So Many Ideas and So Little Time...

Synopses of books as yet unwritten

The Seax Saga

Monsters and Marxists

The Eternal City

The Last Roman

Other titles in brief

If you would like to see any of the books synopsized here written in full, please contact the author with suitably large offers of remuneration and publication.

The Seax Saga


The Saxon Shore
The Eastern Emperor
The Golden Wyvern

[N.B. The seax (or scramaseax) was the long, one-edged blade traditionally carried by the Saxons, and from which they drew both their name and that of their chief god. ]

Proto-England, from the 5th to 11th centuries (with sizeable 15th century postscript). 'Our' history, as recorded in the standard texts, but also as the Saxons believed to it to be, and thus beset with magic, elves, monsters and interventionist gods. The books therefore describe a world as the protagonists perceived it, not later interpreters. This was a 'fluid' time; part of the age of migrations, in which new Kingdoms and peoples arose, and things thought eternal passed into history. The series would be similarly swift-moving and wide-ranging. Book 1 would involve the dying days of the Roman Empire and the Saxons arrival on the south-east coast of 'Britannia'. Book 2 would describe the Viking era and the main protagonists' travelling east to Byzantium and their service in the Eastern Emperor's elite 'Varangian guard'. Book 3 would bring events up to Hastings and the Saxon resistance against the Normans after that.

The fortunes of an abnormally close knit Saxon clan, on their way from poverty and piracy, right to the very top. The 'Corleones' of Anglo-Saxon England. Their struggles and triumphs and disasters, cutting a path through those less single-minded and united than themselves. Their role in the great events of the age which have gone to form our own..

Principally, either a formidable brother and sister team from said clan, powerfully linked but pursuing separate careers - thus putting the book/s in split narrative form. Or different main characters from the family, linked between the books by a common heirloom, probably a seax knife or 'great-axe', handed down from generation to generation. Also: Late Roman Emperors, Arthur, Vortigern, Hengist and Horsa, various over-the-top Vikings, subtle and over-cultured Byzantines, the exiled English axe-bearers of Constantinople, William-the-bastard, Rufus the Red (and his pagan, homosexual court faction), Hereward the Wake, Wild Edric, Robin Hood et al, the 'gods' Woden and Saxneat plus friends - and an appalling host of barbarians, shamans, witches, monks, saints, grendels, elves and so on.

Everything from the arrival of the first Saxon mercenaries in Britannia to the Norman conquest, narrated from one clan's main-chance perspective, and all drenched in wild magic and 'divine' meddling. An ancient bargain re-struck with the new-comers by the older races.

N.B. My usual 'humour' is detachable from these books, i.e. the tone of the times doesn't so readily lend itself to 'light-hearted' treatment. Doubtless it would worm its way in regardless, but the humour (if such it be) would probably be different from that of, say, Popes & Phantoms or The Royal Changeling. There's scope for the usual stuff in, for instance, rabid Vikings, effete Byzantine courtiers or the Saxon attitude to sex, but generally the atmosphere conveyed in the legends and sagas is pretty .... grim.

Monsters & Marxists

Our world - sort of. Mainly Russia and England, but also America and the Middle East, from the 1960s onwards, with brief visits back to Victorian London and the 1930's. High society, 'High politics' and the cultural elites. 'The City' in the era of yuppies and the market boom. Oxbridge and the 'Brideshead Set'. East Berlin, Moscow, the Kremlin, Beirut and the Pentagon. The Vatican. The desert wastes of Saudi, and Mecca and Medina.

That the 'older races', viz.: the elves and associated weird cousins that I've featured or mentioned in other books, are alive and fairly well, and functioning in modern society. Though sickened, weak and at death's door at the turn of the 20th century; and although brought near to extinction by the Industrial Revolution's polluting effects, by scientific rationalism and human overpopulation, the story of how the elves claw their way back from the edge by adopting their enemy's methods. The recruitment, blackmail and suborning of historical figures and movements into serving the older races' wishes. Their hijacking of communism, the 60's student movements, laisser-faire capitalism, terrorist groups and myriad other trends to ensure their own survival and restore their one-time mastery of the Earth. The 'true' history of our times. Copious 'magic', sorcery, theology and pretty basic ribaldry. The usual mixture of some seriousness and melancholia, interspersed with horror and double entendres.

