A Modern Science Fiction Epic

The Genesis Project by Barry E Woodham

Science fiction in the classic style by a new master of the genre!

The Genesis Project leads us out into Space, seeding Humanity far and wide, working against the time of the final demise of Earth’s Sun.  Of course, nothing is ever simple or straightforward.  Whatever options may be pursued to save our species, there is always an element of danger.  But who amongst those that sent Humanity out into the unknown could have predicted the future as it was to become.  Discover, then, the truth of Humanity’s future history – and the second chance of a species!  Rest assured, there will be perils to overcome if Humanity is to survive – and prosper…

The Genesis Project in eBook and paperback

Book 1 – Genesis 2
Book 2 – Genesis Debt
Book 3 – Genesis Weapon..
Book 4 – Genesis Search
Book 5 – Genesis 3 : A New Beginning


Other tales from Barry E Woodham

The Elf-war & Molock’s Wand (self-published)
Star-Seed – (Work in progress)
Tales of the Ferryman — 1 – 15
Ghost stories


Bio

Barry Woodham spent his working life as a design engineer/draughtsman on the nuclear fusion project and has been an avid reader of science fiction for over fifty years. He found himself with nothing to read one lunchtime and began to write Genesis 2, the saga of the Gnathe, the first book in The Genesis Project. Many of his colleagues on the project began reading his efforts as quickly as he could finish the new chapters. He was persuaded to carry on and was halfway through the final section when the project drew to a close and he was able to take early retirement before redundancy, through a legacy. He promised his friends he would continue the story and let them know when he had finished. The joys of early retirement followed – fishing and walking the dogs, and the separation from his old reading colleagues meant the story remained unfinished. He lost the text through changing computers and it took some effort to retrieve the full story.

Barry Woodham

Barry proudly holding up his paperback books!

He knew how Genesis 2 would end, but could never seem to be able to get round to finishing it.  This has now changed and Barry has written the Genesis Project series, which started with Genesis 2, the saga of the Gnathe and now includes Genesis Debt, Genesis Weapon, Genesis Search and the final book Genesis 3.

More information:

The Author on The Independent Author Network
The Author’s blog
The Author on Facebook
The Author on Twitter
The Author on Amazon UK

Read about Barry, including a ‘broad brush’ review of his works, in his local newspaper, the Swindon Advertiser!

Stephen Holland, Author – An Interview

A warm welcome to my special guest, Stephen Holland, Fantasy author.

==0==

Steve Holland When did you first discover the desire to write was so strong in you?

I had always written songs, though had never considered writing a novel. It happened almost by accident. I just opened my laptop one day and started writing, I had no idea where the story was going to go, who the characters were going to be, or even what genre it was likely to fit in. It really took on a life of its own.

Do you usually write in the same genre you tend to prefer to read?

I write in the Fantasy genre I suppose, though my stories have no fictitious beings like Elves, Trolls and Orcs or any kind of magical element. It is fantasy only insofar as it exists in an imaginary world. My preferred genre to read has always been Sci Fi though I do enjoy Fantasy and Thrillers.

When reading, do you prefer traditional printed books or ebooks?

Printed for me, there is nothing like having a paperback in your hand (that’s probably an age thing)!

Have you been influenced and/or inspired by another writer, or writers?

I would love to say Tolkien, but in no way would I compare myself to that master.

Do past or current events in your life have an influence on your writing?

I don’t think you can avoid this; incidents within your life are bound to influence how you think whether consciously or subconsciously.

Have you got a favourite author, who stands well ahead of all others?

  1. William Horwood

In that order, Tolkien in my opinion ‘invented’ the fantasy genre, there have been many attempts to write in his style, but in my humble opinion none can compare.

Have you got both printed and digital books published?

I have both.

Do you try to write to satisfy what is fashionable, or do you write pieces that you would want to read?

I would be the last person on earth who would ever be fashion conscious so I write what I think I would like to read personally.

How do you fit writing into your life? Do you have set times for writing?

