Benjamin Myers' latest novel, The Perfect Golden Circle, is as idiosyncratic as its subject, blending lyricism with comedy and themes ranging from war and environmental calamities to hope and healing.

The Perfect Golden Circle by Benjamin Myers

It focuses on the creators of crop circles, the quintessential odd couple Redbone and Calvert. Like the characters in the author's previous work, which embraces historical fiction and rural noir, and includes the 2021 collection of short stories Male Tears, these men are weird. While Redbone lives in an old trailer, steeped in the crust punk scene and prone to hallucinogenic and other visions, Calvert is a lone SAS veteran, scarred by battles both internally and externally from his service in the Falklands. Bathed in moonlight, Myers Land vibrates with older reverberations
Crop circles require meticulous planning. In addition to dealing with minor inconveniences such as hay fever and rain, the couple must also remain alert in case of interruptions. It turns out that these rural nights are filled not only with wildlife, but also with dump trucks, confused nineties and drunk gentlemen..
Bathed in moonlight, Myers Land also vibrates with ancient reverberations. There is, he writes, "a sub-England, a chthonic place of hidden rivers and buried relics, of bones of extinct animals and bodies slain in battle". Her protagonists know this well, her industriousness, he says, comes from her, and the humble sense of perspective this gives them is balm and inspiration. Their friendship makes a seductive counterpoint to the novel's more epic concerns. For their season finale, they're planning something very special: the honeycomb double helix, "a web of wonders" that promises to be nearly three times longer than the height of Parliament. The novel's title comes from a conversation between men. As Redbone explains, there is no truly perfect circle, "it can only exist as an idea". Which means, he adds, "that each of us carries one inside." The idea perfectly encapsulates the generosity of Myers' magnetic novel, bringing together ingredients as diverse as folk songs, Gaia's theory and trauma, combining them all into a memorable ode to beauty.

The second vision of Zachary Cloudesley by Sean Lusk

Zachary Cloudesley has an extraordinary talent. But not all gifts are a blessing ... Growing up among the gears and springs of his father's London workshop in the 1850s, Zachary Cloudesley grew up surrounded by strange and fascinating mechanical automatons. He is a happy boy, loved by his father Abel and by the workers who help bring his father's creations to life. He is also the bearer of an extraordinary gift; With the touch of a hand, Zachary can see into the hearts and minds of the people he meets. But then a near-fatal accident pushes Zachary away from the shop and his family. His father will have to go on a journey from which he will never return. And, years later, only Zachary can find out what happened.

The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho by Paterson Joseph

It is 1746 and Georgian London is not a safe place for a young black man, especially one who has escaped slavery. After the flickering lights of the Fleet Street cafes have gone out and the big houses have closed their doors for the night, Sancho must dodge the slave hunters and worse. The man who expected to help him, a kind duke who taught him to write, is dying. Sancho is desperate and completely alone. So how did Charles Ignatius Sancho meet the king, write and play acclaimed music, become the first black person to vote in Britain and lead the fight to end slavery? It's time for him to tell the story of him, one that begins in a stormy Atlantic Ocean and ends in the center of London life. Yet, you must ask yourself: born among the dead, how much can you achieve in a short life?

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

A 19th-century lawyer believes he is suffering from a deadly parasitic infection. Several decades later, a homeless musician finds his diary. Thus begins Mitchell's Russian Doll, a novel in which six very different stories intertwine.  Six intertwined lives - an incredible adventure. In a globe-spanning narrative spanning from the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic future, Cloud Atlas blurs the boundaries of time, gender and language to offer a compelling insight into humanity's will to power and where we are headed.

Gateway of the Saviours.
Gollancz Publishing

Gateway of the Saviours (Chronicles of a Cosmic Warlord Book 2) by [A J Dalton]


AJ Dalton (Adam Dalton) has been an English language teacher as far afield as Egypt, the Czech R, Thailand, Slovakia, Poland and Manchester Metropolitan University.
He published his first Fantasy trilogy, consisting of Necromancer’s Gambit (2008), Necromancer’s Betrayal (2009) and Necromancer’s Fall (2010), to great acclaim. His first book from Gollancz, Empire of the Saviours, is out now in paperback. the sequel, Gateway of the Saviours, is available now!. from most outlets.
Jillan leaves the town of Godsend and his friends in order to fulfill an oath made to the God of Mayhem. Pursued by assassins and spies of the Empire, he goes on a quest  to discover a power that might be used to raise the old gods and throw off the cruel Empire of the Saviours.
Meanwhile, the full fury of the Empire descends on Godsend. Many of Jillan’s friends are killed. His beloved Hella is captured and incarcerated in the Great Temple of the Saviours, so that she can be used to blackmail him.You can of course buy Gateway of the Saviours from all good bookshops (and probably a few bad ones) or from Amazon

Loisaida -- A New York Story Paperback.

