Tag Archives: epub

New: infinity plus singles, 16-20

Just out from infinity plus, the latest batch of infinity plus singles:

Pilots of the Purple Twilight by Kit Reed Pilots of the Purple Twilight
by Kit Reed ($0.99/£0.77)
infinity plus singles #16 [Mar 2012]The wives spent every day by the pool – this was where the men had left them, after all. A moving, incisive story that gets right under your skin from an author whose prose style has been described as “pure dry ice” by The New York Times Book Review.

BUY NOW: from Amazon USAmazon UKSmashwords

Memories of the Flying Ball Bike Shop by Garry Kilworth Memories of the Flying Ball Bike Shop
by Garry Kilworth ($0.99/£0.77)
infinity plus singles #17 [Mar 2012]Understand the one you hate. What did the old Chinese man smoke? He smoked his enemy, and when he had smoked the hated man he would know him. “The best short story writer in any genre” (New Scientist).

BUY NOW: from Amazon USAmazon UKSmashwords

All the Little Gods We Are by John Grant All the Little Gods We Are
by John Grant ($0.99/£0.77)
infinity plus singles #18 [Mar 2012]A moving tale by award-winning author John Grant about a man discovering that somehow the story of his past has been written all wrong. A superbly measured fantasy about loss, and sorrow, and the pain of dealing with past passions.

BUY NOW: from Amazon USAmazon UKSmashwords

Closet Dreams by Lisa Tuttle Closet Dreams
by Lisa Tuttle ($0.99/£0.77)
infinity plus singles #19 [Mar 2012]“Something terrible happened to me when I was a little girl…” So begins this extraordinary, International Horror Guild Award-winning  tale of abduction, survival and escape from the author Stephen Jones has called “a major force in macabre fiction.”

BUY NOW: from Amazon USAmazon UKSmashwords

Fear of Widths by David D Levine Fear of Widths
by David D Levine ($0.99/£0.77)
infinity plus singles #20 [Mar 2012]Home for his parents’ funeral … all the familiar, yet unfamiliar, things. And the horizon. How could he have forgotten the horizon? Mind-bending fiction from a Hugo-winning author.

BUY NOW: from Amazon USAmazon UKSmashwords


infinity plus singles at Amazon’s listmania

A new experiment: I’ve just set up an Amazon listmania list of the first 15 infinity plus singles. (Note: it was a bit faffy to set up, so I only did it at Amazon UK to start with.)

It’ll be interesting to see if it helps people find the books. Of course, it’s already easy to find them just by searching for “infinity plus singles”:

…but I’m intrigued to see if lists like this make it any easier for people to find us.

One striking thing that was reinforced for me when I was doing this is the quality of the stories we’ve been able to pull together for this list, many of them award-winners. What better way to spend all those Amazon vouchers?


Thirteen months of infinity plus: a whirlwind guide to ebooks for your Kindle

That thing the Reduced Shakespeare company do? You know: the entire works of the Bard in less than an hour. Well this post is kind of like that, only not Shakespeare, and it’ll take far less than an hour.

Let’s start with Eric Brown. We’ve been lucky enough to bring out the first ebook editions of several of his books, including the first edition in any format of his latest short story collection The Angels of Life and Death. His work is typified by his landmark novel Penumbra, a large-canvas story of space exploration and aliens, and a human race that is cosmopolitan and miles away from any stereotypical WASP future. For something a bit different, we also have his ghostly story of love, loss and writing, A Writer’s Life.

John Grant has won numerous awards, including the World Fantasy Award and the Hugo. We have fantasy, SF and horror from him in the collection Take No Prisoners and the short novel Qinmeartha and the Girl-child LoChi (published with a bonus novella in our edition). For something a bit different, we have his non-fiction collection Warm Words and Otherwise - some of the most insightful, perceptive and downright funny book reviews you will find anywhere.

Anna Tambour is a quirky satirist of the fantastic loved by many and sadly overlooked by many more who have yet to discover her work. Luckily, the infinity plus editions of her novel Spotted Lily and collection Monterra’s Deliciosa & Other Tales & have brought her to new audiences, hitting Amazon top tens in recent weeks.

Kaitlin Queen is a successful children’s author now finding success as an adult crime-writer. She has a new story due from PS Publishing in 2012, and her novel One More Unfortunate has been a big success for infinity plus, another top ten title in more than one category at Amazon.

The infinity plus book imprint got off the ground with collections of my own short fiction, and more recently brought out electronic editions of my big fantasy novel about the death of religion and magic Lord of Stone, and my SF thriller The Accord, described by SF Site, The Guardian and SFF Signal as one of the best books on virtual reality and transhumanism yet written, and by SciFi Wire as “a literary science fiction tour de force”.

