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!
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https://www.scifinow.co.uk/news/splintered-suns-by-michael-cobley-cover-reveal/
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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!
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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
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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)
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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, Music, my publications, orbit books, science fiction, space |
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What a long strange trip its been

Posted on April 16th 2018 | Leave a comment
 

Incredible (and probably shameful) that I’ve allowed my blog to languish this long. Several unfortunate events (like sciatica!) stymied me from the end of 2016 till well into 2017, causing a large amount of slippage on the delivery of my next novel, Splintered Suns. But I can report that it is finished, lodged with my editors at Orbit, and has already gone through the first round of revisions. After which comes copyediting and proofreading, with a provisional publication date in early December. For those of a curious mind, I am planning the next book, also starring Capt Pyke and his crew of scallywags, provisionally entitled ‘Servants of Eternity’. And after that, I can assure you that the well is very far from running dry!

 
Posted in Berzerkergang, my publications, science fiction | Tagged ,
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Some favourite images

Posted on May 29th 2016 | Leave a comment
 

george grie - last harbour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sky Puffers - by McQue

 

 

 

 

 

 

Techno Temple – Bib993
 
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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, Music, on writing, science fiction, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,
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So, Who To Cast In My Imaginary Movie Of ‘Ancestral Machines’?

Posted on January 18th 2016 | Leave a comment
 

Here’s a little bit o’ devil may care speculation on which actors I like in the movie of my book. And, yknow, who can tell what’s gonna happen?

http://mybookthemovie.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/michael-cobleys-ancestral-machines.html

Here we are, from left to right – Lt Samantha Brock (Zoe Saldana), Captain Brannan Pyke (Colin O’Donoghue) and Dervla (Mallory Jansen)

 
Posted in history, humour, Movies, my publications, on writing, science fiction, space | Tagged , , , ,
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A Mike Cobley Reddit AMA, As I Live & Breathe!

Posted on January 11th 2016 | Leave a comment
 

Yes, indeedy, yr humble scribe shall be hosting an AMA (ask me anything) on the all-encompassing Reddit website/hub/core/fountofallcomment – at 5pm GMT! The actual url for this happening is -

https://www.reddit.com/r/sciencefiction

Although you`ll probably need to have a reddit account in order to post questions to me. I`m looking forward to it, and to the legions flocking to pore over my every word with eagle eyes….possibly.

(NB note updated URL for the AMA)

 
Posted in Berzerkergang, history, humour, my publications, on writing, philosophy, Politics, science fiction, space, steampunk | Tagged , , ,
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The Page 69 Test for ‘Ancestral Machines’

Posted on January 10th 2016 | Leave a comment
 

I was asked by Marshal Zeringue if I`d like to contribute to his ‘The Page 69 Test’ with regard to Ancestral Machines, where the idea is to open the book at page 69 and see how it relates to the rest of the book, whether its a reliable guide to the rest of the story. That particular page was part of a brief chapter involving a couple of characters who play something of an observer role in the early part of the story, thus this was one of those exposition moments in drag, so to speak.

Here’s the link -

http://page69test.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/ancestral-machines.html

And as you might know, Ancestral Machines is due for publication as ebook on January 12th and as hard and paperback on January 14th. And I`ll be hosting a Reddit AMA on the Monday evening, GMT-time, yes, yer actual Ask Me Anything, so my life in an open book. Apart from the bits that aren’t ;-)

 
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Blogpost at the Scottish Book Trust website on the Moniack Mhor SF/Fantasy Writing Course

Posted on April 30th 2015 | Leave a comment
 

(An introductory essay about the writing course being tutored by Ken MacLeod and myself.)

The question ‘what is science fiction?’ has remained constant ever since the cultural mainstream started taking notice of the genre back in the mid-1960s, with the arrival of the New Wave writers (like Robert Silverberg, JG Ballard, Ursula LeGuin, Mike Moorcock, John Brunner, Harlan Ellison and others). To the cultural arbiters, though, what was different to the preceding decades was the appearance of two TV series, one in the US, one in the UK, which spread the popularity of science fiction into the mainstream and the wider culture, and in a sense decoded the peculiar tropes and furniture and props for the ordinary citizen. Those series were Doctor Who and Star Trek. There had been science fiction on TV before then but these set out to raise the dramatic level above their pulpy predecessors, and there’s no doubt that they succeeded. Doctor Who and Star Trek set out to raise the dramatic level above their pulpy predecessors

Of course, the world itself has changed almost out of recognition since the days of black and white television, such that we are truly living in a science fictional world. Yet still the anchors and journos of mainstream news and comment programs continue to reveal a certain clodhopping ignorance of the nature and spirit of Science Fiction (while all the time using email, mobile phones, tablets and conference video calls, which were the very stuff of far-fetched SF to their 1950s forebears!).

