1930s Libyan Concentration Camp

October 1, 2014



It was a surprise to me to learn from an editing client’s book that the Italians set up and ran brutish concentration camps in Libya in the 1930s for the native Bedouins. How strange and bizarre for those nomadic life peoples to be interred behind barbed wire in the desert? Horrofic, yes, and yet we find from the grandson of one of the actual Bedouins that there was humour, honour and love in the camps. Such an unusual book I couldn’t stop reading even beyond my normal editing quotas each day.

Find  Al-agaila by Ali Hussein at



Excerpt and further information including paper print copy can be found at the publishers



update on Geoff Nelder author links

September 27, 2014

Visit Cold Coffee Cafe

Cold Coffee Press are running a campaign to promote my books focussing on ARIA: Left Luggage but also featuring my other books here.

Author’s Page And/or Book Page Links At Cold Coffee Press.com
Geo Nelder Author’s Page At Cold Coffee Press
ARIA: Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 1)
ARIA: Returning Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 2)
ARIA: Abandoned Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 3)
Escaping Reality
Extreme Planets: A Science Fiction Anthology Of Alien Worlds (Chaosium Fiction)
Exit, Pursued By A Bee
How To Win Short Story Competitions
Hot Air

Momentous day – father and son

September 15, 2014
after completing the Cyru Etape 2014 - with medal

after completing the Cyru Etape 2014 – with medal

***update photos at the end***

Rob's Trek in front, my Dawes behind

Rob’s Trek in front, my Dawes behind

Yesterday was one of those events that will always stay with me. I accompanied my son, Rob, to Bangor-on-Dee racecourse on the border between England and Wales. He had signed up to race the Cymru Etape – an annual tough cycle race of 86.5 miles and 2000 metres accumulated height in North Wales. See here. Over 2000 competitors aged 20s to 70s battled the gruelling steep lanes including the famous Horseshoe Pass.

I’m a bit annoyed with myself because when Rob registered for this race last winter he’d asked me if I’d cycled the course and if so, how long it took me. He knows he rides faster than me and wanted to gauge how long he’d take. I replied that yes I’d cycled all of it but only in bits over the last 5 years! I estimated it would take me about 8 to 9 hours to cycle with my Dawes Super Galaxy touring bike, especially with panniers and me carrying excess body fat. Once the Spring days became longer I intended to take a room in Bangor-on-Dee and leave my baggage there early one morning in order to do the whole course. Then I’d be able

to report to Rob on the condition of the road surface, exactly where the cattle grids are, the pot holes and how deep the fords are. However, chest pains that were diagnosed as stable angina followed by unstable and angioplasty on June 25th put paid to me doing the route this summer. All I could do was to put my bike on Rob’s car alongside his and be his support man (rather than lead-out rider) yesterday.

In my opinion the organisers and sponsors of the Cymru Etape should be more considerate with regard to the energy bars at the feed stations. The competitors pay an entrance fee and this goes towards the food. Yet they provided PowerBars, which according to their website is not vegetarian (many contain pork gelatine) this means that the several dozen veggies in the race are disadvantaged by having to carry all their food while the omnivores can pick theirs up en route. This is what many veggie and non-pork-eating cyclists had to carry!

energy bars for 86 miles!

energy bars for 86 miles!


Ironically, this is a closed road event, so the way to Bangor was circuitous since the roads closed at 5.30 in the morning! Because Rob had registered his estimated time as quite slow he was put in the last of 14 waves. I waited a few hundred metres past the start to cheer him on and already saw three riders with punctures! Then finally Rob came and up to me! I worried about what was wrong but although we were concerned about being cold at 8am, he said he was already hot and can I take his jacket!

At the start.

At the start.

