Revenge, responsibility, confrontation, consequences; demons, disasters and assassins – not party politics, but the new epic fantasy from David Craig

Set in a hot desert land of diverse peoples, this is a world away from the Scottish author’s previous book (set in Victorian Glasgow) but has the same masterful storytelling.

DARTFORD, KENT – 03 July 2019 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the publication of Thorns of a Black Rose by Scottish speculative fiction author, David Craig. Following on the success of his debut novel, Resurrection Men, a sequel to which is planned for next year, comes David’s new epic fantasy set in a hot desert land of diverse peoples who are dealing with demons, mages, natural disasters … and the Black Rose assassins.

Although set in an imaginary land, the scenery and peoples were inspired by Egypt, Morocco and the Sahara. Mask is a living, breathing city, from the prosperous Merchant Quarter whose residents struggle for wealth and power, to the Poor Quarter whose residents struggle just to survive. It is a coming-of-age tale for the young thief, Tamira, as well as a tale of vengeance and discovery. There is also a moral ambiguity in the story, with both the protagonists and antagonists learning that, whatever their intentions or justification, actions have consequences.

Cover design by PR Pope

David says, “This novel, and those to follow, were born of a desire to write stories set in a large, varied world, from vast, hot deserts to claustrophobic, humid rainforests, to snow-capped mountains and dark, frozen forests. A volatile, living world viewed through the eyes of a band of diverse, intrepid, morally ambiguous adventurers getting caught up in all sorts of trouble. My ambition is tell a series of sword & sorcery-esque adventures that stand alone in their own right while contributing towards a larger over-arching story.”

Peter Buck, Editorial Director at Elsewhen Press, says, “David has an uncanny skill to quickly transport you, as a reader, to the scene of his story. It may be a real place that is already familiar, such as Victorian Glasgow in Resurrection Men; or an invented city like Mask in the hot desert of Thorns of a Black Rose, where you can almost smell the aromas and exotic scents filling the air in the souk, or feel the heat radiating from the baked mud-brick walls. But, more than that, David introduces you to characters that you will soon truly care about, following them on their adventure: excited, worried, thrilled, shocked. David’s books are ideal examples of what speculative fiction does best, transporting readers to another world; a perfect way to escape, albeit temporarily, from the banality or absurdity of the real world – which is especially welcome at the moment!”

Thorns of a Black Rose will be available to buy on all popular eBook platforms from 26th July 2019 and is already available to pre-order. The paperback edition will be available on 21st October 2019.

Notes for Editors

About David Craig

Aside from three months living on an oil tanker sailing back and forth between America and Africa, and two years living in a pub, David Craig grew up on the west coast of Scotland. He studied Software Engineering at university, but lost interest in the subject after (and admittedly prior to) graduation. He currently works as a resourcing administrator for a public service contact centre, and lives near Glasgow with his wife, daughter and two rabbits.

Being a published writer had been a life-long dream, and one he was delighted to finally realise with his debut novel, Resurrection Men, the first in the Sooty Feathers series, published by Elsewhen Press in 2018. Before the next book in the Sooty Feathers series though, Elsewhen Press are publishing his latest fantasy epic Thorns of a Black Rose.


About the book

Title: Thorns of a Black Rose

On a quest for vengeance, Shukara arrives in the city of Mask having already endured two years of hardship and loss. Her pouch is stolen by Tamira, a young street-smart thief, who throws away some of the rarer reagents that Shukara needs for her magick. Tracking down the thief, and being unfamiliar with Mask, Shukara shows mercy to Tamira in exchange for her help in replacing what has been lost. Together they brave the intrigues of Mask, and soon discover that they have a mutual enemy in the Black Rose, an almost legendary band of merciless assassins. But this is just the start of their journeys…

Fiction / Fantasy / Epic; Fiction / Fantasy / Action & Adventure

Print edition: ISBN 978-1-911409-45-8, 256pp, Demy; RRP £9.99 / €11.99 / US$17.99 (21 Oct 2019)

Electronic edition: ISBN 978-1-911409-55-7, EPUB / Kindle; RRP £2.99 / €3.49 / US$3.99 (26 Jul 2019)

About the cover

The cover artwork, representing the city of Mask, was produced by PR Pope, an author also published by Elsewhen Press, based on David Craig’s inspiration from his trip to the Maghreb.

“captivating … and … thought-provoking” – review of Genesis on Risingshadow

Cover artwork by Alison Buck; Mars image Nerthuz /

On, Seregil of Rhiminee has just reviewed Geoffrey Carr’s debut novel, the technothriller Genesis, describing it as “an enjoyable combination of science fiction, technology and thriller”. Seregil “enjoyed Genesis a lot” especially as it “starts slowly and then, bit by bit, gathers momentum and ends in a satisfying climax”. He says it is a well written story, where fragments and threads are at first presented that seem unconnected but “soon everything begins to make sense and the reader notices what connects everything together”. Seregil says he likes this kind of storytelling because “it requires concentration on the reader’s part and makes the reader want to find out what is happening”.

