Friday, 22 May 2009

Spireclaw - An easier way to get the free audiobook

One of the "quirks" of my website is that, because it runs in Flash, I was having problems making the MP3 files of the Spireclaw audiobook downloadable. They seemed to only want to run in Quicktime in a browser, and were not right-clickable (to enable people to save it to their computer). This hasn't been much help because I want people to put the chapters onto their iPods and listen on the beach or in the garden.

Anyway, I stumbled across a solution. Go here to see all the files listed directly. Here you can happily right-click and Save As to your heart's content.

I hope you enjoy Spireclaw, and I look forward to hearing what you think of the ending (but please don't post spoilers here!)

Web Fiction Guide

The Web Fiction Guide is a really nicely presented site that lists and reviews online fiction of all types. They approached me through Twitter and I have now received news that my novels "The Daedalus Transfer" and "Spireclaw" are listed with them. Fingers crossed for some extra traffic to my stories. The Web Fiction Guide can be found here.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Now Available - New Schaefer's Integrity Book Cover

Yes it's true. After much waiting, Blackwell Bookshop is selling copies of my novel Schaefer's Integrity with the new cover for the great price of £6.99.

To mark this memorable occasion, I have posted an article on my website that looks at the creative process behind Marvin Herbring's fab illustration, complete with a short interview with the artist, and some interesting and cool preliminary sketches that he put together prior to delivering the final version. You can read the article here.

I always wanted Schaefer's Integrity to be a science fiction novel for people who have never read science fiction. Many non genre readers who have read the story say that it achieves that admirably. So, will this be the book that gets you into sci-fi? I hope so.

Friday, 15 May 2009

3 Arthur C Clarke novels I wish were movies

So science fiction is cool again. Thank God for that. But it's been a few years coming. I think there are a couple of reasons for its resurgence. The primary one being Mr JJ Abrams and his Star Trek reboot, and a very fine reboot it is too. Add to this James Cameron's upcoming Avatar, Peter Jackson dabbling with District 9, Sam Rockwell on the Moon, and Terminator Salvation, and we've got a busy and exciting horizon in the genre.

When Arthur C Clarke passed away last year I was surprised that there wasn't a clamour in Hollywood to greenlight what could potentially be the next "2001" in memory of the visionary author (and I don't mean "2061"). So here's my tuppence-worth. The three Arthur C Clarke books I think should be made into films.

Rendezvous with Rama: Being the first of 4 books, this has scope for a franchise. The story centres around a strange cylindrical spaceship some 40km across that drifts into our solar system. A team is sent to investigate. The film project has been in development hell since the nineties, when Morgan Freeman acquired the rights to make it, got David Fincher on board, and decided to play Commander Norton himself. A release date was set for New Years Day 2000, and I vowed to be at the front of the queue when it was released. Websites were set up, deals struck with Intel for the technology aspect, David Fincher postulated ideas about hand-held cameras in a pure digital environment. The special effects in Independence Day proved that it was possible to represent sheer size on camera (the best example being where a satellite zips past the camera only to crash into the side of a huge mothership). This is the project that had fans salivating, but since Morgan Freeman's recent car accident, Fincher has gone on the record that the project has ground to a halt. Really really sad, for now. But I think this one might still come out, and I think Cameron's Avatar might be the thing that kicks this one back into production. I hope so.

A Fall of Moondust: A great disaster story set on the moon, where dust seas act like liquid water due to reduced gravity. A tourist "boat" gets stuck on a voyage and sinks below the surface. What follows is a race against time to find and rescue the passengers before the air runs out. The resolution to this story is intelligent and believable. A Fall of Moondust would make a great sci-fi movie which I would love to see realised on the big screen. It could be great opportunity to put up some vibrant and exciting lunar landscapes in glorious widescreen.

The Trigger: I worked for a time in Sudan a few years ago. One morning I was at breakfast in our company staff house, when our security officer told me that during the night a young boy was caught by the police trying to break into one of the company cars outside the gates. I was told that he would probably be taken to a station, have the sh*t kicked out of him, and be sent to the south of the country to be handed a gun to fight in the territorial war that rages down there. At the time I was reading The Trigger, and it had a real effect on me. This is a story of a group of scientists who accidentally invent a device that ignites any explosives within a certain radius. This effectively means they can disable weapons and firearms at a distance. They spend the rest of the book trying to come to terms with the implications of such an invention, and so does the rest of the world. From a form of disarmament, to a protector, to a new form of terrorism. This book teaches us that scientific discovery is a gathering snowball crashing down a steep mountain, and sometime's we're only along for the ride. A good political thriller with a lot of cinematic potential.

So let's honour the great man and get one of these made. Is "2001: A Space Odyssey" set to be his only major screen legacy?

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Kindle-format my eBook for a signed copy of Schaefer's Integrity

The heading rather says it all. But here's the scoop.

I would like to reformat my two online eBooks, "Spireclaw" and "The Daedalus Transfer" for the Amazon Kindle but my skills at HTML are pretty limited.

So I thought I'd put it out to the wider world. Do you reformat ebooks for Kindle all the time? If not do you know someone who does? If you're up for the task please get in touch via the Contact Me page on my website and I will send you a Word version of either "Spireclaw" or "The Daedalus Transfer".

The first successful reformatter of each eBook will receive a signed copy of my sci-fi novel "Schaefer's Integrity" with the new cover art by Marvin Herbring, sent to them anywhere in the world.

Monday, 4 May 2009

New Schaefer's Integrity cover imminent

After much work, redesigns and repositionings, I am reliably informed by YouWriteOn, publishers of my novel Schaefer's Integrity, that the new cover will be on the book in about 7 days.

I am hoping the image will change on the online bookseller's websites but that remains to be seen. I may end up making those amendments myself if I can.

Anyway. I know a number of you have been holding back on your purchase until the new cover appears, so it looks like the wait will soon be over.

I will post here if anything changes, or indeed if I get any specific indication that the cover has actually changed.

In the meantime, please head over to my Facebook group for the book and join up, if you happen to be a Facebooky kind of person.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Another review of The Darken Loop

Rich Horton over at SFSite has reviewed Jupiter SF 23, and says of my piece The Darken Loop that "...As with many time travel stories, paradoxes are a bit of a problem, not too badly navigated here. Interesting work, on the whole."

Far be it for me to review a review, but here it seems the use of negative words to describe my story positively should still be viewed as a good write up, so I'm grateful for that.

I think I fared well compared to some of the other stories in the magazine.

Hmm, I'm beginning to wonder what he'll make of my upcoming Axiom Few story The Voidant Lance (Jupiter SF January 2010)