Well that was odd…

Occasionally, something unexpected happens that strikes you as odd. Or at the very least utterly unexpected. One of those strange little moments of wonderfulness, that take you completely off guard. Particularly if your a tad neurotic, and struggle to see any real value in anything you do. I am, in case regular readers have not guessed this yet, a tad neurotic. As for those ‘lucky’ individuals who just stumble across my occasional rambling, I suspect most of them could figure that out fairly quickly, as I don’t go to any lengths to hide it. Quite the opposite, in fact, I try to an extent at least to be fairly open about my obsessive personality, anxiety, and occasional bouts of depression when writing this blog. So when something genuinely nice but unexpected happens it does take me by surprise and is occasionally something I find difficult to process straight away, and so my initial reaction tends to be a bit on the awkward side. Or to be more exact I tend to think, well that’s odd…

The case in point and the reason for this particular blog post was a message I received on Twitter from fellow author C.G.Hatton, asking if I would write a foreword for a kindle box set of her Novels. (several of which I have reviewed previously the latest only last week.) To which my neurotic self-kicked in with a fairly neurotic response of ‘Are you mad, what on earth are you asking me to do that for, there must be someone better than I whom you could ask…’ or words to that effect. My personal reaction was more ‘wow… surely she can’t be serious, why not ask someone better qualified to do so?’ How the hell do I write a foreword? and surely she has better candidates she could ask. Her books are so much better than my inane wafflings…

Then I had third thoughts, ( I always have third thoughts, and fourth and fifth, and so on, as I over think everything.) my third thoughts, which came just after, ‘how the hell do I write a Foreword?’ can be best expressed outside the confines of my usual expressed vernacular when writing these pages…

Bloody Hell, I’m been asked to write a foreword, How fucking cool is that…

I, of course, was happy to write a foreword. Mildly terrified and did not know where to start but very happy to do so. I am also aware that most people probably never read a foreword, but I always do, and I wanted to do a good job…

I also, while writing it, and afterwards, and still now, wonder why in the hell she asked me to do it, because I am utterly convinced that there are a raft of great sci-fi writers out there who would do a better job and frankly should be writing the foreword to what is one of the best sci-fi series I have ever read. Admitably it helps that I have read them and reviewed them previously, but still they should be read by better writers than I.

(Note for Neil Gaiman, Stephen Baxter, Peter Hamilton, Charles Stross, Alister Reynolds, David Langford, Rob Grant, Jane Fenn, Tricia Sullivan et al… on the extremely unlikely event of you reading this blog at any point ever. You should be writing a foreword for C.G Hatton’s novels, not I, and you could do far worse than to read them…)

Anyway, so I wrote a foreword, while still be utterly amazed to be asked, and considering it a privilege and an honour to do so. I was further surprised when C.G. thanked me for the first draft of a foreword I sent her and ran with it. I still think someone better could have done this, and someone better should have done it. But what the hell, I still think it was bloody cool to be asked to do so.

Here, along with a link to the books themselves if the foreword I wrote ( which she then edited and polished a little) I actually intended it only as a first draft and was going to work on it, but she must have liked the rough cut so whom am I to argue…

 

‘Residual Belligerence’ is a title that grabs your eye. It grabbed my eye at KAPOW sci-fi fair on hot sunny afternoon in June 2014, stacked up against two other novels with equally eye catching titles; ‘Blatant Disregard’, ‘Harsh Realities’ on a stall in the corner of the main marquee. Stood behind the stall were a perky diminutive woman with a broad smile, and a tall skinny bloke with a face like begrudging thunder. As a bibliophile and hobbyist writer myself, my first novel still a year in the future at this point, I loved then, as I do now, talking to writers about their novels. Almost as much as I like discovering new authors to read, and eye-catching titles with equally eye-catching covers draw me like a bear to honey. So I stood over to say hi, buy the books and chat with the author C.G. Hatton, who given the nature of the titles and the ‘face like begrudging thunder’ was obviously the tall bloke…

So that was my introduction to C.G. Hatton’s novels. C.G. who, if you haven’t guess already, is not a tall skinny bloke with a face like begrudging thunder. She is however one of the most brilliant writers of fast paced, character driven, immersive sci-fi thrillers it has ever been my privilege to meet or indeed read. She also has never held my glaring misplaced assumption back in 2014 against me. Indeed, she even to pretended to remember the odd bearded bloke in the top hat who made such a facile error the following year when I gleefully picked up a copy of the forth novel set in her Thieves Guild universe, ‘Wilful defiance’, and after a short chat where I enthusiastically told her that our chat the year before had inspired me to actually finish writing my first novel, which I was about to publish.

