Category Archives: news

Node 4 – Raven of Dispersion

So, after the contactees and spies and conspiracies of the early 1970s, Node 4 — Raven of Dispersion moves us into the middle of the decade, and the long, hot summer of 1976. We leave behind characters that we have followed through the two preceding novels. Now, instead of spies and contactees and night-club owners, we become involved with young adults.

But I don’t like to think of this as a young adult novel — the characters are simply young; when I was that age, I didn’t think of myself as a young adult. I just thought I was brilliant and knew everything.

The characters in Raven of Dispersion are burgeoning intellectuals, exploring the world of ideas through the unconventional route of UFOs and the paranormal, and their first explorations of T S Eliot, Karl Marx, DH Lawrence,  Colin Wilson, and so on. Of course, being young, there are feelings to contend with  — love, and that new-fangled word, relationships.

It is at this nexus of love and the unconventional that things go a little bit awry. Because the young can be just a bit too sure of themselves, certain that they know what they are doing. And the young might also think their experiments — with balloons and lights, let us say — can surely have no consequences beyond the scientific.

And yet one balloon, and one set of lights — mixed with a pinch of beauty and one lovin’ spoonful of psychosis — are the ingredients for a proper brouhaha.

 

Sorrow Mystica

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.

Sorrow Mystica front cover

Sorrow Mystica
(Dereham Connections: Node 2.0)
at Amazon UK
at Amazon US