Tag Archives: sicence fiction

Great Offer from NewCon Press

Thought I’d spread the word on behalf of my chum Ian Whates:

IanWhates

Just to alert everyone that during this month I’m crashing the price on a whole load of NewCon Press titles, as part of the 10th Anniversary celebrations (including ‘Shoes Ships and Cadavers’ featuring our own group’s work) and Andy’s novel ‘The Outcast and the Little One. Books are discounted by as much as 80%, meaning that some titles are as low as £2.00, and they include many signed limited editions. Prices return to normal at the end of the month.

The offer includes titles by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Stan Nicholls, Steve Rasnic Tem, Gary McMahon, Liz Williams, Chris Beckett, David Mercurio Rivera, Kim Lakin-Smith, Eric Brown, Dave Hutchinson, Nina Allan, Keith Brooke, our own Ian Watson, Andrew Hook, Andy West, me, and anthologies featuring all sorts of people…
http://www.newconpress.co.uk/info/books.asp?offers=yes

I recommend everyone to go take a look!   🙂

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‘Last Star’ in ‘Looking Landwards’

With the impending crises of climate change, scarcity of water, dwindling energy reserves and spiraling global populations, the effective management of our land and the food it produces has never been more relevant. Established in 1938 by a small group of far-seeing and enthusiastic engineers and agriculturalists, the Institution of Agricultural Engineers provides a professional nexus for the scientists, technologists, engineers, and managers working in the many and varied forms of land-based industry.

In 1988 the IAgrE marked its 50th anniversary with a publication that considered the changing face of farming and agricultural engineering over the previous half century. In 2013, to mark their 75th anniversary, they have chosen to commission a book that looks forward at what the future might hold. To help them achieve this, they approached NewCon Press.

Forthcoming publication from NewCon Press, featuring my story: Last Star

Forthcoming publication from NewCon Press, featuring my story: Last Star

Looking Landwards represents NewCon Press’ first ever open submissions anthology. We have been overwhelmed by the response, receiving submissions not only from within the UK but also from the USA, Australia, mainland Europe, Africa, and Asia; from professional writers and would-be writers, from scientists and engineers who are actively involved in dealing with the book’s themes to people who have simply been inspired by them. Looking Landwards features the very best of these stories. Twenty-three works of science fiction and speculation that dare to look to the future and examine what lies ahead for farming, for agricultural engineering and for all of us.

Contents:

  1. Introduction by Andy Newbold and Chris Whetnall of the IAgrE
  2. The Blossom Project – M Frost
  3. Contraband – Terry Martin
  4. When Shepherds Dream of Electric Sheep – Sam Fleming
  5. Inversion Centre – Darren Goossens
  6. Ode to an Earthworm – Gareth D Jones
  7. A Touch of Frost – Renee Stern
  8. The World Coyote Made – Jetse de Vries
  9. Earthen – Alicia Cole
  10. Soul Food – Kim Lakin-Smith
  11. Charlie’s Ant – Adrian Tchaikovsky
  12. Cellular Level – J E Bryant
  13. My Oasis Tower – Holly Ice
  14. Throw Back – Gill Shutt
  15. Mary on the Edge – Steven Pirie
  16. Landward – Den Patrick
  17. Long Indeed Do We Live… – Storm Constantine
  18. Tractor Time – Kate Wilson
  19. Veggie Moon – Neal Wooten
  20. Wheat – Kevin Burke
  21. Blight – Dev Agarwal
  22. Black Shuck – Henry Gee
  23. A Season – Rebecca J. Payne
  24. The Last Star – Nigel Edwards
  25. About the Authors

Released 28th October 2013, Looking Landwards will be published as:

A5 paperback (ISBN 978-1-907069-59-8)   Price:   £11.99 (UK), $20.99 (USA)

A numbered, limited edition hardback, each copy signed by all the contributing authors:

(ISBN: 978-1-907069-58-1)   Price:   £29.99

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LAST STAR

Forthcoming publication from NewCon Press, featuring my story: Last Star

Forthcoming publication from NewCon Press, featuring my story: Last Star

A nice email arrived the other day saying that my latest story has been accepted for publication in an anthology called Looking Landwards, to be published (paperback + hardback signed edition, date to be announced) by NewCon Press.

To give you a little foretaste, here’s a very short extract of my contribution – I hope you like it:

Goosegirl broke the lamb’s legs by placing a foot on them one at a time, taking a firm handhold then pulling, sharply.  One, two, three, four.  The animal had stopped bleating so she figured it was probably dead.  Four years after first being introduced to the necessity of such things, the work no longer made her sick.

A few well-practiced slices with the blade she always kept so sharp it could cut through butter – whatever that was; something the Olders talked about when they reminisced, along with chocolate, paraffin, and sugar.  Goosegirl figured butter must have been really hard and tough to crack, even though Great Gramps said he used to eat it.  She assumed he must have had really strong teeth.

Now the woolly coat was almost ready to be stripped from the flesh.  One long, circular stroke to separate the body skin from the head skin and then…

Baa!

Goosegirl looked up.  Another lamb was standing pathetically in the straw, wondering where its mother was, where the next meal of warm milk would come from.

“She ain’t around no more,” Goosegirl said.  “Storm done for her, just like for this one.  But don’t you worry.  You’ll soon be dressed extra warm for your new momma.”

