“Falling Up” is the new book by local author Geoff Nelder. The former teacher at Queens Park High has written 11 books and his new release is a sequel to the enigmatic science fiction “Suppose We” . Geoff spoke to us about his work and history as a writer. “At an early age I knew that this planet wasn’t enough for my imagination” he says…
“I’m a southern git who married a northern girl! ” says Geoff. “At uni in Sheffield I was told all the girls from Warrington wore rugby shirts and nothing else so I went out with one, married her while still a student and moved to Chester. I taught pupils at Queen’s Park High Geography because I liked going for long walks in the hills and IT because I liked playing with toys.
His interest in writing was encouraged from a young age by his mother who signed him up to a Science Fiction Book Club. ” My dad was an engineer by day, a sci-fi magazine illustrator by night. I grew up thinking all kids read sci-fi and all dads helped do sci-fi mags! At an early age I knew that this planet wasn’t enough for my imagination so the urge to imagine other worlds and universes overwhelmed me. My dad was a wit. He helped me write skits for stage comedians and at uni I was a co-editor of Sheffield Uni rag mag. ”
Geoff’s first book “Escaping Reality” was released when he was still teaching. “There are naughty bits in it so I used a pseudonym. I needn’t have bothered because the 6th form soon figured it out. Not only that but Escaping Reality was entered for the Waverton Book Group competition and I gave them a talk. The 98% female audience complained that while they liked the sex scenes (especially bubble wrap sex and handcuffed in the bath stuff) there wasn’t enough of it!”
Of his new release Geoff says: ” It’s the sequel of “SUPPOSE WE” so let’s do that. The American publisher of my Aria trilogy asked me for a series of novellas that brought back the passion of space exploration. ” Of the title he says : “It started as the enigmatic title of a spaceship that became the title of the novella. I was going to change it but a critique group said—as if they were one angry person—“Nelder, don’t you dare change the title. We thought it stupid at first but have fallen in love with it.
“Until FALLING UP came along, SUPPOSE WE might be the only science fiction book written by a vegan (my lifestyle for over 40 years. I’m no jump-on-a-bandwagon fashionista), with a vegan main character and set on a vegan planet. What? How can a planet be vegan you ask? The planet has no predators larger than insects. Yes, I’ve done the ecosystem schematics: I used to teach ecology and environmental science and some of the alien bacteria are huge, vicious. Not all the human characters are vegan, creating juicy debates. The ship crash-lands on a faraway planet. Sadly, the natives are so far ahead of Earth that they ignore the humans. How do they get the help they need, survive the strange planet and discover what is in the mission’s secret payload? ” FALLING UP concerns the threat posed by an alien AI from another system with planet busting weapons and how the ship’s communication officer, Em deals with the AI. “She is captured and if you thought SUPPOSE WE was odd, just wait until you fall into FALLING UP!” The book will be followed by the third in the trilogy, KEPLER’S SON in 2020.
Geoff says that on a typical writing day, he walks or cycles into Chester after breakfast and settles in the Debenham’s Cafe to write. “I’ve tried other cafes but I like the light and it’s never too busy, or I’d feel guilty making a pot of tea last a couple of hours. Sometimes I’ll cycle to Llangollen or Chirk and find a café there. En route my mind will be refreshed and think of plot ideas. All my novels and short stories are sent to the British Science Fiction Association writing group, Orbiters where we critique each others’ work before submitting to publishers.”
Readers can contact Geoff via his website https://geoffnelder.com
Twitter @geoffnelder Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AriaTrilogy
Geoff’s books are available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited and paperback on Amazon.