January Jasperation

panoptikon wipHappy New Year! Okay, maybe I’m a little late with the celebratory salutation, but it’s been a busy old time. And only set to get busier, with rather a lot of different things pulling my attention in rather a lot of different directions. Hence the title of this blog update. (If something is jasperated, by the way, it’s streaked with many colours. As with many of the strange words I fall in love with, I stumbled over this at The Phrontistery, an extraordinarily delightful website packed with rare and forgotten words. Enter the site at your peril – you may never emege.)

The first colour I’m streaked with this year is the underbubbling gold of anticipation as I continue to gear up for the release of my new novel String City in March. I’m pumping out all manner of stuff on Twitter, and the ARC has being picking up reviews on NetGalley for a while now, and is currently averaging a heartwarming four stars out of five. Here are a few choice quotes:

String City by Graham Edwards. Illustration by Vince Haig“Edwards rewards patience with a savory blend of hard-boiled mystery, the fantastic, and the futuristic.”Publishers Weekly

“So impressed by the ‘just right’ touch [Edwards] has with the various elements, never over-explaining but expecting the reader to keep up. His inventions and combinations are convincing, and the mix of plot and description perfect … Having read a lot of noir/sci-fi books this is the best of the lot for a long time.— Lauren L, NetGalley

“A fusion of genres that not only works but sets a high bar for both detective crime fiction and sci-fi alike.” — Account D, NetGalley

String City is balls to the wall insanity, a mash of quantum physics, classic mythology and noir detective fiction. Digging deep into noir fiction tropes (including plenty of bourbon, a femme fatale and tragic backstory) Graham Edwards manages to play the weirdness straight and improbably this keeps the venture afloat. It is so crazy that it should not work. But it does.” — Robert G, NetGalley

“This novel was a refreshingly great mix of genres! With memorable characters, incredible world-building and an engaging fast-paced plot, this is one that readers with different interests will enjoy.” — TheDigressiveApproach, NetGalley

“Fascinating, intellectually stimulating world-building … Nowadays, it’s rare to find truly unique books and String City delivers unforgettable, mind-bending moments.”— Łukasz P, NetGalley

“A genre-busting behemoth … like a giant funhouse with something new and different around every corner … get ready for some entertainment.— Dave W, NetGalley

Reviews don’t remain accessibly on NetGalley forever so, if you want to read them in full, now’s the time to head over there and check them out.

Cinefex 162 comps

The second colour is the deep aquamarine of Cinefex 162, which launched mid-December and which I’m continuing to promote through the Cinefex social media channels. We’re a small team, so we all share social media duties – I do most of the tweeting and I’ve just taken over the Instagram account, and we all pitch in on Facebook.

Third on the list is the bright yellow of my article on Bumblebee, which you’ll find in Cinefex 163, out February. I submitted the main text of the article before Christmas, but there are still captions to do. They’ll be landing on my desk any day now.

Hellboy teaser posterThe fourth streak in my colourful January is a kind of intermingled blend of blood red and traffic light green. Blood red because for my first article I’m covering the new Hellboy film, and green because after many weeks of wrangling I’m finally ready to move on my second article, which I’ll tell you more about a little bit further down the line.

What else? Oh yes. Colour number five is the flickering white light of the future, a flickering beacon leading me ever-deeper in the manuscript for my next novel, tentatively titled Panoptikon. It’s a sequel to String City – no surprise there – and the title is one I’ve used before, though the novel that bears the same name is wholly different to the one I’m working one, is buried deep in my pile of dead manuscripts, and will almost certainly never see the light of day.

If you’re wondering what panoptikon means, well, it’s another of those wonderful words I stumbled over at The Phrontistery, many years ago. Further research turned up the story of philosopher and humantarian Jeremy Bentham, who designed what he consider to be the perfect prison – a circular building with a central hub from which the prisoners incarcerated in cells around the perimeter could be observed at all times.

Bentham’s life story is a fascinating one, and I urge you to look it up. In the meantime, I’ll leave you to ponder on the actual meaning of the word, and what it might augur for the novel I’m working on:

panoptikon: the place from which you can see everything

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