A Game of Battleships

Battleships

Toby Frost 

The fourth instalment of The Chronicles of Isambard Smith – Captain in the service of the British Space Empire.

In the 25th Century the future of the galaxy rests on a knife edge. The actions of one man could save the British Space Empire, or leave Earth at the mercy of deadly legions of ant-people. That one man is Captain Isambard Smith, and Earth is in a lot of trouble.

After blowing up a top-secret base, Smith and his crew deserve a rest. But their holiday is cut short when forces unknown destroy the robot convoy they were meant to be guarding. Smith finds himself in hot pursuit of a mysterious vessel that can pass through dimensions, incurring the wrath of the dreaded Grand Witchfinder of New Eden – which would be so much easier if his pilot wasn’t cowering under the dashboard and his ship wasn’t infested with man-eating toads.

Meanwhile, the Empire is gathering its allies to form a united front against alien tyranny. Unfortunately, the delicate negotiations have been entrusted to Major Wainscott, a man who knows no fear and very little about diplomacy or trousers. Once again, Captain Smith must summon all his courage to unite humanity behind the Empire. His quest will take him on a journey to face his greatest fears: from the depths of space, through Hell itself – and even to France.

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Reviews

Toby Frost has created a very entertaining sci-fi comedy romp that openly borrows and sends up some of the most well known science fiction films and TV shows. If you don’t mind poking fun at sci-fi classics, and your nose doesn’t get bent out of shape by that sort of thing, then this is a series for you.’ Walkerofworlds.com

 

 

Paperback 320 pages
B Format
ISBN 978-1-905802-77-7
Release Date 12th August 2013
Price £7.99
Ebook 978-1-905802-80-7

The Mandate of Heaven

The Mandate of HeavenTim Murgatroyd

Hou-ming, city of ghosts, central China, 1304 . . .

In a vast graveyard created by Mongol slaughter, three children meet amidst the decaying ruins and forge a friendship that will determine their destinies. As the years pass they separate, finding different paths in life.

Yun Shu, cruelly rejected by her father for refusing to bind her feet, seeks solace as a Daoist nun.

Hsiung, enslaved by the Mongols when just a boy, becomes a ruthless rebel warlord determined to drive the invaders from his native land.

Teng, an artist and scholar, last son of a once noble family ruined by the new Mongol dynasty, risks his life to preserve the culture he reveres.

For the three friends to come together, they must endure war, treachery, greed and the casual abuse of power. To win honour and unexpected love they must overcome dangerous enemies and conflicts in the depths of their hearts.

Each of them, through clouds of troubles, must earn the Mandate of Heaven.

Click here to read an extract from this book


Reviews

‘As in the first and second book in the trilogy, Tim’s writing is full of grim yet at the same time colourful descriptions of the harsh reality of life.’ Helen Mead, Telegraph and Argus

 

Hardback 560 pages
ISBN 978-1-905802-78-4
Release Date 4th October 2013
Price £16.99
Paperback 640 pages
B Format
ISBN 978-1-905802-92-0
Release Date 6th January 2015
Price £8.99
Trade Paperback 560 pages
ISBN 978-1-905802-82-1
Release Date 4th October 2013
Price £12.99
Ebook 978-1-905802-83-8

 

Every Dark Place

Every Dark PlaceCraig Smith

The new thriller from master storyteller Craig Smith, shortlisted for the CWA Best Thriller Award in 2011.

I’ll say it was always dark. I never saw your face.’ ‘Is that a promise? Are you going to keep your word, if I trust you?’ ‘YES!’ Will Booker stood up. ‘You know, I think I believe you, Missy. Just so you believe me…’ The gunshot came as a surprise. Missy heard the echo crackling back from the trees as she was gasping at the incredible pain in her cheat. She tasted mud, her scream strangling in her throat. The next bullet jolted her, hitting below the ribs. She heard the second echo from the trees. She saw the smoke rising oddly from Will’s jacket pocket.

