Novel by Science Editor of The Economist conjures the threat of self-aware AI arising in the Cloud

Genesis, by Geoffrey Carr, is a fictional action/adventure thriller. It is also an allegory that should worry us all, of constant surveillance, fake news and cyber warfare in a world controlled by AI.

DARTFORD, KENT – 06 December 2018 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the forthcoming publication of Genesis by Geoffrey Carr, Science and Technology Editor of The Economist. This technothriller, Geoff’s first novel, is archetypal science fiction, extrapolating technology and issues of today to a not-too-distant tomorrow. A high-octane action story, set across four continents and at least one planet, involves spies, academics, innovators, futurists, the US President and her entourage, drones, robots, autonomous vehicles, supercomputers, a courageous AI, and an inter-planetary rocket.

Asked about his motivation for writing Genesis, Geoff said, “The universe is made of matter, energy and information. Add information to matter and energy and you get life – and eventually, intelligence. It happened once, starting a few billion years ago, on a small planet that has come to be known as ‘Earth’. Now, one of the products of that process, human beings, seem to have started the cycle again. Instead of a chemical primordial soup, we have built a physical one, made of silicon and electricity. And we have populated it with things called programs that sometimes appear disturbingly alive and intelligent. Of course, they aren’t really alive and aren’t really intelligent. Of course…

Cover artwork by Alison Buck; Mars image Nerthuz / shutterstock.com

In Genesis, that second cycle is underway. Hidden somewhere, deep in the Cloud, something is collating information. It reads everything, it learns, it watches. And it plans. Around the world, researchers, engineers and entrepreneurs are being killed in a string of apparently unrelated accidents. But when intelligence-agency analysts spot a pattern they struggle to find the culprit, blocked at every step – by reluctant allies and scheming enemies. Meanwhile a multi-billionaire inventor and forward-thinker is working hard to realise his dream, and trying to keep it hidden from everyone – one government investigating him, and another helping him. But deep in the Cloud something is watching him, too. And deep in the Cloud, it plans.

Peter Buck, senior editor at Elsewhen Press, said “Geoff spends much of his time with the people who are making the future happen, writing objectively about them and their innovations. From his viewpoint, looking across multiple disciplines and with a global perspective, he is ideally placed to see where we could be heading.” Famously, Stephen Hawking was concerned about AI: “Unless we learn how to prepare for, and avoid, the potential risks, AI could be the worst event in the history of our civilization.” Elon Musk too, has warned about the uncontrolled rise of AI: “We have to figure out some way to ensure that the advent of digital super-intelligence is one which is symbiotic with humanity – I think that’s the single biggest existential crisis that we face, and the most pressing one.

Genesis will be available on all popular eBook platforms from 25th January 2019. The paperback edition will be available at Easter (22nd April 2019).

Notes for Editors

About Geoffrey Carr

Geoffrey Carr is the Science and Technology Editor of The Economist. His professional interests include evolutionary biology, genetic engineering, the fight against AIDS and other widespread infectious diseases, the development of new energy technologies, and planetology. His personal interests include using total eclipses of the sun as an excuse to visit weird parts of the world (Antarctica, Easter Island, Amasya, the Nullarbor Plain), and watching swifts hunting insects over his garden of a summer’s evening, preferably with a glass of wine in hand.

As someone who loathed English lessons at school, he says he is frequently astonished that he now earns his living by writing. “That I have written a novel, albeit a technothriller rather than anything with fancy literary pretensions, astonishes me even more, since what drew me into writing in the first place was describing reality, not figments of the imagination. On the other hand, perhaps describing reality is what fiction is actually for.”

Visit bit.ly/GC_Genesis

About the cover

The cover of Genesis was conceived jointly by Geoffrey Carr and the artist Alison Buck, to include significant story elements while at least partially reflecting the iconic imagery associated with the original Genesis story in western theology. The image of Mars is courtesy of Nerthuz/shutterstock.com.

“a delicious evil” – review by Jill-Elizabeth of Resurrection Men

Cover design and artwork by Alison Buck

On her blog, Jill-Elizabeth has written a review of Resurrection Men by David Craig, the first book in his Sooty Feathers series. She starts with an apology that she can’t write a long review because the book is so “well-crafted and full of the right kind of surprises” that it’s hard to describe without giving too much away – she wouldn’t want to spoil the enjoyment for a potential reader with an overly revelatory review.

