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Tall(ish) Tales from the White Hart – NEURODIVERSE, CULTURALLY DIVERSE, GENDER-BENDY, DRUNKEN-ARGUMENTS-IN-THE-PUB SCIENCE FICTION. NOT BANG-BANG-PEW-PEW SCIENCE FICTION.

Dogs, unicorns, and a flying teapot

‘A transporter pod is a small engineless craft – usually designed for a single occupant. It is propelled between two points using magic.’ ‘Magic!’ I leapt out of my seat. ‘We have magic?’ ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology,’ Babel explained, ‘is indistinguishable from magic. It is one of your human thinkers who said that. Is it not true?’

The Voyages of the Starship Teapot

Two dogs in rainbow harnesses waiting to go for walkiesWhen the world is rubbish, I just have to look at these guys to feel a bit better about things. Here they are, waiting for walkies. They’re good boys.

One month on and I’m still working on a novel about an IT project manager in Toronto who gets kidnapped by bounty hunters from outer space. It’s a case of mistaken identity, incompetent baddies, and a talking dog named Spock.

As Lem and Spock sail through the galaxy on the starship Teapot, trying to figure out how to get home, they make a few new friends. Bexley’s a bubbly, outgoing over-sharer from a species with six sexes and zero concept of gender. BB is a giant yellow parrot. Henry is a bitter, sarcastic robot who’s been programmed not to swear. And Aurora is a gestalt entity who looks like a rainbow glitter bomb went off in an oil slick.

In my previous books, I took great care to ensure my science was always grounded in reality. I researched everything meticulously and included extensive notes for curious readers. This time, I’m taking a much more hand-wavey approach – as you can see from the little extract above. 

One thing about this book still stumps me: the title. I have no idea what to call this thing. The story itself is a mishmash of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, John Scalzi’s Redshirts, Red Dwarf, and The Orville

Book review: Space Unicorn Blues

Gary’s an asexual human/unicorn halfbreed, who murdered the woman he loved. Jenny held Gary captive for two years and tortured him to force him to power the ship she stole from him. Ricky is a liar and a cheater and a ruthless profiteer. Jim is a cantankerous old git.

Can they work together long enough to get the job done?

This book has so much heart. The characters are so achingly layered, so genuine in their flaws. None of it is whitewashed. There’s growth and development and endless striving for atonement but the wrongs are still real; they’re not diminished or forgotten.

A marvellously diverse cast set against a fantastic-yet-all-too believable world. Available from Angry Robots or anywhere that sells books.

Pssst… Want books?

Diversity in science fiction, fantasy, and horror

Season’s readings

How would you like a carefully curated selection of science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories from authors who are support diversity in all its glory? These stories are pro-queer, disability-positive, multicultural, and neurodiverse. And they’re all under £3 / $4 / €4.

Diversity in science fiction, fantasy, and horror

Free books to review

How about another carefully curated selection of science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories from authors who are support diversity in all its glory? These stories are pro-queer, disability-positive, multicultural, and neurodiverse. And these ones are all 100% free to readers who intend to write a review.

Writing in the Sand

Britain cut itself off for years. Now it’s colonising alien worlds… illegally.

Writing in the Sand, the debut science fiction thriller from David Munday, is a page-turning dystopian space opera led by a strong female protagonist with a bold take on contemporary issues.

Space Rogues

Wil is a lonely intergalactic o
utlaw and smuggler looking for a crew – because space is lonely and boring. He’s got a ship, now he needs some friends or at least people to work with, maybe boss around a little.

Between epic space battles, a quest for redemption, and a daring heist, Wil and his new crew uncover a dangerous secret in Space Rogues.

Stay safe out there! There’s a literal pandemic underway and it’s already killed well over a million people. There’s also a pandemic of fascism going on. Do what you need to do to keep yourself safe.

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