Academic bureaucracy is stifling research but it’s not too late to put down your tea and rage against the system.

Vegan author, vegan main character, vegan publisher. Surprisingly King Street Run is not a vegan manifesto.

DARTFORD, KENT – 10 May 2024 – Elsewhen Press, an indie publisher specialising in speculative fiction, publishes novels from a wide variety of authors and with a huge range of themes and characters. But with the publication of King Street Run by V.R. Ling, it is the first time that Elsewhen Press, which is run by vegans, has published a book penned by a vegan author, with a vegan main character. That said, the book is not a manifesto for veganism. It does have a serious underlying premise, but it is essentially an adventure story, while also being a satire on society and academia in particular, poking fun at bureaucracy and stuffiness, thereby addressing important themes such as social mobility, imposter syndrome and entitlement. The book is also filled with playful references to popular culture as well as celebrated Cambridge alumni such as Douglas Adams and M.R. James.

The main character, Thomas, is an archaeology student at King’s College, Cambridge, who stumbles on a trio of anachronistic characters whom he initially believes to be steampunk enthusiasts but soon discovers to be the personifications of three of the Cambridge Colleges. Something is attacking them, and by extension the very essence of the Colleges. They need Thomas’ help to identify and stop their attacker. As the story progresses, Thomas meets the personification of all of the Colleges, before he must ultimately perform an unlikely heist to solve the problem.

The author, herself a Cambridge graduate, has taken great delight in including many Cambridge-related puns and disguised references, positively encouraging readers’ groups to be on the look-out for a variety of ‘Easter eggs’ within the text.

V.R. Ling said: “Not everything is what it seems. There are nooks and crannies in the text that seem plain enough, but look again and you might see something else. It might not be the sort of thing most writers hope for, but I’d love for readers to pause now and again, frown, and think ‘hang on a minute’ before re-reading a paragraph or reaching for their phone to check a detail. I have a love for old buildings and all their ‘twirly bits’ – turrets, little doors that lead up narrow staircases, embellished door frames, hidden cupboards and the like. These impish inclusions are my silly way of reflecting that love in writing; details you might not notice at first – and in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter if you don’t – but when/if you do, they provide another layer to the story.”

Peter Buck, Editorial Director at Elsewhen Press, said: “When Victoria submitted King Street Run to us, we were immediately enthralled by the setting, the characters and the adventure. Despite the serious underlying message, the deft combination of satire with archaeology and fantasy is very appealing. The main character being vegan was an obvious personal bonus. We later discovered that Victoria is also vegan so, during the editing process, we have not only been swapping comments on the text itself but also recipes and shopping tips!”

Is an adventure set among the Colleges of Cambridge likely to appeal to readers other than Cambridge alumni? Peter Buck, again: “The beauty of King Street Run is that it can be read purely as a fantasy novel about meta-beings, created by the history of a place and the people who are an institution’s collective memories. Or it can be read as an adventure, a race against time to stop the forces of evil defeating the forces of good. Or it can be read as a satire, lampooning staid elements in a society that needs to progress. Of course, it is all those things, so it will certainly appeal to Cambridge alumni; but it has a much wider appeal to lovers of fantasy, adventure, satire, and those concerned about the future of respected institutions – academic bureaucracy is familiar to people worldwide, not just graduates from institutions with buildings that are centuries old.”

King Street Run is now out in eBook and will be available in paperback on 20th May through all good booksellers.

Notes for Editors

About King Street Run

To Thomas, archaeology was time travel…
little did he know how literal that would turn out to be.

King Street Run by V.R. Ling; Cover by Alison Buck
Cover: Alison Buck

Thomas Wharton, an archaeology graduate, becomes drawn into the problems of a series of anachronistic characters who exist in the fractions of a second behind our own time. These characters turn out to be personifications of the Cambridge Colleges; they have the amalgamated foibles, history, and temperament of their Fellows and students and, together with Thomas, must enter into a race against time to prevent their world being destroyed by an unknown assailant.

King Street Run is a satirical fantasy thriller set among the iconic buildings of contemporary Cambridge.

.

