Cumbrian Author Journeys into Space
After the earlier success of the miscellany of sci-fi short stories Walking in Darkness, Cumbrian author C J Dacre’s long-awaited science-fiction novel Aphrochrome has just been published and is now available in paperback, Kindle and ebook editions.
“Science-fiction doesn’t have to be about bug-eyed monsters or doomsday scenarios,” insists Dacre. “Aphrochrome is set in 2256, so I guess it would be better to describe it as future fiction. But it’s also a thriller with a hint of romance thrown in as well.”
The storyline involves two very different personalities determined to prevent MegaJoy’s mind-warp pleasure programs from being trafficked onto Conglomerate Corporation’s off-Earth stations. “For Chief Security Officer Leonid Oliphant it’s about maintaining his professional reputation,” says Dacre. “For Cassandra Diamantides, who’s a member of the space-touring Folkster group, The Choralians, it’s deeply personal. She knows these programs are potentially lethal.”
Adding an extra dimension to the storyline is a sub-plot involving a subversive group out to disrupt the dubious experiments carried out by the secretive Garrison Clinic. “Their good intentions misfire and add to the problems Oliphant and Cassandra are facing,” explains Dacre. “But I leave it to readers to decide if Dr Garrison is the villain he’s made out to be.”
However, for those who enjoy meaty villains there are still plenty to choose from in this book, including The Choralians’ sleazy agent Miles ‘Smiler’ McMichael, the professional hacker Homer Strendl, and the thoroughly unpleasant sadistic fixer Axel Anstrom known as ‘Angel’.
“Deep down most of us find villains fascinating,” says Dacre, “and there’s the added twist here because not everyone’s who they seem to be. So when Cassandra tries to thwart Angel’s plans, she’s in even greater danger than she or Oliphant can possibly imagine. Then it’s a race against time to rescue her.”
I began writing after several years as a local government administrator and personnel practitioner, initially concentrating on articles and short stories before being commissioned by How to Books to produce advice and guidance titles designed to help jobseekers find employment. Several editions later and with the arrival of the New Millennium, I turned my attention to full-length fiction under the name Jane Emerssen. 'A Necessary Fiction' was my first published novel and its sequel, 'A Plain and Simple Truth' continued exploring the long-term consequences of unearthing family secrets and the unwelcome choices for everyone affected by the revelations. Both novels were well-received by reading groups and libraries.
I enjoy the challenge of devising a plot, researching background material and discovering how characters react when faced with difficult situations, all of which led me back to my long-standing love affair with science-fiction. Wanting to separate the genres, I published my first miscellany of sci-fi shorts ‘Walking in Darkness’ under the name C J Dacre. This encouraged me to resurrect a full-length future fiction thriller that had been on the back burner for some considerable time, and after extensive revision and updating ‘Aphrochrome’ has emerged to take readers two hundred years into the future.
Where next? A full-length novel by Jane Emerssen - or a rag-bag assortment of short stories by C J Dacre? Both are possible. I have another Emerssen novel in the making and several sci-fi short stories in a drawer waiting for a new home.