Saturday, 12 August 2017

Excerpt from Song by Jesse Teller

The Guard of Mending Keep
One Year After The Escape

The serving boy’s face was stained green with disgust and horror. He looked about to be sick, about to flee, about to weep. Rayph saw the trembling lip and the panic in the eyes, and he knew what the boy was carrying. It was small, maybe a little over a foot wide, spherical, and covered with a towel. The boy wove a path through the reclining bathhouse patrons and made his slow, methodical way around the main tub to the corner where Rayph sat with his good friend, playing crease and taking in the steam.
As the boy drew closer, the dread that rose up within Rayph prompted him to turn to Dova and grimace. Rayph moved his tile, tapping it lightly with his finger, and shook his head.
“I’m afraid we are about to be interrupted,” Rayph said.
The boy trembled beside the gaming table. His white, sweating face held the world’s shock, and Rayph nodded at him. “Set it down.” He waved his hand across the boy’s eye line and muttered his spell’s incantation. The serving child’s face smoothed clear of all trepidation, and he let out a long-held breath.
“Where did you get it?” Rayph asked.
The boy’s dark eyes looked troubled even through the effects of the spell. “He hurt me,” the boy said.
“Hurt you how?” Rayph asked.
The boy pointed to his temple. “He got in here. He burned me.”
Rayph clenched his fist and anger bubbled deep within him. “What did he look like?”
“He was trimerian, but his third eye,” the boy rubbed his forehead, “it seemed to be flaming. He stunk of sulfur.”
Rayph’s blood ran cold, and he stood. “Watch the boy. Lock down the house. If he returns, do not engage, just defend, Dova. He is beyond even you.”
He looked to his ethereal friend, naught but churning wind where his body sat. The towel draped over Dova’s shoulders and tied around his waist, the only indicator of his form.
Rayph grabbed the boy’s shoulders a little too rough, just a little too hard. “Where did he go?” Rayph tried not to let fear get the better of his voice, but it trembled. There are so many innocents here. If he unleashes, how much of the city can I save? The answer was very little.
Dova exploded with a slight puff of wind. The towels fell to the floor. Rayph could feel his friend fill the room, warm air, fluttering and vibrant with life, swelled, blowing curtains in a flurry. The doors to the bathhouse slammed shut.
“Where did he go, son?” Rayph asked the boy.
“Who said he’s gone?” The voice held a new lilt of arrogance to it, a soft tinkling, musical and filled with spite. The boy leapt back. His forehead ripped open, betraying an eye. His back split and out flapped two wings that bled greasy smoke.
“Clear the room,” Rayph commanded as he loosed his spell. The power of the spell’s thrall was so great that every reclined man leapt to his feet and rushed for the door. The doors flew open to slam closed again. Every lamp in the room surged, hissing flame before dying completely. The room was thrown into gloom, the only light issuing from the great opening in the roof centered over them.
With a flick of his wrist and the uttering of a command word, the air around Rayph’s right hand tore and his sword dropped from the wound. The air zipped closed again, and Rayph turned to the serving boy, who hovered before him.
“You harm that boy any further and I will hunt you, Meric. I will plunge into that darkness you surround yourself in and I will rip you from it.”
The boy tossed his head back and unfurled a hideous laugh that trembled the ceramic tiles of the wall. “I have not come to quarrel with you, old friend.”
“You and I were never friends,” Rayph said. The sky above the opening darkened, and Rayph stepped closer. “Why have you come here? Why show yourself now, after this many millennia?”
“The nation is wide open, dear friend. No one is watching over Lorinth in your absence. You have forsaken your post.”
“I still guard this nation. I serve not the throne, but this is still my home. I will return as court wizard one day.”
The boy’s head lobbed back, and he poured out another hideous laugh, so violent the corners of the mouth split, and the boy coughed blood. “Too late, Rayph, you will return too late.” The head shook. “You have not yet looked at the present I left for you. How rude you are, Ivoryfist.”
