Words and pictures

Last updated Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Here is a brief summary of my novels in progress, and a few paintings ...

A Million Miles From Anywhere

In the far future, life is safe and secure on a vast ring world circling the sun. Civilisation is held together by flawless technology and a fleet of space-going transports criss-crossing the Ring under the guidance of their pilots. A teenage girl has gained her pilot's licence and is making a sightseeing pass through a spectacular wilderness in an uninhabited segment of the Ring when the unthinkable happens: the craft's systems are crippled by a mysterious virus, and it crashes on a desolate plateau. As days pass and the expected rescue fails to materialise, the survivors realise they are on their own. Facing starvation on the plateau, they strike out on an impossible hike - a million miles to the nearest charted habitation.

Status: First draft - on the shelf
Word count: 76,000 - and counting!

This is the first novel I attempted to write, and the first piece of creative writing I dared show to anyone else. I enjoyed it, and had some remarkably kind critiques, but I realised I needed to develop my storytelling skills before I could finish it. It suffers from substantial bloat (at 76,000 words it is probably only half to two-thirds finished) and insufficient conflict. Basically I'm being far too nice to my characters.

Ghosts of Innocence

Shayla Carver, a deadly assassin, is on a personal quest to exact revenge on a corrupt and authoritarian regime for the destruction of her home world. Working deep undercover, she is within reach of her goal. But as she unleashes the final stage of her plan, enlisting the destructive power of the administration's own fleet, she realises that she can no longer ignore what she'd glibly dismissed as "collateral damage" ... an entire planet of two billion people.

Status: Published
Word count: 100,000

This is the first novel I finished writing. This one was easy to finish because it was such fun to write. After critiques and revisions I put this out to query. Many rejections and a few partials later, I decided that life is too short to play games with the traditional publishing industry and it is now published independently.

The Ashes of Home

Shayla Carver, master assassin turned planetary governor, just wants to put her murderous past behind her, but the many enemies she made in her former life have other ideas. As Shayla struggles to prepare her fledgling colony for a critical Imperial inspection, one of these enemies poisons the inspection team, high-ranking servants appointed by the Emperor himself, and frames Shayla. Summoned to the Imperial home planet to account for the incident, unseen forces gather to ensure she never completes the journey.

Status: First draft - on the shelf
Word count: 8,000 out of an estimated 90,000

Sequel to Ghosts of Innocence.

Tiamat's Nest

Late twenty-first century Earth is ravaged by runaway climate change. Technological society hangs on by use of advanced computing power to forecast the lethal storms sweeping the globe, to manage industry and transportation, and to plan agriculture in the brief and erratic growing seasons. Professor Charles Hawthorne tries to understand the political and social inertia that allowed the catastrophe to occur. His computer models show that disaster was avoidable. His investigations uncover a malignant intelligence lurking at the heart of the global computer network, an intelligence that manipulated history to its own ends and which is still driving humanity towards a future that is good for the machine intelligence but where human beings are entirely expendable.

Status: Revising
Word count 75,000

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