I sat down to write a book sometime in 2002. I'd given up smoking and it was annoying me. I reckoned I'd just dash down the first thing that came into my mind and London's literary scene would fall at my feet. Shockingly, they not only failed to fall as predicted, they rejected me. A lot. In fact, Space went on to pick up well over a hundred little photocopied slips that said something along the lines of 'Not for us, thanks'.
Space spoofs a genre that I have come to call the ‘airport novel’; that comfortingly large slab of silliness that you invariably turn to when you have to survive a seven-hour flight. Just like the Avian Obsession and the Maltese Balcony and those other man-in-race-against-time-against-unfeasible-odds-to-save-the-world-against-shadowy-cabal-led-by-megalomaniac books, Space is a fast moving page-turner filled with baddies and secret agent babes. Unlike the majority of them, Space is also intentionally and successfully funny.
Main character Dr. Ben Jonson is transformed from being a happy middle-class GP into a wilful killer, chased across Europe by police and various intelligence agencies. His odysseyette (it is so a word. I looked it up on the Internet) brings him together with a psychopathic CIA agent in a catsuit, a sex worker from Weybridge and a devastatingly effective computer virus that causes widespread societal breakdown. It all ends up with American bombers, the police and army, the Russian Mafia and a number of highly eccentric octogenarians coming together under a stone circle somewhere in Southern England.
In Space, the baddy spends most of his time with his hand up his pneumatic secretary’s skirt, the good guys are kooks and MI5 safe houses are staffed by pink-haired camp people. The book darkens a little when the action starts moving, but it never stops being irredeemably daft. By the time we’re ready to resolve things at the end, there’s lots of slightly strange sex going on. I always find that strange sex is so much more interesting than ordinary ‘boy meets girl and gets it on’ which, lets face it, has been done before.
It was a popular book on Harper Collins' Authonomy peer-review website, but never even garnered a 'full read' from an agent. Having taken a look at the original MS and edited some of the worst flaws out, I found myself rather enjoying reading it. I'll tell you one thing, it's damn funny.
So I've eventually (and with mild reservations) decided to publish it as a Kindle only book for $0.99 (or 79p to you). You can go here to buy it from amazon.com or here to get it from amazon.co.uk. If you've got Amazon Prime you can borrow it instead. If you haven't got a Kindle or Kindle software for your tablet, you're going to miss out, sorry. I'll plug it a couple of times here and there, but I'm not going crazy promoting it. If you enjoy it, you can do that for me. If you hate it, please feel free to leave a review on Amazon or a comment on this post! I won't mind, honestly!
I'd get it while it's cheap. If I sell more than a few copies or start getting good reviews, the price is going up faster than you can say 'nmkl pjkl ftmch'...
Warning - Space has got a number of rude bits in it. So if you're easily offended, please don't read it.