 Loisaida -- A New York Story

The core of this gritty, only in New York-story was inspired by real events - a beautiful, aspiring dancer slain. The psychotic room-mate has confessed, but a dilettante actor-turned-journalist thinks there's more to it and investigates. Soon one of his sources mentions he might have better luck gaining trust if he'd shoot dope. 

Welcome to New York's East Village, aka Loisaida, circa 1988. Meet your neighbors - artists, dreamers, hustlers, devil worshipers, anarchists, junkies and yuppies - all competing for breathing space in a city without air. It's the era of greed, when the poor are objects of scorn not sympathy, and the gentrifiers view themselves as urban pioneers. This is a story about sex and drugs and real estate. This is a story about a murder... 

Word Count: 101k Genre: Literary Fiction, General Fiction, Neo-noir Literary Thriller

also by  Marion Stein

By Paul Mccusker.
Paul's latest book is here! The CS Lewis estate has invited him to annotate "The Screwtape Letters," the first of Lewis' books to have such annotations written. The notes are not theological or interpretive (who would dare!), but explanations of literary references and WW2 English-isms, along with directions to other Lewis' writings on subjects raised in the book. It provides insights for those who know "Screwtape" well, and for those reading it for the first time. This beautiful hardback gift book is available on Amazon.

A Season of Shadows

Season of the Shadows. Set in WWII London.Love, deception, betrayal, decisions, duty, and the truth. How did things get so complicated? The night before had been so ordinary . . . as Julie Harris played the charming socialite at another of her husband's high-society Washington parties. But that morning . . . Julie awoke to find herself a widow, forced to deal with the scandal surrounding Stewart Harris's death---and with the shocking, unsuspected secrets of his life. Now her search for the truth about her late husband has brought Julie to wartime London. Posing as an aide at the U.S. embassy, she sets out to fulfil her mission: infiltrate a radical Fascist group---a group with mysterious ties to her husband's past.
available from Amazon

The Richard
Matthewman Stories
Ian McMillan & Martyn Wiley
Published 16 March 2009
ISBN 978-1-904590-21-7 and 1-904590-21-7

The Richard Matthewman Stories
For a Yorkshireman who has spent half a lifetime in his native pit village, moving south is a mixed blessing and it is where Richard Matthewman's memories begin as he looks back with affection, humour, and no small measure of exasperation at 42 summers - and bitter winters.
From boyhood through adolescence to marriage and a family, his stories are filled with a rich gallery of characters - the relations, friends and village notables of a vital community filled with life and incident but as brittle and unmistakably northern as the coal seams on which it was built.originally broadcasted on Radio 4. the Richard Matthewman stories have achieved cult status.Written by the ' John Peel' of poetry Ian McMillan and his pal the late Martin Wiley, They focus on episodes in the life of Richard Matthewman,schoolboy,student,teacher and reluctant plant pot cleaner. Humorous and poignant,the stories are crammed with characters and everyday tales of life in a northern town.Ian has written a new instalment exclusively for the book, bringing Matthewman's journey up to the present day.( Available from Pomona Books)

'It's impossible not to like McMillan. If they made him Poet Laureate on Friday, a lot more people would be reading poetry by Monday.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian.
' He is one of my all-time heroes.He is so talented I could kill him'
Mike Harding.
'The Shirley Bassey of performance poetry'
The Times
'Relentlessly Jolly'

My Word Hardcover – 14 Jun 2007 by Terry Christian

 Message left on Channel 4 complaints line: 'Your presenter is a heap of shit. You've got a raving fxxxg poofter on there -- this is not entertainment. I'd love to talk to that txxt. He wants whacking. Ring me back tomorrow and I'll discuss it with you.' The Word, and Terry Christian in particular, tended to divide its audience. Its late-night mix of cutting-edge music and irreverent, what can best be described as 'student' humour won the hearts of millions while bringing an equal number out in hives. There's no question though that the programme helped shape TV for years to follow. My Word is Terry Christian's take on life behind the scenes at Channel 4 in the nineties. He takes no prisoners in this hugely entertaining account of the journey from a working-class childhood in Manchester to the heart of London's television world. The picture that emerges is not of some leery Manc geezer chancing his arm on national television, but of a slightly leery Manc geezer who has a more sensitive side, is a grammar school boy, is a twice Sony-award winning radio presenter, who is soaked in music, and who has had to battle for all his working life against the prejudices of those who control broadcasting in the UK. Books

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