Remarkably no one has yet thought to blame C.G. for inspiring me to finish my first novel, but if you ever feel to need to complain about my novels it’s all her fault…

After picking up ‘Wilful defiance’, that year I drove home and lost a couple of evenings, enraptured and enthralled in her vividly drawn universe. A Universe where the human race stands teetering on the brink of all-out war between the two great power blocks of the galaxy the old power of Earth and the younger but no less powerful faction based around the corporate world of Winter. Between them a demilitarised zone of systems who hold a fragile independence only because they keep the two sides apart, and striving to maintain the balance between them is the Thieves Guild. Which isn’t an easy balance to hold, as the principals of both sides will do anything to get the upper hand. So the Guild, under the shadowy guidance of its founder, must walk a fine line. A line that would be easier to walk if its best two operators Hilar and L.C. Anderson were not AWOL, top of the galaxies ‘Most Wanted’ list, hunted by the power blocks of Winter, Earth, as well as every bounty hunter with a ship and a gun, after there last tab. Because they are in procession of something that could tip the balance between Earth and Winter either way, and that isn’t even what makes it so dangerous…

By the end of the first four books I was hooked, a fanboy and come the following June desperate for book 5. Which proved to be a problem because book five wasn’t written yet. The Galaxy would have to stay poised on the brink of disaster, and cliff hanger that was the end of ‘Wilful Defiance’ would have to stay hanging on by it’s finger tips a little while longer. What there was however was book one of the Thieves Guild origins books ‘Kheris Burning’, A novel set on one of the lost little world in the great divide between Earth and Winter and telling a tale of the early life of one of the Guilds top field agents L.C. Anderson, As told by L.C. while hiding out in a sewer somewhere in the midst of the elusive book 5.

It was hard to stay disappointed that book five was still unwritten when your appetite is sated by a novel as extradinary and enthralling as ‘Kheris Burning’, a tale of a street kid caught up in events beyond his understanding, just trying to survive and find enough to feed himself and his friends, torn between the occupying forces of Winter and resistance leaders who use the street kids as a recruits and cannon fodder, with oh so many echoes of places in our own much begotten present.

A year later and book 5 was as elusive as ever, but L.C. was in another fox hole somewhere in a universe gone to hell telling the story of his first tab for the guild and how he first met another character for the main series Hilar. ‘Beyond Redemption’ the second Origins novel pulls on threads that you have read in the first four novels and ties them in new knots. Making the Thieves Guild Universe all the more complex and real. Giving you, the reader, a deeper understanding of the characters at the heart of everything. Which is what makes these novels stand out so much, the characters are so vividly realised, while the pace never lets up.

Then finally after waiting so long along came book 5, ‘Darkest Fears’ and the war that’s was always coming arrives in its full horrifying spender. Though it’s not perhaps the war you were expecting way back in book 1, and book 5 is really book 1 of the new series, or book 7 of the series as a whole, and if you thought the first six books were full of pace, action, adventure and wonder, you haven’t read anything yet…

Which leave two questions to my mind, when is book 6 (or 8 or possible 2 of series 2) going to arrive and why of all the people who could be writing this foreword C.G. asked me to do it. Possibly its an act of residual belligerence on her part for my mistaking thinking one hot day in June in 2014 that the author of these wonderful novels was the tall thin bloke with a face like begrudging thunder.

 

If you have never read C.G.hattons novels I can (you probably guessed by now) highly recommend them so here is a link for the seven books of the series in the intended order for the ridiculously low price of £6.99.

You should read them even if you’re not a famous Sci-Fi writer yourself, or even a not remotely famous scribbler of words like myself who for no reason that makes any sense at all even now got asked to write the foreword…

 

Earlier reviews of C.G.Hattons novels …

Residual Belligerence (the first novel in the series)

Kheris Burning

Beyond Redemption

Darkest Fears 

 

This entry was posted in amreading, blogging, book reviews, books, depression, goodreads, indie, indie novels, kindlesale, novels, opinion, pointless things of wonderfulness, reads, sci-fi and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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