Nick Cook – A Ramble Through an Oxford Author's Imagination and Inspiration

Nick Cook – A Ramble Through an Oxford Author's Imagination and Inspiration

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The Signal Has Arrived!
00:59

The Signal Has Arrived!


For decades radio telescopes have scoured the skies for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence but have found none. Why? Could it be we really are alone in the universe? Or is it that the truth has been withheld from us by a global conspiracy of silence?

When radio telescope operators Lauren Stelleck, a woman with a special gift enabling her to literally see certain sounds, and Steve Andrews, a diehard sci-fi geek, detect a signal like no other at Jodrell Bank in England, a chain of events is unleashed that propels Earth towards all-out nuclear war. Can Lauren and Steve unlock the secret of the signal before our species tears itself apart?

The Signal is a prequel novella to the Fractured Light trilogy, and is part of the Multiverse Chronicles, an epic series of interlinked stories that follows the struggle of humanity to survive across parallel universes.

Watch the skies because the darkness is coming for us.


Today is the culmination of years of work as I launch myself into the world of indie publishing with my new company, Voice from the Clouds. To mark that launch I’m giving away The Signal, a novella set in my new Multiverse Chronicles series. If you love epic science fiction storytelling that spans many interlinked tales, then this series will be for you.

To mark this special moment I’m going to make The Signal free to the readers of my newsletter. All I ask is that you subscribe and in return, apart from being able to read The Signal for free, I’ll keep you updated with news about my books and other books that I think you might love too. I also want to hear back from you on here, or via email, or on Facebook. I view the journey ahead as a collaborative one between me the author and you the reader. 

Subscribe and let that journey into a multiverse where humanity is battling for survival, begin right here, right now.

Please note that there is the occasional use of strong language in The Signal and the story deals with adult themes. Recommended age is 16+.

Do remember to leave a review on Amazon or alternatively you can buy a paperback version heremybook.to/TheSignal-Nick-Cook

Links


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10:06


Okay, big drum roll... Here is the front cover The Signal, the first story in my new Multiverse Chronicles series. The Signal is a novella that links to my Cloud Riders trilogy to my new Fractured Light trilogy due to be launched on the 1st September 2018.

I just love the epic movie poster feel of this cover that talented designer Ryan Schwarz came up with. Brilliant.

I had a blast writing The Signal and I hope you'll love it as much as I loved writing it. One thing to note is that this particular book has a suggested minimum age of 16+. The reason for this is I explore more adult themes in the story and there is the occasional use of strong language. 

Now to the best news of all. The Signal will be available as a free download to subscribers of my newsletter. How cool is that! So what are you waiting for? Subscribe now and you'll be eligible to download it from 9am GMT on the 12th July 2018. I can't wait for you all to read this.

Subscribe to my newsletter and be eligible for your free copy of The Signal here:

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When Fan Art is Taken to a Whole Other Level
09:11

When Fan Art is Taken to a Whole Other Level

What do you think of this beauty?

I've run a lot of writing workshops over the years and have been given quite a few drawings by students inspired by Cloud Riders. But today I received an email with an attached image that took this to a whole other level.

This is the work of David Carpenter, an exceptionally talented illustrator who I had the pleasure to meet at the MCM Comic Con in London a couple of years ago. Out of the blue yesterday, he sent me this amazing image and it's like a scene straight out of the movie that Cloud Riders so needs to be turned into one day.

David, as you can see, has a serious talent and if you're are after a concept artist or storyboard designer, do please check out his website here: https://www.stormcg.com/storyboards-illustration/

David, thank you so much for sending this to me. It absolutely made my day. Hollywood/Netflix, see what Cloud Riders could look like on the screen!
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Voice from the Clouds - Episode 5 - Interview with Roz Morris about Indie Publishing
02:58

Voice from the Clouds - Episode 5 - Interview with Roz Morris about Indie Publishing


For my latest Voice from the Clouds vlog, I interviewed the fab Roz Morris, something of a superstar in the world of indie publishing who also has considerable traditional publishing experience. It was such great interview with a lot of material covered that we decided to split it to make it easier to watch.

Apart from Roz's great success and also her excellent writing book range, Nail Your Novel, she is also a very successful ghostwriter. We also discussed her great new book, Not Quite Lost - Travels Without A Sense of Direction. If you like Bill Bryson you'll love her new book.

