Io – teller of tales from out of this world

I love science fiction and have done since Saturday November 23rd 1963 when The Doctor arrived on our television screens.

Doctor Who has not been my only inspiration. I also devoured Ray Bradbury’s books, particularly his short stories. The Martian Chronicles has been my inspiration for working on a book of short stories set in a domed colony on some, possibly imaginary, planet in a universe far, far away.

Up to date I have had two short stories published under my real name. The Box was written as sci-fi but appears in The Corona Book of Horror Stories (it does have a rather horrid end) and The TASC Band in The Corona Book of Science Fiction. Both are available from Amazon. Check out my author page while you’re there!

My debut novel, The Woman Who Was Not His Wife, also published by Corona Books considers what it would be like if a white, professinal class woman found herself alone in an alien society. Hopefully, food for thought.

John Wyndham has been another influence. I love the way he sets his stories in perfectly ordinary settings before dropping his sci-fi bombshell as in The Midwich Cuckoos. It keeps me ever hopeful that, one day. I too shall come across an exciting adventure.

I have recently had my novella, The Ceres Illusion, accepted for publication by Paper Angel Press. Watch this space for updates!

This week I have been mostly editing

I’ve taken an old manuscript out of the warming draw this week. I found I had been thinking about pretty constantly so decided it was time to revisit.

At that moment the story was pretty much ‘this is what’s going to happen’. Interesting but not that exciting.

I started by filling out the protagonist’s experiences. What could she smell, see, taste, feel both physically and emotionally?

Despite the early hour it was already warm, and the air was disturbed by the irritating buzz of the ever-present flies. The child flapped at them and took a deep breath, taking in the smell of damp masonry and rotting wood which caught in the back of her throat. She suppressed a cough and peered around the corner into the narrow backstreet that led to the centre of this little community within the bigger city.

 Trying to include the reader in the action.

When I’d added depth I went away and spent some time reading. I revisited one of my old favourites – The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham. It helped to inspire me when considering the response of people to waking up and finding visitors from another planet.

As if a deadly pandemic and the resulting recession had not been enough for this battered world, the Earth had attracted the attention of the inhabitants of an unheard-of planet light years away.

The resulting panic and pandemonium caused injury and more loss of life as well as untold damage to not only global infrastructure but what was left of the economy. Countries joined forces at first but then fell out over ridiculous slights. For a while there was total chaos while the visitors remained in their craft and watched.  

Picking it back up I then stripped away the superfluous fluff that had risen to the surface due to the new additions. Hopefully I can make it to my writing group in the near future and see what the response is.

It also needs a BETA reader to show me what mu audience might think and put me right.

What happened to Sanderson?

What on Ceres happened to Sanderson? Why him? People seem to forget him quite quickly but is there more to him than meets the eye?

The domed community on Ceres is rather small so it’s fair to say people know each other or are even related.

Someone must remember him.

Where did the Idea come from?

Years ago I watched the film Solent Green which paints a disturbing picture of the future of this planet. It was sort of at the back of my mind as I wrote and fans of the film will see how it influenced me.

Anybody else will have to buy the book to find out.

The Ceres Illusion

Why did I choose Ceres?

Well, Mars has been overdone in the past. I mean, all aliens came from Mars at one time didn’t they? War of the Worlds springs to mind without thinking as well as Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles.

I have been playing around with the Kepler planets as it’s thought there might be the odd one in the Goldilocks zone. It’s where I’m basing another story I’m working on at the moment. I thought I’d try something different.

We’re already exploring Mars so I decided that if I set the story not so far in the future that we’ve conquered pretty much all challenges we might have colonised that planet and be in the process of exploiting the next.

Did I say exploiting? I might have meant exploring but despite the great strides we have made in science human nature doesn’t change and there are always those who are looking to line their pockets at the expense of others.

Anyway, that’s why I chose Ceres. I find it kind of interesting and I did enjoy the research.