Friday, 21 October 2011

Germs, Crusades and giant spiders

I am quite ashamed to say that I have not written another word of Trevor and the Time Thieves since last you checked in. There are a number of reasons for this, partly I've been very busy in my day job doing a big research project; partly because I have madly formulated the plot for Mabel Maybe and the Slow Children (now involving giant spiders), and as a a consequence have come up with an idea for a second Mabel book - Mabel Maybe and the Machineries of Odd - but mostly because of my birthday, and my cold.
I was hit by cold on my birthday and have written nothing since. Partly because I've been very tired, but mostly because my son bought me the DVD boxset of Crusade, and I've been lying in bed sipping Lemsip and watching it. When, of course, I should have been sitting at my desk, sipping Lemsip and writing Mabel/Trevor.
It's the curse of the boxset, but, all things being equal, I will have something for you to read next week. Don't despair just yet, time travel is a tricky mistress, and Trevor does have the added worry of accidentally destroying all of time and space now, alongside his very real concerns about running out of tomato sauce.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

1 year older, not a day wiser

Today is my birthday, and as a special treat here's a chance to read the opening page of my newest project, a new book, 'Mabel Maybe and the Slow Children'. It is, well, a bit unusual - Blade Runner for the under 12s, with genies - would be a good description!
Happy birthday to me!
Tony Kerr

Mabel Maybe and the Slow Children
by Tony Kerr

Imagine one day you woke up on a train and you could not remember one single thing that happened to you a moment before you opened your eyes.
That is what happened to Mabel Maybe.
Then how, you might think, if she could not remember anything at all, could Mabel Maybe remember her own name? Did she have a suitcase with her name on it? No, Mabel Maybe had only the clothes she wore – a black dress, black stockings and black shoes. Did she, perhaps, have a letter, which told her that her name was Mabel Maybe and that exciting adventures lay ahead? No, not at all. Generally speaking exciting adventures tend to just happen, and people, generally, don’t send you a mysterious letter telling you they are going to happen.
This is what did happen.
She opened her eyes and looked around a rocking wooden train carriage, and before she knew she was going to do so she opened her mouth, and with a voice she had no memory of ever hearing before, said:
‘My name is Mabel.’
And a voice from the far side of the carriage replied, ‘Mabel? Maybe.’
It was then that Mabel Maybe noticed that in a seat opposite her sat a small and scruffy dog. The dog might have once been white, but had either been through the washing machine a few too many times, or (more likely) had been in the bath tub too few times. The dog was called Gene.
Mabel Maybe knew the dog was called Gene because the dog fixed her with a dirty stare and said, quite clearly in a deep and rough bark: “My name is Gene.”
After that things started to get a little strange.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Trevor and the Time Thieves - Part 2


‘Oh no!’ snarled Trevor. ‘I don’t flipping believe it!’
‘Well, there’s a nice greeting,’ said the small figure in the green space suit in front of Trevor. He leant forward on his wooden rocking chair, and pulled the suit’s helmet from his head, revealing a wide, freckled boy’s face framed by curling yellow hair, ‘How did you even know it was me?’ asked Bob Colchis.
‘I didn’t,’ Trevor replied, pointing. ‘I was looking at that dump, not you, dragon breath.’
The boy climbed down from the rocking chair, his feet clicking with every step. A more observant person than Trevor would have noticed the strange knobbly shapes that grew from every inch of the walls, ceiling and floor; shapes that matched exactly the shapes on the bottom of Bob Colchis’s boots. Trevor, however, had not even noticed that he was floating in mid-air, and as Bob stood beside him and followed his pointed clawed finger out of the observation window to the blue planet below, he begun to wonder if he had made a very, very bad decision.
‘The planet Earth?’ Bob asked. ‘What’s wrong with it?’
‘Horrible place. Planet of the blinking apes,’ Trevor replied. ‘I hate it there. Why’ve you brought me here, dragon boy? I was all right where I was!’
‘You weren’t all right where you were, Trevor—‘
‘Yes I was! I had chips!’
‘No you weren’t Trevor,’ Bob replied patiently. ‘Those men were just about to kill you—‘
‘Thicko! Clerics don’t kill people. Don’t you know nothing?’
‘They weren’t Clerics.’ Bob had an overpowering urge to smack Trevor’s head against the spaceship’s observation window. Bob was a Maltrusion, and though he looked like a boy he could transform himself in a moment into a fierce twenty-foot high dragon. He was, as you may guess, extremely short tempered, and the combination of Trevor, a bad temper and deep space was not a good one. ‘They were the wizard’s men. They were trying—‘
‘Oh, you’re not still on about that, are you?’ Trevor interrupted. ‘Look, I got you your Ring of Argos—‘
‘Argo,’ Bob corrected.
‘—I dropped you home, and even let you have a bite of my chocolate bar, so that’s us square, dragon breath. Just drop me at the nearest civilised planet and go on your way without me.’
Bob didn’t quite know where to start. True, Trevor had saved him from the wizard Aeoson and his soldiers, and had transported him back home to Virporta Island. He had not, however, given Bob even a sniff of his chocolate and though Bob felt he should be gracious, he could not help but feel that Trevor had been a pretty unwilling saviour.
‘Trevor, I made pledge to find the missing pieces of the Key of Argo,’ Bob began, ‘and I believe I’ve found—‘
‘What’s that?’ Trevor interrupted, pointing at a large wooden dial on the wall.
‘That? That’s the date and time. I’ve travelled far into the future to find you Trevor—‘
Trevor interrupted him again. ‘Is that right?’ he asked without looking from the clock.
‘Yes, it’s right. This is a wooden ship, the most advanced in the 101 Realms,’ Bob replied, ‘Wooden clocks are accurate to one millionth—‘
‘Oh, you pillock!’ Trevor screeched, spinning around and reaching for Bob’s throat … But before his clawed fingers could close around the Maltrusian, Trevor vanished.