Cover art: Alison Buck

About V.R. Ling

V.R. Ling
V.R. Ling

V.R. Ling (Victoria) has a life-long love for science fiction and fantasy, and by coincidence science and fiction have separately shaped her life; the science part came in the form of a degree in archaeology, a Masters in biological anthropology, and then a PhD in biological anthropology from King’s College, Cambridge. On the fiction front she is influenced by the likes of H.G Wells, Jules Verne, M.R James, Douglas Adams, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, and many others. She also has a life-long fascination with the 19th century (literature, scientific advances, architecture); Victoria by name, Victorian by nature. She is an animal lover, vegan, likes sixties music, adores classic Doctor Who, and has an antique book collection that smells as good as it looks.

US tattoo artist chooses UK publisher for her debut speculative fiction novel

Cross genre science fiction mystery in a gritty urban fantasy novel with romantic overtones: romantasy or romanscifi?

DARTFORD, KENT – 30 April 2024 – If you are on the lookout for a new science fiction mystery story, your first port of call is unlikely to be a tattoo studio. But if you are in Pittsburgh in the United States, that’s exactly where you need to go. Head to Kyklops Tattoo to find the latest book published by Elsewhen Press, LACUNA, a science fiction enigma inside a gritty urban fantasy; the first book in the Chimera series. There you will also find LACUNA’s author, Erin Hosfield who is one of the tattoo artists at Kyklops. Erin also created the cover art for the book. Perhaps it’s not surprising that Lynna, the main character in Erin’s debut novel, is herself a tattoo artist. But that’s where the similarity ends, Lynna has secrets in her past that she wants to keep quiet about.

A science fiction story starring a tattooist? How unusual is that? Peter Buck, Editorial Director of Elsewhen Press, says: “There have been plenty of science fiction and fantasy stories where a character sports a tattoo; sometimes the tattoo might even come to life! But I’m not aware of any other science fiction story where the main protagonist is a tattoo artist.” He adds, tantalisingly, “Without giving away any spoilers, the tattoos are not what makes this story science fiction!”

Erin says: “LACUNA is my first novel, and honestly my first attempt at real writing. I’ve been asked a few times how I came up with the idea, and in truth it started as an afterthought centered around something I’ve carried with me for years. I’ve had this image in my head of a place – a room, specifically – and I know it in great detail. The thing is, I’m not sure if it exists. Did I dream it? Did I visit it once? Is it from another lifetime? I’m unsure, but I think of it often, and I long for it at times. I thought – what if I created a story around it? What would the people living there be like? So I started writing, and it took off in a way I never expected! When it comes to giving my protagonist my occupation – a tattooist – it felt like the right choice because I needed to plant at least one foot in reality when it came to the storyline. I had to be able to write what I know in that respect. Highlighting a few of the lesser seen aspects of the trade from the tattooist’s perspective helps give a little peek into what the job means to me personally, and I’m hoping it will help the reader relate to Lynna on an emotional level outside of the romance aspect.”

Of course Erin’s book is available through all good bookshops too, not just her tattoo studio. But how, you may wonder, does a tattooist in Pittsburgh come to have her debut novel published by a small indie press in South East England? Erin says: “I was encouraged to think on a broader scale when it came to seeking out a publisher, and ideally I was looking for an indie press, so I cast the net wide. When I came across Elsewhen during my search I was incredibly hopeful, since their catalogue seemed like one my story could fit into. The fact that they’re located in the UK made them all the more enticing – it’s the only place I’ve traveled outside of the continental US and I fell in love with it. Having my manuscript accepted was an absolute dream come true, and it gives me an excuse to travel more, because I’d like to meet them in person! My hope is to continue on with them for the subsequent novels in the series. I’m incredibly lucky to get to work with people this wonderful – the universe was definitely pointing me in the right direction when I landed on their website.”

Peter Buck, again, “When Erin submitted LACUNA, we read it and were immediately intrigued by the characters and their story. It was clear that it could be the start of an enthralling series, and Erin admitted that it was in fact Part One of the Chimera series she had planned and she had already written more. Like many of the books we publish, it crosses genres, defying the sort of categorisation beloved of book retailers. LACUNA is urban fantasy with a romantic thread for the main character, what is now called romantasy and is very popular with Millennial and Gen Z readers; but also a science fiction mystery, so maybe we should call it a romanscifi? Either way, it’s a great story well told and although it stands on its own as a novel, we’re looking forward to see what happens next in the series.”

