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Stephen Hunt - Author

About the Author

Stephen Hunt has written one previous book, the fantasy novel For the Crown and the Dragon, which won the WH Smith New Talent Award in 1994 and was published by the UK's largest bookseller under the auspices of their New Talent Initiative. It went on to get praise in reviews as diverse as Locus, the Guardian, Science Fiction Chronicle, Arcane, Broadsword and various other newspapers and genre titles.

Stephen Hunt set up one of the first science fiction and fantasy web sites, www.SFcrowsnest.com, in 1994, the same year Netscape was launched as a graphical web browser. Today Stephen Hunt's SFcrowsnest.com â„¢ has 340,000 readers a month and is PageRanked as the second most popular science fiction site on the internet (the first being SciFi.com, the web site of the SciFi television channel).

Originally set up to help promote Hunt's fiction, the site has expanded into an online magazine featuring SFF book and movie reviews, editorials, fiction, articles and news. Contributors include authors such as Ken Macleod and Stephen Baxter, as well as hundreds of science fiction and fantasy fans around the world.

Stephen Hunt lives in Surrey with his wife and children.

Below is a Q&A with this author.

1) When do you find time to write while fitting in a job, family, hobbies the website and “nerding about on your PC”?

The trick here is to make the best use of your dead time – that hour both ways on the train becomes liquid gold when you pull out your laptop or notepad to get jiggy with the wordage. The hour at lunch becomes a creative opportunity, rather than just sixty minutes of bored meandering around Pret in the hopeless search for a new sarnie you haven’t tried before. Getting up early helps, too, so you can fit in some coffee shop time before the day job; hey, if it was good enough for JK Rowling… I’m usually up around 5.50am each morning.

2) Who or what has been the biggest influence on your writing?

For me this is always a difficult question, because I’ve read so many science fiction and fantasy books when I was younger, plundering my father’s library – he was an early genre fan, and we had thousands of SFF titles knocking around. Influences would have to include authors like Jules Verne, Arthur C. Clark, Jack Vance, Iain Banks, Sheri S. Tepper, Samuel R. Delany, Gene Wolfe, James Blish, C. J. Cherryh, Ben Bova, William Gibson, H.G. Wells, Greg Bear, Philip K. Dick, Larry Niven, Joe Haldeman, Frederik Pohl, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jerry Pournelle, Michael Moorcock, J.R. Tolkien, Clifford Simak, Douglas Adams, Dan Simmons, Isaac Asimov, John Wyndham, Piers Anthony, Harry Harrison, Robert Heinlein, Robert Silverberg, Ray Bradbury, A. E. van Vogt, Kurt Vonnegut, Alec Effinger.

3) Stuck alone on a desert island would you rather have one good Scifi novel to read or your favourite Scifi TV series (plus battery powered TV to watch on)? 

I’d go for a book every time. If I absolutely had to go for a TV set though, I’d ask for Bladerunner on DVD. That’s one of the few science fiction movies I can watch more than once and never get tired of seeing it.

4) What is your favourite book outside the Scifi Fantasy genre? Or What is your favourite book? Or both??

Outside the genre, it would be a toss up between Martin Amis’s Money or A Man in Full  by Tom Wolfe. I suspect if I had to make the dreaded Desert Island Disc choice now, my book would be outside the science fiction and fantasy genre, just because once you start writing books in the SFF genre, it becomes much harder to (re)read genre novels without bringing a much more critical eye to the novels. I’m reliably told by someone in the business that chefs feel the same when they eat in someone else’s restaurant. It kind of ruins the experience.

5) What is it about the Victorian era that particularly interests you?

I’d stretch my own period feel back a little earlier to encapsulate the Regency/Georgian period, too. Both that and the Victorian era just have so many plot possibilities, you can have endless fun stretching around the borders of history and playing with the stereotypes of the period. It was the time when the Great was slipped in before the Britain, and there’s still a lot of nostalgia for that period in the UK. I think it’s a historical fascination that stretches beyond just my own – you only have to look at the popularity on television of costume dramas, which are invariably set in the world of Jane Austin/Dickens, or subtly aping them in TV series like Tipping the Velvet (from Sarah Waters’ book, of course). When you get into the military side of things, there’s Sharpe’s Company, Hornblower, Patrick O'Brian’s Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin characters. All books. All TV series or movies, too.

