Thursday, 24 July 2014

Lucy Saxon Competition - We have a winner!

Recently I ran a competition offering readers of this blog the chance to win a copy of Lucy Saxon's debut, Steampunk-inspired novel, Take Back the Skiesasking from where did the author take her pen name?

Well the answer is, the name of the Master's wife in the 2007 series of Doctor Who.

Everyone who entered the competition answered the question correctly, but the lucky individual who had their name pulled out of the proverbial hat is...

Amy Cotterill

Congratulations, Amy! Your copy of Take Back the Skies will be winging its way to you from Bloomsbury Books very soon.

To the rest of you who entered, better luck next time, eh?

Friday, 18 July 2014

A new review of The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus

This recently surfaced on

By chance I met Mr Green at the Frome Steampunk Event on May 31st. My friends had taken me there to amuse me - it did amuse me! 

I bought this book as something to read that night in the hotel. I could not put it down. I stayed awake in delight reading into the early hours to discover if my guess about the villain was correct - no I did not 'get it' immediately, but it dawned on me as I read onward. The whole reminded me of the adventure movies I used to watch in the late 1950's on a Saturday morning when I was a child. I loved it. 

Well done, Mr Green. I shall now look for the next book with interest. 5 stars!

If you're yet to pick up a copy of The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus, Volume 1, follow this link.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Take Back the Skies, by Lucy Saxon

Take Back the Skies is the impressive YA debut of 19 year-old novelist Lucy Saxon*.

It tells the story of Catherine Hunter, born into privilege, who to escape her regimented existence as the daughter of a government official in the land of Anglya, cuts her hair, disguises herself as a boy and becomes Cat, escaping her former life by stowing away on board the tyrium-powered skyship Stormdancer. She soon learns that what she has been told about the world beyond the borders of Angyla is a lie, and that she is the one who possesses the knowledge that could bring a crumbling and corrupt empire to its knees, if only she has the courage to initiate such dramatic change.

So far, so familiar, but the plot that develops - whilst being overwhelmed at times by the will-they-won't-they relationship of then two young leads** and lacking tension at others - is something unexpected, rich in world-building detail, politically complex, and full of twists and turns that will keep the reader gripped right up until the story's dark denouement.

The book's Steampunk influences are clear but, despite all the different interpretations of Steampunk that already exist in literature, they are given a new spin here by Saxon. And to have such a book as your first published piece of work is impressive indeed.

Thanks to those kind people at Bloomsbury Books, I have one copy of Take Back the Skies to give away. To be in with a chance of winning it, simply answer this simple question.

From where did Lucy Saxon take her pen name?

Simply email me at with your answer, your name and your address and you answer be put into the proverbial hat with all the other hopefuls. The draw will take place two weeks today, on Sunday 20 July 2014 at midday (BST).

Good luck!

Lucy Saxon signing at the London MCM Expo, May 2014.

* Many reviews make much of the fact that Lucy is 19, and was only 16 when she wrote the first draft of Take Back the Skies. I can only put this down to sour grapes. (My own first book, Spellbreaker, was published when I was 21.)

** But then this is a YA novel.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Atomic Bark!

A year and a half ago (on the 12th day, of the 12th month, of the 12th year of the 21st century) I appeared on the Atomic Bark radio show along with legendary graphic novel creator Bryan Talbot. Well the show has finally been uploaded to YouTube and you can listen to it here. (I appear at about the 12:40 mark.)