I am putting the finishing touches on a 12.000 words novella in what I, being old-fashioned (or just plain old) would call the science fantasy subgenre. It’s something long overdue, that I promised to my Patrons a lifetime ago, and that was caught up in too many complications to write here about.
But now here it is. I have a cover, and I am going through a bout of rewriting – which means the story might end up being longer than planned. I hope nobody will complain.
The novella is basically sword & sorcery with a thin patina of science – I took some inspiration from the Recent Dryas Impact Event and some theories about the extinction of the Clovis culture in the Americas, and then threw in a few neanderthals, a few sabretooth tigers (because I like sabretooth tigers), and some evil “Atlantean” ubermensch.
Continue reading →
The idea was to tell a story about a primitive man versus a much more advanced but decadent culture.
Being a paleontologist, I had to censor my internal censor – this is fantasy, not a textbook!
There was only one man who could write a pulp homage to gothic romance, dragging in references from Jane Austen to Edgar Rice Burroughs, from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Lester Dent, and beyond, while making it deliciously naughty.
And that man was, of course, the late lamented Philip José Farmer.
The Evil in Pemberley House by Farmer and Win Scott Eckert – who completed the novel based on Farmer’s outline and notes – is exactly that: a P.J. Farmer tour de force featuring subtle (and not-so-subtle) references and tongue-in-cheek plot twists, feeding both the old master and his readers’ obsession for the pulps and the icons of popular literature.
The plot in brief: Pat Wildman, daughter of world famous adventurer/crimefighter Doc Wildman, moves to England after the loss of her parents. She has inherited old Pemberley House, with its ghosts and its curses, and carries a number of unresolved issues herself.
But what is happening really in Pemberley House, and what connections have the events that Pat is witnessing with the history of her family? Continue reading →
Today is the 220th anniversary of the Wold Newton Event.
Around 3 o’clock, on the 13th of December 1795, a meteorite fell near Wold Cottage, not far from the village of Wold Newton, Yorkshire.
On this Spot, Dec 13th, 1795
fell from the Atmosphere
AN EXTRAORDINARY STONE
In Breadth 28 inches
In Length 30 inches
Whose Weight was 56 Pounds
In Memory of it
was erected by
The site of the impact was owned by Major Edward Topham, who had a monument erected to signal the spot, and organized exhibitions of the rock in London.
The Wold Newton meteorite (an L6 ordinary chondrite) is currently on display in the Natural History Museum.
But there’s a second part to the story, of course. Continue reading →