RSM ran June 21/22 online, bringing together like-minded people, providing LGBTQ+ readings and panels from the US, Canada, Israel, the UK and elsewhere. It was an honour to be a part of it with a reading and AMA, and a panel session on the future of LGBT+ SFF. (For the video recordings, see Press & Events.)
“Mr. Barton’s writing [is] crisp, well-crafted, and to the point. It’s not florid and it doesn’t go into a lot of needless detail. Yeah, it’s a tad geeky…[T]hat’s part of what makes [it] so enjoyable.” - OJHeSay.com (USA)
“…be in awe of the brilliance that is Trevor Barton, who is quickly making it to the top of my favorites list.” – W.C. Bitner, Jr. (a Netgalley reviewer, USA)
“Impressed…Straightforward [and] practically perfect.” – Publisher (ret.)
"Trevor’s MA specialism was the myth of cyborgs and he’s been editor of a UK technology magazine. He’s overseen website construction for big publishers like Nature, where he also championed scientific author services. His first fiction, a trilogy, was offered contracts by two different publishers, and in 2019, this work made him a (paid) top 20 author for the LGBT science fiction category. He’s since had a short story published in American outfit QueerSciFi’s annual anthology, and a page successfully published on Wikipedia."
A longer bio is below.
My book writing began in 2016 with 'Brobots', a tale intended for the self-published market about dehumanised non-humans fighting for the right to exist. I knocked it together in the space of five weeks to get over the hurdle of being published and have some fun in the process. However offhand I wanted to be, the story took off, reaching the top two percent for LGBT science fiction at least twice.
The tale itself took over, too. That’s to say, it wanted to be a trilogy. So, I wrote and published two full-length follow-ups the following year: ‘Red Gods Sing’ and ‘Balance of Estubria’. I love the ’stoob the most; it’s where I got into my stride. Four publishers read either the first book or the trilogy, two offered for the whole work, and I placed it with a UK publisher for an omnibus in 2019.
Overall, the project shifted more copies than most self-published works, and then, with a publisher, made me a top 20 (paid) science fiction author for the LGBT category. Combined with getting my first ever writing competition entry included in an anthology for America’s QueerSciFi.com, 2019 wasn’t a bad start for work in print with publishers.
So where next? Definitely more ambitious, more general, a little literary. I like to mix character-led with tech, believable physics with meta, the profound with the everyday. Gay characters? They’ll tell me who they are. More robots? Not right now, but one day. Most of all, a good story needs mystery and intrigue.
'Elvira' is a short story about an artificial intelligence and her lab assistant. It features in 'Migration': the sixth annual flash fiction contest anthology for US outfit QueerSciFi.com.
Submissions had to have LGBT elements, believable characters and fit within a limit of a mere 300 words. I’m delighted to have my work included in the panel’s top 120 selected out of the 255 entries made. Released July, 2019. Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Amazon version, iBooks
Over 420 copies of this story now sold full price worldwide
Rod burners. Scaff dawgs. Laggers. Bucket dumpers. Lerps. Duct monkeys. Tin knockers. Lumbergs. Artificial big guys. Product of a troubled firm. Brobots. They’re easy to treat like trash.
But not so easy to ignore. Especially the ones experiencing the wake up: The idea was that they could work hidden in society’s plain sight allowing humanity time to get used to the fact of sentient machines. But it’s all too easy for others to take advantage of those who live on the edge.
What they, and their allies, must do is work out who, and why, before it gets too late.
None of the content in this trilogy is intended to be gratuitous, but this three book collection, in whole or part, is nevertheless intended for adults only.
|Buy in the US at RRP $21.92||Your local store using bookshop.org, or a chain outlet such as Barnes & Noble. If you buy direct from the publisher, both publisher and author will get a bigger cut, thus aiding further authors.|
|Buy in the UK at RRP £16.99 or €19.03||Your local store using booksellers.org.uk, or a chain outlet such as Blackwell’s, Waterstones, or Foyle’s. Amazon also has its version.|
|Buy as eBook RRP $6.44 / €5.59 / £4.99||From pretty much every outlet including the publisher, Smashwords, Apple, and Amazon.|
|Publisher||Beaten Track Publishing|
|Performance||An LGBT Science fiction Best-seller*|
|Editorial and Jacket Reviews||You will love this - QueerSciFi.com BA // Clever and convincing - WROTE Podcast Jayne Lockwood // Exalting and profound - Ulysses G. Dietz, Author // ★★★★★
Original I recommend this to anyone One of the finest Science Fiction trilogies I’ve ever read Be in awe of the brilliance Book Review Village - William C. Bitner, Jr. // Fascinating [and] sneaky... Brobots is a very good read, especially considering its ambitious content ... It’s deep, at times...profound, and also very touching.tggeeks.com- Ben Ragunton // The whole series is beyond phenomenal OJHeSay.com - Orlando Castellano
|Page count||237,200 words approx.|
|RRP||£16.99 (€19.37 / $22.26), and £4.99 (€5.69 / $6.54) respectively. Contact the publisher for wholesale options.|
|Publication date||Tuesday 15th January 2019|
|Strap line||They're easy to treat like trash. But not so easy to ignore.|
|Performance checks||*Manual check. The 20th spot for books > SFF > SF > LGBT on 16.01.19 1:30 GMT, US store. Higher may have been reached earlier unchecked. The 23rd spot on 27.01.19 12:53 GMT. The 83rd spot on 08.02.19 17:10GMT. The 349th spot on 14.03.19 17:44GMT (still around top ~3%).|
Brobots: Original Theme
Red Gods Sing
Balance of Estubria / Theme to the Trilogy
Set up a conceit, then knock it down. After all, they're the Brobots; they're easy to treat like...