Ten years ago, sleepy Shiloh Springs was shaken as five teenagers were clubbed and shot to death and a sixth left for dead. But now the killer’s conviction has been overturned after allegations that his rights were violated on his arrest. Rick Trueblood is a careworn private investigator working for the Shiloh County prosecutor’s office; a veteran loner still grieving for a daughter murdered eight years ago – a crime he has never been able to solve. The judge has allowed just sixty days for the prosecutor’s office to find enough evidence to retry the case. But as Rick struggles to re-investigate a trail long gone cold he starts to uncover a rat’s nest of intrigue and duplicity with ramifications that lead closer to home than he could have possibly imagined. Booker in the meantime is out on bail. All he wants with his freedom is to kidnap and murder the two adolescent daughters of the minister who brought him to faith. When Booker finally snatches the girls, the local authorities follow procedures and file reports. Rick, on the other hand, has learned something about the way Booker thinks. In the desperate hours that follow, Rick recovers his instinct for the hunt, and with it, quite unexpectedly, a renewed passion for life.

Click here to read an extract from this book


Reviews 

‘An intelligent noir crime thriller in the mould of Smith’s previous novel Cold Rain. Will appeal to fans of John Grisham, Scott Smith, Harian Coben and James Lee Burke.’ Guardianbookshop

‘A dark and terrifying crime becomes the unlikely catalyst for one man’s redemption and another’s ruin in another stylish noir thriller from the author of Cold Rain. Goodreads.com

 

Paperback 356 pages
B Format
ISBN 978-1-905802-53-1
Release Date 23rd October 2008
Price £7.99
Ebook 978-1-905802-74-6

The Garden of Evening Mists

The Garden of Evening MistsTan Twan Eng

SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2012

WINNER OF THE MAN ASIAN LITERARY PRIZE 2012

WINNER OF THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE FOR BEST HISTORICAL NOVEL 2013

 

This is the second novel from Tan Twan Eng, acclaimed writer of The Gift of Rain – over 60,000 copies sold. The Garden of Evening Mists has the same sumptuous style and exotic imagery so beloved by readers and critics alike, explores the universal themes of memory, hatred and forgiveness and reveals Malaysia’s turbulent road to independence: a time of insurrection, uncertainty and terror.

Malaya, 1949. After studying law at Cambrige and time spent helping to prosecute Japanese war criminals, Yun Ling Teoh, herself the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle fringed plantations of Northern Malaya where she grew up as a child. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the Emperor of Japan.

Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in Kuala Lumpur, in memory of her sister who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses, but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice ‘until the monsoon comes’. Then she can design a garden for herself. As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to her sensei and his art while, outside the garden, the threat of murder and kidnapping from the guerrillas of the jungle hinterland increases with each passing day.

But the Garden of Evening Mists is also a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? Why is it that Yun Ling’s friend and host Magnus Praetorius, seems to almost immune from the depredations of the Communists? What is the legend of ‘Yamashita’s Gold’ and does it have any basis in fact? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all?

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Reviews

‘Just as elegantly planted as his Man Booker-long listed debut The Gift of Rain, and even more tantalisingly evocative. . . Suffused with a satisfying richness of colour and character, it still abounds in hidden passageways and occult corners. Mysteries and secrets persist. Tan dwells often on the borderline states, the in between areas, of Japanese art: the archer’s hiatus before the arrow speeds from the bow; the patch of skin that a master of the horimono tattoo will leave bare; or the “beautiful and sorrowful” moment “just as the last leaf is about to drop” . . . Tan writes with breath-catching poise and grace.’ Independent 

‘Complex and powerful . . . a sophisticated and satisfying novel that explores the ways time reconfigures memory.’ Sunday Times 

‘It is impossible to resist the opening sentence of this sumptuously produced, Booker-longlisted novel. . . This is a novel that. . . showcases Tan Twan Eng as a master of cultural complexities. . . This novel ticks many boxes: its themes are serious, its historic grounding solid, its structure careful, its old-fashioned ornamentalism respectable.’ Guardian 

‘A strong, quiet novel.’ New York Times 

Hardback 448 pages
ISBN 978-1-905802-49-4
Release Date 12th February 2012
Price £18.99
Hardback 448 pages
Special Edition
ISBN 978-1-905802-73-9
Release Date 7th June 2012
Price £35.00
Trade Paperback 448 pages
ISBN 978-1-905802-62-3
Price £12.99

 

God Emperor of Didcot

God Emperor of DidcotToby Frost

The second instalment in the chronicles of Isambard Smith – Captain in the service of the British Space Empire.

