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MORE MENTAL THAN INCREMENTAL


https://geoffnelder.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/fire1537514316.mp4 I am really pleased with this collection of my own favourite short stories. Some have been published before, but in anthologies or magazines no longer available or rare. Such as What Kept You? A story published in Ultraverse in which time accelerated with altitude on a strange planet. My favourite is Prime Meridian in which a teacher’s house is hit by a grape-sized meteorite at 3:15pm — every day! Here’s the blurb: Did you enjoy The Twilight Zone, Tales from the Darkside, and those stories that follows the logical consequences of a slight abnormality in everyday life? This collection of 25 surreal short stories are of mixe...
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One new and one revised book


I’m delighted to report… several things. INCREMENTAL is to be published on the 6th October 2018 by LL-PublicationsAn updated version of How to Win Short Story Competitions by me and Dave Haslett has been released todayI am reading Claire North’s clever body swapping novel, TOUCH, and she wrote the sky having the colour of “a two-day bruise.” Another phrase I might have to steal. 1)INCREMENTAL is a collection of 25 short stories I’ve written over several years but mainly in the last 12 months. They are slightly mad, surreal tales with an incremental element to them. ie. something grows or is added to each day, or other unit of time. For example a pothole doubles in size daily. You’ll be amaze...
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Books and biscuits


Yesterday I gave my fifth book talk of the season about Xaghra’s Revenge to readers at the Lache Library, Chester, UK. I gave a quick outline of the plot. Fact: pirates abducted 5,000 people off the Mediterranean island of Gozo in 1551 and sold them into slavery or ransomed the rich. A few young women were shipped to a harem in Constantinople. I gave those souls revenge in the novel, but often while doing research the truth is stranger than fiction. Most of the attendees at my talks in Britain had been to the Maltese islands but didn’t know of the pirate raid in 1551 and were as shocked as I. Most didn’t know that one of the oldest buildings in the world (older than the pyramids and Stonehen...
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Sample of Xaghra’s Revenge

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Xaghra’s Revenge excerpt from Chapter 23 used on talks Read to the Salon literary event in Malta April 2018 and at the Gozo Central Library 1551 – Stjepan was one of 5,000 people on the island of Gozo, near Malta, who were mass abducted by pirates and sold as slaves in Libya. His wife, Lidia, was taken with other women to a harem in Constantinople. Convinced his life couldn’t get worse, Stjepan sat on a warm stone outside a single-floor long hut. On the rocky horizon, the pomegranate sun whispered goodbye to another blistering day. It appeared huge, as if welled up with the same tears Stjepan fought to control. Losing his family was bad enough, but the talisman, too? A whiff of rosemary reig...
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Why do a book tour?


Why do a book tour? It was inevitable. I’d written a historical fantasy set in the Maltese islands. We go there for a holiday every few years so as sure as sand + cement = mortar, this year’s holiday had to involve the nervous energy involved in public appearances. It was made easier because the Preluna Hotel & Spa in Sliema, Malta offered to host a book signing. Aren’t they nice? Their Marketing Manager, Mandy, said that since I’d stayed at their hotel while researching XAGHRA’S REVENGE and wrote some of it there, they’d be honoured to arrange a signing. They released a notice in their newsletter and created a poster. Information was posted on a facebook group Gozone (nice play on the name ...
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Storm in a teacup


Bénard cells in a beverage  As a teacher I relished taking unconventional steps to the delight and edification of my students. I’d be the rare teacher that would allow pupils to rush to the window to watch a rainbow, catch snowflakes, measure the acidity of rain and hurl leaves in a vortex. Why not, after all I taught weather and climate. It didn’t always produce awe. I recall taking 13-year-olds on the school field. I stood in front of them such that the sun was behind them. I knew it was raining on the hills behind me so I said to them, “You should be able to see a rainbow. Can you?” “Yes,” they chorused. “So what?” I tried to explain that I couldn’t see it because the sun has to be behind...
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Angular Size is up for a #BSFA Award!


What a turn up for the books – well, short story. I have a preposterous tale shortlisted for the prestigious BSFA Awards 2018. If you are a member or are attending the FollyCon / EasterCon in Harrogate this Easter I would be enormously grateful if you would consider voting for ANGULAR SIZE in the shorter story category. Link is here  http://bit.ly/2GghsKe   The premise is predicated on the concept of Angular Size, or the apparent size of an object. Eg the sun is the same apparent size of the moon, but we know it’s not the actual same size. Similarly there is no coin small enough that will blot out the moon, or sun, if you hold it out at arm’s length. A blouse button might do! In Angular Size...
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Ambushed by Anita


There I was cycling happily along a winding country lane when a wagon forced me off road. Lying in the long grass the driver said, “We’ll let you back on the highway as long as you publish word of a fabulous new book by Anita Kovacevic.” I had no choice, but luckily she happens to be one of my favourite writerly pals. So, Anita, blow your cycle horn! THE FOREST OF TREES BLURB: When a family of four faces the brutal reality of their city life, they readily embrace a complete change. Emma and David Stone, with their kids Jeremy and Dot, move to a small town with their big hopes. However, small towns have their own secrets – from urban legends about The Forest of Trees to family skeletons in cl...
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Merlin and ‘A Mind Of Its Own’


Mind Of Its Own is a magical fantasy story featuring King Arthur’s Merlin when he was given the task to escort a teenage girl on a strange journey. It is for adults only. It is for adults with a sense of humour only. This story was selected as the Story of the month for the 2016 British Fantasy Society October Bulletin. Mind of its Own Geoff Nelder Warning: this tale involves magic with a mind of its own. If you experience any personal oddities during your reading be afraid, but not very afraid. You will return to normal eventually. Merlin scowled at his arthritis-afflicted knuckles and reached out to the campfire, careful not to knock over a pot of roots and berries simmering with impatienc...
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Books read in 2017


Maybe it’s because I am in a couple of book groups requiring me to read at least two books monthly, plus what the members call ‘side reads’ along the lines of if-you-enjoyed-that-you’ll-like-this’ I have quite a long list here. In fact I’ve started more than I finished and forgotten some I enjoyed, but hadn’t written review notes. Long though this list is, the 2018 reads will outdo it because of my role as a judge in the current FicFun writing competition. For that I will read the equivalent of at least 20 novellas / novels by the end of May. These are in no particular order – even of chronological reading. Nor do I say if I enjoyed them though books I couldn’t really finish because of the w...
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Photography


My bike ride in Spain 2011 north of Benidorm I’m inspired by my next door neighbour to blog some of my own photographs. He is Matthew Martin and his blog of inspirational gems is here. I have to confess that I have no decent camera and lazy enough to be using my phone cam in recent years. I hope I have an eye for a ‘good’ image though and this might come across. I’ve thrown a few together from early to more recent. March 25 2007 Lache Lane, Chester. Accident-prone winding lane. Their mum was livid! Between Wetten and Hulme End in the Peak District 2011. Note altocumulus clouds rippling. June 2012 when I cycled over Ironbridge Limnisa in Methana, Greece. My fave writing retreat. The ‘secret’ ...
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Crater’s Edge by Lucy Andrews


Crater’s Edge by Lucy Andrews You know me by now, a sucker for holes – the ones in the ground. Hence my POTHOLE short story about a small hole that doubles in size every day until… argh! To be featured in my INCREMENTAL collection coming out in 2018 Then there is EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEE with its Best SF novel award (runner up) in 2008 where alien artefacts emerge from the crust leaving behind rather deep holes. Here it is http://hyperurl.co/du4s3h   Not to forget my short story THE MEMORY ROCK when a meteorite makes a hole in my nearby village of Dodleston. A free read here http://thewifiles.com/?p=631 I wonder if this interest in earthly voids started when taking Geography students into Snow...
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Cigar-shaped spaceship Oumuamua


Artist’s concept of interstellar asteroid 1I/2017 U1 (‘Oumuamua) as it passed through the solar system after its discovery in October 2017. The aspect ratio of up to 10:1 is unlike that of any object seen in our own solar system. Original link
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Book Group topics for Xaghra’s Revenge

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I attend a couple of book groups in Chester. Often the books generate plenty of points for us to discuss, but sometimes it is useful for the publisher or author to provides questions. Many of these book group topics apply to any fiction so feel free to copy. Possible Book Group topics for XAGHRA’S REVENGE  1. What did you like best about this book? 2. What did you like least about this book 3. What other books did this remind you of 4. Which characters in the book did you like best? 5. Which characters did you like least? 6. If you were making a movie of this book, who would you cast? 7. Share a favourite quote from the book. Why did this quote stand out? 8. What other books by this author h...
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Free Kafka-esque story


I did a reading today at the launch of the Chester Writers’ Anthology 2017 in which is a surreal short of mine called View From… Our chairperson, Stanley, called my story Kafka-esque, which is a huge compliment. The launch was at Storyhouse, a new theatre / cinema / library / restaurant cultural hub in Chester. I was nervous to read my story until I realise that it was being relayed to speakers in the washrooms! I kept thinking as I read, how bizarre that folk will be in the bogs listening to me reading live! Anyhow I reproduce it here.  VIEW FROM… Geoff Nelder  I refuse to open my eyes.The six-thirty alarm bleats. My arm flails in the air, but misses. My eyes refuse to open so I close my ea...
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5* Reviews and more

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Wow, an outstanding and astounding review from that old favourite SFF magazine Amazing Stories for XAGHRA’S REVENGE. http://amazingstoriesmag.com/…/xhagras-revenge-geoff-nelder/ The same day as I read this review I saw this good one on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R3JNFJFKE93SG3/ref=pe_1572281_66412651_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv Please, if you’ve read Xaghra’s Revenge, consider scribbling a short review for it for Amazon or Goodreads or both. Thanks. Note to McAfee virus protector. This is the only virus checker that throws up an issue with my website. We don’t know why and they can’t tell me. Norton, AVG, Microsoft Essentials and all the other checkers say this website is clean. Get your ac...
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A ROAR from Mark Iles


JUST this last week, Mark Iles, a friend of mine had another science fiction novel released by Solstice Publishing. I am delighted to be part of a blog tour to promote his scintillating books. ROAR OF LIONS is book three in your Darkening Stars series and I’ve had the pleasure of following the story from the beginning. It is military science fiction, but loaded with rich characters, making your stories an enriching experience for any reader. Mark, I have a few questions if you don’t mind, followed by an excerpt to whet and wet our appetites for the full story. Q1) Military science fiction has always found a following, often with readers with no personal experience of the armed services. Do y...
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Awe of ancient Malta


When tourists and historians discover the Maltese islands they are bowled over by the golden glow of the ancient limestone streets. Many roads in the Mdina – the ancient island’s capital – are narrow and tall to keep out the sunlight and to make it difficult for invaders. Then shocked yet filled with admiration at the WW2 Siege of Malta followed by horror at the mass abduction of Gozo’s people in 1551. Hardly written about in fiction until XAGHRA’S REVENGE: a mix of contemporary lovers in France thrown together by ancient Gozo spirits and Ottoman pirates. Turgot Reis by Ali Sami Boyer These are not the swash-buckling Hollywood pirates with an eye patch, parrot and peg leg, but intelligent, c...
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Beeping on the bus


Beeping noise on the bus. Every few seconds. I thought it was my tinnitus taking on a new player, but others talked about it. Finally, at a stop, the driver announced his apologies. I shouted, “Turn your bus off and on again.” Everyone laughed, but it worked – as the driver probably knew it would. It reminded me of the opening to ARIA: Left Luggage. One man with buzzing in his head, on a bus. By the time everyone disembarked they all had it, and the driver. Infectious amnesia. Imagine the ramifications. See how it works out for only 99 cents or pence in ARIA smarturl.it/1fexhs I thought ARIA was mainly a medical mystery with its infectious amnesia being so unique, but others tell me it is sc...
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Present day Xaghra & what’s beneath them


Literally beneath them. This innocuous, quaint and historic square is in the town of Xaghra. Only by chance did I spot a queue form near the church steps, disappear down under the car park and apparently never to emerge. Whoa, I had to be part of this since I was writing a historical novel on why more Gozo folk didn’t hide when the pirates came in the 16th century. I joined the queue, parted with half a euro and down I went into a labyrinth carved out of limestone. Beds, store spaces, lights, all what you’d expect for a bomb shelter. Yes, that is what it what they said for the second world war when the brave Maltese sided with the British rather than German and Italian sides. Butbutbut I ins...
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