The Cloud Loom published with Fairlight Books

Fairlight ShortsHappy Monday readers! Those of you who keep up with me on Facebook and Twitter will know that last week I had a piece of flash fiction called The Cloud Loom published on the Fairlight Books website. I am completely thrilled that the lovely short story editor Urska took on not one but two of my stories, and am really grateful for her keen editing eye and enthusiasm.

Check out the site for the full story! And if you like it IRL, how about giving it a like digitally too? Likes, shares and general story chat online really help boost a story’s readership, and I would be very grateful indeed for your support.

‘Promise of Blood’ by Brian McClellan

PromiseOfBlood_FINAL_RPI’ve been doing some work experience in the Publicity department at Little, Brown recently, helping out particularly with their science fiction and fantasy imprint Orbit.  I cannot express how happy being this close to so many SFF books makes me, and how much I don’t care that aside from travel and lunch, I am being paid in books.  I become more convinced by the day that living on books is a perfectly feasible plan.  I can eat dust-covers right?

Anyway, I digress: I have been reading Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan in light of the upcoming release of its sequel The Crimson Campaign on the 6th May, a delay from its original release date.  The first instalment of The Powder Mage trilogy, Promise of Blood is the beginning of a fantasy epic about gods, kings, mages and, of course, gunpowder.   The book opens with a bloody coup, undertaken by Field Marshall Tamas, in which every dying member of the Royal Cabal utters the sentence,”You can’t break Kresimir’s Promise.”  What does this mean? Continue reading ‘Promise of Blood’ by Brian McClellan

‘The Death of Grass’ by John Christopher

I have a bizarre fascination with visions of the apocalypse. From the twisted tales which came out of Byzantium in 600 AD, to the terrifyingly gripping World War Z. Today, I am The Death of Grass by John Christophergoing to sing the praises of an often overlooked, and by many unheard of, book: The Death of Grass by John Christopher.

I should say from the start that John Christopher is not the author’s real name. His real name was Sam Youd but he used a pen-name for his fantasy/sci-fi work, in order that his ‘serious work’ might not be tainted. Whatever my personal thoughts on this practice, his writing in The Death of Grass is at once astute, concise and enthralling.

Set in 1950s/60s England, The Death of Grass is part of the ‘floral apocalypse’ phenomenon which began in the late ’40s with books like Ward Moore’s Greener Than You Think. In Christopher’s work, the semi-apocalypse is brought about by a virus affecting all the grass families. That’s lawn, prairie, cereals – in short, as one of of my more cunning friends studying biology said – ‘We’d be f*cked if that actually happened.’ Continue reading ‘The Death of Grass’ by John Christopher