Out today: A Voice in the Darkness by Mark Iles

Mark IlesThe Sundering Chronicles series is an exciting mixture of science fiction and mythology. When the earth is invaded by aliens that can play with your mind it all gets very spooky. When they choose to bring back (or create, depending on your perspective) mythological creatures like werewolves and faeries along with misplaced monsters, it makes for a challenging environment for the surviving humans.

The eBook edition of Book II, A Voice in the Darkness, is out today on all the usual platforms.

A Voice in the Darkness by Mark Iles; Cover artwork: Alex Storer
Cover artwork: Alex Storer

When children on the colony of Semillion go missing they return changed, the parents even claim they are not their offspring. Sherrif Andrews soon finds himself investigating the bizarre situation. What he discovers leads to him being recalled by the military and sent back to Earth, a place now quarantined and where colonial humans are forbidden to venture. The intention is to recruit ex-commando Seethan Bodell, who’s living with the survivors of The Sundering and the mythological creatures that now inhabit the world.

Earth is still ruled with an iron fist by the alien Spooks, but there is something else going on behind the scenes, a new and deadly threat. To succeed, Andrews and Bodell need to call on that grand tapestry of inhabitants: the shapeshifters, elves, the ravening pack of werewolves that Seethan now belongs to, and even the dead; in the hope that it will be enough to prevent an escalating situation that could so easily lead to war.

Buy it now from your favourite retailer:
https://books2read.com/AVoiceInTheDarkness

Book I of The Sundering Chronicles was Gardens of Earth.

COVER REVEAL: A Voice in the Darkness by Mark Iles

Book II of The Sundering Chronicles, Mark Iles’ latest book A Voice in the Darkness will be out later this month. But first we’re going to introduce you to the cover. A spooky image, which perfectly depicts the atmosphere of much of the story, set in wild woods on the Earth as it has become since the aliens invaded and (re-)introduced mythological creatures: shapeshifters, elves, werewolves, Fey, and even the dead who now inhabit the Earth. Yes! It is science fiction.

A Voice in the Darkness by Mark Iles; Cover artwork: Alex Storer
Cover artwork: Alex Storer

The author, Mark Iles, had been delighted with the cover for the first book in the series, Gardens of Earth, and was thrilled when the artist Alex Storer was available to do the cover for this book also. Alex said: “After initial conversations about possible directions for the cover art, I felt an image that matched the mystery of the title would work well. It is quite a sparse illustration compared to what I might normally do, but I’ve always loved the idea of artwork with pathways or entrances leading to curious places – which hopefully draw the reader in and make them want to find out what the cover isn’t showing…

Mark was once again delighted and especially happy that this unique cover image successfully captures such a key aspect of his story.

A Voice in the Darkness, Book II of The Sundering Chronicles will be available in eBook format from 28th June 2024 and in paperback from 29th July 2024.

Games industry veteran develops powerful new fiction writing system

From ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ in the 90s, through ‘Harry Potter, Goblet of Fire’ and ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ to the award-winning ‘Eufloria’, Rudolf Kremers’ game design experience enhances his story-telling.

DARTFORD, KENT – 29 August 2023 – Elsewhen Press is a publishing house specialising in high quality, entertaining and thoughtful speculative fiction from talented authors. One of those authors is Rudolf Kremers, a BAFTA nominated game developer. Having spent over 20 years working as a designer and consultant to many of the largest entertainment companies in the world, as well as writing a well-respected text book on Level Design, Rudolf has written screenplays and video game narratives across various genres. His skill and experience naturally come to the fore when he writes fiction, and the publication of his debut science fiction novel, Birds of Paradise, has made him think about how his video games career has affected his writing and vice versa, leading to some inspiring conclusions.

Rudolf started making games over 40 years ago as an enthusiast, although it wasn’t a realistic career path in the Netherlands in the 1980s. But when he realised that things were different in the UK, which had a thriving video games industry, he moved to London to work with Douglas Adams at The Digital Village. Rudolf was recently called a “veteran” game developer, and although that description made him grumble a bit about “not being that old”, he realised that it’s not an unfair description. He’s now been working as a professional game developer in the UK for almost a quarter of a century, in all kinds of roles for several companies (before starting his own), and worked on a great variety of titles. He says that he has “the scars and stories to prove it”.

