Felicity Harley – update on a new novel

Felicity Harley is a fellow Bequian author who has been featured previously on Reading Recommendations here and on my main blog, here and here. I had the great privilege to offer to beta-read and polish-edit this manuscript for Felicity, and am very pleased now to announce the publication of her new novel on a very important subject that should be of interest – and concern – to everyone!


The Burning Years
Until This Last Quartet: Book 1
by Felicity Harley
Published by Double Dragon Publishing
Genre: Literary Science Fiction

In the year, 2060, Sophie, a top female scientist, dismantles the government weather modification program and steals the male and female trans-humans who hold the promise of extended life.

While the remaining inhabitants of Earth are forced to design new underground habitats in order to survive a harsh, overheated world, Captain Rachel Chen, takes the worldship Persephone to Proxima Centauri, hoping this new star system will provide a refuge for the survivors of the human race.

Advance Reviews
“I LOVED this book. Even more than my just “loving it,” though, I feel very strongly that it critically bridges and transcends audiences and the timing is beyond perfect. I believe what you’ve written is incredibly important.

“Your science, both current and future, is sound and far-reaching. You tap into so many levels of what’s going on, and what can possibly go on (travel beyond our planet). I really like the “voice” throughout the book, regardless of which scenario you’ve dropped the reader into. All are equally engaging and the character development is even and (almost) clinically objective. I think this will really (also) appeal to a sci-fi audience, which is awesome and very “in line” with today’s readers.

“Additionally, I have to admit that I was haunted by your descriptions of the plutocracy and their reckless disregard for the vast majority of living things on Earth. What OTHER possible explanation can there even BE than yours (that they consider everyone but themselves to be “takers”)? Your descriptions of the political elite align perfectly with real-time scenes playing out across America right now.

“The mix and “balance” of gloom and despair vs. incredible scientific achievements removed what might have become an almost claustrophobic effect. Example: The US population goes from 318 million to 10 million VS Rachel’s living, breathing personal space on Persephone which made me think of the vividness and aching beauty of the forests in the movie, “Avatar.” Very hard to achieve this effect.

“[Side bar: VERY nice weaving of string theory, parallel universes, quantum entanglement, Maslow, and the heliosphere’s foam zone in the book! Also, excellent timing with “Stranger Things” making the US Department of Energy out to potentially be devastating in the future– and you’ve got DARPA. Perfect!]

“After I finished the book, I again visited your website for The Burning Years. As I scrolled down to the pictures at the bottom, seeing them for the first time, it was SO NEAT. I advise anyone who reads the book to do the same thing.

“Here’s a fiction that’s not afraid to tackle some of the biggest topics of our time.”

Bill McKibben, author, The End of Nature and numerous environmental books, and founder of 350.org

“… the journey through a different way of inhabiting our solar system based on the latest technologies, developments, and beliefs about who we are and our relationship to living, life, and space … It’s wonderful―”

Rachel Armstrong, TED Senior Fellow, Professor and Pioneer of “Living Architecture”

To read an excerpt of the novel, please click here and scroll down.

The Burning Years Website
And for more information about Climate Change, please read this article, We Asked Sci-Fi Writers About The Future Of Climate Change

Where to purchase Felicity’s book:
Double Dragon Publishing

Felicity Harley Recommends Eliza Sherlock

by Eliza Sherlock

What genre is it? Women’ s literary fiction / short story collection

Quick description: This is a book of twelve short stories, each diverse and yet interconnected by themes of dislocation, loneliness, loss and discovery. A brain-injured young man rebels against his diminished life, a doorman at one of London’s exclusive hotels impersonates a deceased client, a retired banker tries to renew his importance by sculpting and erecting an enormous spire in his front yard, a young wife discovers the betrayal going on under her own roof, and in the concluding story railing against her daughter’s self-destructive life and wasted potential, the grieving mother longs to recapture the past. The loneliness, longing and emptiness that lead to the search for meaning and connection in the midst of tumultuous personal change are achieved in unusual ways. From diverse walks of life and settings, young and old, the characters’ every love relationship, every betrayal tests their assumptions and reshapes the future.