Principally: Harry St John Philby, explorer, soldier, British Empire civil servant, World War 2 traitor, Muslim convert and advisor to the Saudi Royal family (and dad of Kim Philby) - and older races go-between. Also: Enver Hoxha, Joseph Stalin, Kim Philby and Guy Burgess, Karl Marx, Erich Honecker, the Baader-Meinhof gang, Kim il Sung, Sir Anthony Blunt, Henry Kissinger (an officially recognised bi-locator), Yuri Andropov, Mikhail Suslov, Lavrenti Beria, Menachem Begin and a host of other familiar names in unfamiliar guise.

What went 'wrong' with the Russian revolution (briefly), how the Soviet inner core were offered a better deal and what they did with it. How Russia (with assistance from their secret allies) actually won the Cold War - even though it doesn't look like it to the unilluminated. The 'coming out' of the older races, in a position of stylish advantage, complete with anti-discrimination legislation to protect them. The elites discover there is a higher elite, immovably atop them. Humanity as 'pets' and 'cattle'. How 'progress' is being guided along to become a whole lot more .... exotic, than 19th century materialists might have envisaged.

The Eternal City

In a tiny village in 'Britannia Superior', a young member of the 'Regni' tribe is growing up only dimly aware of the vast Empire of which he is a part. His people are likewise hazy about their position in the world, or even what year it is: some say 3053 years after the foundation of Rome (or 2300 AD), others state 3076 (2323): no one knows for sure. They are aware that their home was once called 'Sussex', part of a land called 'England', but such nostalgic, anti-Imperium, terms are frowned upon by the occasional officials they see.

Beneath the enigmatic chalk hill-figure of the 'Long Man of Wilmington', the villagers live out a simple rural life, fully occupied in wresting their livelihood out of the land. They give little thought as to how the world came to be so empty and scattered with ruins made by giants.

The book's main character starts off in acceptance of this strangely peaceful life, content in due course to replace his father as village 'Tribune' and custodian of the Imperial 'machine-pistol' provided them. Such quiet contentment is, however, lost for good after the calling of the rarest of visitors: a genuine Roman; an educated man and a philosopher. From this disruption comes the restless, questioning spirit that will take the 'hero' out of his pastoral world and into a fuller understanding of his times and its history.

He progresses from a forbidden visit to the ruins of 'Brighton' and the consequent shattering of his every accepted notion, to a career in Imperial service. In Anderida (Pevensey), Noviomagus (Chichester) and Londinium, he learns new and frightening truths and moves ever upward. In Rome at last, he discovers how his world came to be, the story of the rise of the new Rome and the grim secret at its heart. The hand once predestined for guiding a plough is led into directing much stronger and less innocent forces. In opposition to a corrupt and mad Emperor, in surviving the deadly whirlpool of Rome, and finally in becoming the father of the State itself, the hero sees how civilisation came to fall - and stagger up again.

'The Eternal City' charts the course of a questioning man out of blissful ignorance, to the apex of his society and troubled comprehension. Then, in holding the known world in his palm, we follow as this dark (but sometimes sympathetic) character finds his feet drawn inexorably back to his beginnings.

The book surveys a future that is strangely familiar - from the reader's past. It examines the structure of the new Rome, its strategy for survival and the competing faiths struggling for its endorsement. Mining from history books, a few men and women are striving to save what civilisation they can from collapse.

'The Eternal City' can be read as straight adventure: one man's dash for the top in a colourful Empire. Additionally, it is a vision into a world where a dead society lives again in complex new form. Roman ways and means co-exist with machine-guns and decadence now lies in plundering the magic-like technologies of the past. The story of the Roman Emperor from 24th century Sussex should appeal to the reader's sense of history and appreciation of fantasy. Further novels set in this world would be likely.

