Sunday, 16 October 2022

Paperback writer

I am one!

Londonia has been made into a paperback following its earlier appearance as a hardback.




When I started writing the book about seven years ago, my invented London's dystopian future seemed a long way away; something dark, a climatically and societally complex time.

These last few years have clearly shown that our taken-for-granted human-made political, monetary and life support structures exist on a knife edge; that the planet and its climate can no longer take the constant battering we have been giving it for decades, and that we have to figure out, and very rapidly, new systems, and accept that never-ending growth is not the future, rather, a humble acceptation of de-growth while there is still time...

Oof... Anyway, Londonia is certainly not all dark, a genre I would term Dyst-hopeia, dystopia with warmth heart, humour and hope. 

The new paperback is available on Amazon, Blackwells or from Tartarus Press directly, as is the hardback and ebook format.

The follow-up book is at completion point and I am seeking new representation to carry forward the Londonia series.

“British author Hardy debuts with a dystopian yet enchanting novel set in the early 2070s…Hardy’s almost hopeful view of the world’s inevitably chaotic future lifts this entertaining and well-told tale.” Publishers Weekly

Londonia's book jacket intro:

Londonia, that’s where we are. A sprawl of a place surrounding The Cincture - all of it once London town. 

Some persons say we’re in the year 2073, others cycle 60 . . . who gives a creepin’ beetle where we are in the history of man. Fukked it up good and proper didn’t we – they, humankind generally. 

All I know is I got my shed, my friends and a little bit of an angle on stuff – visions, see inside persons, y’know. 

Anyway, ain’t about me so much this book, more about Hoxton and her life. 

Within half a clockface I knew she was different . . . not so many damefolk would take over a church after waking on a bench with not so much as a gnat’s knowledge of what happened in their life before that moment. Got it sorted she has: a finder’s life for her – whatever you want: coffee, a shootstickfresh meat, Zeitporn, snash, gnole . . . her ‘an Jarvis, they’ll find it – for a goodly trade, of course.

All sorted until a jaunt into The Cincture caused her to learn something that opened up a chink into the past; something that started the ultimate finding mission. 

Anylane, I’m getting ahead of meself here. Pull up that armchair to the fire, turn this over and start reading. I’ll put the kettle on if the watermec’s been. Jake’s the name – Jake the prophet.

 

 



Monday, 3 October 2022

Oh, but to slip into sleep as a contented hound must do

As Shakespeare wrote in his play, As you would rather like it, back in 1624.


I think we all must suffer the annoyances of insomnia from time to time, or regularly or even almost constantly - if you happen to be like my dear mother. I could always tell from my first glimpse of her on a morning if the day was likely to proceed with her being wracked with grumpiness. She coped ok most of the time and would brighten considerably after a first creosote mug of tea but it was always a problem wish I wish she could have solved.

Currently, Mark and I have periods of insomnia which don't match each others at all. He will start sleeping as his head nears the pillow whereas I usually ruminate on some event of the day for a while or for hours if I don't manage to divert the thoughts with attention to my breathing. This often works but if a persistant niggling thought suddenly developed into something worthy of worry, that's it for a calm and restful night's sleep. Whereas, Mark often wakes at about four thirty - five/five thirty has somehow become alright - reads, makes bread (hurrah!) and does his worrying then.

Going somewhere else always breaks these sleep, or rather, non-sleep patterns, the sea being the best, but not overly practical, unless we move to the coast, but then we'd probably get acclimatised and all the patterns would reform and going away to somewhere else like a forest cabin would become the getaway, and so on.

I've tried natural, herb based remedies, mild-ish sleep, non-prescription pills, and full on sledge hammer tablets, non of which worked and the latter two gave me stomach upsets and heart palpitations. So, what does work - for me? Not eating too late in the evening, no caffeine-y stuff after about four, no looking at emails after late afternoon - in case of something angst inducing - and on a positive note, audible meditation and audio stories. Meditation does certainly work, especially the music-less ones that concentrate on slowing the breath and the nervous system generally, but to get into the right state takes some time and I prefer to use meditation now during the day at some point. The audio book is now my go-to sleep aid which works almost without fail.

I did have a few months of listening to Will Self's Book of Dave as I found his voice lulling, even though parts of the story are certainly nightmare inducing, but then the kind person who put it up on Youtube took it down again - possibly spooked by this one listener prodding the story into life several evenings a week.

So, the current favourite - The Secret Garden, read by Steven Garnet (Red Fox Voice). I hope he wouldn't mind me advertising this as a sleep aid but it totally works - for me. His reading is remarkable, the accents spot on, the pacing and tone, truly excellent. I know the story well from my childhood so enjoy all the characters, visual impressions of the garden, house and windswept moorland. That's the thing. It has to be familiar to assist sleep, the story known well so that the words act as a warm cocoon. A new story would be too engaging to encourage sleep and the subject, obviously, is important. American psycho or  The Road, probably wouldn't work . . .