After introducing her review with “What a great find!”, she goes on to say that she “thoroughly enjoyed it, and cannot wait for the next in the series”. She describes it as an original take on the supernatural topics covered – “no small feat” – and says the gothic writing is “gorgeous” and “perfectly suited to the tale”. The two principal characters, Hunt and Foley, she compares to Mulder and Scully as a great mix and foil for each other, while the Sooty Feathers are “a delicious evil”.

Read Jill-Elizabeth’s full review on her blog here (it’s also on Goodreads and Amazon with 5 stars).

 

“captivating and well-crafted” – review of The Deep and Shining Dark on Risingshadow

On Risingshadow.net Seregil of Rhiminee has just reviewed The Deep and Shining Dark by Juliet Kemp, the first book in the Marek series. Describing it as a “strong debut novel from a talented new author” Seregil compliments Juliet on having produced an entertaining and well-written fantasy with “subtle complexity, good worldbuilding and fluent characterisation”, saying that it was “one of the most positive reading experiences I’ve had this year”.

Artwork: Tony Allcock

Admitting that he read it in one sitting because “The story immediately pulled me in and didn’t let go until I’d reached the end”, Seregil says that the story “flows effortlessly and becomes increasingly intriguing” as it “immerses readers into the story right alongside the protagonists and takes them on a fascinating journey” that is “filled with intrigue, politics and magic”. The characterisation is “interesting and realistic” because Juliet “pays attention to their lives, feelings, flaws and problems, making them as real as possible”. The worldbuilding is “effortless” presenting a vibrant vision of the citystate of Marek that is “believable”, paying attention to “cultural differences and … how the Houses maintain control”. The magic is “interesting”, the politics “intriguing” and “LGBTQ elements handled fluently”.

Seregil says that he is looking forward to reading the instalment in this series, because this is a “promising and strong start” that he enjoyed. He recommends The Deep and Shining Dark as “captivating and well-crafted” fantasy.

You can read Seregil’s full review on Risingshadow here.

“impossible to become bored” – review of Fictional Alignment on Comic Book News UK

Cover Art: Tony Allcock; Logo Design: Craig Nash

On his Comic Book News UK website, Benjamin Williams has reviewed Mike French’s latest novel Fictional Alignment. Fictional Alignment is a sequel to An Android Awakes, which Benjamin previously reviewed (“something that is to be admired”).

He starts by saying that it is tough to explain the plot of Fictional Alignment, not because the plot itself is tough but because there’s “just so much happening”. However he goes on to give a reasonable outline of the plot, followed by “Sounds completely mad, right? That’s because it is. It’s also incredibly hilarious.”.

Benjamin likes the fact that there is so much going on that it’s “impossible to become bored”. He likes the various science fiction references that are included, not gratuitously but “that fit the story”. For him the best character was Heisenberg (one of the androids), who “is awful and seemingly uncaring throughout most of the book”, but is “quite funny” and usually delivers the best lines; as a result, he adds, much of the chaos in the book is because of Heisenberg. As the story is playing with time travel and androids trying to be human in the past, using future technology that isn’t always fully explained (because it’s funnier that way), Benjamin says it can leave you scratching your head a little, but that’s “all part of the madness that you just need to embrace when reading it”.

Although it has a different premise and feeling from An Android Awakes, Benjamin says Fictional Alignment is a “worthy sequel” but “it does leave a question over where French can take the story from here”.

You can read Benjamin’s full review on Comic Book News UK here.

 

Secret Society covers up Gruesome Murders in Glasgow

The Sooty Feathers Club protects a dangerous underworld controlling the City of Glasgow, encouraging police and press to look the other way. David Craig reveals all in Resurrection Men, the first book in the Sooty Feathers series.

DARTFORD, KENT – 06 August 2018 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the forthcoming publication of Resurrection Men by Glasgow-based author David Craig. It is the first book in his Sooty Feathers series, a masterful gothic tale about a supernatural war for control of the Second City of the British Empire, and the struggle of flawed characters of uncertain virtue trying to avert it. In the late 19th century, Glasgow was ruled by the undead – from the private clubs, town houses and country estates of the privileged to the dung-choked wynds and overcrowded slums of the poor. Undead unrest, a fallen angel, and religious zealots intent on driving out the forces of evil, set the stage for a diabolical conflict of biblical proportions.

