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Ebooks

I was taking a look at my website the other day, and I happened to notice how many of my titles have been put out by Infinity Plus ebooks – most of my back-list, in fact. In days of yore, before ebooks, these books – collections, novels, and novellas – would have rapidly fallen out of print and been unavailable. Happily we live in an age where that need never happen. What is particularly gratifying about having my backlist so readily to hand is that many of the titles are ones which are close to my heart; the collections The Time-Lapsed Man, and Blue Shifting, and The Fall of Tartarus, contain some of my best shorter work, and my finest novella, A Writer’s Life, is also available, as well as my first novel, Meridian Days, and the title which is a steady seller as an ebook, Penumbra.

If you’re a fan of ebooks, you could do worse than check out a few of the following titles – all at incredibly competitive prices.

A Writer’s Life –  Amazon US – Amazon UK

The Fall of Tartarus –  Amazon US – Amazon UK

The Spacetime Pit Plus Two (with Stephen Baxter) Amazon US – Amazon UK

The Time-Lapsed Man and other stories –  Amazon US – Amazon UK

Meridian Days – Amazon US – Amazon UK

Penumbra –  Amazon US – Amazon UK

The Angels of Life and Death – Amazon US – Amazon UK

Approaching Omega – Amazon US – Amazon UK

Blue Shifting – Amazon US – Amazon UK

GhostwritingAmazon US – Amazon UK

Rites of Passage –  Amazon US – Amazon UK

Salvage –  Amazon US – Amazon UK

Parallax View –  Amazon US – Amazon UK

Deep Future – Amazon US – Amazon UK

Microcosms Amazon US – Amazon UK

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Murder Takes a Turn

Out now from Severn House, the latest Langham and Dupré mystery, Murder Takes a Turn. It’s my favourite of the five I’ve written so far, featuring a fascinating cast, an ingenious murder method, and some fine detection from Donald Langham.

“It’s time to let bygones be bygones. Water under the bridge, right? What happened… happened a long time ago.”

When Donald Langham’s literary agent receives a cryptic letter inviting him to spend the weekend at the grand Cornish home of successful novelist Denbigh Connaught, Charles Elder seems reluctant to attend. What really happened between Elder and Connaught during the summer of 1917, nearly forty years before – and why has it had such a devastating effect on Charles?

Accompanying his agent to Connaught House, Langham and his wife Maria discover that Charles is not the only one to have received a letter. But why has Denbigh Connaught gathered together a group of people who each bear him a grudge?

When a body is discovered in Connaught’s study, the ensuing investigation uncovers dark secrets that haunt the past of each and every guest – including Charles Elder himself.

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Langham and Dupré Omnibus

Severn House are bringing out an omnibus eBook of books one and two of the Langham & Dupré series. Out on the 12th March, at £4.99/$6.99 until 10th June. Then the price increases to £8.99/$10.99.

Murder by the Book

London, 1955. When crime writer Donald Langham’s literary agent asks for his help in sorting out ‘a delicate matter’, little does Langham realize what he’s getting himself into. For a nasty case of blackmail leads inexorably to murder as London’s literary establishment is rocked by a series of increasingly bizarre deaths. With three members of the London Crime Club coming to sudden and violent ends, what at first appeared to be a series of suicides looks suspiciously like murder – and there seems to be something horribly familiar about the various methods of dispatch.

With the help of his literary agent’s assistant, the delectable Maria Dupré, Langham finds himself drawing on the skills of his fictional detective hero as he hunts a ruthless and fiendishly clever killer – a killer with old scores to settle.

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Murder at the Chase

Crime writer Donald Langham has interrupted his romantic break in rural Suffolk with Maria Dupré to assist a fellow author. Alasdair Endicott has requested Langham’s help in discovering what’s happened to his father, Edward, who has disappeared without trace from inside his locked study.

Before he vanished, the elder Endicott had been researching a book on the notorious Satanist Vivian Stafford. Could the proposed biography have something to do with his disappearance? Does local resident Stafford truly possess supernatural powers, as some believe?

As Langham and Dupré question those around them, it becomes clear that there have been strange goings-on in the sleepy village of Humble Barton. But is the village really haunted – or does someone merely want it to look that way? And with a further shocking discovery, the case takes a disturbing new twist.

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The Martian Simulacra

The Martian Simulacra is out now from NewCon Press.

When the Martian Ambassador beats a path to 221B Baker Street, seeking the great detective’s help in solving a grisly murder, how can Sherlock Holmes refuse?

The case will involve a trip to the Red Planet, which few humans have been privileged enough to visit. Ever since the second wave of Martians arrived on Earth, inoculated against the germs that halted them the first time around, and humanity accepted the aliens as their overlords, Sherlock Holmes has been curious… Soon he and Watson are boarding one the the great Martian spaceships, where they discover that their old friend Professor Challenger is also en route to Mars. What awaits them at their destination is a plot more dastardly than any of them could have imagined.

The Martian Simulacra is a glorious mash-up of Sherlock Holmes and The War of the Worlds, seasoned with a dash of Conan Doyle’s The Lost World for good measure.

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The Spacetime Pit Plus Two…

The Spacetime Pit Plus Two by Stephen Baxter and Eric Brown, Infinity Plus Books, 2018

The Spacetime Pit Plus Two collects three collaborative stories by Stephen Baxter and myself, never before published in one volume.

