Tag Archives: historical fiction

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 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 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

 


Publication day for Garry Kilworth’s Best Short Stories, and a novel with an exceedingly long name

Published today in print and ebook formats:
The Best Short Stories of Garry Kilworth
and
The Sometimes Spurious Travels Through Time and Space of James Ovit by 
Garry Kilworth

 

We’re delighted to announce publication today of two major new titles from Garry Kilworth, a retrospective Best Of… and a high-energy science-fiction romp of a novel with an exceedingly long title.

The Best Short Stories of Garry Kilworth

The Best Short Stories of Garry Kilworth

Stories from the back of the brain.

These short stories span a period of 40 years. They are as eclectic as the insect world, ranging from the bizzare to the quixotic and back again. Plucked from an oeuvre of 145 stories, they are beautifully crafted tales, several of which have snatched awards from the jaws of oblivion or shouldered their way into short lists.

Though he writes longer fiction Garry Kilworth considers himself primarily a short story writer, which is his first and last love. There is science fiction, fantasy, horror, folk lore and legend within these pages. What does not fall into any of those categories is simply unclassifiable weird fish.

The first tale is a parallel world story in which we, the people who inhabit this planet, can walk on water. The last story involves the kind of madness which is brought on by too much discipline and good order. These two sandwich a vast array of brilliant and sometimes puzzling pieces of prose.

Cover by Dominic Harman; foreword by Claude Lalumière.

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Buy this book in print (ISBN: 154069271X): Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CanadaCreateSpace – and other booksellers
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The Sometimes Spurious Travels Through Time and Space of James Ovit by Garry Kilworth

The Sometimes Spurious Travels Through Time and Space of James Ovit

A science fiction novel in three parts.

In which unstoppable time meets immoveable space…

James Ovit is a naive and slightly-lost maverick son of an elderly serial monogamist mother, whose mundane life is suddenly kick-started into headlong travel through time and space by a group of ruthless and callous scientists.

His journeys first take him spuriously into the near past and thence into the far future where, expecting to enhance his career, instead he finds other-worldly love. Finally, after tragedy causes him to cast off his loyalty to his superiors, he rejects the diplomatic corps for work as an assassin and is sent into the past to eliminate an illegal time traveller and a monster. However, things never do work out the way James believes they will and, when he finds himself researching the strangest biography of all time, he knows the authorities who gave him another chance will once again shake their heads in disbelief at his ability to ignore their orders.

Cover by piolka.

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Buy this book in print (ISBN: 154069237X): Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CanadaCreateSpace – and other booksellers
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“One is left in no doubt about the quality of the writing or of Kilworth’s talent…” Times Educational Supplement

“The tales are haunting, often almost poetic, but still chilling.” Fantasy Zone on In The Country Of Tattooed Men

“His characters are strong and the sense of place he creates is immediate and strong.” Sunday Times

“Kilworth is a master of his trade.” Punch

“Arguably the finest writer of short fiction today, in any genre.” New Scientist


High in the charts: Garry Kilworth’s The Iron Wire (last chance to get the sale price)

After a special promotion Garry Kilworth’s historical novel The Iron Wire is high in the charts at Amazon. As I write this, current rankings include:

#1 in Historical Fiction (Biographical) at Amazon US
#1 in Historical Thrillers at Amazon Australia
#3 in Historical Fiction (Australian & Oceanian) at Amazon US
#5 in Historical Thrillers at Amazon US

If you haven’t already grabbed a copy, do so soon as the price is going up again in the next day or so! 

The Iron Wire by Garry Kilworth“Intensely charming… captures so much of the mystery, beauty, night terrors, and fascination of the uninhabited Australia. The portrayal of the society of men isolated from society, as well as individual characters is superb. It makes this mystery/adventure a sleep-stealer. Once begun, I was done for, in the best way… The Iron Wire: A novel of the Adelaide to Darwin Telegraph Line deserves to take its place amongst Australian classics – and is a ripper of a read, anywhere.” Anna Tambour, World Fantasy Award-shortlisted author of Crandolin

In 1870 an enterprise began in Australia that was breathtaking in its ambition: to construct a single galvanised iron wire between Adelaide and Darwin, crossing two thousand miles of virtually unexplored wilderness. This was the Overland Telegraph Line, using local trees as poles, thousands of them, and hundreds of men who would not return to civilization for two years or more. Some would not return at all.

