Notes from genre author Stephen Palmer

Category: Science Fiction

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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Four Influences

A new short article is now up at SFF World, describing four influential books in my life. Special thanks to Mark Yon for setting this up.


Tommy Catkins 1st review

First review just in; captures the novel perfectly.

‘This isn’t a comfortable read. It’s a haunting and deeply uneasy book that won’t offer you tidy solutions. If you’re looking for uncomplicated escapism, this isn’t it, but it is a book that can speak in some unsettling ways to that urge for escapism.’

Tommy cover only 19 June

New interview at SFF Chronicles

Here’s a new interview with me at SFF Chronicles, focusing on the new novel Tommy Catkins. 



Tommy Catkins out today

Published today!

Available here in the UK, elsewhere online (google Tommy Catkins), and at all the usual international ebook stores.

Special thanks to Miriam, Keith Brooke, Gary Dalkin, Mark Yon, Shellie Horst, Linda van Mil, Jerry Kranitz, Brian Turner and Teresa Edgerton.

Tommy cover only 19 June