[Publishing] Be A Tourist!

ALRIGHT I’LL STOP TEASING!

It’s here, it’s here, it’s available now!

“I have no idea what that is, who he is, why the fuck you’re asking me, or what the hell is happening,” Alec said, simply. […] “I don’t like you, I don’t like him, and you’ve probably resulted in me losing a job I only just got and had to bend over backwards to get by dragging me all over some bullshit hallucination and making me inexplicably late.”
Everything you believe about London is true.
At least, it’s true somewhere. What’s also true is that Alec Archer Crowe and Opportunity Chioma Oluchukwu definitely didn’t ask to be involved in any version of London other than the one they’re in, and yet here they are: faced with disintegrating realities, constantly-changing rules no one will explain, and the world’s smelliest witch. Something is horribly, terribly wrong… and not just Alec’s sleep schedule.

Available in print (Lulu), .mobi (Amazon UK and other regional Amazon sites), and a variety of eBook formats on the majority of eBook platforms, NOW.

A Tourist’s Guide To The Ideal Book About The Ideal London

I know it’s all go around here at the moment! Romance novellas, zines, cut-ups poetry, absolutely ceaseless bids for your attention (and sometimes money). And now the forthcoming novel as well!
But what about this novel that I’ve provided fairly scanty details on?
(Yeah, this one).
Mostly I’d like to avoid spoiling people for this parallel-realities urban fantasy whirlwind, but it’s only fair that I give you all a little bit to go on. After all, there are a lot of really, really good books out there–why read this one?
Before I am summarily extinguished by impostor syndrome and badly-timed modesty: because it represents the apotheosis of several tropes that recur in my books, for one thing. Intractable, self-loathing protagonist struggling with a hidden secret? Check. Women with agendas and goals that have nothing to do with male approval? Check. Rules and realities that don’t conform to the expectations we have from the real world? Check. Atrocious jokes? Che–my jokes are very funny, actually. The power of narrative? Check. Supporting cast of absolute dysfunctional weirdos? Check. At least one character guaranteed to form someone’s lesbian awakening? Hell yes. And London as its own complex, chaotic, untameable character? Literally the core of the story.
(“But Derek,” you say, “I’ve never read anything of yours before, how do I know if they’re recurring tropes or not?” fear not: I have a back catalogue ready for you).
We got: weird artefacts! Witches (possibly)! Acerbic commentary on privilege (by the bucketload), riots (you’re probably sick of those by now but this was written in 2017 when things were very slightly less rioty), fashion critique, mythology (so much mythology!), ghosts, dashing highwaymen, horrible incels, flying cars, and a talking dog!
We got non-binary characters! We got multiple archivists! We got the weird off-milk smell at Highbury & Islington North-Bound Platforms which has persisted for literally twenty years without any explanation!
And mice. So, so many mice.
If none of that appeals to you, may I also point out that the cover is quite fetching and the items on the front all relate to the plot. But you have to read it to find out how, obviously. That’s how books work.
“Alright,” you cry, “I am convinced. Where can I buy this?”
Many places! But not quite yet. Hang around–the next post on this blog will let you know.

Publishing: Time For More Sad Poetry

Book cover for Interrupted Verse, featuring a desert landscape and water-filled cauldera as viewed from above, drawn in pencil and coloured digitally

It’s here. Some of it is queer. A lot of it is, given the nature of the years 2016-2019 for both me and the artist who created the cover, about grief.

Interrupted Verse: Collected Poetry 2016-2019

There are also poems about yearning, about joy, about freedom, and about transition. There are poems which both are and are not about politics. There are poems which adhere to a strike rhyme scheme, and some which sneak assonance and consonance past you almost subconsciously. In reading them over for inclusion in this book, I have found rhythms I didn’t realise I was putting into my work, and recurring images which I very much did.

