Southsea author O.R. Lea launched his new novel as part of the city’s recent We Shine light festival.
Riebeckite is a near-future tale of one woman’s race to expose a sinister new threat to humanity. This speculative fiction story is set in the Persian Gulf after an asteroid strike on the moon has left deadly spores drifting down to earth.
Author Oliver Lea, 40, works full time as a laboratory analyst for local firm Gully Howard Technical and has two children aged 12 and 14 years. He took inspiration from both modern and classic science fiction writers such as Jeff Vandermeer and Michael Crichton, as well as his work with environmental safety.
Raised and educated in North Wales, Oliver moved to Portsmouth in 2003. As a hobby, he has previously written six other novels under a pseudonym, across multiple genres and featuring Middle Eastern vampires, African mercenaries and supernatural Welsh murderers. Riebeckite is his first novel published under his own name.
Oliver says “Riebeckite takes place in an immersive near-future setting and gives readers a story of suspense and conspiracy with a healthy dose of heart-in-mouth action and nightmarish encounters. The novel is science fiction in genre but at its heart is a story about enduring friendship. It’s a story that has made fans even among those who don’t usually read SciFi.”
He continues: “The festival felt like the perfect time to debut my book. Portsmouth is such a vibrant city, home to such a wealth of artists, creatives and writers that I have enjoyed supporting over the years, and who have been so eager to support me in return.”
Advance Reader Copy (ARC) reviewers have said:
“This is a story that will stay with me for some time. It’s an absolute page turner with an intriguing premise and two strong, complex female characters who are easy to root for, even with their flaws and moments of grey morality. The plot is perfectly paced and extremely clever. The ramping tension is punctuated by well timed moments of reflection and humour.”
“This book had me hooked from the first chapter to the last. Set in the future but still recognisable, a clever combination of sci-fi thriller and a story of friendship against the odds.”