Micheal Cobley

Interstellar Tactics




‘SPLINTERED SUNS’ Cover reveal – complete with senses-shattering soundtrack!

Posted on July 7th 2018 | Leave a comment

Steve Stone artwork for Splintered Suns

The monthly SciFiNow were very kind enough to help out with the reveal for my forthcoming book, SPLINTERED SUNS, by showing it on their website. Here’s the link to it, which includes a teaser summary of what readers might encounter within its vibrant pages!
And now, just for a bit of fun, I put together a sequence of tunes, each under a title suggesting certain aspects of the book and the various imbroglios and debacles into which my scarcely fortunate characters were thrust!
1) Into The Warrens  (‘Boot Killer’ by Alan Davey) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVzoJvhjUbk
2) Zeit-Heist (‘Prisoner Of  His Mind’ by Yello) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O60q6qKErwg
3) Down The Rabbithole (‘Traummaschine’ – by Cut.Rate.Box) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-PTP4IvNCU
4) Masks In The Desert (‘Rat Eyes’ by The Blackwater Fever) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oaJZPWguWI
5) Forest Queen (‘Efflorescence’ by Androcell) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiF1cR4MCs8
6) Hunting Raven (‘Acid Rain’ by Liquid Tension Experiment) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sA079BM0MuM
7) Subterfugue (‘Karn Evil 9 Pt 1′ by ELP) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y019L45P45Y
8 ) Tempus Mutantur (‘Sleepwalkers’ by Van Der Graaf Generator) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81Y_xrARM0I
9) Mirror Dance (‘Temple Of The Insects’ by Deathstars) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1NcAojd7QY
10) Disintegration (‘Forge Of Vulcan’ by Hawkwind) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihdK402cgj0
So there ya go – I`m going to look into how to get all these lined up into a single youtube playlist, which would be a lot more useful I guess, but I wanted to get this v special musical mood bubble over to you quickly (and if there are any mistakes just drop me a line via my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mike.cobley.scifi)
And stay tuned to this blog and to my facebook page – there will be more goodies unleashed in the runup to the books publication in December.
Posted in Artwork, Buddies, humanitys fire, Michael Cobley Posts, Music, my publications, orbit books, science fiction, space |
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My Eastercon Schedule – Manucunicon 2016

Posted on March 17th 2016 | Leave a comment

So come the end of next week I shall be hying myself hence to fabled Manchester, in search of enlightenment and shantih in the company of wise souls and skilled sensei of the SF Way….which probably will come down sharing drinks with Jim Burns, John Jarrold, Lavie Tidhar, Ian Sales, amongst many, luminaries each and every one! But otherwise I shall be engaged in panel moderating, once on the Saturday and once on the Sunday:

The Stars Are Your Canvas

Saturday 16:00 – 17:00, Room 7 (Hilton Deansgate)

Space opera is arguably the most unconstrained of SF subgenres, encompassing everything from the realism of McAuley’s Quiet War to the exuberance of Leckie’s Ancillary trilogy. How do writers find their own personal sweet spot between spectacle and science, and develop their own language for describing the biggest storytelling canvas of all?

Michael Cobley (M) Ian Sales, Alison Sinclair, Gavin Smith, Tom Toner, Jo Zebedee

Third Rock and Roll from the Sun

Sunday 20:30 – 21:30, Room 7 (Hilton Deansgate)

From Sun Ra and Bowie to Janelle Monae and even Coldplay, SF has cropped up across the spectrum of popular music. What – and who – makes good SF music, at the level of the lyric, the song, the album, or the opera? What do we get from SF music that we can’t get from other forms of SF?

Michael Cobley (M), Gary Couzens, Ruth EJ Booth, Phil Nanson, Dave Tamlyn

Should be a blast!

Posted in Buddies, Michael Cobley Posts, Music, on writing, science fiction, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,
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The Shadowkings – they’re baaaaack!

Posted on March 9th 2014 | Leave a comment

Waaay back at the start of the century, ho ho, my first novel, Shadowkings, was published by Simon & Schuster’s SFF imprint, Earthlight, itself a labour of love by its editor, John Jarrold, who was the one who decided to take me on as a new author. Sadly, various corporate shenanigans led to John bowing out to be replaced by Darren Nash, himself a staunch fan and champion of all things SF and Fantasy. He shepherded the second book, Shadowgod, into print, but then later more corporate musical chairs led to Darren likewise departing while Earthlight the imprint was dissolved. The third book, Shadowmasque, was published, garnered a number of positive reviews yet overall the sales could not make sufficient headway, for various reason.