Eliza Sherlock resized Why I recommend this book: The book will appeal to readers who seek fiction with complex characters whose stories unfold in surprising and suspenseful ways.

Links for people to buy it:
Barnes & Noble
Google Play
Amazon US, UK, Canada, Australia

787 Guest reviewer’s latest title or project:
Felicity Harley was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in March, 2015, and is the author of several books of poetry and fiction. Her most recent book is Portraits and Landscapes.

Felicity Harley

I “know” Felicity Harley through Bequia … although we’ve never actually met in person, we have this little island and several friends in common. Felicity very kindly read and reviewed my novel, Island in the Clouds, from the perspective of someone who knows the setting of Bequia very well, and she gave the book an excellent endorsement, for which I am grateful. I hope we may meet some day soon.

787Felicity Harley

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Portraits and Landscapes – a collection of short stories

Quick description: Portraits and Landscapes is an eclectic collection of short stories about all of us. The first stories in the collection are about failed romance and how many of us constantly and painfully search for connection in our lives. Other stories take us across the globe, and speak in a variety of voices, which give us brief glimpses of individuals who struggle to make sense of our world. The human beings described in these stories will make you laugh, weep and sometimes they’ll make you throw up your hands in utter disbelief.

A review written by Eliza Sherlock: The scope and interior quality in each of these stories, in differing ways, creates a compelling collection. There was not one I didn’t find interesting or that lost me along the way. Felicity Harley’s deep sympathy and insight into diverse human experience brings each one to life.

I found the first four stories in the collection quite different than the second half. The mysterious muted sense of hurt and inequity is beautifully rendered, the simplicity in the telling deceptive for each piece is deeply told. The characters seem to drift on currents they can’t resist, searching and restless and helpless in the grip of love. The language I found to be sensuous and luscious, the stories’ movement flowing easily and naturally. The descriptiveness combined with an interesting imprecision was fascinating, as were the scents, tastes, sounds and impressions introduced. I totally loved each and every one of them. Of them, I think I most enjoyed Love and Persia, The Art Dealer, and The Death of a Coat. Some really great knock you dead lines – “…some people kill you, it’s not their fault, and it’s not yours, but they kill you – and sometimes you kill them” and “a slow awakening to the old Persia she had read about, and it brought satiety to her hunger… ”

The second half They/Them/Us introduced another mood – more conscious and underpinned by moral concerns. I liked all of them once again. Some read like cautionary tales, narrated with a sense of imparting a message – none hit you over the head with the moral, intriguing journeys into other places and other lives, creating empathy for even the unsympathetic. Pon de Wall, Ben, The Wine of Life and In the Pursuit of Happiness stood out, Your Daughter Tasted Like Fish both beautiful in its love, and devastating in its conclusion. Some like The Survivalists, Divers and Floaters and First Ladies, full of interesting insights, make statements but are so interesting and unforced that they work. “She couldn’t help being a diver; it was what made her happy,” struck a responsive chord in me, as “the race they began together as equals, still greatly favored him,” also did.

A marvelous debut collection by this writer of ability and promise.


Brief biography:
Felicity Harley is a polished public speaker, published journalist, writer and a poet. Felicity Harley has most recently published a collection of short stories called Portraits and Landscapes and her play Transplant was recently produced by Hartbeat Theatre. In 2013 her work was published in an anthology called Gathered Light – On the Poetry of Joni Mitchell, alongside writers such as Wally Lamb, Kim Addonizio, Fred Wah (Poet Laureate of Canada), Larry Klein, Susan Deer Cloud, Cornelius Eady, and others. In celebration of the 65th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and on behalf of Poets for Human Rights, Felicity was the winner of the 2013 Anita McAndrews Award.

Links to buy Felicity’s book:
Purchase Portraits and Landscapes on Amazon – eBook and paperback

Felicity’s promo links:

What are you working on now?
Currently Felicity is editing two science fiction novels in a four part series she is writing under consultation with her agent, JoAnn Deck. She blogs regularly for Medium and for Plum Tree Books.

She is also writing a musical based on the story of a young Afghan Woman with a musician friend and in consultation with a number of Afghan writers and colleagues.

Felicity’s reading recommendation:
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt