Never forget that old saying: Beware god-like aliens bearing gifts
Stasis and inorganic self-repair, new spacefaring technologies for humankind, yet more gifts from its closest extra-terrestrial ally, the Iaens. There are, it seems, no limits to humanity’s outward journey.
Then Lana Reed, Mission Commander of the interstellar colony seeder, Drake, awakes from her own stasis to discover that all but three of the vessel’s other tanks are dark, their occupants suffocated, screaming yet unheard in their high-tech coffins. But the stasis tanks are not all that is dark. The sensors return no readings from outside. The external vid-feeds show only unending blackness.
There are no stars to be seen. No planet song to be heard. No galaxy cry. No echoing radio signals that proclaim life.
The Drake and its surviving crew are adrift and alone in a lightless, empty universe.
From Terry Grimwood, another taste of the human realpolitik alliance with the Iaen, begun in Interference.
We’re delighted to be able to reveal the gorgeous cover of The Last Star, the next book by Terry Grimwood. Set in the same universe as Terry’s Interference, The Last Star continues to explore the alliance between humans and the god-like aliens, the Iaen.
As for Interference, the cover was designed by Alex Storer who has created this stunning artwork.
The Last Star will be published in eBook formats on the 5th May and in paperback on the 5th June 2023.
Corporate greed supported by incompetent surveyors leads to the colonisation of a distant world, ominously dubbed ‘Halloween’, that turns out not to be uninhabited after all. The aliens, soon called Spooks by military units deployed to protect the colonists, can adopt the physical form of an opponent’s deepest fear and then use it to kill them. The colony is massacred and as retaliation the orbiting human navy nuke the planet. In revenge, the Spooks invade Earth.
In a last-minute attempt to avert the war, Seethan Bodell, a marine combat pilot sent home from the front with PTSD, is given a top-secret research spacecraft, and a mission to travel into the past along with his co-pilot and secret lover Rose, to prevent the original landing on Halloween and stop the war from ever happening. But the mission goes wrong, causing a tragedy later known as The Sundering, decimating the world and tearing reality, while Seethan’s ship is flung into the future. The Spooks win the war and claim ownership of Earth. He wakes, alone, in his ejector seat with no sign of either Rose or his vessel. When he realises that his technology no longer works, his desperation to find Rose becomes all the more urgent – her android body won’t survive long in this new Earth.
Gardens of Earth is the first book of The Sundering Chronicles. The story tackles alien war, a future that may be considered either dystopian or utopian, depending on who you ask, and a protagonist coping with his personal demons in an unfamiliar and stressful environment – not to mention immediate threats from a pathological serial killer, the remnants of Earth’s inhabitants now living in a sparse pre-industrial society under the watchful eye of the Spooks, and returning human colonists intent on reclaiming Earth. Underlying all this are issues of social justice, human and android rights, and love that transcends difference. In many senses this is classic science fiction, but the abilities of the Spooks provide an environment, and archetypal creatures within it, that are reminiscent of myth and magic fantasy. Truly cross-genre, Gardens of Earth is an exciting adventure, a heart-rending quest, and an eye-opening insight into the coping strategies of a veteran.
Available in eBook format from today, Gardens of Earth will be available as a paperback on October 18th 2021.
Gardens of Earth, book 1 of The Sundering Chronicles is the latest science fiction novel from author Mark Iles, and the first of his books to be published by Elsewhen Press. The story tackles alien war, a future that may be considered either dystopian or utopian, depending on who you ask, and a protagonist coping with his personal demons in an unfamiliar and stressful environment – not to mention immediate threats from a pathological serial killer, the remnants of Earth’s inhabitants now living in a sparse pre-industrial society under the watchful eye of the Spooks, and returning human colonists intent on reclaiming Earth. Underlying all this are issues of social justice, human and android rights, and love that transcends difference. In many senses this is classic science fiction, but the abilities of the Spooks provide an environment, and archetypal creatures within it, that are reminiscent of myth and magic fantasy. Truly cross-genre, Gardens of Earth is an exciting adventure, a heart-rending quest, and an eye-opening insight into the coping strategies of a veteran.
We asked artist Alex Storer to work with Mark to produce a cover that could encapsulate all of that! We were concerned that it may have been a tall order, but we are delighted to reveal the cover that they have produced. What you can’t see here is how beautifully the cover artwork wraps round the spine onto the back of the book. You’ll just have to wait for the paperback to experience that 😉
Gardens of Earth is now available to pre-order in eBook format on most platforms for release on the 6th August, and will be out in paperback in October.
The Blueprint trilogy takes us to a future in which men and women are almost identical, and personal relationships are forbidden. In Book 3 of the trilogy, Freedom’s Prisoners, tensions have escalated since the breakout. Michael and his army of rebels may have won the first battle in their fight against the Citidome authorities, but can they win a war? The Citidomes are fighting back and no-one is safe any more as RotorFighters rain down fire on defenceless villages destroying them and their inhabitants.
Freedom’s Prisoners explores betrayal, guilt, hope and endurance in an explosive conclusion to the Blueprint trilogy which is perfectly portrayed in the awesome cover by Alex Storer.
Freedom’s Prisoners is out today in eBook formats on all popular platforms, and will also be available in paperback in November (with a launch at Novacon in Nottingham).
Praise for the first two books of the Blueprint Trilogy:
“one of the best modern YA sci-fi novels ever written”
[Seregil of Rhiminee, Risingshadow]
“I enjoyed reading this modern utopia. It reminds me in some ways of 1984 and Brave New World”
[Ian Blackwell, British Fantasy Society]
“I treasured Future Perfect’s closeness to reality, the nearest to realistic that you can get for a futuristic dystopian world”
“I LOVED this book! Read it over a period of 24 hours, hated having to put it down.”
