Ten Little Astronauts
By Damon L.Wakes
An Agatha Christie-inspired murder mystery novella set on board an interstellar spacecraft
Publication date: December 2018Buy
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The U.N. Owen is adrift in interstellar space. With no lights, no life support, no help for ten trillion miles, it seems as though things can't get any worse. Then, Blore finds the body.
Ten Little Astronauts is Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None set in space. The novella takes the essence of Christie's murder mystery and condenses it down into a tense, hard sci-fi thriller.
Ten astronauts are awoken from suspended animation to deal with a crisis on board their ship. Selected from a crew of thousands, none of them knows any of the others: all they know is that one of their number is a murderer. And until they work out who it is, none of them can go back to sleep.
With the environment of the ship itself acting as an added threat, the story progresses at a faster pace with a more rapid series of twists. Setting the mystery in interstellar space – where a radio message could take years to reach anybody – also offers an immediate explanation as to why the characters can't simply call for help, eliminating a lot of the introductory scene-setting of Christie's original.
Despite the futuristic setting, the world of Ten Little Astronauts conforms as closely as possible to the scientific understanding of the present day, based on extensive research drawing on everything from the ion thrusters of NASA to the vessels preserved at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum. Grounded in reality, the science fiction acts as a backdrop to a mystery that can be broken down and solved by conventional means. The characters and premise will be well familiar to fans of Agatha Christie, but the story itself is brand new.
Pledging to support Ten Little Astronauts at Unbound is more than just buying a book: it's an opportunity to bring that book into the world. The novella is already written, but it needs your help to make it into print. Of course, there are also rewards for supporters, ranging from digital copies of the book all the way up to a writing workshop with the author.
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Damon L. Wakes
Damon L. Wakes was born in 1991 and began to write a few years later. He holds an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Winchester, and a BA in English Literature from the University of Reading.
Every year since 2012, Damon has produced one work of flash fiction each and every day during the month of July. He usually writes humour and horror, occasionally at the same time. Tackling so many stories with such a short word count has given him a knack for well structured narratives formed of tight prose.
When he isn't writing, Damon enjoys weaving chainmail. He began making chainmail armour ten years or so ago, but quickly discovered that there was no longer much of a market for it and so switched to jewellery instead. He now attends a variety of craft events, selling items made of modern metals such as aluminium, niobium and titanium, but constructed using thousand year-old techniques.
Damon's other interests are diverse. He has at various times taken up archery, fencing and kayaking, ostensibly as research for books but mostly because it's something to do.
Even before the alarm began to sound, Blore knew in his gut that something was wrong. It was only when he pushed open the hatch of the suspension tank, and a few drops of thick cryonic fluid drifted out into the pitch-black hallway, that he realised what it was: there was no gravity. That was why his stomach churned. The world, the tiny pool of light spilling from his tank, seemed to swirl.
The computer gave no response.
“Owen, turn on the lights.”
“Owen...” But there was something else now, beyond the cold tank and the dark hallway. Something that no crewman wanted to encounter anywhere, let alone ten trillion kilometres beyond Earth orbit.
It was the smell of burning plastic.
Blore hauled himself out of the tank and clawed for the rack of emergency supplies. Even the smallest fire could render the air unbreathable very quickly. Finally managing to find a torch, he tore it from its bracket and pumped the dynamo. A feeble light flickered into life.
Without gravity, every direction was down. Away from the wall of suspension tanks and handrails, the darkness of the hallway yawned like an endless chasm. Gradually the smell of scorched plastic grew stronger. The end of the passage loomed in the torchlight, and Blore pulled himself hand over hand towards the steel door of Computing Hub Five. He heaved it open, and the torch picked out a blizzard of extinguisher foam. Someone else was already here. Sweeping the torch across the room, he spotted a figure in the far corner, clutching an extinguisher, but the man hung motionless in the air. A ball of blood was forming on his back, held by surface tension to the axe planted between his ribs.
“In the event of an emergency, the ship defrosts ten crewmembers.”
Blore wheeled round to see a black-haired man, and a small group behind him, clinging to the handrails at the doorway to the next cryonic bay.
“With you and your friend over there,” the man continued, gesturing to the corpse, “I make that eleven.”
- 10th May 2019 An Evening With Damon Wakes - June 10th
I'll be at Waterstones in Winchester (the High Street one) 6pm on June 10th to talk about Ten Little Astronauts.
If you missed the launch last month, this is the perfect opportunity to stop by and celebrate the publication of the book! Tickets are just £2.00 and refreshments will be served.
Do feel free to come along even if you did make it to the launch too! This event is organised as a…3rd May 2019 Launch Party Video
As promised, here's the video from the Ten Little Astronauts launch party, very kindly recorded by Alex Carter (Lexica Films). It all went smoothly in the end, and it was great to see so many people who supported the book while it was crowdfunding, as well as so many who'd only discovered it since!
I had quite a lot of help getting this together, primarily from Crispin and the staff at P &…23rd April 2019 Launch Party This Week!
The Ten Little Astronauts launch party is coming up this week - 6:30 - 9:00pm at P&G Wells (College Street, Winchester) on Thursday 25th!
This is largely just a reminder that it's on, but also I promised I'd give an update on my plan to livestream the event. That plan is now: "Record the best bits and upload it to YouTube, rather than try to stream the whole thing."
While I don't want to…8th April 2019 Ten Little Astronauts Launch Party - April 25th
Supporters should by now have got an email inviting them to the Ten Little Astronauts launch party, happening 6:30 - 9:00pm at P&G Wells in Winchester on April 25th. If you've sent an RSVP to damon.l.wakes[at]gmail.com then you'll be sure of a space, so I'm now opening this event up to everyone - the more the merrier! Please do tell your friends.
I've also set up a Facebook event, which makes…13th March 2019 Ten Little Astronauts' Three Month Anniversary
Ten Little Astronauts was released three months ago today!
The book has got off to a great start, even turning up in Waterstones Portsmouth right by The Hobbit! That's more to do with the alphabetical proximity of "Wakes" to "Tolkien" than any statement of quality by the bookshop, but I'll take what I can get.
It's also doing very well online, with mostly four- or five-star ratings on Goodreads…24th January 2019 Necklace News
If your pledge included one of the ten anodised aluminium necklaces, there's a good chance that it's now on its way to you! I've finished just over half of them - prioritising the ones that have a long way to travel - and hope to have the remaining handful ready before too long.
This is easily the largest batch of this particular design I've ever had finished at one time; usually I've only…14th January 2019 Ten Little Astronauts Has Arrived
Back when Ten Little Astronauts came out, I invited you all to send me photos of your books when they came in the post. I’ve been collecting those up as a Twitter Moment (whatever that is), but now that the novella has been around for a month I figure this would be a good time to share those photos here!
That’s a lot of books (and a couple of CDs)! If you’ve had a chance to read yours…4th January 2019 Hampshire Writers' Society Guest Talk - January 8th
If you live near Winchester, you might be interested to know that I'll be appearing at the Hampshire Writers' Society as a guest speaker on January 8th. Much of the talk will be old news to anybody who's been following Ten Little Astronauts here on Unbound, but as it's aimed at writers rather than readers some of it will come at the book (and its crowdfunding campaign) from an angle you might not…10th December 2018 Share Your Books!
Several little birdies tell me that the first paperbacks of Ten Little Astronauts are now in the post (and may have reached some of you by the time you read this). If your pledge included a signed copy then that may take a little longer - there were rather a lot of them to do - but it's on its way now.6th December 2018 Cover Reveal (Supporters Only!)
I've so far made very little use of the option to share posts only with supporters of the book, but this seems like a pretty good opportunity for one more: Ten Little Astronauts has a cover!
This has been in the works for a while - and it's looked fantastic every step of the way - but now that the book has gone to press(!) I can finally show it to you. It was created by Mecob, who are fantastic…6th December 2018 Ten Little Astronauts Now in Print!
Good news, everyone! Ten Little Astronauts has been printed and it's looking great. I was really pleased with the cover when I saw it as a PDF spread, but it's still not quite the same as a finished book. In particular, it's hard to get an impression of how the cover will look when wrapped around the spine, which as it turns out is very good indeed.
