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His Majesty’s Starship and Jeapes Japes Released!

At EightSquared Eastercon we held the book launch of Ben Jeapes’ most excellent “His Majesty’s Starship” and “Jeapes Japes”.

As Ben couldn’t make it due to personal commitments within his community we were very fortunate to have none other than , he of the Metrozone series, who happily took up the mantel of a truly excellent ‘Fake Ben Jeapes’.

During the launch Simon entertained us with a fantastic reading of “The Data Class”, from “Jeapes Japes” (where an AI accidentally merges its identity with the works of Karl Marx), and all who bought a book on the night got the chance to have it signed by ‘whoever you wanted him to be’. This led to a confused but happy gaggle of people walking away with copies of both books signed by the most unlikeliest of people. (I made absolutely certain that Jerry Cornelius gave me his love with my signed copy of HMSS).

It all made for a rather lovely launch event – and over the rest of the con we all but sold out of every copy we brought with us!


Thank you to the lovely EightSquared organisers and to the committee for letting us launch these two books at Eastercon, and thanks to them as well for inviting us to moderate a panel on Small Press Publishing earlier in the day.



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The enigmatic First Breed have issued an invitation

to every nation of Earth, to share their planet and their technology. Michael Gilmore is appointed Captain of HMSS Ark Royal, the UK’s contribution to the delegation fleet on this historic interstellar voyage. It should be an honour …

His passengers include an ill-tempered prince and an alien of unknown loyalties. The first officer is close to mutiny. The ship’s A.I. has turned renegade and a neighbouring vessel harbours a genocidal maniac who seems to know much more than everyone else. And it’s just possible they’re all heading into a trap.

“One of the best first contact books in a long while – a gripping, logical, original and fundamentally optimistic retake on one of SF’s richest themes.” – Alastair Reynolds

“Bursting with fun and energy.” – Interzone.

“A veritable fount of plot, characterisation and intrigue, with some astoundingly original ideas.” – SFX

“A refreshingly different approach to humanity’s reaction to first contact.” – Vector

“The most glorious conceit is the space station UK-1, last bolt-hole of the exiled House of Windsor, ruled by the entrepreneurial King Richard and his unlovely son, Prince James.” – Times Educational Supplement

A bullied schoolboy escapes into his own future – the spirit of Karl Marx lives on in a bolshie artificial intelligence – digital cats prowl a computer network to keep it safe from intruders – a network of grandmothers patrol our streets very, very slowly – and a man is put on trial for his life by aliens who barely understand human nature, let alone human law. Plus twelve more stories, including one never before seen in print. The majority of the stories featured in Interzone, while some appeared in other venues including The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Full of ideas that linger long with the reader, this is a collection of intelligent, original observations – and sharp humour.


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You can get them directly from us, via the two bluest of blue buttons above, or if you are Amazon inclined (other websites are available, and yes, they should have them as well), here are a few links for you:

If you would like to purchase the ebook of either work, please feel free to pop over to wonderful Wizard’s Tower Press, who look after the digital editions.

Downside Girls Released!

photo 2 600x450 Downside Girls Released!Last night we held the book launch of ‘Downside Girls’, our collection of short stories by Jaine Fenn. The event was  in the main programme room of Novacon – and the room was packed! A fantastic turnout which meant that the queue for Jaine’s signing of the book was so long it even blocked our sales desk!


Novacon is one of the most well-respected and fantasy science-fiction conventions in the UK, and it now in its forty-second year – which truly makes it the answer to life, the universe and everything. Our thanks to them for their assistance on the night.

‘Downside Girls’ is a standalone collection of interlinked short stories about the Angels, the state-sponsored killers of Khesh City – a floating wonder above an uninhabitable planet, where the topsiders have everything they want and the downsiders survive with what they can.

When Vanna Agriet accidentally spills her drink over an Angel it could spell death, but instead it leads to a rather peculiar friendship. The downsider Geal hopes for a better life topside, only to find herself embroiled in a ‘removal’ by the Angel Thiera. Downside, Isha’s brother Rakul brings a little black box home with him, and sets Isha on a journey that takes her to a meeting with the most powerful man in Kesh City. Larnia Mier, a talented topside musician and instructor, is injured after witnessing a removal first-hand. As her abilities diminish, new possibilities open up.

With a foreword by Alastair Reynolds (author of ‘Revelation Space’ and the recent ‘Blue Remembered Earth’, as well as ‘On the Steel Breeze’), ‘Downside Girls’ is a standalone collection of interlinked stories by Jaine Fenn, that also shines new light on characters from ‘Principles of Angels’, Jaine’s first novel in the ‘Hidden Empire’ series. (‘Principles of Angels’, ‘Consorts of Heaven’, Guardians of Paradise’, ‘Bringer of Light’, and ‘Queen of Nowhere’).


‘Downside Girls’ is available to buy through all regular channels – both as paperback and ebook.

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