Tuesday, January 5, 2016

BOOK TOUR: At the Sharp End of Lightning by N.R. Bates

Book Details:

Book Title At the Sharp End of Lightning by NR Bates
Category:  YA fiction, 444 pages
Genre:  Fantasy / magic realism / sci fi 
Publisher:  NR Bates Publishing
Release date:  October 2015
Available for review in:  Print, ebook, mobi file (for Kindle), gifted Kindle copy, ePub, PDF
Will send books:  USA & Canada
Tour datesJan 4 to 29, 2016
Content Rating: PG-13 (There is one f-word, but no other profanities, sex, violence)

Book Description:

AT THE SHARP END OF LIGHTNING. The interwoven fantastical tale of family, of loss and sacrifice, of unexpected gifts and coping with disability and new abilities set against the backdrop of climate change occurring across parallel worlds. In Oceanlight, Yalara Narika, a winged Sea Sprite, searches for her lover over immense seas only to find catastrophe and realization that her world is in turmoil.

Meanwhile in the safe suburban normality of North Wales, Einion Morgan Alban, a restless youth afflicted by a disease of the blood, is nearly murdered by a man in a white suit. Yalara and Einion must discover the causes of their near-deaths and their as yet unrevealed connections as they both face upheaval to their lives and their worlds.

Meet the author:  

​NR Bates was born in London, grew up in Wales, and lived in Canada and Bermuda. He shares his life with his wife and his house with seven cats, one dog and the subtropical wildlife of lizards, wolf spiders and ant colonies that seek out a better life indoors.

He is an oceanographer and scientist, and has published more than one hundred and thirty scientific papers on ocean chemistry, climate change and ocean acidification. He is a Senior Scientist at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and Professor of Ocean Biogeochemistry at the University of Southampton, UK.

​His novels focus on epic fantasy and magic realism, and inspired by his deep love of the ocean and environmental sciences. He has also recently published a small book of short-stories set in Paris, entitled “The Fall of Icarus (The Elevator, The Fall of Icarus, and The Girl)”.

Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Facebook

Guest post by N.R. Bates, author of At The Sharp End of Lightning

Curiosity by N.R. Bates

My novel “At the Sharp End of Lightning” is the first of a book series that explores the issue of real climate and environmental change affecting our planet while using the literary device of fantasy and magic realism. In early researching for the book series and subsequently, during the practical aspects of actually writing and revision of manuscripts, and latterly, I have often pondered the relationship between art and science, and their similarities and differences. As a practicing scientist, all my research work is aimed at trying to understand how the ocean works, and the interrelatedness of its biology, chemistry and physics. This scientific approach always follows the scientific methodit combines systematic observation, measurements and experimentation to formulate, test and refine hypotheses and as a means to investigate phenomena, acquire new information, and modify existing knowledge. For me, the practice of art reflects an incredibly diverse approach to the creation of sensorial artifacts—visual, touch, auditory—that express their creator’s imagination, aesthetics and technical skills.

What similarities are there between science and art?

As a scientist, my reporting of investigations of how the ocean works in the form of scientific papers always follow a very constrained and refined approach—a scientific paper typically contains a title, an introduction to and rationale for the science reported in the paper, the methods of observation, testing and experimentation used in the study, a discussion of results and findings, and a discussion of how the study contribute new understanding or a refinement of knowledge, for example. As with all scientific papers, it typically references the legacy of understanding and findings previously reported by others, and as such, builds upon the foundations of many scientists who have come before. Scientific papers might seem arcane and full of language difficult to understand—but this simply reflects a use of terminology or words that are not commonly used outside of science. It just needs time and practice to understand the actual meaning contained within. As it requires practice to read Beowulf in Old English or Scots vernacular used by Rabbie Burns or contemporary writers such as Irvine Welsh—once acquired, wonders are revealed.

As a writer, one starts with a blank page, and gradually, with time, a literary work hopefully transpires. Writing fiction has much freedom, unlike scientific writing which has to abide by the scientific method. But like a scientific paper, there is an underlying form and approach—diverse as it might be—to the work of fiction, and the craft of writing. There are narrative arcs, point-of-views, and character construction as examples, that all underpin the work. The other common underpinning is the published legacy of the writing of previous authors that deeply imbue all subsequent works of fiction. There is no reference or citation list included as afterword in most novels, but investigate the work and the influences, the legacy and the continuum of literary pursuits over time are contained within. In a sense, writers continually modify our knowledge and understanding of who we are, just as scientists continually refine their understanding of the how things are.

What is another common similarity between science and art for me? It’s a personal view, but it comes down to one thing—curiosity. As a scientist, I am highly curious about how the observable world works and functions. As a writer, I am highly curious about how the world works and the myriad wonderful diversity of individuals and societies. Curiosity. It drives me to be a scientist and a writer of fiction. They are expressed differently, but they both share this commonality—to find out about how we as humans and the broader Universe work!


Win 1 of 5 print copies of At the Sharp End of Lightning
- one winner will also receive a $30 Amazon gift card (open to USA & Canada)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I really enjoyed the guest post.

  2. I want to win this book because it intrigues me and I enjoyed the entire post. Thank you for the opportunity.