New in Audio: Jesus & The Eightfold Path

My third novella this month to be given the audiobook treatment – it’s Jesus & The Eightfold Path!

Jesus & The Eightfold Path

Three Wise Men came from the East for the infant Jesus in The New Testament. Three brave companions accompany the Buddha in the Chinese classic A Journey to the West. Could they have been the same three? Guided by a star, three strange companions arrive in the barbarous land of Judea to seek a newborn child – a possible messiah to some, and the reincarnation of the Budda to others.

When the child’s life is threatened, his family and new guardians escape to Egypt, returning years later, to a Jewish land on the cusp of annihilation by the Roman Empire. Once a general in the Judean army, now a Roman agent, Josephus Flavius is sent by Caesar back to his homeland to observe and report on the actions of the troubling young man now preaching sedition in the Galilee – a boy with the unsettling powers of kung-fu….

Their lives would collide in a cataclysmic confrontation between Romans and Jews, between empire and rebels – and change the world forever….

Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God in Audio

So, short on the heels of the audiobook edition of Cloud Permutations, Audible have released my 2012 British Fantasy Award winning novella, Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God.

Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God, Audible 2014

There is only one truth Gorel of Goliris – gunslinger, addict, touched by the Black Kiss – is interested in: Finding a way back home, to the great empire from which he had been stolen as a child and from which he had been flung, by sorcery, far across the World.

It started out simple: Get to Falang-Et, find the mirror, find what truth it may hold. But nothing is simple for Gorel of Goliris…

When Gorel forms an uneasy alliance – and ménage à trois- with an Avian spy and a half-Merlangai thief, things only start to get complicated.

Add a murdered merchant, the deadly Mothers of the House of Jade, the rivalry of gods and the machinations of a rising Dark Lord bent on conquest, and things start to get out of hand. Only one thing’s for sure: By the time this is over, there will be blood.

Not to mention sex and drugs…or guns and sorcery.

“Western Chow Mein Red Dawn” at Podcastle

My story “Western Chow Mein Red Dawn” is now available in audio at Podcastle.

You can also read it online in its original publication at Fantasy Magazine.

The strangers came under a red half-moon to Three Blind Sisters. They wore strange clothes—stiff-looking black and tan suits of foreign design, with black hats and carefully-manicured beards. On their belts they carried guns. All but their leader, who dressed casually and carried no weapons, and who had an easy smile.

The boy and his sister watched the approaching men.

“He is so handsome,” the boy’s sister said. They were watching the men ride past the three Blind Sisters who gave the village its name. The stone statues, ancient guardians of this small, distant place, stared at the men without seeing. Their power had weakened over generations: Now they were little more than mute stone, and no one in the village could remember ever hearing them speak.

The boy felt a tingling at the tip of his fingers. He saw with his inner eye: The leader rode unarmed because his power was great. The aura of Qi around him was unmistakable. Unease made him close his fingers into a fist. The man, passing close to them, glanced casually their way: His eyes locked on the boy’s for one long, uncomfortable moment. Then his gaze shifted to the boy’s sister, and his smile flared up like a small sun.

A Brief History of the Great Pubs of London

… is now available free in audio at Dark Fiction Magazine, read by the fantastic Emma Newman (who just signed up with Angry Robot Books for 3 books in her Split Worlds series – congratulations Emma!).

Here’s an appropriate illustration, alongside extract…

Not the sort of thing you normally see in a lift…

The Crypt, St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields

Not a pub in the traditional sense but we like it, having spent at least one boozy occasion there. Also they serve a mean apple crumble with custard. An 18th century crypt below the church of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, it has high stone arcs and a hushed but convivial atmosphere. Rumours that this is where Count Dracula made his abode upon arrival in England on board the Demeter are probably false, though it is worth noting many of the staff are notoriously pale. Vampire aficionados do make pilgrimage to the otherwise quiet cafe, and the use of flash lights, like the carrying of wooden stakes, is discouraged. – listen to the full guide (years of research!)

The Tel Aviv Dossier, Now in Audio!

I’m delighted to announce that The Tel Aviv Dossier, my 2009 novel co-written with Nir Yaniv, is now available as an audiobook!

