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20 September 2014
Wyrd Worlds II anthology out now!
|PUBLISHED TODAY is Wyrd Worlds II,
the work of an international collection of science
fiction and fantasy writers, independent authors old and
new, who have come together through the book
recommendations site Goodreads to
contribute to this anthology. This ebook contains a
bumper 19 short stories from 17 independent authors from
around the world, encompassing a wide range of science
fiction and fantasy. Here lurks tales of the future,
steampunk and time travel; of magical realms and
fantastical deeds; and of things so weird they defy
categorisation. The original Wyrd Worlds
rode upon a new wave of indie collaborations; and
now we're back!
Wyrd Worlds II includes a new Hollow Moon story, Rock Of Ages, available online. Steph.
31 August 2014
Wyrd Worlds II coming soon...
WYRD WORLDS II, the sequel to last year's anthology, is on its way! If all goes to plan, the ebook will available from Smashwords from 21 September, before being rolled out at other retailers over the following weeks. This collection contains a bumper 19 stories from 17 indie authors from around the world, encompassing a wide range of science fiction and fantasy: from tales of the future, steampunk worlds and time travel, tales of magical realms and fantastical deeds, to tales that are just weird and defy categorisation. Watch this space... Steph.
31 July 2014
Goodreads giveaway winners
|CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of the
Goodreads giveaway for Hollow
Moon and Paw-Prints
Of The Gods in paperback. Around a thousand
entries per title were received for the five copies on
The readers who will each receive a copy of Hollow Moon are: Ayman Mohamed Farag Bashandy (Cairo, Egypt), Julyn Cataquiz (Tayabas City, Philippines), Mohamed Ben Taouil (Marrakech, Morocco), Areta Gedutyte (Cavan, Ireland) and Beatriz Mira Godinho Santos (Lisbon, Portugal).
The readers who will each receive a copy of Paw-Prints Of The Gods are: Vennela Indrakanti (Bangalore, India), Alexe Alexandra (Cremona, Italy), Kel Wheeldon (Springfield Lakes, Australia), Tony Drummond (Hemel Hempstead, England) and Tanu Awana (Noida, India).
Thank you to all who entered. Books are due to be posted week commencing 4 August and so should be with the winners by the end of the month. See here for post-giveaway offer on ebooks.
NOTE: This news item was edited 3 August 2014. Steph.
1 July 2014
|TO MARK THE RELEASE of Hollow Moon and
The Gods in paperback, five copies of
each book are being given away via the social
media website for books and book-lovers that is Goodreads.
This giveaway launches today and runs until 31
HOLLOW MOON - Join intrepid young heroine Ravana O'Brien in a fast-paced and witty science-fiction mystery of interstellar intrigue. As the dark priest of destiny returns from the dead, Ravana and friends find themselves on an incredible planet-hopping adventure into the shady world of politics, music and rebellion!
PAW-PRINTS OF THE GODS - Ravana finds herself on another wild adventure with a mysterious little orphan, a cake-obsessed secret agent and a god-like watcher who is maybe also a cat. The cyberclone monks are preparing to meet their saviours. But nobody believes in prophecies anymore, do they?
But there's more! Three Tales For Christmas for the Kindle will be available free of charge from Amazon UK / USA (and other Amazon sites) on Wednesday 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th July. As before, this is timed around US Pacific Standard Time, probably to confuse us folk in the UK and elsewhere. Happy reading! Steph.
29 June 2014
Hollow Moon and Paw-Prints Of The Gods out in paperback
MOON and PAW-PRINTS
OF THE GODS, tales of science-fiction
mystery and adventure for young adults and adults
young-at-heart, are out in paperback! The books are
available via the wonders of 'print on demand' from Amazon UK / USA (Hollow Moon)
and Amazon UK / USA (Paw-Prints Of
The Gods). These trade paperbacks (i.e. better
quality than mass-market paperbacks) have a recommended
retail price of £9.99 (UK) / $16.99
Paperbacks traditionally carry quotes of those who inspired the author in some way. I found it a challenge to select something that reflected my influences, but which also said something about the novel itself. Here is the quote I finally chose for this new paperback of Hollow Moon:
"Could it be possible that after thousands of years of struggling in the darkness we are about to discover, in the light of the new dawn, our purpose and destiny?" - Dandridge M. Cole, Beyond Tomorrow (1965).
