Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Anno Frankenstein - nearing the mid-point

I'm now almost halfway through my first draft of Anno Frankenstein (my next Pax Britannia adventure, to be published in May 2011) and I've reached something of a turning point.

I always find it a struggle to get started on a new book. The writing is never as smooth, nor as productive, as I would like in the early days of a new project (certainly when it's something the length of a novel), as I get to know the characters and get into the plot (despite the fact that I've already worked out the nitty-gritty of the story in detail).

But I'm now well into my stride, and barring the usual sort of interruptions that life throws up (like the school run and laundry), the word count is building steadily each and every day.

What's really helped is that I've finally got to a scene that I've been looking forward to writing ever since I started working on the plot of Anno Frankenstein - probably ever since I even conceived the initial outline for the book. To say any more here would spoil the surprise, but hopefully you'll be suitably satisfied when Ulysses Quicksilver's seventh stirring tale, packed to the gills with melodrama and derring-do, comes out next year.

Leviathan Rising?

Not quite, the squidworm is 9.4 centimeters (3.7 inches) in length. But it was only unveiled by scientists last Wednesday, as the gossamer, ghostly creature was only recently discovered in the deepest reaches of the ocean between Indonesia and the Philippines.

You can read more about this bizarre denizen of the abyss here, and you can expect to see something like it in a Pax Britannia adventure at some point in the future...

Pax Britannia: Dark Side - the first review!

After putting out my call to reviewers everywhere yesterday, today I received notification of the first review of my latest Pax Britannia novel Dark Side, and very pleased with it I was too...

Dark Side is the latest, and certainly the most spectacular, of Jonathan Green's Ulysses Quicksilver series.

Quicksilver, in case you've missed the previous few books in the series, is the silver-tongued gentleman-adventurer whose plan is always to "make it up as he goes along". In Dark Side, this takes him to strange new places - in both geographical and narrative terms...

Perhaps the biggest journey is the actual structure of Dark Side, which goes into uncharted territory for the series. Whereas the previous books were essentially one-offs (although one-offs that rewarded loyal readers), Dark Side builds out of the existing Pax Britannia mythos. Although reading the short story "Vanishing Point" isn't absolutely necessary to understanding Dark Side, it certainly gives you a running start. And, on the other end of the book, Dark Side is the first in the series to actually end with a proper, "ack!-when-is-the-next-book-out?!" cliffhanger.

Dark Side is the biggest book in the series in all respects. By bringing in characters and conflicts from earlier books (some for the last time), Green elevates this from a snappy, pocket-sized adventure into the start of something properly epic. Even bringing Emilia back as the object of flirtation helps make this book more serious and less ephemeral than those that came before it. Without giving away any spoilers, the reader feels like the cozy universe of Pax Britannia is truly, irreversibly changing.

Good stuff, eh?

You can read the rest of Jared's review over at his Pornokitsch website. And if you're inspired to buy the book yourself after reading his review, you can do so here.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Sucker Punch

Giant robot samurai? Fire-breathing dragons chasing World War II aircraft? I for one cannot wait...

Request for reviewers

Both The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus (Vol.1) and Pax Britannia: Dark Side are selling well at the moment (very well, in fact) so how those of you who've already read these awesome tomes post some reviews on Amazon (or whatever your book site of choice happens to be)?

If you do, you will earn my eternal gratitude. (Which is no small thing if the long-anticipated Zombiepocalypse* finally gets here.) And please let me know - either via this blog or by emailing me at info@jonathangreenauthor.com.


* That's a copyrighted term, by the way, copyright Jonathan Green 2010 - just now.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Fantastic Steampunk Images

Follow this link to enjoy a whole host of fantastic steampunk-inspired artwork including the classic Steam Octopus...

... and the humorous Escape Plan B...

... as well as the delightful Ex Machina.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Pax Britannia - review round up

A couple more reviews of my Pax Britannia books coming your way this afternoon...

Okay, this book was one of the goofiest I have read in a long while and I really liked it. It was over the top, silly steampunk that didn't take itself seriously and you shouldn't either. The names of the characters are even tongue in cheek, which some readers who have reviewed the book don't seem to get. Also, people were complaining that the science part of the plot was bad - it wasn't supposed to be great science fiction. It is supposed to be a lighthearted fun read. No, this isn't a classic. No, this isn't superb fiction. It is a lighthearted and comic tongue in cheek look at steampunk and the genre.