Trevor leapt on Dr Arcania and suddenly the world went BBOOOIIINNNGGG! And somehow he was bouncing head over heels down a hill. He came to a jarring halt at the foot of a massive fir tree, and looked around.
Just feet from where he had come to a halt the hill dropped dizzily into a deep ravine. He was somehow in a pine forest, and, irritatingly, had somehow lost one of his shoes.
‘Get up!’ barked a voice.
Trevor looked up to see Dr Arcania marching through the forest towards him, the Handsome Beast’s goldfish bowl held in front of him.
‘I’ve lost my shoe!’ Trevor exclaimed, springing to his feet.
‘To the Weavion devils with your shoe! Grab the goldfish bowl before Mamble follows us!’
‘My Mum’ll go nuts if I don’t find that shoe!’ Trevor began sniffing at the trail he had made through the forest floor. ‘What do you mean, grab the goldfish bowl?’
‘Just grab it!’ bellowed Dr Arcania. He thrust the goldfish bowl at Trevor and, despite his natural disinclination to take orders, Trevor grabbed it on impulse….
… and found himself falling down the throat of the ravine with the screeching chimpanzee at his side.
‘Where’s my tie gone!’ bellowed Trevor, grabbing the goldfish bowl.
Trevor landed on his bottom with a thud. A second later Dr Arcania landed beside him in an undignified heap, the Handsome Beast swearing profusely as water slopped out of his bowl.
‘Grab the bowl!’ exclaimed Dr Arcania, scrambling to his feet.
‘No!’ snapped Trevor.
‘If we can get to the eastern side of the island I have a portal there that can get us as far as Mars and then … What did you say?’
‘I said “No”, coconut breath. Get the bananas out of your ears for two seconds and you might be able to hear me.’ Trevor grinned at Dr Arcania’s shocked expression. ‘I’m not going to Mars with you, I’m not going anywhere with you. I want to go back home and I want to go now!’
Dr Arcania’s lips moved but only an outraged squeak escaped from his mouth.
‘He certainly told you,’ came the magisterial voice of the Handsome Beast.
‘Shut up you!’ barked Dr Arcania.
‘Don’t you know what has happened here, you idiot boy? Titus Mamble is loose! Shades have taken over the island! We have to get this thing—‘ he waved the Handsome Beast’s bowl in front of Trevor’s face, slopping even more water over its sides ‘—off this island before Mamble, or Jake Silex, or the Shades or the Long Men catch up with us! Otherwise—‘
‘It’ll be the end of the world, and everyone will be slaves, or zombies, or smelly primates, or blah de-blah de-blah.’ Trevor let go a raspberry and sprang to his feet. Dr Arcania stepped back in alarm. ‘You might have to save the world Hairy Mary, or whatever your name is, but I don’t. What I’ve got to do is get home for my dinner and then do my homework.’
Dr Arcania was staring at the small t-rex, his mouth hanging open. ‘Your … homework?’
‘Oh yeah, I don’t have to do my homework, do I? The school blew up! Cool!’
‘I don’t think you have quite grasped the gravity of this situation, Killian,’ said Dr Arcania in a strained voice. ‘Shades are roaming free for the first time in over seven thousand years. The village had been destroyed, the island has been evacuated, and there is a very good chance that very, very soon Long Men will escape this island and bring about the apocalypse—‘
‘Have you seen my ruler anywhere?’ Trevor interrupted, patting his pockets agitatedly. ‘I definitely had it in school this morning.’
‘Your ruler!’ screeched Dr Arcania. ‘Who cares about your stupid ruler, boy! This world is about to be destroyed!’
‘It’s a Monkey Master Blaster ruler. You can’t get them anywhere.’ Trevor looked at Dr Arcania’s apoplectic expression and sighed. ‘Look, Dr Chimpy, the world isn’t going to end. It never does. Someone will come and save us. The island will be okay. This stupid world will be okay. All the Long Men and Shades will get blown up, or evaporated, or sent into another dimension, or something like that. That’s what always happens.’ Trevor patted the dumbstruck chimpanzee’s hand. ‘A hero will save us, Dr Chimpy, that’s what always happens. Now, you going to help me find my ruler, or what?’
Dr Arcania shook his head and blinked several times. Had this boy just called him Dr Chimpy?
‘No one is going to come and save us, Killian,’ said Dr Arcania. ‘All of the heroes are dead, boy.’
‘That is where you are quite wrong, doctor.’
They both turned at the sound of a voice, and their eyes met glinting steel. Mr Vim’s ivory teeth turned into a grin. In his hand he held a blue ruler with a cartoon of a monkey firing a gatling gun on it.
‘Hoy!’ bellowed Trevor. ‘That’s my—‘
‘—ruler bum face!’ Trevor lowered his claw, which he had been pointing at a rather startled pigeon.
He looked around. They were hurtling through the air, the treetops of the Black Woods just visible through thick smoke hundreds of feet below them.
‘Why doesn’t this bumming Eternal Engine just take us to Mars, banana breath!’ Trevor bellowed over the roar of the wind.
‘Because it’s not the Eternal Engine that’s transporting us, you under-evolved idiot! The fish bowl is a homing device for the nearest space portal, It is triangulating its position jump by jump, but is only capable of transporting us short distances!’
‘Well that was a stupid idea, wasn’t it?’
‘How dare you! That was my idea!’
‘There you go then!’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Monkey madness, that’s what I mean! Not a single one of you chimps has got brains enough to brush your fur!’
‘Don’t call me a chimp, you dinosaur!’
‘Take that back!’
‘Never! Dinosaur! Dinosaur!’ Lizard face! You Jurassic berk!’
‘I’ll smash your face in!’
‘Yaaahhh!’ screamed Dr Arcania suddenly. Trevor was impressed by the impact of his threat, until he looked up. ‘Arrgghh!’ he screamed.
Mr Vim was swooping towards them, his grim face set into a snarl, batwings spread wide at his back.
‘What the hell kind of Wizard of Oz flying bloody monkey bloody INSANITY is this!’ screeched Trevor.
They were still freefalling towards the treetops, but now they were much closer, and Mr Vim had changed from a snarling bat monster into a small black dot high above them.
The dot grew larger, and in what seemed like mere seconds they could see the glint of Mr Vim’s steel visor as his massive wings drove him down towards them.
‘That’s contrary to the laws of physics,’ murmured Dr Arcania as Mr Vim moved closer with eerie speed. ‘No one can move that fast.’
‘Get us out of here you hairy bum hole!’ Trevor howled.
‘Grab the fish bowl!’
Trevor’s clawed hands moved towards the grimy goldfish bowl with its rapidly diminishing reservoir of water. Time seemed to slow. He heard Dr Arcania yell, “NOW!”, but it came out elongated and slowed down somehow, ‘NNNNNOOOOOWWWWW!’ Trevor saw his own face reflected in the bowl, and the little orange fish inside looked around at him, and stuck out its tiny pale pink tongue.
And then it all vanished. The fish, the bowl, Dr Arcania’s hairy hands all disappeared.
Trevor hurtled towards the treetops, and far above him he saw a great black bat swoop across the sky, two dangling monkey feet hanging below.
‘Well, that’s just absolutely flipping typical, isn’t it?’ grunted Trevor, and he smashed through the treetops and was enveloped by thick black smoke.


