Sunday, 31 March 2013

BEACONS:stories for our not so distant future

                                  Review by Julie Bertagna

Basking in last spring's unexpected heatwave, we joked that global warming wasn’t so bad, after all. This year, a dramatic Arctic ice melt has exported a long, bitter cold that feels like Narnia’s endless winter, where Christmas never comes. And now Arran has plunged into a mini Ice age as the jet stream that gives the UK a relatively mild climate, and makes Arran’s island climate mild enough for palm trees to line Brodick Bay, has gone awol. An email from the wonderful children’s author Alison Prince describes a snowed-in community, with emergency generators breaking down if too many washing machines are switched on at once, a scenario uncannily like a scene from post-apocalyptic fiction. Even the bees are in trouble, thanks to us, and that means we’re in big trouble too.

Having written a popular YA ‘climate change’ trilogy, I’ve been struck by the reluctance of mainstream adult publishing to explore such an urgent, imaginatively rich theme. There seems to be a nervousness about how to tackle such a big idea, how adult readers would react. So I couldn’t wait to get my hands on BEACONS, an anthology of ‘for our not so distant future’ with stories from some of my very favourite authors - Joanne Harris, AL Kennedy, Alastair Gray, Janice Galloway, Lawrence Norfolk and many more talents.  

BEACONS is an unsettling read in these times - a kaleidoscope of visions, flights of fancy and warnings; poignant, tragic, bleakly comic. In every story, urgent undercurrents tug, dislocate or rudely shove us beyond the lie that our lives are immune from the vast global changes that are already happening. Many end with the feeling of standing on a precipice - and a sense of a powerful story’s unique ability to simultaneously fire the imagination and emotions, while sparking exciting new interconnections in the neural pathways of the brain.   

These are ‘real’ horror stories about the biggest issue of our age by some of our very best writers, and for that reason BEACONS deserves to be on the shelves of every bookshop, secondary school and public library in the land; to be read, reviewed and debated widely. Yet that seems unlikely. In the same week reports suggest schools in England will have to downgrade/ erase discussion of climate change in the curriculum (though thankfully not in Scotland), Beacons' editor Gregory Norminton tweeted that no one at the BBC will touch the anthology. Has climate change literally become too hot to handle, censored, too controversial for debate? 

A few years ago, I wrote a story called The Imagineers for a 2020 project, inspired by think-tank workshops where business executives and creatives met to brainstorm future challenges. Already, in 2013, my vision of Arctic Scotland, with icebergs in the Clyde, feels all too scarily real... but what stayed with me most of all was a sense that imagineering a brave new future needs all our talents, and that stories can help us to see where we are and envision a way forward. 

Carpe diem is the old saying: seize the day. But that’s only the first part. Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero is the full quote - seize the day, putting as little trust as possible in the ones to come. 

The future is unforeseen so do not leave it to chance, is what the ancient warning means. Seize the day and do everything in your power to make your future better. 

Grab a copy of BEACONS. Slip one to a young person. In the age of social media, censorship is a fence we can all slip under. Let’s all seize the debate about our future.

As always, we’d love to hear what you think... 

*You can read my 2020 story, THE IMAGINEERS, and others, here

*BEACONS is edited by Gregory Norminton (Twitter @GDRNorminton). Buy it in your local bookshop or on Amazon here.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Cover Reveal 'The Fall' and Giveaway!

by Claire Merle

THE FALL has a cover!

Finally, I can show you the cover for THE FALL - the second and final part in my Dystopian thriller, The Glimpse Duet.

To celebrate, my publishers have organised a special offer for The Glimpse on Amazon Kindle

For a limited time only (2 weeks I think, but it may be shorter) you can purchase The Glimpse for only 99 pence, HERE.

As an added celebration, I'm giving away the FIRST advanced copy of The Fall! Actually, this hasn't even come off the print yet so you will be the first to read it. As soon as I receive advanced copies, I'll be sending it to the winner!

The giveaway is international. To enter to win the signed copy of The Fall all you have to do is tweet:

THE GLIMPSE is on special offer on Amazon Kindle! @ClaireMerle

The giveaway will run until Thursday 4th APRIL 2013. So feel free to tweet any time between now and then! On the 4th April, I'll pick a winner at random from all the tweets that have @ClaireMerle in them, so please don't leave that out. (If you are the winner and you would prefer a signed copy of The Glimpse, that can be arranged!)


In the not-so-distant future, society has been divided into Pures and Crazies according to the results of a DNA test. But Ana has uncovered dangerous evidence that the tests are fake.

Determined to expose the lies, Ana escapes her Pure Community and makes it to the Enlightenment Project. Back in the arms of Cole, nothing is simple. Some believe her presence in the protest camp jeopardises their safety, others believe she is the Angel from their prophetic Writings . . .

As Ana struggles with her past and her identity, she must take greater and greater risks for the truth. Threatened with losing everyone she cares about, can she finish what she’s started?

Hope you like the cover! 

Friday, 15 March 2013

Fractured giveaways, happy dancing, and general hysteria!!!

by Teri Terry

Fractured is published on 4th of April by Orchard Books in the UK: yippee!! And I'm SO close to finished writing the third book of the trilogy for next year. I'm having trouble concentrating with all this excitement going on, so I thought I'd spend the afternoon dancing about the house and giving things away.

