Notes from genre author Stephen Palmer

Category: Science Fiction

The Autist news

I’m delighted to say my new AI novel The Autist has formally been accepted for publication by Infinity Plus Books. At a guess, it should be out some time in the first half of next year.

Tomorrow I’ll begin a series of five pieces looking at the relationship between internet use and mental health. A couple of further pieces will follow the week after.


Infinity Plus Books

Tales From The Spired Inn

To my great surprise, and delight, this half term I’ll be writing a couple of new short stories from the same world as my debut Memory Seed. The editor of a well regarded UK independent press asked me to write them for a slim collection (30,000 words) to be published next year; and although I did blog a couple of years ago about returning to the city of Kray, I never thought I’d properly do it.

It’s been a peculiar experience. I even had to read a few chapters of the novel to remind myself what it was like…

Some years after the publication of Memory Seed I did write and have published in magazines and in an anthology three ‘Tales From The Spired Inn.’ Those will be part of next year’s work, along with a specially written introduction. So… it’s back to rain and abundant greenery.

Memory Seed ebook cover

Memory Seed

Hairy London audio book

I’m delighted to say that the audio book of Hairy London, read by one of the most talented voices in the biz, Roger Watson, is to be released by Andrews UK. Hairy London was in many regards a comeback novel for me, following a decade of difficult events in my personal life and elsewhere, which meant that only Urbis Morpheos was published between 2005 and 2014. Luckily my esteemed editor Keith Brooke took the plunge, to the pleasure and bafflement of my SF fans.

Hairy London is of course a surreal, silly, slipstream novel, which plays all sorts of games via word-play and mental images. Roger has done the work more than justice, with his delivery and his considerable skill at voices and accents. It’s going to be interesting to see how it does!

“In the end I was left wanting more.”

“I highly recommend this fun, engaging novel.”

“Hairy London was a real page turner and I found it difficult to put down.”

“I enjoyed every page of this book…”

“Thought-provoking and a lot of fun…”

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Hairy London – cover

Writing Magazine profile

Big thanks to freelance writer, editor and all-round decent chap Gary Dalkin for assembling an author’s profile for this month’s edition of Writing Magazine. Available now at WH Smiths etc.


Tommy Catkins new review

Great new review from respected author Toby Frost up at SFF Chronicles.

‘… Tommy Catkins won’t be for everyone, but I really liked its blending of historical reality and whimsical – but sinister – fantasy. It’s an enjoyable and ultimately unsettling story, that (much like its hero!) defies easy analysis. Recommended.’

Tommy cover only 19 June

Asylum Steampunk weekend

I had a terrific couple of days in Lincoln at the Asylum Steampunk Festival. Invited as a guest author by Nimue and Tom Brown, I met lots of great people, made new friends and fans, sold all my copies of Tommy Catkins (see photo below of me looking tired half way through Sunday…), gave two talks – one on whether or not automata can become conscious, and one on how to approach writing a novel – met fellow author Craig Hallam, got invited to his and to one other event, and spoke with Tom about the three book covers he’s going to design. So, all in all, it was a fab couple of days!

steve asylum

  • photo courtesy Tink Bell.

Tommy Catkins early reviews

A few customer reviews beginning to come in:

Thrilling, sad story about a strange corner of history and a mesmerising imaginary world. (Ben, on amazon)

This one doesn’t leave you warm and fuzzy, but it does leave you thinking. Tommy Catkins will take you back in time, and the uneasy feelings linger well after finishing the book. (Shellie, on goodreads)

Tommy cover only 19 June

Factory Girl new covers

I’m thrilled to announce that steampunk artist Tom Brown (he of ‘Hopeless, Maine’ fame amongst much else) is going to create three book covers for my Factory Girl trilogy. Tom is a well known and highly respected artist, whose mysterious style of painting is ideally suited to the steampunk machinations of the Factory Girl world…


Tommy Catkins Guardian review

Reviewed yesterday in Guardian Books. “Stephen Palmer likes to ring the changes…” Yes. He does.

Tommy cover only 19 June

A Tommy Catkins Walk

As I’ve said in various interviews, going for a walk at the end of a day, or after an intense few hours writing a chapter, is for me a vital part of life. (Many HSPs use this technique to recharge their batteries after a day at work or after socialising.) When I wrote Tommy Catkins during my winter holiday 2016-17 I went for the same walk at the end of each day, which I named my Tommy Catkins walk. I live in the North Shropshire plains, where there are many marshy or waterlogged regions – to the north of where I live is the nationally significant Whixall Mosses, a site renowned for rare or otherwise unusual bog plants.

The town at the edge of which I live is situated in the middle of a drained marsh, and so there are many waterlogged areas around it, even now, in the middle of a drought. So for today’s post I’ve taken a few photographs of places that inspired the geography, and the plant and animal life of the island upon which Tommy finds himself…

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