I cannot write to set times; I have to do it when I ‘want’ to do it. I can go weeks without writing anything then write 10,000 words in a day. It’s not ideal and I wish I was far better organised.

Do you keep every jotting of ideas, just in case they might be developed at some later date?

I tend to have a document at the end of my book in word format, so if I think of a good idea I put it in there and use it if it lends itself to the story.

Do you write freeform or do you faithfully plan every piece meticulously before you start on a piece?

I plan very little, certainly my first book Solace and Distress almost seemed to write itself, though I have tried to be a bit more organised with the sequel. I am finding the more I write about a particular story the more I need to keep a track of place names, rivers, mountain ranges and of course characters.

When writing, most authors now use a computer of some description. Which do you find more satisfying: writing using any means available, using a computer, using a typewriter or using a pen/pencil?

Always a laptop. My handwriting is almost undecipherable even for me!

Have you ever been somewhere and discovered a copy of a book that’s extremely difficult to find, and drooled over the discovery?

I once found hardback versions of some lesser known pieces of work by Tolkien in an antique bookshop in York. They have since been re-issued so probably more popular, but were certainly hard to obtain when I was collecting his work.

If you’ve had books published in print form, have you ever come across a copy of one of your own books by accident?

No, that hasn’t happened to me (yet)!

What is your greatest ambition in writing?

I am under no illusions, I am not about to become an international best seller. So long as there is somebody somewhere who appreciates my work then it is worth doing.

Where can readers find out more about your works?

Facebook
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk/Solace-Distress
Amazon.co.uk/21-Shades-of-Pale

Delving Into The Supernatural

I wouldn’t normally do this, but I’m battling problems so coming up with new posts is proving problematic.  The following is a post I wrote for koobug.com, which is another support site for authors and readers:

==0==

When I was growing up, the Fantasy genre was beginning to become a very popular genre with readers, and therefore writers. However, there were still many volumes of the two genres that had vied for top spot in ‘popular fiction‘ – science fiction and horror. I consumed my fair share of both but leaned ever more towards science fiction. That was until I was bitten by the Fantasy bug. The horror tales were now appearing in thick volumes of short stories, but still reflecting something of the Hammer House of Horror take on the genre. It was a fading genre! What revived it then was a move towards gore, but the tension, the suspense, of the great tales was lost and that was almost fatal.

It was, in my mind, when horror took yet another turn – attempting to embrace Fantasy – that something new began to appear. There was a subtle kind of horror, often a blending of fantasy and old legends. Characters with strange powers appeared, to do battle with Evil in new ways, or modifications of very old ways. The forces of evil were something beyond Nature, and so were some of hose who battled them – they were ‘supernatural‘! At the same time, of course, the first hints of another new concept appeared – powers went beyond the physical. Mental powers began to come to the fore, and the ‘paranormal’ idea was born. Parapsychology, which investigated telepathy, telekinesis and other ‘mental talents’ was fighting for recognition in the real world of academia, and it leaked out into fiction, where it could be given a reality that it hadn’t (yet) achieved outside of fiction.

By bringing together elements of horror, fantasy, the supernatural, the paranormal and even science fiction, authors tapped a very deep well! Readers couldn’t get enough of it – and still can’t! Okay, so some of the terminology is being misused, and even abused (e.g. vampires are gothic horror or even supernatural, but they aren’t paranormal!), but the fact is that we have a new kind of fiction that actually resists being pinned down into a single, clearly defined, genre. It borders on just being ‘fiction’. The reader can describe it to friends and family however they like. They can feel comfortable with it because it doesn’t carry a ‘brand’ which might embarrass them. They can even call it romance in many cases!

To be honest, I never expected to join the trend. I didn’t do so deliberately. I simply wrote a story that came to me. That has, however, given rise to characters I like and can, in some senses, relate to. I regard the stories as ‘mixed genre‘ rather than as strictly one of those I’ve already mentioned. Let me tell you – that makes life interesting when submitting to websites that demand a clear statement of genre! In fact, that’s a practice I think those websites need to change! It could see a tidal wave of protest if we all begin to use the term ‘general fiction’ or even – shock horror! – ‘literary fiction’ to express our need to not be categorised so rigidly!

