Posts Tagged ‘Science Fiction’


Another free short story posted. Check out URGES for an alien encounter tale with a twist.

New “DART” cover released!

28/03/2020 2 comments

I’m delighted to finally have the new eBook cover for DART out on Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple and Smashwords. If you’ve seen the earlier versions (check previous blog entries), you might notice that Dart has had a haircut, and Amarth is now wearing a sword belt.

Here is the eBook cover:

The paperback version is also now available from Amazon US. There appears to be a glitch in sending author copies to Australia at present, so I haven’t been able to obtain any from this source. As a fall back, I’ve set up DART on Ingram Spark and am presently waiting for a proof copy to arrive – hopefully in the coming week. This is a step I need to complete before launching the DART competition (mentioned on an earlier post) where readers have a chance to win a free paperback copy, signed by me with a dedication of your choice and delivered to your preferred address.

Here is the new paperback cover:

Can you spot a subtle difference between the two front cover images?

If you can – leave a comment below. Again, no prize for this other than a virtual pat on the back and bragging rights.

Gary McCluskey – take a bow!

The beautifully detailed cover was created by Gary McCluskey, a US based artist who has done covers for some of my favorite authors, including Roger Zelazny and Edgar Rice Burroughs. You can check out some of Gary’s brilliant work at:

It was Gary’s idea to incorporate the pillars into the spine and borders, and to add the triple throwing knives emblem above the title on the spine. I think those details with their references to key elements of Dart’s story add a touch of class to the finished cover. Let me know what you think.

Finally, in the month since my last update here, our world has changed significantly and not for the better. Take care of yourselves and others. Follow the Covid-19 containment rules and practices, however draconian they may seem, and maintain whatever levels of separation are necessary for us to get through this testing time. Be well.

All the best,


New cover progress and ‘The Wishing Shelf Book Awards’ contest update on DART.

25/02/2020 2 comments

Hello again (or just, “Hello” if this is your first visit!),

The new cover for Dart is coming along with color being applied to an updated image. The addition of skin tones in particular is starting to bring the image to life and the introduction of pillars to either side framing the main image is a neat reference to the pillars which hold such significance in the story.

Here’s a snippet of the updated cover:

There are still quite a few changes to be applied to the image but I think it’s worth sharing this important step. Feel free to add your thoughts on how the cover is progressing in the comments below.

The Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2019 is a UK based competition which includes categories for all age groups. DART was entered in the Adult Fiction category, and earlier this week I received confirmation that it has been selected as a Finalist – along with a nice certificate:

This is a great outcome, meaning Dart has been selected as a finalist in both of the contests in which it has been entered so far. Dart also made semi-finals (one of the five selected from hundreds of entries in the SF/Fantasy/Horror category) of Publishers Weekly’s The BookLife Prize 2019. I’ll find out some time in April whether there will be a winner’s medal to accompany the certificate!

Finally – another Dart question with no prize other than the satisfaction of joining Lisa as a smarty-pants:

Can you name the 20th century Earth song and artist that Dart hears in the elevator during his first visit to the library? He refers to it as a “song about lakeside arson”. Leave your answer in the comments.

I’ll be back with more progress on the cover and other updates soon.

New cover for “Dart” is on the way.

13/02/2020 5 comments

For several reasons – all beyond anyone’s control (including mine) – the new cover for DART is still in the pipeline. But the good news is that I can offer a sneak preview right here, right now!

Here are three ‘roughs’ provided by the artist (whose name I will reveal when the final cover is ready to go!):

Roughs for new DART cover.

And here is the selected image with more work done, ready for tweaks and colour to bring it closer to the final cover:

Second stage.

I hope you like the way this is progressing as much as I do! For those of you who have already read DART, one of the interesting ‘tweaks’ still to come will be the introduction of pillars (yes – two of them!) as side borders for the image! If you have any thoughts on how to get the cover ‘just right‘ – feel free to leave a comment.

Keep a look out for further updates on the new cover. Also, once the cover is complete and DART is reissued in its new livery, you’ll find details on here of a reader competition which could result in you (wherever you reside) receiving a signed paperback copy, complete with new cover and a dedication of your choice!

A DART question:

When Lisa tells Dart that the Sylth think Descartes got it wrong – what does she mean? (Leave your answer in comments – no prize, just the kudos.)

That’s all for this post. As Dart would say: “Watch out for assholes!”