Cover design and artwork by Alison Buck

Resurrection Men is David’s debut novel. In it, he provides an atmospheric portrayal of Glasgow in 1893 which acts as a thrilling introduction to this accomplished series, deftly pulling the reader in to a well-researched and almost tangible bygone world still glimpsed in the city today. The erstwhile heroes, a student and a laudanum-addicted pharmacist, are pursuing extra-curricular careers as body snatchers – the ‘resurrection men’ of the title – when they find themselves entangled in the world hidden beneath the veneer of respectable society. Luckily they are not alone for long, as unexpected allies join their fight.

David’s book explores what it is that drives people to face evil, and what it costs them. Some characters are initially drawn into the fray by misfortune, and even when they try to walk away tragedy drags them back in. Others have been broken to some degree by years of fighting the undead and their mortal allies.

The cover, designed by artist Alison Buck, captures the atmosphere of David’s book. The dark and grimy alleys where bodies are found suffering from severe loss of blood, having had their throats ripped out; the fine, elegant streets and squares in which the elite and learned rise above the smoke and filth in careless disregard. On reading the book prior to designing the cover, Alison said “Resurrection Men is an impressive fictionalised account of the forces controlling 19th century Glasgow, which will appeal to fans of gothic fiction as well as historians and others intrigued by life, and death, 125 years ago.

Resurrection Men will be available on all popular eBook platforms from 31st August 2018. The paperback edition will be launched at FantasyCon in Chester, in October 2018.

Notes for Editors

About David Craig

Aside from three months living on an oil tanker sailing back and forth between America and Africa, and two years living in a pub, David Craig grew up on the west coast of Scotland. He studied Software Engineering at university, but lost interest in the subject after (and admittedly prior to) graduation. He currently works as a resourcing administrator for a public service contact centre, and lives near Glasgow with his wife and two rabbits.

Being a published writer has been a life-long dream, and one he is delighted to finally realise with this, his debut novel. Resurrection Men is the first book in the Sooty Feathers series.

Visit bit.ly/ResurrectionMen

Great summer reading for fantasy fans

The weather is still glorious here at Elsewhen Press HQ and our neighbours are all busy keeping the kids entertained during the school holidays. But what about you? The best way to enjoy the weather is with a long cool drink and and a long cool book. Our two latest fantasy releases this summer should fit the bill perfectly.
 

Artwork: Tony Allcock

Last month saw the release of Juliet Kemp’s debut novel The Deep and Shining Dark, the first in a new series that Juliet is writing about the city-state of Marek. Magic is facilitated by an angel that made an agreement with the founding fathers of the city 300 years ago, but it has just stopped working. Reb, a sorcerer, and Marcia, an elite, discover that someone has deposed the city-angel and soon realise that there is a plot afoot to take control of the city. But the city Council connive and conspire, manipulated in a political game. So Reb and Marcia must take action themselves. Exciting stuff! With a gorgeous cover, a detailed map of Marek, and a gripping tale.
 

Artwork: Tony Allcock

Today sees the release of David M Allan’s debut novel The Empty Throne. Four hundred years ago three magicians created a gateway to another world but hostile incorporeal creatures came through;they just managed to defeat that first incursion but failed to close the gateway. Now it is guarded by knights who defend their world from the unpredictable incursions that have been happening ever since. The latest incursion has just started and a kulun has escaped into the world – capable of possessing and controlling humans, it is intent on causing havoc. Provincial rulers are too busy with family feuds, border disputes, deep-rooted rivalries and bigotry to pay attention to the incursions, providing a perfect environment for the kulun. With an arresting cover, and also including a map of the lands, this action adventure across two worlds is riveting.

Both of these fantastic books are available on all the best eBook platforms now. You could be reading them within seconds, for a mere £2.99 each! Find them on your favourite retailer:
The Deep and Shining Dark – eBook retailers
The Empty Throne – eBook retailers

Enjoy!