6) What advice would you give to writers wanting to break in to Science Fiction writing?

I think the best advice is just keep at it, book after book, getting better with each work, published or no, and avoid anything that distracts from the actual tedious act of locking yourself away from the world and just writing it out (such as writers’ circles, hobby magazines on writing from WH Smith, and writer’s classes: all useless, and all the kiss of death to any burgeoning artist).

Featured books by Stephen Hunt

The Stealers' War

The Stealers' War

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/03/2016

All anyone should want is a return to peace. But Jacob Carneham still wants his revenge; and if he can lure the invaders into the mountain he can have it. He can kill them all. If he does, there may never be peace again. If he doesn't, Weyland will never be free of the threat of invasion. The northern horse lords are planning an attack. A future Empress is fighting to save her daughter.

ebook of the month
In Dark Service

In Dark Service

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/03/2015

Jacob Carnehan has settled down. He's living a comfortable, quiet life, obeying the law and minding his own business while raising his son Carter...on those occasions when he isn't having to bail him out of one scrape or another. His days of adventure are - thankfully - long behind him. Carter Carnehan is going out of his mind with boredom. He's bored by his humdrum life, frustrated that his father won't live a little, and longs for the bright lights and excitement of anywhere-but-here. He's longing for an opportunity to escape, and test himself against whatever the world has to offer. Carter is going to get his opportunity. He's caught up in a village fight, kidnapped by slavers and, before he knows it, is swept to another land. A lowly slave, surrounded by technology he doesn't understand, his wish has come true: it's him vs. the world. He can try to escape, he can try to lead his fellow slaves, or he can accept the inevitable and try to make the most of the short, brutal existence remaining to him...unless Jacob gets to him first and, no matter the odds, he intends to. No one kidnaps his son and gets away with it - and if it come to it, he'll force Kings to help him on his way, he'll fight, steal, blackmail and betray his friends in the name of bringing Carter home. Wars will be started. Empires will fall. And the Carnehan family will be reunited, one way or another...

ebook of the month
In Dark Service

In Dark Service

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/05/2014

Jacob Carnehan has settled down. He's living a comfortable, quiet life, obeying the law and minding his own business while raising his son Carter ...on those occasions when he isn't having to bail him out of one scrape or another. His days of adventure are - thankfully - long behind him. Carter Carnehan is going out of his mind with boredom. He's bored by his humdrum life, frustrated that his father won't live a little, and longs for the bright lights and excitement of anywhere-but-here. He's longing for an opportunity to escape, and test himself against whatever the world has to offer. Carter is going to get his opportunity. He's caught up in a village fight, kidnapped by slavers and, before he knows it, is swept to another land. A lowly slave, surrounded by technology he doesn't understand, his wish has come true: it's him vs. the world. He can try to escape, he can try to lead his fellow slaves, or he can accept the inevitable and try to make the most of the short, brutal existence remaining to him...unless Jacob gets to him first and, no matter the odds, he intends to. No one kidnaps his son and gets away with it - and if it come to it, he'll force Kings to help him on his way, he'll fight, steal, blackmail and betray his friends in the name of bringing Carter home. Wars will be started. Empires will fall. And the Carnehan family will be reunited, one way or another...

ebook of the month
From the Deep of the Dark

From the Deep of the Dark

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/09/2012

The sixth marvellous tale of high adventure and derring-do from the master of steampunk literature, set in the world of The Court of the Air A daring underwater chase ends in a battle for the Kingdom itself! The streets of Middlesteel are under attack by an unseen enemy, leaving bloodless corpses in its trail. The newssheets scream vampire, but the truth is even more deadly than anyone knows. Charlotte Shades, Mistress of Mesmerism, is a thief -- and a darned good one at that. When two mysterious men ask her to steal King Jude's Sceptre from the Parliament vaults, the challenge (and reward) is too great to pass up. After all, Charlotte's natural charm and the magic of the gem she wears -- the mysterious Eye of Fate -- have never failed her before. Only consulting detective Jethro Daunt and his steamman companion Boxiron know there's more to these two men than meets the eye. Yet even as they rescue Charlotte from a fate worse than death, they are thrown into a plot thicker than even they realize. They escape beneath the waves in an ancient submarine led by Commodore Jethro Black, where they encounter stiff resistance from the strange people who inhabit the vast underwater kingdoms. But man, woman, seanore and gillneck alike must band together if they are to defeat a danger that might not even be from this world!

ebook of the month

Other books by Stephen Hunt

Alternative Religions:

Alternative Religions:

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/01/2021

This title was first published in 2003. Alternative religions attract great public, academic and government interest in our apparently post-Christian society. Yet how did all the alternatives develop, what are their beliefs and practices and how significant are their impact in terms of the world's religions and society? This book presents a comprehensive introduction to the major forms of alternative religions: cults, sects, new religious movements, the New Age, fundamentalism, Pentecostalism, ethnic religions and quasi religions. The author presents sociological insights into the rise of alternative religions, their beliefs and practices, their impact, who joins them and why, and how they are being classified and could be re-classified in the future. Public and legal controversies surrounding some alternative religions, such as the so-called dangerous cults , are also explored. Offering a broad introduction to alternative religions, this book offers students added insights into contemporary themes such as secularization, post-modernity, links between religion, healing and human potential, and changes in our global culture.

The Fortress in the Frost

The Fortress in the Frost

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2020

Hell Fleet

Hell Fleet

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/12/2018

Empty Between the Stars

Empty Between the Stars

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/07/2018

Mission to Mightadore

Mission to Mightadore

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/05/2018

The Stealers' War

The Stealers' War

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2017

Weyland has been at war. Invaded by a technologically advanced enemy, the cities sacked, and what fragile peace remained torn apart by a civil war. All anyone should want is a return to peace. But Jacob Carneham still wants his revenge; and if he can lure the invaders into the mountain he can have it. He can kill them all. If he does, there may never be peace again. If he doesn't, Weyland will never be free of the threat of invasion. The northern horse lords are planning an attack. A future Empress is fighting to save her daughter. Jacob's son is trying to restore peace and stability to Weyland, alongside the rightful King. And behind it all is a greater struggle, which may spell the end for them all . . .

The Alpha Enterprise

The Alpha Enterprise

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/11/2016

The Alpha Enterprise explores the development, growth and impact of the most widely used evangelising programme of recent decades. The Alpha course is run in over seven thousand churches in the UK and over five thousand in the USA. Across the world some four million people have graduated through the course in over 80 countries. Alpha is truly the fastest growing evangelising initiative, creating widespread support as well as stirring strong criticism. Stephen Hunt critically examines the content and working philosophy of the Alpha course through the experiences of the churches that have run it, as well as the individuals who have experienced it first hand. Hunt charts the history of the programme, its use of group dynamics and media, how it links with the charismatic movement, how it deals with issues such as homosexuality, how it is run not only in churches but in prisons and universities too, and concludes by measuring Alpha's impact and success. Engaging with debates regarding postmodernity, globalisation, McDonaldisation, consumerism, and secularisation, and based on real-life surveys, The Alpha Enterprise sheds new light not only on evangelism but on contemporary Christianity in general and how it engages with a post-Christian culture.

Anomalous Thrust

Anomalous Thrust

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/05/2016

Hell Sent

Hell Sent

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/04/2016

Foul Tide's Turning

Foul Tide's Turning

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/01/2016

The power struggle begins . . . The people of Weyland always believed the slavers raids, which destroyed families and homes like a natural disaster, were a misfortune that couldn't be averted or stopped. But it's not true. King Marcus struck a deal: his people in exchange for technology and a powerful alliance with the Vandian civilisation. And now everyone knows. Jacob and Carter Carnehan escaped the slavers - along with the true king of Weyland - and have returned home with both the truth, and a Vandian princess as their hostage. Their purpose was to avoid war . . . instead, the truth prompts a civil war at home - while an invasion force focused on reclaiming the captive princess starts to gather on their borders. Jacob and Carter will be separated once again - and this time they're fighting for something bigger than their lives.