Tea… a beverage brewed from the fermented dried leaves of the shrub Camellia sinensis and imbibed by all the great civilisations in the galaxy’s history; a source of refreshment, stimulation and, above all else, of moral fibre – without which the British Space Empire must surely crumble to leave Earth at the mercy of its enemies. Sixty per cent of the Empire’s tea is grown on one world – Urn, principal planet of the Didcot system. If Earth is to keep fighting, the tea must flow.

When a crazed cult leader overthrows the government of Urn, Isambard Smith and his vaguely competent crew find themselves saddled with new allies: a legion of tea-obsessed nomads, an overly-civilised alien horde and a commando unit so elite that it only has five members. Only together can they defeat the self-proclaimed God Emperor of Didcot and confront the true power behind the coup: the sinister legions of the Ghast Empire and Smith’s old enemy, Commander 462.

Click here to read an extract from this book


Reviews

‘Toby Frost writes books that seem to fill a specific niche: that is books for the commuter or the frequently interrupted (system administrators I’m looking at you). You can pick up his books, read a few pages and put them down again without losing the thread of the story and still enjoy an amusing diversion.’ Fantasybookreview

 ‘Set in a universe where the suns never set on a stiff upper lip, this warm-hearted and funny interstellar romp gives the sacred cows of sci-fi a good kicking before racing home in time for tea.’  Dirk Maggs, director of BBC Radio 4’s The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

 

Paperback 320 pages
B Format
ISBN 978-1-905802-24-1
Release Date 2nd September 2008
Price £7.99
Ebook 978-1-905802-44-9

 

 

 

Wrath of the Lemming Men

Wrath of the Lemming MenToby Frost

The third instalment in the chronicles of Isambard Smith – Captain in the service of the British Space Empire.

From the depths of Space a new foe rises to do battle with mankind: the British Space Empire is threatened by the lemming-people of Yull, ruthless enemies who attack without mercy, fear or any concept of self preservation. At the call of their war god, the Yull have turned on the Empire, hell bent on conquest and destruction in their rush towards the cliffs of destiny.

When the Yullian army is forced to retreat at the battle of the River Tam, the disgraced Colonel Vock swears revenge on the clan of Suruk the Slayer, Isambard Smith’s homicidal alien friend. Now Smith and his crew must defend the Empire and civilise the stuffing out of a horde of bloodthirsty lemming men – which would be easy were it not for a sinister robotics company, a Ghast general with a fondness for genetic engineering and an ancient brotherhood of Morris Dancers – who may yet hold the key to victory. . .

 

Click here to read an extract from this book


Reviews

‘What I enjoyed most about Wrath of the Lemming Men was the fact that we’re now on the third novel and following the crew of the John Pym again through their adventures. I know this sounds simple – and it is – but I feel that when I start reading these characters I’m not only whole heartedly enjoying reading about them, but I’m also running through my mind just what they’ll say and do in the situation they’re in. I feel at home when they come on page – Smith, Carveth, Suruk, Rhianna, they all feel like old friends now.’ Walkerofworlds.com

 

Paperback 320 pages
B Format
ISBN 978-1-905802-35-7
Release Date 15th June 2009
Price £7.99
Ebook  978-1-905802-45-6

Space Captain Smith

Space Captain SmithToby Frost

It’s the 25th Century and the British Space Empire faces the gathering menace of the evil ant-soldiers of the Ghast hive, hell bent on galactic domination and the extermination of all humanoid life forms.

Captain Isambard Smith is the square-jawed, courageous and somewhat asinine new commander of the clapped out freighter John Pym, destined to take on the alien threat because nobody else is available.

