Sliding Void
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In the Company of Ghosts
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Messages - shunt12

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And Liz de Jager writes in to point out the 2011 work of author Tony Lee over at written long before this TV series, also called Dodge & Twist, concerning Oliver's "...plan to steal the fabled Koh-I-Noor diamond from the 1851 Great Exhibition."

Hmmm. I wonder how much the use of Dicken's out-of-copyright source material by both parties protects Sony against this kind of stuff.

On the face of it, I'm on the side of the author, Tony Lee.

... and, reach for the lawyers.

Feedback / My Blizzard review. You chiselling %$^&ers.
« on: July 09, 2012, 01:08:03 PM »
Just purchased a second hand copy of StarCraft II from Oxfam for £4. Bargain you might think? No.

The serial number inside the game pack is a 1-time use burner, so even though the original owner can no longer play their copy of the game as they've donated the CD, box and manual to charity, I can't play it either.

I don't begrudge Oxfam getting the money off me, it's for a good cause... I'm just going to bin the game now so nobody else can be duped.

What I do begrudge is Blizzard selling StarCraft II without a big red fucking sticker on their packaging indicating the resale/tradein value of their game is DICK.

Thanks, Blizzard. I'm never buying another game from you again, new or second-hand, now.

And that's my review.

Cheers, Unicorn Joe. I believe today is the last day readers can download it free. By Tuesday, it'll be at full price again.



Sliding Void / Re: Page Numbers?
« on: March 05, 2012, 07:25:45 AM »
Hi Andy

I've heard good things about Calibre - it's on my list of ebook software to check out at some time. I'm still mostly paper here at Chez Hunt - prob. a sign of my advancing years!

All the best


Sliding Void / Re: Page Numbers?
« on: March 04, 2012, 02:07:20 PM »
Hi Andy

They're both novellas. When I write them, they're about 60 A4 pages long, which equates to about 120 paperback-size pages. I'm aiming to produce four novellas in the first story-line (if this was a TV series, I' d write 'series arc').

All the best


News / RIP artist John Severin.
« on: February 15, 2012, 03:27:47 AM »
Hall of Fame artist John Severin, one of the last of the legendary EC artists, has died at age 90. Severin—whose sister Marie was also a famed artist and colorist for Marvel—was among the greatest draftsmen of the EC crew.

Today (Sunday) is the last day my book ‘In the Company of Ghosts’ is free for download on Amazon Kindle. It's a thriller with elements of fantasy and horror, and is the first in my new ‘Spy-Fi’ series.

Amazon USA @ and Amazon UK @

I was feeling guilty about running my pre-Xmas present, knowing how many of my readers were going to be finding new Kindle tablets and e-book readers under the Xmas tree and unable to access it, so I’ve now also made the first novel of my two-book Six Against The Stars science fiction series available for you to read on the Amazon Kindle at no charge.

Follow the links and read more at...

Press Releases / NASA's twin spacecraft on final approach for moon orbit
« on: December 29, 2011, 02:10:44 AM »
NASA's twin spacecraft to study the moon from crust to core are nearing their New Year's Eve and New Year's Day main-engine burns to place the duo in lunar orbit.

Named Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL), the spacecraft are scheduled to be placed in orbit beginning at 1:21 p.m. PST (4:21 p.m. EST) for GRAIL-A on Dec. 31, and 2:05 p.m. PST (5:05 p.m. EST) on Jan. 1 for GRAIL-B.

"Our team may not get to partake in a traditional New Year's celebration, but I expect seeing our two spacecraft safely in lunar orbit should give us all the excitement and feeling of euphoria anyone in this line of work would ever need," said David Lehman, project manager for GRAIL at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif.

The distance from Earth to the moon is approximately 250,000 miles (402,336 kilometers). NASA's Apollo crews took about three days to travel to the moon. Launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Sept. 10, 2011, the GRAIL spacecraft are taking about 30 times that long and covering more than 2.5 million miles (4 million kilometers) to get there.

This low-energy, long-duration trajectory has given mission planners and controllers more time to assess the spacecraft's health. The path also allowed a vital component of the spacecraft's single science instrument, the Ultra Stable Oscillator, to be continuously powered for several months. This will allow it to reach a stable operating temperature long before it begins making science measurements in lunar orbit.

"This mission will rewrite the textbooks on the evolution of the moon," said Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. "Our two spacecraft are operating so well during their journey that we have performed a full test of our science instrument and confirmed the performance required to meet our science objectives."

As of Dec. 28, GRAIL-A is 65,860 miles (106,000 kilometers) from the moon and closing at a speed of 745 mph (1,200 kph). GRAIL-B is 79,540 miles (128,000 kilometers) from the moon and closing at a speed of 763 mph (1,228 kph).

