WyrdStar

Publisher info

WyrdStar is the self-publishing imprint for Steph Bennion, a writer, musician and civil servant in Westminster, born and bred in the Black Country but now living in south London, England. Her science-fiction stories are written as a reaction to the dearth of alternative heroes amidst bookshelves swamped by tales of the supernatural.

WyrdStar has recently started to publish works by other authors, the first being the speculative fiction anthology WYRD WORLDS.

Where to find WyrdStar online


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Wyrd Worlds II
By
Price: Free! Words: 99,620. Language: English. Published: September 20, 2014 by WyrdStar. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
(4.00)
An anthology featuring a bumper 19 short stories from 17 independent authors from around the world, encompassing a wide range of science fiction and fantasy. Here lurks tales of the future, steampunk and time travel; of magical realms and fantastical deeds; and of things so weird they defy categorisation. The original WYRD WORLDS rode upon a new wave of indie collaborations; and now we're back!
Paw-Prints Of The Gods
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 129,810. Language: British English. Published: September 29, 2013 by WyrdStar. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
On the forbidding planet of Falsafah, archaeologists are on the verge of a discovery that will shake humanity to the core. Ravana O’Brien finds herself on another wild adventure with a mysterious little orphan, a cake-obsessed secret agent and a god-like watcher who is maybe also a cat. The cyberclone monks are preparing to meet their saviours. But nobody believes in prophecies anymore, do they?
Wyrd Worlds
By
Price: Free! Words: 90,490. Language: English. Published: September 7, 2013 by WyrdStar. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(4.00)
An anthology of short stories by an international collection of science-fiction and fantasy writers, covering a wide range of what is known as ‘speculative fiction’, from slices of fantasy and time travel to steampunk and science-fiction. The tales vary widely, yet are all born from the same drive to create, share ideas and above all to entertain!
Merry Christmas, Mister Wolf
By
Price: Free! Words: 8,900. Language: British English. Published: December 1, 2012 by WyrdStar. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
Christmas at the exclusive ski resort of Kirchel, with its concrete log cabins and artificial snow, was a tedious affair. But the robot security wolves that patrolled the dome at night were rejects from the brutal Gods of Avalon game show. When the power fails, Hestia and her friends would soon wish they had never ventured into the forest in search of park ranger Granny!
Hollow Moon
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 120,290. Language: British English. Published: May 28, 2012 by WyrdStar. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
(4.25)
A kidnapped prince, a school band competition and an electric cat that eats everything in sight! Join intrepid young heroine Ravana O'Brien in a fast-paced and witty science-fiction mystery of interstellar intrigue. As the dark priest of destiny returns from the dead, Ravana and friends find themselves on an incredible planet-hopping adventure into the shady world of politics, music and rebellion!
To Dance Amongst The Stars
By
Price: Free! Words: 8,990. Language: English. Published: December 23, 2011 by WyrdStar. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
(4.00)
A seasonal science-fiction fairy tale! Can the poor, down-trodden kitchen slave Ganesa find a Prince Charming in the shape of young, dashing space captain Hanuman? As they meet for the first time on the dance floor at the American Embassy's Christmas Ball, she is the first to admit he's not exactly her type in this tongue-in-cheek pastiche of Cinderella. Short story, approx 8000 words.


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Smashwords book reviews by WyrdStar

  • Marlowe and the Spacewoman on Feb. 02, 2012

    This was an entertaining read! The action is fast-paced and the humour well thought out - it put me in mind of the 'Stainless Steel Rat' books of Harry Harrison. The twist at ending came a bit out of the blue, but set up the promised sequel quite nicely.
  • The Waggoner on Feb. 09, 2012

    I picked this book out of nostalgia for the English Midlands, particularly as it’s been a while since I’ve read anything set in my native Black Country. This was an entertaining read and is clearly written on the back of a lot of research; though this often resulted in some paragraphs reading like encyclopaedia entries. The episodic story has a nice pace and the book offers an interesting glimpse into life in the industrial Midlands during the canal-building mania (and later railways) of the industrial revolution. It is however somewhat lacking in drama, as the family that the story follows ultimate enjoy a fairly cosy existence considering the harsh reality of life for the working class at that time!
  • Smallworld: A Science Fiction Adventure Comedy on March 03, 2012

    This was an entertaining read, albeit not the comedy I'd expected from reading the blurb. Nor does it really work as a novel, as it reads more like a collection of (long) short stories strung together and linked by virtue of a shared cast and setting. The writing is good and there are moments of very clever (and often bizarre) humour - I particularly liked the escape from the penitentiary through psychoanalysis and Helen of Troy's personality inside a killing-machine robot (both of which appeared in the final story) - yet many of the supporting cast were too one-dimensional to care about and I frequently forgot who was who. However, the science-fiction setting was fun and obviously well thought-out; I just wish the author had done the same with more of the myriad of characters involved along the way. In summary, I did enjoy it and would have been happy to spend money on this.
  • The Garden Wall on March 25, 2012

    On the whole this was an entertaining story. It felt like reading two books in parallel for a good two-thirds of the way and while the scenes at Birmingham University with the physicists were enjoyable, I wished the novel had stayed more in that arena and not kept jumping to the 'other' place (I'm trying not to reveal the plot here). There are some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments and a good mix of characters. The big reveal at the end however is such an old sci-fi trope done to death so many times before that I can only give it three stars.
  • The Navigator (Awash In Starlight) on April 01, 2012

