Out today in paperback – Harpan’s Worlds: Worlds Apart by Terry Jackman

Available from today in paperback, Harpan’s Worlds: Worlds Apart by Terry Jackman.

Space opera with a paranormal twist, Terry Jackman’s novel explores prejudice, corruption, and the value of true friendship.

Cover art courtesy of NASA and Space Fabricator
Cover art courtesy of NASA and Space Fabricator

Out today in paperback – The Enchanting Tricks by Mark Montanaro

Mark Montanaro’s sequel to his hilarious debut fantasy novel, The Magic Fix, is out in paperback today. The Enchanting Tricks, continues the story with inept humans, bumbling goblins, and of course the Magic Pixie.

Cover: S & A Buck
Cover: S & A Buck

Buy your copy at your favourite retailer

 

Cover Reveal: The City Revealed by Juliet Kemp (Book 4 of the Marek series)

If you haven’t seen it already, go to the Fantasy Hive website to see the glorious cover reveal of the fourth and final book in Juliet’s Marek Series.

Out today – Harpan’s Worlds: Worlds Apart by Terry Jackman

Available from today on eBook platforms, Harpan’s Worlds: Worlds Apart by Terry Jackman.

Space opera with a paranormal twist, Terry Jackman’s novel explores prejudice, corruption, and the value of true friendship.

Cover art courtesy of NASA and Space Fabricator
Cover art courtesy of NASA and Space Fabricator

Inept leaders and covert factions plotting, lying, and fighting for personal power, while they see their population as disposable – the real world is worse than fiction

Author’s fantasy world has a lot to tell us about how conflict can be resolved in our world.

DARTFORD, KENT – 14 October 2022 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is committed to publishing entertaining books. At a time when conflict is causing problems across the world, economies are collapsing, and winter is coming, escapism has never been more welcome. Fantasy, more than any other literary genre, can provide a means of escape, albeit it temporary; humour can not only entertain and distract but, when used as a satirical weapon, may even be able to help inspiration. The latest book from Mark Montanaro, offers more epic fantasy poking fun at warmongers, dictators and politicians.

The Enchanting Tricks is the sequel to Montanaro’s successful 2020 debut The Magic Fix. The Known World is back, with more magic, more comedy, more fantasy. Not to mention some new characters, unnecessary fighting and incompetent leaders making a mess. If you can imagine such a thing…

Mark Montanaro says, “In a fantasy world of Goblins, Pixies, Ogres, Humans, Elves and Trolls, it’s just about feasible that there could be an enchantment that would make everyone get along. If only there was one that would work in the real world.”

Peter Buck, Editorial Director of Elsewhen Press, said, “In some rather worrying ways, the world around us is becoming more like Mark’s ‘Known World’ every day. Inept leaders and covert factions plotting, lying, fighting, for little more than self-aggrandisement or personal power, with almost casual indifference to their own populations whom they seem to regard as entirely disposable. Even Ogres and Goblins behave better than that! Mostly. Over the last few months, as we have been editing and otherwise preparing Mark’s book ready for production, our world has been getting uncomfortably closer and closer to some of the ridiculous situations in the story. At one point we seriously wondered whether it was too close to home. You might not think that the best way to escape from a world in conflict is to immerse yourself in a fictional one but, in fact, Mark’s story, while a cutting satire on politics, warfare and leadership, does actually give us hope for better times to come while also making us laugh out loud along the way.”

The Enchanting Tricks, is published by Elsewhen Press in eBook format today and will be available in paperback on the 7th November.

Notes for Editors

About Mark Montanaro

Mark has always been a man of many talents. He can count with both hands, get five letter words on Countdown and once solved a Rubik’s cube in just 5 days, 13 hours and 59 minutes.

His creativity started at an early age, when he invented plenty of imaginary friends, and even more imaginary girlfriends. As he got older, he started to use his talents to change the world for the better. World peace, poverty reduction, climate change; Mark imagined he had solutions to all of them.

He now lives in London with his Xbox, television and non-imaginary girlfriend. He recently embarked on his greatest and most creative project yet: a witty novel set in a fantasy world, The Magic Fix, Mark’s debut book. The Enchanting Tricks is the sequel.

About The Enchanting Tricks

The Known World is still not fixed… and things have got ugly

Cover: S & A Buck
Cover: S & A Buck

In the Goblin realm, Queen Afflech was doing remarkably well considering the circumstances. She had seen her husband die, and both her sons killed within the space of a couple of weeks. That kind of thing does tend to bring you down a bit.

Losing three kings in a few days looked rather careless. But of more concern to the Goblin warlords was whether it looked weak to their enemies. They suspected the Humans were behind one death and the Ogres behind another. The Pixies were no threat, the Trolls would probably soon be killing one another again, and the Elves were irrelevant (or, to be precise, just annoying).

Meanwhile, King Wyndham wanted to show the Goblins that Humans were not to blame (apart from the two who might be to blame). Petra, the most famous Pixie in the Known World, knew exactly who was to blame and wanted to rescue them. Lord Protector Higarth was determined to help the Goblins with their predicament, whether they wanted Ogre-help or not.

But on the plus side, the dragon’s gone; and there are still plenty of unicorns… maybe they can somehow solve everything?

ISBN: 9781915304193 eBook / 9781915304094 paperback 270pp

Visit bit.ly/TheEnchantingTricks

 

Cover Reveal: Harpan’s Worlds: Worlds Apart by Terry Jackman

While working with Terry Jackman to publish her new science fiction novel, Harpan’s Worlds: Worlds Apart, we obviously discussed the cover with Terry. She had a very definite idea of the image: the two worlds that make up the setting of the book, namely Harpan’s World and (the misnamed) Harpan’s Moon. We set about creating two worlds as she had suggested (digitally you understand, we can’t afford terraforming let alone the services of Magrathea) and placed them in space. But Terry was worried that it was too dark, so (as if by magic) they moved across the universe to have a bright colourful nebula as a backdrop. Moon as we had envisioned it was dry and dusty, because it is suffering from drought, but it had terrain that was too flat; so we re-terraformed it (digitally) and got to the final version of the cover. Terry was happy, we are happy and I hope you like this cover which leaves no doubt that this is going to be a classic science fiction story. So without further ado… here is the cover of Harpan’s Worlds: Worlds Apart by Terry Jackman.

Cover art courtesy of NASA and Space Fabricator
Cover art courtesy of NASA and Space Fabricator

Cover Reveal: The Enchanting Tricks by Mark Montanaro

Cover design: S & A Buck

When we were working with Mark Montanaro to publish his debut novel, The Magic Fix, we (obviously) discussed what the cover should be like. After much consideration, we all settled on the idea that, given that the concern in the book was that the Known World was being ‘rent in twain’ (generally frowned upon!), the cover should represent that and so was born the idea of the map of the Known World (which Mark had already sketched out) ripped into two halves, representing the two main factions (i.e. Human, Elves & Pixies, versus Trolls, Goblins & Ogres).

Now Mark has written a sequel to The Magic Fix in which further action is being taken to try to fix the problems caused in the first book – we won’t say any more for fear of revealing spoilers – so it seemed only reasonable that the cover should once again attempt to represent this. When we suggested that the two halves of the map could be (badly) mended with some sticky tape, Mark was very pleased. It fits the tone of the book perfectly. So we proudly present (drum roll please…) The Enchanting Tricks, Book 2 of the Magic Fix series:

Cover: S & A Buck
Cover: S & A Buck

A chance meeting at an early Star Trek convention led to a life-long friendship, collaborative writing, and now a mystery that combines Holmes with fantasy

An adventure to solve a mystery wrapped in an enigma bound by a conundrum and secured by a puzzle, their novel is set in a world they originally designed for role-playing campaigns.

DARTFORD, KENT – 23 September 2022 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is committed to publishing outstanding books by talented authors. Although most of our books are written by a single author, sometimes two writers collaborate on a book that could perhaps never have existed had either attempted to write it alone. The Vanished Mage by Penelope Hill and J.A. Mortimore is a perfect example.

Peter Buck, Editorial Director of Elsewhen Press, said, “We were at a science fiction convention in London in 2019, when Penny and Judith came to talk to us. In the course of that conversation, they told us how they had first met. ‘Well, I wasn’t expecting that!’ I said. That, they replied, was typical of the responses they get when they explain they owed their friendship to Star Trek.”

Penny and Judith met in Kew Gardens

Fans of the show since its first UK airing in 1969, they met at a fan gathering in Kew Gardens in the late 1970s (there are photos!) and have remained firm friends ever since. Living at opposite ends of the country didn’t prove a barrier when they decided to start writing together – although, in the days before the internet came along, this led to weekly three hour phone calls!

“I often spent my holidays at Penny’s house,” Judith said. “We would spend happy hours plotting our novels together – and we still do that to this day!” Those hours led to the completion of one collaborative novel, and the pair spent a good many more developing the next one.

“We had fun back then,” Penny said. “Exploring the emerging web, discovering the intrigue of pre-Facebook bulletin boards, and sharing the joy of playing early computer games – in between writing chapters and whizzing them back and forth between us via email.”

The origins of The Vanished Mage lie in the campaign world Penny created in her days at University – developing from some rough ideas around how to create a variety of cultures and backgrounds for player characters into a richly detailed and unique world of its own. The backdrop offered by that world, the Known Kingdoms, gave them the chance to tackle a self-contained mystery. Their heroine, familiar with her world and her city in particular, provided them with a perspective to work with. Stepping in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes and his later counterparts, they focused on the mystery and let the world unfold around the reader as their protagonists carried out their investigation. The first draft was finished by the late 1980s, but never published. Penny and Judith put it aside and moved on to other things. But they never entirely abandoned it and, after meeting Elsewhen Press, dusted it off and submitted it.

Peter Buck, added, “Fantasy stories are often set in an invented world with unfamiliar cultures and peoples. The world-building skills that authors need to make their settings believable are much the same as those needed to make a compelling immersive adventure game. So it’s no surprise that a world originally designed for role-playing games should be a perfect setting for a fictional quest. What is perhaps more surprising, though, is how well the setting lends itself to a mystery which challenges an investigative duo with Holmesian characteristics while retaining the essence of a fantasy – would Sherlock ever have used an enchanted sword?”