Seregil mentions that Genesis is also an interesting read for anyone with a view on AI, whether they are keen to see progress or worry about it, because “it offers readers a cautionary tale of what may happen when a powerful AI becomes alive and self-aware, and decides that it doesn’t need its makers anymore”. Geoffrey Carr, he says, writes vividly about what happens when computer systems misbehave and enjoyably about the business and political issues involved. Seregil suggests that Carr’s experiences as Science and Technology Editor of The Economist and his wide-ranging interests and knowledge is one of the main reasons why this novel is “good and intriguing”, and has “many captivating elements and a few thought-provoking moments”. Geoffrey’s writing style is easy and fast to read, gradually revealing important details with revelations that “keeps the story moving forward in a fluent way”, with welcome touches of humour.

Seregil concludes by recommending Genesis as a well-written techno-thriller that tells an intriguing, exciting and suspenseful story.

You can read Seregil’s full review on here.


“fast-moving and gripping climax” – review of Genesis on SFcrowsnest

Cover artwork by Alison Buck; Mars image Nerthuz /

On SFcrowsnest, David A Hardy has just reviewed Genesis by Geoffrey Carr, which he bought at Eastercon at our Genesis launch event. He starts by saying that he enjoyed the book “greatly”.

Dave describes the story as “a rollercoaster ride: it starts slowly, but builds to a fast-moving and gripping climax”. He outlines the underlying plot and the main protagonists, adding that the “manner in which all this comes together as it builds toward the climactic end of this book is masterly”.

Naturally I’ve just picked out a couple of juicy morsels from Dave’s review! But you can (and should) read his full review on SFcrowsnest here.

7 Dalga: The Song of the Sky: When Freedom Barges In (Part 20)


Freedom rests on two pillars, my kin: Truth and Responsibility

When what is within is the same as what is without

There is Truth

When what is said is no different from what is not

There is Truth

When those who held the Sun and Moon and Stars to ransom

Are held to account

When those who killed and maimed and held in bondage

Are held to account

When the Harvest is burnt and destroyed

And the royal Oak is raised to the ground

Freedom is near, my kin, never fear

Freedom barges in to hold us all to account

Sanem Özdural

7 Dalga: The Song of the Sky: When Freedom Barges In (Part 19)


Using the techniques and technologies I referenced in parts 17 and 18, as well as others, there are ongoing experiments to remotely control a target person or group’s movements. These efforts are designed to create humanoid android/robots to be used as weapons and ‘sex toys’. The technology is already being deployed throughout the world. The people who are the victims of this massive (and entirely involuntary) invasion into their bodies are ‘neutralized’ once their purpose has been served in order to ensure that no evidence of this unimaginable crime against humanity can be uncovered.


Sanem Özdural

7 Dalga: The Song of the Sky: When Freedom Barges In (Part 18)


Cyborgs and other forms of humanoid hybrids are currently walking among us, or are in heavily-concealed secret locations undergoing unimaginable experimentation. These include both human-animal hybrids and human-plant hybrids. Entirely without my knowledge – and obviously without ever seeking my consent – I was chosen for one of these top-secret, military-funded (by a number of the world’s leading military forces) experimental projects based on my physical characteristics and abilities, and my proven telepathic and empathic abilities. I, and my offspring, were to be experimented on and eventually ‘transformed’ into a human/machine/animal hybrids with male and female genitalia for use as weapons and sex slaves. This type of experimentation is already ongoing. There are many people who have been and are currently being victimized by this – for lack of a stronger word – particularly deranged and sadistic form of human cruelty.


Sanem Özdural

7 Dalga: The Song of the Sky: When Freedom Barges In (Part 17)


The ideas and basic strategies behind what I will describe in this section are not novel or new. They have, in fact, been in use by various people throughout human history. Trying to cause chaos and disruption – either in a personal or society-wide – to suit a particular agenda is the tried-and-true technique used by pretty much every would-be manipulator in history. What is new in our time are the techniques, which are dependent on today’s rapid advances in technology:

1. EMFs: certain frequencies are regularly used to cause disruption in a person’s mental state – such as confusion, memory-loss, a feeling of lethargy – and emotional state. A person, or persons, can be manipulated entirely through the use of invisible and inaudible frequencies, to feel any emotion the manipulator wants. This can be anger, joy, depression and euphoria. People can thereby be manipulated to act in ways that may be uncharacteristic and/or harmful to self or others. This often results in some form of punishment, censure and, more often than not, psychiatric treatment for a disorder that the person now often believes they suffer from. One particularly insidious effect of EMFs is on a person’s dreams. Through the inducement of a fugue state, the target can be made to have a ‘dream’ – often recurring – that involves either an obsessive act of violence or sex. Coupled with the ingredients in medications, foods, etc. such as excessive hormones, the target’s natural character can be seen to change over time – showing either a propensity for violence and/or a sexual preference they did not previously exhibit or feel. These uncomfortable and unfamiliar ‘feelings’ and dreams will also cause the person to either act in ways that are harmful (to self and/or others), and/or to seek psychiatric treatment.

