Fun With My Past
Back in the early years of this century, I was writing weird thrillers whose stories were set in the present or the near future, turning on warped applications of strange bits of science or technology - The Secret of Life, Whole Wide World, White Devils, Mind's Eye and Players. They're mostly out-of-print now, so I've begun a small publishing project to revive them as ebooks.
First up is Mind's Eye, just published as a Kindle ebook. Like Fairyland, it's about entoptical phenomena, visual effects whose origin is within the eye or the optical pathways of the brain. Here, the discovery that entoptical forms developed by paleolithic shamen can trigger certain behaviours or reactions is contested by the secret services and the grandchildren of the explorers who first discovered them:
When Alfie Flowers chances on a strange piece of graffiti daubed on the window of a North London restaurant, it triggers a flashback to a childhood accident that left him with a peculiar form of epilepsy. Convinced that the elusive graffiti artist, 'Morph', possesses clues to his past, Alfie sets out to track him down. His search leads him to the mysterious Nomads Club, the rituals of a lost tribe, and a secret history of espionage and mind-altering patterns - glyphs - connected with the disappearance of his father.It's very specifically set in the time it was written, and Alfie Flowers lived around the corner from me, in a caravan in an old bus garage. His local pub is my local pub; a brief car chase includes the road (and its traffic-calming system) where I live. A couple of years after the novel was published, the ramshackle bus garage was demolished: squatting there now is a block of flats of the kind that seems to have been designed using Lego, with lots of glass and tiny balconies that inevitable contain a tiny table, two small folding chairs, and a high-end bicycle. The expanding bubble of the London property market is steadily eroding the London Alfie and I knew, but here, in this odd little thriller, it's 2004, and the old weird London still stands, hipsters do not yet stalk the streets of Dalston, and the ill-fated Iraq invasion hasn't collapsed into something even worse . . .
The source of the glyphs is hidden somewhere in the chaos of post-war Iraq. Deep inside an ancient network of caves lie powerful secrets sought by people with dangerous and sinister motives. People who are determined to do whatever it takes to prevent Alfie and the Nomads Club from interfering with their plans.