During the race I knew I had at least 5 or 6 hours to kill so I got on my bike and headed away from the race roads, east along the Cheshire cycle way Route 70 and then to my friends John and Sally Pierson, who live in the ancient market town of Malpas. As we chatted about books, angina, the merits of glucosamine for combating arthritis and we drank Earl Grey, I received a set of text updates from Rob. I thought I’d better head back in case he suffered a mechanical breakdown that wasn’t fixable or worse! When I returned to Bangor-on-Dee, I and a marshal made a directional mistake so I ended up cycling the final kilometre of the race to and beyond the finish line. The time was 12:00 and already 3 riders were passing me, no doubt wondering what fool was this! In any case the crowd cheered me on and laughed as they guessed I hadn’t really just cycled 85 miles, although I had done over 20 at my sedate 12 mph.

Rob used his own cycle computer so knew his distances and times.The texts from Rob tell their own story:

(10.09am) @30 miles. Horse (Horse Shoe Pass) took about 22 mins. Have overtaken many others.

(12.01) 51.5 miles

(13.08) 70 miles

(13.20) 70.5 miles. Gear cable snapped! (gone back to ) feed station with mechanic looking at it.

(13.26) on way

(14.21) Done. Waiting for massage.

His final time was 6 hours and 2 minutes 59 seconds. Very good considering he was delayed by the broken gear cable.

I didn’t know he’d finished I was waiting at the finish to photograph him receiving his medal but must have turned chatting to other parents when he flashed by!

He passed just about as the announcement that the median rider had gone through. Ie half of the riders have finished. That meant Rob, who started in the last wave of about 140 riders must have overtaken about 1000 other riders! Well done lad. His actual ride up the King of the Mountains sub-race of Horseshoe Pass was 21.59 mins – brilliant. I’ve done it last year in 35 minutes. Gareth Thomas the guest celebrity (Rugby captain) and cyclist did it in 25 mins although the fastest was an amazing 15 minutes.

The race results are here. Search for Rob Nelder number 2046.

Rob was given a medal and a carton of Vitacoco coconut juice and he queued for a well-deserved massage.

Rob's sports massage.

Rob’s sports massage.

For our final journeys of the day, he drove east to Nottingham and I got on my bike for the wandering rural 20 miles back home to Chester. A warm glow to finish an unforgettable day.

Rob raised £275 for the charity, The Willow Foundation that gives treats and holidays for young cancer patients. He exceeded his target but you can give more at https://www.justgiving.com/Rob-Nelder/
Photos taken by SportsCam. First we have Rob riding up Horseshoe Pass followed by him leaning into a downhill bend.

Horseshoe Pass









# Review The Cutlers of the Howling Hills

August 31, 2014

The shop owner of a marvellous bookshop on the ancient walls of Chester is a writer too. I loved Michael Summers’ story, The Is Shop, in which a store only sells what the previous customer ordered. It’s based on the concept of fractal so there are cusps and bifurcations of intrigue in the story. Perhaps City Walls Books could be subtitled as The Alternative ‘IS Shop’? When you go or email the shop as for a copy. The shop is up on the walls off Northgate. Ask Mr Summers there for a hardback copy of his latest fiction:



The Cutlers of the Howling Hills by Michael Summers

Hardback edition published 2014

ISBN 978-1-311-32670-6

Reviewed by Geoff Nelder


Michael Summers is to conventional fiction as a banana is to a wheelbarrow. These 97 pages are two riveting works of literary gold, if odd. The first is a kind of road trip by Bulkington, a monk on a quest yet it has geographical and plot links to the Epic poem that makes up the final fifth of the tome – The Lay of The Last Wastrel.


The setting of a monastery, especially one as austere as St. Collywobbles, obliges the reader to imagine medieval and in this they are both right, and wrong. There is a feel of the ancient mainly because the monastery is 200 miles from the nearest town and people met are wonderfully weird. Bulkington is sent by the Abbott on a mission to secure replacement spoons. He finds an itinerant cutlery vendor, who is a former monk and together they set off on A Quest To Find Magic In The Abstract. You might think odd things happen in the wilderness. They do, but odder things happened at the monastery where toads catalyse the means by which the monks read.


