Articles about Horizon

Life in the extreme

 It seems life can be found everywhere. Recent reports from the International Space Station have even found sea plankton living quite happily on the outside of the station’s windows. While Earth today is mostly benign to life, there have been a number of mass extinction events, most famously the meteor strike 65 million years ago

Life in the extreme Read More »

Planet building

 a lot of the grunt work in good science fiction goes into imagining the worlds that space travellers visit. The way I see it, there are four key elements in creating a believable world to serve the needs of the story: spatial location  physical attributes  geological past, and  current environment.  To make sure my crew

Planet building Read More »

Inside a transhuman

One of the most interesting themes in science fiction, and one of the most exciting advances happening in medical research today, is how humans will become augmented through interfacing with technology. In the real world, there are amazing advances that enable paraplegics to control the environment around them. In 2012 in the UK, a woman

Inside a transhuman Read More »

Snowball Earth

Science fact and science fiction walk hand in hand, and this particular cross-fertilisation affected me directly. Imagine planet Earth locked in a never-ending ice age: a giant, lifeless snowball encased in 3-kilometre-thick ice sheets with an average temperature of minus 50 degrees Celsius at the equator. It almost happened a number of times in our

Snowball Earth Read More »

The real life PALs

In Horizon, each of the stellarnauts have their own PAL, a ball-shaped personal assistant that hovers in the zero G environment using small fans and allows the stellarnauts to talk to each other via video and audio link as well as acting as a recorder. It’s a cool concept and, like pretty much everything in the

The real life PALs Read More »

Engage engines

When I imagined the mission of the explorer ship Magellan to the Iota Persei star system thirty-four light years from our own planet, I knew I had to work out how the ship could get there. I wanted the trip to be short enough so the crew would still be relatively young when they reached their destination.

Engage engines Read More »


While the main focus of Horizon is the tense drama that plays out between the crew in the cramped confines of the ship, a lot of the grunt work in good science fiction goes into imagining the world of the future and how future events shape characters and create a believable background. The explorer ship

Futureshock Read More »

Welcome aboard Magellan

In my post Engage engines, I talk about the theoretical drive that boosts the explorer ship to an appreciable fraction of the speed of light in order to reach the Iota Persei system in a reasonable time — i.e. before my ‘stellarnauts’ grow too old. But the drive is only one part of the ship,

Welcome aboard Magellan Read More »

Meet the crew

Horizon is my debut science fiction novel published by HarperVoyager Impulse. It’s an SF thriller centred on a deep space exploration mission that goes very wrong, with repercussions for the future of all life on Earth. A lot of the action in Horizon takes place inside the cramped confines of the Magellan explorer ship, so the interactions

Meet the crew Read More »

Deadly supernovas

Richard Cowper’s 1974 science fiction novel The Twilight of Briareus is one of the weirdest alien invasion stories I’ve read. It made a big impression on me as a teenager, and the central idea of the book is still very strong (although when I re-read it recently its storytelling hadn’t stood the test of time).

Deadly supernovas Read More »

Scroll to Top