Teen horror strikes again
The Web Support Unit’s horror specialist has published his
fourth book for teens and will see his next adult, science-fiction book
published in the US in February.
Written under the pen-name Nick Gifford, Keith Brooke’s teen novel
Erased looks like being another hit with his fans. It follows the
story of Liam, who returns home from boarding school for the weekend to
find his house on the outskirts of Norwich completely empty, his parents
gone, and a next-door neighbour who no longer recognises him. It is the
start of a terrifying journey for Liam as he tries to discover who has
erased his life and why.
Keith said: ‘I have tried, and hopefully succeeded in playing mind
games with my readers in Erased. The aim was to force you into
doubting everything and then, when at last you feel sure, pull the rug out
from under your feet again.’
Dubbed the King of Horror by his publishers at Puffin, Keith also
writes science fiction novels under his real name. The origins of his new
novel, Genetopia, lie in a short story called Passion Play
which was published in 1989. It is the story of Flint, a young man in
search of his possibly-abducted sister in a far future where nano- and
biotechnology have influenced and accelerated the evolution of humans and
their strangely altered surroundings.
Genetopia, which will be published in the USA by Pyr Books, has
already been highly praised by reviewers and science fiction novelists.
Stephen Baxter, the Philip K Dick award-winning author, has said:
‘Masterfully written, this is a parable of difference that demands to be
read, and read again.’
For further information see
Are you looking for a New Year challenge? How about a
Himalayan trek for charity?
The Department of Law’s Fernne Brennan did just that before the festive
period and would certainly recommend the experience. She said: ‘I was
asked to do a trek by a friend and when I looked into the charity,
ActionAid, I felt that it was a worthwhile cause.’
‘When we started our trek in Delhi I was able to see an ActionAid
scheme that got people, particularly women and children, off the streets
and into work and school. This project, although under-resourced, utilised
disused government land to provide a safe haven for very desperate people
with no other means of support.’
The 20-strong group then trekked for a fortnight, six days of which
took them across the Himalayas. They were guided by highly experienced
ground staff and local Sherpas, walking for between six and eight hours a
day with only short lunch breaks or water stops, and sleeping in tents.
Most of the trek was uphill and some passes were incredibly narrow with
sheer drops of 30-40 feet onto rocks below.
Fernne said: ‘The last day was one of the worst as we climbed uphill
for four hours with sheer drops of 2,800 feet - pretty tough for someone
who has vertigo! The trek was hard but exhilarating and I miss the
challenges now so am planning my next trek with ActionAid to the Brazilian
jungle in 2007.’
Fernne raised £2,800 which, when added to funds raised by others on the
trek, made a grand total of £70,000. Most of this will go to projects
aimed at helping the poorest communities in the world gain a better
education and healthcare, as well as access to food and water. For more
information on ActionAid, please visit
The prestigious Mark Abrams Prize has been awarded to
Essex sociologist Lucinda Platt, for her work on the effects of ethnicity
and qualifications on class mobility, at the annual conference of the
Social Research Association (SRA).
This prize, first awarded in 1986 to celebrate the 80th birthday of
eminent British social scientist Dr Mark Abrams is traditionally given to
research that links survey research, social policy and social theory.
Lucinda said: ‘Mark Abrams was concerned by gaps he observed between
‘academic’ social theory and social surveys, and between research and the
development of policy. The SRA recognises that bridging these gaps remains
important today and so I am delighted to receive this prize which
encourages researchers to make such links.’
Also in the printed January edition of Wyvern:
- Long-serving staff rewarded