Thursday, 1 December 2011

British Zombie Breakout: Part Two

New out today:
British Zombie Breakout: Part Two

Now that the original story has evolved into a three-parter, the last part of which is currently under construction, it will be released as in three sections. The first, originally entitled British Zombie Breakout, and now re-named as British Zombie Breakout: Part One, has now been joined by Part Two.

Each is a separate standalone story but they are sequential and involve the same characters in the fight to defeat the zombie hordes.

British Zombie Breakout: Part Two - Escape from Kilkorne

Zombies are still on the rampage, killing and infecting anyone in their path. A close-knit band of ten uninfected fugitives must prove they are clean by escaping the stricken village where they are trapped by the army. A quarantine cordon surrounds the whole area, with an entire army camp between the village and freedom.

What chance of survival do the fugitives have while zombies are still at large in the English countryside and when a corrupt politician and the Chief Scientist at the Breathdeep Biological Research Facility are intent on their capture, dead or alive? Who will prove to be the more ingenious, the authorities, the fugitives or the zombies?

Short story of 18,500 words in twenty-six chapters.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

New today: British Zombie Breakout

Stock up for Halloween. British Zombie Breakout 

British Zombie Breakout - the latest short story by SF author
Peter Salisbury:

The authorities should have been more careful after the first zombie breakout infected half of England and disrupted lives right across the country. Unfortunately, either someone got careless, again, or the disease was far more virulent than anyone expected. The remote fishing village of Kilkorne with its picturesque castle and harbour was the last place to expect an attack, despite its proximity to the experimental facility where the disease was invented. Once the second outbreak had been officially announced by the Ministry, anyone resisting capture was to be shot as being infected with zombieism. Alternatively you could surrender and be kept in a quarantine camp, where last time the survival rate was zero.

Refusing to accept either option, five teenagers and five adults separately begin journeys from opposite sides of the village. They attempt to stay one step ahead of an insane horde of highly infectious, half dead creatures, the army's orders to shoot on sight, and the Ministry's instructions to burn down the village. Furthermore, the endeavour was not exactly helped by a suspected case of haunting.

Short story 14,500 words. British Zombie Breakout British Zombie Breakout

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Cadfael: Dead Man's Ransom (BBC Radio Crimes) [Audiobook]

4* Medieval Murder
I approached this without a great deal of experience of either Cadfael or radio plays. I have watched and enjoyed two or three BBC TV productions of Cadfael stories but this is my first radio play. 

The music is especially appropriate, sitting well between the spoken lines and helping to create a medieval atmosphere. Sound effects, e.g. of galloping horses and creaking doors were well produced. However, the first sounds on the disc are those of an improbable and unnecessary battle scene immediately before the fore-credits.

I imagine it helps immensely to have read the book first and then to enjoy this colourfully acted CD presentation some time afterwards. I say this because, without having any foreknowledge of the story, I found the action hard to follow initially, partly because of the accents, interspersed with a few lines spoken in Welsh, and partly because the story seemed disjointed and fragmented between various fight or battle enactments. It is, on the other hand, a pleasantly earthy presentation with plenty of innuendo in the delivery of the lines.

After several scenes, the story began to take shape and I was able to follow it reasonably well after that. The plot, for mystery fans is suitably convoluted. Clues are scattered around the story but still I was at a complete loss as to 'whodunnit', until it was revealed by Cadfael's expert sleuthing right at the end. I found the story required great concentration to follow, so that it provided a very satisfactory two hours worth of diversion. It has also inspired me to read the books. In summary: suspenseful and interesting. This is something I will definitely listen to again on a rainy afternoon. 

Dead Man's Ransom Amazon US
Dead Man's Ransom Amazon UK

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Vampires Revealed!

Rebeka Harrington seeks to define and explain vampires in a way not done before. This has been
achieved with her debut title "Vampires Revealed".  Rebeka tells everything you wanted to know about vampires, through the voice of her 3,000 year old alta-ego, Bektamun.

The ultimate vampire textbook...

The Intro:“For centuries the debate has raged; are vampires real?  There has been plenty of myth and superstition regarding vampires but not a lot of truth or answers.  In a unique piece of work, Bektamun a 3000 year old vampire, puts to rest all the myth and finally reveals the truth about the legendary creatures known across the globe as vampires.

Vampires Revealed is a journey of discovery.  Leave behind your preconceived ideas, forget the horror stories and disregard everything you think you know about vampires.  Never before have humans had and an opportunity such as this.  To know the unadulterated truth, for every question you may have ever had about vampires to be answered.”

The Links:

Sunday, 4 September 2011

David Janssen's Fugitive catches up with the orchestral music

I've just posted my fourth review for Volumes 1 and 2 for each of Seasons 2 and 3 of 'The Fugitive' starring David Janssen (Season 2 V1&V2, Season 3 V1&V2).

A few months ago I discovered that the complete series Seasons 1-4 is available on DVD. I was excited about this because I remember it with great affection from my late teens. What a great series it was, too, filled with tension and humanity in equal measures, providing a moral exemplar in a time of social turmoil.

Both Volumes 1 and 2 of Season 1 are available in a Region 2 pack, filmed in black and white but full of atmosphere nonetheless. Wonderful! And exactly as I remember it. Seasons 2 and 3 are available in Region 1/NTSC (US TV standards) in the original black and white, with the fourth and final season Volumes 1 and 2 in the original colour (Region1 NTSC) and with the final showdown with the one-armed man.

Having watched all the Region 2 Season 1 episodes, I was intent on carrying on. However, in my usual 'check the reviews before you buy' mode, I found a set of reviews warning of dire changes to the music score on the Seasons 2 and 3 discs. Apparently, CBS re-recorded the original orchestral scores for seasons 2 and 3, with synthesizer music back in 2009. The other reviews stated that after an outcry from fans, CBS provided disc exchanges for fans who had bought discs with synthesizer music. This only lasted for a short time and reviews suggested that replacement discs are no longer available and to avoid the middle two series at all costs.

This seemed like a huge disappointment but I determined I would fork out the price of the first volume of Season 2 and see for myself what this synthesizer sound track was like. I was completely amazed to find that each episode on each disc contained not a note of synthesiser music and that the orchestral score was intact. I have no idea how this is possible but it is so.

Still continuing with great caution, I bought one season at a time, until I had all volumes of both Seasons 2 and 3. Each time I was delighted to find that the sound track had not been tampered with. A very pleasant surprise because the original orchestral music is absolutely central to the tension, atmosphere and enjoyment of these stories. I bought all the discs from a number of different suppliers, so I can only assume that it is not hard now to obtain the discs with the original music. However, this is only an assumption and I sincerely hope that anyone cautiously buying these nostalgia-laden discs gets the right ones. Don't forget that if you decide to follow the epic struggle of Dr Richard Kimble's quest for justice, you will need to be able to play US Region 1 NTSC discs.

Thursday, 1 September 2011


I've got the (World Exclusive) T-shirt, so I must have written the book...

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Dombey and Son - Audio 31 CD Set

5* Wonderfully evocative
David Timson is an amazing performer. His portrayal of every individual in this story is so distinctive, that each one is immediately identifiable by tone, accent and emphasis. And in this book there are very many characters. My wife is studying Dombey and Son for her university course and I listened alongside her. I have never heard a book read with such energy, enthusiasm and accomplishment. Timson is surely a master of his craft.

Like many Dickens stories, Dombey and Son is lengthy and complex. This CD set brings it to life so effectively, it is like being on the set of a play or movie. A truly wonderful production, the set includes 31 CDs in a sturdy box which will definitely not fit through your letterbox. However at close to forty hours of listening, I believe it to be excellent value at around £2 per hour.

The CDs in the set are contained in individual sleeves, each printed with the appropriate details, as included in the accompanying booklet with the time in minutes and seconds for each scene within a chapter. The booklet also has at the back a 4 page essay by David Timson, providing useful insight into Dickens's writing process and an interpretation of the plot and themes of the story.

A marvellous way to enjoy one of Dickens's most successful novels.

