THE PATRIOS NETWORK is now through copy edits, and will soon be off to the printers. Due to various boring publishing reasons, publication date has been pushed back a little; the book will now be on sale in the autumn, Monday 3 October to be precise.
And here’s the cover!
ONLINE HATE BECOMES REAL.
When a renegade British officer steals plans for a high-tech weapon that could plunge whole cities into darkness, elite MI6 hacker Brigitte Sharp is sent to get them back. But her mission goes badly wrong.
Meanwhile a ‘deepfake’ video of a senior US politician calling for race war in Europe sends a flood of Americans to join neofascist militias on the continent. The Russians nurse a ruthless grudge against a fugitive whistleblower. And in the wings, the Chinese flex their muscles. Everything seems connected… but how?
In her toughest challenge yet, Bridge ventures undercover into the heart of the mysterious Patrios network. Her task? To make sense of the growing chaos before darkness and bloodshed engulf Europe. If a powerful enemy doesn’t get her first...
You can read more about the book at the publisher’s website:
And it’s available for pre-order now 🤘
Like most people, I first heard Vangelis’ music when he scored CHARIOTS OF FIRE, and the title track – that amazing piece, so simple yet sweeping and majestic – became an instant classic.
Since then, his music has always been present somewhere in my life. His compilation soundtrack album THEMES is a constant ‘writing album’ for me (although the themes from ANTARCTICA and THE BOUNTY inevitably conjure memories of a night spent drunkenly drifting in and out of sleep at a house party while the CD played on constant repeat – probably not the atmosphere intended!) as is his recent album NOCTURNE, featuring solo piano reworkings of previous pieces.
Of course, he didn’t only record soundtracks; from albums such as HEAVEN AND HELL, ALBEDO 0.39, and MASK, right through to last year’s JUNO TO JUPITER (celebrating the NASA space mission) his was an extraordinary and enduring talent.
But it was a soundtrack, specifically Vangelis’ score for BLADE RUNNER, that really cemented my love for his music. BLADE RUNNER is my favourite movie of all time, and much of that is due to its unique, mournful soundtrack. I simply can’t imagine the film without it.
Remember also that music sequencing technology as we know it didn’t exist in 1981. There were tape loops, delay pedals, arpeggiators, and primitive drum machines, but nothing like Cubase or Logic. Yet, like his contemporary Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis was able to record music that to normal ears sounded like something produced by a sci-fi computer.
In fact, it’s not just BLADE RUNNER I can’t imagine without Vangelis; I can hardly imagine science fiction itself without his music. Those sweeping keyboards and buzzsaw synthesisers are so inextricably linked to SF in my mind that when in 2018 I composed DEAD CHANNEL – an unofficial soundtrack to William Gibson’s SF novel NEUROMANCER – I felt obliged to pay homage on track 4, Consensual Hallucination, which imagines protagonist Case speeding through Gibson’s virtual cyberspace.
Not everyone will have noticed before now – it’s kind of a musical in-joke, after all! – but take another listen knowing the piece’s inspiration, and it’s fairly plain to hear. RIP.
Just gone: CrimeFest, Bristol
Why bother mentioning it if it’s already happened?! Well, because it was my first time at CrimeFest (my first was supposed to be 2020, but, you know…) and I had such a great time I’ve already booked my ticket for next year. So maybe I’ll see you there in 2023.
Jun 4: Fairford Festival of Fiction, Fairford
I’m giving a talk at Paul Cornell’s Fairford Festival of Fiction, part of the wider Fairford Festival, on Saturday 4 June. I’ll be appearing alongside Steve Antony, Rachael Stott, Geoff Ryman, and Clover Stroud, and signing books afterwards.
My talk is titled “Why can’t you just stick to writing one thing?” – a question I’ve often been asked by agents, editors, and even some readers… 😅
Jun ??: Number 10 bookshop, Clitheroe
We haven’t set a firm date yet, but at some point during June – as part of National Crime Reading Month – I'll be popping in to Clitheroe’s independent bookstore Number 10 to sign books. More on that when I know what’s happening.
Jun 29: The CWA Daggers, London
I’m not appearing per se at this, but I’ll be there in my capacity as CWA vice chair, helping the night go smoothly (ha ha) and generally cat herding. For those who won’t be there (it’s mostly an industry event, to be fair) keep an eye on the CWA twitter account, from which I’ll be livetweeting the awards throughout the night:
July 21-24: Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate
Again, I’m not appearing, but I’ll be in attendance – and if past years are any indication, mostly found in the beer tent!
I’m also talking to renowned Harrogate bookshop Imagined Things about doing something to coincide with the festival, but as they’re currently in the middle of moving shop location that’s all rather up in the air.
Technogoth stalwarts The Cassandra Complex – one of my favourite bands, to the point that my old Ninth Art column was named for them – have released THE PLAGUE, their first album in 22 years (!)
Why mention it here? Well, for one it’s a pretty great album. But also, that lovely cover art you see above… is by me 😂
GHOST CIRCLES IN SPACE
Sounds like a clickbait headline, I know, but it’s really not. Researchers have found almost a thousand strange circular radio emissions in deep space.
Nobody knows what they are, or even exactly where they are (in terms of distance). One of the more out-there suggestions is that they could be ‘throats’ of spacetime wormholes. What a delightful image…