But he had always wanted to be a writer, having developed an insatiable love of reading from an early age, especially science fiction, fantasy and horror, but also books on mythology, space exploration, euro comics, superhero comics, and various other pulpy endeavours. He says, “I’m one of those poor sods afflicted with that famous ‘restless creative’ gene, which ensured that a desire to read also came with a desire to write. Luckily, as a game designer I often had the opportunity to work on game stories and lore and other such things. But writing for games comes with its own pitfalls and peculiarities and while that has its own charm, I eventually felt the need to do the kind of writing I fell in love with from a very young age. Initially, I took a detour where I wrote a bunch of screenplays but I finally arrived at a point where I just wanted to create something by myself, written for fans of my favourite genres. Something I would love reading myself. That wish turned into a big fat sci-fi novel called Birds of Paradise. I have had some of my short horror stories published, and I have finished a second novel, historical this time, set in 1630s Japan.”

With the publication of Birds of Paradise this summer by Elsewhen Press, Rudolf started to think about the relationship between game design and writing. He realised there had been a positive feedback loop between his video games career and his writing projects, indeed he concluded that “Every single one of those writing projects has made me a better game developer; and, conversely, every game I have developed has made me a better writer.” As a result he has begun to write a series of blog posts examining this conclusion. He has started with a topic that is the subject of frequent debate by writers: the pros and cons of meticulous planning and outlining versus more freeform writing and development – Rudolf looks into how both styles can be accommodated in a project, drawing on both writing and game development experience, to set out some unique writing techniques.

Peter Buck, Editorial Director at Elsewhen Press, says “It’s clear that there is a huge cross-over between literature and video games, especially in science fiction and fantasy. Indeed, games often beget books and books beget games, and they can all spin-off into films and TV! So it’s no real surprise that what Rudolf calls ‘restless creatives’ in any one of those media will likely excel in the others. Birds of Paradise is an epic science fiction story, a page-turner that would also be ideally suited as a thrilling blockbuster movie or as the underlying story-arc of an engaging video game. We were honoured that Rudolf approached us to publish it.”

Birds of Paradise is available as an eBook and in paperback from good retailers. Rudolf’s series of articles about the relationship between game design and writing is available on his blog.

Notes for Editors

About Rudolf Kremers

Rudolf KremersRudolf is a BAFTA nominated veteran game developer, author, photographer, producer, father, husband, cat person, filmmaker, dog person, and consultant. (Not necessarily in that order). Originally of Dutch/Spanish descent, he currently lives and works as an interactive entertainment consultant in Canterbury.

He has worked with clients across the entertainment landscape for more than 23 years, including companies like Lionsgate Studios, Framestore and Electronic Arts, providing design and consultancy work for some of the biggest intellectual properties in the world.

Including his debut science fiction epic Birds of Paradise, which has just been published by Elsewhen Press, Rudolf has written two novels, a gaggle of short stories – some of which are collected in The Singing Sands and Other Stories (published by Demain Publishing) – a textbook on game design (published by CRC Press), several screenplays, and an abundance of video game narratives.

This gives him all the license he needs to continue writing sci-fi, horror, weird fiction, historical fiction, and whatever other muse he succumbs to.

http://www.rudolfkremers.com/

About Birds of Paradise

Humanity received a technological upgrade from long-dead aliens.
But there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Birds of Paradise by Rudolf Kremers; cover art by Max Taquet
Cover art: Max Taquet

Humanity had somehow muddled through the horrors of the 20th century and – surprisingly – managed to survive the first half of the 21st, despite numerous nuclear accidents, flings with neo-fascism and the sudden arrival of catastrophic climate change. It was agreed that spreading our chances across two planets offered better odds than staying rooted to little old Earth. Terraforming Mars was the future!

A subsequent research expedition led to humanity’s biggest discovery: an alien spaceship, camouflaged to appear like an ordinary asteroid. Although the aliens had long since gone, probably millions of years ago, their technology was still very much alive, offering access to unlimited power.

