Friday, 11 February 2011

Piping hot brain snacks

The problem with being a writer is the same as the problem of being a reader - the overpowering frustration that stems from that gap between my racing brain, my slow moving hand and my abysmally slow typing. I would like to pour Maxwell's adventures straight from my brain into yours, but I can't ... There's not an App for that quite yet!
This is often a good thing - if that particular 'Brain Snack App' did exist you would have been reading a very different version of 'Isle of the Dead' right now, for instance - a book called 'The Wooden Kingdom' in which Maxwell Jones would not appear at all - you wouldn't have found out what happened to him until book 6. Well, now Book 3 and Book 6 are one story, and the better for it, I think - but you'll have to wait until Christmas to find out how and why.
The only way I know of to keep Maxwell alive in your mind, while his big adventures ferment in my mind, is through the small adventures of Trevor Smethurst. I don't mean small in scope - Trevor's adventures are a huge part of the Maxwell stories, and take place across many of the planets mentioned - though never visited - in the 'big' books, and will feature some of the characters you never get to see - though you will hear of - in the main books. I am particularly looking forward to introducing you to Professor Hylton Firebones and the work of RISE (the Realmic Institute of Scientific Exploration). They are, however, short in term of number of pages, which means I write them faster, you read them faster, and Trevor gets in more trouble quicker than ever before!
But still - the end of March for the first part of 'Trevor and the Time Thieves' - argh! That's forever! - so here's a little taste - piping hot from my imagination to yours...

Trevor and the Time Thieves
A Super Maxwell Short Story

Halruga is a planet so distant that even the most powerful telescope could not even see the galaxy it is in, never mind find the little purple, gold and blue planet itself. But, if you know how to get there, it is a place that is literally just around the corner.
Halruga is best known for its Surf Decadon, ten years of glorious sunshine on its five thousand miles of golden beaches, and is quite rightly called the friendliest place in the 101 Realms. However, if you could leave your home right now and somehow travel in an instant to that distant world you would find a very different place. The planet is in the middle of the Jicker, a period of six year where its lands and seas freeze, and the native Halrugans, amphibians who spend the summer selling, beer, fruit and watches on the thousands of miles of beaches, disappear into their cities beneath the frozen seas and spend their winters farming the seabed and harvesting kelp vodka. Every city on the land is covered in metres of thick snow, and those cities are carefully maintained by robots, known as Gritties, who protect and repair holiday homes and bars during this period of deep freeze, in preparation for another ten years of summer.
There are three things you can be absolutely certain of during the Jicker – that no one could possibly live in this frozen land, that no one could cause any damage to the heavily protected frozen cities, and that no one could possibly get into any sort of trouble.
But then again, you have not met Trevor Smethurst.

More soon...Tony

Friday, 4 February 2011

Words and pictures

Though Christmas may seem a long way away, the prospect of Maxwell 3 coming out then makes it look to me like an express train bearing down! The approaching monster (and it IS a monster of a book, as I'll explain in another post, it is actually two books!) is looming even closer now as the cover artist for Burning Boys, John Gallagher, has confirmed he will create the cover for Maxwell 3: Isle of the Dead.
I've got a pretty good idea what that cover will look like - but, of course, I would not even think about spoiling the surprise for you. But, as a little treat, here's the really quite brilliant sketch of Nurgler (under the shadow of The Nurgler) which John created last year.