Prize-winning Canadian satirist tackles the subject of alien refugees in his own inimitable style

Ira Nayman’s latest humorous science fiction novel sees a small blue alien resettled in a sleepy town, with local and transdimensional consequences.

DARTFORD, KENT – 22 March 2019 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the forthcoming publication of Good Intentions by prize-winning Canadian satirist and speculative fiction author Ira Nayman. The sixth book in his Transdimensional Authority series, Good Intentions also begins the Multiverse Refugees Trilogy as the First Pie in the Face (you’ll understand if you read on).

Ira says “I decided I wanted to write a story about refugees. Sure, it’s not an uncommon trope in speculative fiction, where aliens are sometimes metaphors for human beings, but I figured nobody had approached the subject quite like I would. I also came by the story honestly: my father came to Canada as a war orphan from Europe in the late 1940s, while my mother’s family fled persecution in Russia a generation earlier. I know what refugees contribute to the country, and have been incensed by the increasing xenophobia in both my country and the world at large. Anger is the satirist’s rocket fuel.

Cover artwork by Hugh Spencer

At the end of the second novel in the series, the chief scientist of the Transdimensional Authority set up an alarm to warn him if a universe is succumbing to the universe-killing machine that was at the heart of that story. One of Ira’s original inspirations for Good Intentions was: how would the Transdimensional Authority respond if that alarm went off?

The refugees from the ill-fated universe are short aliens with blue skin. The first one we meet, Rodney, wearing an impeccable suit, always carries a briefcase with him, out of which he seems able to pull any inanimate object that he needs. This includes pies, Rodney’s preferred means of introduction (now you might understand the subtitle of the book).

Peter Buck, Director of Word Wrangling at Elsewhen Press says “Ira has a unique and highly distinctive way of telling a story: at times surreal, rarely predictable, always funny and often poignant. Like the consummate satirist that he is, Ira entertains you with an unputdownable story that makes you laugh out loud and by the end you realise he has also made some extremely important points for you to think about. Perhaps the world’s so-called ‘leaders’ should be made to read Ira’s stories and then maybe they might start to exhibit a little more humanity. Or would that be too much to expect?

Good Intentions (The Multiverse Refugees Trilogy: First Pie in the Face) will be available to buy on all popular eBook platforms from 1st April 2019 (yes, April 1st!) and is already available to pre-order. The paperback edition will be available on 3rd June 2019.

Notes for Editors

About Ira Nayman

Ira Nayman

In another life, Ira Nayman was a skydiving WWI hero, a yak herder in the treacherous Rocky Valleys and the lead guitarist for the band The Strange Feebles. Since that other life happened in another universe, it may not be as impressive to you as it sounds.

In this universe, Ira is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of his decision to devote his life to writing comedy, in all of its forms and in a variety of media. His Web site of political and social satire, Les Pages aux Folles, has now been updated weekly for over fifteen years. The ninth book in the Alternate Reality News Service series, E Deplorables Unum, was self-published in January, 2019; two more books in the series will be published before the end of the year. Good Intentions is his sixth Multiverse novel published by Elsewhen Press.

Ira is also surprised to find himself the editor of Amazing Stories magazine. Yes, that Amazing Stories magazine. I know, right?

He finds his life in this universe exciting enough. The way things go, he’s probably allergic to sky…

Visit bit.ly/GoodIntentions-IraNayman

About the book

Title: Good Intentions

Subtitle: The Multiverse Refugees Trilogy: First Pie in the Face

Series: Transdimensional Authority, 6

Fiction / Science Fiction / Humorous; Fiction / Science Fiction / Adventure; Humor / Topic / Politics

Print edition:

ISBN 978-1-911409-44-1, 336pp, Demy; RRP £9.99 / €11.99 / US$17.99 / CA$23.99 (3 Jun 2019)

Electronic edition:

ISBN 978-1-911409-54-0, EPUB / Kindle; RRP £2.99 / €3.49 / US$3.99 / CA$4.99 (1 Apr 2019)

About the cover

The artwork at the heart of the cover of Good Intentions was produced by Canadian artist Hugh Spencer, and presents a pretty accurate vision of the experience of travelling between alternate realities (says Ira).

 

“impossible to become bored” – review of Fictional Alignment on Comic Book News UK

Cover Art: Tony Allcock; Logo Design: Craig Nash

On his Comic Book News UK website, Benjamin Williams has reviewed Mike French’s latest novel Fictional Alignment. Fictional Alignment is a sequel to An Android Awakes, which Benjamin previously reviewed (“something that is to be admired”).

