I released this a little while ago but what with one thing (repeated terrorism) and another (general election) and another (massive fire in my city), my job-that-pays-the-rent of “reading all the national newspapers” has been rather all-consuming and my time off has been filled with trying to forget all about it, so this post is late.
A while back I published an odd little short story called The Renaka Device, a post-Revolutionary fantasy story about propaganda and truth. I also have novel I’m currently editing which is, in the main, about the mutability of memory, gaslighting, and truth.
Since the latter isn’t ready yet, I ended up writing another short story set in the same post-Revolutionary fantasy land as The Renaka Device, about the different sizes of commitment, the expendability of the individual, and fanaticism, and how the latter can be picked up and used by whoever wants to, not just one position in the political spectrum.
Twenty years after the Revolution, the journalist Shukach Istynyya is permitted to speak with the Revolutionary Republic’s number one enemy, in a once-in-a-lifetime interview. “It might be any man within the cell that I am brought to face, but the Party is honest, and the Party is just, and the man in the cell is called Lubach Zahradnik, and he is The Traitor.”
Future announcements regarding more short stories are on their way but have to been reined in for the time being! Thank you for reading.
Step right this way, step inside, and see the greatest show ever to amaze your senses and baffle your mind. Watch! As a budding friendship is slowly but completely transformed before your very eyes! Marvel! At how stupid four very intelligent young people can actually be when confronted with life’s mysteries! Gasp! With indignation at the skullduggery and bad manners brought in the pursuits of love, fame, wealth, and let’s be honest, a lot more wealth. Blush! At some of the language! Laugh! Primarily at some of those waistcoats! Tremble! At the revelation of worlds beyond worlds and compacts most rare and Faustian!
Buy! This! Book!
On Amazon Kindle (US | UK), on Lulu (print | eBook), on iBooks, on Nook, on Kobo…
What’s it about? What’s it about? You’ve heard all this and you still need to know more? Allow me:
The year is 1900. An Earl, an engineer, a suburban philosopher, and an enigma meet at University and make a pact to learn the art of conjuring.
But nothing among the friends is quite as it seems, and soon the happy four are plunged into worlds of political activism, crime, despair, sordid trysts, and a Faustian compact which seems set to threaten their very lives, one by one…
Exclusively on Amazon Kindle, on every Amazon Kindle site (I will link to UK | US but trust me: every site), a short story rather unlike any of my others in content and in style, The Renaka Device is fairly strongly-influenced by Ray Bradbury, I think.
My name is Potsve Revolution Renaka.
I was born a month after the fall of the old order. In celebration, my parents named me Potsve Revolution.
I can’t say much more without spoiling the story for you; feel free to pick up your copy (UK | US); Text-to-speech is available on this book for anyone who has difficulty reading from screens or is simply too busy to read but can listen.
Currently I’m plugging away at another sci-fi short story, The Grandmother Virus (which is giving me a headache, I won’t lie); other short fiction of mine you can treat yourself to in the meantime includes: Hannah Matchmaker’s New Skates (a rollerderby fable), Vessel 151-B(classic sci-fic take on the Pygmalion story), and Saint Grimbald’s Men (bodyhorror bildungsroman. Possibly).
Stay tuned this November for regular updates on how awful it is trying to pull an entire manuscript out of your face in one sitting.
You can buy it straight to your Kindle from Amazon US | UK.
You can buy it in a number of ebook formats from a number of epublishing sites, by searching “The Next Big One Derek Des Anges”.
And you should buy it, because god knows where you’re going to find another epidemic thriller with an anxious bisexual hero and the world’s least flappable trans woman scientist in a major starring role. You’re certainly not going to see much in the way of critique of media reporting of disease, and you won’t get much debate. This book is not The Hot Zone. I promise you that much.
With the number of UK cases hitting a hundred, it’s clear that KBV is a problem which isn’t going away. Downing Street have released the following statement: “The total number of KBV cases in the UK is still comparatively small, and we are confident that the disease can be contained. NHS leaflets advising on lifestyle and behaviour changes which can help protect against infection will be available soon. We ask the public to remain calm and to continue to behave responsibly about their health in all areas.