LACUNA, Part One of the Chimera series, is now available in eBook from all good retailers and will be available in paperback from 6th May.

Notes for Editors

About LACUNA

Lacuna by Erin Hosfield; Artwork by Erin Hosfield
Artwork: Erin Hosfield

You can abandon your past… but your secrets won’t abandon you.

As a tattooist, it’s easy keeping people at arm’s length. Distract them with questions, and when they inevitably ask their own, reply vaguely. Lie. When the lies pile up, disappear.

It’s a cycle Lynna’s all too familiar with. Staying guarded is a necessity, but what keeps her safe is also what keeps her lonely. It’s an empty existence, hiding behind lies, and she wishes she was someone else. Someone not burdened with a secret.

A year into her most recent move, the loneliness bleeds into her work, and she admits a few truths. At the insistence of a client, she explores the city’s night scene, where she meets the enigmatic Rhys. As the months progress, so do her feelings for him, despite the risks of getting too close. When a dangerous encounter leads her straight into his arms, she abandons her past in exchange for a new beginning, only her secret refuses to be abandoned. With her life hanging by a thread, she’s forced to confess, but the secret that will change everything isn’t hers.

Set in an alternate present, LACUNA opens with Lynna’s transition to an atmospheric northwestern city. Derailed from what she’s built, she finds herself immersed in the lush world of medicinal horticulture, enveloped in the kind of close-knit relationships she always craved. Her fantasy has become reality, but not without caveat. As she plunges further into this new life, she begins to expose the conflicting threads holding it together, and what she discovers will bring more questions than answers.

Cover art: Erin Hosfield

About the Chimera series

The Chimera series is speculative fiction for the senses, a gritty urban fantasy in an alternate present, with rain-laden streets and neon lit bars. A cozy narrative behind fogged over windows, the scent of verdant herbs and earth and petrichor. A sci fi mystery layered beneath fog-shrouded skyscrapers, in a modern society juxtaposed with tradition and alchemy. An emotional tale of loss, betrayal, and the unbreakable bonds that carry us through, Chimera is a love story with ties that are thicker than blood, holding secrets that are more than skin deep.

About Erin Hosfield

Erin Hosfield
Erin Hosfield

Erin has been an artist since she was able to hold a brush, and collected her BA in Fine Art from California University with the intent of becoming a painter. After falling in love with tattooing she decided to chase that dream instead, and made it a reality in 2006.

Outside her day job, that is very much a dream job, she likes to overextend herself by means of a variety of time consuming endeavors. She’s an amateur herbalist, candlemaker, miniaturist, playlist curator, landscape painter, video game enthusiast, and most recently – novelist. Between those pursuits, she can be found having an anxiety attack from too much caffeine at her home in Pittsburgh, which she shares with her partner and two grouchy canines.

King Street Run by V.R. Ling is out today

King Street Run by V.R. Ling is available from today as an eBook from all good retailers.

King Street Run by V.R. Ling; Cover by Alison Buck
Cover: Alison Buck

King Street Run is a satirical fantasy thriller set among the iconic buildings of contemporary Cambridge.

To Thomas, archaeology was time travel…
little did he know how literal that would turn out to be.

Thomas Wharton, an archaeology graduate, becomes drawn into the problems of a series of anachronistic characters who exist in the fractions of a second behind our own time. These characters turn out to be personifications of the Cambridge Colleges; they have the amalgamated foibles, history, and temperament of their Fellows and students and, together with Thomas, must enter into a race against time to prevent their world being destroyed by an unknown assailant.

Available from today as an eBook on the usual platforms; paperback edition available from May 20 2024.

The Magic Is Always With Us by David M Allan is out today

The Magic Is Always With Us, the latest fantasy novel from David M Allan, is out today in eBook.