For Paw-Prints Of The Gods, I chose:
"It is not our fault that the old books and traditions of human history exhibit so many absurdities." - Erich Von Däniken, Chariots Of The Gods? (1969).
Meanwhile, the ebook price of Paw-Prints Of The Gods has been matched with that of Hollow Moon at £1.99 (UK) / $2.99 (USA). Ebooks are available from a wide range of online stores, which now includes Txtr.
A Goodreads 'giveaway' will be announced shortly. Thanks for reading! Steph.
26 May 2014
All quiet on the WyrdStar front
It's been a couple of months since I last posted an update. This isn't through a lack of activity from yours truly, but rather because there's feverish work going on in the background that has kept me busy elsewhere. All I will say for now is Hollow Moon is being prepared for a paperback release very soon, with Paw-Prints Of The Gods to follow. I hope to celebrate this through a book giveaway on Goodreads, so watch this space!
In other news, the fine folks at Awesome Indies have given their website a facelift. This now looks very slick indeed and puts many publisher's websites to shame (including probably this one), with lots of information about showcased books, plus a new blog offering entertaining content from and about the featured authors. Awesome Indies is on a mission to find the best of independent fiction. If you're in the mood for something different, why not pay them a visit? Steph.
30 March 2014
Short Stories (and goodbye to Diesel)
MOBILE mini website for The
Worlds of Hollow Moon has finally been updated to
include online versions of the short stories In The
Lap Of The Gods (from Wyrd Worlds)
and the 2013 Christmas short story A Wizard, A Sword
And A King. The mobile website also offers chapter
excerpts from the novels, all in a no-frills format which
can be read by the majority of mobile devices.
Meanwhile, to banish the woe of Wednesdays throughout April, Three Tales For Christmas will be available free of charge from Amazon UK / USA (and other Amazon sites) on Wednesday 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th April. As before, this offer starts around midnight US Pacific Standard Time, so should take effect from 8:00am in the UK. The current edition of this Kindle-only anthology includes A Wizard, A Sword And A King as a bonus short story! (So there's actually Four Tales...)
Finally, another ebook store has closed its doors: this time, Diesel; existing customers should see the website for details to download (and thus retain) ebooks previously bought. The ebook market remains relatively new and is still evolving, but it's sad to see established names fade away. Steph.
The WORLDS OF HOLLOW MOON Mobile Website is at: www.wyrdstar.co.uk/mobile/.
9 March 2014
WyrdStar ebooks now available at Scribd
WYRDSTAR EBOOKS, along with all other Smashwords titles, are now available from Scribd, the world's largest online library and ebook lending service. Ebooks can be borrowed at no extra charge by Scribd subscribers, or bought and downloaded in a similar fashion as from other online stores. Scribd links have been added to website book pages.
In other retailer news, the Sony Reader Store is closing on 20 March, after which existing customers will transfer to Kobo. Sony's pioneering work in establishing ebooks and dedicated ereaders lends a touch of sadness to this news. My thanks go to those readers who have found WyrdStar ebooks through Sony over the years. Steph.
2 March 2014
Smashwords 'Read an Ebook Week'
|THE SMASHWORDS 'Read an Ebook Week'
promotion kicks off today! As part of this event, the
witty space-opera mysteries that are Hollow
Moon (RRP $2.99) and Paw-Prints
Of The Gods (RRP $3.99) are available at 50% off until 8 March (see
special voucher code on the Smashwords book pages for
details). The promotion has lots of other offers from the
authors and publishers who release works through this
site, so why not check it out? Steph.
19 February 2014
In Memory of Dandridge MacFarlan Cole
|Some of you who have read my 2012 novel Hollow Moon may
know that the asteroid colony ship at the centre of the
story is named after Dandridge
MacFarlan Cole, American aerospace engineer,
futurist, lecturer and author who was born this day in
1921 in Sandusky, Ohio. Cole was an avid proponent of
humankind's future in space and wrote several books and
papers on the subject. As early as 1953, before the
United States had a space program, he predicted a manned
moon landing by 1970. It was in 1953 that Cole, after
seeing action in the Second World War followed by a spell
teaching physics and astronomy, took a job with the
Martin Company in Baltimore; a post that later would see
him help to design the Titan II, the launch vehicle for
Gemini space capsules. His career in space similarly
reached new heights and in 1960 Cole became a consulting
engineer at the General Electric Missile and Space
Division at Valley Forge Space Technology Center,
Cole often promoted the idea of colonising the asteroids. The 'planetoids', as he argued they should be called, could be hollowed out or inflated to create a bubbleworld with habitable space on the inside (see illustration) and he envisaged the resulting space arks orbiting within the solar system or even being sent out on interstellar expeditions. He and artist Roy Scarfo collaborated on the book Beyond Tomorrow: The Next Fifty Years in Space (1965), a wonderful vision of future advancements in space exploration, space development and colonisation, all based on scientific feasability at that time. Dandridge Cole's visionary ideas heavily influenced the speculative science behind my science-fiction stories and it is not for nothing that the hollow asteroid at the centre of the story is named in his honour. Dandridge MacFarlan Cole died tragically young (age 44) on October 29, 1965 at King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Steph.