We’re approaching 20,000 downloads of Iain Rowan’s work at infinity plus. His gritty, moving and very clever collection of crime fiction Nowhere To Go has topped Amazon’s short fiction charts and received some fantastic reviews.

Neil Williamson’s The Ephemera is a powerful collection of short SF and fantasy from an emerging author short-listed for this year’s BSFA short fiction award, while Garry Kilworth’s new collection The Phoenix Man, exclusive to infinity plus, is another showcase for an author described by New Scientist as “the best short story writer in any genre”.

Robert Freeman Wexler’s The Circus of the Grand Design is a circus novel unlike any other: imagine Ray Bradbury’s carnival fiction mashed up with Angela Carter and quite a lot of sex and you’d still only be scratching its wonderfully freakish and fascinating surface. And new to the infinity plus list, Stephen Palmer’s Hallucinating and Muezzinland offer helter-skelter, incendiary visions of how the nearish future might be.

Finally, there’s the small matter of the fifteen titles in our infinity plus singles list: short, cheap ebooks, each consisting of a single story. This list includes Eric Brown’s Interzone poll-winning The Time-lapsed Man, Lisa Tuttle’s Nebula-winning The Bone Flute (including a new essay on the controversy arising when she tried to turn down the award), Garry Kilworth’s Interzone poll-winning The Sculptor, and many more.

Phew… and breathe… There: a whirlwind tour of where we’ve reached after our first 13 months as an ebook imprint. Compressing it like this really does the list no justice, but if nothing else, it’s been a useful exercise for me, a chance to step back, catch my breath and think, “Wow! We really published all these fantastic books…” It’s been quite a year!


Keith Brooke on the background to new ebook release The Accord

The Accord by Keith Brooke“One of the finest novels of virtual reality yet written… a dazzling work of the imagination.” SF Site

The Accord, a virtual utopia where the soul lives on after death and your perceptions are bound only by your imagination. This is the setting for a tale of love, murder and revenge that crosses the boundaries between the real world and this virtual reality. When Noah and Priscilla escape into the Accord to flee Priscilla’s murderous husband, he plots to destroy the whole Accord and them with it. How can they hope to escape their stalker when he can become anything or anyone he desires and where does the pursuit of revenge stop for immortals in an eternal world?

This one came from three pieces of short fiction. After I’d written the first story I knew there was far more to do with that background; the second and third stories, set earlier, were deliberate explorations of the idea of a virtual heaven, with the intention always being that they would become part of a novel.

And that’s what I did. The first story was published in one of the Solaris SF anthologies and was then reprinted in the 2008 Gardner DozoisYear’s Best. The other two stories appeared in Postscripts (summer 2008) and Pete Crowther’s AI anthology, We Think, Therefore We Are (January 2009), both shortly before the print edition of the novel came out in March 2009.

To me, the best SF sets huge ideas against the intimate and personal, and this was what I quite explicitly tried to do with The Accord. Sure, it’s about building a complete virtual universe – ideas don’t come much bigger than that – but equally, it’s a love triangle; but when the triangle involves multiple personalities and different instances of the people taking part, the geometry gets a whole lot more complicated than that…

I have a lot of fond memories of working on this novel; it’s one I’m very close to, and it was gratifying to see so many excellent reviews – people got it. There’s one scene, however, that really sticks: one of those moments writers cherish where as you write a scene takes a new turn, or suddenly becomes fuller, more rich, as you pursue its internal logic to a natural conclusion. Earl on in this book, in the migrants’ camp; I won’t say any more than that, but it shocked me as I wrote it, and it still does.

I do love it when your own writing can have that effect!

Samples and purchasing:
amazon.com (Kindle format, $3.99)
amazon.co.uk (Kindle format, £2.99)
Smashwords (various formats, including epub, mobi, Sony and PDF, $3.99)

“The emotion-driven love triangle neatly complements the tech- and philosophy-heavy nature of the Accord, making this rumination on posthumous, posthuman love a rare treat.” Publishers Weekly 5* review

“One of the finest novels of virtual reality yet written… a novel that combines elements of love story, thriller, and work of ideas, yet gains its impact from being more than the sum of these. And it all works. It works brilliantly. In The Accord, Keith Brooke has created a dazzling work of the imagination.” SF Site

The Accord is a literary science fiction tour de force that is sure to be one of the best novels of 2009.” SciFi Wire

“First and foremost a superbly written novel, featuring beautiful prose that instantly hooked me from the powerful opening page and kept the pages turning… a rare combination of thought-provoking ideas including hard sf… a lyrical novel of love, loss, revenge, exploration and adventure… The Accord is highly, highly recommended.” Fantasy Book Critic

“A truly major sf work that should be considered for all eligible awards.” SFF World

“Keith Brooke’s take on posthumanism is one of the best approaches of the subject I’ve ever seen.” SF Signal

“As well as being a masterful story, The Accord is a feat of daring and accomplished composition… Romantic, edgy, moving, tight and fast, The Accord is Keith Brooke on incandescent form and in an angry, sweary mood. The Accord offers a sense of obscene wonder the likes of which this reviewer might not have felt since Geoff Ryman’s The Child Garden. This is Keith Brooke at his absolute best.” Interzone


New: Hallucinating by Stephen Palmer

Hallucinating by Stephen PalmerEurope, 2049.

