Appetising young stuff for sale...er, no, sorry.
I write books. So does the Countess. I also make music. Here you can see some of the stuff we do, and buy it if you like.
Well, as far as this page is concerned. Since last year I've been putting stories and other stuff up on a special page, accompanied by a handy Paypal "Donate" button so that if you like what you read you can support a struggling artist. Now all that stuff has a brand new site of its very own, at... (pom papa pom pom pom POMMM)
Go check it out if you haven't already! (Or even if you have. I may have written something new since then. Hmm. I must ask next time I see myself...
I have two slim yet perfectly formed volumes out there at the moment, with more to follow.
Three Windows is a collection of novellas of varied themes and settings. "The Sallow Man" is a period chiller with echoes of Thomas Love Peacock, M R James and Mervyn Peake. "The Shop" sits somewhere between science fiction and fantasy; it's set in a dystopian near future and was inspired by a genre of computer games, and I'm not talking first person shooter here. "Loose Threads: A Tale Of The Truesingers" goes into the far future, but the story is still not so far removed from the concerns of today.
This was my first venture into self-publishing.
Read an extract from "The Sallow Man" here.
Two Magicians is a short novel set in a generic fantasy kingdom unlike any other. The two magicians of the title, Mordecai and Willibald, meet under less than ideal circumstances, do not get on, and want nothing more than to go their separate ways...but fate (or in this case, the writer) has other ideas. The kingdom is under threat from within and without, Mordecai has got somewhat rusty over the years, and Willibald has lost his hat...
This story began as an idea for a film. In fact, it began as an idea for a scene, which never made it into the novel. By the time I got to that point, though, the characters were standing either side of me bellowing into my ears, so there was nothing for it but to carry on to the end. Which, of course, wasn't the end at all. At least, I hope not..
Read an extract from Two Magicians here.
The Eight-Man Austin: A Tale Of The Nyrond (co-written with Sam Armitage)
The first appearance of my space-travelling con men in book form*, this is the story of what happens to the planet known as Kelleman's World when not one, not two, but eight Nyronds descend upon it to play out an ancient ritual of challenge and competition. From the cluttered corridors and perilous passages of the homeship, to the boardrooms and great houses of Kellemanite high society, to the unspoiled downlands of the neighbouring planet Tangahane, the Nyronds take Kelleman's World for a ride that will leave it for ever changed. Thrill as Florestan Nyrond gets shown around a chocolate factory! Gasp as Hilary Nyrond deals with a faulty groundcar! Marvel as Jubal Nyrond eats a muffin! Oh, and there's some romance and some action and some funny bits as well. I think you'll enjoy it.
Read an extract from the Eight-Man Austin here.
*Apart from a brief and wonderful cameo by Zander in a Star Trek novel. Thank you, L A.
Here, in this handsome volume, are collected the best of the posts from eight years of blogging. Here are jokes old and new, stories finished and unfinished, characters familiar and unfamiliar, and arguments sound and decidedly unsound. Here is the reason why Spike is cooler than Angel, the story of Mulla Nasrudin and the donkey poltergeist, the ballad of the Westron Witch, and the explanation of exactly how I went off nuWho. There's even one illustration inside, my goodness. How can you resist?
Most of my musical output (see "filk")has been recorded with the assistance of lots and lots of other brilliant and talented people, and is now long out of print, and while I hope to reissue those recordings some day there are legal issues to be negotiated. This lot, however, is awl mi oan werk...
The Filk Of Human Kindness, my first filk tape, is now available in a completely revamped form, with all new recordings, some new arrangements, one new lyric, and one completely new song. Available to download from Bandcamp.com for only ten pounds, it comes with a PDF file including the cover picture, track listing and full lyrics (which according to unalterable tradition don't quite match the ones on the album) and all the usual wibble you get in a CD booklet. I'm working on a new album, Owls, due out in 2012, so support your local Nyrond and buy The Filk Of Human Kindness - Futeurised today!