Leviathan Rising, above everything else, is fun. Deliriously so. Every page is infected with a wonderful sense of joy. Don't get me wrong, I love my "worthy" genre fiction - gloomy, dirty, big heavy themes, existential angst & questions of identity - but after reading so-bloody-many in a row, this is the perfect antidote. Leviathan Rising is something different, yet no less special. This is the sort of book that makes me giddy and ten years old again, my mind filled with impossible adventures and wild daydreams.

And, to give Mr Green credit, creating this sort of work is a rare and wonderful talent. Being over-the-top is commonplace, but being genuinely entertaining is rare - the difference between telling a dirty joke and being Bill Hicks. Leviathan Rising, the author deftly combines punchy dialogue with lurid description; painting a wonderful, exotic world and then populating it with sharp heroes, sinister villains and horrendous beasties. This is pure, unadulterated pulp - the sort of fiction that made fiction fun to begin with.

Overall this is a very good and easy read the main novel ticks all the right boxes and has a good mix of humour and some very dark moment indeed. The novella, Conqueror Worm, which is to my mind even better than the main novel, is a swashbuckling adventure with highwaymen, sinister plots and a particularly nasty creature as it's centre piece.

I certainly wouldn't class this series of books as anything more than good "pulp" adventure, but then again they are not trying to set themselves up as anything other than that.

Although each of the books can be read individually there has been a connecting plot building subtly in the background over the whole series, so I would certainly recommend that anyone new to the Ulysses Quicksilver books starts at the beginning with Unnatural History!

It's nice to see Conqueror Worm receiving some love. It was a story I really wanted to tell and loved writing.

You can read more of this review here at Pulp Zen!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The Complete Guide to the Rise and Rise of Steampunk (apparently)

Here's my five point plan to how NOT to have a productive writing day...

1) Pick up the latest copy of SciFiNow.
2) Get excited that there’s an article on steampunk contained within.
3) Read the aforementioned article* which doesn’t mention Pax Britannia even once – the series you’ve laboured over, nay put heart and soul into, for the last four years, having written over half a million words for, which has 8 novels out (6 by you) 1 omnibus and several more books to come - and yet which does feature the covers of other books that have come out in the wake of the success of Pax Britannia.4) Post a blog in which you have your own personal rant about the situation.
5) Enter the doldrums and achieve nothing for the rest of day, despairing that you’re never going to make a success of your writing and then, as a consequence, write nothing all day as the deadline for your latest steampunk epic looms ever closer.

Or, as an alternative, you could try this rather more productive alternative...

1) Pick up the latest copy of SciFiNow.
2) Get excited that there’s an article on steampunk contained within.
3) Read the aforementioned article, ignoring the numerous covers of other books (some of which have been less well received than your own steampunk series and others which bear uncanny similarities and yet which came out some years after your own books featuring similar subjects and themes), and, on the whole, enjoy it.
4) Post a cathartic blog about the general situation.
5) Be inspired to kick some butt and start taking names and show them the world that you really have got what it takes to make a success of this writing lark.

I'll let you decide which approach I followed today...

* The aforementioned article goes by the rather bold sub-title of 'The complete guide to the rise and rise of steampunk' and yet doesn't even feature one book cover image from the ever-growing Pax Britannia series. So what definition of 'complete' is the editor/writer using here exactly?

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The End of the Line launch at Foyles

So, last night I attended the launch of The End of the Line, the new anthology of Underground-inspired horror from Solaris Books, edited by Jonathan Oliver.

"This one goes out to the Phoenix massive!"

I have to confess I was a little late (due to family matters) and only really arrived in time for the Q&A session at the end. But all was not lost, for as the Foyles part of the event wound up, things really got going at the Phoenix Club, right across the road.

It was great to catch up with so many fellow writers, many of whom I am pleased to consider my friends now, as well as the Abaddon/Solaris editorial team, who are really like a kind of family (just don't ask me what kind).