Alex McKenzie is a young telegrapher who believes his chosen profession to be at the cutting edge of contemporary science. A man who knows that once the last pole is erected and the line is open from Adelaide, to Darwin, to London and on to New York, the world will have shrunk and messages that used to take four months from sender to receiver will then take only minutes. His hopes for the future, for him and the love of his life, Sally, rest on the success of this magnificent Australian achievement. However, there are those whose enmity he has aroused and who would not hesitate to rob him of his life simply because he represents all they hate: someone who has grabbed at his opportunities and has risen from farm labouring roots to man of science.

The Iron Wire: a novel of human hope and progress in a land where men die, women are widowed, and bushrangers live by the lie and the gun.

Buy this ebook from: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboApple – Smashwords

Also available in print (ISBN: 1500779423): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers

Special promotion: Garry Kilworth’s historical novel The Iron Wire

The Iron Wire by Garry KilworthAs part of a special promotion, the ebook edition of Garry Kilworth’s historical novel The Iron Wire is available for only 99 cents from now until 24 November 2014.

“Intensely charming… captures so much of the mystery, beauty, night terrors, and fascination of the uninhabited Australia. The portrayal of the society of men isolated from society, as well as individual characters is superb. It makes this mystery/adventure a sleep-stealer. Once begun, I was done for, in the best way… The Iron Wire: A novel of the Adelaide to Darwin Telegraph Line deserves to take its place amongst Australian classics – and is a ripper of a read, anywhere.” Anna Tambour, World Fantasy Award-shortlisted author of Crandolin

In 1870 an enterprise began in Australia that was breathtaking in its ambition: to construct a single galvanised iron wire between Adelaide and Darwin, crossing two thousand miles of virtually unexplored wilderness. This was the Overland Telegraph Line, using local trees as poles, thousands of them, and hundreds of men who would not return to civilization for two years or more. Some would not return at all.

Alex McKenzie is a young telegrapher who believes his chosen profession to be at the cutting edge of contemporary science. A man who knows that once the last pole is erected and the line is open from Adelaide, to Darwin, to London and on to New York, the world will have shrunk and messages that used to take four months from sender to receiver will then take only minutes. His hopes for the future, for him and the love of his life, Sally, rest on the success of this magnificent Australian achievement. However, there are those whose enmity he has aroused and who would not hesitate to rob him of his life simply because he represents all they hate: someone who has grabbed at his opportunities and has risen from farm labouring roots to man of science.

The Iron Wire: a novel of human hope and progress in a land where men die, women are widowed, and bushrangers live by the lie and the gun.

Buy this ebook from: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwords

Also available in print (ISBN: 1500779423): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers

Excellent reviews for Garry Kilworth’s The Iron Wire

The Iron Wire by Garry KilworthLovely to see some great early reviews for Garry Kilworth’s new novel The Iron Wire, the story of a young telegrapher taking part in a venture in the Australian outback that would change the world of the 19th Century.

Over on her blog, World Fantasy Award nominee Anna Tambour hails it as a new Australian classic:

Kilworth captures so much of the mystery, beauty, night terrors, and fascination of the uninhabited Australia that I especially recommend this novel to the vast majority of Australians who would no more venture into the bush than they would, drink a cup of pre-barista International Roast… The Iron Wire: A novel of the Adelaide to Darwin Telegraph Line deserves to take its place amongst Australian classics — and is a ripper of a read, anywhere.

Readers posting reviews on Amazon have been equally positive:

I read this book in one go because eh! Suspense! The descriptions are very vivid. You can almost taste the dust! … It’s also beautifully written. It makes you realize that while we can all write a sentence; we can’t all write a beautifully turned sentence. It’s wonderful to read something so well written.

For anyone who loves history, this is a must read. Mr. Kilworth has taken a virtually unknown event in Australia’s history and brought it to life.

A great yarn that carries the reader into the heart of the then barely explored Australian outback as history is being made by ordinary men.

Very evocative of time and place. A well-researched book which grips from the beginning…

The ebook edition of Garry Kilworth’s The Iron Wire is available from: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CanadaBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwords

The print edition is available from: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CanadaCreateSpace – and other booksellers

The first detailed review of Garry Kilworth’s The Iron Wire

Fabulous review from Anna Tambour for Garry Kilworth’s The Iron Wire:

The Iron Wire: A novel of the Adelaide to Darwin Telegraph Line deserves to take its place amongst Australian classics — and is a ripper of a read, anywhere.”

Lovely to see such a careful analysis and critique from someone who knows the Australian bush inside out.


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