The Kon-tiki Quartet: new from Eric Brown and Keith Brooke in 2018/2019

I’m very pleased to announce that Eric Brown and I have just signed up to write The Kon-tiki Quartet, a set of four novellas to be published by the fabulous PS Publishing. The first, Dislocations, is due out in winter 2018, with the remaining three appearing at six-month intervals.

The Quartet charts humankind’s first extra-solar colony mission to a planet orbiting the star 19 Draconis – a series of high-tech stories rooted in humankind’s struggles to deal with a rapidly changing world, and featuring cloning, travel to the stars, alien encounters, telepathy, and much more.

Eric and I are currently putting the finishing touches to the first two novellas, and will pick up on writing the third and fourth during 2018. It’s great to be working together again!

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Kit Reed: The Story Until Now

Terribly sad to report the passing of friend, family, and also infinity plus author, Kit Reed.

Over on Facebook, Keith Brooke posted this:


Kit Reed saw something in me, and for the longest time I puzzled over what it might be. Why me? What was it that elevated me to the level of someone Kit noticed and included? Kit, who so sadly died at the weekend, surrounded herself by truly great people, to the extent that it was impossible for her to tell an anecdote without it sounding like namedropping – but for Kit and Joe, “When Joss said this”, “When Daniel stayed over”, “When Sigourney/Chip/Brian dropped in”, this was normal, day to day life. So, Kit Reed, legendary writer of stories no-one else could even approach being able to write, had seen something in me and brought me into her fold.

Over the years, Kit and I did so much together, it seemed. She was a constant in my life, always enriched it, and was an absolute inspiration. We’d go for weeks without talking, then there would be flurries of messaging by email, MOO, Facebook or whatever the current medium was. Bitchy, insightful, wonderfully funny; supportive, warm, and always telling stories – life was story to Kit.

So many happy, inspiring memories of meeting up with Kit and Joe over the years. Dinners with friends and family. Sitting in the sun while Joe sketched Colchester Castle in his hardbound notebook and we’d all share stories and plans. That time after spending too long with a rather boorish colleague when we hid away in that splendid Lawn Avenue house and watched Guardians of the Galaxy like giggling schoolkids. All those evenings when I’d get home from my dayjob and log on to the online environment where I was guesting on Kit’s anonymous writing class and we’d spend hours debating and fine-tuning story with ‘the kids’. Turning up at London’s Reform Club and being refused entrance because the only pair of trousers I had that weren’t jeans were still too jeans-like for their dress code – Joe had to come down and wrangle my entrance with his don’t-dare-mess-with-me charm, and then we sat at a table with a view and watched the comings and goings of the club’s members for hours. Lunch in the Algonquin, and then chatting on the train ride all the way back up to New Haven, Kit managing to simultaneously provide a running commentary on the passing scenery, tell brilliantly funny stories, and write story critiques on her tiny laptop along the way. And, our most recent visit, Debbie and I stopping over in the wonderful Middletown house on the first proper night of our honeymoon, Kit taking us through the steps of cooking and eating lobster because she knew we’d be eating an awful lot of it on our three-week drive around New England. And we did. We ate an awful lot of lobster and we ate it well, because Kit knew exactly how to equip us for our journey with the most important skills – and just how many of Kit’s students, collaborators, friends and colleagues can say exactly that? She equipped us all.

The real lesson is, Kit didn’t just see something in me. She saw it in everyone (except for the fakes: she was merciless with them). We were all special to her, and all capable of genius, of greatness in our lives, and she was adept at bringing that out in people. Kit just happened to be one of those people who delivered greatness on a daily basis.

Kit, just as you wished, you’ll be remembered in the spaces, those gaps when you would have chipped in with a story, those pauses when someone else would have been sympathetic and you’d just tell us to get the hell on with what needs doing, the times when there’s no message from you waiting in the in box any more.

And now, as Kit would no doubt tell me, I have work to do, stories to tell, and no-one else is going to tell my stories but me.

I think it was Mack who described us all as Kit’s co-conspirators in life. I can’t think of a better description, and I’m incredibly proud to have been a co-conspirator with Kit.

Friend, collaborator, family, inspiration, and sorely missed.


Of course, one of the best ways to celebrate an author is to read their work, and for Kit, the best way to do this would be to dip into her ‘Great big book of stories’, The Story Until Now (Wesleyan), or her latest novel, Mormama (Tor, published this summer). She was bloody good.


infinity plus at Radish Fiction

Radish Fiction: serial fiction, delivered to your mobile device one episode at a time. 

