Recent events have given conspiracy theories a bad name, says author

While conspiracy theories are ideal material for story tellers, author C.R. Berry is worried that they are no longer just harmless entertainment.

DARTFORD, KENT – 24 November 2021 – Elsewhen Press is a publishing house specialising in high quality, entertaining and thoughtful speculative fiction, often addressing current, real-world issues through a fictional prism. For author C.R. Berry, inventing new conspiracy theories and subsuming existing ones, has been an effective way to create thrilling, internally consistent stories that are entertaining but clearly far-fetched. In his Million Eyes trilogy, and related short stories, time travel is the underlying explanation for many inexplicable events throughout history. But now he is worried that using conspiracy theories as a fictional tool may become socially unacceptable.

“The past couple of years have given conspiracy theories a bad name,” says Berry. “With COVID deniers, anti-vaxxers and the Trump-fuelled Capitol riot, we’re seeing conspiracy theories that are dangerous and doing harm. Those that feature in the Million Eyes series, such as the claims that Princess Diana was assassinated and the Gunpowder Plot was an inside job, are just supposed to be harmless hypotheticals. But the current climate has made me wonder if I should be writing about them at all.

“When talking about my books, I already had to make clear that I’m not a tinfoil-hat wearer, but now I feel like I need to add that COVID is real and, yes, people should get vaccinated.

“Having said all that, I am very careful about which conspiracy theories I use. I wouldn’t incorporate any that are racist or would prolong a pandemic. And also, while the Million Eyes series does perpetuate the idea that there was a second shooter on the grassy knoll and that the Christian Church covered up the existence of a secret gospel, these events are explained with time travel, which is intentionally preposterous. That’s because, to me, conspiracy theories – some of them, anyway – make for great stories. Hopefully that’s what I’ve achieved with Million Eyes.”

The first book in the Million Eyes trilogy was launched in print just a few days before the first UK lockdown in 2020. The second book has recently been launched, at a time when many people are still suffering from the effects of the pandemic itself and the social and commercial impacts of attempting to deal with it. Berry is currently putting the finishing touches to the final book.

Nevertheless, he is now seriously reconsidering whether his books after Million Eyes will be so conspiracy-laden. “I do wonder if I should carry on incorporating such controversial material into my writing at a time when misinformation is so prevalent. Even though I’m just posing fun what-if scenarios, I’ve been contacted multiple times by conspiracy theorists who assume I believe everything I write about. I’ve had many an online argument with Flat Earthers and others who insist that the Royal Family are secret reptilians, and I can honestly say I wouldn’t want to meet any of those people on a dark night.”

Peter Buck, Editorial Director of Elsewhen Press said, “We signed Berry for the Million Eyes trilogy long before the pandemic, at a time when conspiracy theorists were still a laughable minority. Now, as he says, they are a real and present threat, not just to stability and democracy but to the continued existence of the human race. I hope that Million Eyes can help to redress the balance by further undermining the obvious credulity of the stupid and gullible, and return conspiracy theories to their rightful place as merely humorous entertainment.”

Million Eyes II: The Unraveller by C.R. Berry is now available in eBook format and paperback.

Notes for Editors

About Million Eyes II: the Unraveller

Time is the Ultimate Saviour

Following an impossible discovery in East London, archaeologist Dr Samantha Lester joins forces with software developer Adam Bryant to investigate the events that led to the disappearance of his best friend, Jennifer, and to bring down the people responsible – Million Eyes.

Before long, Lester and Adam are drawn into a tangled conspiratorial web involving dinosaurs, the Gunpowder Plot, Jesus, the Bermuda Triangle, and a mysterious history-hopping individual called the Unraveller, who is determined to wipe Million Eyes off the temporal map.

But as the secrets of Million Eyes’ past are revealed, picking a side in this fight might not be so easy.

ISBN: 9781911409687 (paperback, 408pp) / 9781911409786 (eBook)

Visit bit.ly/Million-Eyes-II

About C.R. Berry

C.R. Berry started out in police stations and courtrooms – as a lawyer, not a defendant – before taking up writing full-time. He’s currently head of content for a software developer and writes fiction about conspiracies and time travel.

Berry was published in Best of British Science Fiction 2020 from Newcon Press with a Million Eyes short story. He’s also been published in magazines and anthologies such as Storgy and Dark Tales, and in 2018 was shortlisted in the Grindstone Literary International Novel Competition.

In 2021, he bought his first house with his girlfriend, Katherine, in Clanfield, Hampshire, discovering whole new levels of stress renovating it (not helped by a rogue builder running off with most of their budget). The couple are now in the fun stage, going full-on nerd and theming all the rooms – their bedroom is a spaceship, their kitchen a 50s diner.

 

Out today in paperback – Million Eyes II: The Unraveller

Today sees the launch of the print edition of Million Eyes II: The Unraveller by C.R. Berry, it is available from all good bookshops and Amazon.

Artwork: Alison Buck

Out today in eBook – Million Eyes II: The Unraveller by C.R. Berry

The second book in the Million Eyes trilogy is out today in eBook format. Million Eyes II: The Unraveller continues on from Million Eyes.