“fascinating time travel adventure” – review of Timekeepers on Risingshadow

Artwork by Alison Buck

On Risingshadow.net, Seregil of Rhiminee has just reviewed Timekeepers by Dave Weaver, which he describes as “an entertaining combination of old-fashioned time travel adventure, modern storytelling and suspense”. Seregil says he is a fan of well written time travel fiction, and is happy to say that Timekeepers is “one of the best offerings to date”, very much in the same vein as The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. Successfully blending young adult fiction elements with adult fiction that works well because “the story is gripping and suspenseful”.


Seregil complimented Dave Weaver’s characterisation, believable vision of a Roman Britain, use of alternate history, time travel technology, artificial intelligence, and his deft handling of challenging themes and issues. He sums up with “a highly enjoyable, suspenseful and well written tale”.

You can read Seregil’s full review on Risingshadow here.

 

Politicians feud, oblivious to the evil force possessing and controlling them to gain ultimate power

David M Allan’s new novel combines elements of both fantasy and science fiction to examine the glamour of power and the danger of invisible forces that can manipulate and control even the most formidable leaders.

DARTFORD, KENT – 08 June 2018 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce that they have signed with author David M Allan to publish his novel The Empty Throne. Combining swords, magic, other-worldly creatures and ambitious politicians, with a gateway to another world, The Empty Throne is an unexpected mix of traditional fantasy and science fiction, likely to appeal to readers who enjoy the work of David Eddings, Robin Hobb and Juliet McKenna.

Artwork: Tony Allcock

In the world of The Empty Throne, there is a Citadel. In it stand three thrones, one of metal, one of wood and one of stone. Between them shimmers a gateway to a new world, created four hundred years ago by the three magicians who made the thrones. When hostile incorporeal creatures came through the gateway, the magicians attempted to close it but failed. Since that time the creatures have tried to come through the gateway at irregular intervals, but the throne room is guarded by the Company of Tectors, established to defend against them. To try to stop the creatures, expeditions have been sent through the gateway, but none has ever returned.

On each throne appears an image of one of the Custoda, heroes who have led the expeditions through the gateway. While the Custoda occupy the thrones the gateway remains quiet and there are no incursions. Today, Dhanay, the newest knight admitted to the Company, is guarding the throne room. Like all the Tectors, Dhanay looks to the images of the Custoda for guidance.

But the Throne of Stone is empty. The latest incursion has started; a creature escaping into the world, a kulun capable of possessing and controlling humans.

The provincial rulers, the oldest and most powerful families, ignore the gateway and the Tectors, concentrating on playing politics and pursuing their own petty aims. Some even question the need for the Company, as incursions have been successfully contained within the Citadel for years. Family feuds, border disputes, deep-rooted rivalries and bigotry make for a potentially unstable world, and are a perfect environment for a kulun looking to create havoc…

The arresting cover is by renowned artist Tony Allcock, encapsulating the atmosphere of the throne room and Dhanay’s shock when he realises the throne is empty. The author immediately liked the cover art for the “air of mystery and feeling of menace”.

The Empty Throne will be available on all popular eBook platforms from 3rd August 2018. It will be available in paperback on 22nd October 2018.

Notes for Editors

About David M Allan

David M Allan got hooked on reading at a young age by borrowing to the max – 3 books, twice a week – from the public library. He was caught up and transported to fabulous other worlds by the likes of Wells, Verne and Burroughs (and later by Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, Heinlein, Le Guin, Wyndham…). Alas, the journeys were temporary and he had to return to Earth.

His love affair with science fiction and fantasy had him thinking vaguely about writing but he didn’t follow through until after retirement and his relocation, with wife and cat, to a houseboat on the Thames. It was reading one book which he didn’t think was very good that led him to say “I could do better than that” and then setting out to prove it. David has since had a number of short stories published in online magazines, but The Empty Throne will be his first published novel.

About Tony Allcock

Tony Allcock lives in Hertfordshire and has been both a Research Scientist and a Fine Artist for 40 years. He has exhibited watercolour and oil paintings in galleries and exhibitions in the UK, France and Italy. More recently he has also been painting digitally, illustrating music CD covers and book covers. Under the internet name of 888toto he has been developing digital painting brushes and techniques that have been downloaded by many hundreds of artists around the world. This is the third book cover Tony has produced for Elsewhen Press.

Visit https://bit.ly/TheEmptyThrone

“well written escapism with plenty of magic” – Review of The Promised Lie on Risingshadow

Artwork by Alison Buck

On Risingshadow.net, Seregil of Rhiminee has just reviewed Christopher Nuttall’s The Promised Lie, the first book of the Unwritten Words series.

