The Noise Duology
The Noise Within
In a world of posthumans, powerful AIs, virtual worlds and faster-than-light travel, there is little left that can truly challenge humanity’s grip on their world… except the discovery of alien life. Billionaire industrialist Philip Kaufman and top government black-ops agent Jim Leyton have their lives turned upside-down by the mysterious pirate vessel The Noise Within, which seems to be able to do the impossible: to travel between the stars without the wormholes that the ULAW’s own ships require. Hunted and betrayed, the two men eventually make the discovery that will change the human race forever, and make first contact with intelligent life from another world.
“There’s a lot to enjoy here: the characters, the action, a rogue AI starship, and spooky alien technology… I read it straight through…” – Neal Asher
“Unreasonably enjoyable. 24 meets Starship Troopers. If you read Reynolds, Hamilton, Banks – read this.” –Stephen Baxter
“A thoroughly entertaining space opera.” – SFX
“The Noise Within is pure space opera of the highest calibre.” – Fantasy Book Critic
“The Noise Within is one of the best sci-fi books that I’ve read in recent years. It ticked all the boxes for me and left me looking forward to the next instalment.” – Speculative Book Review
The Noise Revealed
It’s a time of change. While mankind is adjusting to its first encounter with an alien civilisation, black-ops soldier Jim Leyton has absconded from the agency that trained him, and allied himself with a mysterious faction in order to rescue the woman he loves. Since his death, scientist and businessman Philip Kaufman has realised that there is more to the virtual world than he’d suspected. Yet it soon becomes clear that all is not well in Virtuality. Both men begin to suspect that the much heralded ‘First Contact’ was anything but, and that a sinister con is being perpetrated on the whole of humankind. Now all they have to do is prove it.
“The strength of The Noise Revealed lies in his depiction of complex characters, driven to do the right thing, and coming to terms with the often unpleasant consequences of their actions.” – The Guardian
The Smallest of Things (2018) PS Publishing
There are many Londons. From pomp to sleaze, from government to crime, from sophistication to dark corruption, Chris knows them all. A fixer with a particular set of skills, he can step between realities, piercing the thin veils that separate one London from another to find objects or people that have fallen between the cracks. When a close friend, Claire, comes to him fearing for her life he is forced to use his abilities as never before, fleeing with her through a series of ever stranger Londons, trying to keep one step ahead of the men who murdered her boyfriend and are now hunting her.
At some point, Chris hopes that he and Claire can pause long enough to figure out why these mysterious figures from another London want her dead, but right now they’re too busy simply trying to stay alive.
“This is an entertaining and easy to read book – the action flows thick and fast and Chris and Claire’s adventures make for a rollicking good romp” – British Fantasy Society
“Told with skill and poise, this paints a picture of modern London quickly and vividly, casting dark shadows onto places we all see every day . . . An excellent sci-fi thriller. This is a great read and I’d highly recommend it.” – Mark West on Strange Tales website
“An enjoyable take on the parallel world idea with an engaging hero. 8/10” – Sci-Fi Bulletin
Dark Travellings (2016) Fox Spirit
A collection of my darker tales, from dark SF and fantasy to horror. The book includes one original story, “Lens Flare”, originally commissioned, accepted (and paid for) for an anthology that never happened.
- Introduction by Storm Constantine
- The Heroic Acts of Strangers
- The Golds
- Without a Hitch
- Don’t Listen
- Default Reactions
- Lens Flare
- Know Your Place
- Easy to Imagine
- Whatsa Mata
- Devil in the Details
- Hanging on Her Every Word
- The Abomination of Beauty
Growing Pains (2013) PS Publishing
All stories previously uncollected. This one includes “The Assistant”, which was shortlisted for a BSFA Award, and two originals: “A Question of Timing” and “Hobbies”.
- Growing Pains
- The Assistant
- Walking the Dog
- Peeling an Onion
- A Question of Timing
- Coffee Break
- The Outsider
- Shop Talk
- The Piano Song
“Ian Whates’s “The Assistant” is a brilliantly inventive saga of techno-enhanced cleaners.” – SFX Magazine
“Brilliant hard SF, amusing, and not only is it an SFnal take on a mundane present-day aspect of life (which in itself if done right would be enough) but there is an SF extra towards the end.” – Jonathan Cowie, Concatenation, on “The Assistant”.
“Standouts include Ian Whates’ “Shop Talk”, in which a young woman deals with xenophobia.” – Publishers Weekly
“And perhaps the cleverest story in the book, “Shop Talk” by Ian Whates, is clearly akin to van Vogt’s “The Weapon Shops of Isher” for the sensibilities of the modern day.” – Analog
“Coffee Break” is a fun piece of fiction. 8/10” – The Anonymous Reader
The Gift of Joy (2009) NewCon Press
Eighteen stories, five original to this collection plus thirteen that have appeared previously in various venues, including both pieces featured in the science journal Nature and the BSFA Award shortlisted title story. Eighteen tales that take you to distant futures and disturbing tomorrows, to strange new worlds and others that may seem uncomfortably familiar.
1. Introduction ~ Ian Watson
2. The Gift of Joy
3. A Hint of Mystery
4. The Key
6. In Fear of Fog
7. One Night in London
8. Ghosts in the Machine
9. Knowing How to Look
10. The Sum of the Past
11. Flesh and Metal
12. Hanging on Her Every Word
13. The Final Hour
15. A Piratical Sabbatical
16. Glitch in the System
17. The Battle for Paradise
18. It’s About Time!
19. The Laughter of Ghosts
“Planetary escapades and vivid battle action rub shoulders with charming yet eerie rural tales and with perilous urban nightmares.” Ian Watson
“Ian Whates has a way with words and a storyteller’s sensibility… Definitely one to watch.” Jon Courtenay Grimwood.
“Darkly funny tales of the unexpected, with a deft science-fictional turn of the knife.” Ken MacLeod
“It is his characters who live through the story and make the reader need to know just how it’s all going to pan out, human characters who may seem familiar but then there’s that one thing, that shifted alteration that changes the world and changes the reader too.” Michael Cobley in Interzone.
Torres De Babel / Towers of Babel (2017) Sportula
My first collection to be released only in Spanish. Drawing on work produced over a ten year period, (2006 – 2015), it includes stories from all three of my English language collections as well as some tales that had not as yet been collected.
- Introduction by Ian Watson
- Growing Pains
- The Assistant
- Reaper’s Rose
- The Gift of Joy
- The Devil in the Details
- Shop Talk
- The Key
- Ghosts in the Machine
- Whatsa Mata
- The Gun
- Dark Child
- Without a Hitch
- The Laughter of Ghosts
- Piano Song
In 2015/2016 I worked with Tim C. Taylor, co-writing two novels in his highly successful (and Amazon best-selling) ‘Human Legion’ series (the fifth and sixth volumes).
The Human Empire (2015)
The War Against the White Knights (2016)