As MI5, the UK Security Service, issues a warning about foreign interference, Terry Grimwood’s new book also examines interference in government for military advantage

In the time-honoured tradition of science fiction writers holding up a mirror to society, using a story ostensibly set in the future or on another planet, Interference explores how grubby political deals would still infect our dealings with other planets and civilisations.

DARTFORD, KENT – 18 January 2022 – Elsewhen Press is a publishing house specialising in high quality, entertaining and thought-provoking speculative fiction. Many science fiction stories address current, real-world issues but through the fictional prism of an alternative society. Interference, the latest story from author Terry Grimwood, well-known for scrutinising politics in his science fiction, is no exception.

Terry says “Science fiction is the perfect lens through which contemporary social and political issues can be examined. Transplanting one or more aspects of the human condition into a futuristic or alien setting gives the writer space to tease out, and study, its heart.”

If a government envoy, trying to examine a foreign request for military aid in a contentious war, becomes aware that what is on offer in return is potentially valuable to their own government, how do they maintain an ethical position? If it would also be personally rewarding, the temptation would be even greater; or if the health of sick family members would be improved…

Peter Buck, Editorial Director of Elsewhen Press said, “Terry very quickly builds a believable setting in which a statesman is subjected to ethical dilemma, profound temptation and unconscionable pressure. Being a science fiction story where the politician is a human negotiating on behalf of Earth with a powerful alien species may make the situation easier to imagine and understand, and in many ways more believable, but it does not make the moral choices any less real. At a time when many of us are rightly questioning the principles and standards of conduct to which our leaders should be held, Interference sheds a light on human behaviour under duress, the ease with which bribery can be self-justified, the inexcusable defence of ‘just following orders’, and how small corrupt deals may be denounced by political leaders or the media but the biggest corruptions are hailed as statesmanship. It was intriguing to see the very same word, ‘interference’, being used by MI5 in their warning on the very day that Terry’s book became available for pre-order. Science Fiction is often prescient!”

Elsewhen Press is delighted to announce that Interference is available for pre-order in ebook and print editions, in advance of publication at the end of this month.

Notes for Editors

About Terry Grimwood

Suffolk born and proud of it, Terry Grimwood is the author of a handful of novels and novellas, including Deadside Revolution, the science fiction-flavoured political thriller Bloody War and Joe which was inspired by true events. His short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies and have been gathered into three collections, The Exaggerated Man, There Is A Way To Live Forever and Affairs of a Cardio-Vascular Nature. Terry has also written and Directed three plays as well as co-written engineering textbooks for Pearson Educational Press. He plays the harmonica and with a little persuasion (not much persuasion, actually) will growl a song into a microphone. By day he teaches electrical installation at a further education college. He is married to Debra, the love of his life.

About Interference

The grubby dance of politics didn’t end when we left the solar system, it followed us to the stars

Cover design and artwork: Alex Storer
Cover design and artwork: Alex Storer

The god-like Iaens are infinitely more advanced than humankind, so why have they requested military assistance in a conflict they can surely win unaided?

Torstein Danielson, Secretary for Interplanetary Affairs, is on a fact-finding mission to their home planet and headed straight into the heart of a war-zone. With him, onboard the Starship Kissinger, is a detachment of marines for protection, an embedded pack of sycophantic journalists who are not expected to cause trouble, and reporter Katherina Molale, who most certainly will and is never afraid to dig for the truth.

Torstein wants this mission over as quickly as possible. His daughter is terminally ill, his marriage in tatters. But then the Iaens offer a gift in return for military intervention and suddenly the stakes, both for humanity as a race and for Torstein personally, are very high indeed.

Cover design: Alex Storer

Independent small press to publish new titles despite resurging pandemic

Like many small arts organisations, the lack of government support has meant that Elsewhen Press has been struggling to keep publishing during the pandemic.

