Robert Maas


Robert Maas grew up in England. Unsurprisingly, he thinks the English catastrophe novel is the highest form of fiction. From Wells and Wyndham to Ballad and beyond, he has reveled in the multitude of ways in which his home has been destroyed by marauding and discriminating aliens.

He now lives in Tokyo, enabling him to experience the destruction of his home in many new and inventive ways.

His adult novels include the thrillers "Biome" and "Residuum", the fantasy horror "The Music Of The Rending Of The Night", the horror thriller "Hiding Place", the SF novellas "A Thousand Years Of Nanking" and "Tessellation Row", and the short story collection "Forgotten Tomorrows".

For adult and juvenile readers, his novels include "Constant", "The Billows", "Receiver" and "The Mael".

Smashwords Interview

What got you reading?
Where I grew up in the English countryside, there were no bookshops or even libraries of any size – just a couple of newsagents in the nearest town, and Woolworth's which sometimes had bargain bins of American paperbacks. For some reason, this Woolworth's had a bin full of remaindered, yellow-painted, notched American paperbacks of James Tiptree Jr.'s short story collection “Ten Thousand Light Years From Home.” It seems to me now suspiciously like a government science experiment. Feed an isolated community with Tiptree, see what results. I'd hate to think the whole town was as damaged by this book as me! Apart from that, I got my earliest books from village jumble sales. These were charity sales where villagers would donate unwanted items to the church, which would then lay them all out on tables in the school hall and sell them back to other villagers. The first book I found, maybe when I was eight or nine, was an old first issue paperback of the Michael Moorcock-edited anthology “The Traps Of Time,” with the reaching hands on the cover. I hadn't even started on juvenile fiction and there I was wrestling with this thing! It's still the most mind-blowing anthology I've ever read. That was when the lightbulb switched on for me.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes, but I was persistently told that it was impossible, so I never seriously considered it. I can understand why. The only outlet for a writer in a rural community would be as a journalist for the local newspaper, covering vegetable shows and fox hunting meets and whatever the Rotarians were doing that fortnight. I was determined to get out of the countryside as soon as it was viable, but writing was too chancy a means. Having ruled it out, I had no idea what I wanted to be. I thought of becoming a commercial artist, and indeed I’ve spent a good part of my working life as a graphic designer. I thought I might be an architect. In England at the time, you had to choose three subjects at age 16 to study for your A level exams at age 18. I chose the three most incompatible subjects I could think of: English, Art and Physics. I didn’t want to close any possible door. When I left school I wanted to be a scientist, so I trained to be a priest – go figure. I wrote obsessively from the very start. As soon as I got a typewriter when I was 12, I became a prolific writer of whatever juvenile nonsense I was into blurting out at the time. Until my late teens, that tended to be grim explorations of the fragile human heart – write about what you know, I suppose. In my case, love, hate and hormones. I think I honed most of my writing skills in composing love letters to girls at school. Well, this approach failed – let's try this. And hence to advertising, commercial writing, and the thought-leadership work I now do.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Robert Maas online


Slow Wilhelm Exit
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 50,520. Language: English. Published: December 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Nick Haynes, a struggling provincial artist buried in the scrabble of the London underground scene, falls in with a publicist, Dorothy Garron. She introduces him to the infamous Lutz Kürz, who performs public autopsies live on TV — the more scandalous the better. But the outrage is getting old, and Kürz now has his eyes on bigger things. And Nick just might be desperate enough to agree.
Cheer Up Sleepy Gene
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 25,260. Language: English. Published: December 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
A disturbing medical thriller. Paul Dallin is the perfect candidate for a revolutionary new treatment in male infertility. Dr. Sheahan Palmer of Helmer Biological believes he has the answer: a surgical reprogramming of the testes themselves. Unlike IVF treatment, Paul’s wife Wendy will be able to conceive naturally, just as nature intended. But if this is nature, it's about to bite back.
Born From Ash
Price: Free! Words: 41,950. Language: English. Published: October 13, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
The thriller writer Robert Maas has published 11 books as of October 2014. In this free sampler, you can read extensive excerpts from four of his novels, including "Biome" and "Residuum". "Born From Ash" also includes four complete short stories, two of which have never appeared anywhere else.
The Billows
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 60,470. Language: English. Published: June 30, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Thriller and Suspense
A standalone thriller novel by the author of “Constant” and “Hiding Place”. At first Lankin is a mystery to Julia, one she’s determined to solve. Who is he, and why is he hauling her across the English countryside toward an unknown destination they never seem to reach? But then she realizes she’s looking in the wrong place. For the greater mystery is herself.
Forgotten Tomorrows
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 81,350. Language: English. Published: June 23, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General, Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
The first volume of short stories by the author of “Residuum” and “Biome”. From thrillers to dark fantasy, from a new creation myth to the disturbing instructions on how to use your new anti-abuse device – these are stories designed to amuse, horrify and anger you.
Tessellation Row
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 27,950. Language: English. Published: April 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Physicist Richard Marsh, discoverer of an entirely new type of subatomic particle, has been posted to the International Space Station to investigate the ramifications of his breakthrough. But no matter where he runs, his demons follow him—and only some of them are flesh and blood.
Hiding Place
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 51,080. Language: English. Published: February 16, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
Six criminals hole up for the night in an abandoned subway station in Boston. As the hours pass, they begin to realize something else is down there with them – and the perfect crime is about to become the perfect nightmare.
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 57,090. Language: English. Published: October 17, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Thriller and Suspense
Constant is a standalone thriller novel for ages 9-14. A young girl struggles to create meaning and permanence in a world where everything—even her own death—is denied her. Guaranteed to contain no vampires, wizards, kids with psychic powers, or superheroes.
The Mael
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 50,480. Language: English. Published: August 1, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Thriller and Suspense
The Mael is a standalone thriller novel for ages 9-14. It doesn't contain vampires, wizards, kids with psychic powers, or superheroes. It does contain monstrous aliens, horrible torture, and acts of desperate heroism. This may be a dystopia, but they're certainly not playing games.
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 50,740. Language: English. Published: August 1, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Thriller and Suspense
Receiver is a standalone novel. It doesn’t take place in a game-playing dystopia, and it is guaranteed to contain no vampires, wizards, kids with psychic powers, or superheroes. Instead, it is a pure adrenalin-rush sense-of-wonder seat-clutching alien monster horror thriller.
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 115,840. Language: English. Published: July 25, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Residuum is a brutal thriller about life on the edge. It is 400 years in the future. A crippled spacecraft hurtles toward the dust ring on the rim of the solar system. Its survivors are leaderless, dazed by their long journey, unable to make sensible decisions. They're almost out of air. They're spinning wildly. There's no response from Mars. And they don't expect rescue.
A Thousand Years Of Nanking
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 27,150. Language: English. Published: July 23, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Aaliyah knows where she is, what she is, and what she carries inside her. She's on the Kinzua, a multi-generation starship drifting through the long void on its 1,000 year journey to the stars. She's a woman of Nubia, the ship's long-abused manufacturing class. And she's carrying the gift of life.
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 254,130. Language: English. Published: July 7, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Biome is an original standalone thriller novel of 240,000 words. Ruth Shannon knows all about inner demons. After the blunder that put her daughter in a coma, she's been searching for 12 years for a way to gain absolution. Now the military is offering her one last chance: to join a secret scientific mission to an alien habitat on Venus. But the biome has hidden demons of its own.

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