My Week of Writing

An extract from the work this week,  from Folio 55: 4659, currently at page 509, the chapter entitled “Numerals”, in which water is everywhere.

 


 

Behind me, I feel-see-share the efforts of Seraph to merge his large bulk, increased yet again by the amount of kit he is carrying, against the wall, even as Smith pushes Oh-Dee against the opposite side, clips the two of them together, and then unceremoniously shoves her through the gap. For a brief moment, our cloak loses her footing and the water almost takes her for a full immersion bath; then Smith’s arm saves the day, steadying her form and tucking it in behind the shadow cast by the big man. Clipping herself to him, she turns and clips herself to me, then taps my shoulder. Time for the fun to begin.

Carefully, I slide myself to the left side of the stalagmites, hands held flat against the wall; no sooner has my body entered the column than my muscles kick into overdrive as something resembling Thor’s hammer smashes onto my head, my shoulders, and starts trying to turn the rest of me into a thin sheet of meat paste. This is not going to be easy.

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If you like this excerpt then start the journey at the beginning, with End of a Girl, book 1 in the Folio 55 series. Click here to buy it on Amazon.

 

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Review: Slabscape Dammit by S.Spencer Baker

More of the same from S.Spencer Baker as I returned to the Slab to continue the adventures of Louie, Kiki, & Dielle, all under the auspices of the seemingly omnipotent but, as she/he/it self-declares “I seem to be doing a great impression of a sieve” guardianship of SIS.

Quick to read, a bit of scifi froth, but the enjoyable froth that you get on top of your cappuccino – you know – the mass of bubbles laden with melted chocolate: Mr Baker writes in an engaging style, crafting storylines around the real treasure of the Slabscape – its generated Universe. His development and manipulation of science and culture is a lot of fun but never ventures into the absurd, providing a desire to travel along with his cogitations and imaginings rather than railing against them.

With Dammit, the tale steps beyond the self-contained lump of diamond nanotubes to involve more external mysteries: in this I was excited but ultimately disappointed  by the lack of depth in the development of this area.

My main gripe of the first book returns with this second outing: namely the laddish humour throughout. I understand what he is trying to do but it often comes across as needless and occasionally borders on the crass. A more acerbic application of the giggle stick might help to enhance the experience.

In conclusion, I enjoyed as much as the first but think it could be so much better; indeed I was disappointed when, upon trying to find the third novel, I found that it has not yet been published. As a writer myself, I understand the years of effort it takes to write, especially when working full time: I look forwards to reading it in the future.

 

 

 

 

Review: Slabscape Reset by S.Spencer Baker

Precis: enjoyable enough for me to buy the second installment.

I bought this book on the recommendation of a friend who compared it to one of my all time favourite authors: Iain M. Banks. Having finished it, I think I may need to return to my friend and ask him if he meant the Iain M. Banks, literary giant, or Iain M.Banks, the bloke he knows who works down the local Aldi?  If the two authors share 95% of their DNA I’d be shocked.

Nevertheless,  I have to report mainly positive observations on my first foray through the Slabscape. A well rounded backstory, a plot that moves, and mainly interesting characters are embedded in the author’s primary talent, that of creating a fascinating, intriguing, and richly detailed world. I enjoyed immensely his creations, his explanations, and his descriptions: he has evidently thought long and hard about the universe, and indeed there appears to be an online repository somewhere that offers an encyclopedia, something I have also instigated with my Folio 55 series (the Folion).

My only criticism is the humour. I enjoy a laugh as much as the next person but sometimes I felt the words were trying almost too hard, verging on the laddish. I have ascribed this to the immature nature of the primary character, who after all is only seven days old but it did jar as I passed through the chapters.

Not enough to make me dislike the tale though: I will be buying the next in the series.

 

Review: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

I am a massive Pullman fan: I find his style easy to read and engaging, his observations effortless and well-painted, and his structure well paced and connected. I read the Dark Materials trilogy in two weeks and was blown away by it on almost every level.

So when I heard the Book of Dust project was about to give birth, my excitement-ometer was threatening to do a Spinal Tap.

Having just read that first sibling, I find myself feeling guilty at harbouring a slight disappointment.

Don’t get me wrong: it looked, smelled, and tasted like a classic Pullman; almost as if I was pulling on a favourite fleece or reaching the summit of an well visited mountain to gaze down at familiar places. Well drawn characters, good explanations, fast-paced in the development of the plot.

I guess the problem was that not much seemed to happen.

Of course that isn’t true, but then against what happened in each of the original three, it is more than true.  I wanted a greater adventure: more on the witches, more on Oakley Street, more on the Gyptians, more on Mrs Coulter, more on Asriel, more on … well more on everything.

So slightly disappointed but I still enjoyed it and cannot wait for the next installment … and the BBC adaptation.

 

 

 

 

My Week of Writing

An extract from the work this week,  from Folio 55: 4659, currently at page 502, the chapter entitled “Snakes”, in which a gift is explained.


An epiphany moment for me, a shudder almost strumming my spine so strong did it come into being. I’d been on my own for so long: always looking out for number one; relationships as disposable as my hairstyles; responsible only for my own safety; cold, damp squats and colder hearts; no roots but the ones I had to dye every few months. Did I really want to return to that place, to being that person?

And even more selfish, perhaps some sort of answer, finally, to what had happened to me that night down by the river: my deepest secret; my darkest terror A warm May; huge moon in the sky; air full of the smell of mystery blossoms from the trees crowding the trail: my runaway place after yet another of my mother’s boyfriends had decided the contents of a twelve year old girl’s pants were fair game; this one leaving bruises, scratches, blood, and more.

Dragging myself free after he’d spent himself, his consciousness off for a wander with the poppies and the dragons; I’d resisted the urge to stick a knife into his throat. Slipping downstairs and resisting the same urge, this time the  throat that of my smacked out guardian, her deteriorated body crumpled in selfish ruin on the sofa. A guardian in child benefit name only; my closest and most painful of betrayers.

Stepping out into the night; making my way to that other private place: the one untainted, unknown, unconquerable by those that could hurt me. Becoming so quiet, so chilled, so mellow after I’d thrown out all of my tears, screamed out all of my rage: Nothing left, an empty shell purged of pain I’d almost felt myself float clear of the mundane, drifting into the embrace of Arianrhod herself.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

If you like this excerpt then start the journey at the beginning, with End of a Girl, book 1 in the Folio 55 series. Click here to buy it on Amazon.

Free Kindle Book promotion

Looking for something different?

This Saturday only, October 21st , why not download a gratis copy of End of a Girl, the first book in the Folio 55 series. Enjoy the beginnings of an epic adventure with three Cumbrian girls desperate to escape the backwater Lake District town of Egremont. Told by a narrator ten years in the future, as humanity teeters on the brink of an undefined apocalypse, walk hand in hand with Molly, Beth, and Hannah as their lives tell the story of the one called “Our Lady”.

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Click here to download your free kindle ebook and start the journey!