I just saw The Last Jedi, on my own, because childcare, and it was really good, which you all know. And then I went to WH Smiths to get a copy of SFX after having been tipped off about the review of INVADERS FROM BEYOND, which includes my novella, BLIGHTERS, and it really is a very positive review, and then I went to Waterstones and there was the book itself on the shelf a few down from Mark Morris’s terrific NEW FEARS anthology and Adam Roberts’s amazing HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION. And then I felt quite shaky about having an actual book in a proper bookshop, too shaky to even think about using my Christmas book tokens, but not so shaky I had to eat at Subway, so here I am on a park bench eating a chicken caesar wrap and another sandwich and I think I’m alright now. Happy New Year everyone!
INVADERS FROM BEYOND is available *right now*. It’s a lovely, hefty omnibus that contains my novella, BLIGHTERS, alongside MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN CENTRE OF GOOD AND EVIL by Colin Sinclair and RAGS, BONES AND TEA LEAVES by Julian Benson.
Here’s the blurb for BLIGHTERS:
Them Blighters are everywhere.
They fell out of the sky last year, great horrible armour-plated slugs with razor-sharp fangs. But ugly as they are, they give the ultimate high to anyone nearby: a blissful, gleeful contentment that people are willing to kill for.
Not Becky Stone, though. All she wants is to drink beer, listen to her dad’s old vinyl, and get her life back to how it was before everything was all messed up.
Blighters? Frankly, she could do without them.
To celebrate its publication, I’ve written a guest blog post, which appeared today on the Sci-Fi Bulletin website. It’s titled ‘So, there are these giant alien slugs: The ‘elevator pitch’ as a writing tool’.
Alongside some writing advice, it includes a description of my pitch to Abaddon’s David Thomas Moore at my very first FantasyCon in 2015.
I’m pleased to announce that my novella, BLIGHTERS, will be released in print by Abaddon in November, as part of an omnibus of three novellas under the umbrella title INVADERS FROM BEYOND.
BLIGHTERS is about giant slugs that have mysteriously landed around the world, which provide anybody nearby with an intense sense of calm and contentment. Becky Stone, a disaffected, snarky twenty-something from Kendal in Cumbria, gets drawn into the search for Blighters for all the wrong reasons. It’s also sort of a murder mystery.
Finally, here’s the impressive cover – I’m particularly chuffed that the bottom quote is taken from the lovely Ginger Nuts of Horror review of BLIGHTERS from last year, when it was released as a standalone ebook.
Little-known fact: all of my published long fiction began life as either short stories (Blighters / You Don’t Belong Here) or as an entirely different novel (Carus & Mitch).
My guest blog post, in which I advise never to discard any of your writing, is up now at The Writers’ Greenhouse.
My short piece about John Wyndham’s THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS and its influence on my novella, BLIGHTERS, is up now on the Ginger Nuts of Horror site.
Here’s a quick round-up of reviews so far for Blighters…
Ginger Nuts of Horror – “Blighters is an effortlessly readable book sprinkled with subtlety and insight, humour and honesty, and was a very pleasant surprise. It is everything that I was not expecting a book about giant space-slugs to be, and is so much better for it. Gorehounds and schlockfiends steer clear – this is strongly recommended for fans of original and uniquely weird fiction.”
Horror After Dark – “This was a fun, meaty novella that was a creature feature, but SO much more. Highly recommended-especially to fans of the old Sci-Fi/Fantasy stories and magazines!”
And, for the sake of completion, a brief ‘Look out for…’ piece from This Is Horror – “Major is a talent to watch on the British horror scene, so check out Blighters soon.”
I’ll add more as they appear…