I held off sharing the back cover before…1st December 2018 Little Fake Record
The audio collection is now finished, and it has a name: Little Fake Record! Having decided to make the audio available on CD, I wanted to put together something really special and I think this does the job nicely.
The CDs are made to resemble old vinyl records, right down to the grooves on the top surface. Those aren't printed on, they're enrgraved right into the disc itself. (Don't put these…14th November 2018 Ten Little Astronauts Coming December 13th
Good news! Ten Little Astronauts now has a firm publication date, and it's December 13th!
The book is all but ready to print at this point, with only the smallest details left to take care of: the blurb, the front and end matter, and other literary bric-a-brac. Even then it's mostly a matter of checking things over rather than writing from scratch. I've seen a mock-up of the cover (which looks…28th September 2018 The Pigeonhole
Publication day is fast approaching, but if you'd like to get an even earlier look at Ten Little Astronauts, there may be a way: The Pigeonhole is offering a limited number of slots for a free serialised version of the novella starting on October 11th. There's a countdown running on their website right now.
I'm afraid that I was out of town when this went live a few days ago, so a considerable…12th September 2018 Supporter List for Ten Little Astronauts Closing Imminently!
One of the great things about supporting a book on Unbound is that you get your name listed in the back to record that you helped make it happen. For Ten Little Astronauts, that list closes at midnight on the 17th of September (UK time).
What this means is that if you know anybody who might be interested in the book, was planning to put in a pledge, or otherwise liked the idea of supporting…8th September 2018 Ten Little Astronauts Enters Pre-press
If you're a supporter of Ten Little Astronauts (which seems likely given that you're reading this right now), then you should by now have seen something a little like this pop into your inbox:
That email gets into what will be happening next - copy editing, cover design, typesetting, proofreading - but it doesn't mention what's happened already. Six Years Stolen, the short story I've been rewriting…4th August 2018 Audio Updates and New Flash Fiction
It may have been a while since my last update, but don't worry! That's just because there's been a whole lot going on - a great deal of it involving Ten Little Astronauts specifically.
I'm still working on the extra content for the book I mentioned last time. It's taking a little longer than expected, but that's largely because I'm keen to make it as polished as possible. I'm also working on the…4th June 2018 Extra Content for Ten Little Astronauts
I mentioned in my last update that there was a possibility I'd be able to add some extra content to Ten Little Astronauts, and for the last little while that's what I've been working on. I'm currently rewriting a substantial short story that I think will complement the novella itself. Here's a snippet of what I've got so far:
The man lifts the sieve from the machine – hand wrapped in…23rd April 2018 Developmental Edit
You should by now have got an email from Unbound letting you know that things are moving along with Ten Little Astronauts and that it's been reviewed for a developmental edit. Well, I'm happy to say that we've already made progress with that! I've been working with Scott Pack - the guy who first took an interest in the book back at the Winchester Writers' Festival - to improve the story.
There…21st March 2018 We All Saw It Coming Launch - April 3rd
Ten Little Astronauts is still in the works, but the launch party for my latest flash fiction anthology We All Saw It Coming is right around the corner! I'll be holding it at The Railway Inn, Winchester at 7:30pm on Tuesday the 3rd of April.
The launch will be followed by the regular Poetry Platform open mic, where I've read a lot of my flash fiction in the past. That starts around 9 (with…28th February 2018 We All Saw It Coming Now Available
Just a quick update to let you know that We All Saw It Coming - my anthology of stories from Flash Fiction Month 2017 - is out now. If you're supporting Ten Little Astronauts at the Collectable level or above, you'll be getting a copy of the ebook along with your other rewards. The paperbacks are available online, or at pretty much any event I attend as an author.
I'm hoping to hold a launch…10th February 2018 Ten Little Astronauts is Fully Funded!
It's the moment you've all been waiting for! Ten Little Astronauts has been moved onto the paperback list, meaning it has all the funding it needs to make it into print. It's actually on 131% of the new target, which I'm counting as a runaway success.
The next step for me is to edit the book. You might be aware that Ten Little Astronauts was my MA final project and that academically it got…17th January 2018 Please Stand By...