During their final approaches to the moon, both orbiters move toward it from the south, flying nearly over the lunar south pole. The lunar orbit insertion burn for GRAIL-A will take approximately 40 minutes and change the spacecraft's velocity by about 427 mph (688 kph). GRAIL-B's insertion burn 25 hours later will last about 39 minutes and is expected to change the probe's velocity by 430 mph (691 kph).

The insertion maneuvers will place each orbiter into a near-polar, elliptical orbit with a period of 11.5 hours. Over the following weeks, the GRAIL team will execute a series of burns with each spacecraft to reduce their orbital period from 11.5 hours down to just under two hours. At the start of the science phase in March 2012, the two GRAILs will be in a near-polar, near-circular orbit with an altitude of about 34 miles (55 kilometers).

When science collection begins, the spacecraft will transmit radio signals precisely defining the distance between them as they orbit the moon. As they fly over areas of greater and lesser gravity, caused both by visible features such as mountains and craters and by masses hidden beneath the lunar surface. they will move slightly toward and away from each other. An instrument aboard each spacecraft will measure the changes in their relative velocity very precisely, and scientists will translate this information into a high-resolution map of the Moon's gravitational field. The data will allow mission scientists to understand what goes on below the surface. This information will increase our knowledge of how Earth and its rocky neighbors in the inner solar system developed into the diverse worlds we see today.

Sir Terry Pratchett and Transworld Publishers are proud to announce the 2013 The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now Prize. After the successful launch of the prize in 2011 found not one, but two outstanding joint winners, Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan and Half Sick Of Shadows by David Logan, both to be published by Doubleday in May 2012. The 2013 prize will be open for submissions from aspiring debut novelists from 1st January 2012.

The award will be judged by Sir Terry Pratchett and a panel of experts. Transworld will offer the winning author a publishing contract with a £20,000 advance.

Sir Terry Pratchett defined the prize as:

“Anywhere but here, anywhen but now. Which means we are after stories set on Earth, although it may be an Earth that might have been, or might yet be, one that has gone down a different leg of the famous trousers of time (see the illustration in almost every book about quantum theory).
We will be looking for books set at any time, perhaps today, perhaps in the Rome of today but in a world where 2000 years ago the crowd shouted for Jesus Christ to be spared, or where in 1962, John F Kennedy's game of chicken with the Russians went horribly wrong. It might be one day in the life of an ordinary person. It could be a love story, an old story, a war story, a story set in a world where Leonardo da Vinci turned out to be a lot better at Aeronautics. But it won’t be a story about being in an alternate Earth because the people in an alternate Earth don’t know that they are; after all, you don’t.

The possibilities are literally endless, but remember, it’s all on Earth. Maybe the continents will be different and the climate unfamiliar, but the physics will be the same as ours. What goes up must come down, ants are ant-sized because if they were any bigger their legs wouldn't carry them. In short, the story must be theoretically possible on some version of the past, present or future of a planet Earth.”

The deadline for submissions will be 31 December 2012 and a shortlist of six entries will be announced in the spring of 2013, more details to follow. The winning entry will be published in 2014.

Entrants must be over 18, have no previous published full-length works of fiction and live in the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth. Submissions should be emailed to: [email protected]

For full terms and conditions visit

Dust off your quills and begin writing!

Basically, you can get this novel free on the Kindle for the next 24 hours. I'm trying to get Amazon to extend the special offer of the free download across the Xmas period, but I'm not sure if they're going to be able to offer this, so if you want the book free, download now.

Hope you enjoy it and happy Xmas, RC.

Cheers, Toby. I reckon four books in the first story arc should do it.

This is a guesstimate on my part, though.


Sliding Void / The world's first book trailer shot in 3D!
« on: December 14, 2011, 03:14:49 PM »
Break out your 3D specs, because here is the world's first book trailer shot in 3D. It's for the science fiction novel 'Sliding Void' and you can find it over at

If your eyes are old (like mine), you can also watch the trailer in flat(ish) non-3d at

Enjoy. My first novel 'The Court of the Air' back in 2007 had one of the earliest book trailers (maybe even the first), animated by HarperCollins art department. You can see this at if you are feeling very nostalgic.

Ah, there's life in the old dog yet!

Because I love you, dear readers, and because it's Christmas time, I'm still showering you with gifts.  Yes, from Monday 12th December 2011 to Friday 17th December 2011 (e.g. the rest of this working week), the first novel in my 'In the Company of Ghosts' series of thriller/crime novels, has been reduced by 70% to the lowest price Amazon will allow for a book - 99 cents in the USA and 86 pence in the UK.

I hope you enjoy the first in this planned new series, and if you have any feedback, do drop me a line via my blog or post your thoughts here in the forum.

The USA Amazon link is:

The UK Amazon link is:


PS if you are in mainland Europe, you can get it ("it" being the English language version) at...





News / The True Failure of Durban!!
« on: December 11, 2011, 06:47:46 AM »
There is a future out there, a glorious one, that while it may not solve all of our problems, it will certainly get us beyond these artificial limits to growth.

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