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.
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.
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?
Mike French was recently interviewed for the Alternative Magazine Online by Marty Mulrooney. Although it was predominantly to talk about Mike’s new book, Fictional Alignment the sequel to An Android Awakes, they covered a few other topics too (like house extensions, birthdays, and Blade Runner 2049). All in all an entertaining and informative interview, with a sneaky teaser at the end.
Oh, and “Oddball, enjoyable and original” was Marty’s description of Fictional Alignment not Mike. But there again…
Read the interview at the Alternative Magazine Online website here.
When Sapphira writes the first human-written fiction in a century, zealot androids vow to eradicate all fiction. They fail – her book is a best seller – so they send a team back in time to realign the historical record with her fictional stories.
DARTFORD, KENT – 12 January 2018 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the publication of a new book by Mike French. Fictional Alignment is a sequel to the ground-breaking An Android Awakes, a collaboration between Mike French and artist Karl Brown which was published at the end of 2015 by Elsewhen Press. In that book, Android Writer PD121928 is attempting to have a novel published, but is only allowed 42 failed submissions before he will be terminated. Despairing, as he waits to hear whether his final attempt has been accepted, he commits suicide; but it is accepted, so his successor, PD121929, passes himself off as the author. In Fictional Alignment we discover that, because fewer than a hundred copies of that novel were sold, PD121929 was himself terminated. The human Sapphira, who had been in love with PD121928, wrote a bestselling novel Humans (An Arrangement of Minor Defects) based on the stories he told her on the night they first met. It was marketed by the Altostratus publishing house as the first work of fiction by a human for over a hundred years. As a result, a handful of zealot androids massacred the senate and formed a new regime fuelled with a passion to eradicate the evil of fiction from android society. But however much they try, they are unable to remove the impact of Sapphira’s novel. If fiction cannot be made to align with reality, then reality must be made to align with fiction. So, in a desperate move, they kidnap Sapphira and force her to work with an oddball team that travels back in time to enact the events of the stories in her book – thus ensuring that they are historical records rather than fiction. This is the ultimate implementation of fake news.
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Seregil of Rhiminee has reviewed Katrina Mountfort’s third novel in The Blueprint Trilogy. Eager to read it, as he enjoyed Future Perfect and Forbidden Alliance the first two novels in the trilogy, Seregil says that Freedom’s Prisoners is a “stunning conclusion” to the trilogy that was both “immensely satisfying and intriguing” and “one of the best and most entertaining young adult science fiction novels I’ve ever read”. He says that the trilogy as a whole is a “rewarding reading experience” because Katrina has created a “terrifying vision of dystopian future and doesn’t underestimate the intelligence of her readership”, adding that The Blueprint Trilogy stands out from the many new young adult science fiction novels and series, as a “prime example of what can be achieved when an author pays attention to writing an emotionally challenging story, creates realistic characters and has courage to write thought-provoking prose”, outshining others “in terms of depth, prose and storytelling”. Seregil recommends all three novels in the trilogy to adults and young adults alike, describing it as “an evocatively written novel that will charm its readers with a good story and interesting characters who have to deal with real problems”.
Seregil compliments Katrina’s ability to write believable characters, and says she “excels at writing about what her characters feel and what kind of choices they make”. The story is “thrilling and thought-provoking” as it explores “guilt, endurance, love, loss, fear and hope in a spellbinding way”. He says that Freedom’s Prisoners contains “many exciting and thrilling scenes which will impress readers and fans of the series”. But Katrina’s vision of this dystopian future is “evocative and terrifying, because humankind and society has changed a lot and people have almost forgotten what it means to be human”. this dystopian future is evocative and terrifying, because humankind and society has changed a lot and people have almost forgotten what it means to be human
Seregil says that one of the most impressive things about the whole trilogy is that Katrina has written “a story that reveals a lot about human nature and what humans are capable of doing to each other. There’s quite a lot of underlying wisdom in this story and also plenty of sharp commentary about our way of life and what may happen to mankind.” The story has a strong emotional impact on readers, and Seregil loves it because it is “captivating to read about the characters and their complex lives”.
