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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 â€œnerding about on your PCâ€?
The trick here is to make the best use of your dead time â€“ 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 havenâ€™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 Rowlingâ€¦ Iâ€™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 Iâ€™ve read so many science fiction and fantasy books when I was younger, plundering my fatherâ€™s library â€“ 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)?
Iâ€™d go for a book every time. If I absolutely had to go for a TV set though, Iâ€™d ask for Bladerunner on DVD. Thatâ€™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 Amisâ€™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. Iâ€™m reliably told by someone in the business that chefs feel the same when they eat in someone elseâ€™s restaurant. It kind of ruins the experience.
5) What is it about the Victorian era that particularly interests you?
Iâ€™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 thereâ€™s still a lot of nostalgia for that period in the UK. I think itâ€™s a historical fascination that stretches beyond just my own â€“ 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 Watersâ€™ book, of course). When you get into the military side of things, thereâ€™s Sharpeâ€™s Company, Hornblower, Patrick O'Brianâ€™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 writersâ€™ circles, hobby magazines on writing from WH Smith, and writerâ€™s classes: all useless, and all the kiss of death to any burgeoning artist).
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...
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!
The fourth volume in Hunt’s fascinating Jackelian fantasy series has unbridled imagination to spare, as cyberpunk landscapes conjugate to perfection with a Sherlockian mystery investigation of the highest calibre led by Boxiron and Jethro Daunt. Wildly entertaining and with the usual quota of colourful and amusing characters. Escapist entertainment of the highest calibre.
One of the best of a group of writers who return to Victorian storytelling values for vigorous steampunk tales of dastardly deeds, cliffhangers and intrigue. The Kingdom of Jackals series is already into 3 books, the latest being THE RISE OF THE IRON MOON and already their varied characters are affectionate favourites of many readers. Lovereading view... An author we have championed at Lovereading since his first novel, The Court of the Air. Once more he brings his wit and imagination to an eager audience. If you haven’t read him now is the time to start.
A compelling fantasy set in a Victorian-style world of airships and intrigue, this book is a real gem. One of those where to talk about it is to spoil it. A big book that rattles along excitingly and contains a few good surprises. It’s what the trade call a cross-over book, being suitable for both adults and children. In fact older Harry Potter fans will love it. It’s the kind of book that makes you want to jump up and down and press it onto all your friends. Absolutely wonderful.Comparison: Susanna Clarke, Philip Pulman, James Robertson.
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 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.
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.
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!
Since the 1960s a fresh wave of new religions and what has come to be termed 'spiritualities' have been evident on a global scale. This volume in The Library of Essays on Sexuality and Religion focuses on these 'new' religions and their often contentious attitudes towards human sexuality. Part 1, through previously-published articles, provides instances of affirming orientations of the 'new' religions towards sexuality. This entails scrutinising examples of innovative religion from a historical perspective, as well as those of a more contemporary nature. Part 2 examines, with pertinent illustrations, the controversial character of 'new' religions in their 'cultist' forms and matters of sexual control and abuse. Part 3 considers sexuality as articulated through paganism, the occult and esotericism in the postmodern setting. Part 4 examines both hetero- and non-hetero- expressions of sexuality through the so-called 'New Spiritualities', Quasi-religions and the more 'hidden' forms of religiosity.
The subject of gay and lesbian sexuality is perhaps the most vexed issue in the contemporary Christian Church. Many churches have been forced to confront the matter, both theologically and pastorally and in consequence, controversies have proved divisive within the Church, most notably between conservative and liberal orientated denominations, as well as evangelical churches. This book explores these themes from a sociological perspective, addressing not only gay and lesbian sexualities, but also bi- and transgendered sexualities. With rich empirical material being presented by a team of experts, this book constitutes the first comprehensive sociological study of 'non-hetero' sexualities in relation to contemporary Christianity. As such, it will appeal to sociologists, scholars of religion and theology as well as readers across a range of social sciences
[To grasp this subject] one needs a multifaceted, multidisciplinary approach by a variety of expert hands such as have been brought together in this book. Here one has the whole argument, from the inter-Testamental and earliest Christian periods through medieval and early modern times up to the complex overlaps with the New Age, or Pentecostalism and Neo-Pentecostalism, or Judaising movements like the Seventh-Day Adventists and the Peruvian 'Israelites.' -from the Foreword by David Martin Students with a serious interest in the manifestations of millennialism, and those concerned with the origins and motivations embraced by revolutionary ideologies will find this book an indispensable resource; . . . for laymen it offers a truly fascinating read. -Bryan R. Wilson This timely book examines the impact of Christian millenarian ideas in a comparative and historical perspective with a special emphasis on contemporary religious movements inspired by such ideas. The contributors are Andrew Bradstock, Eugene Gallagher, Malcolm B. Hamilton, Massimo Introvigne, Orestis Lindermeyer, Kenneth Newport, Susan J. Palmer, Mark Patterson, Martyn Percy, Margaret Poloma, Stanley E. Porter, Ian Reader, Damian Thompson, Andrew Walker, Diane Watt, and Michael York.