2. Medications: many medications – for physical and psychiatric conditions – have known and deliberate side-effects that also mimic and/or amplify the effects of the EMFs regularly in use. So, a person’s mental and emotional state will be further manipulated through the use of medications coupled with EMFs.

The much-reported and ever-increasing incidences of violence in today’s society are, at least in part, to be attributed to the above techniques. The goal, as always, is control. To criminalize and eventually neuter a person’s natural self-defense mechanism: anger. Although EMFs are currently used in secret to manipulate people, the aim is to use EMFs to get to a state when they will be used legally to control and bind people – all in the name of Peace and Harmony.

Do you want to wear an electric dog collar?


Sanem Özdural

7 Dalga: The Song of the Sky: When Freedom Barges In (Part 16)


There are currently serious efforts underway to create ‘intersex’, non-gender specific, sexually-malleable and promiscuous people. In addition to the use of EMFs to manipulate peoples’ emotions and mental states, hormones are used extensively in foods, beverages, skin care products as well as household and cleaning products to create such ‘intersex’ and sexually-manipulated individuals. The focus, although not exclusively, is on youth and the youngest generations.


Sanem Özdural

7 Dalga: The Song of the Sky: When Freedom Barges In (Part 15)


Since the 1980s, when the technology was developed enough to be applied to civilian life, different frequencies of electromagnetic radiation (EMFs) have been used to manipulate, coerce, sicken, and even kill people – mostly civilians – throughout the world. Advances in technology have only made its use more efficient, widespread and, of course, deadly.

EMFs exist naturally and artificially in the world around us, but only a small band are visible and/or audible to the human senses. Other species, such as birds, are able to see a greater array of these wavelengths. Nonetheless, even someone like me who is not versed in the science behind EMFs can recognize just from everyday life that a frequency that may be invisible and inaudible can still have very real physical effects: think of the heating effect of microwaves and infrared, for instance, or the effect of ultraviolet on exposed skin. It is, therefore, not a novel idea that these and other frequencies can and do impact the mental, emotional and physical physiology of living beings. In fact, the impact and use thereof of all of the frequencies have been studied and documented by varied arms of science – not least of which is the military – for decades.

For certain people, the ability to use an invisible and inaudible frequency to manipulate, coerce, sicken and even kill others – seemingly undetected – has appeared attractive and lucrative. For this reason, EMFs are now used everywhere throughout the world. I do not refer only to the emissions from our ubiquitous electronic and electrical devices such as cell phones, TVs, household appliances, etc., but advances in technology have brought applications of EMFs into every corner of our lives: from the paints on our walls to our shoes, clothes, cleaning products, medicines, medical devices, and of course, food and beverages. Researchers and physicians have linked EMFs to a growing number of ailments and disorders that have become ever more prevalent in our lives. These include such disparate ailments as respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases, cataracts, heart disease and strokes, some cancers, autoimmune disorders, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, insomnia, depression, and yes, even PMS! The list goes on, and there are numerous people who can and will explain it in detail.

And it all depends on the fact that these EMFs are largely invisible and inaudible to the human senses. It is the great Secret of our time.

Why am I writing this, you may ask, knowing full well that certain people will leave no stone unturned in their attempts to dismiss, denigrate, discredit, criminalize, manipulate me and what I write, and of course to cause me untold physical, mental and emotional harm? Well, the truth is that I’ve been around this block a few times in the past few years, starting with the publication of my first novel, LiGa, which inadvertently hit a few sensitive home truths. The first serious attempt on my life was not until late 2014-early 2015 when I was tortured by various EMFs for several months within my own home. I survived that attempt and countless others largely thanks to the intervention of third parties. But if there is one thing I have learned through this experience it is this: I am not the only person this has happened to, I am not the first and I will not be the last until this most insidious, deadly scourge is stopped. No one – not me, not the people I love, no one in the world – can be free until we put an end to this invisible yet very real and very deadly technology, and make sure it can never be used again.


Sanem Özdural

7 Dalga: The Song of the Sky: When Freedom Barges In (Part 14)

NO. 14

Go, friend, go to No. 14…

It is strange on the whole

This crocodile in the back streets of Pera

Oh, just ambling, rambling

Searching for its kin

Sunning its crocodile skin

On the rooftops of Pera

Are you a-feared?

The streets are dark

The lights are dim

The streets are dark

And you may be shot at whim

But the odd croc’s a-waddling

Just plodding to find its kin

Go, friend, go to No. 14…

And in the early morning at midnight

When the blind policeman patrols

Playing sleet with the boys…

A crocodile is wandering, wondering



Recasting, sandblasting, re-constructing


Out of Pera


Sanem Özdural