The following excerpt is from a moment where a new, replacement worldwide web, NewNet, is breaking down. No longer able to pipe fake news to the world, its algorithms see themselves coming back the other way. As the whole system crashes, this text--broken and glitching representations of TV footage, public announcements, trending social posts, talk shows and more--lets us in on the digital meltdown.
“…crossing live to Constitution Gardens where hundreds of thousands of protestors are gathering. Sandy, what’s the latest there?”
“It’s crazy here. If you can hear my voice above the noinoinoinoi- noise, what I want to get across is that so far, it’s been peaceful. But there’s so much energy…”
“I’ll tell you why outlawing of AI was good. I got a job. That’s why. UBI never gave me dignitnitnit-ity. I want things to go back the old back the old way. If the First Citizen says let’s switch off the wind turbines and start up the coal again, well that’s fine by me. This is America. America. This is America. In America we do things right do things right right we do things right. He’s going to see us through this. I know it.”
“VidiEyou. 05:03 dur. Viral! Watch duPlitty get busted!”
“We may be seeing collapse of federalism? What the millions gathering right now around Lincoln Memorial, Monument, the Pentagon… if you take that as a gauge of feeling, I’m not even sure we can rule out revolution…”
“Can we have a cat now?”
“Thanks to the First Citizen, we can!”
“Recovery Plan. Make sure you know your rights. Call at your community center today. Curfews at 20:00 hours.”
“One big question is ‘how did we let this happen?’ but I guess we know the—”
“Yes, but I don’t think people are blaming the entire system. You know? State Governments have suffered here too.”
“Right! Street rumors of an unreported Senate lock-out turned out to be true. I mean…what? Right?” Audience laughter. “I mean, are we dummies?” Audience laughter. “I thought we rounded those up and destroyed them!” Silence.
“I mean, where do you start?”
“Stay with us, folks. We’re hoping to have the Deputy NEXSA Administrator, Sanija Chakrasanja, join us in a few mo mo 038ng!#4 ments. Our key question for this hour is what will NEXSA say, or do, regarding the refugeeEeZs on Mars? “Right now, I’m here with Dr. Pamela Yatt, an expert on the US constitution onsti US constitution. Pamela, what can we make of today’s fresh esh protests of today’s fresh protests?”
“…Alaska oil production being now at its highest peak since 2053, and the US GDP is already up two percentage points on this quarter last year. I mean, if anything shows things have been going right since duPlitty took over it’s that, right? Big money talks—and the big money’s on duPlitty duPlicentage points on this the big money’s, right?”
“Exactly, George, and, you know, this is just the beginning just the be this is just the be$*&!?+. Thank goodness, in a way, that the president’s administration went down because—and time and again this has been shown—if the super-rich are in go0ood health that meanzzzzz we all are.”
“What really started to put things right again was NewNet.”
“Totally. What a godsend! My kids are on it every single day? You know? The parental lock system, the levels of encryption, the speed, the way your personal data is protected. It’s someth 111 voilà ing that came right just at the time when we were going through the darkest of days. You know, I really believe it’s God telling us that things won’t get worse God get worse I really?”
“Right. Exactly. Like the rainbow after the flood.”
“A digital rainbow. Yes. Yes. A digital rain rainbow rainbow after the totally encryption Godnet.”
“Vid-X. dur: 03:29. Viral! Fake versus True. Senator interviews. Union Speech Never Happened. You heard that right. It was CGI.”
“If it’s true, then that country’s on nuclear high alert, but I can’t seem to corroborate…”
NewNet forward slash sub forward slash: “Mars: Best Bits!”
“Today’s earthquake revelations that First Citizen Gaius Paulinus duPlitty… It goes without saying he’s a dead man walking today…”
“Things are tough. But now that we have a stable basic salary income dead man walking totally encryption Godnet it removes all the uncertainty. It’s good for my faaaaaa mil eeeee. My husband has a job again now like the rainbow diiiiignity nooooiiise. He’s very happy with the can we have a cat now? Recovery Plan.”
“I miss the Brobots but I know they turned evil. Mommy says that when I grow up, I’ll have a much better future because we made them disappear.”
“Protect your future. Protect your children. Protect your communities. Destruction of automated systems is legal civic action in the duPlitty Recovery Plan. Do your part. Be the change.”
“Godnet removes the uncertainty. I miss the Bro o o o… Is there an official response from NEXSA at this stage?”
“We’re assessing our options. I can’t tell you specifics at this…”
“bots but I know they turned eeeeeeeeee turned eeeee turned tur ur ur ur ur”
“…important thing is to ensure the safety of the Martian hotel occupants and escort them home.”
“Sanija, what possibility is there of their protection, or indeed our own, when such advanced vehicles make their return trip? I mean, the threat’s…”
“eeeevillll Mommy says my kids kids my kids are on it every day because we know your rights we know your rights and we made them disappear. We miss love love the Brobots better because we made them made them made them made them them them disa disa dis dis dis… A totally encryption constitution raaaaaaainbow cat now diiiiignity nooooiiise.”
Trevor Barton had times as a boy when the parental home was not the right place to be, such as when, in his teens, one of his parents was killed. He’s also a gay man and, as a writer, these experiences combine to make him interested in personal heroism. The profundity of life enthrals him too, though on the page only when contrasted with just how gritty it can be. It glitches, but he swears his internal mental physics engine is still just about in working order.
As a kid he wrote one song a week—usually on religious themes, but his sense of the world, and what could be done through writing, broadened hugely at Bath Spa where he delivered a play script with distinction: a study on a college girl living a sensorily deprived existence in suburbia, and having a mystical wake up. After this, his cultural studies MA drew on feminism, film studies, and what was available to him in AI philosophy in the late 90s to explore why our culture developed a myth of cyborgs—and what that tells us about ourselves.
He became managing editor of a nationally distributed web technology magazine very early on in his working life, then—enthused about new media—configured web apps or handled site construction for names like Nature and OUP. This got him bar-crawling Nashville or sharing sidewalks with alligators in Florida while on business trips to meet the staff behind leading scientific journals. He has since worked at management level in the charity sector, and established community groups.
Only picking up professional writing again recently, his first fiction was offered contracts, in whole, by two different publishers. In 2019 this work made him a top 20 author for the paid LGBT science fiction category. He’s since had a short story published in a US sci-fi anthology, and a page about a building in Hawaii added successfully to Wikipedia.
If you just want to get in touch, send an email to website.enquiry [at] pm.me (replace the [at] with an @). I tend to reply to emails after 5pm UK time.
If you’re interested in news updates, use the same email, but please mark the subject purpose clearly, as this is your consent—for example: “Subscribe me to your author newsletter, please”. I use ProtonMail in preference to bulk emailers.
For high-resolution book jackets (latest book) including the various components, for high-resolution author photos, for events and for all other enquiries the present contact method is: website.enquiry [at] pm.me (Replace the [at] with an @.)
Totally not shy:
|I get invited to be a panelist at the first ever Rainbow Space Magic Con.||June 20th and 21st, 2020.
How Does Our Queer Past Influence the Queer Sci-Fi Future? (YouTube)
Author Reading and AMA (YouTube)
|I get interviewed for the Two Gay Geeks Podcast after they reviewed Brobots. Their shows are on tggeeks.com, iTunes, Spotify, and other places where fine podcasts are found. Follow tggeeks.com on Twitter.||Listen here from December 23rd, 2019|
|My first ever entry for a writing contest, Elvira, is accepted as one of 120 stories out of 255 entries for publication in the 6th annual QueerSciFi.com flash fiction contest anthology, ‘Migration’.||July, 2019|
|Brobots: The Complete Source Code hits the 20th spot for LGBT science fiction on Amazon straight after publication, and remains on the best seller list for three plus weeks||February, 2019|
|I do another Author Takeover of QueerSciFi.com to time in with the publication of the omnibus edition of the series with Beaten Track Publishing||January, 2019|
|Means Happy magazine (London) ask me to interview||November, 2018|
|OJHeSay come back to review the whole series, saying: "The whole series is beyond phenomenal"||June, 2018|
|Writing on the Edge Podcast (WRotE) give me an interview.||February, 2018|
|All three books are in the top 3% (or higher) for LGBT Science Fiction on Amazon||January, 2018|
|OJHeSay blog call Brobots book #1 "phenomenal"||January, 2018|
|Balance of Estubria (Brobots, Book #3) released at the #15 spot for LGBT Sci-Fi one year (and four days) after book one was published, completing the trilogy in twelve months||December, 2017|
|Book Review Village review the whole series and say "Be in awe of the brilliance"||December, 2017|
|Gay Star News do a behind-the-scenes on the Brobots trilogy. Unusually for QueerSciFi.com there’s an author takeover (AMA) on Facebook to discuss the series||September, 2017|
|Geek Syndicate review Red Gods Sing||September, 2017|
|Red Gods Sing (Brobots, Book #2) published and hits the top 3% for LGBT Sci-Fi on Amazon||September, 2017|
|Brobots book #1 published||December, 2016|
Thank you for reading.