Nulight, a Tibetan refugee and notorious underground record company owner, emerges from an obscure Berlin night club realising that an alien invasion is imminent. Or is he hallucinating? Contacting his ex-lover Kappa and the invisible man Master Sengel, he begins an investigation.

Then he is abducted. Released.

And soon the aliens invade.

To save humanity, Nulight and his motley friends must decide if the aliens are real or not – and if they are, what to do about them. For Britain has become a land of pagan communities and wilderness, where the strength and resolve for the forthcoming struggle may not exist.

Can music save Britain?

Can it save the world?

Hallucinating is a unique vision of future invasion and future music, featuring cameo appearances from Ed Wynne of Ozric Tentacles, Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree, Toby Marks of Banco De Gaia and many more. Michael Dog has written a foreword. This new edition contains an afterword written by the author and a never before published “syntactic remix” of the original story, also by the author.

Samples and purchasing:
amazon.com (Kindle format, $2.99)
amazon.co.uk (Kindle format, £1.99)
Smashwords (various formats, including epub, mobi, Sony and PDF, $2.99)

“… [the] element of questionable reality raises this book above simply being a fairly entertaining read. This is an intriguing book with a novel take on the alien invasion theme that raises a number of questions about what we actually mean by alien.”
– Vector, BSFA

“Certainly the rock’n’roll science fiction vibe of the story and all the humorous bits adds to the fun of the book… conjures up some crazy imagery.”
– Aural Innovations

“…a tour de force in imagining possibilities that lie beyond our information age… If you enjoy the full immersion experience of neo-magic, you’ll [like] Muezzinland.”
– Gwyneth JonesNew York Review Of SF, on Stephen Palmer’s Muezzinland


Guest blog: Stephen Palmer – Muezzinland and the music of Aphrica

I wrote the first draft of Muezzinland in 1998. At the time I was working at the University Of Luton, which had a very good library – I would spend an hour a day there researching the novel, and having great fun doing it. At home, I had a book by Jan Knappert called African Mythology, which was the perfect resource for the various African folk tales that the novel makes use of. Muezzinland takes place in the Africa of 2130 (Aphrica, as I called it), where the “cyberspace” of the world has advanced from a neutral version to one with its own cultural flavour. In this world it is possible for a locally relevant folk tale to co-opt an unwary traveller: as Gwyneth Jones memorably put it in her review, “like awful pop-up adverts that take over your screen.”

The other research I did was to listen to lots of African music. I was already a fan of this kind of music, particularly the Arab influenced music of North Africa, but I liked West African music too. In this guest blog I want to signpost six African albums that I’ve enjoyed over the last few years.

Staff Benda Bilili Tres Tres FortThe first is Tres Tres Fort by Staff Benda Bilili. This group of paraplegic, wheelchair based Central African musicians have acquired exalted status in the last year or so because of their extraordinary story, but I bought the album when it came out, encouraged by the adulatory reviews. And it really is an incredible album, made by extraordinary people. All the members of the group effectively live as homeless people in Kinshasa, which is in the Democratic Republic Of Congo – a country beset by evils, as anybody who’s read Tim Butcher’s Blood River will know. But the band were “discovered” by Vincent Kenis of Crammed Discs, who went on to record the album in the vicinity of the Jardin Zoologique, where the group live, though there are a few overdubs recorded in somebody’s front room. The tracks are all joyous and wonderful, and I can’t recommend the album highly enough.

Toumani Diabate Mande VariationsIn 2008 a groundbreaking album was released by Toumani Diabaté, one of the acknowledged masters of the kora, the prime African stringed instrument. (I used the kora symbollically in chapter five of Muezzinland, played by the vodou-enhanced Baron Samedi.) Diabaté’s album was called The Mandé Variations, and it is a work played by the great man alone. Listening to it, I sometimes can’t believe this is one man playing one instrument, so fast and complex is the playing. It’s mesmerising, and makes for great listening.

