Interesting, around this time last year I was in Cornwall, writing Sherlock Holmes and the Beast of Bodmin. I'm off to Cornwall again soon where I will be writing another short story for another new anthology.
Anyone who has read my Ulysses Quicksilver Pax Britannia novels, and has even a basic knowledge of the literary adventures of Sherlock Holmes, will know that the latter in some part informed the former.
Coming out this summer is my first published Sherlock Holmes short story. It's called Sherlock Holmes and the Beast of Bodmin, and appears in Titan Books' Further Associates of Sherlock Holmes, edited by m'colleague George Mann.
The premise behind the anthology is that each story is told by one of Holmes' associates, in my case Sir Henry Baskerville, the poor put upon subject of the murder plot in The Hound of the Baskervilles (which is one of only four Sherlock Holmes novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle).
The following is taken from the book and explains why I chose Sir Henry to be the narrator of my tale.
In The Wicked Wizard of Ozyou take on the role of the one of the protagonists of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and undertake a new and perilous quest as you find yourself called upon to save the world once more.
Hunted by the Wicked Witch of the West's winged monkeys and joined by her friends – the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Lion – Dorothy sets off for the Emerald City. Surrounded by enemies on all sides, will you uncover the secrets of The Wicked Wizard of Oz? YOU decide which route to take, which perils to risk, and which of Oz’s strange denizens to fight. But be warned – whether you succeed in your quest or meet a dire end, somewhere over the rainbow, will be down to the choices YOU make.
Edited by Matthew Bright, this brand-new anthology of Egyptian-themed steampunk stories, will take you on adventures from the steam-powered souks of Cairo, to the clockwork bazaars of Alexandria and the shadowy mysteries of the pyramids.
The table of contents includes a brand new Ulysses Quicksilver Pax Britanniashort story, by Yours Truly, called Worthless Remains.
It must be clear to anyone who has read my Pax Britannia novels that Sherlock Holmes, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's works, have played their part in influencing the adventures of Ulysses Quicksilver. But it may surprise you to learn that, for all my work for other people's IPs, I have never written a Sherlock Holmes story. That is, until now.
Further Associates of Sherlock Holmes is the latest anthology of new Sherlock Holmes stories put together by George Mann for Titan Books. As well as my own, small contribution, the book includes stories by m'colleagues James Lovegrove, Sam Stone, and Andrew Lane.
The conceit that connects them all, is that they are all tales told by characters from the Sherlock Holmes canon, such as Inspector Lestrade, Mrs Hudson, and Professor Moriarty. Or, in my case, Sir Henry Baskerville...
According to the nice young man on the wireless - I believe the colloquial term is 'Disc Jockey' - today is World Goth Day. And they really couldn't have hoped for a nicer day for it, what with the weather here in London being what could only be described as Raj-like - and I'm not talking about the monsoon season either. Time to crack out the Factor 50, my pale and interesting friends.
Anyway, the DJ - who repeatedly pronounced 'Goth' as 'Goff' (it really was most irksome) - mentioned 'Steampunk' in the same sentence as 'Goth', and I know that those of a retro-futuristic persuasion have, on occasion, been referred to as 'Goths in Brown', so, I thought, what better time to plug my very own science romance novels - more commonly known as the Pax Britannia series - and the brand new Ulysses Quicksilver story that will be seeing the light of day - and let's hope it is a day as lovely as this one - before the end of the month.
According to Tor.com, my Ulysses Quicksilver Pax Britannia novels are: "a steampunk Scooby Doo with a Queen’s Agent instead of German shepherd, a cool-headed butler instead of Shaggy, and a kick-ass Rolls Royce called the Silver Phantom instead of the Mystery Mobile."
I quite like the analogy actually, apart from the fact that Scooby Doo is a Great Dane rather than an Alsatian.
Twopenny Press's inaugural anthology, Clockwork Cairo, edited by Matthew Bright will be released on 28th May 2017.
An anthology of Egyptian-themed steampunk stories, it will take you on adventures from the steam-powered souks of Cairo, to the clockwork bazaars of Alexandria and the shadowy mysteries of the pyramids.
The table of contents had been announced, which includes a brand new Pax Britanniashort story Worthless Remains.
The Curious Case of the Werewolf that Wasn't, the Mummy that Was, and the Cat in the Jar - Gail Carriger (A story in the Parasol Protectorate world) * The Angel of Khan el-Kalili - P. Djeli Clark * Mock the Midnight Bell - Sarah Caulfield * Worthless Remains - Jonathan Green (A Pax Britannia story) * The Lights of Dendera - Tiffany Trent * Ushabti - Zan Lee * Thermodynamics; and/or The Remittance Men - Chaz Brenchley * Lucky At Cards - David Barnett (A story in the Gideon Smith world) * Sun River - Nisi Shawl (A story in the Everfair world) * The Sun Shall Lie Across Us Like Gold - Benjanun Sriduankaew * The Word of Menamhotep - George Mann (A Newbury and Hobbes story) * Silver Linings - Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine (A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences story) * Antonia and Cleopatra - Matthew Bright * The Museum of Unlikely Occurrences - Rod Duncan * Jabari and the Giant - Christopher Parvin * To Kill A God - M.J. Lyons * The Infernal - Anne Jensen * Imhotep's Dog - John Moralee * But For The Pieces He Left Behind - E. Catherine Tobler * The Copper Scarab - K. Tempest Bradford
If you're in the area, why not stop by? The event will be taking place from 2:30pm - 3:45pm but I shall also be selling my wares on the day, include my Pax Britannia books, as well as my steampunk-inspired Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland.
Having marked the 10th anniversary of the Pax Britannia series on this blog yesterday, today I am delighted to announce that Ulysses Quicksilver returns for a one-off short story in Matthew Bright's Clockwork Cairo- an anthology of steampunk stories with an Egyptian connection - later this year.
One of the great things about the anthology is that each story comes with its own piece of artwork, and here's the title page illustration for my own story Worthless Remains.
I first pitched the idea for what would become Abaddon Books' Steampunk science fantasy series, when Jonathan Oliver - now Editor-in-Chief of Abaddon, Solaris and Ravenstone Books - put out the call for authors, but the kernel of the idea had been knocking around in my mind for years before that.
The oldest notes I can find that would be recognisable as the basic outline of what would become Unnatural History are dated 1990. (I wouldn't be published for the first time until 1993.) The dinosaurs in the Challenger Enclosure at Regent's Park Zoo get a mention, as does Queen Victoria being in a life support throne. There's even a line about bases on the Moon and Mars, but the protagonist is one Mandeville Sachs, Gentleman Adventurer, rather than Ulysses Quicksilver.
So although later today, I'll be raising a glass to Ulysses Quicksilver and toasting the Pax Britannia series as a whole, the idea is actually at least 27 years old, making it older than my writing career (which is 25 years old this July)!
And what's lovely is that people are still discovering the series for the first time and, I'm pleased to say, enjoying it. And who knows, maybe one day I'll get to bring Ulysses Quicksilver's story to a conclusion.