Friday, 16 October 2015

The Circus is coming ....

In between writing the new Tube Riders book, I've been doing some editing on Crow 4: The Circus of Machinations, which I'm still hoping to have out by the end of the year. In this episode we find Kurou in vastly alien conditions, hiding out in a backwater town in Siberia as the threat of an unseen invasion army slowly chokes the town. We also meet a brand new protagonist, the softly spoken but put-upon inventor, Victor Mishin.

Here's the beginning of the prologue. Look out for more excerpts coming soon.

The robot and the inventor

A cold wind was whipping in from the south, bringing with it flurries of hard ice ripped off the top of seasons-long snow drifts standing like dirt-streaked grey sentinels by the side of the road. Victor Mishin stopped one more time to tie up his hood, but the string was frozen stiff. He scowled, cursing under his breath. Dipping his face away from the wind instead, he turned back to make sure the cart was still following.
From both sides of the road, the dead eyes of Brevik’s abandoned houses watched him with their broken door grins. From inside flickered torchlight, accompanied by the faint peal of nervous laughter. Many became temporary crack houses and brothels after dark, living crypts filled with the skeletal remnants of men and women put out of work by the closing mines and factories.
The first rock to clang off the outside of the cart’s casing made Victor jump. The echo of laughter from a shadowy alley that followed made him shiver.
‘We see you, old man.’
It was the voice of a kid, throat dry from too many cigarettes and cheap local homebrew. Brevik started its youngsters early, and only a kid would ever call him old. Victor wasn’t yet thirty.
‘Come on,’ he told the cart. ‘We have to hurry.’
The machine’s head snapped up, a vaguely humanoid oval. Twin lights at the front gave a wild flicker. ‘Rolling, rolling.’
Another stone landed in the snow at Victor’s feet. He grimaced. Even the prepubescent kids were built out of wire passed down through generations of miners with playful fists, and Victor was no fighter.
‘Level up,’ he said to the cart. ‘We have to move. Now.’
‘Roger that, partner.’
The cart, a silver rectangle, rocked back on its caterpillar treads and lurched into an upright position. Smaller central treads unfolded from the ends of its main propulsion system. It was activating its sprint mode, but in the snow and ice its motors would only last a couple of hundred metres. It would have to be enough.
‘Move it,’ Victor said, as another stone clanged off the cart’s casing.
Shadows shifted behind him as he started into a run, morphing into the shapes of four, five, six kids as they bolted from the alleyway. Victor squeezed his eyes shut as the cart’s accelerator runners spun in the snow, then clunked as they caught on something buried under the surface.
He didn’t want to turn around to see his most treasured invention pitch forward onto its robotic face as the group of laughing urchins descended on it, thrown stones rattling off the metal like machine gun fire, but he had no choice. The cart was dear to him; he owed it a single icy tear frozen against his face by the chilling wind.

He glared for one long moment at the feral children as they engulfed the cart in a flurry of thumping hands and kicking feet, then turned and hurried for home, feeling at least some scant relief that its sacrifice had allowed him to get away.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Coming soon - Crow books 1-3 bundle

The first three books in the Tales of Crow series are now available for purchase so within the next few weeks I'll be bundling them as a boxed set in anticipation for the fourth book in the series, hopefully by the end of the year.

Watch this space for a release date (most likely early November). In the meantime, here's the cover:

Thursday, 1 October 2015

My Childhood Dream

Obviously I have a day job and generally am a badass sci-fi writer by night. Sometimes I have to write stuff for work too though. I'm an assistant English teacher in a Japanese junior high school, and a teacher asked me to write a speech about my childhood dream. This is what I came up with. It's kind of true and a little poignant haha. I can still remember asking my mother to buy me a power sword. I think I was about five, but who knows haha.

My Childhood Dream
By Chris

When I was a small child, I wanted to be a superhero. I watched the news on TV, and saw that there were a lot of bad things in the world. I wanted to stop these bad things. So one day I asked my mother to buy me a power sword from the supermarket. She said okay, but that night she told me that the supermarket had sold out of power swords, so I couldn’t become a superhero. At that time I felt very sad.

