Simon West-Bulford turned his attention to fiction following more than a decade of writing theological essays and tutorials for PC game level design. In 2010, his short story “Crimson Lakes” was chosen as the New Year feature story at Dark Fire. “Amiko” was published in Eternal Night: A Vampire Anthology, “Star God” appeared in This Mutant Life magazine, and a string of his short stories were featured at Colored Chalk, Absent Willow Review, Rotten Leaves, and Thunderdome. The Soul Consortium is his first published novel. Simon lives in Essex, England, working alongside his wife as a clinical trials scientist.
A ruthless and influential cult leader known only as Theodotian begins a campaign of murders to unveil a powerful revelation threatening to destroy the organized Church and to change the world.
When the first murder victim is revealed, numerologist Lucas Morrow is summoned to help Detective Bruce Wickman at the scene. They soon learn the killer is leaving numerical breadcrumbs to preach his message. The investigation uncovers the existence of a long-lost manuscript that supports the cult’s cause, setting off a deadly race to recover it.
But Theodotian’s influence is everywhere, and with the police and media infiltrated, Wickman’s team find their own lives in danger as they try to solve Theodotian’s puzzle and uncover the shocking claims of the cult’s revelation.
There is an open wound in the heart of the Cosmos. A wound that tears at the flesh of reality, drawing powerful and malign aberrations from an unknowable realm. Salem Ben stopped the first, but more are coming, and now he must solve the riddle of their purpose if he is to prevent an all-out invasion. Only by living the digitally reproduced lives of three individuals will Salem find the solution: Diabolis Evomere, a tortured but enlightened prisoner in ancient Babylon; Clifford Arken-Bright, a twentieth-century physicist who has uncovered a terrible secret in the quantum world, and Silicant 5, a refugee of the Great AI seeking to understand its hatred of humanity.
Stands Alone: Yes
Bringing the mythological world into a modern setting and introducing young adult readers to a variety of strange monsters, this fantasy novel follows 12-year-old Joe Copper on his quest to save humankind. When Joe is hired by the eccentric Mrs. Merrynether as an errand boy at her remarkable veterinary practice—a hidden refuge for a menagerie of creatures that should only exist in dreams and legend—he soon learns that she has a startling plan for his future: he is destined to command an army of beasts to protect humanity from the Conclave—a brutal council of dragons hiding on a distant island. But Joe is plunged into his new role prematurely when the callous tycoon Argoyle Redwar, who has a secret menagerie of his own, tricks Mrs. Merrynether into revealing the location of the island. Overcoming his fears, the school bully, and an escaped creature on the loose in his own village, Joe races to the island to stop Redwar from provoking the dragons to war. He takes the most bizarre team imaginable: Lilly, the surly alcoholic cluricaun; Danariel, the seraph who lives in a lightbulb; Flarp, the giant flying eyeball who can’t control his excitement; Kiyoshi, the narcoleptic kappa with an extraordinary vocabulary; Snappel, the fiery wyvern plagued by hiccups; and Cornelius, the poisoned manticore. Together with newfound allies on the island, the champions are forced into an epic battle against fantastic odds, facing not only the Conclave but Redwar as he seeks total control.
In a future so distant that time is almost without meaning, death is defeated and immortality has been made reality through instantaneous cloning and synaptic transfer. Mankind, frustrated by the futility of timeless existence, chooses extinction. All but one man. Far removed from the known universe with only one companion, an AI named Qod, Salem Ben watches the cosmos from afar and relives the digitally reproduced lives of countless souls archived in the Soul Consortium by means of a neuroimmersive device. He hopes to discover the answer to the ultimate question: What lies beyond? But at the birth of the next universe, billions of years before the pattern of life repeats its design, Salem’s quest takes a disturbing turn. Unexplained aberrations appear among the digital souls. To hunt down their source and to continue his search for evidence of life after death, Salem endures four very different lives: Orson Roth, a serial killer in 20th-century Britain; Dominique Mancini, a spiritual medium from 16th-century Lombardy; Plantagenet Soome, a monk sent to the distant Castor’s World; and Queen Oluvia Wade, the creator of the Soul Consortium. As the mystery unfolds, Salem is confronted by a malevolent entity which threatens the future of humanity before it can begin again?and only Salem stands in the way of it breaking free.