Rayph extended an arm toward the table and muttered a word. His eyes stayed locked to Meric as the object floated the room to hover before Rayph. With a jerk of the cloth, he unveiled the severed head. Rayph looked in horror at the face, so contorted in pain from its last moment he could not recognize it.
He stared at it. The left side of the face was badly burned, the neck severed with some keen, hot blade that cauterized the wound perfectly. Deep claw marks covered the right side of the face and neck. Blood stained the chin and mouth.
Rayph’s heart broke out in a rampaging rhythm, and his mind burst into flames as he recognized the face. “No.” He looked away, but his eye was drawn to the head again as the identity of the head locked in his mind. “It can’t be.”
A gurgling laugh filled the room, and Rayph summoned forth the power to smite Meric.
“No, Rayph, you mustn’t!” Dova screamed. He threw his whistling form before Rayph, and two thrumming hands landed on his shoulders. The air that comprised Dova’s body filled with the water of the tub they stood in, making a figure of rampaging moisture. “If you engage him here, you will destroy my city. You must not.”
“Listen to Dova, Rayph. He always was one for caution,” Meric said. “Caution and cowardice looking so much alike and all.”
“Rayph, who is it?” Dova motioned toward the head.
“Stoic,” Rayph breathed. “He has killed Stoic.” Saying it aloud let the words take on meaning. His friend was gone, his guard, dead. What would become of Mending Keep? Had they all fled? Had the world’s unkillable fiends made good an escape?
He knew the futility of the words before he spoke them but felt helpless to say anything else. “I will make you hurt for this, Meric. In this one act, you have killed yourself.” Rayph felt nauseous.
“Step aside, Dova,” he said.
“Oh, my dear Rayph, please do keep tight check on that temper of yours. I would hate to reduce this city to rubble because you threw a fit,” Meric said. The black smoke issuing from the flapping wings filled the room with unbreathable air. “Stoic is gone, as are his charges, but that does not mean we need come to blows. I was not the one that killed your boy.”
“This head was severed with your blade. Do not try to deny it.”
“Yes, for easier transportation, I assure you. He was dead long before I got there.”
Was Meric lying? Did he have any reason to? Why bring the head at all? Meric was not one to gloat. It was not his way. Why alert Rayph the prison had been broken in to? There was an element to this Rayph could not see, something big moving powerful pieces about the board.
“Who did this?” Rayph asked.
The boy laughed again, weaker this time. He doesn’t have much time. I have to get Meric out of that boy as soon as possible.
“I won’t do all of your work for you, Ivoryfist,” Meric said. Lightning flashed outside, the inky clouds that followed Meric everywhere boiling in the sky above them.
“Does this mean you’re coming off sabbatical?” Meric asked.
“I will find out who did this and why, and when I do, if your name comes up at all…”
The boy laughed again, a hissing wheeze that scared Rayph.
“Remember who helped you when it all comes out, Rayph. Remember who alerted you to the break. You owe me now,” Meric said.
“I owe you nothing. You did not do this for anyone’s reasons but your own.” It’s big. It’s really big, but I can’t see it.
Meric laughed again. The wings pumped, throwing blood through the air, and the boy’s body lifted.
“Leave the boy!” Rayph said.
“You don’t give me orders any more, Rayph. Those days are over.” The boy’s body lifted high above the bathhouse, and Rayph splashed into the center of the tub to stare up at darkened skies. With a deafening explosion, Meric broke loose of the boy’s body, and the child dropped. Rayph set his feet and watched as the body tumbled. The boy dropped through the opening in the ceiling, and Rayph caught him in his arms. The sky opened and rain hammered the city. Rayph looked up at his friend and grimaced.
“I must leave, Dova,” Rayph said. “But first I have to know what happened to Stoic. Can I use your lab and summoning room?”
“Everything I own is at your command, Ivoryfist, you know that.”
The boy woke up screaming.

