I am over-the-moon to announce that Inchoate, my science fiction story about a time-traveling paleontological investigator, is now available FREE and in Urdu. My deepest and sincerest thanks go out to Atiya Adil, a teacher, for undertaking this huge task and seeing it through to its conclusion. It is extremely satisfying to see this project come to fruition after such a long period of sustained effort.
I have long wanted to provide a free and representative sample of my work to people in Asia and the Middle East, of whom I seem to have many followers (I have more followers in Cairo than any other city and more followers in India than any country other than the UK and USA). I frequently see mountain-loads of downloads in these countries during my free promotions so I know the readers are there and I also know that getting online credit to buy books, let alone having the outlet to buy them, is not easy there. Now, these readers should be have both.
Below is just a short excerpt from the Urdu version.
کسی نہ کسی کو تو یہ نقصان پورا کرنا ہی تھا- میرا قصور نہ ھوتے ھوۓ بھی ، لگتا یہی تھا کہ یہ خسا را مجھے ہی اٹھانا تھا- جلد ہی مقدمہ ختم ہو جاۓ گا اور سارے جہا ں کو اصلیت کا پتا چل جائے گا-
ادھر میں جیل کی تنگ کوٹھڑی میں پڑا منحوس قسم کے سر درد میں مبتلا ھو گیا تھا – ا س کی بڑی وجہ اس کوٹھڑی کا ٹوٹا ھوا بلب تھا جس کی جلتی بجھتی روشنی نے مجھے بیمار کر دیا تھا- نجانے یہ لوگ کب اس بلب کو ٹھیک کریں گے؟
بہت ساری سوچوں کے درمیاں مجھے وہ مضحکہ خیز صورت حال بھی یاد آگٰئ – مقدمے میں دفاع کا میرا پہلا دن تھا – سب کی توقعات کے برخلاف میں نے تقریباً سچ اگل دیا- جو بات میں نہیں کہ سکا وہ یہ تھی کہ واقعہ کے روز میں شدّید قسم کی بوریّت کا شکار تھا-
” جناب اس-قینو! آپ کی کمپنی کے اندراجات ظاہر کرتے ہیں کہ وقوعے کے روز یعنی چار اگست اور دو اشاریہ چار ارب سال پہلے (جب کرّہؑ ارض کی نمود ہوئ ) آپ شمالی ٹیکسس میں بطورِ خاص مشاہدات کے اندراج پر مامور تھے-“
اس بیان کے کچھ دیر پہلے میں اس بات سے انکار کر چکا تھا کہ میں وقوعے پر موجود تھا- بلکہ میں تو یہاں تک کہ چکا تھا کہ ایک دن پہلے بوجوہ ناسازئ طبیعت میں رخستی لے کر گھر چلا گیا تھا- سرکاری وکیل کو میری یہ با ت کچھ زیادہ پسند نہ آٰئ – اس نے ناگواری سے ایک نطر میری جانب ڈالی اور پھر معنی خیز انداز سے جیوری کی طرف دیکھنے لگا-
یہی وہ لمحہ تھا جب میں نے بوکھلا کر کہا: ” جی جی ! جناب معاف کیجۓ گا ! میرے خیال میں بس
ذہنی دباؤ کی وجہ سے میں سمجھ نہیں پایا اور وقوعے کے روز کو میں اس دن سے ملا بیٹھا جس دن میں جلدی گھر چلا گیا تھا- یہ سب جو اس دن ہوا ، وہ ایک نادانستہ بھول سمجھ لیجۓ جو شاید میں بوریّت کی وجہ کر بیٹھا تھا-“
اپنی بات کی اہمّیت بڑھانے کے لیے میں حاضرین کی طرف مڑ گیا-” میں کئ دنوں سے لگا تار اپنا فرضِ منصبی ایک ہی طرح سے انجام دے رہا تھا- بڑی تندہی کے ساتھ میں تما م مشاہدات درج کر رہا تھا- مقامی آبادی سے میں گھل مل تو جاتا تھا مگر ان سے بہت قریب ہونے کی کوشش نہ کرتا، کیونکہ میرا کام تو ان کے معاشرے اور تہذ یب پر ناقدانہ نگاہ رکھنا تھا- پھر یہ بھی تھا کہ میں کئ ہفتوں سے بھینسے کا گوشت مختلف صورتوں میں کھا کر تنگ آ گیا تھا- اوپر سے وہ ریچھ جیسی حرَافہ بڑھیا میرے پیچھے ہی پڑ گئ تھی- اس کی قربت سے ناگوار بدبو بھی آتی تھی-پھر یہ کہ اس کا نام انگ-ڈ ویڈ تھا- ہے نہ عجیب اورمشکل نام-“
Atiya can be reached a this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
You will find the Urdu version of Inchoate, right after the English version in the FREE volume of short stories: Inchoate: (Short Stories Volume I), at the following locations:
Here is an update of what I am doing. If you are a writer or reader, tell me; what have you been up to?