Seregil recommends The Blueprint Trilogy to readers who have enjoyed Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games or Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, or indeed anyone who loves “emotionally challenging and thought-provoking stories”, and concludes by saying “There’s a strongly beating human heart at the core of each of these novels that will make you fall in love with the story and the characters. They’re something special for readers who love dystopian stories.”
But don’t just rely on this précis of Seregil’s review, you should read the full review on RisingShadow here.
Having favourably reviewed each of the first two books in the trilogy when they were published, Future Perfect (“A terrific novel”) and Forbidden Alliance (“Recommended for all lovers of books about future worlds”) it was no surprise that Terry should be the first to review the trilogy finale which she says was “fun to read”. She says it is a “terrific trilogy” that tells a lot about human nature and the “possible (and worrying) development” of some of humanity’s less likeable traits. Terry writes that she really appreciated Katrina’s “clever assessment of what technology would be like nearly 200 years from now” as too many other books set in the future have less convincing world building, adding that the “characterisation is great”. Concluding that Freedom’s Prisoners is “Very clever and well thought out” she recommends it to those who like “these sort of books, and to those who think they don’t, too!”
You can read Terry’s full review of Freedom’s Prisoners on her blog here. Her review of Future Perfect is here and her review of Forbidden Alliance is here
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”
It’s a Bank Holiday weekend again and, as we head into it, the lovely weather we’ve had today (at least here around Elsewhen Towers) is not looking set to last. There’s a forecast of rain on Sunday and Monday. What a surprise.
But worry not! Elsewhen Press to the rescue! What better way to brighten up a dismal Bank Holiday than with a good book? And we have loads of good books for you to choose from. You don’t even have to brave the weather to get them as our books are available online on all the popular eBook platforms.
If you want science fiction, fantasy, epic fantasy, alternative history, a touch of the paranormal, time travel, dystopian futures, or even a good laugh we have a fantastic choice of titles for you. Look through the lists below…
(You might notice that some titles are in more than one list – not everything is easily classifiable!)
Following his recent review (which you can read here) of An Android Awakes by Mike French and Karl Brown, Marty Mulrooney invited Mike in for an entertaining interview on his Alternative Magazine Online blog. Apart from talking about the inspiration behind An Android Awakes, they discuss the creative process, how Mike and Karl worked together to produce An Android Awakes, how Android PD121928’s experience of publishers reflects Mike’s (!), why science fiction is popular, and Mike’s next project.
You can read the interview on Alternative Magazine Onlinehere.
On the Risingshadow website, Seregil of Rhiminee has just reviewed SmartYellow™ by J.A. Christy. Seregil starts by saying it was a “pleasant surprise” and goes on to describe it as “a stunning and thought-provoking story” and “one of the best novels of its kind” as it blends dystopian fiction and mystery elements with social issues. He adds that what makes SmartYellow™ stand out from other novels is “the author’s ability to draw her readers into the protagonist’s life” with a story that is “fascinatingly engaging and realistic” and characters that are fully fleshed out, credible and “relate to each other in a believable way”. In particular the two main characters have credible “personal voices of their own”.
Outlining the story background, Seregil says it “is the beginning of a fascinatingly told and terrifyingly realistic story about social control”. Readers get a “realistic and uncompromising glimpse” into the life of Katrina, the main protagonist, writing “touchingly” yet also “unflinchingly” about the problems in her harsh life and how she tries to survive on inadequate benefits. Seregil says that J.A. Christy “explores social inequity and scientific responsibility in an intriguing way”, causing the reader to ponder many questions relating to social control, some of which are answered in the story but many of which are left for the reader to decide for themselves. Seregil applauds this, saying that it is “rewarding to read an intelligent and thought-provoking story that raises questions about our current way of life” and how we treat those who are different or don’t fit in.
Seregil closes the review comparing J.A. Christy with Margaret Atwood. He admits that he seldom gives 5 stars, but felt compelled to do so for SmartYellow™ because “there’s something in this novel that intrigued me a lot”. Commenting that the author “writes excellently and realistically about Katrina and her problems”, Seregil says he is looking forward to reading more speculative fiction from J.A. Christy “because she’s a talented new voice in the field of modern speculative fiction”. He concludes by recommending SmartYellow™ because it’s “well written” and the “story flows effortlessly from start to finish”.
You can read Seregil’s full review on Risingshadow here.