The Manhunters Book One
Release Date: October 5, 2017

Some of the darkest minds in Perilisc attacked Mending Keep, releasing all its prisoners. Despite his strained relationship with the crown, Rayph Ivoryfist calls old friends to his aid in a subversive attempt to protect King Nardoc and thwart terrorist plots to ruin the Festival of Blossoms. But someone else is targeting Rayph, and even his fellow Manhunters might not be enough to save him.

About the Author
Jesse Teller fell in love with fantasy when he was five years old and played his first game of Dungeons & Dragons. The game gave him the ability to create stories and characters from a young age. He started consuming fantasy in every form and, by nine, was obsessed with the genre. As a young adult, he knew he wanted to make his life about fantasy. From exploring the relationship between man and woman, to studying the qualities of a leader or a tyrant, Jesse Teller uses his stories and settings to study real-world themes and issues.

He lives with his supportive wife, Rebekah, and his two inspiring children, Rayph and Tobin.

SPFBO 2017 entrant
Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner, April 2017
Drunken Druid Editor’s Choice, March 2017
Drunken Druid 2016 Book of the Year Short List
Hungry Monster Gold Book Award Winner, September 2016

Jesse Teller is a talented author with the future in his hands.” —Peter Tr,

A very strong author who boldly builds the world he has created with strong themes and no apologies.” —Dianne Bylo, Tome Tender Book Blog

Jesse’s newest project, Song, is part of his Perilisc fantasy world: a richly detailed setting, ripe with legends, magic, and secrets whispered but not yet explored.” —

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

New Drabble - The Dreams of the Dead

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It's been a while since I last wrote a drabble (a story that is exactly 100 words long), but inspiration recently hit me with this one :-)

The Dreams of the Dead

I dream the dreams of the dead. The constant hunger for the luminous vibrancy of life burns and subsumes all capacity for reason or feeling. We exist alongside the living world, but it’s shadowed by the veil of our passing.

Our grey existence is eternal, and our hope is singular.

An explosion of light shatters the gloom. A rainbow in human form cast into a glowing shockwave passes through those nearby. For that moment, we glory in the life of the newly departed. All too soon the sensation fades, and our existence is grey once more.

And it sustains me.

You can read some of my other drabbles here:

Monday, 3 July 2017

Pre-order Best of British Science Fiction 2016 Now

I'm very pleased to announce that the forthcoming Best of British Science Fiction 2016 is now available to pre-order on Kindle. I'm honoured to have a story featured in this collection!

Editor Donna Scott has selected the very best short fiction by British authors published during 2016. Twenty-four stories, from established names and rising stars.

Introduction by Donna Scott
Joanne Hall - Arrested Development
Peter F. Hamilton - Ten Love Songs to Change the World
Eric Brown & Keith Brooke - Beyond the Heliopause
Gwyneth Jones - The Seventh Gamer
Nick Wood - Dream-Hunter
Robert Bagnall - Shooting the Messenger
Neil Davies - The Lightship
Liam Hogan - Ana
Jaine Fenn - Liberty Bird
Sarah Byrne - Joined
Ian Watson - Heinrich Himmler in the Barcelona Hallucination Cell
Una McCormack - Taking Flight
Den Patrick - People, Places and Things
Paul Graham Raven - Staunch
Adam Roberts - Between Nine and Eleven
Natalia Theodoridou - Ajdenia
Sylvia Spruck Wrigley - To Catch a Comet
Tricia Sullivan - How to Grow Silence from Seed
Tade Thompson - The Apologists
Ian Whates - Montpellier
Neil Williamson - Foreign Bodies
Michael Brookes - The 10 Second War
Adam Connors - Possible Side Effects
E. J. Swift - Front Row Seat to the End of the World

Pre-order now from Amazon:

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Friday, 19 May 2017

Best of British Science Fiction 2016

I'm very pleased to announce that my story 'The Ten Second War' will be featured in the upcoming release of NewCon Press' 'Best of British Science Fiction 2016'. It is edited by Donna Bond, and features some incredible stories:

Introduction by Donna Scott
Joanne Hall - Arrested Development
Peter F. Hamilton - Ten Love Songs to Change the World
Eric Brown & Keith Brooke - Beyond the Heliopause
Gwyneth Jones - The Seventh Gamer
Nick Wood - Dream-Hunter
Robert Bagnall - Shooting the Messenger
Neil Davies - The Lightship
Liam Hogan - Ana
Jaine Fenn - Liberty Bird
Sarah Byrne - Joined
Ian Watson - Heinrich Himmler in the Barcelona Hallucination Cell
Una McCormack - Taking Flight
Den Patrick - People, Places and Things
Paul Graham Raven - Staunch
Adam Roberts - Between Nine and Eleven
Natalia Theodoridou - Ajdenia
Sylvia Spruck Wrigley - To Catch a Comet
Tricia Sullivan - How to Grow Silence from Seed
Tade Thompsonn - The Apologists
Ian Whates - Montpellier
Neil Williamson - Foreign Bodies
Michael Brookes - The 10 Second War
Adam Connors - Possible Side Effects
E. J. Swift - Front Row Seat to the End of the World

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Book Shout Out - Welcome To Mister Jones Mystery Series!