Although things have been a bit quiet lately update-wise, I promise there's been plenty going on behind the scenes. If you were following Ten Little Astronauts in the run up to Christmas, you'll know that I was working to a deadline of sorts. If the book didn't reach its original funding goal by Christmas, I'd arrange to move it to a new paperback list that Unbound started after it launched. Either…22nd December 2017 Ten Little Astronauts Artwork by Joe Wright
It's a bit of a coin-flip as to whether this'll go out before or after Unbound closes up shop for the holidays (since these updates are approved manually), but I simply had to share it. Joe Wright just sent over this absolutely fantastic Ten Little Astronauts artwork, based on a scene from the novella that a very small handful of people will have heard me read at the International Agatha Christie…20th December 2017 225 Supporter Draw
Ten Little Astronauts absolutely shot past 225 supporters - we're rapidly approaching 250 right now - so here's the draw for that copy of Myths, Monsters, Mutations I promised.
The winner this time was Marc Denton. Congratulations!
Since rather a lot of new supporters pledged after we reached that 225 milestone, I feel as though I should mention here that there will be another draw for the…18th December 2017 Final Days!
This is the last chance to tell your friends about Ten Little Astronauts. The book is about two thirds of the way towards its original target, which means it's got a good chance of getting there if there's enough interest in these final few days, but even if it doesn't quite get there it will at least make it into print.
Mentioned in the video above, alongside James Ellis' The Wrong Story,…11th December 2017 2 Weeks Left! Ten Little Astronauts at 60%
With two weeks left until the Christmas funding deadline, Ten Little Astronauts is closer to its original target than ever. However, time is tight, and and getting the rest of the way really depends on everyone who wants to make this book happen pulling together to get it there. If just half the people currently supporting it found a friend to do the same, we'd be at 93%. It really wouldn't take…6th December 2017 3 Weeks Left! Ten Little Astronauts in the Daily Echo
This update is a little late because I was in London for the Brixton BookJam. Fellow Unbounder Zelda Rhiando (author of Fukushima Dreams) very kindly made the audio of the event available online, so I've attached my section to this very update. Hit the "P" button in the grey box above (immediately below the title and date) to have a listen! I was reading the same excerpt that I recorded as the 20…30th November 2017 Ten Little Astronauts in the Eastleigh Times
Not so long ago I was interviewed by Lev Lourie of the Southern Daily Echo, and her article has just appeared in the Eastleigh Times today! If you live locally (and hear about this in time) you can get hold of a copy of your very own.
The interview took place at Fair Oak Library, which was neat because that was the first place I set up for an event after Ten Little Astronauts was first launched…28th November 2017 4 Weeks Left! Find a Friend
I have a favour to ask: if you want to see Ten Little Astronauts hit its target, please find a friend to join you in supporting the book. If even half the people who've already put in a pledge got one more person to do the same, we'd be well on track to reach 100% by Christmas. If everybody did it, we'd actually exceed that original goal.
If you've pledged at the Paperback level yourself, the easiest…20th November 2017 5 Weeks Left! Get an Early Look at Exponential Adventure
There are now just five weeks left until Ten Little Astronauts' Christmas funding deadline, and unfortanately we're still at 50%. At this point whether or not the book reaches 100% is ultimately down to you. There isn't long enough left for me to find those readers on my own, but if everybody who's supported the book so far can encourage just one more person to do the same, we'll be there in no time…13th November 2017 6 Weeks Left! Gift Certificates Now Available
There are now six weeks left until Ten Little Astronauts' Christmas funding deadline, so I thought this would be a good time to bring out a new option for anybody thinking of putting in a pledge for the book as a gift for someone else. The actual ebooks and paperbacks won't be available for a while after the crowdfunding campaign ends, so in order to provide people with a material something to give…9th November 2017 200 Supporters and 50 Percent!
If you're seeing this in your inbox, please do click it because you may have won a book!
Ten Little Astronauts is now halfway to its target with just over 200 people behind it. Either one of those milestones on its own would be cause for celebration, but to reach them both the very same day is really quite something! The video above includes the draw for the signed copy of Unearthly Sleuths I promised…23rd October 2017 Christmas Funding Deadline
Possibly the most important update yet! Unbound would like to move Ten Little Astronauts over to a new paperback list with a lower funding target, but if you'd like to see the version with all the bells and whistles that were originally planned, you've got until Christmas to make it happen.