Over the next hundred years humanity blossomed, reaching out to the solar system. By 2238, Mars had been successfully terraformed, countless smaller colonies had sprung up in its wake, built on our solar system’s many moons, on major asteroids and in newly built habitats and installations.

Jemm Delaney is a Xeno-Archaeologist and her 16-year old son Clint a talented hacker. Together they make a great team. When she accepts a job to retrieve an alien artifact from a derelict space station, it looks like they will become rich. But with Corps, aliens, AIs and junkies involved, nothing is ever going to proceed smoothly.

If you’re a fan of Julian May, Frank Herbert or James S.A. Corey, you will love Birds of Paradise.

Cover art: Max Taquet

Find out more at https://bit.ly/BirdsOfParadise-Kremers

Birds of Paradise by Rudolf Kremers – out today

Birds of Paradise by Rudolf Kremers is out today in eBook format.

Humanity received a technological upgrade from long-dead aliens. But there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Birds of Paradise by Rudolf Kremers; cover art by Max taquet
Cover art: Max Taquet

Humanity had somehow muddled through the horrors of the 20th century and – surprisingly – managed to survive the first half of the 21st, despite numerous nuclear accidents, flings with neo-fascism and the sudden arrival of catastrophic climate change. It was agreed that spreading our chances across two planets offered better odds than staying rooted to little old Earth. Terraforming Mars was the future!

A subsequent research expedition led to humanity’s biggest discovery: an alien spaceship, camouflaged to appear like an ordinary asteroid. Although the aliens had long since gone, probably millions of years ago, their technology was still very much alive, offering access to unlimited power.

Over the next hundred years humanity blossomed, reaching out to the solar system. By 2238, Mars had been successfully terraformed, countless smaller colonies had sprung up in its wake, built on our solar system’s many moons, on major asteroids and in newly built habitats and installations.

Jemm Delaney is a Xeno-Archaeologist and her 16-year old son Clint a talented hacker. Together they make a great team. When she accepts a job to retrieve an alien artifact from a derelict space station, it looks like they will become rich. But with Corps, aliens, AIs and junkies involved, nothing is ever going to proceed smoothly.

If you’re a fan of Julian May, Frank Herbert or James S.A. Corey, you will love Birds of Paradise.

The Last Star by Terry Grimwood – out today

The Last Star by Terry Grimwood is published in eBook format today.

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.

The Last Star by Terry Grimwood; Cover design and artwork: Alex Storer
Cover design and artwork: Alex Storer

“little short of a masterpiece” – review of HOWUL and interview with David Shannon in Reader’s Digest

Cover design: Alison Buck

In the Reader’s Digest online Culture section, HOWUL by David Shannon is featured as the Must-read of the week.

The review by Timothy Arden describes HOWUL as “unconventional, quirky, extraordinary … unmissable” and “little short of a masterpiece”. Following the review is a fascinating interview with David Shannon. You can read the review and the interview here on the Reader’s Digest site.

 

Author invents quirky future dialect of English for a literary tale of revenge

David Shannon’s absurdist satire, HOWUL, recounts an unlikely hero’s journey, in a ravaged yet familiar future

DARTFORD, KENT – 15 January 2021 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the publication of HOWUL, a life’s journey by David Shannon. Provocative yet savagely funny, this absurdist satire is ominously relevant today despite being set, in North Wales, in a future following an undisclosed catastrophe which has radically affected technology, culture, and even language. Shannon says, “Buried in it is a howl against austerity and oppression. My inspirations were Riddley Walker, Don Quixote and Mad Max.”

Cover design: Alison Buck

Lindsay Nicholson MBE described HOWUL as “Un-put-down-able! A classic hero’s journey, deftly handled. I was surprised by every twist and turn, the plotting was superb, and the engagement of all the senses – I could smell those flowers and herbs. A tour de force.”

Peter Buck, Editorial Director of Elsewhen Press said, “HOWUL is a brilliantly unique book that sparkles with wit and tells a compelling story. It is an account by the eponymous ‘hero’ of events that befall him on his quest to seek answers and revenge. It is, therefore, written in the patois of the future that Howul inhabits – a clipped, almost pidgin, dialect of English which is nevertheless entirely comprehensible. It not only adds authenticity, humour, and at times pathos, to the story, but also illustrates the skill with which Shannon has constructed not just the world and the storyline but even a consistent grammar in which to tell it – comparisons with Anthony Burgess are inevitable.”

