Monday 19 September 2016

You Will Believe A Sausage Can Fly...

Coming soon to a Kindle near you...
My superhero fairy tale adaptation Of Mice And Men And Sausages is now available to pre-order at just £0.99 / $0.99, ahead of its release on December 15th.

Corwin City needs a hero. Unfortunately, it's spoiled for choice. 

Raptor yearns to be the winged hero that Corwin City needs, to rise above the narcissistic body builders, lycra fetishists and weird science experiments who claim to fight for justice. 

Teaming up with super-strong rodent hybrid Musculus, and the frail telepath Saumagen seems like a great way to bring order to a desperate city. But though their powers complement each other perfectly, perhaps their values aren't quite aligned...

This 13,000 word modern retelling of classic Grimm fairytale The Mouse, The Bird, And The Sausage is full of superhero action, but can it really lead to a happy ever after?

Superheroes and fairy tales gel nicely, and having tested the concept with the most obscure folk story you could think of (the original is barely 300 words long), I will be returning to Corwin City with a sequel, focusing on a more widely-known Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale.

Thanks to illustrator Gina Allnatt for a cracking cover image!

Of Mice And Men And Sausages (The Lifehack Heroes Book 1)

Friday 2 September 2016

Long ago in an English Kindle.

Dead good book
I was on a Virgin Train the other day, and managed to get a seat. In fact the train was nearly empty, which didn't stop just about everyone I saw from making some sort of joke at Jeremy Corbyn or Richard Branson's expense. What a tiresome non-story.

So to flee from the non-story, I read a real story, on my Kindle. Neat segue, right? Paul Cornell's novella Witches of Lychford is a great little book. The small village of Lychford, deep in the English countryside, is divided over the arrival of a new supermarket. Local ladies Judith, Lizzie and Autumn, each with a very different outlook on life, band together to protect their community from both corporate intrusion and... something more.

Paul Cornell has been writing stories about strange goings-on in English villages since the early 90s, when he parked Cheldon Boniface's parish church on the moon during Timewyrm: Revelation. He's created more Anglican vicars than your average bishop. So while he's doing great work with his Severed Streets series, the countryside feels like his natural habitat.

As Judith draws estranged friends Lizzie and Autumn into new worlds, the atmosphere is subdued and wonderfully evocative as Cornell lines up a cast of characters who are fundamentally decent people, brought down by life's burdens. Bereavement, the strain of caring for elderly relatives, the trauma of an abusive relationship. Only one character is entirely beyond redemption here.

Witches of Lychford was published in 2015, almost exactly a year ago. That's the state of my reading list right now. But reading it in post-EU Referendum Britain is to add an almost painful note of contemporary relevance to the book. Images of a society divided against itself, with evil forces seeking to sway a public vote through lies about jobs and economic prosperity... well, it resonates pretty damn hard, I can tell you.