Last Star Standing
By Spaulding Taylor
On a post-apocalyptic 23rd-century Earth, an Aussie rebel battles its rulers - and his own demons
Publication date: February 2021Support this project
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A post-apocalyptic speculative novel about a fiery and indigenous Aussie rebel living on a 23rd-century Earth, battling the Xirfell rulers – along with his own internal demons. 1984 crossed with Catcher in the Rye.
Reviews of McVeigh’s previous novels:
The Sunday Times:
'Characters rise and fall to McVeigh’s superbly controlled conductor's baton. The orchestra becomes a universe in microcosm; all human life is here . . . McVeigh succeeds in harmonising a supremely comic tone with much darker notes.'
The Sunday Telegraph:
'McVeigh is a professional cellist and is thus able to describe with wry authority the extraordinary life of a London orchestra. This is a very enjoyable novel, and not quite as light as it pretends to be.'
The Good Book Guide:
'The author is a professional cellist and a highly intelligent novelist. In the hothouse atmosphere of a group welded together but battered by individual stresses, relationships blossom and painfully disintegrate. McVeigh spins her sentences across the page, carrying the reader with them.'
'McVeigh's captivating, witty debut offers uncanny insights into music, love, and the human heart. Her portrayal sings with lyrical intensity and eloquent feeling.'
Ever wondered what goes on in the backstage life of a symphony orchestra? This racy, pacy novel was written by someone who knows.'
Alice McVeigh (writing as Spaulding Taylor)
Alice was born in Seoul, South Korea, and grew up in Southeast Asia, where her father was working as a diplomat. After surviving her teenage years in McLean, Virginia, and achieving an undergraduate cello degree in cello performance at the internationally renowned Jacobs School of Music, she came to London to study cello with William Pleeth. There she worked for over a decade with orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique. Alice was first published in the late 1990s when her two contemporary novels (While the Music Lasts and Ghost Music) were published by Orion Publishing – now Hachette – to excellent reviews, including:
'Characters rise and fall to McVeigh’s superbly controlled conductor's baton. The orchestra becomes a universe in microcosm; all human life is here . . . McVeigh succeeds in harmonising a supremely comic tone with much darker notes.' (The Sunday Times)
'McVeigh is a professional cellist and is thus able to describe with wry authority the extraordinary life of a London orchestra. This is a very enjoyable novel, and not quite as light as it pretends to be.' (The Sunday Telegraph)
The film rights to While the Music Lasts were sold to Channel 4. Her first play (Beating Time) was also published, after a week’s run at the Lewisham Theatre, as was her non-fiction book, All Risks Musical. A prolific ghost writer and book editor, Alice occasionally contributes to publications including the Guardian, Verbatim and the Strad. Her website is at www.alicemcveigh.com.
Alice is married to Professor Simon McVeigh; and their daughter is currently studying Chinese at the University of Oxford. When not playing cello, writing or editing, Alice is generally smiting fuzzy yellow balls at the Bromley Tennis Centre. (Her daughter once remarked, when she was about three, 'My mum hits the ball farther than anybody!')
I find myself sorry for the Creature. Did it ask to be made so huge, so spectacular, so ravenous? The ultimate outsider, it’s as imprisoned as the rest of us. Even more, perhaps, for it has no choice at all.
Still: those jaws. There’s a collective intake of breath as the creature swishes past her, that lethally spiked tail terrifyingly close to that poised little face. She sits composedly on the bottom of the tank, by comparison the size of a doll, though clearly returned to her element. The cameras are extended, greedy arms waiting to gather her in. It’s almost certainly a live broadcast.
- 5th January 2021 Gone to press!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dear friends and supporters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The lovely Anna contacted me yesterday - kind of a sad day otherwise, to be honest, as we're all locked-down again here in London - to say that my book had gone to press, yay!!!!!!!
You'll have seen the cover already, so - as special bonus - here's the cover that didn't make the cut - same artist, no mirrors - my amazing Polish friend, Irena. I thought…22nd December 2020 Happy Christmas!!!!!
Dear friends and kind supporters,
It never seems to stop raining, and a new variety of Covid is here - well, here in the UK, anyway, I know some of you live elsewhere. Also, indoor tennis has ground to a halt - and Brexit isn't exactly going well, but... just check out the bright side.
At least you haven't got to spend your Christmas week checking every comma in Last Star Standing!!!!…10th November 2020 Getting there!!!!!!
Dear friends - and those kind contributors I don't know - whom I FEEL are friends,
Hoping this finds you well!!!!
Lockdowned yet again, here in London - which is right, I agree. We have to do it, no question.
So, what don't I agree with? - This. That I'm no longer allowed to play tennis singles, outside - I mean, in the open air - with my own husband.
Give me strength!
As one…1st January 2020 Happy New Year!!!!
Dear friends and supporters,
Just wanted to wish you all the best for 2020, and to thank you again for your help and belief in 2019.
Was very worried over the past week by the illnesses of TWO close friends. Hoping that the new year will be a new beginning, and not just for this book!!! More updates as soon as the pre-publicity is underway and all the rest of the boring bits (proofing especially…1st October 2019 Last Star Standing off to the editorial board. . .
It's a very odd thing, and never happened to me before. This is my seventh completed novel and the only one that, returning to it after a year of writing another has made me think, 'Too long. Really wants pruning.'
Maybe it's the speculative genre, I don't know. Anyway, I assumed I'd just shoot it back off to Unbound after a light read, of a sunny evening. Instead, it's been a gruelling fortnight…9th August 2019 Thrilled to be at 50%!!!!!
Dear supporters, friends and anyone interested enough to click on my update:
First, thanks SO MUCH for your belief, those of you who've got me to 50% in under a week!! :
Here's a blog post about the writing of Last Star Standing:
God stepped out on space,
And he looked around and said:
I'll make me a world.
These people are helping to fund Last Star Standing.
An anonymous donor