Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Time's Arrow - 10 days to go

There's only ten days to go now (or possibly less by the time you read this) before the polls close and I start writing Part 2 of Pax Britannia: Time's Arrow - a.k.a. Black Swan - based on how the public voted they would like the story to continue.

So, if you're yet to download Part 1, Red-Handed, he's a little taster to help you take that final step to making a purchase.

Gasping for breath, Ulysses took a moment to wipe away the moisture that had collected in the hollow behind his eye-patch.
And that was when he saw it.
It was emerging from the fourth floor window of a building at the end of the shadowed cul-de-sac. Eight feet tall, with arms like great sides of beef covered in thick black hair, it swung from the open window with startling grace and agility, launching itself towards the rungs of a fire escape another floor up, and reaching it with ease. From there the beast swung itself up onto the roof.
The massive ape landed not ten feet from him, its sledgehammer fists sending clouds of dust rising.
Ulysses froze.
The beast snorted and then its beady black stare fell on the exhausted, injured man, the atmosphere thickening between them. Ulysses’ heart thumped against the cage of his ribs, the bullet wound pulsing in unkind sympathy.
So palpable was the tension, he could feel it crackling from the beast and setting his hairs on end, like static electricity.

Follow this link to purchase your own copy of Red-Handed. Then, once you've read it, go here to vote for how you think Time's Arrow should continue.

Happy Birthday, Mark Twain!

As well as being Saint Andrew's Day, today is Mark Twain's 176th birthday.

Mark Twain would have been considered a Victorian, if he'd lived in Britain, but did you know that the creator of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn was a friend of inventor and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla?

No? Well here's the proof.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The Adventures of Ulysses Quicksilver - reading order

A few people have asked me, now that there are so many Ulysses Quicksilver novels and novellas out there, what is the correct reading order?

First off, I would like to point out that every novel is a standalone story and so you can pick up the series anywhere, without fear of not knowing what's going on.

However, if you are keen to enjoy every snippet and nuance of the developing story arc, or you just like to start a new series at the beginning, then here is the order in which the stories should be read, which is chronological order in which the stories take place... kinda...

1) Unnatural History (novel) - May-June 1997
2) Leviathan Rising (novel) - July-August 1997
3) Fruiting Bodies (novella) - September 1997
4) Vanishing Point (novella) - October 1997
5) Human Nature (novel) - November 1997
6) Christmas Past (novella) - December 1997
7) Evolution Expects (novel) - February 1998
8) Blood Royal (novel) - March-April 1998
9) White Rabbit (novella) - May 1998
10) Proteus Unbound (novella) - May 1998
11) Dark Side (novel) - June 1998
12) Anno Frankenstein (novel) - September-October 1943
13) Red-Handed (The first part of Time's Arrow) - May 1998

(The novella Conqueror Worm is set in 1797 and stands apart as it is not about Ulysses Quicksilver at all.)

Monday, 28 November 2011

The countdown has begun...

Two weeks today I shall be sitting down to start writing the second part of my latest Ulysses Quicksilver Pax Britannia novel Time's Arrow. Part 2 is entitled Black Swan, but as to what happens within it, well that's up to YOU!

If you've not already done so, download Part 1 - Red-Handed for the eReader of your choice, read the story so far and then go here to vote for how you would like the adventure to continue. But hurry! After all, time is ticking away!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Pax Britannia at Dragonmeet

I shall be at Dragonmeet tomorrow (Saturday 26 November) and so will my Pax Britannia books.

The event runs from 10.00am until around 6.00pm (I think), at Kensington Town Hall, and I'll be there for the whole day.

I'm there officially as the guest of Tin Man Games, but Cubicle 7 will be selling my Pax Britannia books over on their stand. So, if you want me to sign a copy of the latest Ulysses Quicksilver penny dreadful, feel free to ask.

I shall also be on a panel entitled 'Fiction and the Games Industry' with my esteemed colleagues Sarah Newton and Iain Lowson, running from 1.30pm - 2.00pm.

And while we're on the subject of Dragonmeet, m'colleague and games industry legend, James Wallis, is going to be interviewing m'colleague and games industry demigod, Ian Livingstone OBE, from 11.00am - 12.00pm with a Q&A session afterwards. I can guarantee it will be a great listen; Ian is the best after dinner speaker I know!

A Steampunk Evening - update!

The Steampunk Evening organised by the Pornokitsch guys, and taking place on Thursday 8 December, has had a timing update.

It will now be running from 6:00pm until 8:30pm, which basically means that if you attend you'll get to spend even more time at Blackwell's Charring Cross alongside such luminaries as Kim Lakin-Smith, China MiƩville, Philip Reeve, Adam Roberts, Lavie Tidhar and Plarchie the Squid.

And remember, tickets are not necessary and the event is free to attend.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

On the names of characters

People sometimes comment on the outlandish nature of certain character names in my Pax Britannia books, such as Credence Jones, Halcyon Beaufort-Monsoon, Gabriel Wraith Bainbridge Mills, and Ulysses Quicksilver (come to think of it).

But at least they're not as bad as this lot:

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Time's Arrow in SFX Magazine

So, I'm in this month's SFX magazine.

That's right, me.

It's not one of my books that's being reviewed, it's part of an interview with Yours Truly about the startling steampunk experiment that is Pax Britannia: Time's Arrow.

That's it there, on page 23 of the Red Alert news section.

The piece includes a link to this.