Welcome To Mister Jones Mystery Series!
Get Your Scare On For 99Cents!

The Showing

His visit to the house has awoken that which was sleeping: how many must be taken before IT can be laid to rest?’

For Sale again is Mister Jones’ family home: a house he had known and feared since his childhood. On a nostalgic whim he decides to visit the house, with disasterous results. The house reacts to his appearance and the estate agent who is showing him around vanishes. Shortly afterwards the next agent appointed to handle the sale of the property also disappears.

Mister Jones wants nothing to do with the property. His visit has awoken old memories for him, and the memories are not pleasant. But it is clear that something else has also been awoken by his visit, and when he is begged to help find the young agent who has vanished, he can no longer avoid the responsibility of facing his legacy of evil, and dealing with the curse laid upon the house.

But what will happen when he faces IT, and who will emerge alive?

If you knew just how much of this story is true, how well would you sleep tonight?

Portrait Of A Girl

Does lightning ever strike twice? It would seem so for the unfortunate Mister Jones. After a harrowing encounter with the paranormal in The Showing, once again he again finds himself in mortal danger on the borders of that shadowed world.

An antique painting holds a strange fascination for him - and others. What does the girl in the portrait want from Mister Jones and from the others who become entranced by her beauty? And can she be stopped before she unleashes her ancient evil into our modern world in a lake of blood?

‘This is a great read. I literally devoured it in less than 24 hours. If you liked The Showing... it's better. Spooky. It reads a bit like Sheridan LeFanu or Guy de Maupassant. Awesome. Classic horror short story, except this isn't short. It's a full novel. Just wanted to clarify, it READS like a classic horror short story. Tight, spare and invoking tons of imagination.’

The House Next Door

Mister Jones thought that he was finished with the world of the paranormal: but the paranormal world hadn’t finished with him… His next door neighbour is attracted to a statuette and takes it home. Shortly afterwards, her mother is brutally murdered, - and that isn’t the only death. As the casualties mount and the dead roam free, can Mister Jones stop the tide of evil?

When Sheila Balsam finds herself compelled to buy a genuine antique in a strange little shop, she didn’t bargain for what came with the statuette - and Mister Jones finds himself once again drawn into the dangerous world of the paranormal : this time via the house next door.

An ancient evil has found a way to break from his enchanted prison and the only one who is going to stand in his way is the unfortunate Mister Jones, who seems destined to live in interesting times.

The Curse Of Clyffe House

It was supposed to be a holiday, time away whilst his friend and neighbour wrote a book about their last adventure. But as soon as Mister Jones arrives at the holiday cottage things start to go wrong, and waking up to find a skeleton in his bed is only the start. Terror stalks this cottage and before long Mister Jones discovers an ancient Evil is plotting to wreak devastation across the land; and it plans to start with his death.

Poison, fear, and a horrific Shadow from long ago stand between their survival: can Mister Jones and his friend defeat the Curse of Clyffe House and live?

Coming In The Summer Of 2017

Demon's Reach

Mister Jones discovers more about his family in this fifth novel about his adventures. A relative he had never known appoints him both executor of his estate, and the beneficiary should the main beneficiaries have died before him. Surprised and curious to learn more about his family and their past, Mister Jones journeys to the mist haunted eastern coast of England, and the village of Hawkstowe.

There he finds that his family have an unsavoury reputation locally for their dealings in black magic, and that his arrival is viewed with fear and horror. So scared are the locals that Mister Jones might herald a return to the dreadful times they experienced many years ago that they decide to burn down the house in which he is staying.

Mister Jones must confront demons, monsters, and members of his family both living and dead to escape with his life and his sanity intact.

Visit Rukia Publishing To Read A Sample Of Each Book

Meet The Author ​Will Macmillan Jones

Will Macmillan Jones lives in Wales, a lovely green, verdant land with a rich cultural heritage. He does his best to support this heritage by drinking the local beer and shouting loud encouragement whenever International Rugby is on the TV. A just sixty lover of blues, rock and jazz he has just fulfilled a lifetime ambition by filling an entire wall of his home office with (full) bookcases. When not writing, he is usually lost with the help of a satnav on top of a large hill in the middle of nowhere.

He writes Dark Fantasy, fantasy he fantasises is funny, and books for children. Some of his pieces have won awards but he doesn’t like to talk about that as it draws attention to the fact that other pieces haven’t.

