FALLING UP is the sequel to the surreal science fiction novella, Suppose We, published in May 2019. The fifth draft of Falling Up is now complete having gone through the rigours of Orbiters 7.
Orbiters? That’s one of the critique groups of the British Science Fiction Association. Every two months we send around 5,000 to 9,000 words of our latest oeuvre to be hacked at by eagle-eyed wordsmiths in return for mutual editing. The funny thing is that if there are, say, six members of the critique group, by the time you’ve received five detailed edits (using MS Word’s Review / Comment feature) you’d think there’s nothing left to change. After all, Falling Up had already been outlined, rough drafted, tightened, lacerated and read out loud by me before submitting it to the group to start with. Even so, every member tends to be a specialist: punctuation, tenses, characterisation, voice, science and technology, credibility and so on, and finds something that irks them.
Now, it’s reached the stage where I’ve applied all the suggestions I agree with and I’m ready – nearly – to send the latest version to the publisher, LL-Publications, who will send it to their own editor and proofreader. In the past I find one has removed most of my commas and the other has thrown them back in!
SUPPOSE WE is the first in the Flying Crooked series of novellas. The premise: a spaceship crashlands on a faraway planet. Sadly, the natives are so far ahead of Earth in intelligence that they ignore the humans. Somehow the latter have to persuade the strange aliens – oops no, the humans are the aliens – to help. Luckily, the planet Kepler-20h has a problem and by chance the secret mission package contains a kind of solution. The book is acclaimed by Jaine Fenn.
Peter Wilhelmsen, fantasy writer: “The exploration-part, the unknown part of it all, made me want to turn the pages. The world building is impressive, and the way the humans interpret things makes the science behind it all easy to follow. And the Keps felt very alien-like, like something taken out of X-files. In other words, they worked for me. Their AI counterparts as well. Overall, I enjoyed reading Suppose We immensely.”
From Australian psychiatrist Dr Bob Smith The best thing about reading speculative fiction is the creative imagination of someone else, who thinks up things (even) I haven’t. If the writing is good, I join into the author’s reality-construction while reading. Then, afterward, the new concepts challenge me. I muse over “what if” considerations, and perhaps my view of the possible is enlarged.
This is why I enjoy Geoff Nelder’s writing. He and I think very differently. At first, some of his concepts strike me as bizarre — then they grow on me. (Please don’t take that literally.)
His latest, a story named after the spaceship, “Suppose We,” is just like that. The narrator, small, slight but bouncy Frenchman Gaston, is delightful. The four humans in the story have very real, contrasting personalities, leading to some fun and games, but most enjoyable is a character who names itself CAN, and then has endless fun punning on the name.
I won’t say anything about the story, but let you explore it for yourself.
David Leaper: Geoff Nelder is a visionary writer.
Colm Herron: Our world can be a terrifying place. And the world that Nelder portrays left me fearful, gripped, and yet giddy with laughter at times. This use of humour is utterly ingenious because it serves as a release valve.
Hopefully, Falling Up will attract similar reviews. If those readers thought Suppose We was surreal, then its sequel is even weirder. The title says it all, or at least the beginning when two of the crew members find themselves falling upwards when they emerge out of a mine halfway up a cliff. The planet is under attack by AIs and… I had so much fun writing it.
So, what about the cover art?
The alien AIs use a Jupiter-sized cutting sphere to slice up planets. I struggled to find an image exactly like the one in my head but saw a sculpture in the Algarve that was pretty close! A cycling pal who plays around with abstra
ct art suggested a cover based on that.
However, I decided on something simple. I hope you agree.
Other Nelder news
A short science fiction story of mine has been published by Aphelion and you can read it for free here. http://www.aphelion-webzine.com/shorts/2019/10/Failsafe.html
Suppose We is on Kindle and paperback from Amazon https://mybook.to/SupposeWe
When Kiu found he was LOCKED OUT of his spaceship he knew he was in big trouble or in another of Nelder’s surreal shorts in INCREMENTAL.
For the cost of a coffee & cake you can laugh, be amazed, and blurt into your coffee.
Other books on Escaping Reality • http://hyperurl.co/nyjaiv
Hot Air • http://hyperurl.co/di4y0h
Exit, Pursued by a Bee • http://hyperurl.co/du4s3h
ARIA: Left Luggage • smarturl.it/1fexhs
ARIA: Returning Left Luggage • http://hyperurl.co/tgtid6
ARIA: Abandon Luggage • http://hyperurl.co/26trxv
Chaos of Mokii • http://mybook.to/ChaosOM
Xaghra’s Revenge • http://myBook.to/Xaghra