Blog tour

Blog tour: Survive by Stephen Llewelyn


Today is my stop on the Survive blog tour, I’m really excited about this one as we get to hang out with Dinosaurs. I’ll be sharing an extract from the book. I’ll also be posting a review of this book soon as I got sent a copy, so keep and eye out for that! Now onto the extract…

SurviveIn the end, a woman stepped out alone ahead of her people, a woman caught and cut in crisis; a woman who would never leave you behind faced someone who would never leave you alive.
“I’ll be coming for you–” the former said to the latter, her last words torn away by the roar of engines.
The response didn’t come then, but when it came, it changed everything.
The pessimist:

Three weeks earlier in England, it was a milestone day in the life of young Tim Norris. He had recently turned sixteen and today he was leaving school. However his mind was, as it often was, somewhere else. This was because in just a few days Tim and his mother would also be leaving Earth.
“Am I interrupting your daydream, Mr Norris?” asked his teacher wryly.
Tim, startled out of his reverie, rallied quickly, “No more than usual, Miss.”
The teacher, Mrs Montgomery, smiled indulgently at the young man. “This is the last time I’m going to be able to say this to you; pay attention!” she said, pointing at him with mock asperity.
“And for the last time, yes, Miss,” replied Tim, returning her smile. He liked Mrs Montgomery, which made her anomalous to his general schooling experience. Regardless, he leaned back against his window sill, the one against which he had propped himself for the last four years, and slipped right back into Tim-world. He gazed out of the window at the concrete and the smog and pondered the many little steps that mankind had taken over the last forty years, which had led up to the voyage he was about to take.
The year was 2112 and Tim’s adoptive mother, Dr Patricia Norris, a low paid but hard-working and exceptional microbiologist, had worked for and won a senior placement on the next, extremely prestigious, Life Pod Mission to Mars.
There had been a human presence on Mars since 2095 and slowly four small townships of Life Pods were being constructed to manage the colonisation and atmospheric conversion of the planet to support complex life.
The fifty year programme, led by NASA working alongside international partners in Britain, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Japan and India, had a brief to terraform Mars.
Massive leaps forward had been made in the mining and resource industries of the 21st century; these were driven ever on by the combined forces of scarcity and commercial requirement. This ‘rape of the Earth’ as it was seen by many, ironically brought about and drove the very technology that would be used to bring Mars back from its frozen, celestial grave; or so it was hoped.
None of this would have been possible in such a short period had mankind not stepped into a larger universe in 2072 with the first ever successful manipulation of wormhole technology. After several false starts NASA, with typically American belief and vision in conjunction with internationally drained brains, managed to send a probe through an artificial wormhole all the way to the Oort Cloud within an infinitely small fraction of a second, real-time. The probe then transmitted its location back to Earth and after waiting several days to receive the signal, science fiction became reality and a massive party at NASA ensued.
Soon after the hangovers had been Alka-Seltzered away, this astonishing breakthrough led to further probes being sent, with the capability to pilot themselves back in the same way, and within a few short years the Mars colonisation programme was born.
All this was buzzing around Tim Norris’ head as the clock crept closer to the final school bell which, as far as he was concerned, couldn’t come fast enough. As other school-leavers cheered or dissolved into tears, promising all their friends that, “Of course we will stay in touch and always be best friends,” Tim was already on Mars in his mind.
He wouldn’t miss the majority of these people anyway; the many-millionsof-years-dead made so much more sense to him than the living. He’d always struggled to fit in, so he rarely tried anymore. Few understood his sense of humour and he was fairly hopeless at sports or being in any way cool. As for girls, they just made him nervous and self-conscious. So he usually just buried himself in paleontological research – an obsession he had shared with his adoptive father – every chance he got, all the while trying to stay off the radar of the bullies and ‘popular’ types.
The view afforded by his twentieth floor window allowed him to see the factory where his father had worked, until the accident. Things had never been the same since that awful day, for Tim or Patricia. No, he wouldn’t miss this place.
Still, at least they now had the opportunity to leave this mad world behind and start again in a way that very few human beings had ever done before. “Bring it on!” Tim muttered to himself.


stephen-llewelynAbout the author:
Originally from Dudley in the West Midlands, Stephen Llewelyn works in construction. Years spent digging into the foundations of ancient buildings, steeped in a vivid sense of the past, inspired his research into palaeontology and, in turn, shaped his inventive science fiction trilogy. Llewelyn lives with his wife and their four dogs in the mountains of Snowdonia, North Wales. The cover design for Survive features a line drawing of a Giganotosaurus skull by Hannah Armstrong, a young artist who died in tragic circumstances; Llewelyn plans to donate a percentage of royalties from the sale of Survive to the charity, MIND, in Hannah’s memory.


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