In “The Spacetime Pit” spacer Katerina Wake crash-lands on primitive alien world and faces certain death unless she can harness her ingenuity, and technical know-how, to bend the destiny of an entire race to her will…

“Green-Eyed Monster” follows Richard as he wakes up after a night on the tiles to find himself inhabiting the body of a toad – and that’s just the start of his troubles…

In “Sunfly”, Onara and her people live on a world very different from our own – a vast ribbon encircling a sun. But a change is coming to the land, a mysterious narrowing that threatens not only the stability of her world, but the very order of everything she has taken for granted.

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And here’s my introduction…

Collaboration between writers is a curious process.

I’ve tried writing with a number of authors, and it often doesn’t work; there’s no initial spark, or our writing styles, and methods, are too dissimilar to forge an effective working relationship. It doesn’t matter how much I like the other person, or how similar our ideas about life, art and politics might be – if there isn’t that elusive, almost alchemical spark at some point in the process, collaboration is doomed to a series of false starts and aborted stories.

My most prolific writing partner is Keith Brooke: together we’ve written more than a dozen stories, two novellas and a novel. With Keith, the process is wonderfully easy. What isn’t so easy is finding the time to write something together: we live at opposite ends of the country, and for much of the time are often engaged on solo projects. On the rare occasions that our busy schedules afford us a window of opportunity, we swap ideas until something sparks, and not long after that we have a fully-fledged story-line, which one of us begins and then the other takes up, and so on, until the tale is finished.

The second writer I’ve collaborated with is the late Michael Coney, author of such classic SF novels as Brontomek!, Hello Summer, Goodbye, and The Girl With A Symphony In Her Fingers, as well as a host of excellent short stories. Although we lived half a world apart at the time, Mike in British Columbia and I in England, we corresponded by email and over the period of six months wrote a long short story, the biological murder-mystery set on an alien world, “The Trees of Terpsichore Three”, which was published in the Scottish SF magazine Spectrum 8.

I’ve also collaborated with my friend and fellow curry aficionado Tony Ballantyne, author the Hard SF novels Recursion and Twisted Metal, and one of my favourite fantasy novels of all time, Dream London. A while back I wrote a series of stories about a race of aliens who come to Earth and bestow the gift of voluntary immortality on the human race. Tony liked these tales, and had an idea for one. He started the story, I took it up and finished it, and then we each rewrote the other’s sections. “Matthew’s Passion”, collected in my fix-up novel Kéthani, is the result: Tony imbued the tale with spirituality and his knowledge of music, attributes I signally lack.

Which brings me to the collaborations which form the content of the current volume, The Spacetime Pit Plus Two, and my collaborator, Stephen Baxter, the author of such ground-breaking novels as The Time-Ships, Evolution, The Light of Other Days with Arthur C. Clarke, and the Xeelee story sequence.

I first met Steve at a science fiction convention, the Nottingham MexiCon of 1989. We’d both just started selling short stories to markets such as Interzone and David S. Garnett’s Zenith anthologies, and were in the process of writing our first novels. Not only did we have our writing in common, and our love of the genre, but a passion for football: Steve follows Liverpool, while I, for my sins, suffer the travails of Leeds United. We got on well, and it wasn’t long before one of us suggested collaborating on a story or two.

This was over twenty years ago, and sad to say I have no recollection of how we went about the process of collaboration, though Steve reminds me that we worked on “Spacetime…” when I visited him in Prestwood in the summer of ’95. I do recall that I had the initial idea for “The Spacetime Pit”, which Steve, with his scientific and technological nous, proceeded to pull apart at the seams and stitch back together in a way that would work. It’s a grim tale that spans billions of years, but has the dilemma of a human being at its very core. “Spacetime…” won the 1995 Interzone readers’ poll for best story.

The second story in the volume is “Green-Eyed Monster”. By contrast, it’s a light-hearted tale about bodily transmogrification, love and jealousy. It’s nice to be able to write a tale from the viewpoint of a toad from time to time. I rarely write humorous stories, but on rereading this one I found myself chuckling: Steve must have written those passages.

The final story, “Sunfly”, is a strange tale set on a very alien world – a strip of land girdling a sun – and follows the exploits of student Onara as she comes to understand not only her world but her destiny within its complex history.

Enough. Herein, collected for the first time in one volume for your entertainment, is The Spacetime Pit Plus Two

Eric Brown

Cockburnspath

January 2018.

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The Spacetime Pit Plus Two is available at these outlets:

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Baxter-Brown Collection

Forthcoming in January, 2018, The Spacetime Pit Plus Two – the award winning short story plus two more of my collaborations with Stephen Baxter.

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Short Stories and Novellas

My short-short tale, “Dear LZ-75-53b”, is now up at Daily SF. It’s an epistolary, dystopian tale about a consumer who refuses to consume… Click here to read the story.

On the short story front, I’ve recently sold two collections to PS Publishing: The Disciples of Apollo and other stories: the best of Eric Brown (which shows I’m getting old), and The Ice Garden and other stories. The first volume will be a hefty tome coming in at over one hundred thousand words; the second will be around half that length. They’re due out next October.

Novellas: with Keith Brooke I’m working on a series of novellas for PS Publishing entitled The Kon-tiki Quartet. The first, Dislocations, will be out next winter, followed by Parasites six months later. They chart humankind’s first extra-solar colony mission to a planet orbiting the star 19 Draconis – a series of high-tech stories featuring FTL travel, the consequences of time dilation, cloning, alien encounters, telepathy and much more.

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