The Last Roman

In 1453 the City of Constantinople, last remnant of the Roman Empire founded two millennia before, fell to Sultan Mehmed II. The survivors amongst the defeated Royal house of Palaiologos, last rulers of Rome, afterwards took various paths. Some embraced Islam and became useful servants of the 'Sublime Porte'; others fled abroad, taking their ancient culture and dreams of restitution into the service of foreign realms. One real historical figure, Theodore Palaiologos by name and an assassin by trade, made a new life for himself in the barbarian land of England.

Theodore Palaiologos is known to have taken an English wife and found employ in the entourage of the infamous Earl of Lincoln. He seems also to have been associated with King James' 'favourite', the Duke of Buckingham, and have fought as a mercenary in the bitter Lowland wars. Contrary to expectation and likelihood, he ended his life full of years and surrounded by children, in comfort and ease in the still Celtic land of Cornwall. This much is attested fact.

'The Last Roman' develops these bare details and follows Theodore's adventures in the West. His own branch of the Palaiologi have one set aim: to regain royal status - in Constantinople if possible, but anywhere if not. Under the all powerful supervision of the monstrous matriarch of the clan (a major character in the book), its members boil forth to secure, by any means necessary, the position they consider their right.

Theodore treads the path of the soldier-courtier but other kin hedge the family's bets by adopting other ways and faiths, or else burrow lasciviously into advantageous dynastic matches. Throughout his long life Theodore Palaiologos mixes with the high and mighty and interesting; 'Good Queen Bess', King James the Scot, Guy Fawkes, Buckingham and John Smith the warrior-explorer, among many others. Since Grandmother Palaiologos has selected him to represent their Catholic options, he also plays a part in major events of the time, such as the 'Spanish Armada', the 'Gunpowder Plot' and the creation of the 'King James Bible' - but from a viewpoint not often expounded.

He comes to hold a pivotal role in each of the above, serving on board the Spanish fleet with many other English volunteers, seeking to blow up Parliament and frustrate the firm founding of the Anglican Church. Nor is he always as unsuccessful as history would seem to suggest. Attended in all his actions by the supernatural, which was a part of the contemporary world-view, he accepts ghostly and demonic help or hindrance without undue qualms. An opponent of the new, pragmatic, mercantile philosophies just as much as he is of the 'reformed faith', Theodore Palaiologos happily mixes with elves and other survivals of older, wilder ways. He comes to appreciate that in life there is '.... on the surface, an intelligible lie; underneath, the unintelligible truth.'

In the end, the Palaiologis' single-minded crusade is crowned with success - but not as they expected it or in any way historians record it - yet. The reader's knowledge of English history will be subverted and he/she will look differently at the modern world in consequence. The fall and rise of the Royal Palaiologi should amuse, enlighten and horrify.

Other Titles in Brief


An 'alternative history', set in the '1920's' or modern day, where Edward I (1272-1307), 'Hammer of the Scots' etc., underwent a sudden and dramatic conversion to Islam and ( after some minor difficulties of course) carried the nation along with him. The modern world is peaceful, scholarly-speculative, somewhat technologically retarded compared to 'our own' - and Moslem.

The book/s would have a split narrative: mostly in the 'modern' era, showing the radical changes wrought, but partly at the time of the 'divergence'; bit by bit revealing how it came about. The vast variety of 'Jinns' (demons) and their summoners would feature prominently. Also featuring : 'King Arthur's Grave' at Glastonbury, Roger Bacon, King John (who offered to convert to Islam in 'our' world) and St. Francis.

The opening scene(s): the future King Edward gets a savage blow to the head at the Battle of Lewes, goes into a coma, and on awakening says he has spoken to .... some interesting beings whilst 'asleep' ....

Meanwhile, in 1995 (or 1925), a scholar resting in a Derbyshire graveyard (of 'All Saints Church', Mugginton, as once was) spots a long buried fragment of statuary, brought to light by a tree-fall. Representation of the human form has been forbidden for over half a millennia, and he wonders who this bearded man might have been ....


