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Dave and his friends are having a bad day. Not only are they having to come to terms with the fact they’re in a weird (and very un-Spartan) magical world, but if no one hires them soon, then it won’t be long before they have to embark on a short and boring career in death by starvation. But when a wizard, an elf, and a dwarf finally agree to hire the Spartans for a spot of monster-infested-dungeon-clearing, it soon becomes evident that the Spartans are going to have to deal with things much more magical and annoying than even they had anticipated. Funny and fast paced, strange and fantastical, join the Hard Blokes as they find out why the hell anyone would go to the trouble of keeping an ancient and mysterious relic in a dungeon, anyway…
Monsters. Daemons. Dragons. Spartans?
The Hard Blokes of Sparta are gaining a reputation as high-class adventures-for-hire, always willing to lend a magically-strengthened hand in the monster-slaying department…for a fair price, of course. But though they are going up in the world, the world in question remains full of secrets and mysteries. And if they are to get home, they must understand the deeply strange workings of Level 31. Why were they drawn here? What power makes the place so unstable? And even more pressing…is something going wrong with it?
When it becomes apparent an especially evil daemon has been engaged to slay the Hard Blokes, Dave decides the only sensible course of action is a pre-emptive strike.
But taking on a daemon on their home turf was never going to be easy, especially when the daemon in question is horribly ancient, exceptionally sneaky, and addicted to stealing fragments of souls. And when you lose a part of your soul, it turns out that one thing it throws into question is your understanding of the past…
Now everything Dave and his friends thought they knew seems uncertain, and the danger isn’t only the horrible monsters, but the Hard Blokes themselves…
To prevail, they must go on a journey that will take them into the strange secrets which lurk at the heart of Level 31.
“The knowingly silly and sarcastic narration is pitch-perfect,” - ***** Goodreads reviewer
“The writing is seriously intelligent stuff. I loved how clever it all was,”- ***** Goodreads reviewer
Three spartans. One princess. Various monsters. What could go wrong?
The Hard Blokes of Sparta fell through a portal into a strange magical world. Now every day is a ‘don’t-get-eaten-by-a-dragon’ day.
The Hard Blokes are trying to make things work, but compared to the creatures that live here, they’re not quite as hard as they thought they were. They have one last chance to prove themselves: rescue a princess, or face involuntary enrolment in a brutal-fighting-pit scenario.
But how can a man - even a Spartan - compete with orcs and goblins, chimeras and dragons?
Dave might have an idea, but he doesn’t think his friends will like it…
The Hard Blokes of Sparta is a comic fantasy novel full of laughs, action, and adventure.
If you like your fantasy fun and fast paced, you’ll love the Hard Blokes of Sparta.
Now includes a new bonus novella, "The Godling In The Mountain"!
“Wonderful!” ***** Amazon Reviewer
“Full of warmth and humour” ***** Amazon Reviewer
In space, no-one can hear you croak.
Chief Frog 127 is a prime example of his species: a cunning, ruthless sneaker, hell-bent on clawing any advantage possible from a harsh and uncaring Universe. He might not be of high rank in the Space Force of the Glorious Hegemony of the Frogopolis, but by the Swamp God, he is one frog who is going places.
What does it matter if sometimes he feels that something is badly, deeply wrong? After all, everyone has bad dreams.
But when 127 meets the strange alien known as the Prophet, his glorious trajectory turns out to be far weirder and more dangerous than even he could have thought possible.
Fighting for his life, battling sly foes on every side, will 127 possibly prevail? And even if he does, can he win the only battle that really matters: the one for his own soul?
This book was originally published under the title, "Chaos Born".
Quince is in charge of handing out the lives. But it’s Bob who has all the questions, like:
If Quince hands out the lives…who handed out Quince?
What happens to the Poor Souls when they come out the other side of Life?
But most of all:
When do I get a turn?
The thing is, how can Bob possibly have a go at running the Land Before Life, if all his boss will let him do is make the tea?
But when Bob gets some help in putting Quince out of the way, he finds that running the Land Before Life is much more trouble than he anticipated.
Worse, where has Quince even gone? Now Bob has to go on a rescue mission, travelling to the most weird and disturbing place imaginable: Life. Or at least, to a version of it…
Diminishing Returns is a novella set in the Universe of Quince, salesman of fine lives new and used. Please be assured that this story contains levels of strangeness deemed optimal for its smooth unfolding.
This collection also contains The First Flash Ten, ten tiny stories of magic, fantasy, humour and horror, which were originally posted on my website and were mailed out in my newsletter. Each story comes complete with a beautiful illustration, drawn by various artists and inspired by the story in question.
