Authors: Ian Whates
There was no point in putting this off any longer. He thought of Laurena, the ravishing beauty who had invited him to call her, and then he thought of Alexis in both guises: the young woman who had approached him at the reception and the child she’d been when he lived here. That inevitably woke memories of her mother…
Two numbers, two choices; calling one would mean reconnecting with a past that had once meant everything to him, while the other was all about the present, the here and now. Throughout the journey to Brannan’s he’d deliberately shied away from analysing which of the two was the stronger lure, which of them had
called him back here. Only now, as he picked up the perminal and felt its slender moulding in his hand, was he sure.
Having checked himself in the mirror to ensure that no sign of Russell Tavistock remained and that he really did look like Corbin Thadeus Drake once more, he took a deep breath and made the call.
His contact request was accepted almost at once. “Drake, what a wonderful surprise!”
He smiled, matching the expression of the vision of beauty that grinned back at him from the display. Yes, he could see surprise there, but also delight; definitely delight.
“Hello, Laurena.” She could easily have refused his call. He’d deliberately made it an open one, which meant that she would have seen his face clearly before accepting. Had she done so, there was always that other number… But here they were, and he wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“Where are you?” she asked.
“In Victoria, at the Balam Tree. I’ll be in town for the next few days,” or maybe a few weeks, depending on how things panned out. “I was just wondering whether you were free for dinner tonight.”
Her smile broadened significantly. “I am now.”
We’re meeting for dinner, that’s all
, Drake insisted. “Excellent!” he said out loud.
Yeah, right, course you are. Can I watch, can I?
Without missing a beat, Drake finished making arrangements for the evening. At the same time he casually reached his left hand to the back of his neck, as if to scratch an itch. What that hand actually did was push Mudball gently down and press shut the pouch seal.
I’m guessing that’s a no, then.
Ian Whates lives in a quiet Cambridgeshire village with his partner, Helen, and Honey, a manic cocker spaniel. He currently has two published novel series: the
books (space opera with a twist) via Solaris, and the
City of 100 Rows
trilogy (urban fantasy with steampunk overtones and SF underpinning) via Angry Robot. Some sixty of his short stories have appeared in various venues, two of which were shortlisted for BSFA Awards, while his work has received honourable mentions in Year’s Best anthologies. His second collection,
(PS Publishing), appeared in 2013. Ian has edited a couple of
The Mammoth Book of…
titles for Constable and Robinson and the on-going
series for Solaris, one of which found its way onto the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award shortlist. In his spare time, Ian runs multiple award-winning independent publisher NewCon Press, which he founded by accident in 2006.
Ian has served a term as Overseas Director of SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) and spent five years as chairman of the BSFA (British Science Fiction Association), stepping down in 2013. He remains a director of the latter.
The Gift of Joy ~ Ian Whates
Introduction by Ian Watson
Eighteen stories of distant futures and disturbing tomorrows, of strange new worlds and others that are uncomfortably familiar. Intelligent science fiction and quirky fantasy, packed with excitement, surprises, humour, and warmth
“Darkly funny tales of the unexpected, with a deft science-fictional turn of the knife.” —
“Planetary escapades and vivid battle action rub shoulders with charming yet eerie rural tales and with perilous urban nightmares.” —
“Ian Whates has a way with words, a storyteller's sensibility… Definitely one to watch.” —
Jon Courtenay Grimwood.
“It is his characters who live through the story and make the reader need to know just how it’s all going to pan out, human characters who may seem familiar but then there’s that one thing, that shifted alteration that changes the world and changes the reader too.” —
“The variety is only one of the pleasures on offer; others are the fully rounded, if not always likable, characters, and Whates’s knack for taking stories in unexpected directions… This may not be cutting-edge SF, but it is satisfying, well observed and entertaining.” —
Signed limited edition hardback: £18.99
A5-size paperback edition: £9.99
Stories inspired by the Fermi Paradox
With introduction by astronomer Marek Kukula and Rob Edwards of Royal Observatory Greenwich, and original stories from:
Pat Cadigan, Adam Roberts, Paul Cornell, Mike Resnick, Robert Reed, Tricia Sullivan, Paul di Filippo, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Eric Brown, Keith Brooke, Stephanie Saulter, Mercurio Rivera, Rachel Armstrong, and more…
The Fermi Paradox is the apparent contradiction between the high probability of extraterrestrial civilizations’ existence and the lack of contact with such civilizations.
In Paradox, a selection of the world’s leading science fiction authors are joined by physicists and other scientists in writing exciting and original stories inspired by Fermi’s famous paradox, daring to ask…
Where Is Everybody?
lives up to the usual high standards we have come to expect from Newcon Press…. most of the stories here are very good. Four or five are outstanding.”
– Amazing Stories
“Whates has assembled a splendidly diverse collection of stories, ranging from coolly cerebral thought experiments to unashamedly pulpy twist-in-the-tail romps. His real coup, though, is commissioning tales from scientists – space technologist Gerry Webb and biology innovator Rachel Armstrong among them – alongside SF stalwarts.”
– The Financial Times
Ysbryd drwg… the bad ghost. Hired by Wyva, the phylarch of the Wyvachi tribe, Ysobi goes to Gwyllion to create a spiritual system based upon local folklore, but he soon discovers some of that folklore is out of bounds, taboo… Secrets lurk in the soil of Gwyllion, and the old house Meadow Mynd, home of the Wyvachi leaders. The house and the land are haunted. The fields are soaked in blood and echo with the cries of those who were slaughtered there, almost a century ago. Old hatreds and a thirst for vengeance have been awoken by the approaching coming of age of Wvya’s son, Myvyen. If the harling is to survive, Ysobi must lay the ghosts to rest and scour the tainted soil of malice. But the ysbryd drwg is strong, built of a century of resentment and evil thoughts. Is it too powerful, even for a scholarly hienama with Ysobi’s experience and skill? ‘The Moonshawl’ is a standalone supernatural story, set in the world of Storm Constantine’s ground-breaking, science fantasy Wraeththu mythos
ISBN: 978-1-907737-62-6 £11.99, $20.99
Ghosteria 2: The Novel: Zircons May be Mistaken
Sometimes when people die, it comes as a great shock. Even to them…
A group of the dead linger here, in the yellow dwelling on the hill – once a castle, then a stately home, now falling into ruin. These ghosts drift and mingle, and brood on their lost lives. Death can be caused by so many things – war, pandemics, ordinary murder – even suicide or accident. Even time. But after death, surely, one could hope for peace? Not any more. For with 2020 the New Apocalypse began. Civilisation crashed, and outside this ancient building things terrible, predatory, mindless and unkillable roam and bellow.
Now all the lights have gone out for good – Where do you turn?
ISBN: 978-1-907737-63-3 £9.99 $18.99
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