There is much in this work that rings of cultural reflection and truism and of contemporary wit. For example The Hollow Hills are so called because their hollowness is the result of Elven Fracking. Along the trail the goodly monk Bulkington and his new BFF soothsayer Indole meet Noctus Satum, an experimental meteorologist who is puzzled why his lightning detector isn’t working. I laughed at this because I too constructed such a device decades ago when I taught about the vagaries of weather science. I often kept my classes inquisitive by displaying odd devices on my desk and offered prizes for the first to correctly determine their purpose. Like Noctus, my device used a screen – an oscilloscope used as a graphical ammeter, come to think of it rather like the ECG displays for my stay in hospital a few weeks ago only with more interesting spikes and T curves. In Cutlers it’s not too much a spoiler to say that the storm detector hits a problem of too many false positives detection. Funnily enough this happened to the Met Office in Huddersfield. I undertook climate research in that Colne Valley region in the 1970s and at the request of a friend in the Met Office I visited an amateur observer in Huddersfield because he consistently recorded a record annual thunderstorm frequency of over 40 when most of the Pennine region had half that. In the man’s garden I inspected his station and it was ideally situated with a well-maintained Stevenson Screen housing PSI-certified instruments. Then we heard a bang. He immediately fetched a ledger and recorded a thunderstorm.


“Just a minute,” I said, “that was Standard Fireworks across the valley, testing bangers!”


“No, it was a thunderstorm,” he said.


Shortly after that the Met Office statistics for that region were adjusted.


The writing style in Cutlers is marvellously lyrical, and not just in setting description. Listen to this excerpt from Chapter 11. ‘Round and round it tore, until the howling of the hills rang through the bog. The water sprayed and frothed, and droplets flew up into the night air. A vortex of tearing force touched down, hit the brackish mire and suddenly all was a column of turbulent water, beaten white by the tornado. With a great ribbetting whirl, hundreds of Collywobbler Toads disappeared into the night.


In some ways the ‘ashtray-smelling town of Avaciggy’ is a joke too many because in general the wry, dry humour runs through the narrative so well in its surreal way. As in ‘Everything … is built without a slide rule, so the rules slide–no right angles…’ Speaking of which there is a running joke on angular momentum, and by the way, the correct units of angular momentum is kilogram metres squared per second (kgm 2/sec). Unless you are referring to Quantum angular momentum in which case you’re on your own. Hence, I’ve given away the answer to an in-text riddle for you.


The reader becomes embroiled in the wilderness road trip with the two travellers right to the end, upon which an epic poem assaults you. And delightful, devious and glorious it is. Such ancient verse components and knowledge is built in with apparent ease for such a young writer. Seemingly disparate topics such polo, a shepherdess lamenting and harassing the town on the nomenclature of her unnamed mountain in the Howling Hills, provide us with linked quests within quests. A quest that kind of ends at its beginning. A quote from the verse that delighted me:


‘Where witchery trees turned sunlight to paper.

Many a thriller was cast to the wind;

A religious plemic announce ‘We have sinned.’

Yesterday’s news was blown on the breeze

A hundred best-sellers took flight from the trees.’


This novella and poem reflect each other and together deserves to be a best-seller.

Get your copy from Smashwords (free ebook at present) or print from the shop at http://citywallsbooksandmusic.webs.com


