"Rapture is a beautifully told story in an ugly setting. The writing is descriptive but straight-forward, the settings are familiar yet new and the characters are engaging, evil or otherwise. I am so happy that I gave this book a chance – Mr. Simpson is an incredibly talented writer and I will be eagerly awaiting the next installment of this series, which has serious potential to be the next big thing in YA reading."
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What if the Rapture occured and everyone you love was gone? What if instead of dealing with your loss and grief you had o prepare yourself for an epic battle that would alter the course of earth? This is pretty much the scenario that Sam faces after the Rapture. He has long known who and what he is, and what his role will be, but knowing it isn’t the same as being ready to actually take on the task of saving the world.
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Ha, I saw you at armageddon and even brought Rapture! I read it within two days time and must say I loved it from the moment I started reading to the moment I stopped I was hooked! I made my mum read it just the other day and likewise she finished it within a day or so!
I can't wait for the next in the series to come out and I will definitly be buying it!
Had an author friend (Melinda Szymanik), come in to the class to read to my year 3's and 4's (7 and 8 year olds). Much to their delight, she read her award winning children's book, the Were-nana to them. We then had a story writing competition, the winner receiving their very own signed copy of the Were-nana (thanks Melinda!). It was won by Eva Colthart. Melinda then posted Eva's story onto her blog site. You should have seen Eva's face light up when she saw it! Makes teaching worthwhile - especially when children can see that there is a purpose to writing (for an audience, to be published, for the thrill etc etc) and that someone can actually have a job as a writer - that we're not just making them write narratives because we're mean and horrible.
For those who are interested, here's Eva's story (on Melinda's blog)
The last Rapture giveaway on goodreads was limited to the US. Over 1000 people registered for it during the 8 day window. Now, thanks to the generosity of my publisher, I now have 5 copies to give away, signed, personalised and open to a variety of countries. Giveaway will run from 6/11/11 - 6/12/11. Click here for more info:
Last Christmas, a friend of mine bought me a book he thought I might like. It was Dr Grordbort’s Victory, written and illustrated by Weta Workshop Conceptual Designer, Greg Broadmore. In it, Dr Grordbort detailed a science-fiction history that never was. Hearkening back to the classic sci-fi serials of yesteryear, and influenced by the Victorian era (steampunk springs to mind), it blew my mind. I loved it so much, my wife, bless her, went out and bought one of the ray gun models (the Unnatural Selector – mini). It was the mini because the full scale model costs $8000. Unless I sell one of my kidneys (hmmm), I don’t think I will be the proud possessor of one of these anytime soon.
Anywho (I’m going somewhere with this – be patient), a friend of mine (thank you Jill Jessop!) works at Stardome observatory. She mentioned casually in passing that the Stardome was hosting a conference attended by various international observatory luminaries. A certain Mr Greg Broadmore would be the guest speaker and would I like to attend. Would I? Would I? Yes, I said, equally casually, although a voice inside me that sounded suspiciously like an 8 year old school girl was making an embarrassing noise that went something like this: ‘eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee’.
So, excitedly clutching my Dr Grordbort’s handbook in one hand and a copy of my own novel, Rapture, nervously in the other, I turned up. Greg, gentleman that he is, ignored my babbling, graciously accepted my fumbling handover of my book and happily signed my copy (he drew a picture too ‘eeeeeeeeeeeeeee’) of his book. It doesn’t end there; at the risk of sounding like an excited school girl (again) I got to sit down and have dinner with him. Ha!
Greg is what I would term a celebrity that I want to meet. He may not be a movie star, but I would much rather have a chat with someone like this that meet an actor who may or may not be able to string a series of interesting or coherent sentences together. Greg is clearly very intelligent, articulate, talented, interesting and passionate. I didn’t realize it, but he developed all the weapons and ships for District 9 (love that movie), plus did a lot of the concept art for the aliens. He’s also worked on Lord of the Rings and King Kong. He’s currently working on director Neill Blomkamp’s follow up to District 9 along with his own Dr Grordbort’s projects.
For me, this is geek heaven. It turns out, gratifyingly, that we read the same comics growing up. I now feel that I can justify the storage space all my comics are currently taking up.
I got home, feeling like a cat that’s just eaten too much catnip, and reflected on what a great evening it had been. You don’t often get to meet people you really admire and I consider myself lucky. Now, I just have to sort out having dinner with Peter Jackson, Iain M. Banks, Peter F. Hamilton, Richard Morgan and Jack Vance. To quote my wife: ‘good luck with that.’
For those reading this who aren’t in the southern hemisphere, Armageddon is the equivalent of Comic con. Basically, it’s a massive sci fi/fantasy expo and this year I went not as a visitor but as an exhibitor. How exciting! I love it when work and hobbies coincide.
Vaguely amusing coincidence (about to use irony but then realized that was the wrong word) with the title of the expo given that it was almost the title of the third book in the Rapture trilogy (tossing up between this and Apocalypse). Also, Armageddon (or the end of the world) is really the central thesis of all three of my books and that if it really happened, there would be no expo, no books and certainly no enthusiasts running around in costume.
Highlights for me were seeing the multitude of costumes and the amount of work and effort that had gone into them. I have the attention span of a goldfish at the best of times and I must admit it was very difficult for me to focus when I have Princess Leia and Darth Vader wandering past.
Signing books at an expo is an experience I’ve never had before. There’s a fine line between looking bored and looking creepy at these things. Occasionally, I’d have queues of people (and I would define a queue as being more than 3), but the majority of the time, I’d have one person I was chatting to and occasionally, no-one at all. During these times, I was seriously tempted to:
a) Play a game on my phone
b) Do some writing
c) Read a book
However, doing any of the above does not exactly engage you with my demographic so I found myself smiling at strangers in a way that I hoped was inviting but was probably, in all fairness, unsettling at the least. I loved doing the signing though and talking to these bright young sci-fi/fantasy fans who were just so enthusiastic. Kinda ran out of different things to write, but hey, if the muse ain’t with you, the muse ain’t with you.
It wasn’t all work though. I found the whiskey tasting booth by following my nose. Later, I found a bar. Later still, I had a go on the archery range (which, in hindsight, probably wasn’t the best idea after a couple of drinks). I even got my photo taken on the mock bridge of the Enterprise. Appropriate given that my t-shirt read ‘chicks dig Klingons.’
I did some celebrity stalking. When I say stalking, I mean looking, but hey, you know what I mean. The only person I was really interested in (or really recognized) was Amanda Tapping, only because I love Stargate and Stargate Atlantis. There was the guy who played Highlander in the TV series but I don’t know his name. There was an old Doctor Who (ditto with name) and some guys who used to be in Buffy. Still pretty cool though. What a great job for a B list celebrity; get a free flight (probably business class) and accommodation, get adored and worshipped by fans, have a few photos taken, sign a few autographs and then basically, you’re on holiday. If you’re from the U.S, you’ll probably take in Queenstown or explore the Bay of Islands etc etc. Wish someone would invite me to Comic con. I’d be there quicker than the time it takes me to write this.
I love people watching and I think that an event like this offers the best people watching opportunities. Also gives an author plenty of fodder for character development.
Basically, I loved it and I’m hoping I’ll get an opportunity to do it again next year. As I wrote in some of the books I signed, “Rock on!”
Phillip W. Simpson
Phillip W. Simpson is an author of YA and children's books.