Anyhow, the situation is that the Shadowkings trilogy shall once more be making its grimdark presence felt, in ebook and audiobook formats. More information (and cover art) shall be forthcoming nearer publication, but as a foretaste here a link to the Bandcamp page of Peri Urban, Edinburgh electronic musician of the first water, and the music that he originally composed back in 2001 – with yr humble scribe providing gruffly intoned lyrics. Take it away…



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Progmeister Reviews: Rush, the SECC, May 30th.

Posted on July 24th 2013 | 1 Comment so far


Progmeister General’s Rating – 5 CYGNUS STARS/5

[VIP In Attendance - MR COBLEY ESQ.]

Well this is how it should be done, we arrived at SECC expecting something of a mixed bag, especially after the 2011 tour’s MOVING PICTURES/TIME MACHINE set. They did not disappoint with 3 sets of “70s 80s & 90s” then current “CLOCKWORK ANGELS ” cd & finishing with “THE CLASSICS”.

Exactly on 19.40 they began with their usual filmed comedy build-up to the entrance of the Canadian trio which always ends up with GEDDY LEE, ALEX LIEFSON & NEAL PEART arriving on the stage to a tremendous ovation, this time kicking off with “SUBDIVISIONS” off the highly-regarded ”SIGNALS” cd. These three men can make this music sound epic & always have done; 36 years+ on the road & this was done to a very high standard indeed.  During set one they powered through highlights like BIG MONEY, LIMELIGHT, GRAND DESIGNS, ANALOGUE KID & finishing up with FAR CRY from the excellent “SNAKES & ARROWS” — then Geddy announced that as they are getting older its break time, so off they went.

Not an extended interval though, just enough and then we were off again. This time the 2011 “CLOCKWORK ANGELS” was highlighted for an hour, A very good song selection of CARAVAN, CARNIES, WE WISH THEM WELL, HEADLONG FLIGHT HALO EFFECT & the outstanding THE WRECKERS powered the new stuff to great heights along with the addition of a six piece string section, to a climax of CLOCKWORK ANGELS, THE ANARCHIST & THE GARDEN — outstanding set & a lesson on how a band should promote & play new material to an audience. No interval this time just lots of pyros & lights, Then THE PROFESSOR of drums gave us a masterclass in drum solos on YYZ, then it was on full steam ahead (quite literally) to the finale of “RED SECTOR A” and the amazing excerpts from the RUSH fans voted favourite cd “2112″. The band accepted their well deserved plaudits then returned for two sublime encores of SPIRIT OF THE RADIO & TOM SAWYER before finishing the night with more “2112″ classics & the inevitable fireworks which almost blew the roof off the SECC (not a common reaction in this shed). Just one final thank-you to the crowd & the Canadians had exited stage left & the end of their movie was played.

On the whole, contender for gig of the year & a masterclass of how to control yet excite an audience - Thank you guys!!!

FOOTNOTE - How many drummers get 3 solos & triumph on them all?? Answer 1 — NEAL PEART ! – fantastic!

Rush at the SECC, Glasgow, May 30th, 2013

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Progmeister Reviews: Astra, King Tuts, Apr 17th, 2013

Posted on June 12th 2013 | Leave a comment

Once again, the dry ice billows and a sparkly cape rustles amid the haze, for the Progmeister is back with another ace review. Take it….away….



Well first of all I have a puzzle for you … how do you fit 3 prog/rock bands into a  maximum allowance of say 3 hours? Answer is you can’t. This is the continuing  problem in this venue (as I have said before). Doors are 20.30 – actually they  opened at 20.50 – resulting in all bands having to perform shorter sets. But as all  Progmeisters know this cannot be done with our genre of music. Its relies long,  building passages very much like an orchestral recital.

This started right away with support bands HIDDEN MASTERS and PURSON  performing what seemed rushed sets, but I must say they both won over the  crowd with different types of Prog/Rockabilly/Goth Rock music.

ASTRA arrived on stage at 22.20 & immediately encountered technical  problems (this being down to using old-fashioned type equipment for their  music, Moogs/Mellotrons & Fender Rhodes etc). After this false start off they  launched with track from new cd THE BLACK CHORD – QUAKEMEAT, a great  intro for this very competent young five piece band from San Diego. After a  great show of virtuoso heights they then continued to play five more songs, THE  BLACK CHORD , THE RIVER UNDER, OUROBOROS, THE RISING OF THE  BLACK SUN & the showstopper THE WEIRDING. Great music, all with highs a  plenty, long soloing but never appearing indulgent, 23.30 on the button &  ASTRA were gone rather disappointingly, no encore due to … well you know the  rest! And after talking with two of the band afterwards found out they wanted to  play at least two more songs but local curfew stopped this. A masterclass  performance apart from all these problems.