Nelder stuff //

Facebook #banned blunders

August 22, 2014
cover for How to Win Short Story Competitions

How to Win Short Story Competitions

Hilarious rather than annoying, I boosted a facebook post about the ebook on HOW TO WIN SHORT STORY COMPETITIONS Dave Haslett wrote with me. However, the cover art contains a page from Jon Pinnock’s award-winning short story and even though you can’t really read the page clearly, especially in the small advert, facebook has banned it for showing “too much text”. Haha. Clearly a machine scanned the ad rather than a person. I’ve appealed but it’s a wait and see.
Okay, now for another unexpected angle. The cover art has a story too. The medal is knitted. It was photographed with a page from Jonathan Pinnock’s winning tale as the background. Only at the point of publication did Dave notice the word tosser could be read. Not wishing to offend it has been sufficiently airbrushed.
If you are a writer and would either like to win competitions or just improve your style then this is the book for you – cheaper than a burger and much more a superfood.  UK Kindle http://amzn.to/1tm05Lp & for the US http://amzn.to/1yWRdh1

A pdf version is available from Ideas4Writers here.


Wirral Easy Rider

August 15, 2014
Linghams Bookshop, Heswall

Linghams Bookshop, Heswall

Now it’s 7 weeks since stents were shoved into my coronary artery and Cardio Rehab told me I am fit enough to do some gentle cycling I thought how marvellous to use that excuse to cycle Chester to Heswall in the Wirral to deliver my books. In particular Linghams Bookshop in Heswall have been supportive of my authorial efforts so they were my destination and the lucky receiver of the final book of the ARIA Trilogy. Sadly, they told me no one has bought books one and two in their shop yet and would I nudge Wirral-located buddies to go along. Umm, I’m not good at this selling lark, however, if you live in the Wirral and know someone who would give you a hug for a medical mystery / science fiction at less than the price of a veggie burger and smoothie then please pop in to Linghams at 248 Telegraph Road, Heswall, Merseyside, CH60 7SG, UK or order online from them – search for Nelder in their search box.

My cycle ride was eventful from the start. Interesting view across the pedestrian bridge over the River Dee at Saltney Ferry.

Saltney Ferry bridge across the Dee

Saltney Ferry bridge across the Dee

Although I stopped at the top because a large pedestrian took up more than 50% of the width, another mad cyclist didn’t and after overtaking me collided with Mr Big. Loud anguished cries and blue language as you’d expect. Reminded me of that tale where large Friar Tuck challenges Robin Hood when crossing a bridge in Sherwood Forest. The cyclist nearly had his bike hurled into the water if I’d not said, “Hey chaps, look at those geese!”

Indeed, hundreds of geese had taken to the air probably around Neston and flew quite low over us. The distraction allowed the two combatants to calm down and carry on their ways.

The cycle path travels northwest alongside the Dee and passes where British Aerospace builds the Airbus 380 wings. On the photo you can see one of the wings loaded onto a specially-constructed barge for shipping, eventually, to France to be assembled, like a giant airfix kit.

Airbus wing on barge

Airbus wing on barge

Most of the cycling is on flat, exposed terrain. A temptation to consider it boring is dispelled by the sight of the river, wild flora and birdlife. From Neston to Heswall are cycle signs for route 56 but be warned it becomes muddy, underwater in places and with stinging nettles adding to the excitement in your legs.

Cyclepath to ConnahsQuayThe round trip from my house is 40 miles, especially after a few sidetracks trying interesting-looking lanes.

I hope someone pops into Linghams and considers buying at least Book 1 which is ARIA: Left Luggage, then the shop will ask me for more.

Other books from Nelder can be found on Amazon author pages

UK Amazon author page http://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

And for US readers http://www.amazon.com/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

Geoff facebooks at http://www.facebook.com/AriaTrilogy and tweets at @geoffnelder





#New Media #Release ARIA

August 10, 2014

Apparently the ISBN fell over a chair and turned up incorrect in the original release so here is the right one! These things happen with the best and biggest publishers so hey ho. Apologies to all those hundreds I emailed with the wrong ISBN. If you ordered that wrong ISBN I hope you enjoyed your random story!

My favourite tweet lately is this one. Please RT it if you do that kind of thing:

Let me lead you into temptation and to a unique #apocalypse ARIA: a snarky gem. #Kindle http://amzn.to/11rseH3 details http://bit.ly/HNYyq4


Other news is that Baen Books have asked for the full manuscript of my urban fantasy Xaghra’s Revenge so all digits crossed!