At the end of the day, we write one thing: “Entertainment Fiction”!

Review Delight

"Thief" by Steve K SmyNew Reviews

I was browsing, this morning, when I had the delightful experience of discovering that I had received three new reviews, on Goodreads, for the first three of my short stories in the Thief series.  And here, I might sound somewhat critical, but I’m simply making an honest observation: Unlike some authors, I don’t ‘cherry pick’ only five star reviews.  I can say with hand on heart that I am grateful when anybody takes the time to GabrinTheAvatar.jpgleave any kind of comment or review against one of my books!  Whatever their verdict – from “it sucks” (not in those words, please) to “I love it” – I am happy.  You see, I like to know that somebody has taken the trouble to deliver their verdict, good, bad or indifferent.  I don’t expect to please everybody.  If we all liked the same things, we might only have one book to read!  Honesty is a very important trait, as far as I’m concerned.

Imagineer cover for 'Ur'gavan' by Steve K Smy

All that said, here are the review links:

  1. Thief (4 stars)
  2. Ur’gavan (3 stars)

I would like to thank Magda for taking the time to comment.  It is very much appreciated.

Nearly There

I am very close to finishing my new mild horror/supernatural/future fiction tale in the G1: The Guardians series!  It will be my first novella.  I say finishing, but of course, I’m talking about the writing part of it.  The reading, editing, fixing and repairing are to come.  Before anybody says anything, I don’t have the option of getting any help from an editor or such.  Operating with a zero budget prohibits such things, unfortunately.  I have to rely on myself to act as impartially, and accurately, as possible.  It isn’t ideal, and I really would do things properly if I could afford it.  I am not inclined to beg for freebie help in these arduous tasks.  I’m also not interested in joining a ‘critique’ group, or similar.  My experience with such groups, in the field of art, have not been happy, with too many members having their own agendas and with motives that are sometimes questionable.  So I will continue as I must.

~ Steve

Fantasy & Jen Christopherson – An Author Interview

Jennifer christopherson

Please welcome Fantasy author Jen Christopherson, who tells us about herself, her writing and her books!  And look out for a special treat at the end of her interview!

Hi, Imagineer-ing! Thank you for having me, I’m excited to be here!

When did you first discover the desire to write was so strong in you?

I would say about the fifth grade. The school librarian told me I had read all the books for my grade level and below. I would have to stop reading or go to the public library. My family was not situated for me to go to the public library. My mother told me I had an imagination that just wouldn’t quit, so I decided to write my own stories.

Do you usually write in the same genre you tend to prefer to read?

I love fantasy!!! Reading it, writing it, watching it! I just love it!

When reading, do you prefer traditional printed books or ebooks?

Definitely printed books! I love the feel of them in my hands and the smell of them when you open them. New books have a different smell than older books. I love the smell of really old books!!!! (blush)

Have you been influenced and/or inspired by another writer, or writers?

I don’t read the books because I am not into horror. However, I would like to be the “Stephen King of fantasy” as I call it. Of course, it is a dream and, I figure, the bigger you dream the more you have to look forward to! LOL

Do past or current events in your life have an influence on your writing?

In my humble opinion, I don’t think any fiction writer can honestly answer no to this question. However, I must say past and current events have a major influence on my writing.

Have you got a favourite author, who stands well ahead of all others?

I do not have a favourite author. There are a few that stand out in my mind. Stephen King because of his large collection of books written and his loyal fans! Melanie Rawn (The Ruins of Ambrai) because her writing voice is close to mine.

Tior coverWarrior Crone cover Have you got both printed and digital books published?

Not yet! I have my writing experiment (Tior found on Amazon.com) which was published in 2008. I am in the final proofing stage of Warrior Crone, my newest book. I plan to start with the printed books first and add in the digital books later.

