while there, don’t forget to check out the incredible spaceship artwork) .

Now take a look below and get a glimpse into Lucas Bale’s world:

THE HERETIC

Amazon UK, Amazon US

Heretic

EARTH IS GONE.

Centuries have passed since the First Cataclysm ended life on the blue planet. Humanity’s survivors are now dispersed among distant colonies, thousands of light years from the barren, frozen rock that was once their home.

A new Republic has formed – one in which freedom no longer exists. In return for the protection of the Consulate Magistratus, citizens must concede their rights absolutely. The Magistratus controls interstellar travel, access to technology – even procreation. Every citizen is implanted with a device to monitor their location, health and nutrition and emotions – perhaps even more. Organised religion is forbidden. All crime is punished by banishment or a lifetime of penal servitude on the Kolyma prison fleet.

And humanity’s true history survives only in whispers of a secret archive.

Yet there are those who preach a new religion and who want to be free.

A REVOLUTION IS COMING…

 

DEFIANCE

Amazon US, Amazon UK

Defiance cover

THE DARKNESS IN THE HUMAN HEART IS INFINITE.

At a time when power means everything, the ultimate power, the imperium, rests with the Consulate Magistratus. The murder of a man in the lowest caste may be inconsequential, but one man, one of the Caesteri who still believes in justice, refuses to ignore it.

The woman he hunts is violent and unstable, and haunted by her own callous ghosts. She will drag him to the furthest reaches of space, where the abyss which awaits them hides an unspeakable truth.

When faced with their own mortality, there is no limit to what human beings will do to protect themselves, their family, their property. The human mind changes when exposed to relentless horror. It becomes dehumanised. The grotesque becomes mundane. There is no pity, no remorse – only instinct. An instinct which cannot be controlled.

The imperium belongs only to those who are strong enough to wield it.

THE WAR TO CONTROL HUMANITY’S FUTURE IS ABOUT TO BEGIN…

 

What It Means To Survive

whatitmeanstosurvive

McArthur’s World is a frozen planet which has been bled dry by mineral mining corporations for three decades. When there is nothing left but ice and snow, the last freighter lifts off carrying away every remaining human being. When it crashes in a wilderness no one has ever returned from, there are only two survivors: a miner who wants to get back to the children he has not seen for two years, and the woman who forced him to come to McArthur’s World in the first place.

They think they’re alone, until the shrieks in the darkness come.

Amazon UK Amazon US