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Topics - geoffnelder

Success Stories / Kepler's Son
November 23, 2022, 07:13:19 PM
If you've a moment please click my blog link and like it. It's about my Kepler's Son published today. Now the hateful task of promo. Anyone know a cheap publicist?
Writer's Talk / POV poser
July 28, 2021, 04:48:15 PM
A book I am enjoying is annoying me.
The much acclaimed, best-seller "Leave the World Behind" by Rumaan Alam is published by Bloomsbury in 2020 and is a kind of mystery thriller whereby a family on holiday in a remote location discovers a news and media blackout. A mysterious loud noise is heard giving rise to all sorts of speculation of asteroid strike, terrorist strike, nuclear power station meltdown, etc.
The thing is, while the characters are strong, the plot (for me) compelling and page turning, the POV is so head hopping its driving me as crazy as the characters. Perhaps that's the plan: to turn me into the demented beings in the book. Yes, we have an omniscient POV, but editors frown on it because, like me, the poor reader loses engagement several times a page when thoughts hop from one to another with no section breaks. It's not just a case of an experienced author and publisher knowing and thus allowed to flout the 'rules'. The author isn't a novice although much of the narrative is rather naïve: such as the dialogue is often repetitive as real life is but therefore as boring as real life can be.
Is this the way of things now? Do I stop encouraging my editing clients to stick to one POV per section for novels? Do I chuck everything into the air for my own writing? The more I read of contemporary writing the more I know nothing!
Gaston is the science officer on the crashlanded ship, SUPPOSE WE. He becomes fascinated by what appears to be an alien butterfly.

There I was innocently perusing that Gaston's butterfly in my Suppose We trilogy is green when it occurred to me to wonder how? I've never seen a green butterfly but they exist. My research uncovered the revolting fact that butterfly poop (or more accurately their bile) is used to make some colours. I blogged it. Only short. You might be amused.
The Bar & Grill / training for debates
May 19, 2021, 08:42:34 AM
In the 60s I belonged to a political debating group. We'd have games where a topic was drawn from a hat & we'd talk about if for 5 mins. One of us had only one topic he could speak about – transport. He knew nothing else. When it was his turn his topic was Lyndon B Johnson's trip to the UK. He started with, "LBJ arrived on his specially adapted 707-320B airliner with the serial number 62-26000. The rivets on the wings were quarter-inch—" We stopped him. Tell us about what LBJ said!
"LBJ said he liked the Rover P5 car that took him to the embassy, with its 115 horsepower engine and..."
Success Stories / Uncalled for acceptance
April 10, 2021, 01:19:37 PM
I hastily wrote a blog last night about something I see on our regular walks here in our new home in Manchester, England. Eammon Murphy (reviewer and editor)  liked it so much he's asked to syndicate to his Alt History Magazine! Here's the blog
Success Stories / Vengeance Island
November 16, 2020, 07:39:18 PM
Finally, the rewrite of Xaghra's Revenge has happened and was last night released as Vengeance Island as an ebook in the first instance. So if you didn't get around to acquiring Xaghra's Revenge then grab this kindle (free on Kindle Unlimited) for less than a dollar or a pound. The blurb and universal Amazon link from any country is A modern woman is descended from pirates while her lover came from their abductees? Or the other way round?
Vengeance Island is set in Malta, Gozo, France, Libya, and a harem in Constantinople.
Success Stories / The Chaos of Mokii
October 03, 2020, 02:14:13 PM
Imagine a city populated entirely by the combined imagination of its inhabitants. That's the premise of The Chaos of Mokii, an experimental, metaphysical short story.
It was published by Solstice Publishing in 2016 but when the contract ran out they activated a new policy of not publishing single short stories. So I have used Kindle Create and thrown it on there.
If you've not seen it, here it is
Success Stories / Alien Exit
July 12, 2020, 06:34:55 PM

My first science fiction novel was Exit, Pursued by a Bee published by Double Dragon in 2008. It won the P&E award and a few minor stuff but the publishing house is closing. Rather than let all those words evaporate into space, a friend persuaded me to self-publish it with Amazon KDP. There are tools to help though I have little stamina these days for small print and a million options. I suppose I could keep the same title but it might confuse because of the millions of second hand copies around (ha ha). So besides revising the text, adding acknowledgements, review quotes etc I changed the name to Alien Exit. So there it is, ebook only, less than three dollars. If you've not tried it before here's the cheeky blurb:
Alien Exit is driven by a feisty female astronaut, a Palaeolithic mongrel called Kur, Glastonbury Festival chaos, steamy sex in space, a loose-cannon journalist and a mad-cap general. All to overcome time-quakes created when aliens depart Earth.
ebook only – universal Amazon link