I’ve heard some very good things about this one, a new online fiction platform that seems to be doing things a little differently – and doing them very well.

Definitely worth exploring, so to test the waters we’ve put up three titles, a collection of short fiction, a novelette, and a big fat fantasy novel.

All three titles are by me: I’m trying it out, after all – if it works out, with the cooperation of our authors we’ll be publishing selected infinity plus titles there, too. The first three titles are:

Liberty Spin: tales of scientifiction by Keith Brooke The People of the Sea by Keith Brooke Riding the Serpent's Back by Keith Brooke

Liberty Spin
Multiple personalities fighting for control of a single body; a single personality constantly splitting and reinventing itself and its past; a Mars that never was; an interstellar war that has always been. Radish recommend a length of around 2000 words per episode, so while the shorter stories in this collection each appear as an entire episode, the longer ones have been broken down into two or three instalments.
https://radish.app.link/YrvRbdTWvG

The People of the Sea
Until he found the mermaid it had been a normal day for Joseph Wheatley… An alternate history SF novelette told in six episodes, from the writer of the Philp K Dick Award-shortlisted Harmony, an author “in the recognized front ranks of SF writers” (Locus).
https://radish.app.link/PTaCo86TvG

Riding the Serpent’s Back
An old era is drawing to a close, a new era about to begin, and the great mage Donn has passed on his Talents to a new generation. When a rogue church leader threatens to set loose wild powers, Donn’s children must oppose him but, also, they must contend with Donn himself: the old mage has not finished with his children yet. A fantasy epic of revolution, jealousy and earth-shattering magic. This one’s really going to test Radish (and their readers!): a 200,000 word novel, split into an as-yet-to-be-determined number of episodes. I’ve no idea if the Radish model will work for such a big novel, but it seemed like a good idea to try!
https://radish.app.link/SYMsGx5crG


Seven books for younger readers from Eric Brown

Published today under our infinite press imprint:

The first ebook editions of seven Eric Brown titles written for children and reluctant readers.

Five books for teenagers and young adults, plus two for five to ten year-olds, these books have been specially written, edited and designed for dyslexic, struggling and reluctant readers who love gripping stories with as few obstacles to reading as possible.

Full details and buying links on the infinite press website.

 

Fire BugFire Bug by Eric Brown
What goes wrong when Danny tries to make his life go right… (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboApple

 

 

 

Race Against Time

Race Against Time by Eric Brown
A story about racism and intolerance in a future that might just come to pass… (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboApple

 

 

 

Crazy LoveCrazy Love by Eric Brown
The hard-hitting story of Trish Green – and how she grew up in the course of one week. (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboApple

 

 

 

Guilty?Guilty? by Eric Brown
The story of a terrible crime and what happened next. (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboApple

 

 

 

RevengeRevenge by Eric Brown
The dark side of the glamorous world of a professional footballer… (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboApple

 

 

 

A Dinosaur Ate My SocksA Dinosaur Ate My Socks by Eric Brown
A fast-paced adventure about time-travel and monsters… (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboApple

 

 

 

A Monster Ate My MarmiteA Monster Ate My Marmite by Eric Brown
Another fun adventure in time with Mouse and Millie and their alien friend. (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboApple


The first reviews for Anna Tambour’s Smoke Paper Mirrors – and they’re smokin’!

The first reviews for Anna Tambour’s Smoke Paper Mirrors are in!

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‘At turns laugh-out loud funny and heartbreaking, always wise and full of unexpected joys, this is a book you’ll reread, and recommend to friends, for years to come.’ Greg Bossert, Amazon

‘…absolutely wonderful … The whole thing has a lightness and then such shadows which leave a not quite graspable, but profound tracery. It’s just great and should somehow be a best-seller.’ Douglas Penick, Goodreads

‘…joins the ranks of those novels I have loved that is diminished by any form of review… I keep thinking about this book. Not an uncommon phenomenon with Tambour’s stuff. Will it make you feel good? Possibly, if you find Dostoyevsky a cheerful romp. Will it make you feel? Definitely. An important work from a important writer.’ David Kowalski, Goodreads


Buy the ebook from: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwords

Buy in print (ISBN: 0995752214): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers


Publication day for Tony Ballantyne and Eric Brown’s Microcosms

Published today in print and ebook formats:

Microcosms: Forty-Two stories by Tony Ballantyne and Eric Brown

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Buy the ebook from: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwords

Buy this book in print (ISBN: 0995752206): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers

Microcosms

Forty-Two stories by Tony Ballantyne and Eric Brown

microcosmsPhilip K. Dick Award nominated writers Tony Ballantyne and Eric Brown bring together forty-two fantastical short-short stories, featuring new takes on every SF trope from alien invasion, robots, and time-travel, to stellar exploration, the future of computing, and the nature of the human soul.