Amazon UK Dombey and Son audio CD

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

New Book - just released 'Spirit in the Circuits'

Peter Salisbury has just released on Amazon and smashwords his new spooky anthology 'Spirit in the Circuits':

A collection of six ghost and horror stories engineered for the information age: a pair of archaeologists find their computer simulation invaded by a visitor; a killer App does just that; a cloud sucks the fun out of all of us; a dead phone rings; a lucky day is anything but; and a computer repair technician joins the fight to defeat alien hordes. The first five are completely new stories; the sixth is an extended version of a previously published flash fiction story.

In March 2011, another UK author challenged Peter Salisbury to write outside his usual science fiction comfort zone and produce at least one ghost/horror story. This collection is the result, in which some readers may believe that technology refused to fully relinquish its grip on the author, despite his struggle to wriggle free.

(14,300 words plus samples of other stories, total more than 18,000 words)

Amazon UK Spirit in the Circuits
Amazon US Spirit in the Circuits
smashwords Spirit in the Circuits

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

"Doctor Who": The Hounds of Artemis: (Audio Original) (BBC Audio) (Audio CD)

Sinister hounds 5*

This is a great story, engaging and absorbing, with a very visual style. It was easy to imagine the dramatic setting. There was plenty of tension and suspense, though with all audio only presentations, there were sections which needed concentration to follow as the action cut between different locations. The middle section is a little on the grisly side, when the nature of the 'ancient evil' mentioned on the back cover of the CD is revealed. Probably not a bed-time story for the younger enthusiast!

There are some excellent sound effects and of course the much loved signature tune in one of its latest updated forms.

We obtained the CD for a trip by car. At 1 hour 10 minutes, the length was about right for a 2 hour journey, after setting off and getting on the right road, then the need to concentrate on the satnav near our destination. For in-car listening, there were sufficiently wide variations in volume to have to resort to tweaking the volume control every so often. However, when we listened to the CD again at home, the variations were not as critical.

I haven't listened to any of the other made-for-audio Dr Who stories, so I have no point of comparison but this one does seem to be written for older (at least 12+) given the macabre nature of the what The Doctor finds in the tomb.

Overall, a satisfying new adventure.

Amazon US Story available but not in same format (July 2011)

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Pirates, Swashbucklers and Buccaneers of London (Of London Series) by Helen Smith (Paperback)

5 stars Calling All Landlubbers
I bought this fun and informative book for my son, aged 11. This is what he wrote about it:

"Pirates, Swashbucklers and Buccaneers of London' is a fantastic book with loads of facts and true stories that are vividly described. I learned the pirate currency: escudos, reales, pesos (known as `pieces of eight'), and doubloons. There are also three types of pirate: Privateers (these were allowed by the king or queen to attack foreign ships); Buccaneers who operated in the West Indies; and Corsairs who operated in the Mediterranean.

I am glad I wasn't a pirate because from what I have read, being a pirate was pretty grim. This is a very good book because it is full to the brim with amazing facts."

This book is well-written in language engaging for the younger reader. I particularly recommend it for shared reading with a parent. Some parents may wish their children to avoid the short section near the end on Edward Low and Other Peoples' Ears.

Amazon US Pirates
Amazon UK Pirates

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The Draco Tavern by Larry Niven (Hardback, Paperback, mp3, CD)

Will it be dry ice with that, sir? 5 stars
A fascinating, varied and deliciously strange collection of short stories. Just what you would expect from Larry Niven on the subject of human - alien interaction. The Tavern is a meeting place for alien visitors to earth but the number of humans present can usually be counted on the fingers of one hand (assuming your species has fingers or hands).

The ever-present, worldly wise bar owner, Rick Shumann, acts as fixer for problems of an intergalactic nature. Written between 1977 and 2006, some of the stories are remarkably topical, all of them are vivid, visual and reliably entertaining.

Psychology, philosophy and linguistics collide in a spectacular series of misconceptions, misapprehensions and very near misses in terms of interspecies relations. This is a thought-provoking, imaginative and mind-expanding collection of tales that will bear repeated reading and enjoyment.

Friday, 17 June 2011

James Everington: Scattershot Writing: In Defence Of Short Stories #6: Peter Salisbury

Guest-blogging is good! Find me today at James Everington's blog:

James Everington: Scattershot Writing: In Defence Of Short Stories #6: Peter Salisbury: "Today's defence is mounted by Peter Salisbury , a science fiction writer from the UK. He writes both serious, intelligent sci-fi, such as..."

