Books

The Adventures of Banjo and Alexandra

The Star Tsar

Siberia 1923. Romantic, dreamer and revolutionary, Alexandra is a commissar in the newly formed Soviet government, hunting for a missing Agit Propaganda train. Its crew of actors, film-makers, poets and artists has disappeared in the mountainous wilderness beyond Yakutsk. More disturbing is the immense factory complex left by the retreating White army, and the bizarre machinery they abandoned that hints at a science far beyond anything she’s encountered before.

Banjo had it all sorted. One last voyage ferrying Russian aristocrats from Vladivostok to Shanghai and then he’d find easier work as a marine engineer in Yokohama. That was before he was press-ganged and dragged into the frozen wilderness. Now everyone else is dead and he’s trapped in an abandoned boiler in a massive ironworks, surrounded by communists out for his blood. He has one chance to escape before either the Reds find him or he’s finished off by the barely-glimpsed creatures that live in the labyrinthine cellars below these unholy factories.

Flung together by chance, the passionate idealist and the two-fisted Yorkshireman find themselves stumbling across a monstrous conspiracy that threatens to destroy the world.

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Slaves of Titan

“Shadows moved in the flames, hundreds of miles tall. They had incandescent eyes and mouths and carried poles which they jabbed into the planet’s crust, prising up country-sized slabs to be consumed in the fire…”

Marrakech 1925. Following the events of The Star Tsar, Banjo and Alexandra are fugitives hiding in Morocco from Stalin’s agents. While the ex-commissar loses herself in opium dreams, the Yorkshire engineer hunts through ancient ruins for a means to return to the stars. They soon find themselves hunted by an alien assassin that slaughters without mercy.

Where will they find a safe haven – in a fortress deep in the Atlas Mountains, at the end of a deadly trans-dimensional labyrinth, or as the captives of deranged Italian Futurists seeking to build a new Utopia of blood and steel in the forests of Caporetto? Whatever actions they take may ultimately decide the fate of the entire Solar System.

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The Book of the Colossus

Thumb

“A superb book.” – Adrian Tchaikovsky.

“Splendidly strange, vividly original.” – Ian Watson.

The universe is empty. The stars are dead. The worlds are no more. 

The last humans struggle to create a god to save them from the utter end. In the shadow of this colossus Max Ocel rescues a beautiful stranger from the clutches of an insane giant, and sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to wipe out mankind itself. 

Invincible battleships bear down on the ancient city of Metacarpi. Assassins stalk the stone tower of his childhood. Alien creatures gather in the darkness. Max faces the realisation that he must sacrifice everything he holds dear to save humanity. 

Thumb – the first volume in The Book of the Colossus, a gripping fast-paced science fantasy series of incredible imagination.

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Ragged Claws

Max and Abby are trapped in the city of Interosseous where the inhabitants navigate through the treacherous streets using the giant faces in the sky.

If humanity is to survive Max must contact the Machine Men who live in the Heart and Mind of the Colossus. But the way onward is a deadly maze peopled with lost creatures transformed by the darkness at the end of time.

As Max tries to trace a safe path through the Body of God he stumbles across a pair of fugitives, and finds himself caught in a web of betrayal and conspiracy that ultimately threatens to destroy the last remnants of mankind.

Ragged Claws is the astonishing sequel to Thumb and the second volume of The Book of the Colossus, a gripping fast-paced science fantasy series.

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AntiHelix

Remorseless, vicious and brilliant – General Crysanthe Uella has dedicated her life to ensuring humanity will escape from the embers of a dead universe. But the corrupt lords of a decaying empire have betrayed her, tearing away everything and everyone she ever cared for. She has one last chance to redeem herself – a final mission far to the east, in a realm filled with rumours of a madness that consumes entire cities.

Reluctant rulers of a race of monsters, Max and Abby finally possess the technology to carry them deep into the kingdom of the Machine Men. To do so they must first pass the AntiHelix, an immense fortress citadel inhabited by a civilisation ancient, decadent and cruel whose agents are even now hunting them down.

AntiHelix is the sequel to Ragged Claws and Thumb and the penultimate volume of The Book of the Colossus quadrilogy.

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Dark Feathered Hearts

“You shut us down in the darkness, you skin people oh so bright beneath your lovely skies. You buried us among the filth and the poison and the old machines and the chemicals.”

Max and Abby race against time to find the Machine Men and stop the creation of a mad god who will destroy everything. Leading a rag-tag band of monsters, witches and exiles they make their way across an ancient wilderness shrouded in endless night. But in the centre of this desolation they come across one of their deadliest foes, and discover the true extent of the conspiracy against mankind. Only two choices remain, they can either set the Giants that will form the deity’s mind against each other, or they can risk everything on a journey to the very edge of their universe.

Crysanthe spends her days hunting escaped mutants through the wood and canvas corridors of the Brittle Hag’s starship, trying to forget her past in the endless labyrinth. The vast landscapes of the craft have become her refuge, but the vessel is under attack from an unknown intelligence outside reality itself. The general and her Abhuman allies must survive long enough for her to beg the last alien gods to save humanity.

Dark Feathered Hearts is the sequel to Thumb, Ragged Claws and AntiHelix and the final volume of The Book of the Colossus, a gripping fast-paced science fantasy series.

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Shakespeare, Cinema and Society

First published in 1989, Shakespeare, Cinema and Society revolutionised the way we understand films of Shakespeare’s plays. For the first time in the study of the genre it offered a methodology designed to place each movie in its social, historical and political context. Prior to the publication of this groundbreaking book, Shakespeare film analysis unquestioningly supported orthodox literary criticism. It judged a handful of famous movies according to how well they conformed to idealised perceptions of Hamlet or Henry V. Whole areas of production in film and television were marginalised or ignored because they failed to ‘do justice’ to the plays.

Using a wealth of historical evidence and original research, Shakespeare, Cinema and Society challenged this point of view and offered a radical re-assessment of the genre. In order to do this it focussed on four case studies; British silent film, the expressionist movies that developed from the ‘Theatre of Light’, the Russian films of Hamlet and King Lear, and the Japanese films of Akira Kurosawa. In each case it presented a cultural materialist analysis of the social and political context of each interpretation of Shakespeare. Now available as an ebook, Shakespeare, Cinema and Society not only challenges the whole concept of Shakespearean cinema, but adds an exciting dimension to the developing field of radical film studies.

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