Who’d ever expect Guy T. Martland to experience that insidious phenomenon known as self-doubt? At age five, he read “The Odyssey.” In grade school, he studied Latin. At 6-feet-8, he may be the world’s tallest living science fiction author. He’s also a hospital pathologist. And a violinist. Martland lives in Bournemouth, a stone’s throw from where Robert Louis Stevenson wrote ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.’
Tall, dark, and handsome; talented; erudite; brilliant. And he suffers self-doubt?
On the bright side, his debut novel “The Scion” has been so well received, Martland’s ego is getting a bit of a boost. But he’s still humble. The most talented people usually are, it seems – Dr. Suzuki noticed this after growing up around a dinner table that included the likes of Albert Einstein. (Yes, he of “Suzuki violin” fame.)
My 5-star review of “The Scion” is live at Perihelion Science Fiction but in a few months will be archived. By then, if anyone wants access to it, I can post it here. For now, a brief excerpt:
Cover Design by Kim Maya Sutton
… It takes three pages to list all the characters but no time at all for them for us to remember them. Long after I stopped needing the index, Martland’s preternatural vocabulary made me grateful for Kindle’s built-in dictionary. Most of the words are familiar, but sometimes I have to make sure: e.g. oleaginous is oily, like it sounds. Plangent is more than loud or reverberating; it also connotes melancholy. A patent passageway is not merely an open path; it evokes “a patent airway at resuscitation (medicine creeping in),” and that came straight from the author via email. Some things just can’t be googled.
Not to be confused with supernatural, preternatural means above and beyond, which precisely suits a six-foot-eight brainiac who plays violin, writes science fiction and works full-time as a hospital pathologist. I don’t know the word for someone who’s viewed too many slides of diseased tissue under a microscope, but the chapter titled “Sections” makes me wonder. Not even in TV shows like “Dexter” have I seen anything so lurid and unthinkable. I’d love to post an excerpt, but you’d miss the gradual, inexorable build-up and the shock of comprehending what it is you’re seeing. No paranormal monster can compare with the horror of what human beings can dream up. Let’s just say we finally find out what’s behind the hero’s phobic reaction to shattering glass.
~ More at perihelionsf.com under “Reviews”
Guy T “you could probably mistake my natural form for a Wookie’s” Martland is a British writer whose debut SF novel ‘The Scion’ was published by Safkhet Fantasy on July 1st, 2015. He has also published short stories in various magazines, including Perihelion SF, Shoreline of Infinity, Encounters, Albedo One and Fiction Vortex. You can find more information about him at guytmartland.co.uk or by visiting his Facebook Page. (Age? Is he single? I didn’t ask. You’re on your own, ladies.)
Here is his blog post, but I urge you to read it from the blog itself:
Blowing The Scion’s Trumpet Posted by Guy T Martland at 17:12
A few lovely Scion-related things have happened since I last blogged. Things which have cast the shadow of self-doubt away from my feelings about The Scion and, perhaps rightly, elevated its status in the world. I find self-doubt always creeps in somewhere, with the insidious nature of the Wraith – a healthy part of the process, until it becomes all-consuming…
Anyway, here we go: the trumpet is blasting, hopefully not deafening the rest of the orchestra, or swallowing the viola’s delicate melody. Unfortunately, I think maybe the entire brass section were in the pub in the interval.
The Scion was longlisted for a British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) award. BSFA members can vote for the book (alongside other fabulous works like Al Robertson’s Crashing Heaven and Paul McAuley’s Something Coming Through) up until the 31st January. Fingers crossed it’ll make the shortlist.
The Scion seems to have somehow snuck onto the Preditors & Editors Poll for Science Fiction & Fantasy novels published in 2015. Currently storming up the charts to hover around number 3. If you fancy voting, you have until the 14th of January – which is soon!
Carol Kean has written a quite wonderful review of The Scion for Perihelion, giving the book 5/5 stars. We had quite a lot of correspondence about the book – some of which is alluded to in the review. Well worth reading, here is one of my favourite quotes: ‘Bursting at the seams with planets, space ships, futuristic technology, wars, peoples, and monstrosities, “The Scion” is the hardest type of #HardScienceFiction, as we in the Twitterverse say. You could safely scrape the Mohs test-diamond over this story without leaving a visible scratch.’
Carol and Perihelion are also both up for awards in Preds & Eds, so go vote for them!
A big thank you to Carol for your kind words and support, in Perihelion as well as on goodreads and amazon. Thanks also to everyone else who has nominated and voted so far – you are all lovely people.
A big thank you to this author, especially for posting the suggestion that Carol and Perihelion deserve your vote in a Readers’ Poll. I do invest a great deal of time and effort reading and reviewing, for no financial reward, no fame, no fortune. I figure if Dorothy Parker became a famous book reviewer just by firing snide one-liners about how awful a novel is, I should be known for actually posting excerpts from the novel, along with my praises. Yes, my reviews are dauntingly long, but how many reviewers give you the author’s own words to back up the claim that this is really great prose?
#Gotta love Guy T. Martland!