Oculus connects 1635 to the present day and the distant future. A veteran of the Thirty Years’ War struggles with guilt and visions of a terrible future. He visits the Pantheon in Rome seeking answers, needing redemption. In the present day, breakthroughs are made with life extension therapy and space travel. All to service the ego of one man.

Told entirely from the perspectives of the characters, the story of Oculus connects the past, present and future, in an intricate mesh -- centred around the female-line descendants of a very special woman born in the seventeenth century.

Oculus should fundamentally be a gripping story, but it is also an exploration of many philosophical and scientific themes:

  • Ethics, grief, guilt, redemption : there is a twist on the "what if you could kill Hitler" scenario, which puts a character in an impossible situation
  • Prescience (what would it be like to have that ability?)
  • Genetics, matrilinearity, life extension therapy and its implications
  • Parenthood, childhood, the hope that despite everything you can leave the world a better place for your children
  • How can humanity can get past the fact that 49% of us have what Carl Sagan and others referred to as "testosterone poisoning"?
  • The nature of time and space
  • The idea that love in all its forms is central to conscious existence
  • The interconnectedness of all things
  • The dualisms in life (e.g. you are simultaneously of relative insignificance compared to the universe because it is so much bigger than you, but also the most important being in it because all you know of the universe is through your self)
  • The idea that all sentient life is sacred (without appeal to a deity, at least in the traditional sense)

If I meet the pre-order target (750 copies for ebook, 1000 for print+ ebook) then I will donate all royalties from pre-orders to the two organisations I raised money for with a cycle ride last year - Amnesty International and Refuge. Video of the cycle ride. I cycled up Swain’s Lane, London, 75 times in one day, equivalent to a 5,850m climb & descent. So far that has raised £680.

The words are those of the main antagonist. He’s a nasty piece of work. The face: I don’t know if that’s really his face - but it is the face of a historical figure who has a lot in common with him.

This photo kind of represents one of my main characters and the effect another character had on her.

I visited a place that the two characters mentioned above also visit, and took this photo there.

A beautiful piece of wood, engraved by my great-grandfather Ralph Beedham - he also engraved the image I’ve used to illustrate Chapter One: Confession. My protagonists seem to instinctively live their lives following the above maxim.

Part of the Milky Way. The bright star towards the top left is Vega, in the constellation of Lyra. This is important because [spoilers deleted].