Some of the highlights (or otherwise) of the evening were Jasper Bark and Scott Andrews pointing out that I am now genetically redundant since my son has recently won a prize for his writing (which I something I have failed to do myself so far), Al Ewing wondering what the world of Pax Britannia would be like in the year 1,000,000, David Moore's moustache, struggling to join in a conversation with Rebecca Levene and Jasper Bark because they are both a good head shorter than I am, seeing the expectant Mrs Oliver looking so well on it, meeting David Bradley, editor-in-chief of SFX magazine, again (and him recognising me!), and posing for Holmes and Watson-esque sepia tints with Michael Rathbone, Esq. (who has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in the new PB novella Proteus Unbound).

Rathbone and Green - here to save the civilised world!

And here are five things I didn't know this time yesterday and yet I do now.

1) Scott Andrews is a self-confessed Tequila snob.
2) Jared Shurin liked (or was that disliked?) the fact that I killed him off in Dark Side not once, but twice.
3) Adam Nevill believes it is more effective to disturb and unsettle with a horror story than to horrify.
4) Rebecca Levene likes the X-Men.
5) Richard Owen, champion of the Natural History Museum and inventor of the word 'dinosaur', also invented the word 'dentine'.

So there you go...

Scott "It has to be lime for me, every time" Andrews.

If you really want to, you'll find all sorts of embarrassing photos of myself (and other writerly types who'd also had possibly one Tequila too many) here.

The Automaton Revolution has begun!

What if Batman were a Steampunk hero?

That's the question they're asking over at io9.com.

Well of course Batman already is a Steampunk hero, but he goes by the name of Spring-Heeled Jack. And you can read a brand new Spring-Heeled Jack adventure, starting this December, on the Abaddon Books website.
Spring-Heeled Jack, by Mark Harrison

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Dig that steampunked banjoist!

Men traded in their cowboy hats for brass-framed goggles on Saturday 13 November, at Old Cowtown Museum, which for a day transformed into a world powered by steam.

The Emerald City Steampunk Expo was a one-day festival put on by Wolfmoon Productions, a scaled-down version of a three-day event planned for next year.

You can read more about the event here.

Monday, 15 November 2010

The End of the Line

Solaris Books' new anthology of horror stories set on various Underground networks, The End of the Line, edited by Jonathan Oliver, hit the shelves earlier this month and is already selling well.

However, the Official Launch is tomorrow - Tuesday 16 November - at Foyles in London, starting at 6.30pm. (The Gallery, upstairs at Foyles in London, at 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0EB)

Pat Cadigan, Adam Nevill and Chris Fowler will be there, signing copies of the anthology and of their latest books, as will anthologist Jon Oliver and cover artist and designer Luke Preece. (Then right after the launch finishes, we're all hopping to the Phoenix Artists' Club right over the road for a swift pint or two.)

Anyway all this is free - yes, FREE - and tickets are still available from Foyles, but they're running low. If you have been considering coming but haven't committed yet, now's the time. Email Foyles at events@foyles.co.uk. Maybe I'll see you there...

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Off the Beaten Path Books

The only 19th Century Steampunk-themed Bookstore in Michigan, that specializes in speculative fiction, has its own Facebook page here.

Why not drop me a line over the ether?

You can now email me direct with any queries or comments about the Pax Britannia series of books or my blog - or anything steampunk-related - at


I look forward to hearing from you in due course.


As long time followers of this blog (and my many others) will already know, I currently juggle about eight blogs, updating people on various aspects of my writing, and - to be honest - it was all getting a bit much, especially when there are effectively two blogs for the same book, only one of them for the American market and one for the UK.
So, I've decided to merge the two blogs for Christmas Miscellany and What is Myrrh Anyway? in one, easy to manage, dot com, called...

Click this link and check it out for yourself. In fact, why not bookmark the site and add it to your favourites today?

It's still a work in progress at the moment, but over the coming weeks I'll be adding more features and content all the time. And you can already email me all your Christmas questions direct at info@thechrismologist.com.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus - the first review

It isn't even supposed to be released until Thursday, but The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus (Vol.1) is already creating a storm - and it's even been given its first review here, at Falcata Times.

You can read it for yourself here, but I particularly liked this bit...