HOWUL is available from today in eBook format and will be available in paperback from 15th March.

Notes for Editors

About David Shannon

David Shannon grew up in Bristol, the youngest of 3 children. Yes, he was the spoilt one. After stints as a TEFL teacher in Italy and croupier in London, he had a first writing career as a journalist working for (among others) Cosmopolitan, the Sunday Times, the Radio Times, Good Housekeeping, Country Living and Best. He wrote a lot about showbiz, interviewing and profiling many celebrities. Even though any actors he met kept telling him what a difficult career theirs is, he then abandoned journalism for acting. Many years later he’s still doing it, using the name David France. How successful has he been at this? Judge for yourself. Have you ever heard of him? He’s done plenty of low-budget feature films (including Werewolves of the Third Reich) but makes most of his living by writing, running and acting in murder mystery events. Chronic shyness afflicted him for many years but he is now painfully opinionated about almost everything. And he loves pigs. Despite this, he remains happily married to a writer slightly more famous than him – the 2019 Booker Prize winner, Bernardine Evaristo. They live in London.

About HOWUL

Books are dangerous. People in Blanow think that books are dangerous: they fill your head with drivel, make poor firewood and cannot be eaten (even in an emergency).

This book is about Howul. He sees things differently: fires are dangerous; people are dangerous; books are just books. Howul secretly writes down what goes on around him in Blanow. How its people treat foreigners, treat his daughter, treat him. None of it is pretty. Worse still, everything here keeps trying to kill him: rats, snakes, diseases, roof slates, the weather, the sea. That he survives must mean something. He wants to find out what. By trying to do this, he gets himself thrown out of Blanow… and so his journey begins.

Like all gripping stories, HOWUL is about the bad things people do to each other and what to do if they happen to you. Some people use sticks to stay safe. Some use guns. Words are the weapons that Howul uses most. He makes them sharp. He makes them hurt. Of course books are dangerous.

Visit bit.ly/HOWUL

Canadian author Tanya Reimer creates a future where AI is both essential and a threat

Two groups of people dependent on AI for their survival, one group knowingly and the other unknowingly, struggle to stay alive while that very AI is seeking artificial life for itself.

DARTFORD, KENT – 05 April 2019 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the forthcoming publication of Programmed to Breathe by Canadian speculative fiction author Tanya Reimer. Set over 1000 years in the future, two very different groups of apocalypse survivors have been living apart and unknown to each other until they are forced to meet.

Dragon design: Alison Buck

In this post-apocalyptic world, one group of survivors have been managing to eke out a living in a village that they believe is maintained for them by a supernatural being they call Dragon. The villagers eschew technology of any kind, believing it to have been the cause of the conflict that devastated the world centuries before. Unknown to them, the heat and water that keeps the village alive are actually the by-products of an underground city, where a different group of survivors are being sustained by an artificial intelligence program known as Nogard. In the city, genetic engineering and cybernetics are promoting the rapid evolution of residents who have never seen daylight. Nogard has been evolving too and is intent on making the jump from artificial intelligence to artificial life. But a series of devastating earthquakes damages the city and kills many of its inhabitants, forcing a group of youngsters to try to escape to the surface, in the hope that it is habitable. Meanwhile, above ground, the villagers believe the earthquakes to be an indication that they have upset Dragon, and two of them set off through tunnels at the back of a cavern sacred to Dragon to try to placate it. Tanya’s story tells us of these two very different cultures that are on an inevitable collision course, how they navigate the dangers that beset them on their respective journeys, and what happens when they finally meet. Meanwhile the true nature of Dragon is revealed, as is the extent of Nogard’s ambition to become mortal.

Peter Buck, Editorial Director at Elsewhen Press, says, “It is interesting to compare Tanya’s vision of a future in the next millennium with that of H.G. Wells’ far distant future in his classic story, The Time Machine. But although both the village and the underground city are inhabited by separate groups of humans, they have not evolved according to class divisions as Wells foresaw from his Victorian perspective. Rather the diversity is based on the availability and attitude towards science and technology, perhaps a much more telling reflection of our own times.”