 Here’s the re-release of the media information for

ARIA: Abandoned Luggage

Cover art for ARIA: Abandoned Luggage

Cover art for ARIA: Abandoned Luggage

Book Three of the ARIA Trilogy

By Geoff Nelder

Published by LL-Publications

Print: $14.99 (US) /£9.99 (UK/EU) /eBook: $5.99 (US) £3.99 (UK/EU)

ISBN: 978-0-9905655-0-5 (print)/ 978-0-9905655-3-6 (ebook)

© Geoff Nelder

254 pages / 89,500k words

Release Date: July 1, 2014

Genre(s): science fiction, speculative fiction



“Geoff Nelder inhabits Science Fiction the way other people inhabit their clothes.”

Jon Courtenay Grimwood


“Geoff Nelder’s ARIA has the right stuff. He makes us ask the most important question in science fiction–the one about the true limits of personal responsibility.”

—Brad Linaweaver


“ARIA has an intriguing premise, and is written in a very accessible style.”

—Mike Resnick


In 2015, a case found in the struts of the International Space Station is brought to Earth. It releases a virus giving people amnesia. They lose their memory at the rate of a year’s worth every week. No one is immune. Infectious amnesia is unheard of. Industry breaks down as people forget where they work and how to perform their duties. People die as they forget their medication, and production ceases along with food, water supply, and energy. A few small groups realise what is happening in time and find isolated refuges. Ryder Nape takes a group to a secluded Welsh valley where safety from the virus is possible. Biologists call the virus ARIA: Alien Retrograde Infectious Amnesia.


In this conclusion to the trilogy, Dr. Antonio Menzies arrives on Zadok. The ARIA-3 bomb had reached there two days previously, causing havoc. Surviving Zadokians consider a mass-migration to Earth to escape the effects of ARIA-3. Antonio’s madness grows, and he makes disturbing discoveries in their laboratories.


Meanwhile, Ryder’s group is now on a Pacific island. His relationship with Jena is unstable and others have astonishing infatuations in tune with the increasingly desperate situation. When their island becomes unsustainable, and the alien-Earth hybrid weed gets out of control, where should they go?


What was the Zadokians’ real purpose with the ARIA viruses, and how does it all end?


About the Author

Geoff Nelder lives in Chester with his long-suffering wife and has two grown-up children whose sense and high intelligence persist in being a mystery to him. He would do most things for a laugh but had to pay the mortgage so he taught I.T. and Geography in the local high school for thirty years. A post-war baby boomer, he is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society (FRMet S), and his experiences on geographical expeditions have found themselves into amusing pieces in the Times Educational Supplement. Visit Geoff’s website – www.geoffnelder.com


ARIA: Abandoned Luggage is available in print and several ebook formats including Kindle and NOOK and can be found at many online retailers. Visit the ARIA page at LL- Publications:



LL-Publications (www.ll-publications.com) is an independent publisher “taking readers down a different path” and specializing in genre and literary titles in print and ebook formats since 2008.


For sales/wholesale sales inquiries, contact: editor(at)ll-publications.com

Enjoying a breakdown – Primordial

July 30, 2014

Primordial An Abstraction by D. Harlan Wilson
Anti-Oedipus Press • September 2014
Paperback: 167 pages • 5×8 • $13.95 • ISBN 978-0-9892391-5-8
Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes & Noble