4 January 2014
Smashwords Reads 2013
A belated Happy New Year to all! In the spirit of yearly round-ups, the new Smashwords Reads 2013 website page lists the indie ebooks that took my fancy in 2013, with a brief summary, review and my Goodreads ratings. Most of these are science-fiction, with a few others thrown into the mix. I hope you find this list interesting! Steph.
24 December 2013
Awesome Indies Holiday Bonanza Ebook Sale
|The fine folks at Awesome
Indies are running a Christmas sale from 26
December (Boxing Day) to 30 December.
The sale features 60 books, all Awesome Indies approved,
with US $2 or $3 off their normal price. Some are free;
most are 99c. To quote Awesome Indies: "Every
one of these books is worth your time. Buy them and
support the independent authors who are spear-heading the
new wave of quality independent fiction. Please enjoy our
smorgasbord of cheap ebooks while they last!"
As part of this special offer, Paw-Prints Of The Gods will be available for the knock-down price of $0.99 from Amazon USA, with similar reductions at Amazon UK and other Amazon sites. Yes, I know I should have wrapped up this announcement with the news item below (dates have been updated in the previous post) but my organisational skills have become a bit frazzled in the run-up to Christmas... Have a good one, folks. Steph.
22 December 2013
Christmas special offers
|Merry Christmas! WyrdStar is running a
couple of special offers for Kindle owners over the
festive period. From 24 to 30 December, Paw-Prints
Of The Gods will
be available for the knock-down price of $0.99 from Amazon USA, with
similar reductions at Amazon UK and other
Meanwhile, from 24 to 28 December, Three Tales For Christmas will be available free of charge from Amazon UK / USA (and other Amazon sites). As before, this offer starts around midnight US Pacific Standard Time, so should take effect from 8:00am in the UK. Steph.
15 December 2013
A Wizard, A Sword And A King
|PUBLISHED TODAY is A
Wizard, A Sword And A King ,
a free seasonal short story and a prequel to Paw-Prints Of
The Gods. On the moon of Avalon, Alpha Centauri,
the young orphan Artorius is resigned to spending
Christmas alone, wandering the snowy streets of Londinium
just as a new series of the bloodthirsty holovid show Gods
Of Avalon is about to start. As the medieval
tournament gets under way, he finds that the
alien-worshipping nuns encamped in the fake Temple of
Mithras are taking more notice of him than usual. Not
only that, but the man playing wizard Merlin was not the
usual company cyberclone!
A Wizard, A Sword And A King is available as a WyrdStar pdf and is also now included in Smashwords editions of Paw-Prints Of The Gods. Readers who previously bought this novel from Smashwords can download all subsequent updates at no extra cost.
To see how these and other stories fit together, see the updated Worlds Of Hollow Moon page.
4 December 2013
A smattering of minor news items today: The 'you set the price' special offer for Paw-Prints Of The Gods at Smashwords (normally $3.99) and Hollow Moon at Smashwords (normally $2.99) will come to an end on Sunday 8 December, so grab a bargain while it lasts! Secondly, this year's seasonal short story, A Wizard, A Sword And A King, is a bit delayed but should be out on Sunday 15 December as a WyrdStar pdf ebook.
Finally, the latest addition to the WyrdStar website reveals all (well, some) of the movie influences that made their presence felt whilst I was writing Paw-Prints Of The Gods; some influences are obvious, others maybe not. (This page is actually just an excuse to plug the near-forgotten Hammer film Moon Zero Two, which deserves wider recognition in the annals of sci-fi movie history.) I hope you find it of interest. Thanks for reading! Steph.