If you need a reminder of the story so far, watch the recap Previously in Million Eyes on C.R.Berry’s YouTube channel.

Artwork: Alison Buck

Following an impossible discovery in East London, archaeologist Dr Samantha Lester joins forces with software developer Adam Bryant to investigate the events that led to the disappearance of his best friend, Jennifer, and to bring down the people responsible – Million Eyes.

Before long, Lester and Adam are drawn into a tangled conspiratorial web involving dinosaurs, the Gunpowder Plot, Jesus, the Bermuda Triangle, and a mysterious history-hopping individual called the Unraveller, who is determined to wipe Million Eyes off the temporal map.

But as the secrets of Million Eyes’ past are revealed, picking a side in this fight might not be so easy.

Cover reveal for Million Eyes II : The Unraveller by C.R. Berry

Time is the Ultimate Saviour

So, can you deduce any clues from that tagline, or from the subtitle ‘The Unraveller’, as to how the story that started in Million Eyes unfolds (or should that be unwinds or unravels?)

What do we know? Well, conspiracy theories abound (of course). C.R.Berry has mentioned dinosaurs, the Gunpowder Plot, Jesus, the Bermuda Triangle, and the mysterious Unraveller! Time is often likened to a tapestry, and we all know the biggest enemy of a tapestry… moths I mean, unravelling threads. So imagine how much of a threat an Unraveller would be to the tapestry of time itself…

And that was C.R.Berry’s inspiration for the cover by Alison Buck:

Artwork: Alison Buck

Following an impossible discovery in East London, archaeologist Dr Samantha Lester joins forces with software developer Adam Bryant to investigate the events that led to the disappearance of his best friend, Jennifer, and to bring down the people responsible – Million Eyes.

Before long, Lester and Adam are drawn into a tangled conspiratorial web involving dinosaurs, the Gunpowder Plot, Jesus, the Bermuda Triangle, and a mysterious history-hopping individual called the Unraveller, who is determined to wipe Million Eyes off the temporal map.

But as the secrets of Million Eyes’ past are revealed, picking a side in this fight might not be so easy.

Million Eyes II: The Unraveller will be out as an eBook in September and in paperback in November

 

“It reminded me of a Doctor Who plot” – Reviewer names Million Eyes one of her top reads of 2020

Cover: PR Pope
Calling it “tense, ominous and addictive”, book blogger Karen at Hair Past A Freckle posted a review of C.R. Berry‘s time travel conspiracy thriller, Million Eyes, the first book in the Million Eyes trilogy, in January last year. On New Year’s Day 2021, she named it one of her top reads of 2020.

Karen begins by explaining how Million Eyes begins in 1100 with King William II and something that very obviously shouldn’t exist in the 12th century. Like many readers, she knew of this event having seen the Rufus Stone in the New Forest where William was supposedly accidentally shot, and which Million Eyes says may not have been quite as straightforward as history tells it.

It’s difficult to review this book without giving away spoilers but I can say that there are some completely unexpected moments which totally shocked me.

She goes on to describe the two main characters, Gregory Ferro and Jennifer Larson, saying that they are “very different people” and that she “particularly enjoyed seeing how Jennifer’s understandable scepticism gradually diminishes as she realises that he is telling the truth”. She calls the characterisation “excellent throughout” and that Jennifer in particular is a “fabulous character”.

She rounds off her review by saying that “as a long-time Whovian, perhaps the biggest compliment I can pay to Million Eyes is that it reminded me of a Doctor Who plot”.

You can read the full review on Hair Past A Freckle here.

 

“A disorienting but enthralling experience” – Review of Million Eyes by Parallel Worlds

Cover: PR Pope
Parallel Worlds have posted a review of C.R. Berry‘s time travel conspiracy thriller, Million Eyes, the first book in the Million Eyes trilogy, in Issue 9 of their monthly magazine.

Reviewer Ben Potts compares Million Eyes to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and George Orwell’s 1984. He notes that the manipulation of timelines and ensuing time travel paradoxes are just a backdrop for the novel’s main draw: the conspiracy thriller elements, which are front and centre.

As pivotal moments in history shift, the world starts to become more and more… off, offering a disorienting but enthralling experience. We won’t spoil some of the more delectable twists here, but it gets interesting.

Potts also notes the “believable and genuine conflict” between the two main characters, Gregory Ferro and Jennifer Larson, and that the book does a good job of making the reader feel like they’re stepping backwards in time. He adds that Berry’s writing is “clear and easy to understand” and caps off his review by calling it an “excellent read”.

Potts also makes reference to Berry’s interview with Time Travel Nexus, in which he talks about the creation of the book, the short stories that accompany it (which we published as a free ebook called Million Eyes: Extra Time), his love of sci-fi and conspiracy theories, and how he went about creating his ‘rules of time travel’ for the Million Eyes series.

You can read the full review here. You can also listen to a podcast version of Issue 9 of the magazine.

