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 Hastings, 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 also published works by other authors: the speculative fiction anthologies WYRD WORLDS and WYRD WORLDS II; and two volumes of political verse by London poet Lallafa Jeltz.

Where to find WyrdStar online

Where to buy in print

The Avalon Job
Series: Hollow Moon, Book 4. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 136,430. Language: British English. Published: August 14, 2020 by WyrdStar. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Science Fiction
Ravana O'Brien is confronted by her past in more ways than one. Secret agent Kedesh is back on the scene, seeking help for a mission to Alpha Centauri. Artorius, the young boy taken by Que Qiao agents after fleeing the Dhusarian Church, has been traced to a shadowy American base on the moon of Avalon. A second alien portal has been found, a mysterious ancient machine that can twist space and time.
Brexit: A Haiku Diary
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,220. Language: British English. Published: September 22, 2019 by WyrdStar. Categories: Poetry » U.K. Poetry, Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » Current affairs
The United Kingdom’s referendum on membership of the European Union in 2016 did not bring out the best in politicians. London poet Lallafa Jeltz took the fight to Twitter by way of a topical haiku a day. This is not just a collection of poetry, but also a succinct record of what was making headlines at the time. Warning: contents may cause readers to despair at British politics all over again.
Three Tales For Christmas
Series: Hollow Moon, Introductory Anthology. Price: Free! Words: 39,590. Language: British English. Published: December 1, 2018 by WyrdStar. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
Can a down-trodden kitchen slave find her prince in a young, dashing space captain? When the power fails when parents are out for the night, is it wise to be wandering the forest with vicious robot wolves on the loose? A man caught up in a war wonders if he can go on, but can a hologram hope to convince him by showing the greatest blunders of his life? It is supposed to be the season of goodwill!
The Luck Of The Devil
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 99,680. Language: British English. Published: September 14, 2018 by WyrdStar. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
Susan Jones, a transgender woman struggling in 1990s Britain, is under the care of psychiatrist Doctor Mordussen. But are her demons real? A seventeenth-century sorcerer, evil nurses, a castle reborn from the ashes and a bloodthirsty sheep do not making getting to the bottom of the mystery any easier. Can Susan's love of heavy metal, her battered Volkswagen van and two best friends save the day?
The Battles Of Hastings
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 16,770. Language: British English. Published: October 14, 2016 by WyrdStar. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy, Fiction » Alternative history
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
Who really won the Battle of Hastings? Chicago teenager Jane Kennedy embarks on an adventure through multiple realities after fellow time travellers each realise they come from a future with a different past. Is there a rogue on the loose out to change history? A romp through alternate time lines in England 1066 to mark the 950th anniversary of the invasion that shaped Britain and Europe today.
City Of Deceit
Series: Hollow Moon, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 129,560. Language: British English. Published: June 24, 2016 by WyrdStar. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Science Fiction
Raja Surya, young heir to the moon of Yuanshi, cannot stay out of trouble for long. Zotz Wak, intrepid boy inventor, decides Earth is the place to become a man. He never expected to be accused of spying. Surya never dreamed he would take the captain's chair of a proper battleship in space. In London, the United Nations is deciding humankind's fate. Taranis, dark priest of destiny, has returned.
Democracy: An Epitaph
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,080. Language: British English. Published: April 11, 2015 by WyrdStar. Categories: Poetry » Themes & motifs » General, Poetry » U.K. Poetry
A short collection of political verse by up-and-coming London poet Lallafa Jeltz: None Of The Above, Ode To Magna Carta, Civil Disobedience, The Road To Number Ten, Blameless Tiers and Democracy: An Epitaph.
Wyrd Worlds II
Price: Free! Words: 99,620. Language: English. Published: September 20, 2014 by WyrdStar. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(4.00 from 3 reviews)
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
Series: Hollow Moon, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 122,630. Language: British English. Published: September 29, 2013 by WyrdStar. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Science Fiction
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
Price: Free! Words: 90,490. Language: English. Published: September 7, 2013 by WyrdStar. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
(4.00 from 4 reviews)
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
Series: Hollow Moon, Short Stories. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 72,400. Language: British English. Published: December 1, 2012 by WyrdStar. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
A long time from now in a galaxy we call home... It is the twenty-third century and humanity has settled where distant suns blaze in the sky. Yet for all the marvels of these modern worlds, life for many is far from a wondrous fairytale. It is supposed to be the season of goodwill! A collection of the 'main sequence' seasonal short stories from the space-opera worlds of the Hollow Moon series.
Hollow Moon
Series: Hollow Moon, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 111,910. Language: British English. Published: May 28, 2012 by WyrdStar. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Science Fiction
(4.33 from 3 reviews)
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
Series: Hollow Moon, Prequels. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 83,540. Language: British English. Published: December 23, 2011 by WyrdStar. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
(4.00 from 1 review)
A long time from now in a galaxy we call home... It is the twenty-third century and humanity has settled where distant suns blaze in the sky. Yet for all the marvels of these modern worlds, life for many is far from a wondrous fairytale. It is supposed to be the season of goodwill! A collection of the 'prequel' seasonal short stories from the space-opera worlds of the Hollow Moon series.


