Small Places: The Best of Intentions, The Blackest of Magic
A childhood encounter with a witch. Serious illness in the family. The earth itself sick. Small Places is a modern-day fairy story twisting the usual roles of good and evil as Jamie, a shy researcher, and Melusine, an ancient witch, hurry to uncover why Gaia, the earth spirit, is sickening, as the ripples are felt across England.
Parasites is a science fiction, solarpunk / hopepunk exploration novel that takes place at the end of the universe, just as it slowly starts to contract in the ‘big crunch’. On the planet Lyra, humans evolved late, on a resource-poor world, in a resource-poor solar system. The Lyrans master space flight, only to discover that their nearest worlds have also been stripped of resources. The population begins to decline, until a scientist discovers a technology allowing people and vehicles to travel through ‘thinnings’ – patches of space linking universes.
Kael and Alessia are explorers, charting where the thinnings go and bringing valuable resources back to Lyra, trying desperately to extend the lifespan of their home world. Alessia’s father, Ben, set out two years ago to uncover another species’ reference to a ‘solution’ to the big crunch problem – but never returned. A chance discovery leads Kael and Alessia to a clue, prompting another expedition to see if they can avoid the mistakes of the past and help to unravel the mystery.
The book accompanies Kael, Alessia and their gruff bodyguard Basteel as they retrace Ben’s steps, seeking closure for Alessia, a solution for Lyra and together begin a voyage through wild, weird and wonderful planets.
Parasites is the first book in The Navigator series.
“This was a really good book, expertly written by author Matthew Samuels. I like the characters a lot … When you set it up so that your characters can travel to other, unexplored universes it pretty leaves the author with a blank slate to do whatever they want. And this author takes advantage of that fact, creating unique worlds rich with alien species and different features”
Dusk (in progress)
It’s two years since Kael and Alessia returned from their expedition to find a solution to the big crunch, but things haven’t gone according to plan. Despite an unexpected source of help, Lyra’s resources are being used up faster than ever before, and one of the monstrous creatures from Carthusian, the city-ship, seems to have been sighted in Vulpes, Lyra’s farming city.
With new enemies coming from unexpected places, Vega’s mayor Alhambro is determined to find a faster way to navigate the thinnings linking universes, dispatching Basteel and Slyph into the diplomatic and scientific nightmare in Vulpes. At the same time, Kael and Alessia embark on a mission crossing a forbidden asteroid, an abandoned planet previously home to a super-advanced race and into the unknown.
But as a new, hostile species capable of traversing the thinnings emerges, it seems that the sun is setting on Lyra for the very last time.
Unnamed Vanity Project (in progress)
Set in an alternative modern England where regular people, the faery, and the factions that manage them all coexist uneasily. While cities are relatively ‘safe’ from faery influence, the rules apply far less in the countryside, where farmers still disappear after a walk in the woods and appear a hundred years later. Brownouts from the chaotic impact of dryads, behemoths or bogans are common, and in many cases, the long-standing fear of the supernatural has hardened into a resilient hatred.
Ben is a skinny, geeky, angry teenager, overlooked by his school and bullied by his contemporaries. But when he chooses to train at a faction facility where the fey are studied in their natural habitats, little does he know that he and his friends will be pulled into solving the mystery of a covert war which has been fought for decades.
This is a re-write of the first book I ever wrote. For a long time, I thought it was unpublishable, but I’m rather fond of it, and have tentatively taken a stab at lovingly re-constructing it. Stay tuned!
A young aristocrat safeguarding a terrible secret, sponsoring an archaeology graduate obsessed with angels. An all-knowing orphan worshiped by a mysterious cult. Britain’s finest example of toxic masculinity and an introverted librarian. Together with a retired demon hunter, they’ll face the apocalypse.
I’d previously paused this project a few years ago, but have awkwardly returned to it after progress on Dusk slowed a little. Let’s see where it goes.
Demonised / The Witch-Lord’s Apprentice (in planning)
The conflict between humans and the legions of hell has waged for generations. As the human grey legions throw themselves at the endless demonic hordes, protecting their cities and the entrance to the gates of heaven, incalculable tragedy occurs when the human king, alongside his bodyguard and commander, the Witch-Lord, are slain. Septimus, the Witch-Lord’s apprentice is taken prisoner and suffers unspeakably at the hands of the demons until an opportunity presents itself not only to escape, but also to understand how his master died and why the heavenly forces have been silent all these years.