Simon Townley is a British fiction writer, copywriter and journalist. He is the author of the acclaimed sci-fi / speculative novels ‘Lost In Thought’ and ‘Ball Machine’. He has also written a range of cross-genre novels for both adults and young adults, including prehistoric fiction series ‘A Tribal Song – Tales of the Koriba’; post-apocalypse adventure ‘In The Wreckage’; dystopian sci-fi thriller ‘Outlivers’; and the bio-punk tale of a talking terrier ‘Doguar and the Baboons of War.’
Simon lives in Devon, England, with a woman, three cats and his beloved Airedale terriers. You can find out more at simontownley.com.
Blood Read (Publish And Be Dead)
When investigative journalist Tom Capgras finds his literary agent hanging from an oak beam in her West End office, an immaculately tied noose around her neck, his dreams of a non-fiction book deal appear dead in the water.
Joanne Leatherby’s death looks like suicide but Capgras suspects murder. Nonsense, say police, who dismiss him as a conspiracy crackpot.
Capgras uncovers links to a string of untimely deaths – editors, publishers, reviewers, even book bloggers, killed for an unkind word.
All the evidence points to one man – a mid-list author of detective tales with a career on the skids. Cast adrift by agents and publishers alike, his dreams thwarted, Arthur Middleton has gone to the dark side and embraced self-publishing. He may be crazed with ambition, but how mad would a man have to be to kill for publicity, for book sales? Mad enough to admit everything on the pages of his latest blockbuster?
As the body count mounts, and the police refuse to take him seriously, Capgras must act alone, defy his critics and get to the truth fast – before the killer gets to him.
A crime thriller with a twist of satire – in the vein of Le Carré and Leonard, with a nod to Vonnegut, Jasper Fforde and Tom Robbins. The first book in the genre crossover series The Capgras Conspiracy.
Lost In Thought
Into the labyrinth… where the monsters lurk
The Brainscape, the ultimate gaming device, creates a world, its people and creatures, from the subconscious of the host mind – from books, movies, memories, dreams and nightmares.
When genius inventor Richard Trescerrick finally finds the algorithm to make his experimental mind-link interface safe he knows it could change the world. But before he can reveal it, a mystery attacker clubs him around the head and leaves him for dead.
The only way to retrieve the formula and save Richard’s life is to link with his comatose mind. A team of police and doctors enter the Brainscape – and take with them Richard’s estranged son Luke – Cornish surfer, drifter, artist, fisherman, part-time drunk and full-time, devoted father to autistic son Daniel.
Luke must risk his life and sanity on a surreal and perilous mission to wake his father, unmask a killer and expose a deadly conspiracy.
“Sentences so lean that, like the notes in a Mozart symphony, you’d be hard-pressed to pick a spare word that could be removed without reducing the story… it’s Jumanji meets A Christmas Carol, with a smattering of Alice in Wonderland” Pete Barber, ‘Books and Pals’ book blog.
“The worlds are real. At least as real as imaginary worlds can be, and the premise of summoning metaphors and archetypes to move around and solve problems while inside the subconscious is genius. And the ticket out, a brilliant idea.” Anthony McFadden, author.
“I could not stop reading this book once I’d started it.” Lori L. Grubbs
Can an android win Wimbledon? Or the soccer World Cup? What about the heart of a beautiful woman?
Built as a glorified ball machine, Vitas Rodriguez is the world’s most advanced android – strong, fast, tireless and smart.
Equipped with the revolutionary quantum entanglement processor, he’s sentient, athletic, handsome, and unstoppable. He knows how to learn. And he loves to win. But when pushed to the limit, will Vitas finally shatter his programming and quantify – to the final decimal point – the ultimate, non-binary meaning of life?
“I loved this book to gushing point—fairly rare for me. Why? In a nutshell, it’s expertly written in a distinct voice, has a delightful central character and a great cast of supporting geeks and sports fanatics, an interesting, well-paced plot and, one of my pet delights, a touch of metaphysical/philosophical insight.” Tahlia Newland, Awesome Indies
The Dry Lands
A stone age tribe faces extinction – a young hunter sets out to save his people
Isolated by a changing climate, hemmed in by arid wasteland, a band of prehistoric humans faces starvation. The tribes have grown too big. They’ve hunted too fiercely, and the animals are gone. The waterholes are dry, the rains don’t come. Their world has changed, and they need a way out.
As the young men of the tribe go in search of a new home, Temfe, the chief’s son, must learn to lead his clansmen, before they betray him. To survive in a harsh world, surrounded by enemies, he must gather new allies, discover new weapons and learn new ways of seeing the world.
In the African rift valley, 43,000 years BCE, a spark of consciousness flares into life. The dawn of human culture, the fire that will reshape the world.
‘The Dry Lands’ is book one of the series ‘A Tribal Song – Tales of the Koriba.’
In The rattle of the shaman’s bones
(warning – mild spoilers for book one)
A shamanic power struggle will decide the future of the Koriba.