Maybe my next review will not mention CURFEW – I really do hope so because  that means it was a perfect night for us all.

Message to promoters at KTWWH – sort this out & let Prog Thrive again in  Glasgow.

astra king tuts glasgow april 2013

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Humanity’s Fire Book Movie (late arrival)

Posted on May 18th 2013 | Leave a comment

Cannot believe that I somehow forgot to post the link here to the movie-trailer for The Ascendant Stars – it was on the list of posts and reachouts to fulfill but….ach, must have had a senior moment of some kind. Darn, another coupla million braincells gone west. But anyway, now, here it is!

The Battle For Darien

The animator is a Yorkshire guy called Ingram Blakelock, who has done various other pieces including the video for the band, A Forest Of Stars, for their track Gatherer Of The Pure. Here’s a link to it -


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Live Review: Black Crowes, Glasgow O2 Academy, March 27th

Posted on April 30th 2013 | Leave a comment

Another in a continuing series, a concert review from the Progmeister General!



So almost ten years since they last roosted in the famous Barrowlands ballroom (although the LIONS tour was not a triumph). The BLACK CROWES finally made it back…But boy was it worth the long wait!

A massive sell out crowd of around 4000 shoehorned into this great hall for what we all agreed after was a true night of CROWES history. Talking to sound crew, this gig was always set up to be special! On the LIONS TOUR 2003 it was like a band who was just about to disintegrate, as it turned out for almost five years. Not tonight though, from the opening dual guitars of “JEALOUS AGAIN” right through to the third encore (more off later) the CROWES did indeed deliver the corn and then some!

Chris Robinson & brother Rich along with mainstay drummer Steve Gorman were so together in music that it reminded me of “SOUTHERN HARMONY” tour of 1990, yes it was that good. At times they were simply spellbinding; new guitarist Jackie Green may go on to be another Marc Ford – on this performance I cant wait! “SPACE CAPTAIN”, & “OH JOSEPHINE” paved the way for truly jaw-dropping stunners like “WISER TIME” & “HOTEL ILLNESS” where the band jammed long but never bored or indulged themselves. Acoustic section was short but oh so sweet, “GARDEN GATE” & “WHOA MULE” before launching into a storming “SHE TALKS TO ANGELS” & “HIGH HEAD BLUES” then finishing the set off with a truly remarkable “BY YOUR SIDE”, “SOMETIMES SALVATION” & end song of “HARD TO HANDLE/HUSH (yes a storming version of Deep Purple classic). The crowd responded so much that Chris signaled to the band after a short interlude & they played in my opinion the two best CROWES tracks “DESCENDING” from the past & “GOODBYE DAUGHTERS OF THE REVOLUTION” from the present era CROWES, but the fans were still making an amazing noise for more, So “BOOMERS STORY” followed & you could see the band was visibly astounded with this very lively & noisy crowd, Chris then put on his hat, coat & scarf , He thanked us all for keeping the faith all these years & promised to return soon. Truly concise & complete they walked of stage, lets hope they will return, GLASGOW deserves it! Only one disappointment, no Kate Hudson – oh well, can’t win them all then.

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Progmeister Reviews: Little Feat, Glasgow O2 ABC, Feb 3rd, 2013

Posted on March 4th 2013 | Leave a comment

Little Feat at Celtic Connections


Hello Fans

First sorry about no content in last month , but I am afraid I was very ill with a virus. So without further ado here is my review of a truly great night with the Dixie Chickens (aka Little Feat).

“OH GLASGOW” – BAND ON STAGE 20.20 OFFSTAGE (AS PER CURFEW GRRR!!!!) 22.05 (Crowd Number Approx 5000/Sellout)(RATING – 5 Bottleneck Slides Out of 5!)

