Now the WIP is with the publisher, and I’m awaiting the response, the result of their edit, the cover and design suggestions, I thought I’d review my Science Fiction activity to date.
‘Ten Tales for Tomorrow’, was self-published in January 2011. It’s a collection of mostly dark, sometimes humorous, speculative fiction. There’s variety here; everything from a singularly dark tale of despotic politics on a future Earth to a light-hearted but dark spoof on the restaurant critic as seen from a galactic point of view. I wrote the stories over a few months and published the collection to give a flavour of my writing.
In November 2012, Fantastic Books Publishing published ‘Fusion’, a collection of contest winning short stories. Dan had seen some of my work and invited me to contribute as a ‘professional’ author for the anthology. I sent him ‘Rebirth’, a story about the decline in the Y chromosome and its effects on society. It was published in this anthology, and was my first piece for the publisher.
I had self-published ‘The Methuselah Strain’ as an ebook novella in 2012, and Dan liked the tale. He was organising a new anthology of science fiction shorts and was keen to publish my novella in both ebook and paperback forms. I wrote a short story, based on the female protagonist, which appeared as ‘Hybrid Dreams’ in the new collection, ‘Synthesis’, in March 2016. Fantastic Books Publishing’s edition of the modified ‘The Methuselah Strain’ actually appeared earlier, in May 2015, after I’d blended the short story into the main tale.
‘Blood Red Dust’, the first book in the ‘Generation Mars’ series, was published by Fantastic Books Publishing in October 2016. This part of the story deals with a specially selected group of people, the Chosen, from an Earth on the brink of collapse due to climate change, set to colonise Mars. It’s written as a series of reports, document sections and commentaries collated by a female student on Mars presenting the subject as a history for her PhD thesis. The story revolves around the struggle of these pioneers to survive when a group of nihilistic religious extremists attempt to end all human life, and is a commentary on the dangers we face if we fail to take responsibility for our actions.
I began writing the second book in the ‘Generation Mars’ series, ‘War Over Dust’ at the start of 2017 and it was published by Fantastic Books Publishing in August of the same year, launched at the fabulous Fantasticon 2017 event at the Guildhall in Hull. This book, written as a straight narrative adventure, follows the Chosen and their many offspring some half a millennium into the future. Their adversaries in this volume are the Elites who run a commercial mining operation based on Mars, shipping ores from the Asteroid Belt and trading with other commercial operations based on the moons around the Gas Giants. This one is a battle between the idealised social structure of a man-made Elysium and the profit-driven world of business.
Book 3, intended as the last in the Generation Mars series, has yet to have its title revealed (watch this space!) and deals with the issue of an over-powerful Artificial Intelligence with ideas that threaten the existence of humankind. How this is played out, and what results from the contest, is the core of the book. It’s the intention, at present, to publish in time for launch at Fantasticon 2018, in Cleethorpes, where I’m expecting to be present to sign copies if all goes according to plan.