To The Landing was recorded entirely in my workroom, which gives on to the landing, hence the title. It's a collection of instrumental pieces intended to show off what I believe these days are called my l33t skillz at composing and arranging. Several of the pieces are based on tunes by some of those brilliant and talented people I mentioned above, or on traditional melodies to which I've tried to give a bit of a twist. Two of them are actual classical overtures, and I'm really proud of those.
Blow For Freedom was recorded in the same way, and is also fully instrumental, though with a slightly more modern feel to most of the tracks, and most if not all tunes original with me, or as original as any permutation of twelve notes can be. The title and cover image have been with me for a very long time, and I make no apology for finally using them in this context. The highlight track for me on this album is "Dance Of The Ants In My Brain," composed almost entirely on simulated Mellotron, and feeling very much like an old silent film from Europe, or possibly that schnapps advert.
There will be other albums like this, though I also hope to do some more collections of songs as well.
NOTE: Lulu are discontinuing CDs, so I have moved my music over to Bandcamp, which is much nicer anyway because I can keep prices down.
Hear a track from To The Landing here (low-res): Processional Of The Rising Sun.
And now we get to the good stuff. My wife writes great chunky ripping yarns with sex and violence and high drama and pathos and all that, and getting her to allow me to put them into book form was only like getting blood out of a stone in the sense that climbing the Matterhorn is like going into the loft. But here they are, at last.
Those of you reading this who are British filkers will almost certainly have heard one or more of the songs that have been inspired by these stories, many of which have lyrics by the Countess herself, and some of which have been recorded by other artists. "Song Of The Women" (filked as "Men's Laundry Song" which features on the n'Early Music Consort's album Voices Going West) was the first, but there have been many more.
SALAK: Blood On Bookwalk introduces you to the far-future setting of the Urthan Unity, a conglomeration of human-occupied worlds dominated by multi-planetary corporations and a government mired in conservatism and prejudice. On Salak, far out on the Fringes of Unity space, Governor Elect Severin Torrent tries to preserve the uneasy peace between the different strata of society, while simultaneously guarding them all against the threat of invasion from the mysterious Dark Empire of Rha, whose inhabitants are believed to be hideous venom-spitting reptiles. His only solace is his contracted Pet, an androgynous mutant who goes by the name of Mershane Bringer and serves Severin with total devotion, when he's not away on mysterious errands about which Severin prefers to remain in the dark. Naturally, this deviant pastime does Severin's standing among the Élite no good at all.
When an inoffensive academic and his wife are brutally murdered in the peaceful academic district known as Bookwalk, and their eight-year-old daughter is rescued by Mer on one of his nocturnal outings, it doesn't take long for accusations to start flying...
Read an extract from SALAK: Blood On Bookwalk here.
SALAK to RHA: Betwixt And Between explores in greater depth the background of Mershane Bringer, the influences that shaped his fascinatingly flawed character and the personalities with whom he interacts, in a series of stories that ranges from the familiar setting of Salak to the mysterious planet Rha, home to the Six and One, and centre of the Dark Empire. The tone of the stories is delightfully diverse, from the dark horror of "The Hain Gate" to the romantic comedy of "Severin's Bride," to the tense thriller that is the title story.
This volume both complements "SALAK: Blood On Bookwalk" and paves the way for future stories taken from the tumultuous life of Mershane Bringer.
Read an extract from SALAK to RHA: Betwixt And Between here.
In these three stories, "Dragon Dice," "Complications: Mer And Hal," and "Bells And Bracelets," we learn how the Bringer first met Hal Heavitree and Tam van Dreash Calder (whom you'll remember from SALAK: Blood On Bookwalk), and how he finally freed himself from Rainby. In the process you will learn the one thing on Salak that scares Severin Torrent, and the one thing Mershane will never do for him, and why the Blaine are called Blaine.
Contains strong homoerotic scenes and some violence.
Read an extract from RAINBY to SALAK: Bracelets, Bells And Dragon Dice here.
Paul Carraway is the epitome of the gilded youth of the Élite. Son of a well-respected conservative Senator, handsome, talented, privileged and wealthy, and yet plagued by terrors only he can perceive. And then one day he wanders into the life of Mershane Bringer...and nothing will ever be the same again.
