Rotten Row: the origin story

I know I’ve told this story before; I may have told it here, or hereabouts. If so, bear with me. Or just scroll on. I am at that time of life; I am in my anecdotage.

So a few years back, I was staying with m’friend Juliet McKenna in Oxon, and there was a one-day SF con in London; and furthermore m’other friend Liz Williams was signing in an SF bookshop on t’other side of the Smoke. So two birds, one stone: I hopped on a train and spent the morning at the con, and then at lunchtime set off to walk across town to find Liz.

First thing that happened, I discovered that I was walking along Rotten Row. [For those not bothering to click through: this is a parade through Hyde Park, a broad avenue where high society used to disport itself on horseback and in carriages. For more information, read Georgette Heyer.] I’d known about it since I was a kid, but never been before. I was quite pleased to find that even in the absence of horses, people do still gather there to display; lots of rollerbladers and the like, showing off their skills and their physiques, their slick garb, their desirable selves. Just as people always have, really.

So I was kind of thinking about that, and science fiction, and so forth; and I debouched onto the streets of London again, and suddenly there was my first-ever bicycle rickshaw; and the one thing melded with the other, and both into a different context, and lo. That, children, is where I get my ideas from.

And by the time I came to the bookshop Liz was gone – to the convention, as it happens, in search of me – so we missed each other utterly. But I went back to Jules’ with a whole lot of thinky in my head, and some little time later there was a novella, and this is it in its new incarnation:


It’s about paranoia, and identity, and art. But what isn’t?

Oh, and betrayal. Ditto ditto.

You can buy it right here, at the BVC bookstore, in epub or in mobi – which will work fine on your Kindle – or else click through for the last of the physical copies from PS Publishing (tho’ that edition lacks this gorgeous cover from Mark Ferrari…).


About Chaz Brenchley

Chaz Brenchley has been making a living as a writer since the age of eighteen. He is the author of nine thrillers and several fantasy series, under the names of Daniel Fox and Ben Macallan as well as his own. Chaz has recently married and moved from Newcastle to California, with two squabbling cats and a famous teddy bear. You can find his work in the BVC Ebookstore.


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