Vocational journalism student Ben Martin is the last person who ought to be investigating a major viral outbreak. He doesn’t know a single damn thing about biology; he pays his rent by DJing for hipsters. He’s nervous, easily-discouraged, and not over his ex.
But it’s him who ends up with the assignment, and it’s him who ends up facing down the truth: there is more to this than meets the eye.
Previous short stories I’ve put up for eReader purchase have fallen under modern parable/sports fairytale and body horror/historical lgbt horror, because I like to give genre boundaries a run for their money, and one of the stories I’ve put up on this blog probably comes under the heading of literary fiction, which (as mentioned) is not actually a dirty set of words. The latest offering I have is helpfully far more easily-categorised under classic sci-fi. If you want to get technical there are elements of classical parable and body horror in there, but it is more or less a straight-forward sci-fi story.
It’s also somewhat longer than the others, coming in at about 10,000 words, making it ideal for a train journey rather than a Tube journey.
After a terrible accident Calvin Owusu-Baah wakes to a silent ship and a strange, nagging sense that something is not right. As he begins to investigate he finds that things are far, far worse than he could have imagined, and that his efforts to improve the situation are only going to make things wrong.
Available for Amazon Kindle (UK | US), and most other eReaders (here); Vessel 151-B conforms to the most basic tenets of science fiction in asking questions about how humanity relates to technology, and where the limits of both human nature and responsibility lie.
Melissa Snowdon, my romance-and-erotica-writing alter-ego, has just dropped another book out of her slathering maw. Why is it slathering? Who knows, but who has ever seen any other kind of maw? Exactly.
The book in question is Tame, a lesbian chick-lit retelling of Little Red Riding Hood – in the loosest possible sense – with werewolves. Or a werewolf. The point is, it’s totally paranormal romance and I heard that was hot. Or at least readable. Anyway,
Julie Holms has it all, if “all” means living in the shadow of her beautiful best friend, her obnoxious sister, and her bewilderingly-obsessed-with-wheatgerm Mummy. She’s got an eBay habit, a wardrobe that occupies dimensions bigger than her flat, and a coat everyone in Marketing thinks is very Last Year, but her life is about to become far too exciting by way of mysterious strangers on rooftops, That Cute One From Marketing, and possibly one or two things she thought only happened in the movies.
… like werewolves.
Quoth the blurb, and:
“Tame pleases and satisfies like diet-breaking chocolate,” quoth Mina Kelly.
“Snappy, honest, funny and touching. [Tame] turns the chick lit genre on its head then gives it a proper kicking while it’s down. A brilliant read,” quoth Melanie Clegg.
Tame is available in print, for the Kindle (US, UK), and in ePub format.
I enjoyed making the cover for Saint Grimbald’s Men so much that I decided to take another of Ms Reilly’s photographs and make a similar one for The Breaking of M. As the latter is also an eBook only, it’s easier to change covers on a whim. Do you think this one is better? Or was the old one more suitable to the story?
No change to the actual book itself, although I took the opportunity to make the listing on Amazon a little clearer about the book’s content (because I do read my reviews, and when people are commenting that they got a different book to the one they expected, even when they downloaded it on one of the free offer days, I listen).
After the fashion of Hannah Matchmaker’s New Skates, I’m letting this little story go on the Kindle for a pittance. At some point when I’ve amassed enough of these little stories I’ll put them together in a print collection, like I did with Tiny Fictions, so if you’re all about the dead tree format (and I don’t blame you, there is great satisfaction in being able to throw a book you don’t like across the room, and deleting something from your Kindle just isn’t the same!) don’t worry, it will eventually come to pass in a throwable, self-fillable format as well.
Unlike Hannah Matchmaker’s New Skates, this is also available as a PDF, without fussing about with Amazon’s interface (and profit margin); just pop me an email at [myname] at gmail dot com and ask about Paypal (it’ll be the same price as it’s listed on Amazon).