“incredible yet all too believable” – review by Jill-Elizabeth of Million Eyes

Cover: PR Pope

On her blog, Jill-Elizabeth has reviewed Million Eyes by C.R. Berry, the first book in the Million Eyes trilogy. She previously read and reviewed the free-to-download collection of short stories set in the Million Eyes universe, Million Eyes: Extra Time (read about her review here). She starts her review of Million Eyes by saying that it was “a delight to read and offered a marvelous set-up to events to come”. She describes it as “a wild ride that whip-cracks back and forth through time”, with “time travel, history, alt-history, conspiracy theory, corporate greed, and a host of characters that range from the hapless to the harried to the horrible”. She admits that she is a fan of time-travel as a concept and the possibilities it allows for talented story-tellers like C.R. Berry.

She mentions that though there are many characters introduced in the various timelines, the two that she felt a real connection with were “Princess Diana, who jumped off the page for me, which is strange since I have never before felt so drawn to her” and the “horrifically corporate-evil queen Erica Morgan who felt like a perfect amalgamation of every corporate CEO I’ve ever known combined with every Disney villain-queen I’ve ever encountered”.

She says that her biggest concern is how long she will have to wait for the following two books in the series to find out what happens next!

You can read Jill-Elizabeth’s review on her blog here (it’s also on Goodreads).

 

The book they tried to stop – revealing the truth behind a conspiracy against the British monarchy?

Author C.R. Berry’s first book in the Million Eyes trilogy tells the story of the two investigators who uncovered the powerful people behind a shocking conspiracy, against the Royal family, that has shaped the last 1000 years.

DARTFORD, KENT – 09 March 2020 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the publication of the print edition of Million Eyes, the first book in a new trilogy from author and conspiracy investigator, C.R. Berry, tackling power, corruption and destiny.

Cover: PR Pope

What if we’re living in an alternate timeline? What if the car crash that killed Princess Diana, the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, and the shooting of King William II weren’t supposed to happen?

Ex-history teacher, Gregory Ferro, found evidence that a cabal of time travellers is responsible for several key events in our history. These events all seem to hinge on a dry textbook published in 1995, referenced in a history book written in 1977 and mentioned in a letter to Edward III in 1348. Ferro teamed up with down-on-her-luck graduate, Jennifer Larson, to get to the truth and discover the relevance of a book that seemed to defy the arrow of time. But the time travellers were watching closely. Soon, Ferro and Larson were targeted by assassins willing to rewrite history to bury them.

Million Eyes was initially published in a digital edition in January, to widespread acclaim despite a social media campaign waged against author C.R. Berry by those behind the conspiracy. Thankfully, the attention apparently made it more difficult for them to carry out the threats they had made against Berry. Million Eyes is available from today in a print edition, to encourage more readers to discover the truth that is undoubtedly out there.

Notes for Editors

About C.R. Berry

C.R. Berry caught the writing bug at the tender age of four, and has never recovered. He realised pretty quickly that his favourite characters were usually the villains. He wonders if that’s what led him to become a criminal lawyer. After a few years spent getting a more rounded view of human nature’s darker side, he quit lawyering and turned to writing full-time. He now works as a freelance copywriter and novelist and blogs about conspiracy theories, time travel and otherworldly weirdness. He grew up in Farnborough, Hampshire, a town he says has as much character as a broccoli. He’s since moved to the “much more interesting and charming” Haslemere, in Surrey.

Visit bit.ly/Million-Eyes

 

“Tragic royal events weren’t actually meant to happen” – Review and Extract of Million Eyes by Short Book and Scribes

Cover: PR Pope
Book blogger Nicola at Short Book & Scribes has posted a review of C.R. Berry‘s time travel conspiracy thriller, Million Eyes, the first book in the Million Eyes trilogy, calling it “a mind-boggling tale combining fact and fiction”.

She says the concept “that tragic royal events weren’t actually meant to happen” but happened because of time travel “flummoxed” her but that she “absolutely love[s] this kind of story” where you have to “put pieces together to make a whole.” She calls Million Eyes “incredibly well-plotted” with enjoyable characterisations and says she is pleased to know that it’s the first in a trilogy.

As a royalist and someone who enjoys historical fiction, I found the idea absolutely fascinating that Princess Diana’s crash might have been orchestrated for some reason other than the many conspiracy theories we already know about

Short Book & Scribes have also published a free preview from Chapter 1 of the novel.

You can read the full review and extract here.

 

“A deliciously dark vein of humour” – Review of Million Eyes by Brown Flopsy’s Book Burrow

Cover: PR Pope
Calling it a “cracking five-star romp of a read”, Sue at Brown Flopsy’s Book Burrow has posted a review of C.R. Berry‘s time travel conspiracy thriller, Million Eyes, the first book in the Million Eyes trilogy.

She says she “enjoyed every time-warped minute of it” and that “your head will spin at times as you try to follow some of the time loops in play”.

Several of the scenes actually had me chuckling – even the very bloody ones – as there is a deliciously dark vein of humour that runs through the whole shebang.

Noting that Million Eyes gets readers thinking about “corporate greed”, she explains how Berry pokes fun at some well-known entities. She says, “Think a certain search engine provider and a fruit-themed electronics manufacturer”. She also really liked the “little nod towards the weirdness of current American politics at the end”.

You can read Sue’s full review here.