Posts Tagged ‘The Crash’


Criminy, another new year, my 40th to be precise. I’m halfway through my life, or thereabouts. Now that’s something to chew on. Once more the terrifying brevity of human existence troubles my thoughts.

Happy New Year!

I don’t celebrate New Year much. This year (I suppose “last year”) I watched Predators on telly, which was better than expected, then went to bed at 11.30. I’ve always found New Year’s Eve a bit of an anti-climax, unless you can find a good house party. And I always get maudlin about my mortal span (see above). In any case, now my son Benny is four, there’s no going anywhere on days like that. So, onto 2013, it’s a busy one. Here’s a rundown of what’s happening in the Guyniverse come the next twelve months (all provisional, naturally).

January

My first story for Interzone will be published in issue 244. Hurrah!

March

I’ll be at Black Library Live in Nottingham on 3rd March, then the day after at The Scifi Weekender in Pwllheli. See you there?

April

I am also going to be at Salute with BL, on 20th April in London. I’ll be at several other events with the Black Library this year, and I’ll be posting details of those nearer the time.

May

Baneblade, my first published novel for The Black Library, is out on 7th May. Expect a linked story in Hammer and Bolter before the book comes out.

June

The Crash is out on the 25th. My second original novel for Solaris, it’s about a colony expedition that goes horribly wrong.

July

Skarsnik is out, my second BL book. This hits the shelves on 19th July. There’ll be a tie-in story about another famous Greenskin warlord in Hammer and Bolter. If you’re seeing a pattern here, that’s because there is one.

August

My Horus Heresy-era short story will appear in the Mark of Calth anthology, out on 13th. I actually just finished this today, and will tell you the title when I am one hundred per cent sure I won’t get into hot water for it (meaning, I’ll ask my editor).

September

My third novel for The Black Library/Games Workshop is released 3rd September. Space Marines galore, Genestealers, and a twist.

And that’s about it for the time being. I’ve got several other projects bubbling away, and as I said I will be appearing at other events. As for this blog,  I’ve made my one and only New Year resolution to get all my Death Ray work online. And then I’ve  a four-year backlog of SFX material; and that’s just the stuff I’ve got permission to publish. FYI, the blog got 25000 views in 2012, nowhere near the likes of John Scalzi’s eight million but not bad, I think. Things I’m hoping for this year? Less rain.


Seasons greetings all!

Yep, snow is falling on my blog. It looks like dandruff, but it is supposed to be snow. That means Christmas approaches, and so do many deadlines… Ulp.

But I’ve been so remiss in not blogging, so here’s a short message.

For your delectation today, I have three marvellous pieces of news. First, here’s the cover of The Crash, my second book for Solaris, out next June:

Crash

It’s a work in progress right now, but it’s nearly done, I think. For a description of the book, see my previous post.

Another announcement – I’ve been fortunate enough to have been asked to write a short story for the Black Library’s advent calendar this year! I can’t tell you what it is about, because it’s Christmas and Christmas is all about surprises, but I can tell you that it will be available on 17th December. Click on the link to find out more.

Lastly, if you go here to Whatever, John Scalzi’s blog, you can see me dance like a monkey on an electric wire (figuratively speaking), trying to get people to consider  Reality 36, Omega Point, and Champion of Mars as Christmas presents. You mean you hadn’t thought of that yourself? Then think about it. It’s a great idea. Really.

Ahem, I should mention that Mr Scalzi has thrown open his blog to all authors,  other books are available, and indeed, there are many other writers in the thread talking about their own books, many of which sound pretty damn fine.

If you’re a writer yourself, I heartily advise taking advantage of Scalzi’s generosity and join in the festive PR frenzy.

Later this week, I’ll be posting the cover for my next 40k book, The Death of Integrity.  Till then, stay frosty, it’s cold enough to do so, even if it is unfashionable to say so (at least it’s not raining any more here in England. And it has been raining ALL YEAR).


