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Iron Mosaic: A Collection of Short Stories [Hardcover]

Michael Cobley

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More About the Author

From the contents sticker on a can of beans to the hallowed scripts of I Claudius, Michael Cobley has always believed in the power of the written word. The written word comes before everything, whether its TV, radio, video games, political manifestos - some poor blighter has to sit on his behind and get the words down.

He also believes, poor fool, that is may be possible to make the world a better place by writing science fiction. Which goes some way to explaining his persistence over the years, from the first short stories in 1986 to the publication of the 2nd Humanitys Fire novel, The Orphaned Worlds, with the culminating volume, The Ascendant Stars, due to appear in 2011. After that, there will be more books, more words, more foolhardy attempts to change the world for the better. Who knows - he might succeed.

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Short stories are a bit like refugees, or at least the disparate and contrary members of an extended family, sent forth alone into the world. Short stories are tours of duty through personal badlands, hikes across the hinterlands. Short stories are like puzzle pieces carved from glass or wood or diamond or clay or whatevers close to hand. So when the refugee brothers and sisters and cousins return to their roots, when the tours of duty are documented and the hinterlands charted, and when the puzzle pieces are found to fit only into the mind of the carver, what are you left with? The voices of a freeform choir? An enigmatic Escheresque atlas? Or 17 stories from the pen of Michael Cobley, 17 memos from places both dark and light. Discover a ghosts point of view of the living.; Pursue monsters through a land of ice and snow. Take a waltz through space and time.; Strut your stuff at the Pandomainium. Embark on a mystic journey to the Great Barrier Reef Range. Know the feeling of technology beneath the skin. 17 stories from a persistently thoughtful and entertaining writer. 17 tickets to strange worlds and strange thoughts. Enjoy the ride.

About the Author

Mike Cobley was born in Leicester and has lived in Scotland since the age of seven. Although the Scottish cultural heritage informs much of his own outlook (egalitarian, argumentative yet amiable, and able to appreciate rain), he thinks of himself as a citizen of the world.

While studying engineering at Strathclyde University, he discovered the joys and risks of student life and pursued a sideline career as a DJ, possibly to the detriment of his studies. The heady round of DJ`ing, partying and student gigs palled eventually, but by then his interests had been snagged by an encounter with Pirsig`s `Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance` which led him off on a philosophical and political odyssey which continues to this day.

The desire to write had its first burgeoning when he was 20/21, resulting in the creation of a short fantasy novel (that has never seen the light of day!). He later wrote a string of articles/rants for the campus paper at Strathclyde University under the pen-name Phaedrus, at the same time as he began writing short stories. Mike harbour much affection for the short story form, but has had little opportunity to write them since beginning work on the Shadowkings trilogy.

The 1st 2 volumes of the trilogy - Shadowkings and Shadowgod - have been published by Simon & Schuster`s now-defunct imprint Earthlight, and the 3rd part - Shadowmasque - will be published by Simon & Schuster-Pocket at the end of 2004. Mike has a number of ideas and concepts for his next big project but they`re being kept on the backburner for the time being. The publication of Iron Mosaic will be a personal milestone for him, as well as a showcase of the topics and techiques which have intrigued him since the publication of his first short story back in 1986. And just recently, he has had appeared in the Thackery T Lambshead Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases, with a monologue upon the malady known as `Parabubozygosia`, which is not for the faint-hearted!

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