“will be of special interest to readers who are familiar with the YA science fiction novels written by Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth. If you’ve enjoyed reading The Hunger Games and Divergent trilogies, you’ll most likely enjoy this novel very much”
Third book announced in dystopian YA trilogy comparable to The Hunger Games and Divergent
DARTFORD, KENT – 23 June 2016 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the forthcoming publication of the explosive conclusion to Katrina Mountfort’s widely acclaimed Blueprint Trilogy and reveal the cover. The dystopian YA trilogy, which was launched in 2014 with Future Perfect, and continued in 2015 with Forbidden Alliance, takes us to a future Britain (now called State Eleven) in which men and women are almost identical and personal relationships are forbidden. Following a bio-terrorist attack, the population live within comfortable Citidomes, believing that life outside is no longer possible. But along with the utopian security and safety that appears to come from such controlled isolation and segregation, freedom of choice and individuality have been sacrificed in favour of conformity and unreserved acceptance of the authorities. MindValues advocate non-attachment, while the BodyPerfect cult encourages a tall thin androgynous appearance and looks are everything. In a society where every thought and action is controlled, informers are everywhere. Anyone who dares question the status quo is labelled a subversive thinker and quietly disappeared. But, in fact, there are communities living outside the Citidomes and some of them are actively trying to set free those still inside, most of whom don’t even realise they are effectively imprisoned. As the efforts of the rebels become more daring, the Citidome authorities are forced to go beyond their usual pernicious techniques to use more destructive and shocking tactics – and what started as a campaign to maintain control becomes a vendetta targeted at the rebel leaders.
A dark undercurrent runs through these books: the enforcement of conformity through fear, the fostering of distorted and damaging attitudes towards forbidden love, manipulation of appearance and even the definition of beauty. But life outside the Citidomes is not without problems and the books explore the burden of leadership, family loyalties and whether it is possible to justify the sacrifice of human lives for the greater good. Freedom’s Prisoners examines betrayal, guilt, hope and endurance as the rebels undertake their most ambitious mission yet – to see if there is anyone in the world beyond the shores of State Eleven who cares enough to help.
As with Forbidden Alliance, the cover artwork for Freedom’s Prisoners was produced by talented Sheffield-based artist Alex Storer. When she saw Alex’s cover design for the first time Katrina said “I love it… I had no clear idea of exactly what the RotorFighters looked like, but your vision seems perfect.”
In reviews the trilogy has been favourably compared to Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games and Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogies, while others have been reminded of Orwell’s 1984, Huxley’s Brave New World and Nolan and Johnson’s Logan’s Run. Future Perfect was described as “one of the best modern YA sci-fi novels ever written” by RisingShadow. Katrina Mountfort’s Freedom’s Prisoners, the final book of the Blueprint Trilogy will be published in digital formats on the 9th September and launched in paperback at Novacon in November in Nottingham.
Notes for Editors
About Katrina Mountfort
Katrina Mountfort was born in Leeds. After a degree in Biochemistry and a PhD in Food Science, she started work as a scientist. Since then, she’s had a varied career. Her philosophy of life is that we only regret the things we don’t try, and she’s been a homeopath, performed forensic science research and currently works as a freelance medical writer. She now lives in Saffron Walden with her husband and two dogs. When she hit forty, she decided it was time to fulfil her childhood dream of writing a novel. Future Perfect was her debut novel and the first book in the Blueprint Trilogy. Freedom’s Prisoners is the third and concluding book of the trilogy.
About Alex Storer
Alex Storer is a graphic designer, artist/illustrator and musician from Sheffield, UK. The advent of pixel art and the vibrant graphics of the Commodore Amiga in the early 1990s was a turning point for Alex, giving him his first taste of digital artwork, leading to a career in graphic design. However, a lifelong interest in science fiction came full circle in 2010 when Alex began producing his own brand of science fiction artwork. Taking influence from classic science fiction and the space art greats of the 1970s and 80s, his work pays homage to yesterday’s visions of tomorrow yet remains contemporary and distinctive in style. In 2012, Alex was invited to join the Initiative for Interstellar Studies as an honorary musician and artist.
In 2015 Elsewhen Press commissioned Alex to produce the cover art for Forbidden Alliance, the second book in Katrina’s Blueprint Trilogy. Now in 2016 he has produced the cover art for Freedom’s Prisoners.
In Katrina Mountfort’s vision of the future, as portrayed in her Blueprint trilogy, citizens living inside Citidomes are kept safe, but highly controlled. Discouraged from ‘subversive thinking’ they can’t even imagine the world beyond the dome. We, on the other hand, can think outside the box (see what I did there?). To help us imagine what’s out there, we not only have Katrina’s words but the evocative covers of the books, the second of which, Forbidden Alliance, will be published in September. Now we can have a sneak peek at the cover by artist Alex Storer.
Forbidden Alliance continues the story of Caia and Mac from Future Perfect. Now, sixteen years later, they are known as Cathy and Michael and living a village life. Michael is also leader of the Alliance of Outside Communities and preoccupied with his most audacious plan yet to liberate rebels from inside the Citidomes, a plan that not only endangers him but his family and many of their allies. Their daughter Joy, a rebel too of sorts, is fighting against the village future planned for her by Michael and forbidden from seeing her true love Harry who lives on the canals; but her illusions about life in the Citidomes are about to be shattered with shocking consequences.