With the massive level of support already behind the book, it's entirely possible to reach 100% by then…3rd October 2017 175 Supporter Draw
Ten Little Astronauts has reached 175 supporters, and so I've picked another name from the hat to get a free bonus book. This time around, it's the first ever paperback copy of We All Saw It Coming: a prize that's so rare and exclusive it doesn't even exist yet! The stories appearing in this anthology are already written, but so far I haven't put together the complete book: just the cover.…11th September 2017 Pledge Party on Gower Street!
Back in June, Unbound started running Pledge Parties - a sort of literary Dragons Den where guests hear pitches from a range of Unbound authors and pick which they want to support - and since June I've been putting my name in the hat every time they run one. This month I got lucky, and so I'll be there pitching Ten Little Astronauts on Monday the 18th! It's coming up in just a week.
If you…29th August 2017 See me at the International Agatha Christie Festival
Some exciting news: I've been invited to talk about Ten Little Astronauts as part of a Platform at the International Agatha Christie Festival this year! The event will take place at 6pm on the 14th of September in the Spanish Barn at Torre Abbey: the same place (and almost the same day) that I heard Sophie Hannah talk about her latest Poirot mystery, The Monogram Murders, last year at the Agatha Christie…21st August 2017 Ten Little Astronauts at 35%
Ten Little Astronauts has reached 35% funding, meaning that it's halfway towards the 70% at which a book on Unbound is more or less guaranteed to succeed. More immediately, that also means that I've released The Island and the Shapeless Beasts, a creation myth from the world of Face of Glass. If you're supporting Ten Little Astronauts and are signed into Unbound, you can find it here.
Also covered…4th August 2017 31 Stories for Flash Fiction Month 2017
Over the course of July I was participating in Flash Fiction Month: a challenge to produce 31 stories in 31 days. Every year for the past five years I've completed this challenge and collected the stories up into a book.
As you can tell from the hastily mocked-up cover artwork above, this year's book isn't ready yet. When it is, I'll be sending the first ever paperback copy in existence to…27th July 2017 Ten Little Astronauts One Year On
It's been one year since Ten Little Astronauts launched on Unbound! It's come a long, long way in that time, and with the level of support behind it now its prospects are looking better than ever. If everyone reading this shared the book with their friends, it would help get it out there a great deal sooner!
My next update is likely to be the milestone reward for 35%: a never-before-seen myth from…13th July 2017 Ten Little Astronauts has 150 Supporters!
Well, this happened sooner than expected.
Ten Little Astronauts reached 150 supporters remarkably quickly after I announced that it was at a third of the funding needed to get it into print, so there's really not very much to add here! If you didn't catch the last update before this one came out, here's a link to get you up to speed.
The main thing to mention is that I'll soon be starting…13th July 2017 Ten Little Astronauts at 33%!
Ten Little Astronauts has reached 33% funding: a full third of the way towards making it into print!
This is quite a milestone, and the video above describes just a few of the rewards that I've released at various other milestones along the way. However, if you've recently put in a pledge and want to get right to the goodies, here are some direct links to those:2nd July 2017 Flash Fiction Month 2017
July is Flash Fiction Month, and this year I'll be throwing my hat into the ring just as I have for each of the past five consecutive years. Every year I write one story a day for the month of July, and every year I bundle those 31 stories together as an anthology of flash fiction. If you were one of the first 100 supporters of Ten Little Astronauts, you might recall that the prize draw for that milestone…21st June 2017 Seedship: Sci-fi in a Really Big Space
Back when I first had to come up with a tagline for Ten Little Astronauts, to put on leaflets and such, I thought about what really set my book apart from the other sci-fi stories - and the other murder mysteries - out there. In the end, I settled on:
10,000,000,000,000 miles from help
Partly that was because "X of this thing, Y of that thing, Z of some other thing…11th June 2017 Girth Loinhammer Book Coming 2018
You might be aware - perhaps through My Name Algernon or my work on Craft Keep VR - that I produce games and interactive fiction as well as books. If you've been following since November, you'll probaby have come across Girth Loinhammer's Most Exponential Adventure: the massively interactive fantasy parody that I’ve been working on for the past year and a half. Well, there's recently been some big…2nd June 2017 HWS Gala Evening and Winchester Writers' Festival (and Some Swag)
There a couple of big events coming up in Winchester this month, so if you're in the area I really recommend dropping by! The first is the Hampshire Writers' Society Gala Evening, where I'll be setting up as part of their Members' Book Fair. It's free to come along, and if you do you'll also get a chance to hear talks by Guardian journalist Erwin James and novelist Claire Fuller whose debut book, …25th May 2017 Unbound Bithday Giveaway - Please Share!