Religion and LGBTQ Sexualities

Religion and LGBTQ Sexualities

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/06/2015

This compiled and edited collection engages with a theme which is increasingly attracting scholarly attention, namely, religion and LGBTQ sexuality. Each section of the volume provides perspectives to understanding academic discourse and wide-ranging debates around LGBTQ sexualities and religion and spirituality. The collection also draws attention to aspects of religiosity that shape the lived experiences of LGBTQ people and shows how sexual orientation forges dimensions of faith and spirituality. Taken together the essays represent an exploration of contestations around sexual diversity in the major religions; the search of sexual minorities for spiritual 'safe spaces' in both established and new forms of religiosity; and spiritual paths formed in reconciling and expressing faith and sexual orientation. This collection, which features contributions from a number of disciplines including sociology, anthropology, psychology, history, religious studies and theology, provides an indispensable teaching resource for educators and students in an era when LGBTQ topics are increasingly finding their way onto numerous undergraduate, post-graduate and profession orientated programmes.

Secrets of the Moon

Secrets of the Moon

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/05/2015

Void All The Way Down

Void All The Way Down

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/09/2014

Jack Cloudie

Jack Cloudie

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/02/2012

A tale of high adventure and derring-do set in the same Victorian-style world as the acclaimed The Court of the Air and The Secrets of the Fire Sea. Thanks to his father's gambling debts, young Jack Keats finds himself on the streets and trying to survive as a pickpocket, desperate to graft enough coins to keep him and his two younger brothers fed. Following a daring bank robbery gone badly awry, Jack narrowly escapes the scaffold, only to be pressed into Royal Aerostatical Navy. Assigned to the most useless airship in the fleet, serving under a captain who is most probably mad, Jack seems to be bound for almost certain death in the far-away deserts of Cassarabia. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Omar ibn Barir, the slave of a rich merchant lord finds his life turned upside down when his master's religious sect is banned. Unexpectedly freed, he survives the destruction of his home to enter into the service of the Caliph's military forces - just as war is brewing. Two very similar young men prepare to face each other across a senseless field of war. But is Omar the enemy, or is Jack's true nemesis the sickness at the heart of the Caliph's court? A cult that hides the deadly secret to the origins of the gas being used to float Cassarabia's new aerial navy. If Jack and his shipmates can discover what Cassarabia's aggressive new regime is trying to conceal, he might survive the most horrific of wars and clear his family's name. If not...

Six Against The Stars

Six Against The Stars

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: eBook Release Date: 19/07/2011

As the self-proclaimed biggest coward in the galaxy, Horatio has it easy on what passes for 40th century America. Sadly, he is kidnapped from the court of the King of Earth and taken to the stars. His mission? To protect the universe. He might save it, but he could damage it a little first!

Indigenous Religions

Indigenous Religions

Author: Stephen Hunt Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/11/2010

This volume on Indigenous Religions in The Library of Essays on Sexuality and Religion series focuses on indigenous religions and their attitudes towards human sexuality. Through previously-published articles the volume gives full scope to attitudes towards sexuality found in a vast range of contrasting expressions of religiosity outside of the so-called 'World Faiths'. Examples are taken from cultures as far afield as Africa, Australasia, South America and the Pacific islands. Part 1 includes a number of articles centring on the role of sexuality in rites of passage and initiation in relation to liminality, maturity and reproduction. Part 2 examines the relationship between sexuality, spirit possession and witchcraft. Part 3 includes such areas as religion, gender, patriarchy and both hetero-sexualality and non-heterosexuality. The final part considers sexuality and indigenous religions in a changing and globalised world and entails the themes of sexuality as expressed through 'cargo cults', pilgrimage and religiosity in the context of colonial dominance.