Tuesday, 11 June 2019

On Being

I do try to write about my mental health from time to time, not because it's cathartic for me (I'm over that phase) but in the hope that it might help others understand that they're not alone, and perhaps get a handle on their own struggles.

The struggle doesn't end, which is tiring. I get why people self-harm, contemplate ending their battle, give up, isolate themselves, self-medicate. How can I not empathise? I've been down all those roads, and they didn't lead to any destinations more interesting than this one.

I avoid life, and that seems to work best for me. Stress makes me worse, and writing makes me better. I take medication and generally behave myself, but at times I can't function at all. I'm erratic, I guess. Sometimes I sleep, sometimes I don't. I have long fallow periods from work where I can't face sitting at the PC and making sensible words come out. Basically, I shut down. My hearing's worse, my vision, my joints ache and I'm tired all the time. It affects more than just my mental health, but my whole wellbeing. When I feel better I return to work. It's why I don't do anything regular like a Patreon account. I write around four novels a year, but I might do two in two months and then nothing for three months. I'm not a good bet in a short term, but I try to take a long view, not look at the short term. Not at feeling better in the next hour, or the next week, but that it will pass and things will be a little easier in a while, whenever that may be.

I guess what I'm saying is that I understand it sucks when you're feeling shit, of course it does. But there are ups and downs for everyone. Those with mental abberations feel the ups and downs more keenly and that's a bastard to cope with. I don't do it all the time. I'm not a guru. I'm just here to let you know it will (probably) pass. There's no magic cure, but you can feel better. You might need help - I take pills to help me cope. You might need to. You might need to go slow when you can't speed up, or slow down when you're too speedy, or talk, or hibernate, or sleep, or take some time for yourself, or go into a mental hospital until you're partway thinking straight. There are so many paths through it, and not all of them are sunny, but reach out if you can. You can feel better. It's possible.

Love you.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Hush Available Now for Kindle

Hush Back Copy

 Hush is a pioneering colony-class ship fleeing Earth in the wake of a terrible war. Among those aboard are the giant legendary Titan robot named Jin, the stowaway Anna, and Ulrich Bale - veteran of the Aug War.

Hush enters orbit above an ice planet which holds a mystery - six colony-class ships like Hush herself. She dispatches a small team including Jin, Anna and Bale to investigate, and they are attacked and stranded. The only recourse left to them is to enter the conjoined colony-ships, which together form something the sentient ships name 'The Citadel'.

There, they must unravel the mystery of the ice planet and The Citadel, but before they do, they'll fight for their lives at every step of the way, 'til they meet two other ships - Scale Adjustment and Austerity Born of Destruction - and finally, find the answers they need...or die.

Praise for Craig Robert Saunders' 'Field of Heroes':

'A powerhouse of action and war reminiscent of Iain M. Banks.' - Andy Remic.
'Future warfare fun, gore and glory.' - William Meikle, author of the S-Squad Series.
'A deeply nuanced look at a speculative future that will grip you from the first page.' - Colin F. Barnes.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Field of Heroes Available Now.

Out now in Kindle and paperback editions on Amazon.

Back cover copy: 

An alien invasion of Earth by an unrelentingly hostile army called the Cephal leads to a new breed of marine capable of taking the fight to the enemy hundreds of light years from Earth.

Vidar Dawes, infantry, Alante Brockner, Armoured, are on the front line and will join a newly formed unit to take the battle to space. Delphine Mamet, a scientist, and Kiyoko Jones, the Fleet Admiral of the Americas Unity Navy work toward a solution fit to face the threat of the vicious Cephal and their Zoan armies.

The aliens might be able to muster vast technological advances and armies of terrifying creatures, but the human warriors don’t fight only with technology and arms. The aliens aren’t counting on the marines’ most powerful weapon - heart.

When weapons run dry, and the bombs are all gone, it was all humanity ever needed.

Praise for Field of Heroes:

‘A powerhouse of action and war reminiscent of Iain M. Banks.’ - Andy Remic.

‘Deeply nuanced look at military life that will grab you from the first page.’ - Colin F. Barnes.

‘High-octane future warfare fun, gore and glory.’ - William Meikle.

‘Military sci-fi at its best!’ - Ian Woodhead.

‘A grimy, gritty and violent war novel. Highly recommended.’ - Michael Patrick Hicks.

Thanks! Love you.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

It Always Rains when the Circus Comes to Town

Things often don't work out the way you envisage when you set out on a writing project (otherwise known as a 'story'). I meant this story to be a novella - I felt like doing something light, and fun, and in my comfort zone, which has always been horror. It's about rain clowns, alien slug monsters, weed, friendship, PTSD, memory, ghosts, weed, tea, Lord of the Rings, evil, wealth, kindness, bravery, and of course a bit of death. All the best things horror can do, which is why I love it. When I write science fiction things have to be explained. Horror, you can just do whatever you want. Plot pothole? It's a GIANT CRAB MONSTER. Brilliant. I guess that's why horror and bizarro, and horror and fantasy, gel so well (well, in my mind). I always felt Clive Barker was a master at that. It's horrible and doesn't make any sense...put some weird shit in it.

This one's got some weird shit in it.

This is the first draft, weighing in at 40K and the final, after a break to write something else, will be around 50K. I'll send it to Thunderstorm Books first. I like Thunderstorm Books a lot. So, cross your fingers for me a spark up a blunt.

It Always Rains when the Circus Comes to Town

Friday, 19 April 2019

Some Recommended Reading

I asked for a few sci-fi works on Twitter and got a fair few back. I thought it might be useful to others as well, so here's a list from Twitter, and some things I'm reading/going to read, too.

Twitter recommendations:

Kim Stanley Robinson/Aurora
Jeremy and Hilaree Robinson/The Distance
Patty Jansen
Philip K. Dick
Thomas Ligotti
Mur Lafferty/Six Wakes
David Gunn/Death's Head Series
Jeff Nunn/Vurt
Helen McClory/Mayhem and Death
Becky Chambers/The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
Kris Holt/This Burning Man
Brent M Kelley/Cruce Roosters
Brandon Sanderson/Skyward
J Barton Mitchell/The Razor
Kameron Hurley/Red Dame Apocrypha
Philip Palmer/Red Claw
Michael Crichton/Micro
Michael Mammay/Planetside
J S Coatsworth/The Stark Divide
Mike Carey/Felix Caster series
Peter F Hamilton/The Reality Dysfunction
Gareth L Powell/Embers of War
Scott Sigler
John Scalzi
Tanya Huff
Robert J Sawyer
Karl Drinkwater/Lost Solace
Joe Hart/Obscura
Patrick F Johnson/Monster of Earth
John Varley/Titan

That's close enough for Government work.

Some things I've read and liked well enough to mention, and some I'm going to:

Jake Bible/Roak
Richard Morgan/Altered Carbon
Annalee Newitz/Autonomous
The 'Infinity' Anthology Series
James S A Corey/The Expanse Series
Adrian Tchaikovsky/Dogs of War
C. Robert Cargill/Sea of Rust
Martha Wells/All Systems Red
Kameron Hurley/The Stars are Legion
Judge Dredd/Judge Anderson books (various authors)

I've read more, but honestly I can't remember all of 'em and that's quite enough for one day anyway. Love you! x