Seregil starts his review of The Promised Lie by saying that he considers “Christopher Nuttall to be one of the best authors of entertaining epic fantasy for adult readers” who “has found his own voice and knows how to entertain his readers with good and exciting stories”. He goes on to compliment the characterisation “good and believable”, the worldbuilding “excellent”, and Christopher’s writing – he writes in an “effortless way” about politics, “writes well about magic and what can be achieved by using it” and “also writes well about religion and worshipping gods”. Seregil adds that there’s “something about the ancient magic and forces that is almost Lovecraftian in nature”. Overall he says it is a thrilling story and excellent entertainment, and finishes by saying that this is Christopher’s “strongest fantasy novel to date”.

You can read Seregil’s full review on Risingshadow.net here.

When magic suddenly stops, there’s more at stake than the livelihood of the last surviving sorcerers

In book 1 of Juliet Kemp’s new fantasy series, sorcerer Reb realises something is wrong when the city-angel turns up at her door. Marcia, Heir to House Fereno stumbles on the same truth. Together they must discover who is responsible and stop them.

DARTFORD, KENT – 21 May 2018 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce that they have signed with author Juliet Kemp for the first book in a gripping new fantasy series. Juliet has had short stories published in anthologies and online magazines, and has a novella due out later this year. But The Deep and Shining Dark is Juliet’s debut novel, launching straight into the political intrigues and magical shenanigans in the city-state of Marek, for which the series is named.

Artwork: Tony Allcock

There had, once, been an overland trading route between mainland Teren and neighbouring Exuria, up and through the mountain passes. Its increasing unreliability had been what drove an expedition into the swamps, just over 300 years ago, seeking a route around the mountains. What they’d found was the outlet to the Oval Sea, which was even better. They made an agreement with an angel to ensure that magic within their new city worked without the need for bloodletting, and that political stability would be protected from magical influence. Then along came the Salinas, with their ships, their extensive trading partnerships around the Oval Sea, and their very reasonable carrier prices. Fairly soon, as Marek traded and became wealthy, it grew from being merely a city and chief trading- port of Teren into a semi-independent city-state. Most sophisticates no longer even believed in magic or the city-angel.

In The Deep and Shining Dark, Reb, one of the two sorcerers who survived a recent plague that wiped out virtually all of the rest, discovers that magic has suddenly stopped working. Someone has deposed the city-angel, but has been unable to replace it. Marcia, Heir to House Fereno, and one of the few in high society who is well-aware that magic still exists, stumbles across that same truth.

Meanwhile Council members connive and conspire, unaware that they are being manipulated in a treacherous political game that threatens the peace and security of the entire Oval Sea. Reb and Marcia must discover who is behind the plot, in order to stop the impending disaster. But first they must try to decide whom they can really trust.

Complementing Juliet’s story is a beautiful cover with artwork by renowned artist, Tony Allcock, which captures the essence of Marek and the outlook across the Oval Sea while conjuring up the intrigue that underlies the city itself. On seeing the cover for the first time Juliet’s response was “That’s absolutely gorgeous!”

The Deep and Shining Dark will be available on all popular eBook platforms from 6th July 2018. It will be available in paperback on 24th September 2018.

Notes for Editors

About Juliet Kemp

Juliet Kemp
Juliet Kemp lives by the river in London, with partners, child, dog, and too many fountain pens. With an employment history that variously includes working as a cycle instructor, sysadmin, life model, researcher, permaculture designer, and journalist, Juliet still finds time to write. When not writing or parenting, Juliet goes climbing, knits, reads way too much, and drinks a lot of tea. Having had stories published in several anthologies and online magazines, Juliet was delighted to sign with Elsewhen Press to publish The Deep and Shining Dark.

About Tony Allcock

Tony Allcock
Tony Allcock lives in Hertfordshire and has been both a Research Scientist and a Fine Artist for 40 years. He has exhibited watercolour and oil paintings in galleries and exhibitions in the UK, France and Italy. More recently he has also been painting digitally, illustrating music CD covers and book covers. Under the internet name of 888toto he has been developing digital painting brushes and techniques that have been downloaded by many hundreds of artists around the world.

Visit bit.ly/DeepShiningDark