Tag Archives: novel

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

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New edition of Kaitlin Queen’s Essex noir One More Unfortunate, including standalone bonus story

Published today:
a new edition of
One More Unfortunate by Kaitlin Queen
including standalone bonus story “Yesterday’s Dreams”

One More Unfortunate

It’s the mid-1990s and Nick Redpath has some issues to resolve. Like why he is relentlessly drawn back to a circle of old friends and enemies — and an old love — in his seaside birthplace in north Essex. And why he won’t let himself fall in love again. But first he must prove that he didn’t murder his old flame, Geraldine Wyse…

The ebook edition includes the standalone bonus story, “Yesterday’s Dreams”.

Kaitlin Queen is the adult fiction pen-name of a best-selling children’s author. Kaitlin also writes for national newspapers and websites. Born in Essex, she moved to Northumberland when she was ten and has lived there ever since. This is her first crime novel for an adult audience.

 

Ebook available from: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon Canada

“There are twists and turns galore before finally the murder is solved… The characterizations are vivid, and in a couple of cases really quite affecting; the taut tale-telling rattles along at good speed; and the solution to the mystery is both startling and satisfying. Recommended.” – 5* Amazon review


Going cyberpunk for charity

Cyberpunk Storybundle

Available only until 1st October, my novel The Accord is featured in a bundle of thirteen cyberpunk novels, curated by bestselling author Steven Savile and featuring such notable award-winning and bestselling authors as Melissa Scott, Kevin J Anderson, Billy Dee Williams (Lando!), Frank Herbert and David Bischoff.

The deal is simple: pick a price you’re willing to pay, pay it, and get a bunch of great books. Minimum price is $3, for which you get six novels, by Kevin J Anderson, Melissa Scott and Jo Graham, David Bischoff, Billy Dee Williams and Rob MacGregor, Keith Brooke, and David Farland. Pay a minimum of $15 and you get the complete set of thirteen novels.

Not bad, eh?

But to make it even better, you can opt for a proportion of what you pay to go to charity. Our chosen charities are Girls Write Now and Mighty Writers, and we’re hoping to raise them great big bucket-loads of cash.

The Cyberpunk Storybundle is available from http://storybundle.com/cyberpunk for the period 10th September 2014 to 1st October 2014, inclusive. All books are available in a variety of DRM-free formats.

Our charities

Girls Write Now

Girls Write Now helps mentor girls so they can develop writing skills, leading to a more successful future no matter what path they decide to choose.

Distinguished as one of the top 15 after-school arts and culture programs in the nation by The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Girls Write Now is New York’s first and only organization with a writing and mentoring model exclusively for girls. From young women exploring writing to seasoned professionals practicing their craft every day, GWN is a community of women writers dedicated to providing guidance, support, and opportunities for high school girls to develop their creative, independent voices and write their way to a better future.

Over the past 15 years, more than 4,500 underserved teen girls have benefitted from the GWN community and 100% of seniors in our flagship mentoring program go on to college—bringing with them portfolios, awards, scholarships, new skills, and a sense of confidence. Girls Write Now has built a record of achievement and innovation recognized twice by the White House, by The New York Times, and the MacArthur Foundation, and evidenced by the hundreds of Scholastic Art & Writing awards our girls have earned.

Mighty Writers

As avid readers, we’re always on the lookout for new authors and new titles. So what better way to make sure there will always be new authors than to help train the next generation of aspiring kids. Not only will they gain appreciation for the writing process itself, but the confidence this gives them will allow them to succeed in other areas of learning.

Mighty Writers’ mission is to teach Philadelphia kids to think and write with clarity. Our free programs combat the literacy crisis in a city where nearly half of high school students drop out and some 50% of working-age adults are functionally illiterate (can’t read bank statements, fill out job applications or easily comprehend news articles).

Today, Mighty Writers offers year-round writing programs for some 1,000 kids and teens, ages seven to 17, with help from 300 volunteers. At our headquarters in one of Philadelphia’s historic neighborhoods, we offer an after-school writing academy, themed writing workshops, one-on-one mentorships, a weekly teen lounge, SAT preparatory courses and college essay writing classes. Our programs draw students from more than 125 city schools (public, parochial, magnet, charter, cyber, home) and an array of communities.


Riding the Serpent’s Back: free draw

Following closely on the heels of announcing the introductory price for the ebook edition of my new epic fantasy, Riding the Serpent’s Back, we’ve just been given the go-ahead to run a Goodreads giveaway for a free copy of the paperback edition:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Riding the Serpent's Back by Keith Brooke

Riding the Serpent’s Back

by Keith Brooke

Giveaway ends September 23, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


Riding the Serpent’s Back: epic fantasy from Keith Brooke – pre-order for 99c/77p

The ebook edition of my new 200,000 word fantasy novel is now available for pre-order from Amazon for the bargain price of 99c/77p. Later this month, the ebook will become available at other retailers, and the print edition will also come out.