New Book Covers
I have had new covers designed for The Ice Boat and The Man Who Recreated Himself. Tell me what you think. Thanks to those who have helped me; you know who you are. New covers for Infinite Blue Heaven and the Short Stories volumes are on the way.
The lovely new cover says it all about this book. A lonely man searches for love in some of the remotest, as well some of the most urbanised, places on Earth. There is a coldness in his heart that he doesn’t seem to be able to fill. The covers for Volume 2 and the Boxed Set are of the same design.
I love this new design! The tunnel looks like a key-hole to me and that represents the idea that, in some way, James Brennan has the key to the future of man. The butterfly symbolises metamorphosis.
The Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate – Extended Edition sale
The giveaway of this book was quite successful, with about 300 copies downloaded. What has been great is that I sold 3 copies since the sale ended!
I have begun completely reworking the book with the working title Escher’s Staircase. I don’t like this title by the way but haven’t though of anything better yet. I guess the best way to describe this book is; reminiscent of some of Edgar Allan Poe’s work. It has that dark, gothic feel to it and an air of mystery. It is proving quite difficult to get to a state whereby it can be published but I have had some great input from those close to me and my beta readers so when you do see it, I think the wait will have been worth it. I would guess I am about one or two months from having a fair copy. It will require another read though and proof-reading after that so perhaps it will be published in January.
Worlds Like Dust, the final installment of the Iron Series, is close to the end of it’s final proof and beta read. I have no idea what changes will be required so its much harder to give an estimate of its release date. Certainly, this will be after Escher’s Staircase.
Another World War Two drama has had a few beta reads but it still in an early form. I don’t anticipate this being available for at least a year because I want to send it to a few agents; they prefer unpublished work and take a long time to respond.
I have also completed a first draft of the third book in the Ordo Lupus series and feedback from the beta readers has been good so far. Interest in it is high but I want to send this to agents too so I don’t anticipate this being available for another year.
Some of you may recall that I began a work on a book about busking. This has been shelved due to lack of interest from publishers.
Now you have the unique opportunity to download the 5-star Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate FREE on Amazon. From 10-14 October, you can click on the link below and get it absolutely free. This eBook has 15,000 words not included in the standard edition and normally retails for $4.39 so this is a great bargain! Make the most of the opportunity and grab a copy! http://bit.ly/ordo1ext
This weekend you will get the unique opportunity to download the 5-star Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate FREE on Amazon. From 10-14 October, you can click on the link below and get it absolutely free. This eBook has 15,000 words not included in the standard edition and normally retails for $4.39 so this is a great bargain! Make the most of the opportunity and grab a copy! Click here to see the book on Amazon.
The extra material is mostly about the main character’s early life; service in the RAF as a Blenheim pilot and his life as an MI-6 agent in Bulgaria, where he met Rose. The RAF section includes a nail-biting account of the attack on Holland which decimated the Squadron. There is much more detail about Rose’s early encounters with John, including a shower and lovemaking scene. None of these are in the standard edition. If you have read the standard edition, download the book to read these scenes!
If you love aircraft, especially old aircraft, you will love this post but if not, look away! This is necessarily going to be a long post! I went to Duxford on the Sunday, drawn by the prospect of seeing two Avro Lancasters in formation. As all flight buffs will know, this is probably the last time more than one Avro Lancaster will be seen flying together and the crowds were huge. I arrived before 9 am and the queues were already long. By the time I left, I knew that many hadn’t got in. I saw people standing on bridges, miles down the motorway, hoping to see something. They probably weren’t disappointed.