DARTFORD, KENT – 28 December 2021 – Elsewhen Press is a publishing house specialising in high quality, entertaining and thought-provoking speculative fiction – specifically set up in 2011 to champion new authors. The books they publish often address current, real-world issues but through a fictional prism. Obviously, one of the most significant real-world issues over the last two years has been the global pandemic that has been ravaging many aspects of society, affecting people’s health and mental wellbeing, as well as the resulting economic effects. The impact has been anything but fictional.

“As a small business we have had no support from government,” says Peter Buck, Elsewhen Press Editorial Director, “and our income has been decimated. Meanwhile the costs of paper, printing and shipping have spiralled. Before the first lockdown, many pundits predicted an increase in the sales of eBooks, but that was not the experience of most indie presses; indeed book sales slumped, as people struggled to pay even their everyday bills on reduced incomes. Some indie presses have had to give up completely. We have been lucky enough to be able to keep going thanks to personal loans and family support, and we have even managed to publish those new titles that we had already planned – albeit most of them somewhat later than we had intended. We felt that it was important to keep publishing as much as we could. For many readers, being able to escape into a good book is what has been helping them cope with the unprecedented stress of everyday life. For some authors the enforced isolation has encouraged them to write.

“As autumn arrived this year, it was looking like things might finally start returning to some sort of ‘new normal’ with bookshops open again, even some science fiction and fantasy conventions restarting. At the Novacon convention in November, our first in-person event for almost two years, we had a joint, belated launch party for the titles we had published since the initial lockdown, and we finally got to reconnect with some of our readers. But that fillip has been shortlived, and with the impact of the Omicron variant we are now no longer certain if we will be able to hold launch parties for the new titles that we will be publishing at the start of 2022.

“Whether or not we are able to hold launch events for them, we will be publishing a number of great new books early next year:

 

Blood Legacy, the second book in a fantasy series from Cardiff-based writer Tej Turner – we published the first book in the series, Bloodsworn, in January of this year;

 

Interference by Terry Grimwood, a science fiction novella where grubby politics is still interfering when humanity goes interstellar;

 

The Forge and the Flood by Durham-based author Miles Nelson, a YA fantasy allegory that touches on identity and the illusion of difference – we published Miles’ debut novel Riftmaster in March this year;

 

The Seven Succubi by Simon Kewin, a witty contemporary police procedural with a difference. Instead of CID, the investigators work for the secretive HM Office of the Witchfinder General – during lockdown in 2020, we published the first book in the series, The Eye Collectors, which one reader described as ‘Dirk Gently meets Good Omens’.”

Notes for Editors

About Tej Turner

Blood Legacy cover artwork: Alison Buck
Cover design: Alison Buck

Tej Turner has spent much of his life on the move and does not have any particular place he calls ‘home’. For a large period of his childhood, he dwelt within the Westcountry of England, and he then moved to rural Wales to study Creative Writing and Film at Trinity College in Carmarthen, followed by a master’s degree at The University of Wales Lampeter. After completing his studies, he moved to Cardiff, where he works as a chef by day and writes by moonlight. He is also an intermittent traveller who every now and then straps on a backpack and flies off to another part of the world to go on an adventure. Blood Legacy is his fourth published novel, following Bloodsworn, the first in the Avatars of Ruin series. His debut novel The Janus Cycle was published by Elsewhen Press in 2015, followed by his sequel Dinnusos Rises in 2017. Both of them were described as ‘gritty and surreal urban fantasy’. He has also had short stories published in various anthologies.

About Terry Grimwood

Cover design and artwork: Alex Storer
Cover design and artwork: Alex Storer

Suffolk born and proud of it, Terry Grimwood is the author of a handful of novels and novellas, including Deadside Revolution, the science fiction-flavoured political thriller Bloody War and Joe which was inspired by true events. His short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies and have been gathered into three collections, The Exaggerated Man, There Is A Way To Live Forever and Affairs of a Cardio-Vascular Nature. Terry has also written and Directed three plays as well as co-written engineering textbooks for Pearson Educational Press. He plays the harmonica and with a little persuasion (not much persuasion, actually) will growl a song into a microphone. By day he teaches electrical installation at a further education college. He is married to Debra, the love of his life.