A real-life protagonist, Bishop Richard Challoner (1691-1781) amidst the tumultuous 'Gordon Riots' of 1780. Set in Sussex and London. The efforts of a 'few-in-the-know' to forestall the physical and permanent eruption of the Infernal City, Pandemonium, into England. The Gordon Riots as both symptoms of its coming and cover for its arrival. Savage fighting in central London, the clearing of the bridges at bayonet point. Attacks on prisons and distilleries led by hordes of teenage prostitutes and mysterious men in uniform [as apparently happened!]. Supernatural signs and converse with Demons. Strange and desperate bargains struck on the South Downs. The secret of The Long Man of Wilmington

Joke-worthy Hanoverians (a mad King and debauched Prince-regent), die-hard Jacobites and po-faced dissenters. A gangster Lord Mayor of London, the mad Lord George Gordon and John Wesley whipping up the mob. Fops, duellists, scandalous bishops, agnostic vicars, clinging-on-by-their-fingertips Elves (again), the ever-fascinating 'mob' - to mention but a few.


Basically straightforward humour, though not outright comedy. Strange phantasmagoria occur, increasingly frequently, in central London. People see visions, have glorious notions or go spectacularly off the rails while the phenomenon persists. Afterwards, many are difficult to coax back to prosaic routine. Normal life in the nation falters. Commentators speak of the 'crazy smog'. The main character is assigned to investigate.

He or she tracks the 'ground-zero' of the events to an area of the City in which many of the august professions have their Headquarters. Bit by bit an ancient conspiracy, now beginning to unravel, is discovered .....

It transpires that, at the beginning of their careers, lawyers and accountants - amongst other 'professions' high in popular prejudice - are required to check in their imaginations for safe-keeping (since they'll only be hindered by them), to be returned when they retire - if they require them (unlikely). Naturally, over the centuries the stockpiled imaginations have built up a bit and now exceed the storage available. Imagination spills have occurred. Worse than that, over the long years something strange has happened in the imagination vaults; the imprisoned energies have met and mated and evolved into something new - with a mind of its own .... A five-dimensional creature of pure imagination wants its freedom and the Royal Institute of Chartered Accountants (whilst loathe to come clean and blow the gaff) is no longer up to handling it.

Novelists and such like make dangerous pilgrimages to London to lap up the vibes (and profit thereby) but the rest of the nation is less likely to approve of a dictatorship of the imagination. The professions stand on the edge of a dangerous - and - embarrassing revelation. Also, questions begin to be asked of why accountants frequent the Egyptology Hall of the British Museum quite so much - and for so long.

And so on and on ....


A novel-length (but entirely stand-alone) 'Binscombe Tale'. The struggle of one world-view against a more powerful and prosaic one, written as an analogy to the Beowulf and Grendel story. Elves, crazed political fantasy and visions of alternate futures. Trips to the past. A guaranteed audience at least ....


Richard (not Oliver) Cromwell and his supernatural adventures. The Muggletonians (a religious sect-ette which originated in Civil War days and didn't die-out till 1979!) got it all exactly right. God has a physical body, is five miles tall and lives just above the clouds. The Muggletonians also invented (or maybe had revealed to them) a highly complex astronomical system which contradicts all the boring stuff telescopes and spaceships seem to indicate, and which would make a marvellous setting for a fantasy novel.


A commuter at Waterloo Station looks up at the departures board and sees the above signalled. No one else seems to be surprised or remarks upon it. He acts on impulse - and enters a weirder world than our own, similar to it but more .... colourful. The inhabitants of the 'Deeper Version' have little respect for the 'Mundane' but occasionally accept converts or interbreed with them. The commuter's life suddenly becomes a lot more dramatic, as he explores and then tries to maintain contact with the concealed civilisation lying below the surface of his own.

And that's not to mention... novel All Seasons, a written, revised and ready, romance of time-travel, and Stalinspace, some linked short stories of a Soviet far future, and Ports & Phantoms, supernatural tales set amongst the English community in Portugal, and Let's Kill All the Lawyers! and my unlikely-to-be-set-text book, Revolutionary History for Bolshie Boys and Girls - English History as seen by those it marched all over - and others too numerous to mention ...


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