15 November 2013
|Firstly, Paw-Prints Of
The Gods has been approved for
inclusion in Awesome
Indies, a website which showcases the best of
independent fiction. Books listed: "have been
evaluated by industry professionals against specific
criteria for quality fiction and deemed to be of the same
quality of craftmanship as books published by mainstream
publishing houses." Given all that, I'm quite
pleased to have made the grade! I hope to update the
ebook cover soon to show the 'Awesome Indies Approved'
badge of honour.
Secondly, WyrdStar books are now being shipped to Flipkart, the India-based online retailer of books, music, movies and lots more. Those of you who have read Hollow Moon will understand why I'm quite excited about getting into the Indian ebook market! Links will be added to this website as the various titles become available.
Finally, this year's Christmas short story is on its way. A Wizard, A Sword And A King is a prequel of sorts to Paw-Prints Of The Gods, where the young orphan Artorius finds himself spending Christmas on the Londinium holovid set. The hit holovid reality show Gods Of Avalon is about to start, only things aren't quite what they seem...
NOTE: This news item was edited 17 November 2013. Steph.
21 October 2013
Kobo UK ebook store and Amazon free offers
WyrdStar ebooks are currently unavailable from the Kobo online store to UK customers. For those of you who missed the story, Kobo and UK retailer WHSmith took umbrage at certain items of 'adult' literature that they had previously accepted via the usual self-publishing channels, with the result that all self-published titles have been removed from their virtual shelves in the UK. WyrdStar does not publish such literature, but our ebooks have been removed along with the rest. Kobo has assured affected independent publishers that normal service will be resumed (for most) as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, a series of special offers are scheduled for Three Tales For Christmas, which will be available free of charge from Amazon UK / USA (and other Amazon sites) over a month of Sundays! Or to put it another way, on Sunday 27 October, 3 November, 10 November, 17 November and 24 November. As before, these offers start around midnight US Pacific Standard Time, so should take effect from 8:00am in the UK. Steph.
12 October 2013
New book reviews and ebook price changes
Books by WyrdStar have received some nice coverage recently in the blogosphere (the internet does have some mighty strange words). Writer, blogger and reviewer for Awesome Indies D L Morrese wrote the first review for the recently published Paw-Prints Of The Gods (see D L Morrese on 'Paw-Prints Of The Gods'), though not before also giving Hollow Moon an equally-cracking write-up (see D L Morrese on 'Hollow Moon').
PRICE CHANGES: Following the release of Paw-Prints Of The Gods, ebook pricing has been reviewed, as follows:
|>||Paw-Prints Of The Gods is £2.99 / $3.99 at major ebook retailers. The 'you set the price' special offer at Smashwords, announced at the book's launch, will remain in place for the foreseeable future!|
|>||Hollow Moon is reduced to a new price of £1.99 / $2.99 at major ebook retailers. Again, the 'you set the price' special offer at Smashwords will remain in place.|
|>||Three Tales For Christmas (Amazon only) is reduced to a new price of £0.77 / $0.99 - and thanks to the wonders of Amazon's 'Select' scheme, will occasionally be free of charge (watch this space).|
|>||Wyrd Worlds and the single-story editions of 'Worlds of Hollow Moon' short stories remain free of charge.|
Going back to reviews, the Indie Book Reviewer blog has a nice write-up (and an interview with yours truly) about Wyrd Worlds. This is one of several author interviews done by contributors, links to which can be found with author biographies section of the WyrdStar book page. If you haven't already got a copy of this damn fine anthology, download it now! Steph.
29 September 2013
Paw-Prints Of The Gods out now!
|PUBLISHED TODAY is Paw-Prints Of
The Gods, the sequel to Hollow Moon! On
the forbidding planet of Falsafah, archaeologists are on
the verge of a discovery that will shake the five systems
to the core. Ravana O'Brien finds herself on another wild
adventure with a mysterious little orphan, a
cake-obsessed secret agent and a god-like watcher who is
maybe also a cat. The cyberclone monks are preparing to
meet their saviours. But nobody believes in prophecies
anymore, do they?
SMASHWORDS SPECIAL OFFER: A limited-time offer is currently running at Smashwords. For two weeks, both Paw-Prints Of The Gods and Hollow Moon are available via an exclusive 'you set the price' deal! Happy reading... Steph.
Older news items can be found on the WyrdStar News Archive page.
All content (c) Steph Bennion, WyrdStar and Danse Macabre 2007-2014.
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