Nearby, a ewe tethered to a stanchion started bleating, calling for her own lost newborn. Could she smell the blood, Goosegirl wondered?  Did she recognize the scent of her offspring?  Or was she unaware that her baby was close, dead, ready to be divested of its dermal layers?

“You need a lambkin to love,” Goosegirl told her as she ripped the fleece free of the raw carcass and quickly dressed the orphan.

“There.  Maybe you ain’t so pretty with all those bloody smears, but your new momma will take to you, I promise.”  She shepherded the lamb across the floor to where the prospective foster parent was waiting, then watched while the bond formed, the youngster beginning to suckle.  Orphans didn’t survive long on their own out in the pastures, not in the harsh, late winter.  This one was lucky that its own mother had been valuable prime stock, and had therefore been tracked by Manager, the Farm’s overseer, who’d directed the rescue.

After cleaning and sheathing the knife, Goosegirl collected up her bulky, one-piece fur-lined weatherproofs and clambered inside.  She pulled the fresh meat in with her; that would help keep the smell of blood out of the wind – no sense in attracting hunters on the trek back to the house.  A balaclava with attached snow-goggles was next, and then the hood and muffler.  Moving around with all that gear on wasn’t easy, but this was essential preparation before stepping outside.  With a final glance towards the new ‘family’ she opened the barn doors.

The blizzard howled in.

Best Wishes,
Nigel.

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Grayhart Press January Sale

Announcing our Late-January Sale

Grayhart Press are holding an end-of-January sale with great prices on some of their catalogue (including one of mine).  Do go and take advantage and help a starving author earn a crust!

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FantasyCon 2012 – the result

So along I went and actually sold a couple of Badger’s Waddle and The Cookie Tin Collection.

It all seemed to have been pretty well organised.  The fantasy Con people were friendly and the hotel was ok-ish (one of my friends had stayed overnight and reported hot water – which would have been good if it hadn’t been dripping from the ceiling light in his en suite!)

Our book launch wasn’t, I must admit, a tremendous success.  Apparently there’d been a bit of a party at the hotel the night before (I guess that’s what conventions are all about, really) with a 4 AM bed-time, and our launch slot, being the first event the next morning was, inevitably, less than ideal.  That, plus the fact that neither Paul (fellow launcher) nor I are household names, meant we kind of got bypassed as we sat at our little tables with piles of books and pens at the ready.  Some folks did stop to say hi and chat a while, and to them I really am very grateful.  Not all of you actually bought anything, but in these cash-strapped days I’m not surprised that you budgeted to purchase known brands, rather than try a taster of something new.

Anyhoo, I’d never done anything like that before but I’m glad I did.  Would I go to another?  Yes, I probably would, though I wouldn’t go for just the morning.  For one thing the price of casual parking in Brighton is ridiculous – I was there for 3 hours and was charged a fee of £15.00 (fifteen pounds stirling) for the privilege!  I’d also want to spend a bit more time getting to know some of the other visitors and soak in a bit more of the atmosphere, and maybe learn a thing or two from the old hands at the writing game.

So, worth going for the experience if not the sales.  Maybe it’ll be better next time.

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Garrison

Kindle Book by Nigel Edwards

Kindle Book by Nigel Edwards

Garrison (soon to be published by Greyhart Press) is the story of Ataqa, a young man conscripted to serve in his Duke’s army.  Together with ‘Hoop’, another new recruit, he is posted to the garrison at Harteq Sef, the disputed Iron Flats territory in the arid north of the country.  On the march they are teamed up with Von, a veteran survivor of many campaigns.  He becomes a surrogate father to them, offering worldly council to stand them in good stead, if only they’d listen… (continue reading here)

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The Cookie Tin

Kindle book by Nigel Edwards

Kindle book by Nigel Edwards

The Cookie Tin (published by Greyhart Press) originally had a working title of Empathy, and was initially driven by two thoughts. One, what would it be like to be able to feel someone else’s pain; and two, how do you write for an audience that’s not home-grown? In terms of the first it soon became clear that physical pain, bad though that can be, was perhaps not where the real hurt happens. Sure, if you could go to an empathic doctor and literally pass to them your physical symptoms then you would likely get treatment pretty quickly! However, such an empath would have to interpret the received pain in terms of their own complex, emotional makeup… (continue to read here)

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Ferryman

Kindle Book by Nigel Edwards

Kindle book from Nigel Edwards

I wrote Ferryman (published by Greyhart Press) because I wanted to write a story about death but without mentioning the word, or similar words and derivatives. The tale itself, though, was inspired by the British General Election of 2010, which resulted in coalition politics, narrowly avoiding a minority government which, according to some, would have been disastrous. I decided to explore the possibilities of what might happen if such electoral outcomes became the norm. Ferryman is the result… (continue to read here)

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Waif

Kindle Book by Nigel Edwards

Kindle Book by Nigel Edwards

Waif (published by Greyhart Press) was written as a piece of indulgence. I wanted to see if I could write an atmospheric story with multiple characters but without giving them real names. The idea was for them to be defined by their functions; thus we have Butler, Cook, Young Master, as well as Waif herself. I think this worked pretty well… (continue to read here)

Note that Waif is currently a FREE download from Amazon and also Smashwords

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