There are poems to commemorate both the dead of my acquaintance, and that of my friends, and those of the world in general, almost all of whom, barring my grandparents (to whom there are memorials), left far earlier than needed. But there are also poems to commemorate the joyful moments in the lives of the people I love, including, I suppose, me. I hope they can also be turned to the need for comfort, catharsis, challenge, and cheering up that you might have. Feel free to make yourself at home with them.


If, however, you are not interested in poetry at this point in your life, may I point your attention to the recently-released Architects of the Flesh, a novel which covers many of the same themes. 

IT’S HERE! Architects of the Flesh is available for sale!

Do you like your socialism angry, your body horror Lamarckian, your alternate histories brutal and convoluted and your protagonists greyer than a London sky?

You’d better, because that’s what’s on offer, just in time for Christmas if you hurry!

(Unless you’re buying an ebook version, which case you can pretty much just buy it on Christmas day and hide in a corner devouring the misery, vengeance, and weirdness without listening to your family!)

If you don’t do Christmas, this book also serves brilliant as a Generic Winter Experience.

There is basically no reason not to buy, on Kindle (all regions, link goes to UK), iBooks, Nook, Barnes & Noble online, or in print and ebook at Lulu.com. You can also request it at many major bookshops!

the book cover for Architect of the Flesh shows the title, author attribution, and an image of a sketched medusa head on one piece of paper being menaced by a diagram of a surgeon's knife on another piece of paper: the background is Charles Booth's London Poverty Map

COMING SOON: ARCHITECTS OF THE FLESH

Coming soon from House of D Publications! A chunky and compelling novel full of strife, fantastical features, surgery, and really horrible phone calls! The birth and probably death of the genre Lamarckian Horror, by the author who brought you Saxonpunk.

the book cover for Architect of the Flesh shows the title, author attribution, and an image of a sketched medusa head on one piece of paper being menaced by a diagram of a surgeon's knife on another piece of paper: the background is Charles Booth's London Poverty Map

What?

That’s right! Before the close of the year, available in print and approximately a million (small exaggeration) e-reader formats including Kindle .mobi, .epub, .pdf etc, and available on iBooks, Kobi, Amazon, etc: ARCHITECTS OF THE FLESH is London as you’ve never seen it and hopefully will never see it, in a world where Lamarckian inheritance works, and just about every other science lags behind xenotransplant surgery.

Wait, back up. Lamarckian?

You may remember Darwin. At least, I hope you do. Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection turned out to be right: the idea that organisms develop physical (and indeed behavioural) traits over time as those individuals who display them fare better in whichever environment they’re in than those who don’t, and so have more babies.

Well, in the heady days of the 19th century, when everyone was still trying to figure out what the absolute hell was going on with a world they’d previously assumed was static and unchanging after the Oh Shit discovery of fossils, he was far from the only thinker trying to work out how we’d got from dinosaurs to chickens and whether those things had happened at the same time.

Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, chevalier de Lamarck (or just Lamarck)’s idea of how environment enacted biological change was that changes to individual organisms during the course of their lifetime were then demonstrated in their offspring: so if you cut the tail off a mouse, it would have tail-less offspring. If a giraffe stretched and stretched for leaves, it would have offspring with younger necks.

Now… that does seem pretty easy to test via empirical if somewhat cruel methods. Mice are not hard to get hold of and were pretty abundant in the 19th century too. And it certainly hasn’t withstood such a simple test as obviously your surgically mutilated mouse does not beget mice without tails (mice with human ears and mice with green fur are the result of genetic tampering, and are outside the scope of this novel).

Yes but: “xenotransplant”?

In the 1790s, eminent surgeon and co-author of Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus, William Hunter grafted human teeth onto a rooster’s head and said rooster grew a coxcomb of tooth enamel. You can see the results at the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London (or you can in 2021, when the museum re-opens).

See that? More of that.

So much more of that. Animal husbandry meets 18th century attitudes where theology of predestination props up chattel slavery. Human rights? Never heard of her. Animal rights? Don’t make me laugh. Technology without overriding morality? Wealth without conscience? People with fashion transplants? You got it.

Grab yourself a copy and see how bad things can get–but also just how hard it is to prevent people from trying to make things better.