On the plains of Africa, 43,000 years BCE, enemies surround Temfe of the Koriba. Some fight with spears and flint blades, others with poison, curses and betrayal – all of them determined to control his tribe, to seize its lands and destroy its people.
As death stalks the hunting grounds, striking at the elders, the leaders and the wise ones, can Temfe unite the tribes and lead them across the desert? Can he save his father, poisoned and dying, his spirit lost in shadow?
Should he trust Yorodjan, the disfigured, one-eyed seer who worships the death birds and who flies as a vulture in the other-worlds?
To save the Koriba, Temfe must learn the ways of the shaman, walk the vision-worlds, defend the ancestors and defeat a murderer who wields malign power.
The Fire Within
A monster stalks the riverbanks, killing without mercy
(warning – mild spoilers for books one and two)
In the heart of Africa, 43,000 years BCE, the Koriba begin their long trek north. The young chief Temfe follows the route taken by his allies from the Baroni tribe. But news reaches them of a fierce people that lives beside the river. Monsters, the stories say, men like beasts who slaughter any that cross their lands.
The riverbank holds secrets: signs of a massacre. Dead bodies litter the ground. Survivors confirm Temfe’s worst fears: Tchigun, the cruel leader of the savage Gomneen tribe, has slaughtered and enslaved the Baroni and seized the beautiful Hara as his own.
To rescue Hara and save his friends Temfe must fight alone. Only cunning can free them.
But there are greater dangers than flint blades and spears. As hunger for revenge burns his heart, can Temfe let go of hate? Can he hold to his true self – and defeat the monster that shadows him, closer than his own breath?
Doguar and the Baboons of War
Mind of a Zen monk, body of an Airedale Terrier
A story of armed baboons, ancient riddles, and a genetically enhanced talking dog with a human neo-cortex.
A genetically enhanced Airedale Terrier with near-human intelligence takes on an evil genetics corporation – with the fate of the animal kingdom hanging in the balance.
Can Doguar save his beloved Ruby from the men who want to dissect her brain? Will he defuse the time-bomb in his own DNA? And can he decipher the 1,000-year-old Zen riddle that holds the key to the Professor’s secrets?
A biopunk adventure for middle graders, young adults and adults.
Monster Hunters of the Undermire
Under the black waters lies The Undermire, an ancient celtic land of dragons, druids, ogres, witches and mysterious girls with blazing eyes and burning hair.
Robbie Callahan wants to be at home in London with his friends, not wasting the summer with his father who cares for nothing but his stupid archeology – bones in the ground and bits of mud.
Charging over the moors in a wild storm, Robbie falls into a peat mire, a deep black pond with water that drags him down as if bewitched. Hands grab at him. A mysterious girl, Evelryn, with blazing eyes and burning hair, drags him to safety.
Robbie finds himself in a perilous celtic underworld – The Undermire – enclosed by an uncrossable barrier created by the magic of the druids.
A witch tells Robbie there’s no way home – not unless he first rescues Evelryn’s sister, imprisoned in a deep dungeon at the roots of a far-off mountain and guarded by a terrifying monster and a druid’s curse.
An action packed fantasy adventure set in a mysterious celtic underworld. Sure to appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, Ursula Le Guin and Stephen King. Neverwhere meets Beowulf in a myth for our times.
In the Wreckage
A Tale of Two Brothers
Abandoned by their parents, Conall and Faro Hawkins survive by their wits, stranded on Shetland as the world burns and the fuel runs dry – until one day The Arkady, last of the sailing ships, calls at the Scottish island. Hiding as stow aways in the ship’s hold, the brothers overhear first mate Jonah Argent plotting to steal the captain’s treasure map. Argent dreams of looting the mythical riches hidden by the ancients on the Svalbard archipelago.
As The Arkady sails for the melting arctic, can fifteen-year-old Conall find his parents, win the love of the captain’s daughter and rescue his own brother from reckless dreams of useless gold? Can he save the crew from slavers and the ship from jagged rocks – or salvage hope for a new world from the wreckage of the old?
A tale of sailings ships, treasure maps, treachery and savage seas. Action-packed adventure set in the debris of a scuppered world.
Theia McKai is seventeen, defiant and deadly – an irresistible force in a stagnant world where the old enslave the young.
In a city ringed with fences and choked by surveillance, a privileged, elderly elite owns everything – and everyone. The long years of the outlivers drag on as they cling to power and wealth, refusing to die.
When martial arts prodigy Theia McKai is selected as a ‘companion’ for 200-year-old Rupert Geryon, minister for security, her every instinct is to run, resist, refuse.
Hypnotised, tortured and beaten, she faces a stark choice – submit to the desires of a monstrous old man or fight back and endanger everyone she loves.
Theia risks all to expose the truth about her world. But before unleashing change, first she must confront her greatest enemy, and win the ultimate battle – inside herself.
Set in a dystopian near-future, ‘Outlivers’ is an adventure thriller for adults and young-adults alike.