About Miles Nelson

Cover art: Miles Nelson
Cover art: Miles Nelson

Miles was born and raised in Durham. He studied video game design at Teesside University, graduating in 2018. Since then, he has taken a step back from coding to work on his writing career, and has since led several masterclasses with New Writing North. He has been writing all his life, and whilst he is primarily a sci-fi writer who loves long journeys, strange worlds and all things space and stars, he has also had brief flings with the genres of fantasy and horror. He often writes stories highlighting the struggles faced by the LGBTQ+ community, and tries to include themes of empathy and inclusivity in all he does. Even then, though, Miles stands firm in the belief that this is not the defining element of his stories. And although he tries to represent his community as best he can, these themes are never the main focus; because he believes that (in most cases) a person shouldn’t be defined by their deviation from standard norms. Outside of scifi and fantasy, he has a deep-rooted fascination with natural history, and collects books told from unique perspectives (be they animal, alien, or mammoths from Mars). The older, the better; his oldest book is just about to turn 100! He currently lives in Durham City with his husband, Chris, who so far seems unworried by Miles’ rapidly growing collections.

About Simon Kewin

Cover image: Alison Buck
Cover image: Alison Buck

Simon Kewin is a pseudonym used by an infinite number of monkeys who operate from a secret location deep in the English countryside. Every now and then they produce a manuscript that reads as a complete novel with a beginning, a middle and an end. Sometimes even in that order. The Simon Kewin persona devised by the monkeys was born on the misty Isle of Man in the middle of the Irish Sea, at around the time The Beatles were twisting and shouting. He moved to the UK as a teenager, where he still resides. He is the author of over a hundred published short stories and poems, as well as a growing number of novels. In addition to fiction, he also writes computer software. The key thing, he finds, is not to get the two mixed up. He has a first class honours degree in English Literature, is married, and has two daughters.

Local Charity Project Publishes Budding Authors in Illustrated Book

Each year in the small town of Gilesgate, an extraordinary event takes place. In 2019,  to raise money for a different local charity, an optometrist began to hold an annual competition.  Each year dozens, sometimes almost a hundred children take to the keyboard, pick up their pens and submit to the Gilesgate Story challenge.

In addition to raising money for a variety of local charities, the competition’s aim is to encourage children to read and write.

Like many other short story competitions, entries are all compiled into a book. Unlike others, though, every single entrant makes it in. The final book contains stories filled with childhood wonder, dozens of illustrations from a variety of talented artists, and pages stuffed to the brim with heart and whimsy.

Every penny of the proceeds made from the book, which had its launch party just this week, go to charity; this year’s proceeds go to the Durham Wildlife Trust.

The project is led by Simon Berry, an optometrist from the Gilesgate area. He was the one who began the competition, directs it, and takes charge of the marketing. Alongside Simon, we have Esther Robson, a proud grandmother who helps to keep the team organised. And finally, we have Miles Nelson, the typesetter and lead illustrator of this year’s book, which launched at the beginning of December.

Whilst Simon and Esther organise the competition and judge the entries, Miles works on piecing the book together, typing up each story, illustrating and formatting so that it can be released in time for Christmas.

Miles’ own book, Riftmaster, was released this year by Indie Publisher Elsewhen Press; a signed copy of his book, along with many others, will be appearing as one of the prizes.

One of the competition’s entrants, Dan, aged 11, had this to say about Riftmaster, in a review he wrote for school:

“The plot of Riftmaster is well thought, making every word interesting. The idea of two people being ripped through space to random planets makes for a great story. The idea of Riftmaster gives the author the opportunity to create new places and creatures, which really gives the book an alien feel.

