Out now from Solaris is the reissue of my 1994 novel Engineman. I went through it earlier this year, gasped at the errors I’d made, and rewrote it, cutting and cutting and then adding a chapter. In the same volume as the novel will be eight short stories set in the same universe as Engineman. There was another story, “Pithecanthropus Blues”, but I decided it was too light in tone to fit comfortably in the volume. (The book features a stunning new cover by Dominic Harman.)
In January and February I was busy writing the first draft of my post-global warming novel Guardians the Phoenix. The novel came about shortly after I’d finished a long short story of the same title for Mike Ashley’s anthology Apocalyptic SF. I realised that there was more to the story than what was in the thirteen thousand words I’d written so far. So last year I outlined the rest, expanding the plot, adding characters, and sent the chapters and outline via my agent John Jarrold to Jon Oliver at Solaris.
Glad to report, Jon liked it.
Guardians of the Phoenix is due out this December.
Next April Solaris will be bringing out The Big One. Well, that’s how I think of it.
I wrote The Kings of Eternity around ten years ago, based loosely on the short story of the same title first published in Scott Edelman’s magazine SF Age. Since then I’ve been playing around with it in odd moments, at one point completely re-writing the novel and adding forty thousand words, then cutting another, unrelated twenty thousand words. I also excerpted from the ms a thirty thousand word stand-alone novella (The Blue Portal) which David Pringle published in two issues of Interzone back in 2002.
The Kings of Eternity is the best thing I’ve written. Period. I feel for the novel as I’ve felt for nothing else I’ve done. It’s also quite unlike anything else I’ve written. It’s SF, but hard-to-categorise SF. It has two timelines, one set on a Greek island in 2000, the other set in London and Hampshire in 1935. It’s about immortality, love, loyalty, friendship, evil aliens, good aliens, strange other-worldly devices and much, much more.
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On the short story front I’ve been busy writing more Salvageman Ed tales, about Ed and his engineer Karrie, and their AI co-pilot, Ella.
The latest, “Laying the Ghost”, is now online at Clarkesworld:
Also out now is “The Human Element”, (not SF, but crime) in Postscripts 22/23.
Another Ed and Ella story, “The Soul of the Machine”, will be published in the forthcoming NewCon Press anthology, Further Conflicts, edited by Ian Whates.
Due out in Postscripts next year will be my very light-hearted alien invasion-cum-publishing industry satire, “The Scribe of Betelgeuse V”.
Pete Crowther at PS Publishing recently bought volumes three and four of my Starship novella series, Starship Winter and Starship Spring. They should be out some time next year. Later, PS plan to bring out the four novellas in one volume, entitled Starship Seasons.
And now it’s back to working on the plot of the next one.