[PUBLISHING]

If you enjoyed yesterday’s short story (which is nothing like this one but is also written by me), or have perhaps bought Owl Hollow Press’s Pick Your Poison anthology and enjoyed my contribution to it (also on the theme of oceanic health!), you might be interested to know that you can now buy environmental horror story In The Trenches on Amazon Kindle sites globally.

Deep sea exploration engineer Euan navigates the various tensions aboard a vessel which houses both those interested in the future of the oceans’ wildlife and those only interested in profiting from it, and on dipping below the waves discovers that they’re not the only ones with an interest in the contents of the abyss.

Kindle (UK) | Kindle (US)

EDIT: This story is now also available on Lulu.com, and via iBooks, Kobo, and Nook.


The author has recently been recovering from surgery and has been unable to keep up with his usual level of work, so pity money is very much appreciated:

TIP JAR

Heavy

It’s here, it’s here. There’s fewer pigs in it that the cover leads you to believe.

When I was researching and writing The Next Big One the world “helpfully” cooperated by giving me the chance to observe responses to a terrifying epidemic of a deadly virus in real time, as Ebola resurfaced in West Africa and one of my friends went out with Save The Children to test blood samples in the field, work for which she was rightfully awarded a medal. Let us hope then that the events of this book remain firmly fiction, dealing as they do with an alternate past, the long aftermath of partial nuclear destruction, and the opportunism bred by lengthy global conflict; the kind of things that become normal, and the horrors that float to the surface…

What if not only everything you knew about yourself was wrong, but everything everyone else knew about you was wrong too?

Pig is in hell.

He’s been in hell for the twenty years since half a continent was atomised; since his own ignominious and contentious escape from a fate that never came; when a face from his past comes offering alleviation, he inadvertently drags behind him a young revolutionary, an extracted spy, and an admin assistant way out of her depth on an unexplained mission that will take them across the world, and which may well solve nothing at all…

“I’m always pleased to see Derek Des Anges writing, with his acute understanding of the horror we do to each other and the tactics we take to survive it.” – Kieron Gillen (Wicked + Divine, Darth Vader)

Heavy is available in print and as an eBook from Lulu.com, from all international Amazon sites in print and on Kindle (US | UK and other regional Kindle sites too), and will shortly be available in eBook format from iBooks, Nook, and Kobo also.

If you’ve read and enjoyed my (or anyone else’s) work, here’s an article on why it’s important for you to say so in public: beware of monsters: why you should review books you love.

Love the cover? Buy art products with it on here.

Want to see the book physically? No problem:

Heavier times are coming

Hey remember my gnomic post?

Here’s another one:

Soon I’ll be making a post which contains links where you can buy this book. Soon there will be better information on what this book contains. Until then, brace yourself, and consider the question:

What if not only was everything you knew about yourself wrong, but everything everyone else knew about you was wrong too?

Heavy times fall upon us.

Would you like to know why I spent a large part of yesterday stalking the streets of London in search of a pig’s head, before finally alighting upon the kind people at Godfrey’s of Highbury, who allowed me and my glamorous assistant (the author behind Transrealities and mistress of multiple musical instruments) into their chopping room to take photographs and refused payment for the same?

Well, you’ll have to wait a little longer. Heavy is on its way, but a few more activities, including some with the pig’s head, await prior to publication.


Recently, the author has: cried a lot in a theatre, had a gazebo lobbed at him by God in the middle of a seaside thunderstorm, cried a little bit in a cinema, and got slightly too drunk watching a childhood movie in a park with a bunch of similarly drunk Millennials who finally get all the innuendo we missed when we were seven. He has also been hard at work editing Heavy, planning a new book, and submitting short stories willy-nilly to some remarkably accommodating small presses, and this is why he hasn’t been updating his blog. It’s definitely not because he temporarily forgot that it existed. That would be madness.

A companion, not a sequel

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.


Available on Amazon Kindle UK (and also on most other Amazon regional sites).

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.