Here’s the cover and blurb for my next one, out in February from Titan.
My latest collection gathers eight stories as varied in space and time as they are in theme, and features such tropes as alien visitors, space opera, near future satire, cloning, and even murder-mystery. “Conway and the Aliens” is set in my popular Starship Seasons future, while “Dimensions of Deceit” is the latest tale in the Salvageman Ed series. “The Trees of Terpsichore Three” is a collaboration with Michael Coney. Three stories are original to the volume.
The novel follows Matt Hendrick on his long, long journey across the Expansion to the planets…
Fomalhaut IV… Hendrick Telemasses to planet of Avoeli to track down and rescue his kidnapped daughter. What he finds on the easy going backwater colony is a bizarre religious cult and a race of aliens whose rituals promise to bring the dead back to life. Accompanied by the enigmatic Tiana Tandra, herself attempting to locate a missing loved one, they discover the terrible secret buried deep in the heart of the Avoelian jungle.
Spica III… The planet of Kallithea is starting its punishing five year winter. The planet is slowly closing down, its inhabitants retreating far underground to await the arrival of summer. To this inhospitable ice-bound world comes Matt Hendrick, searching for his ex-wife and his daughter, along with his old friend Ed Miller seeking to arrest the installation artist Katerina Nordstrom on a charge of murder. What they find on Spica III is a cult whose charismatic leader demands nothing less from his adherents than the ultimate sacrifice: suicide.
Alpha Reticuli II… Hendrick comes to the world of Tourmaline, the luxury resort planet to which millions of tourists from across the Expansion Telemass every month. There he meets a telepath who offers to help him trace his ex-wife and daughter, but all is not as it seems… Soon it will be Starship Day – when an ancient starship will arrive in orbit at the end of a voyage lasting five hundred years, bringing much more than Matt expects. And when an alien Effectuator claims he can bring Matt’s dead daughter back to life, Matt finds himself caught on the horns of a dilemma.
Bellatrix I… Hendrick is approaching the end game. His lover, telepath Mercury Velasquez, has traced Matt’s ex-wife and his daughter to the planet of Beltran, Bellatrix I, home of the advanced but reclusive alien race known as the Vhey… But why have his ex-wife and her lover Dr Hovarth taken Matt’s daughter to Beltran? Are they in search of an alien cure for the girl’s illness?
Hendrick and Mercury Telemass to Beltran and find a secretive artists’ colony ruled by the renowned crystal artist Edward Lincoln – and discover the secret of Lincoln’s fascination with the Vhey.
In a moving and horrific dénouement, Hendrick at last finds his daughter – but she is in mortal danger from a source other than than the natives of Beltran…
Coda: When Matt Hendrick’s wife Mercury is lost while talking a Telemass trip from Mars to Earth, existing in a state neither dead nor alive – but in an ‘indeterminate state’ – he finds himself in an indeterminate state himself, torn between grief and hope. Hendrick had planned to take Mercury and his daughter Samantha on a trip to distant stars, retracing the journey he had made years earlier while attempting to rescue Samantha.
Coda is the moving finale to the The Telemass Quartet.
When Matt Hendrick’s wife Mercury is lost while talking a Telemass trip from Mars to Earth, existing in a state neither dead nor alive – but in an ‘indeterminate state’ – he finds himself in an indeterminate state himself, torn between grief and hope. Hendrick had planned to take Mercury and his daughter Samantha on a trip to distant stars, retracing the journey he had made years earlier while attempting to rescue Samantha…
In a bid to distract her father, Samantha persuades him to make the journey anyway, and they embark on a fateful recapitulation of the original sojourn. But unbeknownst to Hendrick, Samantha has an agenda of her own – which just might bring about Mercury’s salvation.
Telemass Codas is the moving finale to the Telemass Quartet.
Murder Served Cold, the sixth and most recent of my Langham and Dupré mysteries, has been getting some lovely reviews of late. I’m delighted, of course, as I think this one is the best of the series – I’m especially happy with the twist-in-the-tale dénouement.
Here are links to the reviews:
At the moment I’m in the very early stages of planning the seventh Langham and Dupré, tentatively entitled Murder By Invitation. It’s set in early December, 1956, and features multiple murders…
On the short story front, I have the following tales appearing over the course of the next few months: “The First Locked Room” in Maxim Jakubowski’s Historical Mystery Stories; “The Mystery of the Missing Vermeer” in Maxim’s Amateur Sleuths and Private Eyes; and “Panspermia High” in Albedo One 49 (or 50).
The following stories, “Dimensions of Deceit”, “Going”, “Conway and the Almarans,” will be appearing in my collection, The Ice Garden and other stories, PS Publishing. “Zarla’s World” will appear in The Disciples of Apollo: the Best of Eric Brown, PS Publishing.
My Sherlock Holmes short story “The Vanishing of the Atkinsons” is now available as a standalone e-book, here.
Victor Trevor, an old friend of Holmes’s, calls him to Trincomalee, Ceylon, to investigate the vanishing of the Atkinson brothers, whose disappearance was as sudden as it was mysterious. For six months the people of Trincomalee have remained baffled by their departure, particularly as the brothers didn’t have an enemy in the world. Holmes travels to the island to help Trevor work out just how the two men vanished.