Sunday, July 30, 2006

Found an old Spectrum Adventure I wrote, still online!

Imagine my surprise to find an old Spectrum game that I wrote in 1985 still available on the internet!
It's called Rogue Comet and was the second of three graphic adventures I wrote for the Spectrum and the C64. Comet was also available through Micronet800 (Prestel) anyone remember that? The UK for-runner of the internet.

A few years after releasing my game Spielberg came up with a game called The Dig, which involved a space shuttle landing on a rogue asteroid with the intention of blowing it up before it collided with Earth. However, upon landing on it they find it is actually hollow and is in fact a space-ship... hmm... now where did I hear that before?

If you are bored out of your skull and fancy a go then the game is here, run through an emulator. Your java needs to be working for it though:

Click Here For Rogue Comet

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Screaming Dreams

A SF/SFF/Horror site well worth a visit is owned and designed by
Steve Upham the site offers some great graphics, stories and of course their free Ezine

Which you can download for free here in Adobe PDF file:

This is issue three, issue four will hopefully be out shortly and in issue five my SF/Short
The bringing of The Word
will be featured!

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!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Sunset over Loughor

Here's a view over the Loughor Estuary, where I live.

Steeped in history, it was, and still is a main crossing over the river.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

TTA Forum under spam attack

The long running and well known TTA forum, frequented by many science fiction and fantasy fans has had to close down due to a virulent spam attack.

Whilst the forum is going through an upgrade, which includes spam-seeking nanotech mines and FTL crust-buster missiles, they have opened a blog here:

For those of us suffering from withdrawal symptoms :)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Pot Noodle Rant!

Warning! Rant notification!

This I suppose could come under the heading of 'rant' even though I am not speaking or writing in an angry or violent manner, which I consider the word to mean, but for want of a better word, then rant will have to do. The thing that's got my goat up, got me rabbiting on, cheesed off and all the other idiomatic phrases that could be applied is: Pot Noodle (or rather, the advertising campaign they are currently using). I'm not normally one to smart at the piss being taken out of the Welsh, I do it myself quite often, and I'm a Welshman. But the Pot Noodle ad campaign, using the now defunct Welsh Mining Industry as its flagship sits uncomfortably with me for some reason. I see its funny side but somehow it grates on me more than makes me smile. The Gary Lineker and Charlotte Church ad where she's eating crisps and calls him a muppet doesn't have the same effect on me for example, yet that too, in a way is taking the piss out of the Welsh, however, it seems less offensive that the Pot Noodle one and I can chuckle at it. I tried to look at it rationally, especially when seeing that other people have said things like:-

"To say the advert is racist is ludicrous given the snacks are made in Wales and
our staff are delighted to be in it." (spokesman for Unilever)
Hmm.. would they dare say otherwise?

"The joke isn't on the Welsh, but on people who'd think noodles are mined in
Wales. It's the same as people thinking haggis are Scottish animals."
Lembit Opik Shadow Welsh Sec for Lib Dems.

Would it be PC if it was showing an Indian gentleman named Singh ploughing fields of chapati plants or a Chinese lady collecting spring rolls from a tree? I'm sure more would be said if another ethnic race had been targetted by their campaign, and another thing, for all of us living in Britain, how do you feel about the idea that we are 'fuelled' by this stuff made of dehydrated
vegetables, textured soya protein and preservatives?

I'd much prefer a good bowl of cawl, wouldn't an Englishman prefer a hot plate of roast beef, a Scots his venison stew, an Irishman his Colcannon? I wonder if Unilever deliberatley look
for the sort of advert that runs close to the wind and invites protests so that a large amount of their advertising becomes self generating. Look at their previous Pot Noodle ones, the ones
that could easily have been mistaken for sex adverts:

"Pot Noodle - The Slag of all Snacks". "Bombay Bad Boy" flavoured Pot Noodle by a dominatrix, with the tag line "Hurt Me, You Slag!"

Then the 'horn' ones which were just as vulgar.

Perhaps the thing that saddens me the most is the vision of former miners participating in this campaign, after all that the Welsh Mining Industry went through in the 80s/90s to desperatley stay open and viable.

An industry that can trace its roots back to The Bronze Age, cut open and ruined in the 90s and had the crude plastic fork of mediocrity given its final twist in its innards in 2006.

Food for thought, isn't it?

ASA complaints page, should you feel inclined:

Rant over...