The Magic Is Always With Us by David M Allan; Cover artwork: Alison Buck
Cover artwork: Alison Buck

In Tirog, rulers of a domain are its source of magical power
Lady Trinafar, seventh child of a seventh child, should be a source and become the next ruler of Eideann after her mother Igrainid. But she is not a source. No-one knows why. When she meets Fergus in Edinburgh and he persuades her to take him to Tirog, she doesn’t realise that she is triggering a series of events that will affect not only her but the future of Eideann itself.

The Magic Is Always With Us will be out in paperback at the end of April.

 

COVER REVEAL – The Harlequin: The Draper’s Reel by J.A. Mortimore and Penelope Hill

We are excited to reveal the cover of The Harlequin: The Draper’s Reel, a trickster/heist novel written by J.A. Mortimore and Penelope Hill.

The cover, designed by Penelope Hill, shows The Harlequin as he attempts to gain access for his planned heist of The Draper’s Reel from the god Pardeem. The cover includes his calling card after any stunt, a columbine flower.

The Harlequin: The Draper’s Reel will be published in eBook format on 12th July and in paperback on 12th August 2024.

The Harlequin: The Draper’s Reel by J.A. Mortimore & Penelope Hill; Cover art by Penelope Hill
Cover art by Penelope Hill

Question my honesty if you must, but nobody, and I mean nobody, questions my skill.

I’ve never paid much attention to the gods, which may be why I foolishly agreed to steal Pardeem’s reel. It seemed a straightforward enough challenge for a master trickster like me, but with things like this you never know.

Leaving my cosy retirement isn’t difficult. Wearing the Harlequin’s hat again feels right. However returning to Emor holds challenges. Old friends and enemies wait in the shadows; maybe I can turn that to my advantage. But now my own god seems to be paying me far too much attention. This isn’t going to be straightforward.

But that’s the thrill, isn’t it? To dance with peril, to spin with the twists, to confound expectations and to embrace the trick for its own sake. The Harlequin doesn’t give up at the first hurdle.

 

If I can carry this off, it will be the heist of a lifetime.

Failure might cost me everything.

COVER REVEAL: The Magic Is Always With Us by David M Allan

We are delighted to reveal the cover of David M Allan’s new fantasy novel The Magic Is Always With Us. Set in Tirog, the land of the Sidhe that is co-incident to the human world and accessed through portals or lacunae in the barrier that separates the two. There are Realms and Domains in the land of the Sidhe, with population centres that are often in the ‘same’ place as they are in the human world. So, Eideann in Alba is co-located with Edinburgh in Scotland.

The cover, designed by Alison Buck, was inspired by a passage in the book where the main protagonist, Lady Trinafar, is standing in front of the throne of the ruler of Obharden (co-located with Aberdeen):

 

The floor in front of the throne was covered by a yellow and green carpet with a maze pattern. It grabbed Trinafar’s attention. It’s a trap, isn’t it. Start tracing the curves and the magic will ensnare the watcher. She knew she should ignore it, but it was difficult. It must give him an advantage over any visitors. It took a lot of concentration, but she did manage to drag her eyes away from the maze and look somewhere else. Even with the effort she had put into breaking the mesmeric effect it wasn’t until he spoke that she was completely free of the influence of the carpet.

 

The Magic Is Always With Us by David M Allan; Cover artwork: Alison Buck
Cover artwork: Alison Buck

Look at the cover for more than a few seconds, and you too will find yourself being mesmerised!

The action takes place in various places in both Alba and Scotland. Handily, one of the characters has a map:

Map of Alba in Tirog from The Magic Is Always With Us by David M Allan; Map: Alison Buck
Map of Alba in Tirog
© 2024 Alison Buck

The Magic Is Always With Us will be published in eBook on 29th March and is available for pre-order now. It will be out in paperback on 29th April.

Author edits latest novel while backpacking in South America

Having escaped from an attempted drugging/mugging on a bus in Ecuador, Tej Turner completed the editing of the third book in his epic series in hostels and the rainforest.