D.Harlan Wilson - Primordial

D.Harlan Wilson – Primordial

Reviewed by Geoff Nelder

I was tempted to write this review in the style and sense of the novel’s narrative but I tried that with Zombie Acopalypse! Fightback created by Stephen Jones for which I became the unholy revenant. I wrote it as one of the zombies featured in the anthology, full of bile with a hunger for the blood of its author. My cool review bombed. This one is different.
Primordial is a bizarre campus novel in which a professor has his doctorate revoked and he returns as a student to regain it. Others are in a similar situation. He fights to understand the rationality behind it even though it’s probably a scam. In some ways it is more a stream of nightmarish consciousness than a novel. The plot is almost irrelevant although not the university setting. Characterization is so strong it hurts. The prof is mostly acerbic, especially in his relationships with fellow students and his lecturers but his rollercoastering sanity is a joy to witness.
Putting it in the kind of terms the author uses, the main character is in an existential crisis although if that means one is compelled to make love with one’s eschatological professor – the one with a swell bust – in every bathroom in campus then the crisis could be worse.
In keeping with the subject of his thesis: the violence of rhetoric, much of the narrative shocks in a compelling way. Truisms shock too – eg ‘Most of adult life is spent discovering the mystery of how very little you matter.’ Most of mine is spent in denial of that but I have to bend to its truth. The words the author chooses (very carefully, which makes a refreshing change from most novels thrown my way) deserve revisiting with an eye for another interpretation. It could be that my reaction is wrong but as with all novels once it is published it no longer belongs to the author, but the reader. Hence, take this sentence: ‘The academic ideological apparatus interpellates all of us.’ I have cartographical and mathematical training so my brain initially read that as interpolates all of us. Hah. I like that concept of the bureaucracy taking us not for what we are but as a statistical average, fitting us in between fixed points of reference, like contours being estimated on a map between the few known spot heights. However, Wilson doesn’t actually say that because the rarer word interpellate is about making a point of order in the business of government – or similar. This might be one of those instances where the author has no objection to the reader making up their own interpretation.
As an editor of thousands of short stories and dozens of novels, one aspect of pleonastic writing I am compelled to correct is echoing. Not just a repeated word word by slippage of hand but when a phrase is used twice in a paragraph. It’s an amateur-alert red flag to an editor when used twice in a paragraph. However, it can be a masterstroke when crafted by an expert. Consider when our ex-professor is road-raged on page 90: ‘I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat.’ Brilliant.
He is wallowing in the repetition and it reinforces our mental image so much more than saying he hit the truck with the bat 16 times. As the prof says much later in the novel, ‘repetition is just as good as karma.’ We could quote himself back with ‘That’s not altogether true. Nothing ever is.’ There are many such self-referential pieces and another is, ‘Something happens here.’ In fact that is a whole chapter – number 66. I echo – Something happens here. He could have said, ‘Nothing happens here.’ However, that wouldn’t be true unless the page was blank like page 164, but the words 66 for the chapter heading is already on p132 so it cannot be nothing, hence ‘Something happens here.’ Of course it is a link, too from the previous to the next chapter. I love this book.
I’ve read and reviewed other D. Harlan Wilson works, Codename Prague, and They had Goat Heads. All enjoyable, but this I’ve savoured the most. It took longer than any other short novel to read because of that savouring. There are few book extracts I read out loud to my wife, but I did from this book. Not that she listened. This book will remain in my thoughts for ever, or as the unnamed prof says, ‘Once you engage a singularity you are doomed to fondle the ticklish parts of its shadow for eternity.’
This is one of those rare novels you can treat like a poetry book and take off the shelf for a random dip when you need your complacency stirred. Completely recommended for all aficionados of the bizarro genre or if you are willing to have your brain tickled.

Nelder Notes:

I’m utterly proud to announce the release of the final and third book in my ARIA TRILOGY

ARIA is the thrilling, award-winning, scifi medical mystery and apocalyptic drama that everybody should be talking about and would be if they hadn’t forgotten it through the infectious amnesia at its heart.

All formats.


And for UK readers http://www.amazon.co.uk/ARIA-Abandoned-Luggage-Three-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00LMNE9JW/

So many of you have asked when the final book is out and here it is. Enjoy.