Weather that you wouldnt put milk bottles out in (anyone remember them), and still the feat army turned up, on a Sunday night to boot, 5000 making the effort to see what has always been a consistent masterclass in Southern Fried Boogie. New, old & special songs – The feat know what their crowd wants & duly deliver … and more. The six members just casually wander on to the stage with no announcement & play; this is their first time in Glasgow for around 4 years & boy do they want to make up for lost time, launching into “TIME LOVES A HERO” & warming up while playing to a crescendo, this classic slide- driven song with FRED TACCHETTE & PAUL BARREREE trading licks like no tomorrow. They then proceeded to play & visibly enjoy their “GLASGOW JAM SESSION” – anybody not initiated will not know a LITTLE FEAT gig is just one long glorious jam of varying types of music from Atlanta Georgia. Classics followed - ”FAT MAN IN THE BATHTUB”, an amazing highlight of these, along with very emotional “WILLING/THE WEIGHT”, dedicated to fallen brothers LOWELL GEORGE (slide genius of the 70′s) & Mr Drums “RICHIE HAYWARD”; RIP boys, never forgotten. The usual curfew (don’t get me started) of 22.00 was almost met after showstoppers SPANISH MOON & DIXIE CHICKEN - And that was it, lots of thank yous & waves then they were gone! After the show I was privileged to meet KENNY GRADNEY (BASS PLAYER)  for just 5 minutes & what a nice unassuming guy he was. He summed up the night perfectly “GLASGOW, LITTLE FEAT, BEERS & MOST OF ALL YOU GUYS, HEAVEN”. I shook his hand & wandered off satisfied into the Glasgow night whistling LITTLE FEAT tunes …….. As I have done since 1976 oh yeah !

Little Feat in Glasgow

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Music Reviews Update

Posted on March 1st 2013 | Leave a comment

Some of you may recall that I have in the past posted up music/gig reviews from an old callcentre buddy of mine, former drummer with Chasar, Mr Graeme Fleming. We`ll be doing a few more of those in the months ahead, and in the meantime, here’s a word or two from the man hisself;

Hi all,

Progmeister General here; after long & healthy discussions Ziggy Mikey has asked me to contribute a music feel to his blog. As well as our own reviews, we would love to hear any ideas or requests you may have. It does not have to be Prog – if it has a beat we will listen.
I have been a good friend of Mr Cobley for almost 15 years & we both know what makes us click, so please feed back to Mike any ideas or opinions you may have ok … stay tuned coming up LITTLE FEAT review at O2 GLASGOW & the new NEIL YOUNG &  CRAZY HORSE CD PSYCHEDELIC PILL. Keep Mellotrons on full & set controls for heart of the blog !!

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Guest Blogreview: Jefferson Starship, Kinross, October 9th, by Graeme Fleming

Posted on November 2nd 2012 | Leave a comment

(Now and then I intend to have guest posts on various incidents and events, and here’s one from Paisley’s Prince of Prog, me old mucker, Graeme Fleming, who had the good fortune to see the celebrated Jefferson Starship, live in Kinross)

“YES, I SAW THE SAUCERS!”  -Starship Date 09.10.12

Well, where do I begin ? I was not feeling well all week & the thought of a 2 hour drive to Kinross… hmmm, might not go, I was thinking. Well I am so glad I did; what an amazing evening (although very late). More of that later.

To see at least one veteran of Woodstock play in a converted garage is brilliant, but to add a member to the band from another Woodstock band is just pure genius. Paul Kantner must be 70+ now (?) but he strides on stage at precisely 21.55 like a young 18+ man. Along side him David Freiberg of Quick Silver Messenger Service sadly no Marty Balin (due to family berevemet ) or Slick Aguiler (other band commitments ) taking there place we had Chris Smith on keyboards, Richard Newman on drums & multi-instrumentalist John Gold: no Grace Slick now that she’s retired but wow, what a replacement they have found in Kathy - very young & very talented & very very confident. To see these two legends of AOR less than a Lionel Messi free kick away is awesome. Although due to keyboard tech problems they are just under an hour late. They then proceed to tear our guts out with a very loud but very proud set from The Airplane to Starship to Next Generation, yes we got it all.

The very capable & talented band played classics SUNRISE/NO WAY OUT,  SOMEBODY TO LOVE, FIND YOUR WAY BACK, MIRACLES, HAVE YOU SEEN THE SAUCERS, VOLUNTEERS (BALADO HAS ALL JOINED THE USA), WHITE RABBIT, JANE, LETS GO GET STONED & WOODEN SHIPS, for just short of 2 hours to around 100 people, the music that millions could soundtrack their lives to! Also we got some solo stuff from Kathy under her MACRODOTS band name and rather unexpected some QSMS from David Freibeg including the evergreen PRIDE OF MAN. Glad they chose not to include the awful 80′s ‘We Built This City’ & ‘Nothing Gonna Stop Us Now’ – a good move, this audience would have not appreciated it. So all in all 9 out of 10 and would have been 10 if not for problems which would have been nice to to be told about. Instead were just kept waiting for an hour, no stage announcement, not good.



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