Despite the many years that have passed since their first meeting, Penny and Judith are still firm friends and indeed co-own a house with a third friend whom they met – yes, through Star Trek! “Penny’s late mother used to introduce us to people as her daughters,” Judith said, smiling. “Isn’t it amazing how an originally short-lived TV show created life-long friendships?!”

The Vanished Mage, is published by Elsewhen Press in eBook format today and will be available in paperback on the 17th October.

Notes for Editors

About Penelope Hill

Penelope Hill has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember, and her fascination with both futuristic and fantastic worlds has fuelled that ambition ever since. She is an avid reader, a long time role-player and games-master, and loves world-building: designing exotic places, writing mythic histories, and crafting cultures. She’s been a costumer and is busy developing her skills as a textile artist, so when she’s not writing she can usually be found stitching, knitting, knotting, or exercising other creative skills. During her working life, she spent many years supporting services in local government, and eventually found herself contributing to the development of both local and national policy, particularly around privacy and confidentiality. The research for her PhD helped influence some of that work, but has also brought new perspectives to both her writing and her world building. While she has published academically, she prefers creative writing, and retirement has given her the opportunity to pursue her long-standing ambition to become a professional author. She currently lives in Gloucestershire with her cats, a huge library of books, a treasure hoard of fabric and thread, and far too many dice.

About J.A. Mortimore

J A MortimoreJ A Mortimore (Judith) was born in London in 1953. She started writing stories at a young age and has never stopped. She wrote fanfiction for many years in a number of fandoms, all pre-internet. She has been active in science fiction and fantasy circles for longer than she cares to think about. She has a doctorate in policing young people. She has a short story in an anthology published in 2022 and has written space operas with romance which she plans to self-publish. Now retired, she lives in Gloucestershire with two friends, a number of cats, and far too many books and half-finished manuscripts.

About The Vanished Mage

A vanished mage… A missing diamond… The game is afoot.

Cover art by Penelope Hill
Cover art by Penelope Hill

From Broderick, Prince of Asconar, Earl of Carlshore and Thorn, Duke of Wicksborough, Baron of Highbury and Warden of Dershanmoor, to My Lady Parisan, King’s Investigator, greetings. It has been brought to my attention that a certain Reinwald, Master Historian, noted Archmagus and tutor to our court in this city of Nemithia, has this day failed to report to the duties awaiting him. I do ask you, as my father’s most loyal servant, to seek the cause of this laxity and bring word of the mage to me, so that my concerns as to his safety be allayed.
The herald delivered the message word-perfect to The Lady Parisan, Baroness of Orandy, Knight of the Diamond Circle and Sworn Paladin to Our Lady of the Sighs. Parisan’s companion, Foorourow Miar Raar Ramoura, Prince of Ilsfacar, (Foo to his friends) thought it a rather mundane assignment, but nevertheless together they ventured to the Archmagus’ imposing home to seek him. It turned out to be the start of an adventure to solve a mystery wrapped in an enigma bound by a conundrum and secured by a puzzle. All because of a missing diamond with a solar system at its core.

Authors Penelope Hill and J. A. Mortimore have effortlessly melded a Holmesian investigative duo, a richly detailed city where they encounter both nobility and seedier denizens, swashbuckling action, and magic that is palpable and, at times, awesome.

Cover art and maps by Penelope Hill

ISBN: 9781915304186 eBook / 9781915304087 paperback 212pp

Visit bit.ly/TheVanishedMage

Cover reveal: The Vanished Mage by Penelope Hill and J.A. Mortimore

Cover art by Penelope Hill
Cover art by Penelope Hill

From Broderick, Prince of Asconar, Earl of Carlshore and Thorn, Duke of Wicksborough, Baron of Highbury and Warden of Dershanmoor, to My Lady Parisan, King’s Investigator, greetings. It has been brought to my attention that a certain Reinwald, Master Historian, noted Archmagus and tutor to our court in this city of Nemithia, has this day failed to report to the duties awaiting him. I do ask you, as my father’s most loyal servant, to seek the cause of this laxity and bring word of the mage to me, so that my concerns as to his safety be allayed.

The herald delivered the message word-perfect to The Lady Parisan, Baroness of Orandy, Knight of the Diamond Circle and Sworn Paladin to Our Lady of the Sighs. Parisan’s companion, Foorourow Miar Raar Ramoura, Prince of Ilsfacar, (Foo to his friends) thought it a rather mundane assignment, but nevertheless together they ventured to the Archmagus’ imposing home to seek him. It turned out to be the start of an adventure to solve a mystery wrapped in an enigma bound by a conundrum and secured by a puzzle.  All because of a missing diamond with a solar system at its core.

Authors Penelope Hill and J A Mortimore have effortlessly melded a Holmesian investigative duo, a richly detailed city where they encounter both nobility and seedier denizens, swashbuckling action, and magic that is palpable and, at times, awesome.