~

Riding the Serpent’s Back by Keith Brooke

Riding the Serpent's Back by Keith BrookeWith his health failing, the great mage Donn has chosen to pass on his Talents to a new generation: an old era is drawing to a close, a new era about to begin. But with change comes instability. War looms and a rogue church leader threatens to set loose the wild powers of the First City. Donn’s children must oppose this man but, also, they must contend with Donn himself: the old mage has not finished with his children yet.

On the run from the religious repression of the mainland, Leeth Hamera joins a group of outcasts on the Serpent’s Back, a continually changing island continent in the middle of a lava sea. Leeth has never lived up to the expectations of his wealthy merchant family and his only magical skill is the lowly Talent of bonding with animals. But, as he learns, the greatest Talents can sometimes be the slowest to emerge.

The leader of the outcasts is Chi, son of Donn and the greatest healer of his generation. Chi is in exile for breaking the Embodied Church’s edict against intervening in the natural order: many years ago Chi used his skills to revive his son from the dead. That son, Lachlan Pas, is now a church leader tortured by the guilty knowledge of what his father had to do to return him to life. When he learns Chi is still alive, he orders his execution, determined that his secret should never be exposed.

Until now, Chi has been content to live in exile but now he knows that his son’s insane and cruel rule must be stopped. Chi summons his half-siblings from throughout the inhabited lands of the Rift valley. The need for action is confirmed when one of them reveals that Lachlan and his mage, Oriole, are rebuilding the ancient city of Samhab – an act which will release the powers of the earth with unforeseeable consequences.

Welcome to the magical island city of Zigané, endlessly adrift in the southern lava sea; the searing soda plains home of the Morani warriors; the impenetrable Zochi jungle, full of illusion and hidden hazard; the charmed fortress-like City of the Divine Wall; and Samhab, the fantastic First City of the True, built at the geographical centre of the Rift, where the magical powers of the earth rise up to be set free by the earth-charmers and mages. The novel’s cast of shape-changers, earth-charmers, healers and illusionists must battle to save civilization from the evil rule of Lachlan Pas and his followers.

For whoever controls the power of Samhab controls the future of the world.

“Keith Brooke’s prose achieves a rare honesty and clarity, his characters always real people, his situations intriguing and often moving.” World Fantasy Award-winner Jeff VanderMeer

“A progressive and skilful writer.” Peter F Hamilton, author of the Night’s Dawn trilogy

“In the recognized front ranks of SF writers.” Locus

Pre-order from: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon Canada


New: Expatria – the boxed set, by Keith Brooke

Available for the first time in a single volume: the Expatria duology.

Expatria: the boxed setBook one:
The descendants of Expatria’s first colonists from Earth have rejected technology. When Mathias Hanrahan, heir to the primacy of Newest Delhi, wants to reintroduce the old ways he is framed for his father’s murder and forced to flee.

Recruited by a research team which is trying to relearn the ancient technologies, he goes to work for them, and against a background of impending war, Mathias discovers that strange messages are coming from space.

Book two:
For Katya Tatin, a passionate believer in and employee of the Holy Corporation of GenGen, the opportunity to join the mission to the recently rediscovered colony of Expatria is much more than a chance to spread the gospel. For her, it represents a break with the past on Earth, with the Consumer Wars and the subversives who seek to undermine the standing of the Holy Corporation itself. It offers a chance to reconfirm her faith.

On Expatria itself, and on the ancient arkships that orbit it, the news of the impending arrival of a mission from Earth further complicates an already murderously complex web of religious and political intrigue. For some, it looks like salvation from a backward-looking, superstition-ridden society; for others, it looks suspiciously like an invasion.

Amazon US – Amazon UK

Keith Brooke at infinity plus

On Expatria:

“Its carefully measured, consciously understated prose eschews any of the customary cheap stunts used by genre authors in an attempt to keep the reader whizzing through the pages … To describe it as gripping would be accurate but would at the same time mislead: it grips because of the reader’s absorption in the characters and the significance of the events rather than through any nonstop pulse-racing action. It introduces you to a world which, without your perhaps consciously realizing it, comes to permeate your mind, so that you have to shake your head to return yourself to 21st-century Earth … Brooke’s tale-telling is superb … a completely absorbing novel.” Hugo and World Fantasy Award winner John Grant

“Book of the Month … The mix of semi-pastoral life and scientific research is convincingly handled … The underlying conflict between religion and science is finely wrought … an absorbing piece of fiction. Highly recommended.”Gamesmaster International

“Books like this are proving that the British can write SF as good as any American… This is a marvellous book that, despite the sequel … is a complete novel in itself. Treat yourself: buy both, and read them over and over.” Nexus

“Brooke lies somewhere between Peter Dickinson and Barrington J Bayley in his novels: he tells one story, concentrating on one set of characters, while great events go on around them that are almost peripheral to their lives, but he does it with intense concentration and understanding … Brooke is an author well worth reading … I hope some publisher over here makes him available to American audiences.” Locus

“…brought beautifully to life … I enjoyed this book a great deal and will definitely buy the sequel.” Critical Wave

On Expatria Incorporated:

“For Katya, a devout apparatchik of the Holy Corporation of GenGen, her voyage to newly colonised Expatria is a chance to confirm a faith that has been undermined by her rebellious brother. That subversion, though, has only just begun in a story that brilliantly shows a world in which religious belief is used to secular advantage—where creeds are implanted along with genes.” The Times

“I have to admit to being truly astonished that this book, which is a direct sequel to Expatria, is neither simply the second half of one long story nor is it a lazy reworking of the first in a slightly different form. What we have here is a first-class novel of character that just happens to be set on the same world and use some of the same characters as the first novel. Keith Brooke has achieved something quite rare, in that the characters who we first met and saw grow and change in the first novel we now encounter and, knowing where they are coming from, can watch and enjoy and see them grow and change anew when their society changes due to new and different pressures. The first novel was of pressures from within, this one is of pressure from without, and both explore the effects superbly.” Nexus


Reviews and the fragile ego

Some of my writing friends tell me they ignore reviews. I even believe some of them.

But how can you not be interested in what readers have to say? Even if it’s a probably unrepresentative sample of readers, the ones who either choose to write down their response or are paid to do so.

Nowadays it’s hard to avoid your reviews even if you do want to. If you use Facebook, Twitter, etc, you’ll find that you’re tagged in posts mentioning reviews, and you can’t help but dip into them.

Now, I’ve been knocking around for a while now, and I’ve been reviewed just about everywhere. Also, I write reviews (most recently for the Guardian and Arc), so I’m aware of the constraints, challenges, complications, etc, that go with the territory.

My own take on reviews of my work is this: yes, I’m interested, but I’ll certainly consider a review’s context, whether it’s a good or a bad review. A good review in a national newspaper is great because it’s a review from a fellow pro who hasn’t necessarily chosen to read your book (although beware the complex relationships in publishing that could sway things one way or another); a good review on a sixteen year-old’s blog is great, too, for entirely different reasons.

Reviewers at all levels get it wrong: I’ve had lots of reviews that get the facts of a book wrong, which is very different to misunderstanding what I was trying to do in a book; those reviews are devalued because of this. And sometimes a reviewer really gets what you’re doing, or even sees depths or angles you weren’t aware of yourself. That’s pretty damned cool.

It’s impossible to separate all this from the usually fragile state of an author’s ego. I’ve written on here before about this, and how sometimes it feels like you’re writing into a vacuum. Why put your work out into the wild if you’re not hoping that people will respond? And how disappointing if there’s just silence? Reviews are one way of gauging this response, albeit an imperfect one.

There’s a context for the response to a review, too. Anyone who’s followed my tweets and bloggery will be aware that I’ve had lots of pretty pissy things affect me, and those I love, over the past few months. I’ve been on meds for depression for much of the last year; my wife’s been seriously ill, culminating in a big operation in January (from which she’s now making a fantastic recovery); one of my daughters has had two long spells of several weeks in hospital. And there have been lots of other, lesser, woes.

This is my context, and after a couple of recent bad experiences in the publishing world I couldn’t help but start to wonder if it was all worth it. When I passed 25 years as a writing pro last year (with two more books out that year), I wrote about this. Quite simply, I was tired and depressed, and writing was taking too much out of me.

This year? Well, a few things have slotted into place. I’m in a better frame of mind (maybe it’s the drugs, but hey); my wife is doing well; my daughter is back out of hospital again today; I’m doing things I like, and starting to get the urge to commit science fiction once again. And on that front, the writing one, it was fantastic to hear a few weeks ago that my novel Harmony (published in the UK as alt.human) had been shortlisted for the Philip K Dick Award.

And, returning to the subject of this post, reviews… I’ve had some lovely ones in the last few weeks, and that really makes a difference: someone has given you a chance, someone has got what you were doing.

Just to pick out a few examples…

Upcoming4.me picked out the new edition of my novel Lord of Stone (always one of my personal favourites), describing it as “gritty, clever and thought provoking. Well recommended!”

And then, just yesterday a couple of tweets caught my eye.

Andreas Wittwer said:
“alt.human (aka Harmony) by Keith Brooke, one of titles that have been taken off the to-read stack in the past weeks: http://t.co/QnftBvtVPy
– a link which led to a lovely review that said, among other things, “Like with The Accord, I feel that I again have to make a note about the prose. It’s more than just pacing and skillful use of narrative modes, but also that Brooke has something less tangible, a certain command of tone, that few novelists can manage.”

And in another tweet Michael Bround said:
“Wrote a thing about @keithbrooke‘s oddly untalked about (in my circles) #Harmony and #TheAccordhttp://bit.ly/Y5AgSn
– leading to a review of both The Accord and Harmony, in which he said, “Keith Brooke is a Science Fiction author I never hear anything about. Which is profoundly weird because he is really, really good… If I were going to create a list of ten Sci-fi novels everyone should have to read, The Accord would be among them. I do not understand how this novel isn’t a bigger deal.” And, “Harmony is just another masterful Sci-fi novel that should also be a bigger deal than it apparently is.”

When a writer is looking for a response, when a writer’s fragile ego needs a bit of nurturing… well, it doesn’t get much more rewarding than responses like these.


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