Apart from the First World War crates, most aircraft were fast enough that their displays were spread over miles of the countryside around Duxford. Indeed, one of the highlights was a display but a Boeing 727, which has recently retired from passenger carrying and been converted to an environmental disaster response unit by a consortium of large oil companies. The red and silver jet was piloted by a first time diplay pilot who clearly had no idea about constraint because he proceeded to come in low over the airfield many times and climb away with both engines roaring at somewhere near full power. He was not that far from the onlookers, possibly flouting UK air traffic laws, but who could blame him?
The two Lancasters came early on, at about 3.15, and rumbled elegantly back and forth over the grass runway for us all to enjoy. Two Spitfires and a Hurricane, which turned up unexpectedly, joined them at the last moment.
I went for a short walk and took a turn in a Battle of Britain flight simulator, along with about ten other people. The simulated flight was of a Bf109E. The bumps and tight turns were faithfully reproduced but, of course, we felt no G-Force.
I also found the Blenheim Society hangar and spoke to one of the engineers who has been working to get the crashed Bristol Blenheim ready for flight again, this time with a Mark I short nose. If you have read Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate, you will know that the later Mark IV features in the book.
I also attended a re-enacted Bomber Command briefing where I asked how on earth they launched the pigeons, which were used to carry coded information about a downed bombers location back to England. They told me that the pigeons were kept in biscuit tins while in flight and only released after the crash landing or ditching
Shortly after, we were treated to a display of American Naval power from WWII; a Grumman Hellcat, a Chance Vought Corsair and a Grumman Bearcat. While the two former aircraft rumbled slowly back and forth, the Bearcat executed a dazzling display in the background, sometimes going into loops which took it way beyond our vision, up into the clouds.
A Consolidated PBY Catalina (see photos below) took off twice and chugged around, keeping its nose wheel off the ground for an extended landing run, just to compete with the B-17 pilot who made a speciality of this maneouvre, we were told.
Then the B-17 Sally B fired up, sending clouds of black/brown smoke into the air. This B-17, actually a G model, distinguished by the chin gun, was painted to look like Memphis Belle, the first B-17 to survive 25 missions and return to the states, as filmed in the eponymously entitled film. Still in those colours, she rumbled past the crowd and took off for a short, but elegant display, showing her wide belly to the crowd each time.
I happened to be looking for lunch when I saw a Sally B stand and enquired whether I could actually get inside the aircraft. To my complete surprise, I was able to get a ticket to go inside for only £10; apparently a special deal for the day. I paid my money and climbed inside this old aircraft. If you want to see the photographs inside B-17 Sally-B (Memphis Belle) and find out more, take a look at my post two weeks ago.
Just before I sought lunch, I made a quick tour of the military vehicle hanger. If you like this sort of thing, you won’t be disappointed. I saw a Jagdpanther, a Conqueror and an Honest John missile launcher (I had a Dinky Toys one as a kid), to mention a few.
The hanger containing American aircraft had an SR-71 blackbird, a B-29 Superfortress, another B-17G a U-2 and many other interesting aircraft.
Most of these aircraft feature in the photographs below. I apologise about the layout but I have struggled all day to get it as good as this; I didn’t know that the WordPress ‘Gallery’ mode for posts does absolutely nothing and took a while to find out that you can’t easily fit three photos on one line. Anyway, enjoy the photographs, click to enlarge, and please leave a comment.
If you are interested in aircraft, you might like one of my Wartime aviation novels.
Screaming Angels explores the causes of the MiG-15s superiority at the beginning of the Korean War and includes a chapter about the De Havilland Mosquito.
Attack Hitler’s Bunker! is about a raid using composite Hawker Hurricane and Short Stirling aircraft in a daring raid on Hitler’s Bunker in Berlin.
December Radio is about secret German technology during WW2 and features detail on Eugen Sanger’s Orbital Bomber, sometimes called the Amerika Bomber, which could skip along the Earth’s atmosphere to reach New York and reach Japan, making it the forerunner of the American Space Shuttle.
Explore these books under the main menu item Wartime (Aviation) Series.