Author Topic: John Travis's Début Novel!  (Read 2947 times)

Offline iamacanadian

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John Travis's Début Novel!
« on: February 06, 2010, 07:31:44 AM »
John Travis’s first novel, The Terror and the Tortoiseshell, is a noir–styled murder mystery with deft touches of both the Comedy and Science Fiction genres, but primary in it is the honouring of the classic hard-boiled detective novels of the 1940s, right down to the gloriously evocative cover by Steve Upham!


Benji Spriteman takes over the “Spriteman Detective Agency” after the world is changed overnight by ‘The Terror’, resulting in the animal kingdom moving from four legs to two and banishing the now crazy human population from existence to become the dominant species. Oh, and Benji Spriteman is a sentient, six-foot tall, suit-wearing, Tortoiseshell cat. Yeah, that’s a bit of a jolt, especially to Benji.

Quote
    All I know is that I fell asleep in the old man’s lap just after midnight on midsummer’s eve and awoke when I heard screaming.
    Instead of being in Jimmy’s lap I was sprawled across the dusty floor, and everything had changed; my sight, hearing and smell were all completely different. I also noticed that I seemed to be taking up a lot more floor space than I was used to.
    Initially it was the screaming that bothered me most. Apart from the noise in the office, it was going on outside too and not all of it was human; the air was filled with roars, grunts, howls; sniggers even. But the most disturbing noise was about eight feet away, coming from a bundle in the corner trying desperately trying to sink into the wall. It seemed to take twice as long as usual for my eyes to adjust to the darkness so I could make out what the bundle was.
    Jimmy.

In this strange environment, which sees animals taking on some of the characteristics of the humans they were closest to, human beings have become a bit like flying saucers – despite occasional sightings, there is never any definite proof that they still exist. But when humans do start to appear it’s always in the most bizarre situations – always dead, and ‘displayed’ as if they were animals. And it’s just as Benji’s life is starting to become a bit more ‘normal’ that he gets drawn into the investigation into these murders, and soon finds himself involved in ways he could never have imagined…

These are at the printers now, and will be on-sale at World HorrorCon in Brighton. Or, head to the “STORE” on the site and pre-purchase using VISA, MC or PAYPAL, and you can ensure a copy is sent to you in Britain as soon as I have a moment during the week after WHC, or if you're in North America: mid-April once I'm home again in Vancouver.

It comes in one ‘Trade’ edition as follows:
  • bound in a jacket-less hardback biding
  • $34.99 (CAN/USA) – £19.99 (UK)
  • 978−0−9811597−3−7

Advance Praise for The Terror and the Tortoiseshell:
Quote
Animal Farm meets The Big Sleep in this quirky but compelling hard-boiled mystery, the first in a new series, from British author Travis (Mostly Monochrome Stories). A mysterious event has reversed the roles of animals and humans in England. In an instant, pets have grown in height, gained the ability to speak, and started assuming the jobs of their former masters. People have become the animals’ pets or playthings in a savage outburst of revenge. Some animals oppose the violence, in particular, a cat who adopts the name and profession of his owner, becoming “Benji Spriteman, Detective”. Travis packs a lot in, including a twisty whodunit plot, humorous sequences to leaven the grimness, and a cult persuaded that Arthur Machen’s 1917 novella, The Terror, is a true account of an animal revolt in Britain. Despite superficial resemblances to Tim Davys’s Amberville (2009), a crime novel featuring walking and talking stuffed animals, this is a far superior work with a more fully realized imaginary world. (Mar.)
Publishers Weekly (January 11th, 2010)
Ian Alexander Martin; Proprietor, Atomic Fez Publishing


Offline Peter Coleborn

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Re: John Travis's Début Novel!
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2010, 06:07:07 PM »
It would help if you could send a PR about new titles to the BFS news editor -- and to the chair -- so that news can also be put onto the main BFS website, especially for those people who don't frequent forums. I know we could take the info off this forum, but it would be easier to send it directly.


Offline iamacanadian

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Re: John Travis's Début Novel!
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2010, 09:53:44 PM »
Actually, I have done this frequently, but not to the chair per se. It's not often I have 'new titles', and this one was announced last September in a three-title spree, so may have got lost in the shuffle. I also was having some e-mail reliability problems at the time, and not all my material got through everyone's SPAM filtering unscathed.
Ian Alexander Martin; Proprietor, Atomic Fez Publishing


Offline Screaming Dreams

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Re: John Travis's Début Novel!
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2010, 12:15:16 PM »
This has to be one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time. And I really mean that! The mix of fantasy and classic detective themes proved a winning combination for me. Highly recommended.

Offline iamacanadian

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Re: John Travis's Début Novel!
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2010, 06:07:24 PM »
And Steve's not even got past the cover yet! Imagine when that happens, eh?

Thanks, Mr. Upham.
Ian Alexander Martin; Proprietor, Atomic Fez Publishing