Connect With Will With Using These Links!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Cthulhu T-shirt on Etsy

Check out this cool Cthulhu t-shirt on my Etsy store:

Its available in sizes small to XXXL and the artwork is by the fantastically talented Luciana Nedelea - you can discover more of her artwork here:

Monday, 10 April 2017

Whatever it Takes - Keep Flying T-Shirt

Whatever it takes - Keep on flying with this t-shirt from the Magic Owl Collection.

Original artwork by Katie Stewart.

Available in sizes Small to XXXL.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Tau Ceti Mission - 00:00:04 - The Core of Understanding

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In the fourth second of his new existence Seb is introduced to multi-dimensional mathematics:

Guest Post - Mestlven - A Tale from Perilisc by Jesse Teller

In anticipation for the upcoming release of Mestlven - A Tale from Perilisc, Jesse Teller invites you to read an excerpt from the opening chapter.

Festival of The Pale

The Pale, the goddess of death, fixed her rotting eyes squarely on the city of Mestlven where grew a darkness, patient and terrible. Her murder lifted from the battlefields of Corlene to swoop and brood on Mestlven’s roofs and scream at her citizens. Enormous crows, two feet tall with four-foot wingspans, terrorized the city and ate her trash, her vermin, her dead. When those sources of rotting meat and bloated flesh ran out, the crows began hunting her young. The coming of the crows marked the goddess’s intent for the city to host her annual festival. The clergy of The Pale arrived in force while her citizens cringed and waited with dread.

Mort arrived in Mestlven on the eve of the festival, her garrote stashed in the cuff of her robe, her dagger hanging from her hip. She murmured the prayers of The Pale and witnessed the spectacle of the massive city. Built by a long-dead race of giants, the scale of the buildings reached beyond her understanding.

Her wagon lurched ahead, rumbling along the cobblestones. The idols it carried trembled. Navigating the hills and winding alleys of the city proved difficult. Citizens pressed in tight to see The Pale’s cloth march through their streets like the slow and steady onset of some plague. Hunched over the reins of the wagon, Mort was used to the way they stared, fear branded on every face. Her brown wool cloak, befitting a priestess of her rank, gave no hint of the trim body she hid within its folds. They could not hope to guess her size. With the grinning skull she had painted on her face, and the scowl their pie-eyed looks teased up from her, she knew their fear nearly crippled them. No city wished to host the Festival of The Pale, but for some reason the goddess’s considerable murder had chosen this town. Mort found her anticipation growing.

For long years she had been a brown robed priestess of The Pale. She longed for advancement within her order, for a better understanding of her goddess and a closeness to The Pale that had been lacking these past months. She thought again of her bishop’s groping hands and the rage they had inspired in her, and she felt at odds with her church’s leadership and its goals. She had never been chosen to attend the Festival of The Pale before, but she knew something grand was about to happen.

The Grim stalked ahead, the personification of The Pale in the world of man. She rode the great albino horse that never died, and a black fog issued from the hem of her rotting robes to crawl the ground in all directions, seeking out the corners and recesses of the city. She carried the staff that claimed everything before it. Mort had never been so close to The Grim, and her excitement for the festival brought her near to panting.

The procession stopped at the center of town. The Grim dropped heavy to the street beside her mount, and with a clawed hand, stroked the beast’s muscled flank. She shuffled forward, dragging her feet and leaning heavily on the staff until she reached the very center of the courtyard. There, she slowly lifted the staff a few inches from the ground and held it aloft.

“Wretched mother of death, we come to this place at this time to make tribute and receive tribute in your honor.” The Grim’s prayer broke across the air, dry like the rattling of bones. “I claim this city for the duration of the festival for you and your enjoyment.”

She slammed the staff into the ground. The street trembled as a circle of power exploded in all directions and embraced the entire city. The crows lifted into the air, screaming as they stained the Mestlven sky as black as a cloud of noxious gas issuing from a ruptured corpse.

Pre-order links:

About Jesse Teller

Jesse Teller fell in love with fantasy when he was five years old and played his first game of Dungeons & Dragons. The game gave him the ability to create stories and characters from a young age. He started consuming fantasy in every form and, by nine, was obsessed with the genre. As a young adult, he knew he wanted to make his life about fantasy. From exploring the relationship between man and woman, to studying the qualities of a leader or a tyrant, Jesse Teller uses his stories and settings to study real-world themes and issues.

