She be Damned by M.J. Tjia
An aristocratic, Victorian, female sleuth? Or someone with something to hide, resented by those in the upper echelons of society? Or someone openly displaying a way of life that is, well, not quite up to the – perhaps hypocritical – standards of the suppressive, gentrified class to which she aspires?
For us all, the different halves of our life, past and present, work and home are normally separate. Sometimes, however, they interfere with other and even overlap, as is the situation with Heloise Chancey in She be Damned, for her former existence amongst the less savoury slums of Victorian London becomes the subject of an investigation.
I’ve recently written a new serial and an accompanying short in preparation for Warlord Games’ new supplement, The Chryseis Shard. Once more, the series involves Batu and Baray, both key characters in The Chryseis Shard, and introduces readers to some of the capabilities of Batu’s annoying nano drone – now a sort of personal daemon.
All parts of the serial and the Chryseis prequel are now available on the Warlord website. I sincerely hope you enjoy reading this development in a small part of the Antares universe.
- Plaguespore Part I – Batu is ordered to investigate the disturbing disappearance of a Concord colony
- Plaguespore Part II – Further details are uncovered of a devastating new threat to the Concord: the Plaguespore
- Plaguespore Part III – Batu and Baray uncover some sinister truths about the Plaguespore and suspect a military mind is behind it all
- Plaguespore Part IV – The pair interrogate the colony survivors and travel to the surface to investigate
- Plaguespore Part V – The plaguespoe attacks and Batu’s Shamasai Shard is forced to respond
- A Heads Up – After being kdinapped by the Isorians – and escaping – Batu is forced into exile but he and Baray are contacted by a NuHu Mandarin over an uncomfortable turn of events in the Chryseis system. A meeting is arranged…
The Teacher’s Secret by Susanne Leal
We all know what evil in schools looks like, right? There’s huge amounts of coverage in the press. So the tag for this is ‘Acclaimed Aussie novel exploring good & evil in schools’. Right. We know what it’s about; we’re led there.
Except that’s not quite true. It’s probably better to say that Secret ‘explores life, petty bureaucracy and its associated nastiness in an around a fired, male teacher at a school in a small community’. It’s a mix of a number of stories put together, each a tale of an individual in a small town and the link between them all being the school – whether their children attend, whether they’re a teacher/janitor or whether they’re linked to it in some way.
Blame by Paul Read
The sudden death of his father forces a reformed addict to come to terms with long-held resentment.
It’s worth mentioning that the subject matter is not one that holds my attention – in some ways, perhaps, it’s too close to the bone, and perhaps the flood of misery memoirs in recent years has deadened the market for otherwise well-written books like Blame. Yet the subject matter is important and an integreal part of life: a brilliant research chemist makes his own drugs (Breaking Bad), reforms and builds a life away from family (Street Cat) whilst dealing with a problematic mother and father (Curious Incident). And there’s a childhood diary, a possible love triangle, misundertanding of betrayal…
Lately, I’ve been thinking about ideas and how they link into imagination and, ultimately, into the process we call ‘creativity’. It was kicked off when I bumped into an acquaintance who claimed that they had no (or few) ideas compared to others.
It’s a common question for writers: ‘Where do your ideas come from?’ The answer is, almost always, ‘Everywhere and anything’. In fact, it’s difficult to stop having ideas and the real problem is being able to focus on one (or a few) to turn them into a coherent work. There si just so much around us: all you have to do is look, touch, listen, taste… and wonder.
So what happens? Even if we struggle, we all read about where ‘ideas’ come from, how they arise, and how to feed them, but what are the processes around them? How can we have more ideas? How can we turn those ideas into something tangible?
I’ve started another book this year, this time YA, but still SF. One of the things that stuck in my mind from last years helping out with the Summer Reading Challenge is just how much some of the younger readers loved the books they read – and what it was they liked about them.
It would be great, I hoped, if I could inspire that joy through a book.