In case you are inspired to read the first book in the trilogy, the price of the ebook has been slashed to less than the price of a coffee as you’ll see on these pages: #kindle now http://amzn.to/1daTUUn UK – http://amzn.to/1gn3iHI


  1. ARIA is the first and so far only book to use the concept of infectious amnesia.
  2. Although character-led, the novel has breakthrough plot threads, making us think of what is the most important and crucial aspects of our lives. Research help and support was emailed from space! Astronaut Leroy Chiao answered my questions about the nature of the struts on the International Space Station, and wished me luck with the book.
  3. All the places on Earth used in the book are real geographical locations, including the ‘hidden’ valley – Anafon – in North Wales.
  4. The cover art is designed by award-winning artist, Andy Bigwood.
  5. The idea of infectious amnesia came while I was riding a bicycle up a steep Welsh hill.

You tube video trailer http://youtu.be/oh0AAXIe8VU

Facebook page for you to ‘like’ if you will http://www.facebook.com/AriaTrilogy

A typical review of book one:


A wikia page about me and the ARIA Trilogy is http://nelderaria.wikia.com/wiki/NelderAria_Wiki

Peepshow tour of authors

July 25, 2014

through_the_key_hole_by_jesidangerouslyWith Catherine Edmunds and Mark Iles but as with theirs this is a kind of peepshow into how I spend my day when I’m not being rushed to hospital or wrestling grandchildren.

The ding of my inbox disrupted a well-deserved snooze. It was that mistress of the arts, Cathy Edmunds, with an invitation, a beseeching, to engage with her in a blog tour. Does she think I have nothing better to do? She’s right. I am a link. I will be strong.
Cathy’s blog is at http://catherineedmunds.blogspot.co.uk/ do visit it, leave comments, buy her books. The next in the link after me is Mark Iles. Like me he writes science fiction but quite unlike my style. Just this week the characters in the first book in my ARIA: Left Luggage were accused of being too funny for such a horrific situation. The reviewer had not heard of graveyard humour or those situations where we use humour to overcome adversity. I don’t believe I overdo the humour. Indeed other reviewers say that infectious amnesia is more terrifying than zombies and vampires. You can’t win them all.
I am reminded of a quote by Isaac Asimov about his reactions to thoughtless reviewers: “From my close observation of writers… they fall into two groups: 1) those who bleed copiously and visibly at any bad review, and 2) those who bleed copiously and secretly at any bad review.”

If you enjoy military science fiction you’ll definitely enjoy Mark Iles work and his blog is at http://markiles.co.uk/the-blog

Cathy Edmunds tells me all I have to do now is be a well-behaved pupil and answer the following four questions
1. What am I working on?
2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
3. Why do I write what I do?
4. How does my writing process go?