All of the creatures and animals Bailey and Ari encounter are fascinating. Huge caterpillar-like creatures, animals that seem to be like mammals. Each and every thing even referenced in the book is described so well that it’s almost like they’re living on the pages.”

Dan’s story, the Dragon-Mouse, is about Ian, a mouse who thinks he is a dragon. It is one of many wonderful, whimsical and fantastical stories from very talented young writers.

Outside of mice, there are plenty of unique creatures featured in this year’s book. The winning entry of the competition was  about an ordinary slug who just wants to be useful. The runners-up included everything from snails to sinister deer to rainbow trout. It is truly a beautiful, hopeful and at times harrowing look at what the youth of today think of British wildlife.

Today, the competition is in its third year, and still going strong.

In order to keep the project going, Simon is currently looking for volunteers and donations to put together the next book.

He asks that if anyone is at all interested in helping out next year, that they contact him at

simon@simonberry.co.uk

pre-order the book through his website

here

or visit the Gilesgate Story Challenge’s social media and website listed below.

Facebook page    –   Website   –   Twitter

Out today in paperback – The Rising Flood by Juliet Kemp

Artwork: Tony Allcock
Artwork: Tony Allcock

The Rising Flood, book 3 of Juliet Kemp’s Marek series, is available in paperback from today from all good bookshops and Amazon.

Recent events have given conspiracy theories a bad name, says author

While conspiracy theories are ideal material for story tellers, author C.R. Berry is worried that they are no longer just harmless entertainment.

DARTFORD, KENT – 24 November 2021 – Elsewhen Press is a publishing house specialising in high quality, entertaining and thoughtful speculative fiction, often addressing current, real-world issues through a fictional prism. For author C.R. Berry, inventing new conspiracy theories and subsuming existing ones, has been an effective way to create thrilling, internally consistent stories that are entertaining but clearly far-fetched. In his Million Eyes trilogy, and related short stories, time travel is the underlying explanation for many inexplicable events throughout history. But now he is worried that using conspiracy theories as a fictional tool may become socially unacceptable.

“The past couple of years have given conspiracy theories a bad name,” says Berry. “With COVID deniers, anti-vaxxers and the Trump-fuelled Capitol riot, we’re seeing conspiracy theories that are dangerous and doing harm. Those that feature in the Million Eyes series, such as the claims that Princess Diana was assassinated and the Gunpowder Plot was an inside job, are just supposed to be harmless hypotheticals. But the current climate has made me wonder if I should be writing about them at all.

“When talking about my books, I already had to make clear that I’m not a tinfoil-hat wearer, but now I feel like I need to add that COVID is real and, yes, people should get vaccinated.

“Having said all that, I am very careful about which conspiracy theories I use. I wouldn’t incorporate any that are racist or would prolong a pandemic. And also, while the Million Eyes series does perpetuate the idea that there was a second shooter on the grassy knoll and that the Christian Church covered up the existence of a secret gospel, these events are explained with time travel, which is intentionally preposterous. That’s because, to me, conspiracy theories – some of them, anyway – make for great stories. Hopefully that’s what I’ve achieved with Million Eyes.”

The first book in the Million Eyes trilogy was launched in print just a few days before the first UK lockdown in 2020. The second book has recently been launched, at a time when many people are still suffering from the effects of the pandemic itself and the social and commercial impacts of attempting to deal with it. Berry is currently putting the finishing touches to the final book.

Nevertheless, he is now seriously reconsidering whether his books after Million Eyes will be so conspiracy-laden. “I do wonder if I should carry on incorporating such controversial material into my writing at a time when misinformation is so prevalent. Even though I’m just posing fun what-if scenarios, I’ve been contacted multiple times by conspiracy theorists who assume I believe everything I write about. I’ve had many an online argument with Flat Earthers and others who insist that the Royal Family are secret reptilians, and I can honestly say I wouldn’t want to meet any of those people on a dark night.”