It’s an ideal stocking filler if you love action and when backed with a hero that readers will just love to hang out with alongside the full extent of everything from Darwinism gone wrong, a touch of reanimator and a whole host of interesting supporting cast and it really is a spiffy read.

Monday, 8 November 2010

The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus Giveaway!

Fancy owning a couple of the recently released The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus?

Don't fancy paying for it?

Then, to avoid a criminal record, go here, to Graeme Flory's fantasy books blog to win yourself a copy.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Vlog #1 - Latest Pax Britannia releases

Check out my very first video log - the vlog of this blog, if you like...

Friday, 5 November 2010

Al Ewing unleashed!

Al Ewing - ace comic book writer and fellow Pax Britannia novelist - has been tracked down and interviewed by David Moore of Abaddon Books. You can read the results for yourself here.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Pax Britannia: Dark Side - is here!

Another day, another box - this time containing these beauties...

I'm really pleased with how Pax Britannia: Dark Side has turned out, what with Mark Harrison's fantastic cover painting and Simon Parr's wonderful eye for design.

Dark Side includes the brand new Pax Britannia novella Proteus Unbound, featuring a couple of characters that readers of the second PB book Leviathan Rising should recognise.

But for those of you wanting to know more about the novel itself, here's the blurb from the back of the book:


Ulysses Quicksilver visits the British lunar colonies, searching for his missing brother, Barty, believed to be on the run from gambling debts on Earth. The clues lead our detective and his faithful butler into the path of unsolved murders, battling robots, shady millionaires and stolen uncanny inventions. Used to working inside the law, Ulysses is stalled when his pursuit puts him on the wrong side of the Luna Prime Police Force.

But why is Ulysses' ex-fiancee Emilia also in the colonies? Who is the strange eye-patched man following Ulysses? And what is really happening in a secret base on the dark side of the moon?

Used to meeting every adventure with a devil-may-care attitude and a snappy one-liner, Ulysses will be forever changed by the revelations he discovers on this most deadly of trips.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Anno Frankenstein - We have a winner!

My recently run Lego-themed competition closed to entries on Sunday night and I can now proudly announce that the winner of a walk-on part in my next Pax Britannia novel Anno Frankenstein is...

Adam Sparshott

Congratulations, Adam (or more rightly Sparshott and Son). A bundle of PB-related goodies will be winging their way to you soon. And look at next year for Adam's (not inconsiderable) appearance in Anno Frankenstein.

Meanwhile, for the rest of you, here are a few of the photos of Adam's winning entry!

Monday, 1 November 2010

NaNoWriMo - a.k.a. National Novel Writing Month

It's November, which means it's National Novel Writing Month. I haven't taken part in this writing extravaganza before because I've always had some job or other on already. However, today I am starting to write my seventh Ulysses Quicksilver novel Anno Frankenstein.

NaNoWriMo sets a very arbitrary 50,000 words in 30 days, or 1,667 words per day. To meet my deadline and overall word count, I need to aim for 3,000 words a day, and polished, final, submittable-to-my-editor words at that.

So I guess enough chat, it's time to crack on if I'm going to make my deadline today before I have to meet the guys down the pub later for our Monday night league pub quiz.

Until next time - wish me luck!

BTW - if you're planning to write your own magnum opus this month, you should check out this and this first. And good luck!

The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus (Vol.1)

The postman struggled to deliver this today...

Opening up the (it has to be said) huge box I was delighted to discover the following lurking inside...

Yes, The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus (Vol.1) is here! Weighing in at over half a kilogram and 734 pages it is a hefty tome indeed and the ideal way of catching up with all things steampunk and Pax Britannian if you're new to the series or a late-comer.

Contained within a brand spanking new cover by Simon 'Pye' Parr are the first three Ulysses Quicksilver novels - Unnatural History, Leviathan Rising and Human Nature - as well as two Pax Britannia novellas - Vanishing Point and Christmas Past. And on top of all that, there's also a brand new introduction to the series and the character of Ulysses Quicksilver written by yours truly.

Featuring a wonderful new design for the series by Pye as well, it's available for an astonishingly reasonable £9.99 from Abaddon Books and even features a rather wonderful quote from SFX magazine on the back. You can pick up your copy here.