Hollow Moon
A LONG TIME FROM NOW IN A GALAXY WE CALL HOME... Welcome to tales of space-opera mystery and adventure! It is the twenty-third century and scientists, dreamers, crooks and believers have bridged the vast cosmos, staking their claims where distant suns burn fierce in the sky. Join our intrepid teenage heroine Ravana O'Brien, an Indian-Australian trainee engineer from an asteroid colony ship at Barnard’s Star, as she embarks on a voyage of personal discovery through the five systems and beyond. Why are Priest Taranis and his alien-worshipping Dhusarian Church so interested in her fate? Are the rumoured greys of Epsilon Eridani just a myth? Who thought creepy cyberclones were a good idea? Are some people really as idiotic as they seem? Hollow Moon is for all who relish a dose of humour and practical astrophysics with their fantasy, for young adults and adults young at heart! "The world building is excellent, the characters intriguing and the action a mix of drama and an occasional scene of pure slapstick that had me chuckling away. [...] If you like space opera, then I recommend this series." - (Awesome Indies' review of CITY OF DECEIT).
Hollow Moon
Price: $0.99 USD.
Paw-Prints Of The Gods
Price: $2.99 USD.
City Of Deceit
Price: $2.99 USD.
The Avalon Job
Price: $2.99 USD.

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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 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!
  • 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.
  • Balloons of the Apocalypse on Jan. 08, 2015

    I loved the first book, Marlowe and the Spacewoman, so eagerly snapped up this sequel as soon as I spotted it was out (which was some time after it was published - book promotion doesn't seem to be the author's strong point!). Balloons of the Apocalypse sees the return of sleuth Marlowe, sidekick Nina and most of the villains and supporting characters from the first novel. The setting is a futuristic yet down-trodded America, where the 'Big Fed' has fallen and the land is ruled by city states. The novel has a wonderfully-inventive storyline involving a Beethoven-worshipping cult, with many twists and turns. The humour is less evident than in the first book but this is still a good, fun read. Minor quibbles were that the ebook formatting wasn't brilliant (varying text sizes and non-justified paragraphs) and I think the chapters would have benefited from scene breaks at appropriate points. I look forward to the next one...
  • The Szuiltan Alliance on Oct. 03, 2015

    I read this a while ago, forgot to post a review, came back to see if the sequel was out and decided to put my omission right. I've been searching Smashwords for decent indie space opera for a while and this is certainly one of the better ones. At heart, it is a political thriller, with overtones of military sci-fi, strange aliens, religious conflicts and a whole heap of complicated personal relationships. Most of the large number of cast are pleasingly well-rounded characters, though there were a few who were not particularly memorable, which led to a bit of head-scratching when they reappeared. The few improbable plot devices were resolved by the twist at the end, which though not entirely unexpected was nevertheless effective.
  • Writing on the Wall: Lola's Story on Feb. 13, 2019

    I liked this a lot - I wish there was more (it's very short), though it could do use an editor's touch. An entertaining slice-of-life about a transgender woman artist and her dalliances with the local police. It reminded me a lot of Maupin's 'Tales of the City' books.