The Recoverist Quartet
The Recoverist Quartet is set in the last quarter of the 25th Century in a world transformed by climate change. Britain is a desert archipelago. The privileged live in cities, sheltered from unpredictable storms and lethal heat. They are trapped in their own kind of misery, living beneath a false sun, only able to deal with the realities of their world by taking drugs to dull their emotions. The cities are in terminal decline. There are not enough people to sustain them. A man-made virus called the Mercy has made fertility a rare gift.
Outside the cities, people are considered not good enough to save. They are the Non Grata. In the northern parts of Britain, they survive only by selling their children to the cities in exchange for food, water and energy. Against this canvas, we meet Isobel Twelvetrees, rejected by her city and put outside to die. Then there is The Kind, a group of Non Grata who have managed to build a different kind of life, even in the south, where the sun burns every living thing to dust. They use technologies long outlawed by the government and so advanced it appears like magic to strangers. They are using their knowledge to imagine a more hopeful future for mankind and are driven by an intelligence that seems more than human. The Kind and Elidir are available from Amazon and other major ebook and paperback bookshops,
The House Next Door series
Introducing the House Next Door trilogy
Set in 2055, 2092 and 2472, the House Next Door trilogy provides snapshots of future worlds ravaged by climate change. This is an adventure story with a serious message about the future we’re creating for ourselves and the people and world we will leave behind. Click on the images to find out more about each book.
Warning: this is a genuine trilogy in that it is one complete story told across three books. You will only find out what happens if you get to the end of the third book!
Find out more about the research I did to provide the technological, political and scientific content for Mathew’s story. Find out why I write about the things I write about here. Read my author’s QnA here.
Versions of the Future
Versions of the Future is a collection of short stories inspired by a collaboration between science fiction authors and scientists from the Human Brain Project and the Bristol Robotics Lab. The authors were myself, Stephen Oram and Allen Ashley and the scientists included Professor Allen Winfield, Marta Palau Franco and Dr. Antonia Tzemanaki. We spent a day with the scientists, talking about their work and touring the lab. Us authors then went away and wrote stories based on what we saw. I was particularly inspired by Marta’s involvement in ERL Emergency Robots – a civilian, outdoor robotics competition, with a focus on realistic, multi-domain emergency response scenarios. Basically, rescue robots. My story imagines a near future scenario where robots may be used to good effect to rescue people after a terrorist attack. After the authors had written their stories, we got together again at the Bristol Literary Festival to read out what we’d written and discuss in front of a live audience.
Here’s a video of the event we did together at the Bristol Literary Festival
The long version of the event is also available online here
Michael Reinsborugh of the Human Brain Project wrote a paper on the event for the journal Jcom, available here.
Since Bristol, I’ve been writing a lot of short stories, and I’ve become a regular at Virtual Futures Future Fiction Salon, held monthly in Soho in London. The stories I have written here are near future fiction. The events are usually themed. A couple of my stories were filmed being read by actors at the Lights of Soho gallery. The story ‘Young Blood’ will be published in Near Future Fictions journal.
|‘The Drunk God’, in Mad Scientist Journal: Autumn 2017, is a story about a world ruled by a space station. Winner of a Silver Pen Writers 2018 Write Well Award. Included in the 2018 anthology.|
‘Doggerland’ in Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction 60: Volume 60 is a story set in the far future in a world where people live apart from nature for their own protection.
|‘Castle Under the Water’ in Another Place, a collection of sci-fi stories, with all profits going to the Alf Dubs Children’s Fund. A boy orphaned by war discovers a consoling dream in a picture book, which leads him to adventure and to discover that his world is not quite that it seems.|
|‘Young Blood’, in Virtual Futures Near-Future Fictions Vol. 1. A short story about what might happen if the following research became a reality for humans.
‘US researchers, led by the University of Washington, found that one compound which is abundant in the blood of young mice, an enzyme known as eNampt, extended lifespan by 16 per cent when transferred to older rodents.’
“We have found a totally new pathway towards healthy ageing,” said Dr Shin-ichiro Imai, who was a senior author of the study, published in the journal Cell.’