    This is a very interesting read, full of ideas and with a highly-unusual narrator figure to provide a god-like point of view. Other reviews have outlined the story so I won't go into details, but the tale was refreshingly different and the main character Kego was imagined well. Some of the humour was a bit hit and miss (the 'comical' names of some of the people mentioned didn't fit well with the general style) and it did often seem as if the robots had more personalty than the humans - though I accept the author did deliberately play on this theme at times. If this had been properly edited, polished and proofed I would not have hesitated to give it a solid four stars; unfortunately it isn't, so I can't. Having said that, the story and the philosophies within were strong enough to keep me reading despite the distracting typos, so credit where it's due.
  • Living through Hope! on Aug. 01, 2012

    I found this a real page-turner. The trials and tribulations of the main character Bridget brought on a whole raft of emotions (I was close to tears at one point) and I was so glad that it ended exactly the way I thought it deserved to. Some of the historical details, such as the incredibly-lowly status of women in the nineteenth century, I found quite sobering. Being a Black Country lass myself I was enthralled by the descriptions of old Wednesbury and Walsall, the canals and the pits. Good stuff!
  • Timepiece on Aug. 20, 2012

    This was a good, fun read and a real page-turner (well, taps on a Kobo screen). It took me a while to warm to the main characters, but once I got into the story it sucked me in. The protagonists seemed to accept the concept of parallel realities a little too easily, nor did they seem too bothered about what was for me the main mystery - the origin of the eponymous timepiece - but this was one of the better time-travelling stories I've come across for a while. Pricing it at $0.99 seems unfairly cheap!
  • One Last Quest on Aug. 20, 2012

    This was very funny in places and contains some clever parodies on the fantasy genre (plus some non-too subtle digs at capitalism). I hovered between giving this three or four stars, but in the end I felt the story glossed over why the main villain was acting the way he was, plus the conclusion of the tale came about far too quickly.
  • The Gaslight Volumes of Will Pocket: Vol I: Turnkey on Sep. 29, 2012

    This book was an enjoyable read. The alternate history to explain the steampunk elements was convincing and once I'd got used to the interesting framing device for the first-person narrative the story flowed well, albeit with rather odd dream sequences. This tale is essentially a rolicking adventure-cum-romance, with the former handled better than the latter. There are some wonderfully bizarre characters in the mix, plus the usual steampunk airships and other weird and wonderful devices. Unfortunately, I failed to warm to Pocket, the 'hero' of the story, who acted the selfish cowardly idiot through much of the book - which is fine in the right context (George MacDonald Fraser's Harry Flashman or Terry Pratchett's Rincewind comes to mind), but it felt odd that such a character would have so many far more able people falling over themselves and risking their lives to help him at every turn. In that vein, the book makes too much use of chance to save the hero's neck. The other big problem I had was with 'New London', the descriptions of which show no attempt to relate it to the real London at all. London is not one of those cities where it is easy to obliterate the past (there's still bits the Romans left behind in the present-day version) and it would have been nice if the author had recognised this. Yet there are some fun adventures and some genuinely-hilarious moments in this book, so steampunk fans will find a lot to like. And the perforated spoon in the hat? I instantly thought it was a set-up for an 'absinth-minded' joke to appear at some point, but it didn't! One last little note on formatting - the wide line spacing looked odd on my Kobo and paragraph indents were occasionally missing, but no typos!
  • The Rock Star in the Mirror (or, How David Bowie Ruined My Life) on Nov. 28, 2012

    An entertaining little read. The premise was somewhat reminiscent of the Woody Allen film Play It Again, Sam. I expected the second half of the story to develop further than it did, but it provided a fun distraction during a particularly tedious train journey to Sheffield. [Goodreads rating: 3 stars = 'I liked it'.]
  • The Santa Claus Gang on April 20, 2013

    I've missed Marlowe and Nina. This is a very entertaining short story of a futuristic sleuth and his kick-ass spacewoman bodyguard and should be read by everyone who has a sense of humour and likes sci-fi.
  • The Creative Process on June 07, 2013

    Loved this! A delightful, slightly macabre, head-spinning tale of the fine line between inspiration and insanity (well, that's how I read it), all in just a dozen pages. I have a new favourite author.
  • Green, a short story on June 07, 2013

    Nicely-written, thought-provoking sideways look at race/class issues.
  • Jethabel on Nov. 28, 2013

    I really liked this. The book blurb is deceptive: this is a story of survival, set upon a not-quite derelict alien spacecraft. And when I say alien, the eponymous ship Jethabel is one of the most intriguing settings I've come across in a while. (Imagine the ancient alien ship at the start of the movie Alien, only drifting in space and somehow organic and alive!) The book has lots of interesting touches and well-rounded characters, though it took me a while to get to grips with the numerous protagonists involved. The ending was a little abrupt and an obvious set-up for a sequel, but it wasn't an annoying cliff-hanger. Worth a read if you like military sci-fi, or even 'Big Dumb Object' tales.
  • Interpretive Dance at 65 MPH on Dec. 27, 2013

    I must admit it was the title that drew me in. Strange, oddly compelling and a little bit disjointed (it needs an editor's touch), but that sort-of works given the theme of transgender angst. There's quite a mix of themes in this short tale and I loved the bits about the unloved novel.
  • Diana Comet and the Christmas Quilt on Jan. 29, 2014

    I loved this! A sweet little story, well-written and moving. The ending brought a happy tear to my eye on a miserable commute to work.