Trevor opened his eyes and looked up at the trail he had smashed through the branches above him.
For a moment a confusion of memories crowded in his mind. He had been kidnapped by Titus Mamble and transported to Dr Arcania’s lab, and had managed to escape...But no – that had happened over ten years ago. He had managed to escape Mamble, and from there…
‘Oh no!’ Trevor gasped, and he sprang up, then let out a shout as a bolt of agony shot through his head. ‘You stinking dragon-breathed dog faced chocolate stealing rat bag!’ Trevor howled, waving a fist at the smoke wreathed sky.
He was back on Virporta Island; back in the time warp which had trapped him on Earth for over a year; back with Titus Mamble, Aeoson the Wizard, the Brundhahz, Boshers, Shade and Long Men.
And, unless Trevor was very much mistaken, today was almost certainly the very last day of his life.

To be continued...

Thursday, 6 October 2011

And for tomorrow's menu ... autocanibalism

Trevor and the Time Thieves Part 2 will be online tomorrow morning (or evening, depending where you are in the 101 Realms) which will see Trevor return to Virporta Island at a very unfortunate time ... Titus Mamble has returned, the Shades are free, Long Men have destroyed the Village and there is not a drop of tomato sauce to be had anywhere. How will our hero survive? Find out soon...

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

On hiatus for retooling

Unfortunately, through circumstances beyond my control, Super Maxwell 3 no longer has a publisher. These are tough times for publishing, as for everyone else, so I can't really have any hard feelings for my former publisher. It is very disappointing, of course, as it means that you definitely will not be seeing The Isle of the Dead in 2011. But as someone wiser than me once said (I think it was Yogi Bear) you only lose when you give up - so Maxwell is not dead, just not quite able to make it to your door just yet.
As a consequence of this I am not able to deliver Trevor and the Time Thieves to you before Halloween - but, as a bonus, it's going to be longer ... and hopefully better, a kind of mini-book for you. That's cool, right?
So do keep tuning in on a Friday to read more of Trevor's adventures, dispatches may be a bit spotty, but Trevor is still as alive, and irritating, as ever, and is not about to keep his big Killian gob shut.