Tag Archives: John Travis

NEW TITLES: Benji Spriteman #2, and a Début Novel

Well, hello there!

2012 has proven to be occasionally tumultuous and terrible, but we forge ahead here in the mighty headquarters of Atomic Fez Publishing, offering up two titles for ordering now: The Designated Coconut and The House that Death Built, both of them novels, and both of them worth a careful examination.

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Cover art by Sunila Sen-​​Gupta

John Travis has his 2nd book in “Benji Spriteman” series: The Designated Coconut. Be assured these are not the animals in the movies of questionable intelligence such as K-​​9 or Marmaduke, these animals are mirrors of ourselves, nature’s reflection of our own societal form and pressure, plus a wink or two along the way presenting familiar cultural references.

In the twenty-​​four months that had passed since The Terror, the world had become a slightly more civilised place — so civilised that when two female feline crime writers turn up to do a signing at a local bookstore, only one of them is murdered, implicating Benji Spriteman.

In an attempt to solve the crime and clear his name, Benji ends up in Rockway, the sleepy seaside town where the remaining sister is staying. Only Rockway turns out to be not too sleepy, and the detective finds his life in danger not only from the animals on land, but from those above and below it too…

As I waited in the lobby, I listened to the comments of various animals as they came in from their early morning walks. Almost all of them were complaining about the heat. ‘World’s gone mad,’ an old Tabby in a pair of shorts muttered to himself on the way to the elevators, ‘preferred it in the Old days. Didn’t have to buy fans then. Just sat on the rug and licked my ass. Good times.’

For those of you who hesitated when The Terror and the Tortoiseshell was introduced, but are intrigued by the notion of sentient animals fighting crime, wait no more! Heading to either book’s page provides you with an offer of two (2!) books for a savings of ten (10!) dollars ($$!) or a good, solid English “fiver” (£5!) plus free shipping! Excelsior!

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Cover art by Stephen Upham

Meanwhile, John Llewellyn Probert has written a novel! It’s his first! It’s groovy, and so is he! It’s called The House that Death Built and is available in three (3!) formats! It’s available in eBook format, which is DRM-​​free as is the case with all Atomic Fez eBooks; there’s a paperback edition; and there’s a Limited, Numbered, Hardback edition which is signed by both the author and the cover artist! Atomic Fez isn’t in the habit of doing ‘collector’s editions”, but as this is John’s début as a novelist, it seemed apt to create a special version of this title, just for him. It may also be the final outing for the characters “Mr Massene Henderson” and “Miss Samantha Jephcott”, which are the “specialists in paranormal adventure” he created to engage in daring-​​do against the spirit world, and who have previously only appeared in the short stories collected in Against the Darkness (available from Screaming Dreams through THIS LINK).

You are cordially invited to join Mr Massene Henderson and Miss Samantha Jephcott, specialists in paranormal adventure, as they embark on their most perilous case to date.

The Dark Manor isn’t just any old haunted house. Built on the site of a stone circle, from bricks saturated with pain and agony, windows that have seen terror beyond insanity, and doors that would scream if the wood from which they were fashioned could voice the appalling acts to which they have been witness, the house was designed with evil in mind and deliberately constructed to bring William Marx, the wealthy industrialist who built it, into contact with the spirit world.

But Marx hasn’t been seen since he entered the repository of death and madness that is The Dark Manor, and neither have any of the people who have gone looking for him. Now Sir Anthony Calverton has purchased it and needs the place investigating properly, which of course calls for some proper supernatural investigators.

Who will survive The House That Death Built? Only time and the pages within will tell…

Ο Φόβος είναι ο πόνος που προκύπτουν από την αναμονή του κακού

Also, for those of you who haven’t already got a copy of his collection Wicked Delights, its regular price has just been reduced! Hooray! Get the same number of excellent words for less money! HUZZAH!

PLUS! There’s a contest! But more about that a bit later. Oh, it’s worth the wait, let me assure you!

BEHOLD! A New Publishing Venture!

Ian Alexander Martin; Atomic Proprietor
Ian Alexander Martin; Atomic Proprietor

Welcome to the world of Atomic Fez Publishing. This may be a new thing to your ears, but one thinks it’s unlikely as the creation of this publishing house seems to be one of the worst-​​kept secrets in the Small Press Community of late. If you’ve not heard of Atomic Fez before now, please don’t feel ‘left out’, as this merely proves you have a real life, something for which you are envied.

Those of you who have known of this for some time can count yourselves among the group who needs to get out among the populace more often. Perhaps a few more visits to the local library on Saturday afternoons may be a place to start; the possibility of conversing with someone other than the 87-​​year-​​old men reading every newspaper in the Western World might terrify you, but rest assured that no one will wrestle you to the floor and electrocute you (that’s saved for story time in the Children’s Area… well, that’s what happens when I show up for the event, at least).

In addition to the “dead tree” variety of books using ink, paper, and bits of glue, Atomic Fez will be making available all titles in the “electronic book” format for those who wish it. The concept that either form is a bad way of getting a story into the hands of a reader is anathema to a logical mind. If you hate e-​​books, we have paper ones for you. If you hate paper ones, we have e-​​books to tempt you instead. In the future, it is hoped that both forms can happily exist side-​​by-​​side as they have individual strengths for differing sorts of readers. After all, both forms of books are equally damaged when dropped in a tub full of hot water.

As you’ll learn from the “About” page, this will be a Small Press House with Large Press notions of inclusivity. ‘Many things all under one roof’, one might say. Few people are exclusively readers of only one variety of fiction, and Atomic Fez proposes to make available as many sorts of books as time and the company ledgers permits.

The principle driving force behind certain titles being selected is simple: Books Are Fun Again! Too often things about books are made Quite Important and Very Serious Indeed, casting aside anything which might be seen as ‘enjoyable’. There are some very important and worthwhile things about books and their rôles in our lives, certainly; and one of the most important is that of the ‘fun’ and ‘entertainment’ they provide. Certainly, dark and serious stories aren’t thought of in the same fashion as light and comedic ones, but both sort can easily be seen as ‘fun’ and ‘entertaining’ at the same time. One can be said to have fun reading something that scares us, just as one can enjoy reading something which makes us laugh aloud. What makes these various forms of stories similar is that they both contain content which is neither dull nor contain plot-​​lines within the well-​​trodden bounds of other writers.

Atomic Fez does not select titles due to them being rejected by other publishers, nor solely due to those works being difficult to market; rather, the catalogue contains titles which were selected despite these facts being true. This is, after all, a business, and there’s no need to make this effort more difficult to break even at than it already is.

Madness and Atomic Power — plus a silly hat or two — are what keeps Atomic Fez Publishing trundling along. Join the crowd and be prepared to be entertained and to enjoy yourself. Toffee-​​nosed, stuck-​​up, sticky beaks can put themselves to good use by getting another round of Martinis for the rest of us. Make mine a double, please.