These stories are now being cycled out of my website in favour of new stories, which will in turn be released in a collection. So if you want to read the first batch of tiny stories, this is the place to look…
Tiny stories in this collection:
Just Like Vinyl
The Hottest Day
Worry, Worry, Worry
Make It Count
The Next Act At The Divine Comedy Store
Why They Chew Us
The Nothing At The Edge Of The Universe
But when his brother, Quince, falls ill, it is down to Rosewater to prevent the powers that be from packing him off to a cosy little reality-bubble and letting him die.
But what can a single meta-real entity do against the soulless, crushing bureaucracy of a Universe determined that every important decision needs to be made by committee?
The New Life is the latest short story from The Land Before Life (though it takes place partly after life, and partly below it, too). The collection also contains eight other short stories of magic, humour, and strangeness.
Stories in the collection:
The Hinge At The Edge Of Death
Daisy Strikes Back
The Distinguished Diner At The Hungry Narrative
I’ve Got A Friend In You
Once Again And Forever
Autumn Flowers, And The Spring
The New Life
Forget the afterlife. The before-life is much more fun.
Quince is a salesman, though he never goes door-to-door. He never has the need. What he sells is life itself.
Sat at his desk in the Land Before Life, Quince knows so much more than the Poor Souls who come to him. Compared to them, he is a big deal.
But what will Quince do when he finds Life has something to offer him, too? And what’s so intriguing about this Life business, anyway?
Read on, and you might find these and other answers, here in the first three stories of the Land Before Life: The Big Deal, The Other Options, and Handle With Care.
The stories are far too happy. It's uncanny.
For Indigo Shuttlecock - Sheriff of the Western Fold, a backwater district of cliched mysteries and old science fiction tales - the fact that her charges have lost their conflict isn't a good thing. It's a problem.
Fresh out of the Academy, Indigo thought being given the Western Fold to protect was a punishment, a humiliating first posting with no chance of promotion.
But when her stories start to succumb to a strange sickening that leaves them devoid of antagonism and interest, can Indigo uncover the secret rot haunting the past of the Western Fold?
Worst. Honeymoon. Ever.
Charlotte has just been married. She was expecting some sand, some sea, and perhaps an occasional tricky decision about which cocktail to have next.
So why is she in a crazy parallel universe, trying to fight off an evil and unlikely race of deranged frogs?
Matt has just been married, too. His problems have less to do with frogs, and more to do with the strange and incredibly strong version of Charlotte who seems to have taken the place of his wife.
Both of them just want to get back to their own reality. But when the Universe itself starts trying to expel the deranged knot of confusion which their lives have become, Matt and Charlotte find themselves on the run not just from bloodthirsty frogs, but from reality itself. Why has this happened? What does it have to do with the strangely feline personality who has gone missing? And what the hell is the mysterious Chaos Drive, anyway?
This book was originally published as, "Chaos Drive".
Something is ripping the walls to pieces...
Tobias has gone to the Academy, determined to unlock the secrets at the edge of the known world…but what he discovers is so much more...
Valiben is a prince with a missing kingdom, and a hunch that something is going terribly wrong with the very fabric of reality…
Frayn is a warrior. The blood of giants is in her veins, and she has fought many terrible foes - but the thing that is growing in the darkness is unlike any enemy she has ever faced…
As the threads start to fray, as the barriers between stories fracture and bend, can this unlikely alliance stop the Universe unspooling before it is too late?
Their quest will take them from the first story ever told to the realms beyond death, and into the dark heart of a secret that is tearing the Universe to pieces.
Something is hungry in the darkness. But where does it come from? And can it be stopped?
Meet The Hard Blokes Of Sparta, swept away from Ancient Greece and deposited in a mishmash fantasy world populated by dragons, goblins, and a great variety of other strange creatures, most of which are bigger than them, and all of which are hungry.
Meet Indigo Shuttlecock, Sheriff of the Western Fold, sworn to keep all the stories safe against whatever dark force is trying to un-tell them...however lazy and uncaring her boss is.
Meet Chief Frog 127, determined to get ahead in the Glorious Hegemony of the Frogopolis…even if that means facing the shortcomings that lurk in the heart of his own soul.
Meet Matt and Charlotte (two versions of each of them), Space Pirates set on pillaging backward, despotic worlds…and entirely unprepared for what happens when their narrative-traversing star-drive malfunctions.
And meet the thousand other denizens of the Storystream, and the handful of people who unite when the forces that hold the Universe together start bleeding apart at the seams.
In this box set you will find four full length novels and two novellas set in the Storystream. Happy exploring!