Getting Published / Suspense landed
April 27, 2020, 07:46:54 PM
No money in it, but Scifi Lampoon accepted a daft story from me. I was struck by the image in a film of a plane suspended in mid air. Surprisingly, the film carried on without using this visual wonder, as if it was just a suspension of time for a few seconds. I wanted more, so wrote a tale of such. Scifi Lampoon is a new venture and my SUSPENSE story will be published in the summer in their 3rd edition.
As agents say, it helps with name "recognition". At my age this recognition phase will go on forever.
Success Stories / Cotard
March 28, 2020, 02:22:43 PM
I only discovered after publication that the editor had made me the featured writer for the April issue of The Horrozine with my Cotard story. Cotard is a real syndrome where the sufferer believes they are already dead. Perfect topic for a horror story. It's not a blood and gore one but hopefully imbued with the landscape around the Venetian lagoons and a nunnery. If you like you can read it for free here

Writer's Talk / Library talk - oh heck
December 11, 2019, 05:48:54 PM
A Nottingham library book club have asked me to talk to them about my historical novel, Xaghra's Revenge. It's not until March so I've plenty of time to worry about it. I've done the talk with a Chester library club of about 6 people and one in Malta with only 4. The Nottingham librarian said there will likely be around 30 people waiting to trip me up and snarl at my subjunctive clauses.
Getting Published / FREE to read Failsafe
October 25, 2019, 03:56:08 PM
If you have a quiet moment you could do worse than pop over to another planet and see if Lithic Ash (protagonist named after geology) remembers something critical in his mission.
It's a free short science fiction story published this month by Aphelion. Please click on the link below.
It will help the site's editor to see if anyone clicks on my story ;) Leave a comment there if you like it.

Getting Published / Falling Up
June 25, 2019, 07:03:28 PM
I've written the last chapter of Falling Up which is the sequel to Suppose We. I won't send it to the publisher yet until my critique group has read and commented on it. They're really good at finding typos. It should be out by November.
Success Stories / Suppose We
May 14, 2019, 11:59:46 PM
Is there anything special about May 20th?
Yes! Five important events occurred on that day:
1498 Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama discovers the sea route to India.
1609 Shakespeare's sonnets are published for the first time.
1932 Amelia Earhart is the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic.
1972 Gaynor Smith marries Geoff Nelder in Latchford Methodist Chapel tucked in between the Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal. Yes 47 years ago!
2019 SUPPOSE WE is published – the first surreal science fiction novella in the Flying Crooked series.
When a ship crashlands on a faraway planet the crew needs local help. Unfortunately, the natives are a million years ahead of us. Ignored, the crew has to find a way to get attention.
Bringing back a sense of discovery and wonder to science fiction.
Magdelena Ball at Compulsive Reader: There's always an element of action, a hint of steamy romance, and Nelder's trademark twist.
John F Keane there is great sensory engagement here and many great phrases and descriptions. A masterclass in those, in fact.
It's not May 20th yet but you can preorder the Kindle on Amazon already at
The image on the cover is from this strange planet in the Keplerian 20 system and so is the butterfly. It's alien. It's not a real butterfly yet wondrous.
Published with great foresight by the indie publisher LL-Publications.
The Bar & Grill / A film that teased
January 31, 2019, 02:56:04 PM
I watched a DVD last night entitled The Ice Breaker. It's about a Russian icebreaker ship in Antarctic waters in the 1980s. It nearly did a Titanic by coming too close to a huge iceberg. The interest to me is that when the ship sailed away, the iceberg followed it! What a brilliant science-fantasy idea. Sure enough when the ship stalled in thick ice the iceberg caught up. However, the bulk of the story was about the way such a community of sailors, scientists and KGB battled minds and sometimes bodies when they were stranded for over 100 days. Sadly, nothing came of why the iceberg followed them. I just hoped somehow the iceberg had developed sentience and... well, you know me.
I dug a bit deeper into the films development and discovered to my shock that it's based on a real event! The ship had really encountered a glacier that followed it and the crew endured being stranded for 133 days. No fantasy involved at all.
Or was there? The iceberg eventually broke up. Had the alien / giant squid / sentient ocean current given up?
A few details here

Have you ever watched a movie that seemed to offer one concept but it turned out to be different?
Ask a Question / Opinions wanted on a cover art
December 02, 2018, 02:14:07 PM
Honest opinions please. My upcoming science fiction novella is being edited by the publishers (LL-Publications) as we speak. Here is a draft of the coverart. We are experimenting with the font and like its boldness but is it readable for you? The story involves human astronauts on another planet. There is an alien butterfly involved. (you know me so it isn't really a butterfly). It's the font - what do you think please?
I don't know how to show photos here now that photobucket is a pain.

If you are on facebook the link is here

If you are on twitter the link is

Writer's Talk / Amazon delivery woes
October 01, 2018, 10:30:43 AM
The Amazon delivery saga continues. I'd paid in advance for 12 copies of Xaghra's Revenge to go to Bargate Bookshop, Gozo one of the Maltese islands in the Mediterranean; another 12 to Bookworm bookshop, Gozo and 10 to come here in Chester, UK - all back in April. 12 arrived at Bookworm but water damaged so Amazon promised a replacement. Meanwhile that shop wanted a further 12, so I ordered those too. All via the publisher at a generous author discount so I don't lose money when the bookshops send me 10 euros per copy. So far those shops have received no more copies. Amazon's KDP keep messing up the deliveries. They sent my 10 copies to Canada then said they cannot deliver any more to either Canada nor the Maltese islands nor Australia and a bunch of other places. They promised refunds but I said I need books not refunds. So publisher switched back to using Amazon's Createspace last week.
24 copies arrived this morning - here in Chester! Not the 10 copies I wanted for a talk in June, but possibly the 24 copies that are supposed to go to Gozo!

The publisher is going to try again to get Amazon to use tracking to find out what's gone wrong and how to put it right.
Good thing lives are not dependent on our books.

My other publisher uses POD via Lightning Source. A bit more expensive but so far 100% reliable.
Success Stories / Incremental or mental?
September 19, 2018, 08:34:10 AM
Did you enjoy The Twilight Zone, Tales from the Darkside, and just the story that follows a slight abnormality in everyday life? A taste of what is to come. This collection of surreal short stories are of mixed genre but mostly science fiction, fantasy, and a bit mad. Or, as one beta-reader put it: "More mental than incremental."
Example: a pothole doubles in size daily near Madrid. Is it merely subsidence? Another appears at its antipodal point in New Zealand. When will it stop? Does it stop?
A house in London is hit by a grape-sized meteorite. And again same time the next day, and again...Why and how does the owner inadvertently profit?
A man awakes on his ceiling and can't move...
It will be published on October 6th 2018 by LL-Publications who produced ARIA. Why October 6th? It's in honour of my mother's birthday. She had joined me up to the Children's Science Fiction Book Club when I was just old enough to read.
Pre-order now! Cheaper than a coffee and cake. This link gives you your Amazon Kindle anywhere in the world.
Writer's Talk / Worries before a book tour
April 21, 2018, 06:02:56 PM
I don't know. I took enough books to do a simple signing at the hotel in Malta that offered to host me seeing as I'd stayed there to do research and write Xaghra's Revenge over the last 12 years. No sooner had the hotel put up posters on their windows, entertainments board (haha) and on facebook than I received 4 more engagements. Me! Who'd rather be asleep under the desk in the lobby than meet too many people. I sold out. Good although it meant disappointing a few people who'd come to a bookshop to see me on Gozo. However, the owner has agreed to be a stockist so more will be there in a couple of weeks. I blogged the experience here along with a link to the excerpt I read to a posh Salon group and to the good folk in the Gozo Central library.
Writer's Talk / Creativity
March 26, 2018, 10:03:13 AM
I've been thinking again about the randomness of the nature of creativity. I found two illustrations both involving roads / traffic that amuse me.
Henri Poincare (he predicted gravitational waves before Einstein) in 1905 solved a tricky mathematical problem while stepping on to a bus. Imagine the conductor yelling at Henri while the professor froze mid-step. Dépêchez-vous!

Roger Penrose, the mathematician, similarly experienced a creative moment when he crossed a road in the late 1960s – he'd been in conversation with Steven Hawkins among other thinkers and realised that if a star collapsed beyond a certain point they wouldn't be able to expand again – black hole.

Not that I count myself in such august company but the original idea for ARIA: Left Luggage a novel involving infectious amnesia came while cycling up a steep Welsh hill.

Anyone here had an idea burst in on them while doing something quite banal?