Do you try to write to satisfy what is fashionable, or do you write pieces that you would want to read?

I write what I want to read. I don’t know any other way.

How do you fit writing into your life? Do you have set times for writing?

I have no set time to write. I would love to be able to put a schedule on it, however, my imagination doesn’t work that way. I guess I would have to say, “Here and there, really wherever I can!” LOL

Do you keep every jotting of ideas, just in case they might be developed at some later date?

Not EVERY one, but I do keep most of them. I am a hoarder of my ideas!!! LOL I keep pictures because a story can start with a scene. I keep thoughts and ideas because I have found, when I am stuck on where a story needs to go next, I can turn to them.

Do you write freeform or do you faithfully plan every piece meticulously before you start on it?

I write free form. I try to plan sometimes and find the story going in a different direction. I usually like the new direction better.

When writing, most authors now use a computer of some description. Which do you find more satisfying: writing using any means available, using a computer, using a typewriter or using a pen/pencil?

Oh! I definitely prefer my computer. However, my ideas sometimes come to me when I am out and about. Therefore, I keep a notebook and a pen handy (or try to!).

Have you ever been somewhere and discovered a copy of a book that’s extremely difficult to find, and drooled over the discovery?

No. Well, okay. I found a book after looking for it for several years. I had no money to spend on it and stood there, drooling over it. I still don’t have it!

If you’ve had books published in print form, have you ever come across a copy of one of your own books by accident?

I do have a book in print, but I have not come across it accidentally. Unless you count finding it in my mother’s bookshelf…

What is your greatest ambition in writing?

I want to be “The Stephen King of Fantasy Writing”!!! LOL

Where can readers find out more about your works?

My website is where I put links to all my writing, as well as keep updates for current projects.

jenchristophersonauthor.webs.com

I am, also, on:

Facebook
Google+
Goodreads
LinkedIn
Promocave

I would like to thank you for having me! I have enjoyed sharing with you.

*****

Book Giveaway

A copy of Warrior Crone, will go free to a random commenter. Each commenter’s name will be put in a basket and Jen’s boyfriend will pick a name blind. First name out wins it!!

NOTE: The giveaway ends on 31st May, 2013!  Comment below for your chance to win!

Fourth In The Series

Intruder - Imagineer Intruder was released through Smashwords on 27th February.  It’s the fourth in the Thief Series.  The folk of Ur’gavan are again threatened, but by an evil from within this time.  Whether Tirnam can save the day is uncertain, as this threat is decidedly outside his experience.  This is the longest of the tales, at a smidgen under 8000 words!  The first two stories (Thief and Gabrin: The Avatar) were about 5000 words and the third (Ur’gavan) was almost 5500 words.

I don’t know, as yet, whether there will be more, but I hope there will.  They’ve been fun to write, and actually recall how I used to write many, many years ago.  I believe that I’ve left stray threads that can be used to attach other stories to.  The important question I have to ask myself is: “Should the series go on?”.  At the moment, I don’t think I can answer that.  I know that there’s plenty of potential for more stories.  The people of Ur’gavan will, after all, continue to live their lives, forever at risk from new perils: raiders, invaders, plagues, natural disasters.  And Tirnam and his friends will have to lead them through it all for their whole lives.

Perhaps I should throw the question open to all!  I’d be interested to know whether you think I should pursue the series further.

Ur’gavan – New ebook Release!

The latest short story by Steve is now available as an ebook!  Ur’gavan is the third in the Thief series.  It is slightly longer than the two previous tales, Thief (Thief 1) and Gabrin: The Avatar (Thief 2).

To quote the blurb:

Continuing on from the end of both “Thief” and “Gabrin: The Avatar“, this short story sees the people of the ancient city of Ur’gavan facing grave danger. The one-time boy thief, Tirnam, and his friend Gabrin Parr, must seek to forge a new future, a future of hope. They are the only ones who can achieve the impossible, or can they? The risks are enormous, but the rewards are even greater…

The ebook is available from Smashwords (multiple formats) and Goodreads (ePub only).

