Friday
Apr202012

News From Gardenia

Publishing a book is never easy, but publishing a book with Unbound has been easier and a pure joy.

Last night I saw the finished hardback version for the very first time. It is nothing short of beautiful, the wonderful folks who run Unbound have done an excellent job creating a really fine hardback book.

All the people who supported the book are listed in the back and the list is very long. I thanked the people who attended the book launch last night, but I’d also like to thank the many who couldn’t attend. It’s absolutely true that if you hadn’t supported the book it would not exist.

The hardback is available now through Unbound if you want to get a signed copy, but very soon it will be coming out as a paperback and will be in bookshops and on Amazon etc as normal.

There is a Kindle version and that will be available soon, also all other e-book readers will be supported. Not only that, there is an Audiobook version read by the author (that’s me) which will be available soon through Audioboo.

 

Saturday
Apr142012

William Morris and Kelmscott Manor

I've just visited Kelmscott Manor in Gloucestershire, at one time the home of the artist, designer and socialist pioneer, William Morris. I wandered through this time capsule with the wonderfully knowledgeable John Mitchinson who knows a lot more about Morris than I ever will. 
As we wandered around this exquisite house I started to draw rather tenuous comparisons between my own life and his, rapidly realising there is a limit to how far I could stretch such vain notions. 

True, Morris had a legendary bad temper as wasn’t very good at relationships with women, two flaws I have also struggled with.

True he did throw a Christmas pudding through the kitchen window when it ‘wasn’t good enough,’ even at my most moody I’ve never done anything like that.

He struggled with the contradictions of life, argued that someone who was successful could still believe in and live by socialist principals and shrug off the pointy accusations of hypocrisy from embittered conservatives, something I’ve had to grow used to doing, but he truly lived what he believed and try as I might, I have resolutely failed to achieve such heights.
However the deep belief that it is possible to live together in a more comfortable, less competitive and cruel way does possibly illuminate a link.
Not for a moment would I compare my writing with his, *News from Gardenia* is at best inspired by the ideas he explored in his 1890 novel, *News from Nowhere* but I haven't tried to imitate his style or even his ideas.
However his book had a profound effect on my outlook which hasn't faded over the years and it's clarity of vision and strength certainly drove me to write mine. 
Gladly, I haven't experienced the withering decline from utopian socialism into reactionary conservatism so common among my generation, if anything the reverse has taken place. 

News from Gardenia is an unashamedly utopian story, set 200 years in the future where the human race lives in a very technologically developed world and yet in harmony with the planet they inhabit.

I am now anxiously awaiting the response to my book. I will hold the first copy this Wednesday and the book is launched next Thursday (19th April).
If it has one hundredth the impact Morris' writing had, I will be pleased.

The first run of the printed book is already sold, the audio version and the digital version will be available soon, it will be a Kindle book, an e-book and by mid summer, a paperback available in all good bookstores and online from Amazon etc.

 

Tuesday
Apr102012

More News from Gardenia

At last, the release date s nearly upon us.

I can now confirm that my new book, News from Gardenia will be published on Thursday April 19th, a little over 1 month late. Everyone who supported the book at Unbound will receive a lovely hardback first edition. I still haven't seen one in the flesh yet, but I have the galley proofs (that's an image of what the printed page will look like) and it looks gorgeous. I've also now seen the cover and for once, I'm thrilled to bits, it's fantastic, really captures the flavour of the book.

April 19th will also see the release of the audiobook and the Kindle and e-book versions.

For those of you who haven't heard me droning on about it for the past 4 months, News from Gardenia is a sci-fi story set 200 years in the future, but it's an optimistic, or if you like Utopian vision of what the world could be like.

All the technology described in the book is entirely feasible and based on what are now cutting edge and developing concepts and ideas. It is a world where nothing is burned to make anything else, where for most of the planet what we now recognise as economies and political systems have largely fallen away, where the need to grow food without destroying the place is paramount in everyone's life but where people have time, more time than any previous generation.

It is a technologically advanced world where nearly everyone is a gardener, a place where communications and learning are an essential part of life, but where everyone who can contributes to the common good without seeking recompense.

As I say in the book, it’s not very likely, but it is I believe, entirely possible.

The book will come out in paperback later this year and will be available at ‘all good booksellers’ and Amazon. If you want a first edition hardback, you can still get them from the Unbound page

Monday
Mar052012

Men and emotions

I don't know how many other men do this, but quite often I only realise I've 'had an emotion' after the fact. I'm not aware of having an emotion as I'm having the experience. In some ways this experience has been replicated with my new book, 'News From Gardenia.'
It's only now, having finished writing the book late last year that I am starting to understand what it's about.
Without having an academic background but quite a lot of experience of the world, I now realise that although there are disadvantages to being mildly thick and slow, you can occasionally stumble upon an idea that may have some traction.
News from Gardenia is set 200 years in the future and I've envisaged a future with no economy, at least not in the way we recognise it now. It's a future where they are still repairing the past still dealing with the legacy we're busy leaving them, but doing so in a positive, sustainable way.
The more I think about it, the more painfully obvious it is to me that we haven't even started to truly come to grips with the notion of sustainability and surely that, pretty much above everything else, should be the primary goal of the human race in the 21st century. Not 'being green' or 'living eco' but creating societal, economic and industrial structures that are sustainable. Pipe dreams, daft utopianism and airy fairy drippy hippy nonsense, except we really don't have any choice.

By the way, the book is out on April 19th for all those who supported it on Unbound,

http://www.unbound.co.uk/books/news-from-gardenia

Later in the year it will be available as a paperback and ebook here

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1908717122/ref=kinw_rke_rti_1

Sunday
Feb192012

News from News from Gardenia

I can now confirm that my new book, News from Gardenia will be published on Thursday March 22nd. Everyone who supported the book at Unbound will receive a lovely hardback first edition. I still haven't seen one in the flesh yet, but I have the galley proofs (that's an image of what the printed page will look like) and it looks gorgeous. I've also now seen the cover and for once, I'm thrilled to bits, it's fantastic, really captures the flavour of the book.

March 22nd will also see the release of the audiobook and the kindle and e-book versions.

For those of you who haven't heard me droning on about it for the past 4 months, News from Gardenia is a sci-fi story set 200 years in the future, but it's an optimistic, or if you like Utopian vision of what the world could be like.

All the technology described in the book is entirely feasible and based on what are now cutting edge and developing concepts and ideas. It is a world where nothing is burned to make anything else, where for most of the planet what we now recognise as economies and political systems have largely fallen away, where the need to grow food without destroying the place is paramount in everyone's life but where people have time, more time than any previous generation.

It is a technologically advanced world where nearly everyone is a gardener, a place where communications and learning are an essential part of life, but where everyone who can contributes to the common good without seeking recompense.

As I say in the book, it’s not very likely, but it is I believe, entirely possible.

The book will come out in paperback later this year and will be available at ‘all good booksellers’ and Amazon. If you want a first edition hardback, you can still get them from the Unbound page