New #SciFi #Comedy

Free scifi novel DeadlineMake a great start to the new year with a fun, light-hearted science fiction novel, available for free on LitNet for a limited time only.

Being made redundant almost a billion kilometres from Earth was a bad way to start the week, and Blake Horton did not expect it to get any better.

This light-hearted sci-fi novel covers the misadventures of an out-of-work life support systems engineer on his way back to Earth and a reporter desperately in need of a scoop to save her career. He needs to get back before the reading of a will. She needs a breakthrough in her story before her time limit is up. With each other’s help getting back to Earth in time should be possible but life certainly isn’t about to make it that simple for them. An alien intruder, a rogue robot, space pirates and government agents are just some of the obstacles conspiring against them.

It will be moving to Amazon later on this year (where it will no longer be free), so read it now while you don’t have to pay for it and please leave a comment to let me know what you think!

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At last! #scifi #novel

Cover of Astronomicon: DeadlineSorry it’s taken over three years for my latest novel “Deadline” to see the light of day. As of today, it is available all over the world to download from Amazon (or at least all the places where Amazon is available).

It is a standalone novel, set firmly within the Astronomicon universe, but is probably my biggest departure in style so far. Most of my works to date have contained elements of humour, mostly within dialogue, but Deadline is different as the whole novel is written as a humorous, action adventure of a more farcical nature.

It follows two main characters who, for differing reasons, need to get back to Earth from Jupiter before a deadline. The problem is everything around them gets in the way. They never expected to face aliens, space pirates,  agents from a shadowy government organisation and a mystery intruder.

Download your copy from Amazon.

Progress Report: Deadline

Front cover design for Astronomicon DeadlineI suppose it’s ironic that Astronomicon: Deadline doesn’t actually have a deadline. It will, as they say, take as long as it takes. It’s always difficult to predict just how long a book will be before it’s written but, based on my planning and progress so far, I would estimate that it is now about one third complete. As the planning stage takes (very) roughly as long as the writing stage, for me anyway, that puts the project as a whole just past half way.

I am more nervous about this book that anything I’ve written previously. Writing humour is more of a challenge in several ways. First of all I don’t know for sure that everyone else will find the same things funny as I do. A humorous novel also requires several levels of humour. Obviously you need funny events spread fairly evenly throughout the novel, but you also need ongoing humorous themes, amusing characters and funny interactions which have been brewing for a while but not necessarily noticed by the reader until that punchline moment.

My aim is to make the reader smile repeatedly while reading, not to strive to make everyone laugh out loud. I suspect that requires much more experience than I have acquired yet. Trying to be too funny is clearly going to be a recipe for falling flat on my face and ruining the story. I suppose it’s a case of learning to walk before I try to run!

Even ignoring the humour element, I think the story is a winner, an adventure which draws the reader into the world of two people uncovering a secret against forces they didn’t even know existed. It’s primarily science fiction but with more than a touch of thriller mixed in. Deadline has a cast including some of my best characters yet, explores another exciting aspect of the Astronomicon universe and demonstrates more of the technological developments. I am really looking forward to getting this one published.