Gun Law

Added another extract: Gun Law, which is set in a post-apocalyptic Crimea.

Guide is set in a post apocalypse Earth (think Cormac McCarthy’s The Road). The most important thing is that the French control everything. Highly irritating as that might be to Anglophiles, that isn’t where the problems end. In this future the West has fallen and most of mankind has been reduced to the level of sub-human brutes.


Blog Facelift


I’ve just given this blog a facelift including a new WordPress theme and content changes. It’s now using the Libre theme which gives the main pages a cleaner appearance. I’ve taken the opportunity to give the following pages a more prominent position, making them easier to get to:

About (front page)


Book (what this site’s all about)

Editions (where Guide can be got)

Excerpts (readings and extracts)

Resources (where legacy content is at)


For a limited period of time the Kindle price of A Guide to First Contact will be reduced.

Other useful info

DNA Can Survive Re-entry Into The Atmospere

“DNA can survive re-entry into the atmosphere, raising the possibility of extraterrestrial life molecules arriving on Earth from space, research has shown.
The discovery came as a total surprise to scientists”
The Daily Telegraph 27, November 2014

This was discovered by a mission launched from the European Space Centre at Esrange in Northern Sweden; the TEXUS 49 mission. A ‘total surprise’ is overcooking things. Still, events have conspired to prove / disprove the hypothesis and we have a result. Space Daily (your portal to space) is somewhat less sensational: DNA may survive suborbital spaceflight, re-entry according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Cora Thiel and Oliver Ullrich from University of Zurich and colleagues. See their article here.
The TEXUS 49 rocket mission was March 2011, nearly  four years back.
ref: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018754

The idea of outer space biological contamination has been in the SF domain for years and in one form or another, it continues to fascinate writers. James White’s Sector General series (a hospital lab in space dealing with human and non-human disease) anticipates the mechanics of managing this. James White wrote his 12 ‘Hospital in Space’ themed books between 1957 and 1999.

Hospital Station by James White
Hospital Station by James White (part of Sector General)

The very first SF book I read Invader from Space (1963) by Patrick Moore had alien microbes as a theme

Dust jacket to Patrick Moore: Invader from Space
as did Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain (1969). In War of the Worlds (1897), H.G. Wells turns this on its head; alien invaders are defeated by Earthly bugs.

In Andre Norton’s works, plague space-ships are a must-avoid. Harry Harrison did Spaceship Medic (1970) – I confess to not having read it. The opening paragraphs of The Boosted Man (1974), see Tully Zetford’s anti-hero, Ryder Hook, escape a frenzied mob, desperate to flee a planet infected with alien disease. Tully Zetford was also know as Kenneth Bulner.

Hook: The Boosted Man by Tully Zetford (aka Ken Bulmer)
Hook The Boosted Man by Tully Zetford (aka Ken Bulmer)

At a macro level, this is what Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s The Mote in God’s Eye (1974) deals with – an alien race that expands aggressively to fit the available space, at a high level is similar to fungus in a petri-dish, growing on a damp slice of bread. We all did that experiment in school. There are other variations on this, for example the energy forms in Peter F Hamilton’s The Reality Dysfunction.

Alien bugs coming to Earth is one of the ideas I explored in Guide (plus mutations, energy forms…)

Watch out – thoughts on self promotion!

Yesterday was the last day of my first Kindle promotion. It’s also the day I helped put up Halloween decorations. Of the two, the latter gave more pleasure. It’s not that the former isn’t of value – if you don’t do the work, no-one reads your stuff and you get no feedback.
Let’s get a couple of things straight. The reward for writing can be more than money. Your stuff can be more than a makeover of last year’s fad. Write it right and you open up your thinking to readers, show them different points of view.

Kitten - subsequently named Barbara Streisand (My preference was Napoleon)
Kitten – subsequently named Barbara Streisand (never mind I preferred Napoleon)

We are all strangers, looking across the river of life at others. Seeing difference, seeing something new and maybe interesting. Why a river? Because life builds a unique perspective for each of us. Along the way, we meet, make friends, lose friends, drifting from one set of circumstances to another. Sure, we go for the group think and embrace (or reject) social norms; but underneath, we are born strangers and often as not, die alone.
When you connect with someone, you share. They tell you enough that you see the world through their eyes. What you see is usually different.
If it isn’t you’re in trouble; like as not you’re…

a Replicant… on the run.

Watch out – a Blade Runner

is coming 

Writers inhabit a rarefied atmosphere. They share their visions with others through the power of words. In creating a world they open up an entire universe. The author breathes life into his characters, each with a different take on that world. The act of creation interests me. Selling that vision – like a C19th barrow boy hawking his wares to passers-by – seems crass. But that’s how things are.

Pitching blurb isn’t the moral high ground; I want normality. This means returning to my take on Andre Norton and Phil Dick – The P’Nong – and cranking out the words. And later, weighing up what to do next on other WIP’s.


Science Fiction
· Joe and the Xenophids 4k
· The Adventures of Matter Grabba 5k
· Lucky 21k
· The P’Nong 13k

· Brant, a Fantasy 22k
· A Sending 6k

· The Central Sea 9k

· Alibi 8k
· Without Question 7k
· Harjazes 9k
That’s a lot of loose ends. They’re actually enticements; developed to a state where a publisher can take a view. What view? That’s a publisher’s prerogative. ¹

¹ I’m an accountant; I do big number analysis and market segmentation for a living. I really do get the business angle.


Brent has a problem. He doesn’t fit. The woman he fancies heads up a research team. They’re busy looking into genetics; the history of man. But the story doesn’t start there; it begins long, long ago; in the Late Pleistocene; just when aliens were planning the next phase in Earth’s development.
Back in the present day, Brent’s long-time buddy, Watcher, bails him out again. Brent’s got a degree in haplessness – from the College of Life. The thing is, Watcher’s into stuff like conspiracies. Be careful Brent or you’ll be sucked in and when you’re spat out, you’ll be hung out to dry.
Forty years later, the West has collapsed and the apocalypse is in full swing. What happened? Earth was contacted by aliens triggering a rapture effect. No one has worked out what to do with the undying flesh of the undead. Xenogens – genetic plagues in all but name – are currently raging out of control. Catch one and you degenerate into a dangerous, sub-human brute. Most cities are abandoned as unsafe; they’re known as former urban areas. The problem with dangerous, sub-human brutes is they’re xenogen carriers. Former Urban Area One (former New York) is crawling with them. Triste prowls its streets. There’s always work for a mercenary
Watch out Triste; something wicked is coming.
The thing is, heroes never listen. Triste meets Shoe. Shoe’s on the run. They stumble upon an abandoned research lab. They find old records – of life before the apocalypse; but will they work out what went wrong? Do they want to? Shoe has got dark secrets; she knows more about xenogens than she lets on. There are other things she can’t tell Triste.
Hot alien women, philosophical musing and a universe with Lovecraftian themes are added for ballast. This is my first novel.