He starts by saying that it is tough to explain the plot of Fictional Alignment, not because the plot itself is tough but because there’s “just so much happening”. However he goes on to give a reasonable outline of the plot, followed by “Sounds completely mad, right? That’s because it is. It’s also incredibly hilarious.”.

Benjamin likes the fact that there is so much going on that it’s “impossible to become bored”. He likes the various science fiction references that are included, not gratuitously but “that fit the story”. For him the best character was Heisenberg (one of the androids), who “is awful and seemingly uncaring throughout most of the book”, but is “quite funny” and usually delivers the best lines; as a result, he adds, much of the chaos in the book is because of Heisenberg. As the story is playing with time travel and androids trying to be human in the past, using future technology that isn’t always fully explained (because it’s funnier that way), Benjamin says it can leave you scratching your head a little, but that’s “all part of the madness that you just need to embrace when reading it”.

Although it has a different premise and feeling from An Android Awakes, Benjamin says Fictional Alignment is a “worthy sequel” but “it does leave a question over where French can take the story from here”.

You can read Benjamin’s full review on Comic Book News UK here.

 

Fictional Alignment is An Android Awakes dialled up to eleven – Shelf Abuse review

Cover Art: Tony Allcock; Logo Design: Craig Nash

On his blog Shelf Abuse, Carl Doherty has just reviewed Fictional Alignment, which he introduces as Mike French’s “sequel to the brilliantly bonkers An Android Awakes”. Describing the book as “grand and eclectic” he adds that “it’s never boring or short on style or ambition”. He says he absolutely loved Fictional Alignment, perhaps even more than An Android Awakes (which he reviewed in 2015 as “I bloody loved it”), adding that it’s “quite unlike anything I’ve ever read. Mike French is a distinct voice in a genre that too often not only settles for the derivative but is expected to do so by its readers.” Mike’s writing, Carl says, “has more in common with British comics than prose”, it is “punky and anarchic” and “closer in tone to the cheeky satire of classic 2000AD than anything else I can think of”.

Carl concludes by saying that Mike’s “idiosyncratic irreverence and boundless creativity make Fictional Alignment a demanding but unforgettable read”. You can read the whole of Carl’s review on Shelf Abuse here.

 

“consistently imaginative and always entertaining” – review of Fictional Alignment in Alternative Magazine Online

Cover Art: Tony Allcock; Logo Design: Craig Nash

On Alternative Magazine Online, Marty Mulrooney has reviewed Mike French’s surreal novel Fictional Alignment, the sequel to An Android Awakes. Marty starts by recommending reading An Android Awakes first, because both books complement each other in “exciting and often unexpected ways”. He goes on to warn readers of Fictional Aligment to prepare “to be shocked, baffled and amazed, in no particular order and sometimes all at once”.

Mike French, says Marty, writes “like a man possessed, transitioning from science fiction to romance one minute and from horror to comedy the next, with a multitude of other genres crammed in-between” with prose that is often “surprisingly elegant”. Describing Fictional Alignment as a book that celebrates the power of the written word, Marty concludes his review by saying that “there was nothing quite like An Android Awakes when it was first published in 2015 and there’s nothing quite like Fictional Alignment now in 2018”. Fictional Alignment is, he says, “just as well written and engaging as An Android Awakes” and he highly recommends it.

Read Marty’s full review on AMO here.

 

“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.

 

Oddball, enjoyable and original – an interview with Mike French at the Alternative Magazine Online

Mike FrenchCover Art: Tony Allcock; Logo Design: Craig NashMike 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.

 

“excellent, fresh and wonderfully satirical science fiction” – review on Risinghadow of The Multiverse is a Nice Place to Visit, But I Wouldn’t Want to Live There

Cover artwork: Hannah B. Farrell ARNS Cover on wall by permission of Travis MilesSeregil of Rhiminee recently reviewed Ira Nayman’s latest Multiverse novel The Multiverse is a Nice Place to Visit, But I Wouldn’t Want to Live There, the fifth book in the Multiverse (aka Transdimensional Authority) series. Seregil starts by writing “Ah, Ira Nayman has done it again!” and goes on to say that although this is the fifth book in the series “it is still as amusing, fresh and highly entertaining as the previous novels (to be totally honest, in certain ways this novel is even better than its predecessors).” Later Seregil writes that he finds Ira’s ability to parody popular culture absolutely brilliant and he was “once again amazed at his shameless way of writing genuinely funny and thought-provoking satire about TV series etc. Just like the previous novels, this novel has quite an amazing amount of references to popular culture, which is one of the reasons why I enjoyed reading it.” As he adds, “Virtually nobody and nothing is safe from his quirky humour and that’s an extremely good thing.” Seregil concludes his review with a plea to Ira: “More, please!”.