Peter Buck, Editorial Director of Elsewhen Press said, “We signed Berry for the Million Eyes trilogy long before the pandemic, at a time when conspiracy theorists were still a laughable minority. Now, as he says, they are a real and present threat, not just to stability and democracy but to the continued existence of the human race. I hope that Million Eyes can help to redress the balance by further undermining the obvious credulity of the stupid and gullible, and return conspiracy theories to their rightful place as merely humorous entertainment.”

Million Eyes II: The Unraveller by C.R. Berry is now available in eBook format and paperback.

Notes for Editors

About Million Eyes II: the Unraveller

Time is the Ultimate Saviour

Following an impossible discovery in East London, archaeologist Dr Samantha Lester joins forces with software developer Adam Bryant to investigate the events that led to the disappearance of his best friend, Jennifer, and to bring down the people responsible – Million Eyes.

Before long, Lester and Adam are drawn into a tangled conspiratorial web involving dinosaurs, the Gunpowder Plot, Jesus, the Bermuda Triangle, and a mysterious history-hopping individual called the Unraveller, who is determined to wipe Million Eyes off the temporal map.

But as the secrets of Million Eyes’ past are revealed, picking a side in this fight might not be so easy.

ISBN: 9781911409687 (paperback, 408pp) / 9781911409786 (eBook)

Visit bit.ly/Million-Eyes-II

About C.R. Berry

C.R. Berry started out in police stations and courtrooms – as a lawyer, not a defendant – before taking up writing full-time. He’s currently head of content for a software developer and writes fiction about conspiracies and time travel.

Berry was published in Best of British Science Fiction 2020 from Newcon Press with a Million Eyes short story. He’s also been published in magazines and anthologies such as Storgy and Dark Tales, and in 2018 was shortlisted in the Grindstone Literary International Novel Competition.

In 2021, he bought his first house with his girlfriend, Katherine, in Clanfield, Hampshire, discovering whole new levels of stress renovating it (not helped by a rogue builder running off with most of their budget). The couple are now in the fun stage, going full-on nerd and theming all the rooms – their bedroom is a spaceship, their kitchen a 50s diner.

 

Out today in paperback – Million Eyes II: The Unraveller

Today sees the launch of the print edition of Million Eyes II: The Unraveller by C.R. Berry, it is available from all good bookshops and Amazon.

Artwork: Alison Buck

The Rising Flood, Book 3 of the Marek series is out today in eBook

Out today, on all good eBook platforms, book 3 of Juliet Kemp’s gripping Marek series, The Rising Flood, takes us to Marek just as unseasonal storms are sweeping across the Oval Sea. Once again the book is graced with a beautiful cover from artist Tony Allcock.

Malka Older, Author of the Centenal Cycle series, Hugo Award finalist, said “Fantasy politics with real nuance and believable uncertainty, characters whose richness and depth has developed over three books, and a growing threat that starts pulling together threads across the series make The Rising Flood a fantastic read, while Marek is a textured place that is a joy to return to.

Artwork: Tony Allcock
Artwork: Tony Allcock

A darkness writhes in the heart of Teren.

The Academy is unleashing demons on dissenters, and refugees rush to leave the capital with nothing but their lives and a hope.

That hope brings them to the city of Marek, Teren’s only major port, which harbours dreams of independence. But Marek is not as stable as it seems.

Marcia, Heir to House Fereno, has spent the last two years fighting to keep Marek safe and prosperous – but with child, her relationship in ruins and the increasing threat of Teren to worry about, can she find her way through? The printing houses of the city run rabble-rousing polemic, penned by an increasingly frustrated majority who feel left out of the rule and riches of Marek. They demand change, and Marcia can’t help but agree with much of what they’re saying.

On the other side of the bridge, the tiny group of Marek’s remaining sorcerers must negotiate their way through troubles of their own. Cato, Marcia’s exiled brother, and Reb, her ex-lover, are trying to train a new generation of sorcerers and both are having problems. Jonas simply won’t take ‘no’ for an answer from Cato; and Reb’s two students feel held back, both know that change, and strife, may be coming – and neither are ready to deal with it. But Reb cannot bring herself to move faster.

