New Year, New Horizons

Thursday, 3 January 2019

New horizons

As the Earth completed another voyage around the sun and people across our pale blue dot celebrated the new year in staggered waves of time zones, incredible images and achievements from space convey both a sense of awe and wonder at the majestic beauty and mystery of our galactic neck of the woods, and offer us a perspectival shift, reminding us how tenuous are fragile ecosystem is, and also…

Dream Movie

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

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Dream Movie: visualisation in novel-writing

It has been sometimes said that ‘pictures are better on the radio’. The true could be said for fiction. The problem with so many screen adaptations of our favourite books is the literalisation of the narrative’s ambiguous energies and the corresponding colonisation of our imagination. The vision of each character, each scene – once unique to each…

Extinction Fiction

Thursday, 22 November 2018

A harvard physicist explains why we could be in the middle of the sixth mass extinction

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I don't feel fine…


In my eco-SF novel, Black Box, I ask ‘what will survive of us?’ This goes beyond the current trend in what is called ‘Climate Fiction’ or Cli-Fi, and could be termed ‘Extinction Fiction’. I wanted to look hard into the abyss, but crucially still see a gleam of light – an approach I have defined as Goldendark in my PhD…

NaNoWriMo - write til your fingers burn

Wednesday, 7 November 2018


November sees the return of the annual writing marathon, National Novel Writing Month (https://nanowrimo.org/), an initiative which started in Berkeley, California, and is now followed around the world by legions of enthusiastic writers, hammering out their magnum opus while fuelled by caffeine, chocolate and dreams of movie adaptations... or maybe that was me! For after winning a national science…

Goldendark - a creative resistance

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Goldendark sunset

It has been an intense and busy time here aboard the Black Box mothership. I have been preparing for my Creative Writing PhD viva for the last couple of months, and on Monday it took place on campus at the University of Leicester. I had to offer a robust defense of my thesis: 'The Knowing - a Fantasy: a novel enquiry into creative process, form and genre' (a transmedia novel and critical commentary…

Neil and Me

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Armstrong in aldrins visor

I was born within a month of the first historic moon-landing on 20 July 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down in the Sea of Tranquility, watched by an estimated audience of 600 million people – an unprecedented moment of global consciousness and the culmination of nearly a decade of effort, sacrifice and tragedy: JFK’s 1961 dream come true. And perhaps being in utero, when Armstrong…

The Music of the Spheres

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

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Recently, on 29 September, 2018, a concert was held in the Barbican, London, to mark the centenary of Gustav (Von) Holst's suite 'The Planets'. The BBC Symphony Orchestra played each of the seven planets (as were known to Holst) magnificently, and there was a fascinating introduction to each provided by Professor Brian Cox, who compared what was known about the planets in Holst's time, compared…

The Sprinter and the Marathon Runner

Thursday, 2 August 2018

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In writing the first draft of Black Box I tapped into two sides of my writing personality – the sprinter and the marathon runner. With the former, I dashed out 10,000 words for a Literature Works science fiction novel competition, ‘One Giant Write’, a couple of summers ago. The idea had been knocking around in my subconscious, like a billiard ball in zero gravity, for some time. I’d just finished…

The Crowdfunding Model of Publishing

Friday, 27 July 2018

Printing press

The crowdfunding model of publishing as used most successfully in recent times by Unbound and Kickstarter has a long and distinguished history. Formerly known as ‘subscription’ publishing and in its heyday during the 17th and 18th Century, the likes of William Blake, Jane Austen, Doctor Johnson, Mark Twain, William Morris, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, Edward Thomas, and many, many others…

Out of Eden

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

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As part of my research for my eco-science fiction novel Black Box I visited the amazing Eden Project in Cornwall. This inspiring initiative, the vision of Tim Smit, transformed old china clay pits into a showcase for Earth's biodiversity and state-of-the-art sustainable design. At the heart of the reclaimed industrial landscape, now bursting with greenery and fascinating art and displays…

Black Box - a new review

Monday, 25 June 2018

This is a review of Black Box from the insanely talented Tom Brown, co-creator of the awesome Hopeless, Maine graphic novel series and illustrator par excellence. I am sure he won't mind me posting his thoughts on the book here, but do check out his wares via the link below, and his blog also. Much wonder awaits the curious. 