Returning to Kinshasa and Crammed Discs, one of the albums I bought a while after it came out was Congotronics by Konono No1. The musicians on this album featured on Bjork’s Volta, and it was hearing her music, and reading the reviews of how Congotronics was recorded, that made me want to buy it. Konono No1 first appeared in the ‘seventies in the Bazombo region near the Congo/Angola border, but their debut had to wait until 2004 to get a release. Most of the musicians on the album use the African thumb piano, the likembe, elsewhere known as the mbira, and the music is full-on African trance, played and recorded through microphones and amplifiers scavenged from old equipment (including parts from ruined cars). It’s an astonishing sound world.

konono no1 Congotronics tinariwen aman iman

Travelling now to Saharan North Africa, one of the best known musical exports of that area is Tinariwen, whose politically charged desert-blues, as it has come to be known, is popular all over the Western world. The band play live and have recorded quite a few albums, one of the best being Aman Iman: Water Is Life, which takes their sound to new, electric levels. The band are seven in number but are often augmented by local singers, and they sing in their native Tamashek language, some of their work being rooted in the freedom struggle of the Touareg people. Other tracks exhort the Touareg to put aside tribal rivalries and unite to better cope with the modern world, or as with Izarharh Tenere to celebrate the beauty of the desert. The music is simply entrancing. issa bagayogo mali kouraThe album was recorded in Bamako, Mali, a country that has for some time inspired my imagination, not least Timbuktu, where two central chapters of Muezzinland are set.

Also recorded in and around Bamako (on the Bamako Mobile Studio) was Mali Koura by Issa Bagayogo, a Malian who has brought the sound of the n’goni to the Western world. Released on the forward thinking Six Degrees record label, the album merges traditional Malian music and sounds with synthesizers and modern production techniques. It’s a great mixture. Sometimes, augmenting traditional music with Western sounds doesn’t work, but on this album the fusion is fabulous.

Finally on this brief tour I come to Fondo by Vieux Farka Touré, who is the son of world-famous Ali Farka Touré, the much loved musical maestro. Touré senior was globally feted, and worked with some major Western stars, not least Ry Cooder on the Grammy award-winning Talking Timbuktu. vieux farka toure fondoHis son Vieux had very big boots to fill following Ali Farka’s death from bone cancer in 2006, but on Fondo he certainly does. He has a distinctive guitar sound, at once slender, slinky and soca-infused, that makes all the self-penned tracks on the album a delight to listen to. There’s also one traditional song, the Timbuktu classic Walé, and a guest appearance by Toumani Diabaté, so this album comes highly recommended from me.

I hope that this mini tour encourages you to explore the wonderful African music that is out there. You won’t regret it!

~

Muezzinland by Stephen Palmer

Muezzinland by Stephen Palmer

Life has changed in the mid 22nd century. The aether is a telepathic cyberspace. Biochips augment human brains. AIs, concepts, even symbols can be dangerous. Mnada is heir to the Ghanaian throne, yet something has been done to her brain that has made her insane, something to send her fleeing north across jungle and desert towards the mysterious place called Muezzinland.

Available from:

amazon.com (Kindle format, $2.99)
amazon.co.uk (Kindle format, £2.15)
Smashwords (various formats, including epub, mobi, Sony and PDF, $2.99)

“…a tour de force in imagining possibilities that lie beyond our information age… If you enjoy the full immersion experience of neo-magic, you’ll [like] Muezzinland.”
– Gwyneth JonesNew York Review Of SF

“…succeeds when many other similar attempts to fuse the mythic and the modern fail… in Muezzinland, the hybrid thrives, creating a compelling and cohesive vision… It’s an unusual and successful combination.”
– Matrix magazine, BSFA

“While the plot can be read as a relatively straightforward thriller, the book as a whole is considerably more than this. It succeeds in integrating the elements of myth and high technology, producing something of a hybrid that feels right.”
– Vector magazine, BSFA


Queen Bee: an experiment in cheap, short SF

Queen Bee - short science fiction by Keith Brooke

Continuing my exploration of electronic publishing, first started almost exactly 14 years ago with the online genre fiction showcase infinity plus, I’ve brought out one of my short stories as a standalone ebook.

Will people buy it? Priced at 99 cents, short stories have been successful for some e-published authors: tapping into the market of impulse buyers, people looking for a quick lunchtime read, and those looking to discover new (to them) writers.

I’m not expecting to retire on the proceeds, but what I am hoping to do, with this and other ventures, is try to find ways that writers can find their best audiences. It’s clear that there are a lot of people buying ebooks; what’s missing, or not yet complete, is the way of matching them up with the best writers. I’d hasten to add that I’m not making great claims for myself here: this is about exploring market mechanisms and seeing what’s emerging. It’s what I’ve been doing for 14 years, at least.

Anyhow… here’s the blurb:

Domed cities; a lost lover; alien lifeforms whose biochemical excretions might kill you or worse…

Colvin Stark must battle deadly jungle and primitive settlers to find his fleeing lover, and his destiny. Traditional science fiction with a contemporary spin, Queen Bee showcases the short fiction talent of an author described by Locus as belonging in “the recognized front ranks of SF writers”.

Available from:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Smashwords


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