Between them, the five sorcerers alongside Marek’s cityangel can expel a single demon. But Teren has many, and other fears loom on the horizon. Out-of-season storms rampage across the Oval Sea, threatening trade – and Jonas’ family, out plying the trade winds – and the unseasonable weather threatens Marek itself.

Menaced by the distant capital, by dissension from within, and even by nature itself – will the rising flood lift all boats?

Or will they be capsized?

You can get The Rising Flood on your favourite eBook platform via Books2Read.

 

Out today in eBook – Million Eyes II: The Unraveller by C.R. Berry

The second book in the Million Eyes trilogy is out today in eBook format. Million Eyes II: The Unraveller continues on from Million Eyes.

If you need a reminder of the story so far, watch the recap Previously in Million Eyes on C.R.Berry’s YouTube channel.

Artwork: Alison Buck

Following an impossible discovery in East London, archaeologist Dr Samantha Lester joins forces with software developer Adam Bryant to investigate the events that led to the disappearance of his best friend, Jennifer, and to bring down the people responsible – Million Eyes.

Before long, Lester and Adam are drawn into a tangled conspiratorial web involving dinosaurs, the Gunpowder Plot, Jesus, the Bermuda Triangle, and a mysterious history-hopping individual called the Unraveller, who is determined to wipe Million Eyes off the temporal map.

But as the secrets of Million Eyes’ past are revealed, picking a side in this fight might not be so easy.

Thiever, David M Allan’s sequel to Quaestor is out today in eBook

We are excited to announce the publication today, in eBook format, of David M Allan’s new fantasy novel Thiever, the sequel to Quaestor.

Artwork: Alison Buck
Artwork: Alison Buck

After the events in Jotuk at the end of Quaestor, Anarya is no longer a Sponger but is now a Thiever – when she takes someone’s magic talent they lose it until she can no longer hold on to it. Worryingly, the power also brings a desperate hunger to take others’ talents, just as the false god did. As Anarya struggles to control the compulsion, Yisul is fraught with worry and seeks help for her lover. But Jotuk is in upheaval; the Twenty-Three families are in disarray, divided over how the city should be governed.

In Carregis, the King seeks to establish himself as an effective ruler. First, though, he must work out whom he can trust.

Meanwhile, the priestesses of Quarenna and the priests of Huler are having disturbing dreams…

Thiever is available from today in eBook format on most popular platforms, and will be published in paperback in November.

Cover reveal for Million Eyes II : The Unraveller by C.R. Berry

Time is the Ultimate Saviour

So, can you deduce any clues from that tagline, or from the subtitle ‘The Unraveller’, as to how the story that started in Million Eyes unfolds (or should that be unwinds or unravels?)

What do we know? Well, conspiracy theories abound (of course). C.R.Berry has mentioned dinosaurs, the Gunpowder Plot, Jesus, the Bermuda Triangle, and the mysterious Unraveller! Time is often likened to a tapestry, and we all know the biggest enemy of a tapestry… moths I mean, unravelling threads. So imagine how much of a threat an Unraveller would be to the tapestry of time itself…

And that was C.R.Berry’s inspiration for the cover by Alison Buck:

Artwork: Alison Buck

Following an impossible discovery in East London, archaeologist Dr Samantha Lester joins forces with software developer Adam Bryant to investigate the events that led to the disappearance of his best friend, Jennifer, and to bring down the people responsible – Million Eyes.

Before long, Lester and Adam are drawn into a tangled conspiratorial web involving dinosaurs, the Gunpowder Plot, Jesus, the Bermuda Triangle, and a mysterious history-hopping individual called the Unraveller, who is determined to wipe Million Eyes off the temporal map.

But as the secrets of Million Eyes’ past are revealed, picking a side in this fight might not be so easy.

Million Eyes II: The Unraveller will be out as an eBook in September and in paperback in November