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Flight of the Gazebo: Hollow, #1

369 pages5 hours


Brace yourself! The fantastic Hollow series starts right here.

"...the fast-paced story-line kept me reading late into the night!" - "I loved the whimsical humour and the surreal twists and turns."

It isn't every day your world is turned upside down. Or inside out. Drome's troubles start when an oddly shaped gazebo carries his entire village, people, pets, buildings and all, to a hollow world.

The village collapses into chaos, backstabbing and murder as the villagers try to deal with their predicament. Meanwhile Drome is kidnapped by aliens with a burning interest in getting their hands on the gazebo that brought the humans to their outside-in world.

The inhabitants of Hollow, a hodge-podge of aliens from all over the universe, believed that coming to Hollow was a one-way ticket but the gazebo promises a way to return to their home planets. Whoever controls the gazebo will be the most powerful, the richest, the... well, you get the picture.

While the village breaks into factions Drome careens from one danger to the next, rubbing everyone up the wrong way, even a living skeleton who helps him escape his captors. But, with everyone out to get the fleeing pair - including the most dangerous person in the empire - will Drome and his touchy companion reach the village in time to warn them of the danger coming their way?

Interview with the author

Q. Drome has a knack for annoying people. Why did you choose a such a fractious protagonist?
A. We all have some aspects of Drome in us which means we can identify with him even when he behaves badly. He has some good traits too...

Q. Why is Hollow, um, hollow?
A. I didn't want my alien world to be another run-of-the-mill Middle Earth clone. I wanted a comedy fantasy world that would be challenging and different; a world you could never leave once you were there; a place where aliens from all over the universe lived uneasily together; a place where magic and science co-existed. Above all it had to be a great setting for an epic magic fantasy adventure. An artificial hollow world with no physical entrances fitted the bill. To justify why the world is hollow I placed it somewhere in the spacetime continuum too hostile for an ordinary planet.

Q. Hollow has humans and aliens living in it, some from advanced civilisations, but the technology is fairly primitive. Why is that?
A. No-one goes to Hollow deliberately which means they arrive with what they carry. The only technology they have is what they have made from scratch. To make matters worse there is very little metal in Hollow. The Progs didn't lay down ore deposits when they built their artificial world.

Q. Why did you make Drome a cyclist?
A. I'm a cyclist myself but there aren't many things more ridiculous than grown men dressed in brighly-coloured Lycra. I wanted Drome to stand out in my readers' inner eye.

Q. Who are your favourite authors?
A. Where do I begin? Perhaps with George MacDonald Fraser. His Flashman series of historical novels are superb. Flashman is the greatest anti-hero I've ever come across. I love Iain M Banks' Culture novels. I'm a fan of Terry Pratchett's fantasy comedy, especially his Discworld series. And, of course, Douglas Adams and his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as well as his Dirk Gently books. Wonderful stuff.
I've just realised the aforementioned are all deceased (gulp). My favourite living authors are Joe Abercrombie who writes gutsy fantasy with great characters and Neil Gaiman who has an amazing imagination and gift of storytelling.

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