This is the story of Paul's quest for a love that can never be wholly his. As he pursues Mer across the galaxy, he finds fame, power, and independence...but none of it is enough. Finally, on the infamous planet Rainbynight, romantic idealism and harsh reality come together, and Paul must face the consequences of his rashness.
Read an extract from CANIS MAJOR to RAINBY: The Carraway Connection here.
The first in a four-volume tour de force from Janet M Warner delivers on the promise of SALAK: Blood On Bookwalk. The message that has so damaged Mer speaks of a Rhagan colony lost, betrayed by politicians. Their dead must be honoured, their dangerous technology rendered safe for the Urthans who now regard Daydar IV as home. Mer is accompanied by a hand-picked team of highly trained Keepers, armed with the blessing of his UrLord and of the rulers of Rha, and protected by a half-true title of nobility which comes with its own burden.
But something is waiting on Daydar IV which not even the Harad Nestorian could have foreseen...
Read an extract here.
In the aftermath of Mer's accidental storm, relations between the "Harket" party and the human inhabitants of Daydar IV are balanced on a knife edge, and the true nature of the ruined colony is starting to dawn on one or two. More and more of the Urthan colonists are showing signs of exposure to kephera, and when Mer and his companions erect a Circle of Keeping to power down the abandoned artifacts that have caused the trouble, it becomes clear that the influence of the mutagenic crystal is more widespread than anyone dreamed.
In the process, Mer makes a shocking discovery about the effect of Urthan bombardment on Kniva's subterranean power source which reveals a threat to the safety of the entire planet, and puts the Rhagans on the horns of a terrible dilemma. And meanwhile, Dirk Sourton, Mer's nemesis, is facing a dilemma of his own, as emotions long buried threaten to overturn his sanity...
Read an extract here.
With the Urthan colony flooded out, thanks to a bungled diversionary tactic on Mer's part, humans and "Harket" are forced to work together to transport the colonists to a safe place, a disused and neglected dome unit in the hills. Once there, there are still greater problems to be faced; the instability in Daydar IV's crust must be resolved, and there is but one way to do that; a massive application of Rhagan "Circle" technology, involving the active participation of every soul on the planet. Meanwhile, Dirk Sourton is still grimly battling his inner demons, Sender Phils is still actively seeking Mer's death, and before the Circle operation can even begin, a door must be opened which has been closed for decades, and the Bringer must face yet another enemy, one from the distant past of his planet...
Read an extract here.
Severin Torrent, Commander Elect of Fleet Security in the Fringes and Mer's "owner", has arrived on Daydar IV with his heavily pregnant wife Karahen, ostensibly for a State visit, in reality to check up on his Pet. This could hardly have happened at a worse time; the "Harket" pretence is visibly crumbling, and Mer and his Circle must prepare themselves for a massive operation to save the entire planet and its population from destruction. Already they have awoken the S'Knivash Kreen, eight Makers from the dead past of Rha, who see the Bringer as the ancient enemy of their people, Khar Dras. As Sender Phils prepares his final desperate throw, and Dirk Sourton struggles to come to terms with his new awareness, all Mer really wants is a nice hot bath...
Read an extract here.
You can buy all these through Lulu.com, by clicking on the images. Note that Lulu's prices do not include shipping, and they tend to default to the fastest and most expensive option, but there is usually a more reasonable rate available.
No, I didn't write that one. Here's the thing. People who have tried to order our books from Lulu have sometimes (not always) found themselves being charged ludicrously exorbitant rates for shipping. There doesn't seem to be any pattern to it--sometimes it happens and sometimes not. If it should happen to you, Nick Popio at Lulu has asked that you contact him at email@example.com with details so that he can look into it. Obviously, the only way this can be fixed is if we all help provide the necessary data. Equally obviously, please don't use that @ddress for anything else. Thank you.
And now...T-shirts and tote bags and mugs, oh my! Courtesy of Spreadshirt, you can now wear, carry or drink from a selection of Mershane-related designs! (If the widget below doesn't work for you, the link will take you to the Mer Shop.)
NEW! A slightly different selection of products (but with the same designs) is available from Cafepress in America, here.