I’ve been away from this blog for nigh on three months owing to huge building work upheaval. I’m tired of working at the top of the stairs, I said, let’s convert the attic, I said. I’ll do a good chunk o f the work myself, I said. It should take, oh, two to four weeks, I said.

Optimistic chump, I’m saying now.

Ten weeks later, it’s finished. I’ve spent every goddamn waking minute for two months hammering bits of wood together and plasterboarding (okay, I did some work work, had two very short holidays, and have been ill, but apart from that: Hammers. Nails. Swearing. All the way baby, I’m like a foul-mouthed Bob the Builder). And I added terracotta roof tiling to my repertoire of earthy man skills (I’ve done some roofing before, but with corrugated iron sheets, so this was a bit more involved). The result is that I am sitting in a new room, which is kind of weird, like one of those dreams where one discovers one’s house has whole, undiscovered wings crammed with sinister secrets. Or is that just me? I call this haven from the world below THE GOBLINARIUM. Because it’s full of Goblins, alright? Not for any other reason. Sheesh.

I have no stairs, just a ladder. I can’t afford stairs until next year, but other than that, it’s tickety-boo.

Anyway, I’m well behind on my work, and wasn’t going to post for a while longer, but then Richard Ford and Cavan Scott both tagged me in this Next Big Thing meme/blog/pass-the-parcel game, so it’d be rude not to respond. Not that I give much of a fig about being rude sometimes, but now is a more civilised phase in my lunar-linked egocentric psychosis path.  I’ll be back later this week with the covers to my next two books, The Crash and The Death of Integrity. Until then, answers to the meme’s ten questions below. Thanks for the nod, Cav and Fordy.

1. What is the working title of your next book?

It ain’t no working title, guv’nor, it’s called The Crash, and it’s out next June, so I better finish it. Technically, mind, it’s not my next book – I have Baneblade and Skarsnik out from the Black Library first, and then there’s The Death of Integrity out after The Crash, which is currently in the hands of the editors. But The Crash is what I am currently writing. And I am behind on it, so let’s keep this brief.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book.

I like books about planetary colonisation efforts that go horribly wrong. This book is about a planetary colonisation effort that goes horribly wrong.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Science fiction, planetary colonisation efforts that go horribly wrong sub-genre.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I don’t know yet, as I am still getting to know them.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A planetary colonisation effort goes horribly wrong.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It’s out from Solaris, God bless ‘em.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I am still writing it. I usually give myself three months to write a book’s first draft, but I redraft a lot as I’m writing, so what I end up with at the end of that is closer to a second or third draft than a first. Then I plead for more time, about a fortnight, to polish it up.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Hmmm. Non-Stop by Brian Aldiss, the Colsec books by Douglas Hill. There’s a fair bit of social commentary in there too, I suppose, but not so much as you might get in something by Charles Stross or Ian Macleod. But they are both more intelligent and well-read than I, so I’m sticking with alien space monsters.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Tricky one that. Lifelong immersion in SF that is neither Star Trek nor Doctor Who, I s’pose.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

Alien monsters, how the continued entrenchment of plutocratic elements in our society might play out, a cool planet, and a frickin’ big twist in the tail. There’ll be fights, and some weirdness, and hopefully sequels. Hell, you might as well read the back blurb, mightn’t you?

The Market rules all, plotting the rise and fall of fortunes without human intervention. Mankind, trapped by a rigid hierarchy of wealth, bends to its every whim. To function, the Market must expand without end. The Earth is finite, and cannot hold it, and so a bold venture to the stars is begun, offering a rare chance at freedom to a select few people. But when the colony fleet is sabotaged, a small group finds itself marooned upon the tidally locked world of Nychthemeron, a world where one hemisphere is bathed in perpetual daylight, the other hidden by eternal night. Isolated and beset, the stricken colony members must fight for survival on the hostile planet, while secrets about both the nature of their shipwreck and Nychthemeron itself threaten to tear their fragile society apart.

