We’re celebrating the launch of CROOKED V.2 by spotlighting the authors who have contributed stories!
Frasier Armitage writes science fiction. Which is another way of saying he’s a self-confessed geek who sits alone in a room scribbling in notebooks about things that are currently impossible.
When he’s not writing, you’ll find him with his wife and son, watching Keanu Reeves movies, reviewing books for the FanFiAddict blog, or noodling on his guitar. He’s a part-time robot, full-time nerd, imaginer of worlds, and resident of Earth.
Frasier has won the ‘Matthew Cross Writing Contest’ multiple times, received a ‘Silver Honourable Mention’ from the Writers of the Future Award, and is the winner of the Pen To Print Audio Drama Competition 2022. His short stories have been published in blogs, magazines, and anthologies, and his debut novel will be released soon.
Tell us a bit about your story and the story world.
Good As Gold is a bank robbery in the city of New Yesterday — a place where events in the present can change the past. A band of thieves hatch a plan to steal the gold, but with the city constantly rewriting history, getting away with the loot is either going to be their greatest score or their final undoing.
What was the inspiration behind this story?
Just over a year ago, I became a Dad. My family means the world to me, and the arrival of my boy changed who I am. Being a father is part of my identity. My debut novel (which is coming out later this year) is called New Yesterday, and it’s set in a world where the past is in constant flux. I explore the idea of identity in that book — what makes us who we are — but I finished writing it before my son arrived, so I wanted to revisit the city to delve into this idea of how transformative parenthood can be. Besides, who doesn’t love a good bank heist? I’ve been wanting to write one for ages, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to take a kind of story which is typically conventional and formulaic and try to find a new lens to see it through.
If you could travel to any science fictional world, where would you go and what would you do?
I’d serve aboard the Enterprise under the command of Jean-Luc Picard, writing holodeck programs for the crew. Or I’d step into the world of Cowboy Bebop, steal Spike’s Swordfish and take it out for a spin. Or I’d get an audience with the Jedi Council, and tell them that Palpatine was a Sith Lord so he could be taken down before Anakin is corrupted — then he and Padme could just raise Luke and Leia in peace.
What are some of your favorite sci-fi crime books or stories?
I’m not sure this qualifies as a crime book, but I love Recursion by Blake Crouch. I’d just finished writing New Yesterday when I read it, and I adored the way it played around with time. Anything related to time-travel is right up my street, so if there are any amazing time-travel crime stories out there, let me know — I’d love to read more of them.
What authors have inspired your writing?
I love the way Peng Shepherd manages to blur the lines between reality and fantasy. I love the character-focussed perspective Mike Chen brings to his stories. I love how Blake Crouch has perfected the blend of sci-fi and thriller. I love the invention of HG Wells. I love the atmosphere and dark zaniness of Philip K. Dick. I love the concepts and execution that EL Strife delivers so consistently. And I love the imagination and bravery of Emily Inkpen.
What are you working on next?
I won the Pen To Print Audio Drama Contest 2022, which means one of my scripts is being made into an audio-play. I’m helping to put it together with the producer and actors, and it is SO MUCH FUN! It’s called Postcards From Another World and will be available to listen to soon. But a lot of my focus is going into the release of New Yesterday right now. I’ve been working on this book for so long — I really want to get it right! A prequel novella (which sets the scene for how the city became established) has only just come out, and it’s free to my email subscribers. That one is called Yestermorrow. To go along with Good As Gold, there’ll be another few short stories set in this world which will be released over the next few months, and will hopefully build up to the novel before the year ends. But I’m always working on multiple projects. I’m a juggler when it comes to stories, and one of the books I’m drafting at the moment is really getting under my skin. Just like this story, and this anthology, I can’t wait to share it with everyone!