As writers, living in the mixed up, clashing gaudiness and wildness of the world today (which gets newer and stranger by the day, yet remains hamstrung by a range of very old problems, aka, bad habits that our society seems unable to shake off), we need to take a long, considering look at all of it – All Of It! – then take a pondering look at ourselves and figure out what it is that we want to say. If we want to write widescreen action-adventure that captivates readers with daring and unexpected plot twists and gripping characters, that’s a fine and admirable aim. If we want to imagine what happens at the personal interface of character and an authentically weird imagining of future technology or a fantasy setting, that too is entirely commendable. Or if we want to assess the broad sweep of our development as a species and look ahead to spy out potholes in the road ahead, this is also a worthwhile avenue to pursue – and some might say it is the most worthwhile of all, perhaps even the social function that Science Fiction performs in service to humanity.

I mention all the above as a broad background to the short course which Ken MacLeod and myself will be conducting at Moniack Mhor. It is our intention to help writers understand key points of character, worldbuilding, history, myth and society in the context of both science fiction and fantasy, a brief grounding in the technical aspects of writing prose narrative. But in addition we hope to highlight the essential spirit of both fantasy and science fiction, that indelible storyteller’s thread which runs through a tale and makes it unmistakeably a fantasy story or a science fiction story. That is our task, and we look forward to passing on what we know.

http://scottishbooktrust.com/blog/writing/2015/04/science-fiction-a-storytellers-thread

 
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Residential SF/F Writing Course near Inverness: tutors Mike Cobley and Ken MacLeod

Posted on April 30th 2015 | 1 Comment so far
 

Here’s our page in the Moniack Mhor brochure.

This will be taking place in Kiltarlity, near Inverness, from May 14th to May 17th. And there are still places available!

For further information try the writing centre’s Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/moniackmhor/photos/a.252229554830895.68664.246729445380906/799625610091284/?type=1&fref=nf

Or their actual website:

http://www.moniackmhor.org.uk/

 

 
Posted in Buddies, Fantasy, on writing, science fiction, Uncategorized | Tagged ,
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Bye-bye 2014, Hello 2015

Posted on January 15th 2015 | 1 Comment so far
 

Been off the radar for a while, and under the weather. 2014 started with a teeth-gritting bladderstone problem, and ended with a tooth extraction and then a vicious viral ambush that left a hackingly  horrible cough in its wake. Still coping with the vestigial aftermath of that one with an array of throat pastilles and cough mixtures, as well as hot drinks up the yingyang.

But let’s put these ailment tales behind us and move ahead. The new book, Ancestral Machines (revised version 2.0), is currently in the hands of my editor, the redoubtable Jenni Hill and may be slated for publication in hardback and ebook in June…or July. Firm up details on that soon as I know. In any case, you can go to Amazon and pre-order this standalone Humanity’s Fire novel, an fastmoving epic, crammed with astonishing vistas and a plethora, perhaps even a torrent, of derring-do!

Also, my short story, The Maker’s Mark, a HFire story written for the Newcon Press anthology, Conflicts, will be appearing at the end of this month in a reselection called Total Conflicts, from Newcon Press. I shall be appearing alongside such megatastic talent as Eric Brown, Neal Asher, Philip Palmer, Keith Brooke, and Lauren Beukes, amongst others. There is already an entry on Amazon you can check out.

What else? Did I mention that I shall be conducting a brief residential writing course, along with Ken Macleod, come mid-May, at a writers retreat not far from Inverness? Well, yes, that is going to be happening! More details soon.

Then there is, of course, the next big project. After much consideration and cogitation I’ve decided that it will be another Humanity’s Fire standalone nov, very probably involving some of the characters from Ancestral Machines in a truly mind-bending adventure, which will of course require me to bend my own mind in order to get my writing brain right on track. Some psyche-trance music should do the trick.

And Eastercon, too, is on the horizon, taking place, oh joy, at Heathrow again. But this time its at the Park Inn, which I’ve stayed in before. Anyway, I have applied for membership, and managed to actually get a room….in the con hotel! Which really makes for a more relaxed experience. See you there if you’re going.

Finally, a general election is looming. Looks like its going to be a raucous carnival, if early reports – like Al Murray running against Nigel Farage in Thanet! – are anything to go by. Should be a blast.

 
Posted in my publications, Politics, science fiction |
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