Running Out Of Time - Simon Fox
I'm thrilled to be able to share the cover of exciting new Nosy Crow sci-fi by Simon Fox: Running Out Of Time, which publishes next month (August 2022)
Cover Illustrator: Petur Antonsson (@peturantonsson on Twitter)
Cover Designer: Nicola Theobald
As part of the reveal, I also have an exclusive piece from Simon about his inspiration for the book:
Being able to time travel would be pretty cool, wouldn’t it?
Maybe some of you can already do it. If you can, why didn’t you tell us about it last week? Or next
week? Or maybe you already did, and we just don’t know about it yet.
Or maybe we all can, just a little bit. Imagine you’re standing on top of a tall square building, looking down at a car driving towards one corner as fast as it can. And heading towards the same corner but from the other direction is another car.
They’re going to crash! When they both reach the corner, they are going to crash because the other
car is hidden by the building and they can’t see each other. But we can see them both. And we can
see what’s going to happen.
We can count down in our heads what’s going to happen. In just a few seconds, the cars are going
to crash into each other and only we can see it. Five, four, three, two one…
Is this looking into the future? Is this the beginning of time travel? Maybe it is.
When I write a story, I probably do what most writers do and think of a character and then think of a journey that I feel that character needs to go on. The journey will be the actions he or she takes in
order to get what they want and a story wouldn’t be much fun if it was easy, so I try and make what
they want really, really difficult to get. And then (and this is the bit I love) I give them a tiny glimmer of hope. A skill, or talent or ability that gives them and the reader something to cling to when the journey seems impossible. The rest is just me, sitting at a desk and letting the character work it out for themselves.
In Running out of Time, the talent Alex has is the ability to see a few seconds into the future. When
his Dad comes home one night and tells Alex they must flee because Dad’s been caught spying on
their country’s brutal regime, their only hope is to fly across Europe to get the important secrets to
the British Government. Soldiers chase them. They find themselves in the hands of unscrupulous
people traffickers and then, worst of all, they are separated. Alex is alone in a strange country, with
no friends and no money. But he has his talent. He has a glimmer of hope. I’ve given him all the
tools he needs. The rest is up to him.
What would you do with fifteen seconds? It’s way too short to do all the obvious things like winning
the lottery or setting up complicated traps or escapes so what could you use it for? And what would
you do if you were about to step onto a small boat, crammed with too many refugees, facing hours
floating on a cold dark sea full of fear and danger? What good is fifteen seconds then?
Most of us are lucky because we don’t have to go through journeys like this, but plenty of people
face their own barriers in getting what they need. The key, I believe, is to find our personal glimmers of hope; our personal talents or skills or abilities that we can make the most of. These could be obvious things like being great at sport or maths but they might be less obvious things like being able to cheer up a friend or being brave enough to ask for help when you need it. Patience is a skill and so is optimism and so is trusting yourself. And once you find your skill, you can build on it and use it to make your journey easier.
When I write, I believe it is my job to make the journey almost impossible. It’s the reader’s job to
prove it isn’t and get the character to the end.
And if you already got to the end next Friday, maybe you could tell us all how you did it.
My thanks to Hannah at Nosy Crow for having me on the reveal and to Simon for the blog piece for whatiread, and providing the copies of the book to giveaway via my Twitter and Instagram pages (follow and enter via @richreadalot)
Find out more about Simon, the book, and publisher Nosy Crow on Twitter (@NosyCrow) or via their website: https://nosycrow.com/contributor/simon-fox/
Written by Rich Simpson, July 2022. All views my own.