Together with his bold crew- a skull-collecting alien lunatic, an android pilot who is actually a fugitive sex toy and a hamster called Gerald-  he must collect new-age herbalist Rhianna Mitchell from the New Francisco orbiter and bring her back to the Empire in safety. Straightforward enough – except the Ghasts want her too and, in addition to a whole fleet of Ghast warships, Smith has to confront void sharks, a universe-weary android assassin and John Gilead, psychopathic naval officer from the fanatically religious Republic of Eden before facing his greatest enemy: a ruthless alien warlord with a very large behind… 

Click here to read an extract from this book


Reviews

‘Toby Frost has created a very entertaining sci-fi comedy romp that openly borrows and sends up some of the most well known science fiction films and TV shows. If you don’t mind poking fun at sci-fi classics, and your nose doesn’t get bent out of shape by that sort of thing, then this is a series for you.’ Walkerofworlds.com 

‘If you are in the mood for a light and funny space opera adventure, then you can’t do any better than Toby Frost’s Space Captain Smith. Very enjoyable and strongly recommended. . .’ fantasybookcritic

 

Paperback 320 pages
B Format
ISBN 978-1-905802-13-5
Release Date 6th May 2008
Price £7.99
Ebook 978-1-905802-43-2

 

Thirteen

ThirteenSebastian Beaumont

Thirteen is not a number, it is a state of mind.

Thirteen is the story of Stephen Bardot, a taxi driver working on the night shift in Brighton.  He works such long shifts that he is often driving while exhausted, and it is then that he starts to experience major alterations to his perception of reality.  People start to take lifts in his cab who know things they shouldn’t, and who ultimately may not even be real, although the question of what constitutes reality forms one of the basic themes of the novel.

He regularly gives lifts to Valerie – beautiful, haunting, but terminal – from 13 Wish Road to her ‘positive thinking classes’ at the Cornerstone Community Centre on Palmeira Square.  When he is no longer asked to collect her, he fears that she is dead, and queries this with Sal, one of the night operators.  Her response turns Stephen’s world upside down.

‘But Stephen,’ she tells him, ‘there is no such address.  Wish Road doesn’t have a number thirteen.’

She’s right.  Wish Road’s odd numbers are 7, 9, 11, 11a, 15, 17…  And number 11a looks totally different from the house he thinks of as number Thirteen.  So where has he been collecting Valerie from all this time?  A house that doesn’t exist?

As time passes, the world gets weirder.  People appear (and disappear) who know far too much about Stephen and his past, and who lure him further and further into the twilight world of Thirteen.  But if he asks any questions, he gets hurt.  Ultimately, he decides, for the sake of both his safety and his sanity, he must walk away.

But Thirteen has no intention of letting him go.

 

Click here to read an extract from this book


 

Reviews

‘Sebastian Beaumont’s novel Thirteen is the best thing I have read this year and one of the two or three finest books I have come across since the new century kicked in.’
Scott Pack, The Friday Project and former Head Buyer at Waterstones

‘Sebastian Beaumont pulls off two impressive feats in his first novel. He writes a colloquial, first-person narrative that is consistently engaging; and he creates a dreamlike, alternate world without stretching the reader’s credulity or patience.’
Nicholas Clee, The Guardian

‘Stimulating and entertaining.’
Francis King

‘His writing style was crystal clear and effortless and the story was like nothing I’d read before… Well worth a read.’ 
Gary Davison, Paperbooks authors’ blog

Hardback 256 pages
ISBN 978-1-905802-02-9
Release Date 16th September 2006
Price £13.99
Paperback 256 pages
ISBN 978-1-905802-12-8
Release Date  29th April 2008
Price £7.99
Trade Paperback 256 pages
ISBN 978-1-905802-03-6
Release Date 25th November 2006
Price £9.99
Ebook 978-1-910183-16-8

 

Bulletproof Suzy

Bulletproof SuzyIan Brotherhood

The story is set in a near future Britain in the direst quarter of an unnamed city.  This is a landscape of tower blocks of huge street lamps that turn the world a shade of greyish orange – beneath which all human activity seems suspect – of winding paths and foot bridges over never quiet motorways.

