April 11th, 2007

International Kittens of Mystery

Shift Cover Blurb

Last week I posted two options for the back cover blurb of Shift and asked for comments. It's been a very interesting exercise. Whenever someone pointed to a particular sentence that they liked or loathed someone would reply with the opposite viewpoint. And while some would prefer a greater stressing of the SFnal elements of the story others disagreed and wanted even less. Which just goes to show that there really are six and ninety ways to write back cover copy and every one of them will be wrong - and right - according to who you ask.

But there were some things that everyone agreed upon. Option one was seen as focussing on John Bruce and the SF aspects of the story while option two focussed on Nick Stubbs and the thriller credentials.

So, in option three I've attempted to move the focus more towards Nick Stubbs and strike a balance between the SF and thriller aspects. Ideally, I'd have several blurbs each tailored to the prospective audience. And I'm still tempted to push a 'Fatland' version - pushing the comparisons to Edwin Abbott's Flatland (Shift being the eleven-dimensional version)

But, in the meantime, here's version three. Again comments and suggestions welcome.


Astronaut John Bruce was the first man to pilot a space craft through higher dimensional space. Two years after his triumphant return a second John Bruce appears - as a new personality of Peter Pendennis, an imprisoned serial killer with multiple personalities. At first doctors are sceptical, then he asks to see Louise Callander, the astronaut's former girlfriend, and reveals things only the real John Bruce could know.

Scientist Nick Stubbs is called in to investigate. According to the latest theories the human mind doesn't just inhabit the physical three-dimensional world. It projects into the higher dimensions and if Bruce's brain had been inadequately shielded when he'd entered higher dimensional space...

Then the killing starts. Someone is using Pendennis's MO and leaving body parts scattered in places where Nick has been. With Pendennis under lock and key Nick becomes the prime suspect. Soon, he and Louise are on the run but how can they escape a killer unbound by any restraints of space and time?

As events escalate and the body count rises, Nick realises the answer lies in higher dimensional space and, somehow, he has to get there.

And there's an added problem. Astronaut John Bruce just happens to be running for President.