Last year, Alan Reece, an unassuming animal doctor from the West Country, was surprised to discover that he had become the ‘Conduit’, a link between reality and the strange world beyond. Not even beginning to understand this, Alan deals with this problem as he deals with most in his life – he ignores it. Unfortunately, ripples from his unwitting transformation have freed a dark and terrible creature from its improbable prison.
Burrowing into the past, it plots revenge from Ancient Britain, and only Earth’s reluctant Conduit has any chance of stopping it.
Now Alan and his friends – a medium-turned-physicist, and a self-confessed ‘bum’ – are wishing that they paid a little more attention during Roman history lessons at school, and Alan is realising that if he doesn’t face up to his unwanted legacy soon, it could be the end for all of them.
‘As Lovecraft once famously noted: “The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind.” Readers of this engaging and well-wrought novel will certainly find themselves nodding in affirmation.’ Bookpleasures.com
‘I was suitably impressed, actually blown away would be more accurate, with the first novel and the skill which Marsh displayed is, if anything, sharper in Past Tense as the story effortlessly flows, thematically, between horror, fear, humour and laughter. Hopefully someone will pick this us; it would make a stunning television series somewhere between Doctor Who and Being Human’ SciFi Online
‘…Marsh deftly channels the ghosts of Douglas Adams and (to a lesser extent) Philip K Dick to deliver a mind-bending tale of tunics and time travel…Marsh proves himself to be a talented and invetinve purveyor of imaginative fiction’Small Press Reviews
‘I hope that with Past Tense Nick Marsh is exposed to a wider audience because he has a voice all of his own. It may be a whisper at the moment but it could grow into a roar’ Fantasy Book Review
‘Past Tense should make for a quick and fun read while we are waiting for the British weather to give us some sun between showers’ I Will Read Books
Targeted Age Group:
all science fiction fans
How is Writing In Your Genre Different from Others?
Soul Purpose and Past Tense are quite unusual novels – serious science fiction novels written in a light-hearted voice. Influenced by Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett and others, as I’ve written more books I’ve settled into my own style. I also bring the slightly strange perspective of the triumphs and tragedies of working as a modern veterinary surgeon to the table.
I also have jumped around a few different genres – Soul Purpose and Past Tense are science fiction novels, the Ancients is a fantasy story, and the Express Diaries is a horror novel set in the 1920s.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Write write write! Practice really does make perfect in this field, so try and write a little every day – even if you don’t want to. The more you make yourself available to your muse, the more they will reward you!
Nicholas Marsh has never forgiven his parents for giving him a happy childhood, thus depriving him of the necessary angst and bottled-up rage to become a full-time writer. Not only that, his genetic inheritance has so far thwarted every attempt to grow a beard to make him appear dark and brooding. Four weeks of strenuous effort only result in a near-invisible fluffy covering that even a student would quickly shave off in embarrassment.
Since his late teenage years he is proud that he had managed to maintain his height at a constant five feet ten inches. If only everything in life were that simple. He currently works as a veterinary surgeon in Plymouth, UK, and doesn’t think the job is all that bad really. On his days off he spends his time being cruel to pot plants, drinking cups of tea and, occasionally, writing.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
A few years after graduating as a vet, I decided to vent some steam about what it was like at the sharp end of veterinary practice. Me being me, however, I soon discovered that strange science-fiction happenings were creeping into the narrative. I let them creep, and ended up writing Soul Purpose (and it’s sequel, Past Tense) – think Doctor Who meets James Herriot (and if you can’t imagine such a thing, don’t worry! I’ve already written it for you)
For Past Tense in particular, I wanted to write some historical fiction from a modern perspective – it’s a great reason to read a lot of history and call it work! I’ve had a lot of compliments about the sections set in Roman Britain, so I think I got something right!