Black Box

Posted on June 19, 2018 by gothicmangaka



Friday, 18 May 2018

National space centre 2 915px

Fancy an author's tour of the National Space Centre? One of the rewards on offer for patrons of Black Box.


Splendid, enticing rewards await those who sign up to this mission to save planet Earth and pledge to support Black Box. Amongst the delights on offer are: original artwork of a character or setting of your choice from within the novel’s story-world; custom fiction based upon the…

Filming in a Nuclear Bunker - new video!

Friday, 11 May 2018

Wanting to create a more atmospheric video to promote the novel, a couple of weeks ago I arranged to film in a remarkable location - a perfectly preserved nuclear bunker high in the Cotswolds, next to Broadway Tower. The bunker is part of the much-loved, ridiculously photogenic National Trust property - the highest point of the Cotswolds. It is one of a network of over a thousand monitoring stations…

First Interview!

Friday, 11 May 2018

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An unusual, but insightful interview - pour yourself a cuppa and enjoy!

Blake And Wight . com Steampunk fiction, reviews and interviews


Soup Of The Day with sci-fi author and poet Kevan Manwaring

Hello! Mrs Albert Baker here, otherwise known as The Last Witch Of Pendle. Obviously there is no Pendle any more, since The Chronic Agronauts utterly destroyed it with treacle and sprats…

Black Box - first review!

Friday, 11 May 2018

Brainstorm 2008

Black Box is a science fiction novel from Kevan Manwaring. It is a text poised to be unleashed upon the world and I think it’s exactly the kind of story we need right now. Set against the backdrop of a dying Earth, the story manages to both square up to the disaster we are unleashing upon ourselves, while refusing to give up all hope. It is, in every possible way, a journey into utter darkness…

The Alien DJ

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Dodgy space themes album

Is it me or am I the only one who finds it hard to separate Sci-Fi from soundtrack? It is almost impossible to think of the opening credits of Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope without the adrenalin-surge of John Williams’ classic theme-tune blasted out to the backstory disappearing to its vanishing point (or Darth Vader and his stormtroopers without the Imperial march); the shock and awe of the…

Under the Ice

Friday, 4 May 2018

Cryobot nasa jpl

In the vast silence of the black ocean a distant murmur disturbs aeons’ old sleep. Eyeless eyes seek the source, incensed at this invasion into its hermetic kingdom. A rumble, penetrating the ice-sheet – a ten-kilometre thick door no one had opened, until now. Suddenly a glow appears in the under-ice. A glowing red eye. Brighter and brighter – burning through the black. A seismic scream. The pain…

Europa Survey Base

Friday, 27 April 2018

Halley vi research station151

Commander Boone killed the engine on the skiddoo and gazed back at the base, a sense of pride filling her. The complex of hexagonal units resembled a carbon ring. The designers had coded into its architecture the building blocks of life. An apt structure for the Europa Survey Base and its search for life on Jupiter’s apparently bleakest of moons. For that to be a sustainable search the crew, vulnerable…

The Sci-Fi Croft

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

​Some background behind writing the first draft of Black Box.

 As I was up in Edinburgh doing research in the archives for a week I thought, what the hey, why not have a Highland fling? But instead of tossing the caber willy-nilly, so to speak, I decided my ‘fling’ would involve a 9-10 day solo writing retreat in a remote croft on the coast of Wester Ross. Boy, I know how to party! Actually, I…

Survival Manual for the Human Race

Friday, 13 April 2018

Things may seem pretty bleak out there at the moment - geopolitical unrest, climate chaos, displaced populations - and threats are real not only to the peace and security of our families and communities but to the very existence of humankind as the dominant species upon this planet. It all feels like The Eighties: the sequel. It was back then, living in the shadow of the Cold War as a teenager, that…

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