Read the whole of Seregil’s review on Risingshadow.net here.

 

Fictional Alignment is a satire by Mike French exploring a future in which androids control culture

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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entertaining, fresh, and some dead-on satire – The Future Fire review of The Multiverse is a Nice Place to Visit, But I Wouldn’t Want to Live There

Cover artwork: Hannah B. Farrell ARNS Cover on wall by permission of Travis Miles
Cover artwork: Hannah B. Farrell
ARNS Cover on wall by permission of Travis Miles

On The Future Fire Reviews, Lisa Timpf has posted a substantial review of The Multiverse is a Nice Place to Visit, But I Wouldn’t Want to Live There the latest in the Multiverse (aka Transdimensional Authority) series by Ira Nayman.

Lisa writes that Ira’s novel “blends the elements of a police procedural with madcap humor and imaginative characters and locales” and the reader is “treated to humor that leaves no stone unturned” where “everything and everyone is fair game for Nayman’s wit” including employing “absurdity to good effect” and “a knack for giving old expressions a new twist”.

The book is liberally sprinkled with references to popular culture and Lisa specifically picks out the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Star Trek, Mel Blanc, Jack Ryan and Canadian icons such as Margaret Atwood, Celine Dion and Tim Hortons. Aliens are also fair game for Ira’s fun, ranging from sparkling word play to slapstick humour. While some of the humour is purely for entertainment, some is intended to “pack a satirical bite based on Nayman’s observation of human nature” and “politics” as well as “observations about relationships, workplace dynamics, and our interface with technology that hit close to home”.

Lisa found the book to be “an enjoyable read, although I found myself reading carefully rather than quickly so as not to miss any of the sometimes-subtle humor”. It was, Lisa says, “entertaining, and the variety of types of humor and original turns of phrase kept things fresh”, there are “strong female as well as male characters, inventive and creative scene-setting, and some dead-on satire”.

Thanks for the review Lisa, we’re very happy that you enjoyed Ira’s book.

If you want to read the whole of Lisa’s review (and I recommend that you do), you can find it on The Future Fire Reviews here.

 

“non-stop whimsical adventure” – review of The Multiverse is a Nice Place to Visit, But I Wouldn’t Want to Live There on Amazing Stories

Cover artwork: Hannah B. Farrell ARNS Cover on wall by permission of Travis Miles
Cover artwork: Hannah B. Farrell
ARNS Cover on wall by permission of Travis Miles

On the Amazing Stories website, Ricky L. Brown has posted a review of Ira Nayman’s latest novel in the Multiverse series (aka Transdimensional Authority series), The Multiverse is a Nice Place to Visit, But I Wouldn’t Want to Live There. Having not read any of the previous books in the series, Ricky was initially apprehensive at diving in to the series at book 5. However, he says that such apprehension was unnecessary and assures readers that they will be comfortable jumping into this series at any point. In fact he says “I did not have the pleasure of starting at the beginning, but I fully intend to do so in the near future”.

Ricky describes Ira’s series as “a collection of humorous examinations of the social interactions between a wide range of colorful characters who travel between alternate realities”, which is a pretty succinct outline. He says that this latest addition to the series is “compelling” because the events that are being investigated involve people having their consciousness exchanged with somebody else in a different reality. He finds the idea of a multiverse fascinating enough, he says, but add “Nayman’s penchant for literary wit to the mix” provides the reader with a “non-stop whimsical adventure that is both thought provoking and difficult to put down”.

Ricky draws the inevitable comparisons with Douglas Adams. Both Nayman and Admas, he says, “employ the same dry humor and ability to make the most irrational situation seem, well, commonplace”. His analysis of both is itself thoughtful and insightful and he concludes that “Adams’ work seemed limited to cultural and social issues dropped in a fantastic setting, but Nayman takes these concerns in a different direction by drawing on the fandom of science fiction and relying on the strength of his target audience’s knowledge of the genre to understand the humor”.

This is an interesting and well constructed review, not just of this book but of Ira’s approach to humour and storytelling. He concludes by saying that this book is “a fun read and a fine introduction to author Ira Nayman if you’re not already familiar.” He says he will now be adding the earlier books in the series to his “must read” list.

You can (and should) read Ricky’s full review on the Amazing Stories website here.