To make it absolutely clear as to the correct reading order of these stories, they should be read in strict sequence as numbered!  While there is overlap between Thief and Gabrin: The Avatar, the sequence should be adhered to – it’s the way they have been written to be read.

New book launched

On Saint Valentine’s Day, very late, I self-published my latest short story ebook, through Smashwords.  Now, this one was a little different from previous releases.  It’s a tale in its own right, but it’s also linked to Thief.  I call it a prequel, but only because it starts a little before the events in Thief take place.  In fact, it overlaps that story.  It’s definitely not a sequel, that I’m sure about.  So, what is this ebook?  Well, it’s all made clear below.

 GabrinTheAvatarGabrin: The Avatar is the sixth short story ebook I’ve released through Smashwords.  It is the second book in a developing series which has the provisional title of Thief, the same as the first story.  To quote:

Gabrin Parr, son of the mighty Elthan Parr, discovers the terrible fate which hangs over him, thanks to his courageous mother. Rebelling, he flees, until he learns of his mother’s cruel death. Driven by that, he determines to destroy his father – and the evil he contains. Can he triumph over an evil that has lasted for thousands of years?

The ebook is available in multiple formats from Smashwords or as an ePub from Goodreads.  If you do download it, or any of my ebooks, I would very much appreciate a review on either/both Smashwords/Goodreads.

~ Steve

Prejudice – A Writer’s Responsibilities

Let me start by making it very clear that this post conveys my personal opinions!

There’s a long tradition in fiction, especially genres like fantasy and science fiction, for racial and species-centric prejudice to show themselves boldly, and usually as something acceptable.  The question in my mind is: is this something which needs to be reconsidered by authors?  Any right-minded person rejects racial prejudice.  In fact, they should reject any such blind prejudice.  I believe that many authors are as opposed to racism as the majority of the population is.  How, then, do they justify the prejudice in their own writing?

We’re all familiar with tales of alien encounters where the first reaction of Humanity is to either enter into warfare or to at least assume a “militarily ready” posture.  Equally, we know of fantasy tales in which other species are cast as wholly evil, creatures to be destroyed at any cost.  There are fewer tales of genuine harmony in relations with non-humans, even when some species are cast as allies.  There is always an undertone, a dark history, of conflict between the species.

If the writer intends to use such bad relationships to attack racism or speciesism, fair enough.  To attempt to bring light into the darkness is laudable.  Sadly, it is also very rare.  I’m no less guilty than others.  I’ve written my share of pieces where these unhappy prejudices are used, even if they aren’t a part of my own personality.  It’s just so easy to do, to follow the tradition.

Surely, it is our responsibility to change this?  Our villains can be cast as unusual specimens of whatever race or species they are of.  We need not write of our many rational species as being intrinsically good or evil.  If such thinking does appear in our work, then shouldn’t it be balanced by our heroes giving voice to, at the very least, doubts about the assertion of intrinsic evil?  Can’t our best characters declare their understanding that the evil-doers are either unwitting pawns of extraordinary individuals or not representative of their entire species?

It would be most unfortunate if an alien species judged all Humanity by the likes of Hitler and the millions who followed him, through their own badness, fear of the cost of not following, or blind obedience to authority.  The threat of genocide in such circumstances would be all too real.  If we dislike that thought, shouldn’t we, as writers, attempt to suggest that Humanity, as a species, should be ready to welcome others in peace?

~ Steve

New Release: Seelie Heiress

Steve’s latest short story, Seelie Heiress, has been released today!  It’s available for free from Smashwords.com in multiple formats.  It is a fantasy with a touch of romance.

To quote the blurb:

Jenna was betrayed, her lover a cheat. What she didn’t know, was that she had a secret past that involved a worse betrayal. Then the mysterious Athan appeared and changed her life forever. He revealed the truth, but his appearance also heralded danger.

 

Seelie Heiress

Seelie Heiress

 

Note:  This short story contains adult material!