In part 1 we covered the following two topics:

(1) What attracted you to the world of indie publishing over traditional publishing?

(2) What have you found to be the most rewarding aspect of publishing your own work?



In part 2 of the interview we covered the following topics:

(1) What’s been the most challenging aspect of indie publishing?

(2) Your own books cover a variety of topics. With your latest book, Not Quite Lost, you take the reader on a wonderful journey filled with often very amusing and fantastic anecdotes...move over Bill Bryson! Do you find your readers stay loyal and follow you from one book to another, or are you unearthing a fresh readership each time?

(3) Have you any amusing stories about marketing books?

(4) You are a very successful ghostwriter, Roz, so how do you balance this with having enough time to pursue your own work? What about the current debate regarding celebrity authors in children fiction?

(5) What would your advice be to anyone considering moving into indie publishing?

(6) What do you believe the future holds for indie and traditional publishing?

(7) Do you think covers play an important part in the buying process?

(8) What’s your all time favourite film and why?



For more info about Roz, her website is here: https://rozmorris.wordpress.com 



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The Evolution of the Human Species
07:20

The Evolution of the Human Species



The tricky thing about biological evolution is that happens over prolonged periods making it difficult to monitor actual progress. Some experts even argue that the evolutionary period for homo sapiens has effectively ceased and has shifted from a biological to a technological basis.

Some even suggest that partly due to our increasingly sophisticated lifestyle we may see a deterioration in human intelligence and evolution will go into reverse. The Morlocks from H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine, anyone?

But then, of course, we come to directed evolution. Why should we wait for centuries of natural evolution to change us when we can directly tinker with our own bodies? Screening various conditions has already become increasingly effective, as has our ability to use early drug treatments as a result.

And then we have the rapid growth in understanding about human DNA from gene therapy to target relevant organs for treatment, or even altering the genome of an individual to deal with an underlying condition (germ-line therapy). Beyond this, we start to head into areas where ethical questions start to be raised: children with genetically enhanced intelligence, beauty, or increased sporting ability, or even just being designed to be a nice person.

And what happens if we discover a way to turn off the ageing process? Where are the resources of an already strained Earth if people start living to 130 years, or even longer?

Then we have the exponential march of computing and the direct interfacing of this technology into our bodies.  You could argue the smartphone in your pocket is just the current step of this on going process. There have been some remarkable developments in the area of robotic prosthetics, with sensors to convert nerve impulses into commands to control the robotic limbs movements. But what lies beyond this? A direct computer interface to our brains. Maybe such systems will even directly augment our ability to recall facts and process information. Will future human beings increasingly look like cyborgs?

And what about a Matrix type future where our consciousness is uploaded into the computing cloud and we reach an immortality of sorts, for human consciousness. Nightmare or dream scenario?

Of course, out there are planets to be explored, the most immediate being the colonisation of Mars. Will future humans be engineered to cope better with that environment?

All of these questions have provided rich pickings for science fiction. And that is exactly as it should be – for us to gaze into our potential futures and explore the benefit and threats of these developments. Certainly, in our rapidly evolving technological times, we increasingly need to ask ourselves what it means to be human and what destination we want to evolve towards as a species?



Photo credit: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC
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Voice from the Clouds – Episode 4 – An Interview with Niel Bushnell
09:24

Voice from the Clouds – Episode 4 – An Interview with Niel Bushnell

Grab a cup of your favourite beverage and watch my latest Voice from the Clouds vlog, where I interviewed Niel Bushnell about his fantastic new book, Arkship Obsidian. Niel is a very successful traditionally published author who has decided to make the leap across to indie publishing. I really enjoyed this interview and and I think it reveals some real insights into Niel's writing process and the inspiration behind his work. We even briefly discuss the new Star Trek. What’s not to love.

For more info about Niel, his website is here: http://www.nielbushnell.com

Arkship Osidian can be found here: On Amazon



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Voice from the Clouds - Episode 3 – The New Adventure of Indie Publishing
08:27

Voice from the Clouds - Episode 3 – The New Adventure of Indie Publishing


New horizons beckon for me with my latest vlog with a bit of a major announcement about the future publication of my books. I have decided, for so many excellent reasons, and inspired by other authors who have already made the leap from traditional publishing very successfully, to launch myself into the world of self publishing.

This is a steep learning curve, but I'm having the time of my life. Watch my latest blog episode for more about this decision and part of my reason why.



All images copyright Nick Cook.
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