Saturday, July 22, 2006

Flames of Herakleitos

My full length SF/SFF novel 'Flames of Herakleitos' is still managing to hold first place in the SF genre on the Youwriteon site:

which is sponsored by The Arts Council of England.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a mention of it on another blogsite where it received a favourable critique.


The story synopsis:

What if you were a four-year-old child who in 1969 witnessed her father die through Spontaneous Human Combustion?

Imagine if you knew the reason behind SHC but could not explain it.

What if you then lived in fear of it happening to you for over thirty years, until one day, it almost does?

How would you feel if you finally realised that your father's death, even though was due to SHC, was engineered by a creature from a parallel world, and he was not the only one?

If you were given the opportunity to visit that world and seek revenge, would you go?

All these questions Lucy Fenton must resolve in my novel:

‘Flames of Herakleitos’

It’s 1969 and a four year old girl witnesses the terrifying death of her father, which is contributed to Spontaneous Human Combustion. The child is unable to explain what she saw, and shortly after the incident, whilst in hospital, almost suffers the same fate as her father when she is attacked by an unknown entity. But she survives.

Thirty years pass, Lucy Fenton, has grown into a writer of horror stories and is the star of their film versions. She is haunted by the morbid feeling that the entity has not yet finished with her. It turns out she is correct and once again it visits her. This time, however, she manages to not only fight it off but pursue it. It does not lead her to anywhere that she knows. In fact it isn’t even the same world, but a parallel one where everything she has ever known is turned on its head.

Manipulation of matter by an elite caste of mages turns clay into golems. However, these creatures need something extra to animate them; the extra ingredient is a soul, or the life-force of a human being. Her attacker is a master mage, an elite of elites, who has discovered that although souls from his own version of Earth are adequate for his needs, the souls from a parallel Earth are far far superior. Through a discovery he made thirty years previously he managed to reap souls from our dimension and the golems he put them into were exceptional. However, the price paid by the people he steals from is high, they burn to death. At the time of one reaping, he was seen and somehow became linked to the witness (Lucy). On returning to try to reap her soul, he was almost destroyed himself. Unable to re-establish a connection with the other plane for thirty years, the time finally arrives when old debts can be paid, and he seeks her out. However, she is no longer a frightened child but a young woman who has trained hard for the moment of his return.

In an alternative Britain where the old monarchy has been overthrown by mages, and a corrupt senate rules the people with an iron hand, Lucy Fenton seeks vengeance for her father’s murder. Befriending a young thief who wants to be a mage, and an old mule-skinner who was once a ‘King’s man’, she hunts the mage down and finds that she will need all of her training to just stay alive. He is more powerful than she imagined and not alone. He has trained a young man in the dark arts who promises to be just as powerful.

When Lucy realizes that perhaps she has bitten off more than she can chew, with the boy’s help, she attempts to return home. It ends up in calamity and she inadvertently draws another into the parallel world, her boyfriend. Gradually the band of friends grows, and once again, they decide to confront the mages by appealing to the senate.

In the background to the main story is a hierarchal battle within the senate for power, which the group of friends are dragged into. It culminates in a showdown between the mages, senate and Lucy and company.

Finally Lucy has her chance for revenge, only to confront the golem in which her father’s soul is imprisoned and she has to decide whether to destroy it or not.

Will she and her rag-tag group of followers succeed?

Read – Flames of Herakleitos - and find out.

The story is approximately 110,000 words long and has also received favourable remarks from:

Phil Whitaker:

Rebecca Devereux: Pollinger Agent

Neal Asher: SF Author

Now, all I need is a publisher!

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