In Dreams Awake

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

(Henry David Thoreau)

Monday, 23 January 2017

Haven't Stopped Moving

 Hi y'all. Interesting times we live in.

 Brexit first, then Donald Trump. I can still hardly believe the buffoon is President, but he is, so America and the world just has to accept it now. As long as he doesn't do a Bush/ Blair and start running about starting wars, I suppose the time will pass.

 Anyway, thinking about the state of the world hurts my head at the moment, so I'm not going to. Perhaps if I ignore everything the problems will all go away. It's worth a try. So I'll focus only on my own issues. I have some sort of chance of sorting them out, at least.

 OK, first thing to mention is the Kickstarter project for Black Lord of Eagles. It's still short of target but there are four days left, so please, if you can, go to Anything would be great.

 Secondly, tomorrow night (Monday 23rd) I'll be on The Voice radio, the book club hosted by Olli Tooley. I expect to talk a lot of nonsense but somewhere in the drivel there might be a few interesting bits and odds about Black Lord of Eagles, and about Blue Poppy publishing as well. The Voice is on 106.1FM. Tune in and have a listen.

 And thirdly, on Tuesday I move house, and will lose my internet connection for a while. It should only be a few days but I've heard that song before, so who knows? I'll pop into the library to stay up to date as and when I can. Still, don't hate me if I can't respond immediately.

 So, interesting times for me, at least. I'm also in contact with Radio Devon, Radio Plymouth, and 10Radio Somerset about appearing on their shows, I'm expecting a second baby (vicariously), I'm preparing for a new job, and I think I died of exhaustion three weeks ago and just haven't stopped moving yet. If you see me, give me a poke just in case.

 Otherwise, speak to you soon.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Code Name Biscuit

 I'm going to launch Black Lord of Eagles at Barnstaple Library on Friday 7th of April. I might have done it at Sol Books, but I can't get hold of the guys I need to speak to, and time's a-wasting. So the Library it is. I've already got the poster done, with the cover and a bit of blurb. I think it looks pretty good.

 Meanwhile I'm behind target on Kickstarter. If anyone wants to make a pledge, or can share the link to others, just go to It would be a massive help for me to reach my goal, anything you can do would be great.

 Meanwhile I've already begun the edit of volume two, Tales of Fanged Fish. This continues the story, as the struggle for the Blessed Land becomes even more savage and bitter. One of the features of the story is the brutality of the fighting. It's not explicit very often, because that would make the book X rated and hard to read. But I did want to show the horror of warfare. In a lot of Fantasy the battles are all fought cleanly, by men of honour behaving in a noble way. But that's not what ancient war was like. It's not what modern war is like either, come to that - look at Syria. War is a cruel and nasty thing, and I didn't want to sanitise it.

 Anyway, all of this is happening as I prepare to move house, which happens on the 24th. Then we'll be starting to get ready for baby #2, code name Biscuit, who's due in July. There's a lot to do. I may have to give up sleeping at some point this year.

 Then again, maybe not.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

The Wrong Elite

 You know, there are things coming up this year that will be good, and others which will not.

 Having my second child will be great. He/she is due in early July. It will complete our family, and soon after I'll be having the snip - item #1 of the things I'm not looking forward to.

 Publishing Black Lord of Eagles is going to be good too. It's planned for April 7th, a collaboration with Blue Poppy Publishing, and will be my first new novel for nearly two years. I won't wait as long again, I promise.

 Now, bad things....

 In Italy, the Pascha di Siena bank is the oldest in the world. It's also crippled by toxic debt, and was given until the end of 2016 to raise billions in new assets. If it failed - which seems almost certain, though it's not official yet - it will collapse. Since it's tied into the Italian banking system, and that system is almost as weak as the di Siena, it will probably mean a broad banking collapse that will destroy the Italian economy. In turn, that will bring down the Euro currency and maybe break the EU itself.

 Apocalyptic? The EU Central Bank admits it is likely to happen that way.

 Second bad thing. In Iraq, the Mosul Dam was built on gypsum, which dissolves in contact with water. For 30 years concrete has been pumped into the ground to solidify it, day after day, with no pause. And then IS took over, and for somewhere between one month and eighteen months, no pumping was done. IS has been driven out now, but many engineers are missing and equipment is gone or destroyed too. Water downstream now shows high levels of gypsum. One end of the Mosul Dam has tilted by half an inch. Not much, but it shows the dam's integrity has begun to fail.

 In spring, mountain snow melt will fill the river Tigris and add pressure to the dam. A team of US engineers recently said they expect the Mosul Dam to collapse under that stress. That will mean a 100-foot wall of water hitting Mosul city within minutes, and a 15-foot wall reaching Baghdad four hours later. 1.5 million people are expected to die if the dam breaks.

 I mention all this because surely, surely, the Western World can stop these disasters. We have billions to spend on ridiculous wars, after all. America's next president plans to cut taxes for the richest so obviously he has money sloshing about, right? Perhaps tax cuts can wait. Perhaps it would be wiser to save over a million lives in the country America and Britain invaded and threw into chaos with such carelessness. Perhaps that would be the moral thing to do.

 As for the di Siena bank, £5 billion would at least buy it time. Given the possible scale of the catastrophe if it collapses, that's worth spending. Britain could do it. What a gesture of support as we leave the EU. And again, there's a moral aspect. I'm not comfortable watching people be impoverished while the elite sits on its hands and does nothing. It makes me think we have the wrong elite.

 These disasters are not certain - what is? But they're likely, and we can stop them, and yet I'm almost sure we won't.