Unbound's birthday celebrations continue, this time with a discount and a giveaway both running until the end of the month! The promo code MayDay will give you 15% off anything in the fiction list, and you'll get two free ebooks to boot. Which books you get depends which day you put in your pledge, so take a look at the selection on offer:16th May 2017 New Reward: Unearthly Sleuths Ebook
Good news for lovers of speculative detective fiction! JayHenge Publishing has just released a brand new anthology, Unearthly Sleuths. In much the same way as Ten Little Astronauts takes the basic premise of And Then There Were None and moves it onto an interstellar spacecraft, every single story in this book follows a detective of some kind or another working in a very unusual setting: essentially…1st May 2017 Ten Little Astronauts at 30%!
Ten Little Astronauts has now reached 30% of its goal! If you're one of the lovely people already supporting it, keep an eye on your inbox for Harvest Moon, the folk horror story I'll be sending out as the 30% milestone reward. There have been a lot of new pledges just this past week, so if you weren't around for the 20% and 25% rewards, you might like to check those out now: the former is an audio…25th April 2017 Free Shipping Until April 30th - Please Share!
It's Unbound's sixth birthday and, in a really nifty turn of events, they're offering free UK postage on all titles with code FREESHIPPING. That code will actually knock £4 off the cost of international shipping as well, so it's still a really handy option even if you're outside the UK. This code expires at midnight on April 30th. Don't miss out!
There are two things I think it's really worth…22nd March 2017 Winchester Comic Con and EGX Rezzed
Just a quick update to let everyone know that I'll be on the author panel of Winchester Comic Con this Saturday (March 25th). If you're nearby and fancy a day of sci-fi fun, do stop by and say hello! It would be great to see you (and, if you're supporting Ten Little Astronauts, to take the chance to say thanks in person).
It's set to be a busy day, particularly because advance tickets have…16th March 2017 125 Supporter Draw
It's time once again to send one lucky someone a free bonus book! Ten Little Astronauts has reached 125 supporters, and this time around the reward is Kicking and Screaming, an anthology by A.T Douglas. This book includes (among many other excellent short stories) "Harvest Moon," a folk horror story that's most easily compared to The Wicker Man but isn't really all that similar overall. I struggle…15th February 2017 Ten Little Astronauts at 25%!
Huge news! Ten Little Astronauts has reached 25% funding: one whole quarter of the way towards a super swanky trade paperback distributed by Penguin Random House, with even swankier first editions (among other things) going out to supporters. If you've already put in a pledge, you'll already have access to My Name Algernon: a work of interactive science fiction written for the very same MA course…26th January 2017 Brighton Global Game Jam 2017
Ten Little Astronauts is very near 25% now, and when we hit that milestone I'm planning a little something special just for supporters of the book: My Name Algernon, a work of interactive science fiction.
In some ways, this is kind of an obvious tie-in to Ten Little Astronauts itself. Both are sci-fi, both got top marks on the same MA course, and both are based on well-known works by other authors…4th January 2017 The Witness for the Prosecution
I first heard that the BBC were going to film an adaptation of Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution back when I visited Torquay for her birthday celebrations. It was aired in two parts on Boxing Day and the evening after, and if you didn't manage to catch it then, you've got three more weeks to watch it on iPlayer (provided you live in the UK and have a TV license).
The original Witness…21st December 2016 Robocopout Launch
My flash fiction anthology for 2016 - Robocopout - is now available, and as promised I've sent one to Jo Bellamy, who won the 100 supporters draw. She's actually the very first person in the world to get a copy: I don't even have one myself yet!
If you've only discovered my writing through Ten Little Astronauts, you might be surprised to learn that most of my short fiction is actually quite…17th December 2016 Anodised Aluminium Necklaces: See How They're Made!
