from Rowney Marshal:
Everyone tells me I need a social presence in order to personally or virtually
persuade you to read my books. And every time I try I stall.
Which is weird since I have the opposite of writer’s block.
There’s always a character who wants their life-history told, a plot that needs its intricacies unwoven, a vivid image
that acts like a special attractor on my mind. But it is also the reason I have 6 finished novels and no readership.
not just that there’s no life history of my own to tell, but, on a daily basis, the kind that prompts social network
updates, I live dull - work, walking dogs, writing novels, that’s it. When I’m giving words to the endless excitement
in my head, that’s when I’m living large.
My themes are cosmic, apocalyptic, ends of time/space, the nature
of reality, humanity, religion, individuality, self-narratives, memory, death, triumph because of adversity – I could
go on - delivered through the normalized abnormals of our own species, of close probable genera and familiar aliens/alien
friends and enemies, and, even, the living dead, gods and monsters.
My style ramps up to lyrical and impassioned, descends to tender
and prosaic and offensive, swoops back via opiniated, provocative and triumphalist, but, through abhomination, genocide and
apocalypse, through ecstasy, creativity and adventure, the characters bring their own voices, experiences (and intimacies)
to keep it real, or at least vivid (and bizarre) and to go forward hopefully.
Empirically verifiable or mathematically extrapolated
research is the baseline I use for each of the many possible realities my internal pilots make my magic carpet take, because
data is the yellow-brick road through the multiversal maze. It’s about the only filter that maps
a selection of possible routes – all the others are just wishful thinking.
And, since I don’t enjoy beliefs without even holographically-inflated
spacetime co ordinates to map them against, I wouldn’t want to cheat myself by floating on candy-pink clouds towards
castles in the air, when the innate enchantment of perceivable reality is its own rainbow bridge to worldsworths of knowledge
for the sake of the stories and their possible readers, I wouldn’t want them conjuring fantasies with smoke-and-mirror
superstitions, except where willing suspension of disbelief snakeoils its own placebo of contemplation, but would rather let
the words, unnaturally selected but obeying natural law, spell for themselves.
Spelling conjures by trapping words as meaningful forces of the apparently-real
hunts and sifts through prey-supplicants in an over-fecund writhing rainforest, to compose the optimum captive-breeding project.
frees the captives to roam freely once again, but in different camouflage into novel jungles.
Marshal invites your inner ecoterrorist to break them out of their cages.
I can hear them rattling the bars at me.
course, since I’ve been their captor and captive, together on our journeys through the mazed arks, their future travels
remain of interest to me.
If you harbour my liberated creations for a while, your reportback
on their condition would be appreciated - obituaries included.
Of course, if you actually liked them, I’ll just
be glad that I tamed the wild long enough for you to enjoy it.
There are 6 cages to unlatch (naw, doing the metaphor to death now)
book, now ebooks, to date.
In order of writing, the novels are TerraRise, PsycheSomatic
and I-Mage which comprise TRIAGE I-III, RiskAVerse, AmuseMeant and MeMoreAble.
story takes place in a different world, adjacent to this one. You might meet some of the same cohabitants of the cosmos across
the novels, but only the same characters in the trilogy, so (with the exception perhaps of I-Mage, which draws on
TerraRise and PsycheSomatic) they all stand alone and don’t need to be read in any order.
the 3 versions comprising TRIAGE, there are worlds behind the one you know, inhabited by covert hominid cousins,
fighting our impact for survival of their species and the planet.
In RiskAVerse, 500 years from now, the planet impels AI’s
and humans to go a-Viking again, but this time the swanspath is through the heavens.
tackles life, death and alien invasion in a world where the Roman Empire never converted to Christianity, but narrative lives
is a playful reaction to current Mayan doomsday expectations, offering a full-scale apocalypse that’s only avoidable
through self-fulfilling prophecy and time travel.
I hope you enjoy them and, if so, please pass the word…
Oh, and here are photos of the friends I live with:
|as featured in MeMoreAble
|as featured in MeMoreAble
If you want more, here’s
what readers of TRIAGE I-III wrote:
"Rowney Marshal eats apocalyptic themes
for breakfast and spits out superstition and religion in one breath.
The human condition clearly fascinates and repels, technology entrances and its power and waste threaten, but science, hard choices and, above
all, human imagination, fuel hope in every case.
This is hard space-opera, even when located exclusively on Earth, without
any magical safety net and enough elaboration of all innovative biologies and cosmic physics to satisfy geeks of any discipline.
It is also whimsical, tender and impassioned, and the vivid and unusual characters’ feelings and the issues of
our world broaden the remit of the works beyond the scifi genre."
“If I had to genre-classify this book, I'd tend towards
Sci-Fi and although not normally my preferred genre I really enjoyed it.
The author's writing style is evocative
and really puts you in the same mindset as the characters, who are beautifully constructed, well rounded and full of personality.