1. What am I working on?
Mostly kid’s stuff. Why? Because my infant grandchildren have heard that I’m an author and have asked to know about my books. Well, you know they have too many naughty bits so I’ve been busy writing new books. Three in the last month, all in the Scoot and Red series where Scoot is a 5-year-old boy and Red is his dog. The Blue Ball, String Theory and Time Travel have been drafted, roughly illustrated and tested on Oliver, my grandson in Manchester. Then I go home and make edits before testing them on my granddaughters in Nottingham. In many ways it is like doing a reading from my novel to a literary gathering. There I was reading Time Travel with Scoot, Red and Penny when I’m rudely interrupted by the cook, who brandishes a pan under my nose and says, “Are these enough spuds for mashing?” My grandson tuts, but then asks me to start again. Yeah.
I’ve also been writing shorts for the Chester Library Fantasy Writing Group. The August topic is to write a fantasy with at least one scene under water. I’ve been waiting to make time to write this story for a few years. A colleague of my wife sailed his catamaran from Anglesey to the Isle of Man one night and hit an object floating just under the surface. It was a large container that had fallen off a cargo ship. Usually they sink but this one hadn’t. My imagination went berserk. Suppose it was full of people being smuggled? Dead or alive? Spooky and ripe for telling. On a holiday, I asked a member of the Manx Coastguard what they’d do if a semi-submerged container was reported to them. “Nowt lad, unless it was reported as still not sank 24 hours later in which case we’d go out and put some holes in it.” How unimaginative. My story is called “Voyage of the Silents” and it’s set in the warmer Mediterranean and is a short sequel to my Hot Air thriller – see blog post.
2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
There are too many answers to this awful question. a) I don’t know because I don’t read enough of others in the various genre I write in; b) of those I read and admire I slip into, stylewise, and so risk not being different, except in an inferior way – probably. Eg for my thrillers I admire the humour of Tibor Fischer, the bizarreness of D Harlan Wilson and Ira Nayman, and the clever plotting of Michael Dibdin. For my science fiction I am probably more on my own, swimming or sinking in my own style of surviving an apocalyptic event. I admire but am not as black as for instance The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
3. Why Do I Write What I Do?
Who devised these hard questions? The answer for me is historical. As a pupil my teachers danced hysterically when I inserted adverbs and adjectives such as gnarled even though with contemporary fiction we rarely use them. My dad made me laugh and when I repeated his jokes at school, pupils and teachers chuckled. I found I could write jokes and wrote them for school review shows then when I left to go to Sheffield University I became one of the editors of the rag mag. Shamefully, I find many of my awful jokes still in existence. In spite of such shame I can’t help putting humour into even the most dire situations my characters find themselves in. I write science fiction because the world is too restricting for my wayward imagination. I write fantasy to escape reality and to explore alternative therapies to humdrumness.
4. How does my writing process go?
I didn’t think I possessed a pattern to my writing. When I held down a day job (teaching) I would rise early, bash out some words, save them to floppy disk (haha), print them at work and if the opportunity arose I’d edit the pages with the red pen I marked the kid’s work. Sometimes I cycled the long way home via a café, say in Farndon, have a cup of tea while editing. In the evening I’d have little time for writing because of marking and preparing school work until midnight. Once I became too deaf to control a class and was sent packing with an early-pension (yeay) I’d take on paid editing work, but it was easier as my own boss, to write when the mood struck. I don’t have a fixed time any more for writing. No need, because on my bike rides I’m often thinking of new ideas and can shuffle other editing work around. I’m often writing a short story, a novel, a non-fiction piece for a cycling magazine, blogs, and editing other people’s work. I’m also the house-husband and granddad. I don’t know if I work harder now than when I was in fulltime work but it feels like it.

Nelder links:
Links to buy ARIA and other of my books are on my Amazon author page
Geoff’s UK Amazon author page http://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY
And for US readers http://www.amazon.com/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY
Geoff ARIA facebook is at http://www.facebook.com/AriaTrilogy and he tweets at @geoffnelder

ARIA on wikia is at http://nelderaria.wikia.com/wiki/NelderAria_Wiki

Is it #Hot enough for you?

July 23, 2014

It looks like my Hot Air thriller has won another award – this time by Noveltunity and its fancypants badge. winner-award-june14 (3)

There you are enjoying a birthday treat in a hot air balloon. You drift across rooftops that are the quintessence of Regency Bath in rural England. Why would someone want to shoot you down? How is a hot air balloon shot down?

This unusual beginning leads to a lethal hide-and-seek adventure in the Mediterranean. Underlying the scary events is a criminal family whose specialism grew from money laundering to people laundering. Seeing suspicious men behind every olive tree and distrusting the police, feisty Erica uses the methodology of the villains against them in order to survive and seek justice.

HotAir1UK Kindle http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hot-Air-Geoff-Nelder-ebook/dp/B0084OZL9E/
And US

Hot Air

Hot Air

Buy from Amazon

Hot Air Trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-5fEJ3mvBQ


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25,058 other followers