'One of the most interesting and exciting new writers to emerge north of the border since Iain Banks' - Gary Gibson
'Superlative.' 'Reminded me of Iain Banks at his fiery best.' Gary Gibson, author of Angel Stations, Stealing Light and Extinction Game.
'An absolute piledriver of a dark future thriller that instantly hooks you and doesn't let go till the end. Horribly believable and utterly compelling.' Neil Williamson, author of The Memoirist, The Moon King, and Thirty Years of Rain.
'A grim and gripping near-future thriller with sharp political edges and scarily plausible projections, rooted in intimate knowledge of real places and real anger at the trash and chaos we're allowing the owners of the world to shove us into.' Ken MacLeod, award-winning author of The Star Fraction, Cosmonaut keep and The Night Sessions.
Following a devastating bomb attack outside the North British Council Building at Holyrood in Edinburgh, a police officer finds herself fleeing from her employers and MI5, the domestic counter-intelligence and security agency of the United Kingdom, up the west coast of the territory of North Britain towards the front line of an intensifying war.
But it's not just her pursuers she must beware of. The wild coastline has become a hiding place for desperate boat-borne refugees. Meanwhile, someone unknown seems to be going to extraordinary and ever more lethal lengths to stop her pursuers finding her.
A near-future action thriller, October Song is both a darkly gripping roller-coaster ride and a blistering reflection on a world on the edge of collapse.
A Time of Ashes
BEFORE THE CORRUPTION CAME, truthkeep Murrin Kentle lived in a world where the largest island could be walked across in a day, and humans traded and fished in bladeships made from the bones of the monstrous sea creatures patrolling its stormy, bottomless oceans. Before the Corruption came, the land was dominated by a sect of scholars who fought the decay of knowledge with religious fervour, in a tense but fruitful coexistence with the amphibious, matriarchal Shi'iin. Before the Corruption came, there was prosperity and an uneasy peace.
Now the Corruption is here, and nothing in Murrin's world, nor any of the worlds of the Sundered Realm, will ever be the same.
By turns touching, thrilling and horrific, A Time of Ashes is the first part of a beautifully written epic tale of discovery, friendship, loss, and survival against crushing odds.
THE KINGDOM OF TYS IS BESIEGED. Its neighbouring lands burn. Amidst the chaos, a wounded scholar seeks allies for an urgent mission borne of little more than hope. The Corruption, however, has other plans, and its agents may be closer than anyone realizes. In an enigmatic ocean far away, the hard-pressed crew of the bladeship Fat Chance discover have traded death by fire for more insidious perils. As they fight to postpone the inevitable, it becomes clear that they are at the mercy of forces on an inhuman scale. Held in the seemingly impregnable Castle of the Four Winds, sea-dwelling sisters Sheehan and Seeli begin to appreciate that a dungeon offers a kinder fate than some of the alternatives. Yet even in the depths of despair Sheehan will find herself called upon to make decisions affecting the fates of worlds.
Part Two of the epic Fate and the Wheel series, Hunting Gods is a worthy sequel to the thrills and emotional charge of A Time of Ashes.
An enigmatic man with powerful connections and a troubled past. An outcast whose sense of injustice has caused his exile to a lethal star system. The child-like guardian of an ancient machine whose importance neither the guardian nor its young captive can begin to guess. A symbiote whose near-unique abilities led to the genocide of her kind, and whose rage threatens to destroy everything she loves. A fugitive hacker in search of a break after finding himself on the wrong side of the tracks. A beautiful, apparently naive young woman, who may not be everything she seems. And a deformed genius who may hold the key to all their salvations.
All find themselves connected in a struggle with unimaginable stakes.
The odds, however, are stacked against them. A ruthless, yet lonely, secret-services-agent-turned-starship-captain, his self-contained navy, and the combined forces of a shadowy all-powerful corporation, have sworn to preserve their hard-won freedoms by destroying what may ultimately be their own only hope for survival. However costly, and whatever tools are needed to accomplish the task.
As the two mismatched sides race towards a hidden solar system and a seemingly inevitable apocalyptic showdown, it becomes clear that the very tiniest players may unexpectedly be all that stands in the way of the complete annihilation of all known life.
Sanctuary is in the final stages of editing, and should be available early in 2019.
Published in interzone #164, February 2001
Struggling musician Scott Cantlay must save the world from a particularly weird cosmic fate, assisted (and hindered) by the wastrels in his new band and an elocutionally effected four-dimensional alien goat.
Meeting the Relatives
Published in Interzone #171, September 2001
After a mysterious and catastrophic flesh-devouring viral infection claims his brilliant physicist friend, Dr Steadman goes on the run and ends up further from any idea of normality than he could have predicted.