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Showing posts from July, 2015

Alex Davis's amazing Blog Hop!

As the July Blogswap Trail comes towards its conclusion, I'm sharing a host of extracts and related stories from The Last War, the first book in The Noukari Trilogy. Today's extract comes from Chapter Two, where we first meet Asha in her confrontation with the leader of the new-found religion of the Noukari, Apius. Enjoy!


Apius has become aware of the glances that he has begun to attract from those living within Genem. Those he knows look upon him with reverence, acknowledging him with a bow or other prostration. These he responds to with simple platitudes, blessings in the name of the Animex, furthering belief with each word.

But there are still many within Genem who have yet to accept, and to them his robed figure brings equal measures of suspicion and hatred. They do not yet recognise his position, and the influence it brings. He is not blind to the sideways glances, the baleful eyes, the naked curiosity that surrounds him. But he knows that he needs t…

Interview with PP Corcoran, author of the Saiph Series

Today, I had the pleasure of interviewing P.P.Corcoran, author of the Amazon bestselling Saiph Series. It's a fascinating interview that covers so much about the publishing world today, as well as a real insight into military science fiction, and the Saiph Series itself.

JZ - Firstly, can you tell me a bit about your books, and the world they are set in?

PPC - The Saiph Series is set around 150 years in the future when humanity has come together as the Terran Republic after suffering near extinction during a world war.

The Republic rebuilds its societies and is finally able to concentrate its efforts on satisfying their age old fascination for travelling the stars. By accident rather than design scientists stumble across the Gravity Drive, an engine that allows almost instantaneous travel over vast distances and the stars are at last within reach.

The Terran Republic venture beyond the solar system and discover a hidden alien library, which proves once and for all that man is…

Defining things

I've had a fun summer trying to define books. Mostly my own, but sometimes others to keep me on the straight and narrow.

For Abendau I've explored definitions of Space Opera, of Grimdark, encountered the term Spacemance (a romance set in space), of psychological thrillers, of Space Fantasy. For Inish Carraig, I've played around with Young Adult and Crossover fiction, science fiction and thriller, and haven't fully nailed a single definition.

As I was revising book two of Abendau, things got even murkier. The Spacemance is a big theme, but it's a grown up relationship with all the hard angles and history people carry (and those who've read Abendau's Heir will appreciate it's a lot of history.) It's a thriller, with big set pieces. It's about personal history and legacies, and grief. It's about families and friendships and blurred lines between people.

In short, it's about people. Not a space empire although that feeds into it. Not abou…

Stephen Palmer & The Fzzz-ed Up Brat

Stephen Palmer & The Fzzz-ed Up Brat

Manfred ran like a fzzz-ed up brat along the alley behind the public toilets, skidding into a junkfood-splattered dead end…

Like most writing newbies, I learned that grammar, spelling and literary technique were crucial to authorial success; and I still believe they are vital when you’re learning your craft. But recently, particularly after the experience of writing my short story ‘Xana-La,’ and ‘Hairy London,’ the novel it inspired, I have come to realise that there are advantages to really breaking those rules…

The sentence at the top of this piece is taken from one of the opening chapters of my new novel ‘Beautiful Intelligence,’ which follows two teams of AI researchers in 2092 as they race to create the first sentient machine. For some reason the phrase fzzz-ed up brat has stayed with me, and become a symbol for a way of using made-up words to convey things.

What does that phrase mean t…

Belfast burning

A prologue to Inish Carraig eBook:

Shouts from the streets of Belfast curled up the Cave Hill, ebbing and flowing with the wind. The air smelt of burning vehicles, dense and oily, the fragrant scent of wood behind; the residents were burning anything they could get their hands on.

“Down there,” said Nugent, in a quiet voice, and Carter followed his gaze. On the hill below, shapes separated from the dark tree-line. Carter’s breath hung in the air like wisps of white dust. He tightened his fingers around his handgun. The figures’ armour glinted in the moonlight: Zelotyr. He counted the shapes – four – and glanced at the army captain. Nugent’s eyes, wide and panicked, met his.

“Retreat,” said Carter. It was the only option – the pack had been hunting them for an hour and they were quicker, determined and organised. He led the way into the shrubbery lining the side of the pathway, and scrambled through it until he reached the wall of the castle’s esta…