DARTFORD, KENT – 26 February 2024 – Tej Turner, author, chef, and inveterate traveller, recently returned from a nine-months trip backpacking around South America. On his travelblog he tells of being drugged and mugged on a public bus as well as volunteering in a wildlife sanctuary in Ecuador. While he was travelling, Blood War, the third book in his Avatars of Ruin fantasy series was in the process of being prepared for publication by Elsewhen Press, a UK publishing house specialising in high quality, entertaining and thoughtful speculative fiction from talented authors like Tej. Part of the pre-publication process is an interaction between the author and their editor, to finesse the final text (and root out any typos). At times, Tej was editing the text on his laptop in exotic locations that made the editorial team highly envious, although they did not let their envy stop them helping him to complete the book, which was published as an eBook in January and in print this month. Of course, at other times Tej was trying to edit in an oven-like hostel room with no air conditioning and loudly snoring companions; or even on a bus (not while being mugged!).

Tej says: “Having the occasional mishap is all part of having an adventure, and it was overall a great trip that I will look back on fondly. I am back in the UK now, and I have even started working on my new novel. It has certainly been an inspiring year and that should give me plenty of material for the next book. I hope that my readers enjoy Blood War as it is possibly my most ambitious work to date.”

Peter Buck, Editorial Director of Elsewhen Press, says: “This is not the first time that Tej has been completing the editing of a book while backpacking in exotic locations. When you’re sitting in an office in Kent on a rainy afternoon and Tej sends a picture of his ‘office for the day’ with lush vegetation and a waterfall just beyond the veranda of his hostel, it’s hard not to feel a little envious. But, on the other hand, sitting in an office is generally not as dangerous as travelling alone in some parts of South America!”

One reader described Tej’s Avatars of Ruin series as ‘Wheel of Time meets The Walking Dead’. It is an epic fantasy series about a group of survivors forced to band together when their world takes a dark turn. It has some illustrious fans. Trip Galey, author of A Market of Dreams and Destiny said, “This is epic fantasy with a touch of the mythic to it. There were villains I loved to hate, and a queer protagonist I loved rooting for. Action, magic, a world in peril…what more could you ask for?” Bestselling science fiction and fantasy author Christopher G. Nuttall called Bloodsworn, the first book in the series, “a stunning introduction to a new fantasy world” and renowned grimdark author Anna Smith Spark said “Classic epic fantasy. I enjoyed it enormously.” Allen Stroud, Chair of the British Science Fiction Association, said “a journey into Fantasy, only it’s not quite the journey you expected, and it’s all the better for it”. David Craig, author of the Sooty Feathers gothic fantasy series, said of Blood Legacy, the second book in Tej’s series, “an exciting book which ups the stakes, mixing traditional fantasy with an element of possession horror”. Fantasy author Joanne Hall said “a nuanced, smart high fantasy novel with intelligent, complex characters, good LGBT rep and some killer twists”.

The first three books of Tej’s Avatars of Ruin series, Bloodsworn, Blood Legacy and Blood War are all available in ebook and paperback format from good book retailers.

Notes for Editors

About Tej Turner

Tej Turner is an SFF author and travel-blogger. His debut novel The Janus Cycle was published by Elsewhen Press in 2015 and its sequel Dinnusos Rises was released in 2017. Both are hard to classify within typical genres but were contemporary and semi-biographical with elements of surrealism. He has since branched off into writing epic fantasy and has an ongoing series called the Avatars of Ruin. The first instalment – Bloodsworn – was released in 2021, and its sequel Blood Legacy in 2022. The third – Blood War – was published in early 2024.

He does not have any particular place he would say he is ‘from’, as his family moved between various parts of England during his childhood. He eventually settled in Wales, where he studied Creative Writing and Film at Trinity College in Carmarthen, followed by a master’s degree at The University of Wales Lampeter.

Since then, Tej has mostly resided in Cardiff, where he works as a chef by day and writes by moonlight. His childhood on the move seems to have rubbed off on him because when he is not in Cardiff, it is usually because he has strapped on a backpack and flown off to another part of the world to go on an adventure.

He has so far clocked two years in Asia and two years in South America, and when he travels, he takes a particular interest in historic sites, jungles, wildlife, native cultures, and mountains. He also spent some time volunteering at the Merazonia Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Ecuador.

Firsthand accounts of Tej’s adventures abroad can be found on his travel blog at https://tejturner.com/

About Avatars of Ruin

A reader described the Avatars of Ruin series as ‘Wheel of Time meets The Walking Dead’.

