The Affirmation By Christopher Priest

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Peter Sinclair has broken up with his girlfriend, lost his job, and is miserable. He has moved from London to the country to renovate a house for a family friend while he tries to rebuild his life. He starts to write a book about…

Peter Sinclair has won the lottery and left his home city of Jethra to travel across the impossibly vast Dream Archipelago to undergo an operation that makes him immortal. He carries with him a book about a version of himself living in an imaginary city called London…

At the start of the book, it appears clear that the first Peter’s world is reality and the other is a wish-fulfilling fiction, but these two worlds merge and interact to the point that initial perception is challenged. What you have here is effectively a rolled cake of two realities then sliced in such a way that you can see the distinct layers but not the swirl.

And the jam in between these layers is absolutely packed with scrumptiousness. This book has a lot to say about the nature of creativity, memory, and the perception of reality. Is an imagined London any more real than an imagined Jethra simply because a physical version of the former exists?

There are surprises and revelations throughout the book, both stories are engaging, but it’s best to approach the book with dream-like acceptance. Don’t get too hung up on teasing the two threads into something clinically logical, but instead delight in their entwining. The ending is absolutely perfect for the book. It ends like a dream.

New Interview

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Today, IndieBRAG has published an interview with me about my writing.

I’m always bemused (and a little worried) when readers say they sympathise with him [Garscap Torp]. I know him too well to like him. I understand the ego that drives him. (To be fair, I put it there.)

You can read the whole interview HERE.

Happy New Year (Hopefully)

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January has arrived so it’s time to review 2016 and look forward to what’s coming up this year. Last year struck me as a very long year, probably the longest year of my life. Much was achieved. I published the second part of the Golden Rule Duology, The Unconquered Sun, last February. I also published two short stories, The Fate Healer and The Murder Seat. A third short story, No Escape, will be released on all platforms at some stage next week. (I can’t give an exact date due to the complexity of working through aggregators and so on.)

Of course, the published works are but the visible part of my writing endeavours. I wrote 1st drafts of four novels last year. My primary goal this year is to publish the first of these, codenamed somewhat ludicrously Spaghetti 1. Of course means it will have to reach a publishable standard. I should have the 2nd draft completed in the next three weeks.

The 2nd draft in many ways is harder than the first, because the blurry half-ideas that drifted in and out of the story on a sporadic stream of consciousness have to be sorted, graded, tossed aside where found to be utter rubbish, polished, and pinned to a cohesive structure. Of course, there are whole sections where the 2nd draft really is another 1st draft.

However, at this stage, I feel comfortable saying that the 2nd draft is a massive improvement on the 1st draft. It still needs a lot of work before it’s even ready for beta reading. I want to make it as good as I can before I submit it to the critical eyes of others. There’s no point ignoring your own intuition on plot holes only for these issues to become the focus of others’ critiques. I can’t remember any time where I doubted about a certain issue where that doubt wasn’t later proven to be justified. I want the beta readers to tell me I’m wrong in new and surprising ways!

And The Winner is…

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Behold the winning cover my new short story, No Escape. It’s by Ivan Cakic (Cakamura Art Studio). For me, he really captured the essence of the story. The face of the main figure is particularly mesmeric.

I can’t wait to hit to the publish button in mid-January. It’ll be available on Amazon, iBooks, B&N, etc. Here’s the blurb.

A desperate warrior carries a baby girl across a foreign desert. Although truth and honor are tattooed on his cheeks, Tharo has abandoned both virtues in his quest to protect his charge. But it’s only a matter of time before he fails her. Another man stalks them, a hunter no prey can escape, the dreaded Souldiviner.

Help Me Choose A Cover! No Escape

I need your help! I have a choice of three covers for my new fantasy short story, No Escape. Please help me choose the best one. Which one is your immediate favorite? Any comments are really welcome.

https://99designs.ie/contests/poll/8xum15

The poll is now closed! Thanks to everyone who participated. Anyone who left their names will be mentioned in the ebook’s acknowledgements.

The Golden Rule is going wide!

 

The Golden Rule novels and associated short story, The Parting Gift, are now available on Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and other stores. The Parting Gift, which is a standalone set in the same world, will be free until further notice, so this is your chance to dip your toe in the water so to speak if you haven’t done so already.

A Bright Power Rising:

Ebook available from AmazonSmashwordsKobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and other stores.

Paperback available from Createspace Amazon.

The Unconquered Sun:

Ebook available from AmazonSmashwordsKobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and other stores.

Paperback available from Createspace & Amazon.

The Parting Gift:

Ebook FREE from AmazonSmashwordsKobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and other stores.

Paperback available from Createspace & Amazon.

 

 

Cyteen By C.J. Cherryh

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Ariane Emory runs Reseune, the only cloning lab on Cyteen, with an iron fist. Her directorship makes her one of the most powerful people on the planet. When Jordan Warrick falls foul of her, his son Justin and his azi ‘brother’ Grant become pawns in her efforts to control him.

This book took me four years to read. Obviously, I didn’t actually spend four full years reading it. I started it, put it down several months, picked it up again, read some more, ignored it for another couple of months and so on. The politics at the very start is bewildering and I just couldn’t connect emotionally with Justin and Grant’s plight. The writing was very good but I found the conversations very repetitive. After I noticed a pattern to many of them, I couldn’t unsee it.

The book really only gathered momentum for me when the second Ari entered the story. Her manipulation by her uncles, her gradual realization of who she was, and her struggle for identity engaged me. In fact, this might be terribly blasphemous, but I think if the story had started with her, I would have enjoyed it much more.