Author Links:

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Sun Dragon Book Trailer

I'm excited to announce that Sun Dragon now has an awesome book trailer - a big thanks to Ramon Marett for his quality work!

2012: NASA's Curiosity Rover lands on Mars to search for signs of whether microbial life existed on the planet.
2018: The first alien lifeform, a simple wormlike creature is discovered, gripping the world's imagination.
2022: The first manned mission to Mars begins the longest and most dangerous journey ever undertaken by humankind.
From hundreds of potential candidates, six astronauts from countries around the world are selected to crew the historic mission. Led by Commander Samantha Collins, they must travel across the gulf of interplanetary space, over 150 million miles from home and help. Their mission is to investigate alien life, but what they discover is far beyond what anyone ever imagined...

The Sun Dragon story continues in the Tau Ceti Mission

Review Highlights
"The crew went to Mars to find a small worm, evidence of life outside of earth. What they found was amazing. I love this premise and the uncompromising way it played out for the rest of the book."

"At the very end, there is one description that is so stunning that it left me with a great sadness, but also with a great sense of beauty and hope, and it is what Sun Dragon is, really. Look beyond the words, read the book with your imagination."

"I thoroughly enjoyed this. The level of detail about space flight is astounding and for someone, like me, who has fantasised about being an astronaut since I was a lad it's riveting."

Buy now from Amazon (US):
Buy now from Amazon (UK):

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Sunday, 26 March 2017

Tau Ceti Mission - 00:00:03 - Shapes in the Dark

Seb discovers shapes within the virtual realm he's trapped in:

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Five to Five Thousand Challenge - Gavin Smith

Author Gavin Smith is the latest to take the Five to Five Thousand Challenge and share his thoughts on what the future holds.


When Michael told me about this blog I thought it sounded like a great idea.  I did, however, find it a little daunting.  Anyone who's read my work will know that I am much more a writer of adventure stories than I am a futurist, but the challenge appealed to me and I thought I would have a crack at it.  So here goes:

5 years from now - The Post Factual Age

Utilising new-media forms, propaganda, and just making-shit-up, old-style capitalist opportunists, often masquerading as white supremacists/nationalists, take control of, or destabilise certain strategic countries.   They encourage isolationist and divisive policies to dissuade a united resistance against corporate abuses and the increasing power of oligarchies.  They systematically de-regulate certain industries, whilst stripping a way the rights of the average person in the street.  This leads to a series of economic disasters and widespread civil disturbances

Land grabs in Eastern Europe and a series of proxy wars leaves the world constantly on the edge of a global conflict.  A resurgent Russia and China become the new superpowers, with India following closely behind, after Western Europe and America effectively self-sabotage.  The real power, however, are the multinational megacorporations.  Thanks to de-regulation many of them start hiring military contractors, effectively creating their own standing mercenary armies.

50 Years from now - The Post Capitalist Age (the Quiet Revolution)

Short termism and environmental neglect leaves the world on a knife-edge.  Oligarchs lock themselves in armed compounds whilst automated factories, that employ nobody, churn out goods that people can't afford.  As a result traditional economies begin to collapse.  Around the world, however, people start to opt out of a zero-sum game that they have absolutely no stake in.

Initially adopting E-commerce barter systems and then establishing a secure and stable cryptocurrency, small farming, craft and tech cooperatives start to trade amongst themselves.  This movement grows and grows, micro and crowd financing allows the tech and craft co-operatives to create mircrofacturing facilities.

Slowly the Quiet Revolution grows.  Disparate talents from all over the world come together online, forming think tanks on everything from alternative socioeconomics, to orbital engineering. 

At the same time as the Quiet Revolution is happening Pan-African cooperation increases and the continent experiences a period of prolonged stability and growth, finding itself able to (more) sustainably exploit its rich bounty of resources.     