A government initiative to deal with increasing opposition to unpopular council tax rises contracts bands of citizen volunteers to collect payment.  Francine O’Brallahan aka Bulletproof Suzy, a highly intelligent though somewhat violent member of the urban underclass, recruits three other young females, her ‘little ladies’, to exploit the opportunity to earn enough cash to find a better life.

Suzy’s middle class politically correct friend Joanne disapproves of the venture and their friendship is broken. Joanne is found brutally murdered outside Suzy’s tower block not long afterwards.  Suzy and her crew set about finding the killer to exact retribution in the only way that they know, but there are two deadly and ominous complications: as far as the city police are concerned, Suzy herself remains the prime suspect and there appears to be damning video evidence to back up their theory; there is a menacing new gang infiltrating Suzy’s neighbourhood – they’re numerous, sophisticated and armed to the teeth and they’re after Suzy’s blood.

Ian Brotherhood’s debut novel seems destined to become a modern cult classic.  Suzy’s narrative is pacy,  fresh and idiosyncratic and her character is an astonishing creation-perhaps the first significant female anti-hero of the 21st century.

This is a short sharp left hook of a book, and it hits the spot.

Click here to read an extract from this book


Reviews

‘Bulletproof Suzy is certainly not the kind of girl you’d take home to meet the parentals. It is a heady mix, to be sure, and one that easily pulls you right through this, Brotherhood’s debut novel. It’s a fast read and as entertaining as it is brutal.’ 
The Big Issue

‘This is an ambitious, powerful novel from an important new voice.’ 
Jules Horne

‘Brotherhood… demonstrates a unique view and flair for action.’ 
Michael Stotter, Shotsmag

Hardback 256 pages
ISBN 978-1-905802-00-5
Release Date 25th August 2006
Price £13.99
Trade Paperback 256 pages
ISBN 978-1-905802-01-2
Release Date 7th October 2006
Price £9.99
Ebook 978-1-910183-15-1

The Blood Lance

The Blood LanceCraig Smith

Kufstein, Austria, 1939

At the foot of a mountain known as The Wilder Kaiser lies the body of an SS officer, his neck broken but his face a picture of bliss and serenity. The dead man is known to history as Otto Rahn, Himmler’s own archaeologist. Rahn’s pursuit of the legendary Blood Lance of the Cathars has not only led to his own downfall but set in motion a tragic chain of events reaching far beyond the holocaust.

Switzerland 1997

Lord Robert Kenyon is a wealthy financier and a senior member of a humanitarian order calling themselves The Knights of the Holy Lance. Whilst climbing the North face of the Eiger with his new bride, he is attacked and murdered and his young wife Kate left for dead.

New York City 2008

When billionaire Jack Farrell, long suspected of connections to European crime syndicates cuts loose after defrauding his own company, ex CIA agent Thomas Malloy is assigned to track him down. The trail leads to Germany and the Order of the Holy Lance. With his friends, former art thieves Kate and Ethan Brand, Malloy set out to unlock the secrets of the order: Malloy seeks his man; Kate must find the truth about what happened on the slopes of the Eiger eleven years before – and exact her vengeance. Their first step is to kidnap a corrupt lawyer, connected to the order, from his home in Hamburg. Things don’t quite run to plan – and all hell breaks loose.

Click here to read an extract from this book


Reviews

‘A marvellously thrilling book. . . the distinction between villain and hero is constantly blurred. . . a most enthralling story.’   Paul Doherty, author of the Hugh Corbett mysteries 

‘Seamlessly mixing history, legend and fiction Smith’s writing is both intelligent and exhilarating. His characters are alive, and the twists and turns of the several plots will keep readers breathless.’  Historical Novels Review

 

Hardback 384 pages
ISBN 978-1-905802-22-7
Release Date 2nd September 2008
Price £16.99
Paperback 384 pages
B Format
ISBN 978-1-905802-29-6
Release Date 4th April 2010
Price £7.99
Trade Paperback 384 pages
ISBN 978-1-905802-23-4
Release Date 2nd September 2008
Price £11.99
Ebook 978-1-905802-555