Wednesday, July 15, 2015


I've just published one of my out-of-print backlist novels, Players, on Kindle. Like Mind's Eye, it has never before available in the US. And for the next two weeks it's available for just $1.99, or £1.28 in the UK.

Here's a bit of background:

Long ago, in a publishing company far away, I was for a brief period (apart from the science-fiction short stories I kept writing) labelled as a thriller writer. I'd published a big wild and weird biotech novel, White Devils, and after it had some moderate success my new publishers wanted more of the same.

Luckily, I was already in a day-after-tomorrow head space, and went on to write Mind's Eye, a contemporary thriller set in London and Iraq, and then a police procedural, Players. Mind's Eye, with its brain-zapping glyphs and deep secret history, wasn't exactly a straight thriller, and Players wasn't exactly a straight police procedural (it was based on a science fiction story, 'Before The Flood', collected in Little Machines), but my publisher reckoned that the weirdness threaded through their narratives wasn't quite weird enough to frighten readers who weren't familiar with science fiction.

I've always been a fan of science fiction and crime. And I'd already published two novels with elements of crime in their narratives: Pasquale's Angel, in which Machiavelli is a journalist/consulting detective in an alternate Renaissance Florence, and Whole Wide World, about a policeman investigating computer crime in a near-future London turned into a panopticon after a crippling terrorist attack. But Players, despite the posthuman ambitions of its wannabe serial killer and a plot that turns on a massively multiplayer online game (which back in 2007 was still a novelty), is a far more mainstream crime novel.

It's set in Oregon partly because I couldn't find a plausible way of fitting its scenario into a British locale, partly because it was inspired by an article about the ease of disposing of bodies in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, and partly because I had the foolish idea that an American setting would make it easier to publish in the US - I had plans to write several more novels about its hero, Summer Ziegler, that, in the end, came to nothing, as publishing plans too often do. But I had a huge amount of fun writing and researching the novel: amongst other things, I got to hang out with police in Portland, and drive around the forests and hills of southern Oregon, scouting locations. And although I didn't get to write any more Summer Ziegler novels, I'm very pleased to be able to revive her first and only outing.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts