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Free Downloads

One road trip and the opening chapters of three novels are free to download in the hope of getting feedback. I’d love to hear what doesn’t work for you, what’s missing, what’s downright confusing, where you gave up, what’s wrong and where the plot-holes are.
Let the Time Come

Let the Time Come, 2nd Ed (apocalyptic fiction)

Pandemic bird flu triggers a new world order. It throws Greg and Jane together as global civilisation threatens to collapse. Survival of the smartest transforms their lives and the lives of their friends. The human dieback splinters society into tribes. There’s still time for redemption.

Until the virus mutates to deliver its final strike.

From YouWriteOn: “…an original voice…” “Three good characters on which to base a strong story.” “…lucid and intelligent…”

This edition will probably turn the book into a two-volume story, the first tentatively entitled The First Waves. Download the opening 160 pages.


The Honeyeaters' Tree

The Honeyeaters’ Tree (travel and birds)

A quest for this quintessentially antipodean family of birds uncovers the tree of life and the landscapes of Australia & New Zealand.

From the UK and a Singapore stopover the traveller journeys to a week around Perth. Then two months in a campervan from Adelaide to Cairns, Queensland. He learns how the tree of life connects the whole globe.

The route also skirts floods and cyclones. A fortnight in Tasmania and Victoria, with its fatal fires, concludes this far from straightforward quest for the 73 honeyeaters. Finally, New Zealand offers a coda with its own branch of the family.

It’s not just birds that fill out the story: it’s a last chance to witness other survivors from the Triassic before they succumb to this human-caused mass extinction. Cities, culture shock and vanilla tourist attractions also play cameo roles.

This is the entire free book, especially for blog visitors.


The British Birding Year

The British Birding Year

January’s bitter cold doesn’t freeze the birder’s enthusiasm for starting a new year list, with even ordinary species exciting a thrill. February may not be so chilly and may even prompt the odd bird into song; it’s time to mop up the more difficult winter visitors. March sees the arrival of our first non-resident breeders and lowers the curtain on Act One. But the drama continues over the next nine months in a series of personal vignettes illustrating an ever-changing birdscape.

Plus a checklist ordered by Britain’s most common birds and our migrants’ early/late dates. This is the entire free book, especially for blog visitors.


Clearing the Brushes

Clearing the Brushes (autobiographical fiction)

Timothy and Samuel grow up in the 1960s and 1970s of disappearing railways, First Division football, pop and rock music, television and the Counter Culture. And girls (birds).

These will hinder the boys’ attempt at seeing all 512 of the Brush Type 4 diesel locos. “Clearing” them. Can they fit it all in?

Forty years later Timothy casts a Proustian eye over the past and tries to cope with work and, still, birds – women and feathered ones.

These are the opening chapters. From YouWriteOn: “…intriguing… highly polished… it reads beautifully.” “…a waltz down memory lane.” “Novel, quirky and fun. I enjoyed this a lot.” “…many a chortle.”


Flight of the Ark

Flight of the Ark (high tech science fiction)

It’s 2169 and a new Ice Age threatens civilisation. Ex-commodore Bonar Hall will provide the computer power for a twelve-year emigration to 18 Scorpii. Not everyone wants him to go: he has an expensive past. But Flight Pilot Heather Barnard is going. So too among the colonists is former model Aurora Nova. Bonar owes Heather; he doesn’t know Aurora, yet. All this may not matter if the emigration fleet doesn’t make it, and history is not on their side.

These are the opening chapters.