Programmed to Breathe will be available to buy on all popular eBook platforms from 26th April 2019 and is already available to pre-order. The paperback edition will be available on 1st July 2019.

Notes for Editors

About Tanya Reimer

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Tanya enjoys using the tranquil prairies as a setting to her not-so-peaceful speculative fiction. She is married with two children which means that among her accomplishments are the necessary magical abilities to find a lost tooth in a park of sand and whisper away monsters from under the bed.

As director of a non-profit Francophone community center, Tanya offers programming and services in French for all ages to ensure the lasting imprint and growth of the Francophone community in which she was raised. What she enjoys the most about her job is teaching social media safety for teens and offering one-on-one technology classes for seniors.

Tanya was fifteen when she wrote her first column. She has a diploma in Journalism/Short Story Writing. Today, she actively submits to various newspapers, writes and publishes the local Francophone newsletter for her community, and maintains a blog at Life’s Like That.

Programmed to Breathe is her fifth title published by Elsewhen Press.

Visit bit.ly/ProgrammedToBreathe

About the book

Title: Programmed to Breathe

Fiction / Science Fiction / Cyberpunk; Fiction / Science Fiction / Genetic Engineering; Fiction / Dystopian

Print edition:

ISBN 978-1-911409-43-4, 288pp, Demy; RRP £9.99 / €11.99 / US$17.99 / CA$23.99 (1 Jul 2019)

Electronic edition:

ISBN 978-1-911409-53-3, EPUB / Kindle; RRP £2.99 / €3.49 / US$3.99 / CA$4.99 (26 Apr 2019)

About the cover

The cover artwork, inspired by Tanya’s description of an image of Dragon in the sacred cavern, was produced by the artist Alison Buck.

“mind-bending” and “emotionally expressive” – Win Wiacek review of Fictional Alignment

Cover Art: Tony Allcock; Logo Design: Craig Nash

On his website Now Read This!, comics writer (and past chairman of the Comics Creators Guild) Win Wiacek has reviewed Fictional Alignment by Mike French, the sequel to An Android Awakes. You may remember that Win was very complimentary about An Android Awakes (a “captivating and fascinating tome”), and he is no less enthused about Fictional Alignment. He describes the new book as a “mind-bending Scientific Romance” which offers a “challenging odyssey through the theocracy of thought and depicts a trenchant guerrilla war between What Is, What Might and What Should be…”. He suggests it will appeal to devotees of Michael Moorcock, Brian Aldiss, J. G. Ballard, Thomas M. Disch among others. High praise! Thanks Win.

You can read Win’s review on Now Read This! here.

 

Beware ancient coins, they’re not always what they seem – warns Dave Weaver, author of Timekeepers

When loner Jack Johnson touches an old coin he suddenly finds himself transported back to a distant and perilous past; then forwards to a dark, dystopian future where rebels struggle to overturn an ancient and ruthlessly oppressive empire.

DARTFORD, KENT – 14 February 2018 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the publication of Timekeepers by Dave Weaver, a new twist on a time travelling adventure.

Artwork by Alison Buck
Artwork by Alison Buck

Jack Johnson has an exceptional gift: a remarkable ability to absorb and memorise facts instantly and without effort. A lonely teenager, he has had little control over his life, having to leave behind friends and everything familiar, in the move to a new town, a new school, a new start. Jack misses his old life. He knows that his immediate future will not be easy – his astonishing memory has not always helped win him friends – but he can never have anticipated the incredible events that are about to befall him. Discovering what appears to be an ancient coin, Jack finds himself abruptly hurled back and then forward through time, by a technology and an intelligence beyond his control. Jack’s extraordinary memory, and his fascination with history, are to prove vital as he is thrown back across the centuries, to the early years of the Roman occupation of Britain, then forward to the heart of a vastly powerful totalitarian state. In both past and future, manipulated by opposing factions, Jack’s life is under constant threat. He will need all his ability and courage to survive. Whom can he trust? Can he save those he cares for? Will he ever return home?

Continue reading “Beware ancient coins, they’re not always what they seem – warns Dave Weaver, author of Timekeepers”