Tony Ballantyne is the author of the acclaimed Penrose hard SF novels, Twisted Metal and Blood and Iron, as well as the groundbreaking and surreal fantasy novels Dream London and Dream Paris.

Eric Brown has written many SF and crime novels including The Kings of Eternity, Kethani, and The Serene Invasion.

Together they are a hundred years old.

“Eric Brown spins a terrific yarn” – SFX

“This is as strange and unclassifiable a novel as it’s possible to imagine, and a marvellous achievement.” – Financial Times on Tony Ballantyne’s Dream London

“British writing with a deft, understated touch: wonderful” – New Scientist on Eric Brown

“A new British star has arrived to join the likes of Hamilton, Reynolds and Banks.” – Vector on Tony Ballantyne


Introduction to Micro…

This volume came about one summer a few years ago when Tony came up to Scotland with his family. We were wandering around the pretty seaside town of North Berwick and talking about recent short stories we’d written. Tony happened to mention that he was working on some short-shorts, which he hoped to place with Nature, and I mentioned a short-short market that I’d recently sold to, Daily SF. I then suggested that, when we had enough tales to form a volume, we should gather them all together and attempt to find a publisher.

Years passed; we wrote short-shorts between bigger projects, and Keith Brooke who runs Infinity Plus Books expressed an interest in publishing Microcosms.

Tony Ballantyne is not only a fine novelist – as equally gifted in the Hard SF sub-genre as in Fantasy – but he’s a skilled short-story writer, with several of his stories gracing the pages of Analog and other top markets, and appearing in Best of the Year anthologies. He also excels at the short-short story, where originality and incisive vision are requisite. In his intelligence, playful wit and economy of language, the writer he most reminds me of is the late, great Robert Sheckley. This volume contains such gems as “Dear Burglar”, “The Cleverest Man in the World”, and “The Scooped Out Man” – the latter an alien invasion tale to end them all. But my favourite is the irreverent, witty, self-referential story about a writer, Another (almost) True Story”, a tale which I would have given my right arm to have written.

And now, for fear of this introduction becoming longer than some of the short-shorts herein, I’ll sign off.

Eric Brown
Cockburnspath


Introduction to …Cosms

Eric and I met at the 2Kon SF convention in Glasgow in the year 2000. We both had a short story up for the BSFA award. Eric won, I lost, but by way of consolation I made a great friend.

Friendship aside, I remain a massive fan of Eric’s. He has written an impressive number of novels and short stories; his output includes what is possibly my favourite short story collection ever: Kethani (Solaris 2008). As well as being a prolific writer he is an eminent critic with a deep knowledge of the genre. He is a keen champion of the new, the forgotten and the underrated, and is a valuable source of advice to writers no matter where they are in their career (he taught me the trick of just listening to the subconscious, of getting things down as quickly as possible on the page).

In this collection you’ll find scintillating flashes of his talent. His writing is by turns witty, melancholic, horrifying and deceptively gentle, but always imbued with his trademark sense of humanity. Take a look at “In the Recovery Room”, “Meeting Myself on Planet Earth”, “Memorial” and “The History of Earth” to see what I mean.

What the heck. Read them all, they’re all good. He deserved that award. And the other ones…

Tony Ballantyne
Oldham


Publication day for Anna Tambour’s Smoke Paper Mirrors: a short saga for our times

Published today in print and ebook formats:

Smoke Paper Mirrors: a short saga for our times by Anna Tambour

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Buy the ebook from: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwords

Buy in print (ISBN: 0995752214): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers

Smoke Paper Mirrors

a short saga for our times

atspmFrom the totally not bestselling author of Crandolin (shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award), an extraordinary and moving novel that confronts and defies boundaries.

“Thank you,” said Arthur. “There’s always hope.” He’d always hated that facile truism, but said it because he’d thought it was expected. From the Croatian’s startled expression, he knew how gruesomely wrong he was.

That night Mrs Ma’s butterfly brooch came to him in a dream – flying in, pinless, through the open window. It landed on his open palm and closed its wings in repose. Such a comforting sign, Melmet would say. But she read Turkish coffee mud.

“a very curious writer” – Ian O’Reilly, British Fantasy Society review of The Finest Ass in the Universe

“Anna Tambour is an example of one.” – Ben Peek, The Super Obscure, Nobody’s-Ever-Read, You-Must-Read, Pimp-All-The-Books thread

 


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