Now that I am older, I understand more about the world. There are still a lot of bad things in the world but we can all help to stop them. Not everyone can change the world in a big way, but we can all change the world in a small way. For example, we can pick up trash or care for cats and dogs that don’t have a family. Or we can say nice things to people even when we don’t feel happy.

I learned that to be a superhero you don’t need to have a power sword, because the power to change the world comes from your heart.

Thank you.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

I wrote a poem today

I wrote a poem today. It's an allegory for the European migrant crisis and the fear of the unknown. It also suggests that it's better to act sooner rather than later.

I found the devil
I found the devil’s body, washed up on the shore
I heard him faintly whisper; “I have fled a distant war.”
A dilemma swift upon me, asked whatever should I do?
Repel him to the water, or offer up some food?
An arm rose from the sand and beckoned me to listen
“To tell your people of our plight became my final mission.
Minding our own business, we lived as devils do
But Heaven took offense at our blasé attitude.
With fire from the sky, and poison in the water
They led us blindly down the track to poverty and slaughter.”
Stunned silent as I looked on him I considered what to do.
Said, “Devil, wait here by the waves, I’ll soon return for you.”
I consulted with my people on a forward way to act,
Passed days and nights with nothing done as we assessed the facts.
A conflict between sun and moon, who were we to intervene?
Resolved we were to tell the devil what we had decreed.
“Head further south, and there you’ll find a safer place than here,
Another town will welcome you and hush away your fears.”
But when I reached that bleakest shore, my words already said,
I found I was too late: the devil, alas, was dead.

Copyright 2015 by Chris Ward

Sunday, 13 September 2015

New covers!

Recently I had new covers down for the three books in the Tube Riders series. These were done by the very talented Elizabeth Mackey at

Friday, 14 August 2015

Upcoming schedule

It's been a while since I wrote a long rambling update about what's coming up soon, so here goes. As regular readers will know, I recently finished writing a book that forms part one of a new dystopian series. I'm hoping to have that available for you to read by the end of the year. It could be a year or two before a follow up, though, as I have unfinished business with other stories first.

So, here's the plan...


Publication of The Puppeteer King (Crow #3)
Publication of Circus of Machinations (Crow #4)

Begin the audio books for Crow 1 and (hopefully) Tube Riders: Exile.

Write Crow #5: The Tower at the World's End and The Tube Riders: In the Shadow of London (side novel set between Exile and Revenge).

Do the paperbacks for the first four Crow books.

Winter 2015 / Spring 2016

Get back to the Rise of the Governor (Tube Riders prequels). Part One will possibly be called Genesis.

At some point there will be a short stories omnibus and possibly a Crow boxed set.

Some of the more beady eyed of you might have noticed the disappearance of a few of my short stories from my Amazon page. This is because I've been thinking long and hard about branding and organisation. Last year was pretty successful, but due in part to market forces and my own lower output due to personal goings on, this year has been a massive let down so far. The simple truth is that the ebook world is growing so quickly that it's very easy to get lost in the mire. Free books don't equate to paid sales as much as they used to and you're constantly fighting a million other authors for visibility. Therefore, my Amazon author page will be getting a streamlining over the next few weeks. All my shorts and stuff will still be available on iTunes and elsewhere, but on Amazon I'll be concentrating on novels.

Also, there is a little Tube Riders news on the horizon. The series will be a getting a bit of a revamp over the next couple of months. There will be no changes to the stories, but one or two elsewhere. No details for now. I'll let you know when I do.

Okay, that's all for now.

Chris Ward
August 15th 

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Work in progress snippet

Wrote this yesterday. Part of a new story I'm working on, in first person no less! Closing in on 50,000 words, so hopefully I can get it done in August. I still have a 5th Crow book to write, but after doing three in a row I needed a break. This is actually based on an old short story, but it's deviated somewhat into a completely different beast. Not sure of a title yet.

"The damp, algae-coated wooden slats that passed for seats in the bottom of the boat were like a strong hand to a falling man. I hugged them, crying into them, trying to ignore the pain in my torn-open wounds as the brutal reality of the words I had screamed as I leapt from the harbour side into the water rang in my mind like a giant, diseased bell.


At the moment when I had needed them most, I had forgotten my children’s names.

I felt like the world was folding in on me, squashing me flat, and there was nothing I could do to stop it."

Chris Ward
July 31st 2015