Despite the Quiet Revolution, despite the stability in Africa, and despite the significant drop in population, the result of the knock-on effects of various economic disasters, wars and climate catastrophes, Earth's environment is still struggling.  Various think tanks around the world realise that for humanity to have a future they need to look beyond their own world.  Released of the profit-for-profit's sake/bottom line predatory form of capitalism, and motivated by the potential collapse of the Earth's ecosphere, tech co-operatives and science think tanks are able to make extraordinary breakthroughs.  Advances in the fields of warm fusion, carbon nano-fibres and super conductors lead to the largest and most ambitious engineering project in human history.  The Beanstalk: a huge cargo elevator that climbs from the plains of Africa high into orbit, providing a cost-effective and safer way for humanity to leave Earth and explore space.  Entirely crowd funded, the vast majority of humanity have a stake in the elevator, and profit from it.  Slowly, but surely humanity began to bootstrap its way out into the Solar System.

500 Years from now - The Posthuman Age

Humanity has colonised the Solar System and begun its first steps beyond that.  Advances in genetics, cybernetics and biotech have allowed humanity to technologically evolve to deal with the rigours of life in space and on other planets/moons.  Humanity now comes in a myriad of different shapes and forms.  Concepts like nationality have become irrelevant.  Approaching a post-scarcity society, humanity is engaged in a species wide cooperative bid to explore space.  Science, technology and the universe itself becomes the new metanarrative.

Seeing the mistakes they made with Earth, humans decide to mould themselves to the environment rather than terraform, when they colonise Mars.  Extensive automated aerostat gas mining operations take place in Jupiter's turbulent atmosphere.  Saturn also provides gas as well as ice from its rings.  The Earth itself is renewed, having been allowed time to recover from the depredations of the industrial era.  Cities are now wide-open, green areas.  Plant life and living space for reintroduced animals are designed into the architecture.

Physicist think tanks 'peopled' by AI, cybernetic and genetically enhanced intellects plumb the mysteries of the universe.  Humanity's first interstellar expedition leaves the solar system amongst a wave of species-wide enthusiasm and excitement.  The expedition takes the form of a generation ship, effectively a city-sized interstellar habitat, propelled by a pusher plate using repurposed nuclear weapons.  It's destination: an 'Earth-like planet' orbiting Proxima Centauri.

5000 Years from now - The Post Science Age

What was once humanity has technologically evolved at an exponential rate.  A singularity of consciousness is achieved.  Able to observe quantum events, science becomes instinctual and difficult to differentiate from magic.

Advanced understanding of five dimensional physics allows post humanity to travel throughout the universe.  The make contact with alien species that they deem they will not negatively impact when they reveal their existence.  Many of these species are non-biological in nature.

Finally as all the secrets of the universe are unlocked by post-singularity consciousnesses, what was once humanity is faced with a choice.  Some choose to remain locked inside their bodies of designer flesh and technology, which take the form of everything from an entire artificial star system, to a diffuse network of femnites.  Others, however, chose to leave behind their flesh and tech bodies and use their consciousness to explore other realms.  The species that began existence as little more than a few cells of life in a shallow warm sea, moves on to the next adventure.  

"Hippy utopian bullshit?"  Well perhaps but if you've read any of my books then you'll know I've done my time at the dystopian coalface.  With some of the events unfolding in the world today I thought that I should write something upbeat. 

"Not the way that science, economics and human nature work?"  Again, perhaps, though I am fiction writer rather than a scientist, economist or sociologist.  What I am conscious of is that much that is in the 50 year section is within our grasp.  To achieve it comes down to a question of priorities, a question of human decisions.  What do we want?  Should we exist as a species to simply service oligarchies, a model we seem to be moving towards, or do we want to explore space?  "Inner and outer", to quote Bill Hicks.  I have no real problem with people being rich but when you look at the amount of capital that is locked up, doing so little, it is almost as if it has become an obscene prison for the oligarchs in question.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed the above flights of fancy, and thanks to Mike for the opportunity (to gain further understanding of my intellectual shortcomings).  If you do fancy something a little grittier then please check out my new novel: Hangman's Daughter (Bastard Legion Book 1), available on Kindle in the UK here and the US here and on Audiobook in the UK here and the US here.

Gavin G. Smith is the Dundee-born author of the hard edged, action-packed SF novels VeteranWar in HeavenThe Age of Scorpio and A Quantum Mythology, The Beauty of Destruction, as well as the short story collection Crysis Escalation and his most recent book, The Hangman’s Daughter (Book 1 of the Bastard Legion) is out now.   He has collaborated with Stephen Deas as the gestalt entity Gavin Deas on Empires: the First Battle and Elite Dangerous: Wanted. You can find out more about Gavin by visiting his website,  following him on Twitter @gavingsmith or Facebook.

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