So, finally, the first book in the Dereham Connections sequence — or chronicles, or volumes, or loosely-connected series, however we might think of it — has been published.
Titled Sorrow Mystica, it is set in the early 1970s in London and Wiltshire (yes, in the imaginary town of Dereham that provides the name for this blog), and also in 1950s California and at some unknown point on the planet Panlyrae.
So, what is it about? The blurb is thus:
Gang member turned hippie Len Stone searched for enlightenment and experience. He’d tried it all – gurus and mysticism, journeys to the East, drugs and religion. But then, on a grubby bookstall in the cold streets of London, Stone chanced upon Panlyrae: A Message for Mankind, the story of Ed Freeman and his contact with aliens.
Intrigued by Freeman’s story, he hoped he too could learn the secrets of the universe through interaction with benevolent aliens. And then, in the nightclub he managed, he met a young woman, a runaway, and thought he’d found at last his soror mystica, his mystical sister. Together, they began to explore alien worlds.
When Stone employed a handsome bruiser to mind the doors, however, he let trouble in rather than keeping it out.
Meanwhile, the inhabitants of the planet Panlyrae look on, unable to intervene, yet deeply and obsessively fascinated by the planet they appear to have discovered.
Spanning continents, decades and worlds, Sorrow Mystica is a tale of alien contact, intrigue, mirage men, espionage, and death. It is also an exploration of narrative, fiction and truth.
If Sorrow Mystica is the first in a loosely-connected series, you might wonder about later books. Have they been written? How many are there? How do they connect?
Well, yes, all but two have been written. There are six, possibly seven books in the series. If one of them doesn’t get written, it won’t matter to the series. How they connect, though, will be subject of further posts.