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I am an author and lecturer at MMU.
My works of fiction include 'Events', 'The Letter', and 'The Figures.' I am also co-editor of 'The Continuum Companion to Kant'.
'Atherfield's Final Formula' is now available. as well as two short stories, 'The Room' and 'The Resident' (which will be published together). I will also be publishing a new short story, 'The Visitor', here at Smashwords in 2013. I am at present working on a short novel length work of fiction called 'The Place', which will be available later in the year. The story revolves around the main character, Klein, who pases through a perplexing sequence of events, whilst coming into contact with various friends and foes, often without being able to distinguish between these categories. At one particular stage, Klein comes into contact with a quasi-monastic order of enigmatic hedge-cutters, who are working in a maze, and following the dictates of a manual of half-articulated rules (as well as a semblance of intuition); Klein has to decide whether to join the hedge-cutters, or risk venturing further into the daunting regions of the maze.
on April 11, 2013 :
This is perhaps Nigel Hems' most accessible work to date. For those people who struggled to grasp some of the deeper philosophical themes that are embedded through his writings, this is perhaps the best place to start. This is certainly a story that, with the right marketing, could outsell every other story that Nigel Hems has written so far. The change in style is noticeable. Atherfield's Final Formula may disappoint lovers of his more cryptic works, but what's wrong with that? It shows that this is writer who is comfortable with writing in numerous formats without losing the continuity of form that we have come to expect from him.
To the charge that this is a more 'commercial' work, well, I would have to say yes, in my view, but it's none the worse for that.
The story deals with a scientist who has to make a moral choice between allowing his findings to be published and obeying his spiritual and moral conscience. Or at least, that seems on the surface to be what the story is about. I don't want to give the plot away!
It may seem odd to say it, but Atherfield's Final Formula reads like the lyrics of a very modern, very English pop song in the disenchanted mould of Pink Floyd or The Smiths. But as with classic English rock melancholia, there is a twist at the end that is disturbing in its implications.
As with any 'indie' artist, occasionally there are hits sung not only by university students and intellectuals, but the plainest of folk. Nigel Hems has a No.1 hit on his hands without having to abandon his 'indie' credentials one little bit. He should start opening the champagne. In years to come, he will angrily have to remind people he has written other stories when they keep going on about this one. This story deserves to be the one that he will come to hate, the one people come up to him in the street and quote from until he is sick of it.
Nigel Hems has reached out to the world and invited it to respond. Will you?
(reviewed the day of purchase)