Author Spotlight
Mike Scantlebury - His bookshop
Alien Incursions By Mike Scantlebury
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It's a hundred years in the future and everything has changed. The media companies of the whole Solar System are controlled by a handful of people. Peter Colwhon is a vid reporter. He is sent from... More > Mars base to the Asteroid Belt to interview the youngest and most objectionable of all the heirs to trading company fortunes. Peter finds chaos, rebellion and terror. Someone is organising the spacers in revolt against the Five Families. Soon, his own life is in danger. Can he survive the mission, escape with his life and still file his story?< Less
MERRIN By Mike Scantlebury
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It's the future, and the Third World War has come and gone. The lucky ones have escaped into space, making new lives amongst the planets and asteroids of our Solar System. The few people left on... More > Earth are living well, with enough food and power for all. They can do whatever they want; the only restriction is that there can only be one President. And, strangely, there's a murderous fight for that top job.< Less
The Beat of the Wolf's Dying Heart By Mike Scantlebury
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A short time in the future, but all has changed. The production of all goods has been automated, and most people live a dull and unproductive life, enlivened only by the need to avoid the wild and... More > dangerous animals stalking the city streets. So why have things suddenly got worse? The narrator moves stealthily amongst the disintegrating culture, looking for answers.< Less
The Golden Chip By Mike Scantlebury
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Gold is on everyone's mind, the millions in value represented by a haul of gold bars, that disappeared from Salford's docks in 1966. It seems a lifetime ago, but people are remembering former times,... More > inspired by a local project run by the BBC, called 'All Our Stories'. They're asking people to remember the things in their lives that are most important to them, but perhaps they never realised that once Jan Branch gets her audio recorder out and lays it on the table, mysteries and anecdotes are going to come out that aren't all happy memories. They were tough times, back in 1966, and people did anything to try and make a living. Jimmy was good at it, moving in the business of takeaway food, and making a success of it. But he came from a criminal family: his Dad died, after years in prison, and his brother fled overseas. So why has Ben come back? Why now? What does he want? Melia starts to investigate and has to ask what everyone was thinking: what happened to the gold? Why did it never emerge after 1966?< Less
Secret Garden 2013 By Mike Scantlebury
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2012 was a great year, and the 'Secret Garden Festival' was a wonderful success, involving the whole community. 2013 was meant to be even better. Instead, nothing happened. Nothing. A complete waste... More > of time. No Festival. No fun. No community. It seems that the budget had been moved to a new cost centre. Resources had been re-deployed. There was going to be art, of course there was, but it wasn't coming from the community - it was coming from the centre, the professionals. The people who knew best. Now why would that upset anybody? Is it possible it would make someone want to commit crime, in retribution? Like, murder, for instance? Well, as Melia found out, stumbling on these gruesome events, this was a time of drama, right enough, and the biggest mystery - for such a seasoned investigator - was how such civilised people could bring themselves to act like beasts. Hardly the Age of Enlightenment, was it? Not really the 21st century that everyone had been hoping for in Salford, England.< Less
Lucky Ignatius By Mike Scantlebury
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It's only an old church, isn't it? Well, no, the Church of England has abandoned the old building and taken it out of commission. Even though it was designed by one of the foremost Victorian... More > architects, they'd be happy to see it rot, or, perhaps, turned into designer flats by a local property developer. Until that happens, it's a perfect Safe House, a bolt hole for the man Mickey has promised to protect - a man called Lucky. So 'lucky' that he's the target of three local gangs and numerous villains. How lucky is that?< Less
Salford Trenches 2014 By Mike Scantlebury
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Melia is asked to work undercover. It's uncomfortable. For one thing, she has to live in a tent, in the middle of the windswept and desolate Barton Moss, an area of countryside unexpectedly found in... More > the middle of the City of Salford. Gratifyingly for her, her on-off boyfriend Mickey has been ordered into the same operation - but, unfortunately for both of them, he is on the opposite side, with the Police! Their relationship becomes as tense as the stand-off between the demonstrators and the drilling operation that faces them, each one unwilling to give an inch in their battle either for or against the new source of gas and oil in Britain - made available through 'fracking'. It's a controversial move, but the UK government is determined to catch up with their US counterparts, and they are happy to support the new technology. Meanwhile, Melia is distraught, losing all faith in her new bosses at the Unit; struggling to support her failing cousin; and determined to hold on to Mickey, one way or the other.< Less
MULTI-MEDIA By Mike Scantlebury
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It's a busy year. Mickey is called in to help an old friend, but he's hardly got started when he gets another commission. And another. What's going on? Is it all because the BBC has decided to move... More > its North of England headquarters to Salford Quays, and suddenly the whole world wants something from them? Mickey, confused, frustrated, has to struggle, as the months go by, to make sense of what is happening in his home city, how it is changing, and how it is being forced to change. Not everyone seems happy with the process, not even the BBC, whose members are slowly coming to terms with the fact that though the streets of Salford are outside the windows of their new, glossy buildings, they really have no idea what is happening down there and who these residents really are. Or what they're capable of.< Less
Secret Garden Festival By Mike Scantlebury
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Everybody in Salford is talking about the Secret Garden Festival: it's affecting everything. Melia, preoccupied with the job her Deputy Director is setting her up with next - protecting Prince... More > William at the Olympic Games - has little time to think about flowers and painting, singing and dancing, she has her little cousin to save. Liv, newly enrolled at Salford University, is making enemies faster than a regicide, but for no apparent reason! What reason could anyone have to dislike the beautiful, persuasive young beauty? Is it what her studies and reasearch are uncovering? Is that the problem? Melia needs to know. It's a race against time - save Liv before her father dies, and before the Garden Festival comes to an explosive climax.< Less
Reverend Dumb By Mike Scantlebury
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Britain is in the middle of a huge political upheaval. A Referendum has been called with a simple Yes/No question: should the United Kingdom stay in Europe, or cut links and float off into the ocean?... More > Passions are running high and national security is at risk. Those charged with protecting lives and property, such as Mickey's unit, the WSB, are stretched to the limit, fighting existing terrorists as well as some new, unexpected threats. Meanwhile, the pressure from Europe is only part of the day-to-day problems, with interest from other international allies and rivals, like the USA and China, Japan and Russia. Captain Gibson, struggling to field a full team, is forced to press some of his desk jockeys into action, inexperienced people like his Deputy. Happily, he could be useful, though. He was at school in Hong Kong and met the Reverend Umh, now returned to the UK on business. If only Mickey was around more, all would be well.< Less