Just popping up briefly to point you to a blog post by the most excellent Mags L Halliday regarding her story in my upcoming anthology, The Encounters of Sherlock Holmes. You can find the piece here: http://magslhalliday.co.uk/?p=1836
So, here’s the announcement I’ve been teasing you about recently, with photos of scripts and sneaky veiled references – Newbury & Hobbes are set to appear in a new original audio drama.
I’m really excited about this. It’s a full cast drama, written by me and serialised over three episodes, and is being produced and directed by Neil Gardner of Ladbroke Audio. It’s an original story, set between The Osiris Ritual and The Immorality Engine, and plugs in nicely to the ongoing character arcs whilst hopefully serving as an introduction to the characters and series for anyone new to Newbury & Hobbes. If people like it, we’re hoping it will develop into an ongoing series of further adventures.
Neil’s in the process of casting the roles at the moment, so I can’t announce any actors or actresses yet, but what I can say is that the calibre of people he’s talking to is amazing. I’m seriously chuffed about this, and can’t wait to hear it being recorded.
More updates when I have them, including plans for how it’s going to be released, and who’s been cast in the lead roles. Watch this space!
I’ve been quiet during the last couple of weeks, due to all sorts of stuff going on, but I’m hoping to post a couple of titbits this coming week, including an announcement I’ve been waiting to make for a little while.
In the meantime, here’s a picture from Twitter, posted by a reader, David (@DMXTheMachine), of himself and a friend dressing up for Halloween as Newbury and Pierre Villiers from The Affinity Bridge. I think you’ll agree, the both look rather snazzy!
We discovered this slowly subsiding church in a little Lincolnshire village today when we went exploring, looking for a pub in which to have Sunday lunch. I was really struck by how ancient it looks, and how stark it is just sitting there, sinking on the village green. It made me think of Doctor Who and the Daemons, and all that running about at Devil’s End, chased by mardy Morris Dancers.
I think this church is going to have to feature in a Newbury & Hobbes story at some point. Something about dark things brewing in caverns beneath the village and all the villagers up to no good.
It seems Tor have now revealed the US cover for the next Newbury & Hobbes novel, The Executioner’s Heart, along with the official pub date of July 9th. I love how all of the US covers are forming such a nice set in hardcover. They look great together on the shelf.
Very exciting! It’s very different from the UK cover I revealed a little while ago, although I love them both.
So, now you’ve seen them both – which is your favourite?
A lovely review for a recent short story today (http://thesextonblakeblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/zenith-lives-review-part-two-george-mann.html) made me realise that I haven’t yet talked about Zenith Lives!, the new anthology of Zenith the Albino stories from Obverse Books.
Zenith the Albino is, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest fictional villains ever to grace the pages of genre fiction. He was originally created by Anthony Skene as a foil to Sexton Blake, that great, lamentably forgotten hero of British detective fiction, and appeared in 40 odd novels and novellas over a span of 20 years.
Zenith is a Romanian Prince, a gentleman, an albino and an opium addict. He is also a master criminal and a master of disguise, who suffers from terrible ennui and frequently risks his own life in the pursuit of distraction and excitement.
When Stuart asked me to contribute a story to his anthology, I jumped at the chance. Not only that, but given that Zenith’s ‘golden age’ is the 1920s and 30s, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to bring back Peter Rutherford, the British spy character from my novel, Ghosts of War. Regular readers of the blog will know that I love to seed in ‘Easter Eggs’ and little connections between my stories, and the opportunity to have one of my own characters go up against Zenith was too good to miss. Not only that, but it was a chance for Rutherford to interact with some of the other pillars of my fictional universe – namely Miss Veronica Hobbes and Professor Archibald Angelchrist. What’s more, there’s a little throw away reference in the story that hints at what is to come for Newbury and Veronica in The Executioner’s Heart and beyond.
It was a lot of fun to do, and in many ways has become one of the central stories of the extended Newbury & Hobbes universe, along with a few others that have appeared since – namely ‘The Maharajah’s Star’, ‘A Night, Remembered’ and ‘Old Friends’. All of these are set in that same period of the early 30s, feature Rutherford as a main character, and draw links between my different series. They mark the changing of the guard, the passing of the baton from the heroes of the Victorian era – Newbury, Bainbridge, Veronica, Angelchrist – to those who will carry the tales forward into the brave new world of the 1930s and beyond.
There’ll likely be more Rutherford tales to come in the future. I’m interested to see how he develops as a character, and what adventures I can send him on. Someone needs to protect the Empire, once all the other heroes have retired!
In the meantime, Zenith Lives! is well worth picking up. Aside from ‘The Albino’s Shadow’, it features a lengthy new Seaton Begg novella from Michael Moorcock, a long story by Mark Hodder, and brand new tales by Paul Magrs and Stuart Douglas. You can but it directly from Obverse Books as both a physical book and an ebook.
The universe inhabited by Sir Maurice Newbury, Miss Veronica Hobbes and Sir Charles Bainbridge has been growing steadily over the last few years, with further novels, short stories, scripts and other associated tales. If you read my recent post (or, rather, repost) about ‘Easter Eggs’, you’ll know how much I enjoy seeding in connections between all of my books and stories, with the aim of weaving them together into a (sometimes) cohesive alternate history.
Well, to that end I decided it was high time I updated the timeline here on the site, to include all of the new adventures that have occurred since I last had a proper look at it. I admit, I was surprised by how it’s grown…
Most (but not all) of these stories are out there in some form or other. If you have trouble finding any of them, let me know and I’ll see about pointing you in the right direction.