Unlike the roller derby story, this is very much not a sweet tale about overcoming the odds and learning to believe in yourself; instead it’s about the terrible consequences of repression, as expressed by body horror in a monastery. Or at least, I decided it was about the terrible consequences of repression: it’s actually about two monks who fall in love.
The Kindle edition is available from here ( .com instead of .co.uk if you’re not in the UK, obviously) , for a cover price of $0.99 USD or whatever that is in your local currency (in mine it usually works out at about 77p). For a sample of some of my fiction that you don’t have to pay for (besides the free previews on Lulu etc), there’s this.
And if you enjoyed the cover photograph, it is the work of one J. Reilly, and you can find more of her photography here.
Despite the sound of this title, it’s not actually the story of a quirky goth band’s rise and fall, but in fact a collection of poetry covering the period of 2011-2012, with subjects ranging from the life cycle of the universe to the pestilence of London’s history, from love to death, from profound sadness to cosmic joy (often over the course of one poem).
There is not only a print edition, but also a very affordable Kindle edition, available in the U.S. and U.K. and a variety of local Amazon sites.
Kindle Direct Publishing have done a thing with their payment systems that conceivably leads to me actually getting the money I’ve earned from them, so I thought now might be as good a time as any to talk everyone through the works of mine that are available via the Kindle store (most of the publications, in fact).
As Delilah Des Anges
The Other Daughter is a revenge tragedy with comedic elements. It’s set in a fictional Midwest town in the United States and begins with a female soldier returning from a (fictional) second US war against Korea – in this case North Korea. It involves magic, bloodshed, and a heroine whose motivation is highly questionable and whose moral compass has been somewhat distorted both my the events she’s come to avenge herself over and by the events which have led her back home. I wrote the mainstay of this book in 2006 and I think it’s probably the darkest of my novels. And it’s $1.99 on the Kindle Store. [Price given in dollars because that’s the constant: the link goes to the UK store, but the US store has it too, as do the German, French, Italian, etc.]. I made a more fulsome post about this one when I launched it.
Protect Me From What I Want, written in 2010, uses the 2008 Haut de la Garenne case on Jersey as a jumping-off point for a first-person reported narrative which is less about police work than it is about the detective in question failing to notice that he’s having a breakdown. I’d wanted to write this story for a while, in part because there are thorny questions of morality involved: what makes something unacceptable and something else acceptable? Since writing this there has been the catastrofuck that is the unfolding Jimmy Savile case (if you’re not from the UK and haven’t heard about this I don’t advise Googling as it was pretty grim), the central questions of consent and morality have become retroactively even more complicated. It’s also $1.99 on the Kindle Store, and despite the subject matter is probably a little less dark than The Other Daughter.
How Not To Write By Someone Who Doesn’t is the most popular thing I have put on the Kindle Store under my own name. I’d like to say that it’s because it’s a vital and accessible work dealing with the realities of writing but I’m pretty sure the fact that it’s cheap and reasonably no-nonsense probably has more to do with it. It’s a selection of essays and exercises filtering everything I was taught at university while studying creative writing and everything I’ve learnt since into some bossy directions on, mostly, sitting the fuck down and writing. If that’s the kind of writing advice you think you or someone in your life needs, do get it, because I’m fantastic at motivating people to work by, uh, yelling at them until they do. Also it’s cheap: $0.99 USD on the Kindle Store, and the Kindle version has a couple of pieces which aren’t in the print version so you’re getting more bang for less buck.
Year of the Ghost: Collect Poems 2011 is as it says on the cover, a year’s worth of poetry. It covers a lot of topics, and a lot of death, because 2011 was a year of prominent deaths and upheavals, which means it’s less something you’d want to read for light and uplifting amusement (although there are some uplifting poems within), and more something for expressing bigger emotions. I posted at greater length about this when it was launched last year. It’s available only for eReaders (as an ePub and for the Kindle), and on the Kindle Store cost the princely sum of $1.55 USD.
