Steve’s five Novels to-date are from The Botolf Chronicles (in 3 parts), WarWorld and Murder on the Alpha Centauri Express
Thomas Wozinak is a Lower, one of tens of billions of humans who have been designated as unfit to live among the Highers of planet Earth, now a planet reserved for the upper class of society. Thomas is one of the lucky Lowers, he has become a police detective and can live on the surface of the Earth, but, after a failed case against a high ranking family, he has found himself sent on a meaningless babysitting job with an alien ambassador. His career is in tatters and his bitterness against the Highers is eating away at him.
The Alpha Centauri Express is Earth’s oldest False Time Drive ship, allowing it to instantly travel across the known galaxy while passengers experience a set amount of perceived time, its expense and luxury is legendary. Thomas finds, that like the passengers he is about to travel with, the ship itself is built on reputation and deceptions. Thomas meets the ambassador, a representative of the Galaxy’s most powerful and mysterious Race, Ketteridge was once the head of an interplanetary homicide force. The two of them have an immediate bond, both outsiders looking in on a stratified and stagnant culture.
Their fellow passengers on the Express are a strange mix; two Higher women travelling alone, a powerful colonial politician with a suspect past, a roving alien reporter on the trail of a con-artist, a rock superstar who was murdered and reanimated as a cyborg and his slimy agent. Also on-board is Milford Steadway (aka Gos Feen) secretly a half-alien assassin known for his violence. When Steadway is found by a crewman in his staterooms bludgeoned to death, Thomas and Ketteridge take it upon themselves to try and solve the murder. Their investigation is complicated by the web of previous relationships between fellow passengers, including the pervious murder of Jos J. Jones, the galaxy’s most famous rockstar. They only have limited time to find the killer(s) before they arrive at Alpha Centauri and the killer(s) can walk away free, having committed the crime outside of any planetary jurisdiction.
Thomas and Ketteridge find plots within plots. They must unravel: revenge, blackmail, greed and a crime of passion to find not one, but two killers. Add to that, a dangerous and armed crewman on-board, hell-bent on murdering an old enemy and these two very different detectives are in a race against time for the truth, in a Galaxy where justice appears to be only for the rich and powerful.
The Botolf Chronicles
In the endless Cosmoses that exist in the Multi-verse (with equally endless possibilities) the adventures of two brothers, on an Earth where all myths are real and on our own dull magicless Earth, don’t amount to a hill of beans (except in the Cosmoses where they do amount to hills of beans …but that’s another novel).
In this story Philip Philips, a failed businessman, and his twin brother James, are unwilling participants in a battle of Good versus Evil when a mysterious gateway is opened by a minor God from a Dark-Age twin Earth.
It should have been James Philips who was found by the Dark Stranger and transported by an inter-dimensional being in the guise of a Womble to the Dark-Age Earth filled with every magical creature imaginable. But, as Fate would have it, it’s Philip, the useless one, who ends up leading a group of misfits across Medieval England to mount rescues, battle Hobgoblins and generally save the World(s).
James Philips meanwhile is stuck on dull, magicless, Earth in his old college, Botolf-almost-Oxford, which he discovers is staffed solely by men dedicated to the protection of our Earth from the paranormal. His old mentor, now living in a video recording, introduces him to an array of strange allies, as London, England and the World face an ‘alien’ invasion of swords and sorcery.
Others are caught up in the events of the inter-cosmic connection between two Earths; Vortigern the King has been bred for conquest and now his eyes are on our world. He brings with his armies many wizards, who themselves have gained an eye for the throne.
Sam, a young boy from West London has been sent through the gateway to the dark world of magic where he meets Snodrod and the children of an enslaved village, their only wish to get back to their homes; but they face enormous challenges … not least, Dragon-shaped ones.
The story, as told here in the first Chronicle of Botolf, takes place simultaneously in both Earths, where the connection between worlds has a strange echoing effect on every character.
Will the world be saved? Can the Wrong man do the job? Is this a rhetorical question?
All will be answered in this comedy/fantasy/mock-u-history tale.
p.s. There’s also a sarcastic Oak Tree in there somewhere.
Part 2 of the Botolf Chronicles
* SPOILER ALERT
For those of you who haven’t read the first instalment of the ‘Botolf Chronicles’, or did and have forgotten it, or have had it surgically removed from your brain, here is a brief and, largely, inaccurate summary of what has happened so far.
James Philips, a former student of the infamous Botolf-almost-Oxford College has found himself in the heart of a hidden supernatural world, centred on two groups, one human and one inter-dimensional. In a bizarre (and quite frankly hard to believe) set of circumstances England has been invaded by an ancient magical group of Wizards and a warlord King from magical version of our Earth.
With me so far?
You poor sods.
James Philips is a worried man at the start of our story. By the middle of it he is an extremely worried man; his worry is so great it could worry a blue whale and still have enough worry left over for an elephant or two (if you stood them close to each other). Firstly, his wife, Elizabeth, is missing (she is in fact on the alternative Earth about to marry the warlord King Vortigern), secondly, his brother Philip is also missing (he is also on the alternative Earth and marriage is very far from his mind, but we will come to him later) and thirdly, he finds himself an unwilling member of a secret organisation that protects the world from inter-dimensional threats. James is also worried about his former mentor’s soul, currently occupying a video cassette but that, for the moment, is the least of his worries.
The aforementioned Philip Philips is not having a good time. Having spent forty years in a state of perpetual scrounging and career failure, he now finds himself stuck in a magical medieval world, with some rather dubious company. He is desperately trying to find a way back to his own world for reasons that he’s not entirely sure of.
Back on our Earth the governments of the World are trying to explain away the strange events of the last few weeks. Some people have vague recollections of an alien invasion and mass destruction across southern England. Others woke up in their beds convinced that they had spent several days being dead. But on a certain dull Monday morning the world appeared normal, no one was dead (who wasn’t dead already) and no damage could be found (only James Philips and his new colleagues were aware that the world was missing two people). The population of the planet felt that something was wrong, something from their collective memory was missing but they couldn’t quite put their fingers on it. It was a bit like when you go to the supermarket and fill up a trolley with biscuits; you stand at the till knowing you came in for something else but darned if you can think of it, only to get home to find your house has burned down and you had left to phone the fire brigade.
So is that all clear ? …No? …Good! …Then we can get on.
The third and final book of the Botolf Chronicles
For once a fantasy novel that promises you ‘The End of the World’ and doesn’t disappoint.
Gadzooks Armageddon is the third and final part of the Botolf Chronicles, charting the mishaps and adventures of the Philips brothers as they battle powerful and magically forces across a cosmic divide. Two worlds are facing two extinctions and even the Gods are struggling to survive.
The Four Horsemen are about to ride forth … if they can find their horses!
Warworld: Shadows and Dominions
In a world divided by endless conflict, war that has raged for thousands of years between two Races on a planet now almost devoid of resources, three brothers must fight to survive as they are played as pawns in a greater game.
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