The different races correlate with the different natures of humanity so are indentifiable with and in some way demonstrate
our prejuduces against others of our own race, let alone how we would behave if we were to find distant cousins existed who
had taken a different evolutionary path.
The technologies presented during the course of the narrative are excellently
thought out and plausible.
Nothing exists without a clear explanation of it's workings which adds to the believability
of the overall world.
I will admit that I did find the start of the book a little confusing as the reader
is thrown straight into the action, however the narrative moves along swiftly and further into the novel flows very smoothly.
Overall a thought provoking novel, that really does challenge you to think for yourself.”
“I was drawn to this novel, the second of the trilogy, intrigued
by the title.
Who or indeed what is
ultimately to judge the sanity or otherwise of those who can see through and beyond the apparent reality of the material world
we inhabit and believe ourselves to understand, at least on a functional level?
There is nothing new in a story in which the central characters are branded as ‘mad’
by the powers that be.
history itself is filled with people silenced, ridiculed or incarcerated just for thinking.
It takes a brave writer then, to tackle the subject and move it forward.
And forward we go! – and backwards, sideways in and out of timespace at warp factor 9, as it were. (Yes, this
novel owes not a little to the crew of the Starship Enterprise. As a woman of the 20th Century,
albeit no sci-fi buff, even I could not fail to note the affectionate references here).
Fasten your seat belts and be prepared to travel!
This, for me was nub of the book.
What appears ‘normal’ and ordinary is nothing of the kind.
A person sitting
at their work station just getting on with it appears to be there.
But they’re not.
Well they are, but they’re also elsewhere, grappling with evolution.
To say more would be to give the game away…But the truth holds that all of us inhabit
a mental world far removed from the apparent.
I was fascinated
by the psychological aspects, but not always convinced.
The arguments about faith, belief and credulity smack of an internal dialogue unfamiliar to those, like me never
indoctrinated into a religious cult.
Having said that, I’ll also admit that may put me in a minority in terms of human experience.
The scientific ideas are extraordinary, more so because they are not fantasy.
This aspect of the book is meticulously researched.
The novel sets out to play with cutting edge science, to take ideas and use them to create
a possible future, (or even a present – or is that already the past?? See what I mean?)
For readers of the scientific press or anybody
who aspires to keep up with a post Steven Hawking multiverse, it is fun to see how the dry physics of creation have been playfully
Those of us lacking in understanding of these concepts, and lets face it, that
is most of us, some parts of the book are quite dense.
For myself, I took it at face value.
If Rowney Marshal says it could be so, then I for one will go along with that.
as a plodding pedestrian in the world of science fiction writing, I struggled times, but I couldn’t abandon the project
and I’ll tell you why:
cast of characters, often multi layers of the same character, spoke loudly from the page.
The remarkable imagery and boggling notions are grounded by the likeability of Gwener,
Makepeace, Ida et al..
when I got to thinking ‘I’m lost!’ the novel, through its characterisation, found me again.
I’m glad about that because it’s given
me an expanded worldview.
find myself returning time and again to these characters and ideas.
There is a vivid quality and a humour about the novel, which rescues the reader at regular
well paced intervals, so much so that the sub narrative becomes as compelling as the big picture.
I’ll never look at crustaceans in quite the same way again – I could even fall
Thanks RM. Your novel put in mind
of a fruitcake – rich, nutty, temptingly moreish and with a tendency stick around!”
"The first two novels don't seem to have that much to do with eachother,
except for characters who are quite differenet from their other universe counterparts, and for the themes.This one is a different
but similar story but pulls them all together. You need to have read the first two, though, because the people get redefined
again but refer back a bit.
I think, even if this one's maybe a bit darker than the others, I liked it the best.
Probably because I liked the sea-people and because the knights and the grail stuff is familiar but with a new twist.
lso, you've got the flavour by then, so it's not so hard to read.
The only other novel I've read
like this is John Clute's Appleseed, which is also hard to get into, but it makes you want to struggle on even
then cos the people are weird and get in your head.
My mum bought
this for me because I'm doing Creative Writing and she knows Rowney Marshal's mum from church, but I wouldn't
let her read it.
It's a bit full on about bringing on an antichristian end of the world scenario.
not very pro us ordinary humans either. I don't think you can agree with Fargo about how to deal with global problems,
but the end of each book you feel like she succeeded.
Kinda messes with your mind.
I like the way it's written from the point of view of the characters.
Once you get into it, you feel like
they're all real.
Which works because I think this makes them normal and you take them seriously, even the weirdest
and the ones you wouldn't like in real life and start to care what happens to them.
The ideas and the plots are
totally out there.
I think I need to read them again to get them properly. All three were great and I'd recommend
them to anyone who wants a very long read and isn't easily offended. Worth sticking with and very poetic too".