The giveaway is now closed but do read on if you want to! The winner of a copy of Fractured is..... Barmybex!

Leave a comment on this blog post, below, for a chance to win a copy of Fractured: 
The winner will be chosen at random and posted here on Demention. This is international. If you live anywhere in the world besides the US/Canada, you'll get a lovely final copy of Fractured as being published on 4th April by Orchard Books, as above. If you live in the US/Canada you will get a lovely proof copy of the US version of Fractured, published by Penguin with Nancy Paulsen Books; it looks a lot like the cover to the right, but has 'advance uncorrected galleys - not for sale' along the bottom of it. This closes on 4th April at noon (UK time).

BUT wait... there's more!
There are also giveaways on Goodreads!
There is this one, which is international except for US/Canada for FIVE copies of Fractured: 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Fractured by Teri Terry


by Teri Terry

Giveaway ends April 04, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

AND because I didn't want anyone in the US/Canada to feel left out, I'm doing another one of three copies of US version of Slated as published by Nancy Paulsen Books 24th Jan of this year; this is also on Goodreads. That one I just put up so they have to approve it before it goes live, which should be soon.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Slated by Teri Terry


by Teri Terry

Giveaway ends April 15, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

AND the REALLY exciting news is....
I'm not allowed to tell you yet. This is such torture: I hate keeping things to myself - I'm fairly rubbish at it, too - but I'm going to try very hard not to spill until 4th of April, when it'll get a mention here and go up on my website,

And events:
I'll be at Heffers bookshop in Cambridge for my very first public signing for Fractured, on 20th April, noon to 2ish. More events will be posted soon on my website, here

Don't forget to leave a comment below to have a chance to win Fractured.
Now back to happy dancing...

Monday, 11 March 2013

World Book Day

To celebrate World Book Day on March 7th we have each chosen our favourite childhood book, teenage book and adult book. So to find out what each of us liked best as a child, a teenager and now as adults, read on.

And we'd love to hear what your favourite book was when you were a child, a teenager and an adult, and what you think of our choices.

Claire Merle - Here are my book picks:

Claire Merle
As a child: The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton.
I can't wait to read this again with my boys. The story had such a big impact on me that the children's adventures became entangled with my own memories and it's as though I actually went to that magical place. 

I read this book at school and I've never fallen out of love with it. 

It's almost impossible to just pick one book from so many years of reading and so many amazing books, but 'The Sky is Everywhere' definitely deserves more attention! Reading this book is like taking a bath in starlight. For my goodreads review go here:

Teri Terry
Teri Terry - I was really stumped with this at first. I love so many books: how do you choose? But then I realized that as far as childhood and teenage favourites, it was easy: I have The Shelf. I’ve moved a million times (nearly), sometimes literally from one end of the earth to the other, and these are the only books that made it through every single space-challenged move from where I first started reading, Canada:

Going by broken spines, it’d have to be Tolkien’s Lord ofthe Rings when I was a child (I first read it at 11), and Heilein’s Stranger ina Strange Land as a teen. The latter was dated when I read it (first published in the 60's) and yes, it shows in the sexist attitudes of the time. But I loved the whole idea of someone raised by Martians and returning to earth, knowing nothing of where he finds himself, and the magic of how he changes the world he finds. I guess I often felt like a Martian at that age.

Favourite book now that I’m ‘grown up’? I can’t pick. Honestly, I’ve tried, but my favourites change all the time. There isn’t a rational answer. Though one thing is true: the revolving list is all not meant for grown ups. David Almond's Skellig will always hold a very special place as it was reading it and seeing the magic that children's books still hold for me that made me desperate to write them.

Julienne Durber
Julienne Durber -  I have to admit that, like Teri, my childhood choice is really The Lord of the Rings and it still counts as the story I've read the most. But as Teri has bagged that one, here are my choices:

My childhood book, bought from a jumble sale because it had a dog on the front is Fluke by James Herbert. No horror, sex or violence just a facinating take on a simple idea - especially when you are 11!

My teen book is One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Chosen off my grammar school library's bookshelves in a crass attempt to look intelectual (it's Russian, but really short!) it is the first novel I read from cover to cover in one go, then reread two days later.

And like Teri and Claire, my adult choice changes all the time. But discounting anything I have read in the last couple of years, or books by friends (and as there was no Tolkien in my first choice) I'll say Tolkien's Leaf by Niggle - a tiny gem entirely devoid of elves, orcs, dwarves or rings.

Julie Bertagna
Julie Bertagna - Never thought of Heidi as dystopian fiction? Well, it was for me, aged four. I was fascinated by this tale of a young girl ripped from the world she knows after her parents’ deaths and transported to an alien landscape where all the adults are harsh tyrants. But little Heidi changes her cruel new world and reclaims her destiny by sheer wit and will.  

In my teens I hurtled into sci-fi but (shock-horror) since YA was not yet invented, I trawled the adult shelves of my library and had my mind blown by Three Go Back, a 1930s time travel love story where a crashed airship plunges the survivors into a pre-historic world of the first humans. Beautiful and strange, it's stayed with me ever since.

I can’t choose just one favourite book but the story that’s been most powerful for me all my adult life, and as a writer, is actually a poem - Tennyson’s Ulysses. Read it and you'll see why...

Now tell us your choices - we'd love to know whay they are.