I felt as though I hadn't really done all that much to talk about the anodised aluminium necklaces I'm offering to supporters, not least how I make the things. Since it's even harder to describe than it is to do, here's a video by Alex Carter (Lexica Films) about the design and how it's made!
If you're interested in a necklace of your very own to commemmorate the publication of Ten Little Astronauts…5th December 2016 Ten Little Astronauts has 100 Supporters
Ten Little Astronauts has reached 100 supporters and, as promised, I'll be sending a signed copy of my 2016 Flash Fiction Collection, Robocopout, to one of them.
Using the age-old method of names in hats, and recorded for posterity in the hastily-recorded video above, I have determined that Jo Bellamy is the winner! I'll be in touch to sort out how to get your book to you, so if you're reading…22nd November 2016 Ten Little Astronauts Gift Card
Christmas is coming, and since putting in a pledge for a crowdfunded project is a nifty gift option, I thought I'd put together a card for anybody who's planning to back Ten Little Astronauts for a friend or relative. A gift like this is great because whoever you give it to knows that they're playing a part in bringing a book to life as well as simply getting one to read, but it's still nice to get…10th November 2016 Girth Loinhammer's Most Exponential Adventure
With My Name Algernon lined up as the 25% milestone reward, I thought it might be worth sharing my current project for National Novel Writing Month with everbody here. Like My Name Algernon, this is an interactive story in which your choices dictate the path it takes. Unlike My Name Algernon, however, it makes no use of complicated state-checking and conditional text: instead, each passage simply…23rd October 2016 Graduation Day
Before Ten Little Astronauts was launched by Unbound - submarine promo video and all - it formed the bulk of my work for an MA in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Winchester. The way the course was weighted, that one project was just about as important as every other module combined. On top of that, in a move that I can only assume was intended to keep postgrads up all night to finish…1st October 2016 Milestone Rewards
You might recall that I promised to release My Name Algernon - a never-before-seen work of interactive science fiction - if Ten Little Astronauts reached 25% of its goal by the end of September. Well, that hasn't happened. Partly I think that might be because I underestimated how much of an influence the initial surge of pledges had on the book's overall progress so far (20% would probably have been…19th September 2016 Happy Birthday, Agatha!
On Thursday I got up at 6 and hopped on a four-hour train to Torquay. The reason? Agatha Christie's birthday celebrations! Also, the event marked 100 years since the creation of (perhaps) her most famous character, Hercule Poirot.
There were a fair few Poirots at the festival itself, which reminded me somewhat uncomfortably of Stevyn Colgan's A Murder To Die For, in which a murder takes place…5th September 2016 September Bonus Reward - My Name Algernon
The campaign to get Ten Little Astronauts into print has now hit 15% of its goal! A strong start, but to keep up the momentum I've got something new in mind: if we hit 25% by the end of September, I'll reward all supporters with a new, polished work of fiction immediately.
Ten Little Astronauts might have been the final project for my MA in Creative Writing - and it was definitely what earned me…17th August 2016 Ten Little Astronauts at Ten Percent!
Ten Little Astronauts has hit 10% funding. Double digits!
Everyone who's pledged so far has done their bit to get the book to the stage it's at now, and you've all earned my eternal gratitude. Still I'd like to thank The Writers at Lovedean in particular for having me over to speak and to run a little flash fiction exercise at their group: their very short stories had me very impressed! While I…10th August 2016 International Pledge Levels Now Available
Everybody likes a paperback. As handy as ebooks are, and as great as it is to be able to walk around with an entire library in your pocket, when it comes down to it most people still prefer to have a good old fashioned paper book in their hands.
However, paperbacks have to be physically sent through the post, and if you live a long way away then that can be a problem.
Until now, if you wanted…6th August 2016 Why Sci-fi?
Every book needs an "elevator pitch": a tiny handful of words that immediately convey precisely what that book is. It's the description of your book that you'd provide to any given big-shot if you found yourself travelling in an elevator with them, and it usually involves bringing in another, well-known work for comparison. These things are notoriously difficult to come up with, but for me it was…
These people are helping to fund Ten Little Astronauts.