Thursday, 28 February 2013

A Reader's Review of Blake's 7: Archangel

Here's a rather sweet review of my Blake's 7 novel Archangel which a lovely reader (and B7 fan) in Australia called D. Worsley posted recently, after buying the Kindle release on Amazon.

"The Federation is an evil, despicable organisation and Blake is right to fight it. Goes without saying really, for anyone who's seen even just the first episode of the excellent TV serial, but what it's done in Archangel may actually outdo even what they did to Blake (repeat brainwashing, torture, framing him as a paedophile...).

I won't spoil WHAT the Federation's sanctioned in Archangel, but it's all done - the experiments, the torture, the brainwashing, the slow degradation of a man's soul all to create a pilot for a new type of spaceship - one even faster than Liberator.

It's a characterful novel, showing Blake's slow descent into being a man for whom the ends justify the means someone actively fighting against the events of his past and the people who he's betrayed through inattention and being a pawn of the Federation. Blake was broken by Gan's death in the TV episode Pressure Point, and here he sets out to prevent another man dying because of his zeal. The other crew members of the Liberator are equally in character, Vila depressed by Gan's recent death desperately looking for some safety, Avon playing all angles in order to preserve his skin, Cally and Jenna loyal to Blake but even their loyalty is starting to become tarnished by the shadows of the past. In my review of the previous novel The Forgotten I lamented Vila (who was always entertaining on TV) was given nothing to do, here that isn't a problem, he's as active in the plot as Avon or Blake, even Cally and Jenna (both somewhat redundant on TV, sadly) play a role their specific skills being used in order to keep the crew safe and alive. Slithering into the story is Servelan, and we get to see what she was doing before becoming Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and if anything it makes her even more of a monster than Space Commander "the Butcher of Zercaster" Travis.

There are a few nice sequences we would never have gotten on TV - including a thrilling sequence of Liberator screaming through a planet's atmosphere a la the Battlestar Galactica during the liberation of New Caprica and another space battle, this time told from a wider perspective full of clever ship rolls and sweeping vistas rather than The Forgotten's homage to the TV series showing the battle from the perspective of the Liberator's control room.

All told, I enjoyed it - I can't wait for the next in the series which is set just after Star One, showing Liberator's sole stand defending the galaxy against the invaders from Andromeda.

4 / 5 Stars."

Friday, 22 February 2013

News Catch Up

Have been busy of late, so thought it was about time I did a quick catch up and round up of all the news and releases planned for the year ahead.

Over the past week I've been thrashing out a storyline with the editor for a TV tie-in book I'll be writing over the coming weeks / months, so hopefully I'll be able to announce that very soon!

As work continues on my next book, The Horus Engines, (which will be the first book in the new Dieselpunk/Steampunk/Alternate Timeline novel range Tales Of The Iron War), publishers Snowbooks have been sending me mock ups of the front cover artwork, and it is looking awesome! I'm hoping to see the final design very soon now, which I will post up on my blog immediately, of course!

The book will be published later in the year, and as soon as work has finished on both of the above projects, I'll then be starting work on the second novel in the range, titled Cold Earth, which is scheduled for publication at the very end of the year. Books III, IV and V are already under development

(Incidentally, a local bookshop has already expressed an interest in holding an author reading and signing event for The Horus Engines, which I'm obviously very keen to do. So watch this space for more details.)

Work is being completed on the second anthology, a horror book called Twisted Histories (full details very soon), and a third and fourth are already scheduled for late 2013/early 2014. Prepatory work is already under way for two further anthologies to be released later in 2014 (one of which will be a 'sequel' of sorts to the Resurrection Engines anthology).

I'm also writing a handful of short stories and novellas for various anthologies and magazines.

COMING SOON in 2013:

Blake's 7: Epitaph  -  audio play in Vol 4 of The Liberator Chronicles from Big Finish, May
Twisted Histories  -  Horror anthology. Spring
The Horus Engines  -  Alternate Timeline novel. Mid/late 2013
TV Tie-In Book  -  Mid 2013.
Anthology 3  -  SF anthology. Late 2013
Cold Earth  -  Alternate Timeline novel. December

"You can contact me via the email address on the right hand side of the page, just below my Bio!"

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Liberator Chronicles Trailer

Delighted to announce that the trailer for the next Liberator Chronicles box set, Volume 4, has just gone up on the Big Finish website.

The release includes my audio play Epitaph which features Sally Knyvette and Michael Keating reprising their roles as Jenna Stannis and Vila Restal, in an adventure which sees the two Liberator crewmates answering a distress call from a spaceship, eventually leading Jenna to the surviving members of her family.

You can listen to the full trailer HERE

The box set, containing three audio plays from myself, Nigel Fairs and Nick Wallace is released in May and can be preordered now.