Metal Fan Digs Country Shock!

I don’t usually go for C&W but….came across this embedded song from James McMurtry, called ‘We Cant Make It Here Anymore’ and it really got my attention. Click the link below and read the lyrics!

Seeds Of Earth review: SciFi Now mag

New issue of Sci Fi Now magazine (#25) is out on the shelves right this very instant, and their reviewer has given Seeds Of Earth it a spiffing 4 out of 5 star, thumbs up review. Splendid!

There’s no online version of the mag, so I’ll hand-craft a small quote for you:

“In this first installment of the Humanity’s Fire saga, Michael Cobley has really nailed his colours to the mast. The story is huge, complex and moves between its varied cast with assured purpose…a tightly plotted, action packed epic that leaves you wanting more.”

Aye, I know this is shameless trumpet autotootling, but moments like these don’t come round the pike every day, ye ken!

Borders And Interzone: A Muchness Of Egoboo

Gosh wowee – after the shameless self-promotionising of the last post, can the cozmoz stand another frabjous bout of autopuntery? Why, yes it can!

News just in – Borders have let it be known that Seeds Of Earth will be their Lead Scifi Title for the month of March, doncha know. All power to the Lords of Borders, natch, and their undeniably good taste ;-)

And I have just had an advance preview of a review of Seeds Of Earth due to appear in the next ish of Interzone, suffice to say that some pretty neat things are said and perceptions made.

Next up – the SFX review. Of course, I’m not in the slightest bit anxious, nervous or twitchy. Oh yeah, and black is white, up is down, and bankers are reliable, upstanding people of integrity.

Iron Mosaic: Short Stories, Tall Tales, Condensed Epics, And Enigmatic Narratives

Iron Mosaic

 Landmarks are important. I began writing with serious intent back in 1986, and my first story acceptance was Writing For A Dying, a Barkeristic horror story which appeared in a UK small press zine called Cassandra Anthology that same year. My first professional sale was Waltz In Flexitime, a nifty, quickfooted little time-travel story which appeared in Other Edens 2, a paperback anthology edited by Robert Holdstock and Chris Evans (although Roger Robinson will tell you that my first professional acceptance was a drabble entitled Concrete Fire, a 100-word vignette, all cyberpunk moodyness, which appeared in the 1st Beccon Drabble collection, The Drabble Project). Then I sold my cyberpunk meisterwerk, Corrosion, to Interzone in 1992.

Ah, landmarks we have loved.

And then came my first short story collection, Iron Mosaic, published by the grace of Storm C, by Immanion Press a few years ago (with a terrific intro from Ian McDonald) and since reprinted in glossy paperback. And that, ladies and gentlebeings, is a landmark of an entirely different stature of ego.

So as we trundle smoothly down the slope of weeks towards the publication of Seeds Of Earth, think upon the little narrative wordlets that I’ve explored on the way to engaging in such large constructions as the new book (and indeed the Shadowkings books that went before). You would also discover my passion for SF and cyberpunk, as well as a range of other fantastical tales. Iron Mosaic can still be had from Immanion Press, at a very reasonable £10.99. Just follow the link below –

Why We Write: Describing The World Or Changing It

Motivations and reasons for writers doing what they do are plentiful. For many it is a driving compulsion for expression, exploration both inner and outer, and for understanding. For others, writing fiction is a way to propagate a world view, or some understanding already arrived at. For yet others, its a job of work,  a matter of getting the words down, assembling the story, paying attention to technical execution, and fulfilling the contract. Now, from a reader’s point of view, there’s no way to be absolutely sure which mindset lies behind what`s being read, although a propagandist might stand out if s/he were less than skilled in their craft.

Yet beyond the purely internal needs of the writer, its worthwhile asking just what the heck fiction is for? Is it to lay out facts, to create an influence in the readership? You could take a look at Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and say, yes, she was definitely attempting to persuade the reader of the efficacy of her totally bonkers philosophy of Objectivism, and yet a cool technical eye would look over the narrative itself and pronounce it stodgy and long-winded. Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy was essentially a narrative exploration of marxist theory (concealed behind his Fall of Empire overtext), as if it truly was a science of history and human social trends which could be manipulated. And you have to wonder how many American SF readers took in the psychohistory stuff and understood what they were reading. Didn’t seem to create a 5th column of secret marxists amongst fandom, as far as I know.

The notion of a book which changes history, like Stowe’s Uncle Toms Cabin, or Darwin’s On The Origin Of Species, is a romantic, almost heroic template that nearly all writers secretly yearn to produce. Sadly, we live in an era where the influence of books has waned somewhat – a film or a TV series or even a video game (hey, ya never know) is more likely to influence events than 400-odd sheets of dead tree. Yet still they try, folk like John Pilger and Noam Chomsky, Greg Palast and Mark Curtis – but where are the SF/fantasy books which take a hefty swing at the idiocies of the day and land a solid blow? Is it because we deal in fictional matters removed from the contemporary world by several steps? If we write about a future Earth society in which a democratically-elected World President, say, cooks up paperthin justifications for invading an independent Moon, will it have folk out in the street, suddenly awakened to the madness ruling over them? Or is the metaphorical depiction sufficient to render it….mostly harmless?

Seeds Of Earth Review at BookGeeks!

The honourable and upstanding Simon Appleby over at BookGeeks has posted a rather spiffing review of Seeds Of Earth at the BookGeeks website –

Influence-spotting aside (hey, coulda been a subtle homage, doncha know!)(well, okay, the unconscious wins again), Simon delivers an uplifting positive review. Just makes a body feel good while the snaw is blanketing the fields of Ayrshire outside me window….

And a tip of the hat to Darren T (the artist formerly known as Ariel), for the Orbitastic new header – thanx laddie!

Yet More Tasty Morsels at Concept Sci Fi

Oh yes, indeedy – Concept Sci Fi’s new issue is now out, containing an interview with yours truly, and including an extract from the new book, Seeds Of Earth (a link to which you can now see to the right of this here section)

Gary Reynolds is doing a fabulous job with Concept Sci Fi, and I urge you to head right on over there – – and pick up/d-load his newest edition, in either pdf or mobipocket format.


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