And while we're on the subject of Time's Arrow, here's what one reader (who's entirely new to the series) had to say about Part 1 - Red-Handed:

I can say, as someone who has only read the first Ulysses Quicksilver Pax Britannia novel before I read this one, it's fairly accessible. There's quite a bit of mention of earlier stories, but while I understood that I was coming in on the middle of a series, I didn't feel particularly lost. While this story very much seems to follow on from a cliffhanger in the previous book, I felt I had enough information to still enjoy it. Plus, once that cliffhanger was wrapped up, the new story was completely fresh and accessible.

What I ended up with was a fast-paced, science fiction, steampunk action-adventure, with some cute nods to genuine Victorian science fiction. The interactive part of the story was fun, and it's really got me looking forward to the next installment (which is why I was willing to skip ahead in the series). And now I've got some time to get caught up!

Monday, 14 November 2011

The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus (Vol.1) - a new review

From the Department of Awesomology:

A New Age Of Steam: The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus

Full disclosure time: I've never fully 'gotten' steampunk as a genre in fandom... These days it seems the genre is developing it's own voices in fiction and I recently cast my trepidation aside, donned my top hat and monocle, adjusted my sword cane and stepped out onto the foggy streets of a London that never was as I purchased and subsequently devoured Pax Britannia: The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus by Jonathan Green.

...someone has to keep the Empire from slipping off the edge and plunging headlong into chaos and that someone is our hero, Ulysses Quicksilver. Dandy, epicurean, swordsman, rake, and agent of the British Crown. The Omnibus chronicles the first three adventures of this unique hero...

Pure escapism at it's finest, The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus was a helluva good time... These are books that I would love to see adapted to the small screen, though I can't see anyone but David Tennant playing Ulysses and I fear he may already have played a similar role in the recent past. The setting of Pax Britannia is an engaging one, with it's desktop difference engines, robo-bobbies, and submarine cruise liners and overland rail lines. The urban sprawl is equal parts Conan Doyle and Ridley Scott, and the setting is so very much a mixture of the age of steam and the world of cyberpunk that it more than lives up to its genre. The characters are enjoyable, Ulysses himself being our cocky, improvisational, elegant hero who often finds himself way over his head but makes up for being out of his depth with a mixture of guile, pluck, and good old fashioned British ingenuity. His faithful batman Nimrod also deserves a mention, as does the long-suffering Inspector Allardyce, Quicksilver's Scotland Yard nemesis. Green's writing is engaging and fun, moving at a steady clip that makes each adventure great reading for a lazy Sunday or three. As a collected edition, the book is huge (clocking in at 734 pages)...

If you're looking for a fun read for the holidays that has an eclectic mix of the old and the new, I say give The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus a try. Recommended.

Happy. With. That.

You can purchase your copy of The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus (Vol.1) here.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Have you voted yet?

Just a quickie to remind you that you now have just under one month in which to vote on how you would like my latest Pax Britannia novel Time's Arrow to continue.

So download Part 1: Red-Handed here, read, inwardly digest and then go here to have you say with regards to what you think should happen next.

This is your chance to be part of publishing history, so don't let such an amazing opportunity pass you by. If you haven't already done so, buy Pax Britannia: Time's Arrow Part 1 today!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Hannibal - the pachyderm-droid

It was a sign of Raffles’ status and rank that he had been afforded the privilege of leading the Magna Britannian forces at Amiens into battle from atop his own personalised pachyderm-droid Hannibal. Before freedom-threatening war had come to the heartlands of Europe for a second time, he had served in India, where the vision of the monstrous robo-phant charging the gates of Bombay had sent many a revolutionary fleeing for his life.

The howdah shading Raffles and his batman from the weak rays of the milky sun – the commander-in-chief’s command post might have looked out of place, had it not been for the Magna Britannian iconography that had been worked into the ornate scrollwork of the giant droid’s flanks.

Raffles eased himself back into his chair. He could feel the comforting rumble of the boiler bubbling in the guts of the metal beast as its own engines were stoked with coke, ready for action. He was going to enjoy this. It was going to be a walk in the park, but he was looking forward to it anyway.

You can read more about Hannibal the pachyderm-droid and General Sir Henry Stamford Raffles's adventures in the Great Second European War within the pages of Anno Frankenstein. You can enjoy more pictures of steampunk animals here.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Ulysses Quicksilver, Hero of the Empire!

Ulysses Quicksilver and his various adventures have inspired a number of artists to produce their take on the character. The latest of them is Kit Cox who recently produced a portrait of the Hero of the Empire and another of Ulysses' loyal sidekick Nimrod, the bare-knuckle boxing butler.

Simon Parr (a.k.a. Pye Parr) has produced several pictures of Ulysses and Nimrod as well. Here are just a few of them.

And then there's Pax Britannia cover artist Mark Harrison's take on the character, most easily seen on the cover of Anno Frankenstein.

There are also a growing number of illustrations of masked vigilante Spring-Heeled Jack. The most recent is by that gentleman caricaturist Kit Cox again but Mark Harrison also produced a portrait of the character back when I was writing Evolution Expects.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Evolution Expects revisited

Caricaturist, raconteur and vaudevillian extraordinaire Kit Cox (a.k.a. Major Jack Union) has put his artistic skills to good use and realised a scene from my fourth Ulysses Quicksilver Pax Britannia novel Evolution Expects. And here it is...

You can follow the latest exploits of Jack Union, Victorian Monster Hunter, here.

Kit is also currently taking commissions to produce cartoon caricature for discerning clients. If you would like him to do one for you, you can contact him here.