It’s on US Amazon already, although how they know it will be 384 pages when even I don’t know how long it will be is a little freaky…

And now I need to tag some more people. I choose: Nick Kyme, Andy Smillie, and Matt Keefe.


Last week, some of you might have seen an announcement from Solaris concerning my second book to be published by them. This is another of the projects I’ve been alluding to on this blog and Twitter over the last few months, but have not been able to speak about. Typically, the news broke when I was eyeball deep in anime moppets and monsters, editing SFX‘s anime special edition. I still am, in fact, editing the magazine, but I’ve a few fleeting minutes to blog about the book now and tell you a little more about it.

First up, here’s what Jonathan Oliver had to say at the Solaris website and When Gravity Fails, their editor’s blog

Unalloyed greed, markets dictating the will of humanity – when The Crash comes, nothing will be left standing.

In a topical science-fiction take on the world’s current economic woes, breakthrough author Guy Haley envisages a society in utter thrall to commerce, which must constantly expand to sustain itself. When a mission to the stars begins to go wrong, the fragility of human society and progress is exposed.

The Crash is due for release in July 2013, it is Haley’s second book for Solaris.

His first, Champion of Mars, was released in May this year and was described by SF legend Stephen Baxter as “a novel with an ambition on the scale of Olympus Mons itself, and it delivers. Recommended.

“Guy Haley’s SF invokes in me the same excitement I had when reading Ray Bradbury, Robert Silverberg and Arthur C. Clarke’s works for the first time,” said Jonathan Oliver, editor-in-chief of Solaris. “His fiction is packed full of ideas while maintaining a very human voice. Haley’s work is complex, exciting and vastly entertaining and I’m delighted to welcome him back to the Solaris fold.”

The Market rules all, plotting the rise and fall of fortunes without human intervention. Mankind, trapped by a rigid hierarchy of wealth, bends to its every whim. To function, the Market must expand without end. The Earth is finite, and cannot hold it, and so a bold venture to the stars is begun, offering a rare chance at freedom to a select few people.

But when the colony fleet is sabotaged, a small group finds itself marooned upon the tidally locked world of Nychthemeron, a world where one hemisphere is bathed in perpetual daylight, the other hidden by eternal night. Isolated and beset, the stricken colony members must fight for survival on the hostile planet, while secrets about both the nature of their shipwreck and Nychthemeron itself threaten to tear their fragile society apart.

I have a big old thing for colony SF. I enjoy following bands of plucky frontier types struggling to survive on alien worlds, and I absolutely love colony ship gone wrong scenarios. The tougher the odds the better. In this loose category I’d include the Deathworld Trilogy by Harry Harrison, Grass by Sheri Tepper, some of Neal Asher’s books, Non-stop by Brian Aldiss, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, the Colsec trilogy by Douglas Hill (ah, good old Douglas Hill), Aliens, Avatar (still not seen it thought), Aliens, Pandorum, Red Fang by Philip Palmer… You get the idea, there are loads more. I looked at the theme of man’s expansion into space a little in Champion of Mars, but this is more of a BIG SF take on the concept – weird alien life, interstellar travel, exotic worlds, the works.

The Crash is ostensibly a standalone novel, and naturally a part of it will deal with the way I fear Earth might be heading – overpopulated, environmentally degraded, impoverished, with a small, new aristocracy who are fabulous wealthy, and the rest of us struggling to survive.

It’s also inspired by this famous quote by Kenneth Boulding: “Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.” And by the concept of “Spaceship Earth.”

However, don’t expect hundreds of pages setting out what I think is wrong with modern capitalism. Most of the story is about the fight to stay alive on an alien planet with limited resources. Ultimately, I want to develop a space opera series set in this universe, charting a future history where scattered groups of human beings shipwrecked on numerous worlds take differing routes to survive, and how the very diverse range of cultures these circumstances create eventually come into contact – and conflict – with one another. All very exciting, but I need to finish the first one before all that.

What’s your favourite colony story? Let me know!