Hannah Matchmaker’s New Skates, a short fable on on the importance of achieving things under your own steam without taking any shortcuts, is also about rollerderby, which means it is at least nine times more awesome than it would otherwise be. More here. This little tidbit of fiction is also a Kindle exclusive, which means if you’re an Amazon prime member and don’t fancy paying $0.99 like everyone else, you can borrow it for free.
Pass the Parcel, set in alternate London and dealing with a complex and interlocking selection of lives linked by the passage of a small blue statue, took about eight years from first idea to final draft, maybe slightly longer. It’s a labour of love and of tendinitis, filled with enough different and striking characters that you’re almost certain to find one you like, and failing that if you don’t fall in love with this version of London I have failed in my mission. Print costs for something this long are exorbitant, so by buying it for the Kindle at $1.99 you are saving a lot of money.
Tiny Fictions 2011 is the combined might of four miniature books of short stories, which despite the title have come from across the reaches of writerly time and not just 2011 (the original instalments were all published in 2011, hence the title). There is an infinite of variety of genres, characters, endings, and matter in these stories, from romance to crime to horror to fairytales to fantasy to lurid dreamscapes: some of the stories are so short you can devour them in a minute or two, and some are long enough to last a whole train journey. This galaxy of variable stars costs $1.99 on the Kindle Store and enriches your life.
Know Your Words, the first book I published, is an anthology of poetry by three writers. Myself, House to Astonish‘s very own Al Kennedy, and Bostonian burlesque queen and performance poet Amy. We have different, complementary styles: Al’s is conversational, friendly, and often upbeat, riven with good humour; Amy’s is incisive, personal, and cutting, drawing comparisons with Denise Duhamel; mine is rambling and broad, taking in a number of styles and subjects, including SCIENCE. This sweet collection is also only $1.99 on the Kindle Store.
As Melissa Snowdon
Why a separate name for these books? Branding, pure and simple. Don’t screw your face up in disgust: it’s just a convenient way of putting the fluffy romance/erotica books in a different category to the more serious work. If you see Melissa Snowdon on the cover you know you’re getting something different to what you’re getting if you pick up a Delilah Des Anges book. They’re generally a lot less heavy on the plot and a lot more heavy on the gentlemen having sexy funtimes with other gentlemen, for one, and can usually be relied upon for a happy ending.
The Breaking of Mis a first-person meandering erotica/romance novel set in the 1600s and spanning the world from Venice to Mexico in the age of colonialism. It follows some of the fortunes of inveterate liar, former pirate and current spy, dandy, and hedonistic bisexual Matimeo Calvisia: Matimeo meets his match in arrogant, bossy and youthful Padre Vito Alessandro Bonifatigo, and finds himself at the mercy of an altogether more frightening prospect in the New World. This story contains lashings of BDSM and ridiculous happenstance, and is best suited for scratching very specific itches. A Kindle exclusive, it’s $1.99 or free if you’re an Amazon Prime member: there’s a slightly longer post about it here.
The Curious Case of the Firecrotch: This is why we don’t write our memoirs while drunk, Wilis a cheesy, tongue-in cheek tribute to and pastiche of both the traditional noir detective and 70s trash pulp gay erotica. It’s also my first collaboration with a deeply irreverent friend, who is writing under the name Dionysia Hill because she doesn’t take this “writing” business very seriously (a salutatory lesson for us all). It’s the story of perpetually broke and perpetually drunk private eye Wil Kemp and his reluctantly-taken caseload, trying to pay his rent, avoid being shot for poking his nose in where it doesn’t belong, and find the missing boyfriend of a cute redhead that he’d rather be sleeping with himself. Ms Hill’s contribution to this work is that it’s snappy, sharp, and has a genuinely heart-warming ending. Also, at a wallet-bendingly low price of $0.99 USD it’s probably a worthwhile investment: more details on the launch post.