The audio book runs 7 hours and 35 minutes and is narrated by Eric Meyers. It is available directly via Audible, or through Amazon.com or Amazon UK.

Note that Nir’s name is missing from the credits, I hope it will be rectified very shortly.

What is it like? Here’s an Amazon review I quite like…

Have you ever thought to yourself, “You know, the books I’m reading just aren’t crazy enough”? If so, THE TEL AVV DOSSIER might be something for you.
This is one of those rare books that defies all explanation. If you try to explain the plot to someone, you end up sounding like a rambling lunatic.
So I will just tell you this: It’s crazy.
And awesome.
And really original.
It’s the kind of book that makes you think WTF?, but I mean that in a good way. I am seriously in love with this book. It stays with you. It haunts you. I have spent a good deal of time thinking about this book. Dwelling on it. Trying to interpret it. I don’t know if I’ve come up with any solid answers yet, but the journey has been a good time.

“Aphrodisia” is now live as audio in Escape Pod

Short on the heels of the podcast of Buried Eyes in Podcastle, its sister-publication, Escape Pod, has just run my story Aphrodisia, narrated by Alasdair Stuart.

It’s quite short – one of my Laos-based stories – and strangely enough, based mostly on a real event, a night spent hanging out with a hunchback tuk-tuk driver in the garment factory district of Vientiane. I have a thing for tuk-tuk drivers, as anyone reading my Laos stories can probably tell… and which is a bit weird, I suppose!

The rest of the story is equal parts Samuel Delany (an obvious reference to his classic “Aye, and Gomorrah…”) and equal parts Richard Calder (though it’s somewhat strange, since I think I only read Calder a couple of years later). And a bit of Gibson thrown in for good measure – which are probably a few too many referents for a story this length.

Still, mostly it’s the true story of one night in Vientiane – as filtered through some futuristic hard-sf goggles and too much vintage science fiction. The excesses of cyberpunk are essentially romantic, I think – which is something I’ve not thought about until now, but seems to me to hold some truth.

In any case, if you’d like to check it out, it’s available as both audio and text at Escape Pod.

Audio: “The Insurance Agent” now at Escape Pod

Glad to say my latest story to be up at Escape Pod is The Insurance Agent, first published in Interzone. It is read by Christian Brady.

The bar was packed and everyone was watching the Nixon-Reagan match. The fighters were reflected off the bar’s grainy wood countertop and the tables’ gleaming surfaces and seemed to melt as they flickered down the legs of the scattered chairs. The bar was called the Godhead, which had a lot to do with why I was there. It was a bit of an unfair fight as Reagan was young, pre-presidency, circa-World War Two, while Nixon was heavy-set, older: people were exchanging odds and betting with the bar’s internal gaming system and the general opinion seemed to be that though Reagan was in better shape Nixon was meaner.

I wasn’t there for the match.

The Godhead was on Pulau Sepanggar, one of the satellite islands off Borneo, hence nominally under Malaysian federal authority but in practice in a free zone that had stronger ties to the Brunei Sultanate. It was a convenient place to meet, providing easy access to the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and, of course, Singapore, which resented the island’s role as a growing business centre yet found it useful at the same time.

She wore a smart business suit and a smart communication system that looked like what it was, which was a custom-made gold bracelet on her left arm. She wore smart shades and I was taking a bet that she wasn’t watching the fight. She was drinking a generic Cola but there was nothing generic about her. I slid into a chair beside her and waited for her shades to turn transparent and notice me.

‘Drink, Mr. Turner?’

I liked the name Turner. It was Anglo-Saxon generic, a mid-level executive’s name, white as beige. ‘Call me James,’ I said. I liked James too. You could tell what a James Turner did just by hearing his name. The rest of me was tailor-made for the name, had been for some time: I had the kind of tan that suggested I had been East for just long enough to have acquired it, black hair that was short but not too short and had a decent but not overly-expensive cut, pale blue eyes behind shades that cost a lot of money to look like a knock-off.

There was a suggestion of a smile in the corners of her mouth and she said, ‘I don’t think I will.’

‘Mr. Turner, then,’ I said. ‘One name’s good as another.’ – continue reading, or listen in audio!