Bloodsworn by Tej Turner; Cover by Alison Buck
Cover: Alison Buck
Blood Legacy by Tej Turner; Cover by Alison Buck
Cover: Alison Buck
Blood War by Tej Turner; Cover by Alison Buck
Cover: Alison Buck

It is an epic fantasy series about a group of survivors forced to band together when their world takes a dark turn. The story starts in Bloodsworn where we meet the villagers of Jalard. Once a year they are visited by representatives from the Academy who choose two of them to be taken away to their institute in the capital. To be Chosen is considered a great honour… of which most of Jalard’s children dream. But this year the Academy representatives make an announcement which is so shocking it causes friction between the villagers, and some of them begin to suspect that all is not what it seems. Just where are they taking the Chosen, and why? Some of them intend to find out, but what they discover will change their lives forever and set them on a long and bloody path to seek vengeance…

The story continues in Blood Legacy and Blood War.

Find out more at https://bit.ly/AvatarsOfRuin

COVER REVEAL: King Street Run by V.R. Ling

We are delighted to reveal the cover of King Street Run, the debut fantasy novel from V.R. Ling. It is a satirical fantasy thriller set among the iconic buildings of contemporary Cambridge.

Thomas Wharton, an archaeology graduate, becomes drawn into the problems of a series of anachronistic characters who exist in the fractions of a second behind our own time. These characters turn out to be personifications of the Cambridge Colleges; they have the amalgamated foibles, history, and temperament of their Fellows and students and, together with Thomas, must enter into a race against time to prevent their world being destroyed by an unknown assailant.

The cover was designed by Alison Buck, based on ideas from the author.

King Street Run by V.R. Ling; Cover by Alison Buck
Cover: Alison Buck

King Street Run will be published in the Spring.

COVER REVEAL: Blood War by Tej Turner

In conjunction with The Fantasy Hive, we are delighted to reveal the cover of Blood War, book 3 in Tej Turner’s epic series The Avatars of Ruin series.

The Avatars of Ruin series, follows a group of people from the small village of Jalard, as they become embroiled in events way beyond their experience that affect them in ways they could not possibly have ever imagined. Conflict that once seemed so distant comes right to their doorstep. Fabled gods and goddesses are soon very real to them.

In Blood War, Sharma stands on the precipice of destruction as Gavendara’s army of shapeshifters surges towards the Valantian mountains. A mutant invasion leaving terror and death in its wake and whose victims rise again, swelling its ranks. Yet still the Synod dithers, its leaders fractured as they plot and scheme against each other.

Once again the cover is by artist Alison Buck, based on an original idea by Tej Turner, continuing the style and theme of the first two books in the series, Bloodsworn and Blood Legacy:

Bloodsworn by Tej Turner; Cover by Alison Buck
Cover: Alison Buck
Blood Legacy by Tej Turner; Cover by Alison Buck
Cover: Alison Buck

Blood War by Tej Turner; Cover by Alison Buck
Cover: Alison Buck

Blood War will be published in eBook format on the 8th January 2024 and in paperback on the 2nd February 2024.

Galata by Ben Gribbin published today

Galata by Ben Gribbin is out today in eBook.

Seven days. Seven deaths. Seven brides for seven rivers…

Galata by Ben Gribbin; Cover: Photos by Andrea Piacquadio; Background by Lise-Noor Lemmens
Cover: Photos by Andrea Piacquadio; Background by Lise-Noor Lemmens

It is New Year’s Day. The city of Galata, with its ancient river-streets, is slowly sinking into the sea. But for one week its citizens want to forget this, and celebrate the city’s thousand-year anniversary.

For Joseph, a jaded ex-detective, the day brings a glimmer of hope. Last night he met and kissed Celice, a free-spirited artist. Tonight he is meeting her again. But Celice never turns up.

Then her body is pulled out of the canal.

There are papers on her; charred at the edges, with mysterious writing on them. As Joseph teams up with his former police colleague J.D, they discover this may be just the first in a series of eerily similar crimes that took place on exactly the same week, 100 years ago.

Is history about to repeat itself? And can they stop it happening again?