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Oplontis: Roman Villa in Italy

From my visit to Oplontis, these are some more pictures from this wonderful villa:

small section of mosaic floor at the back of the villa          store room containing amphorae

bird in an architectural setting

                                                                             plaster cast of carbonised 
bi-fold doors, showing panels and hinges


I love going to such places, they are so full of inspiration and little details to delight and stimulate the imagination. Who paused with their feet resting on that piece of mosaic between two tall columns. Why was he or she looking out across the garden at the back of the villa. Did the wind rustle in the trees or the birds sing? Who else was nearby?

What was stored in each of those vessels

Why did the artist give the pigeon its almost human expression?

What secrets were kept behind those doors?

Who sat with their back against the wall next to those peacocks, resting from a swim in the pool close by?

Saturday, 11 June 2011


I have been to this Roman city four times now and it always thrills. Even in heavy drizzle it was an inspiring place. In fact the patterns of some of the mosaics showed up more clearly than when seen under a baking sun.

Water glistened from stone streets where the paving was worn by carts nearly two thousand years ago.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Roman Villa in Italy

I have recently returned from a visit to the on-going excavations of a large Roman villa near Naples. There were many exceptionally fine frescos. This is a small part of a particularly whimsical set which extended for many metres along one of the walls.

There were very many more and it was an exceptionally well restored and interesting place.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Malta & Gozo (Bradt Travel Guides) (Paperback) Juliet Rix

A thoughtful guide to the rich cultural and historic heritage of Malta    5*

I have visited Malta several times already, however, the next time I go, I will be taking this guidebook with me, as it appears there's still rather a lot I have yet to see!
The Bradt series of guidebooks specialises in revealing the hidden charm to be found in the country or region featured. This one is no exception: the Malta revealed in these pages is described in wonderful detail, from its monuments, which are more ancient than the Great Pyramids, to the present day amenities. The well-known beaches and resorts are described but so too are the less well-known activities and sites, like the scuba diving schools, bird-watching, catacombs, churches, fortifications and museums. The fact that the book runs to over 300 pages in total shows what a wealth of interest there is to be found.

This guide is bang up to date, containing many internet addresses for useful and helpful websites and podcasts. Bradt also maintain an Additional Content and Updates site. As is mentioned in the guide, there are several internet cafes and many hotels which provide internet access, so the visitor can check for up to the minute information during their stay.

Juliet Rix, an experienced journalist with a strongly evident love of this Mediterranean country, has produced a guide that is absorbing, authoritative and easy to read. Right from the front of the book, the reader is treated to fascinating pieces of information and beautiful photos of Malta's many features. In addition to those at the beginning, there are two further sections of colour photographs offering inspiring views. One particularly spectacular photo is of a cannon being fired on the Saluting Battery at noon. The accessible sections, many maps, extensive index and three appendices make this an enjoyable book to delve into at any time. Once you have visited Malta, this guide will also make a valuable focus for reminiscing about your trip, or for planning the next one.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

New Look Inside feature for ebooks

Previously only printed books could have the Look Inside feature, where customers could browse the first several pages of content before deciding to buy a book. Now it has spontaneously appeared for ebooks:

Thursday, 19 May 2011

There Was a Young Artist Called (Paperback) Andrew Birch and Sebastian Smith

Informative and Amusing 5*

I am a fan of Birch cartoons and of limericks, so appreciated this volume of such, on sixty artists various. Birch's cartoons, several of which feature his trade-mark electrified grimace, are of the gritty and highly dynamic standard to be expected by those familiar with his output in newspapers and periodicals. The Braque, Duchamp and Hirst, to name but a few, are real crackers. It is by no means a comprehensive who's who of famous artists but many of the limericks are surprisingly informative.

Overall, a stimulating, frequently bawdy and amusing collection, worth it for the cartoons alone!
In conclusion from my own hand, I offer you these:

I do find these limericks delightful,
if in manners often quite frightful
(I'd as soon try a smile
as wallow in bile)
and best when the rhyme is insightful.

The cartoons they all take a swipe
at, yes, you do know the type.
Or is it the artists
in nervous catharsis
that generate most of the hype?

Amazon US There was a Young Artist Called