Talking with Geoff Nelder

5 things you should know about Geoff Nelder
(that many others don’t know)

1)      Geoff has cycled halfway to the moon. He’s been cycling for over 65 years averaging 100 miles a week before lockdown.
2)      Geoff was ‘joined’ to the Children’s Science Fiction Book Club by his mother when he was five.
3)      Geoff’s dad illustrated scifi magazines and at the age of 8 Geoff thought all dads did that.
4)      Besides his non-fiction and fiction novels, Geoff’s had over 100 short stories published mainly by horror and scifi magazines, anthologies and some alternative history journals.
5)      Geoff has taught over 5,000 people over 40 years and remembers most of their names, which is just as well as he sees some of them in his home town of Chester, UK.


Being in lockdown didn’t help the people of Gozo in 1551

Gozo is one of the Mediterranean Maltese islands, a favourite haunt for Geoff Nelder and his wife in ‘normal’ times. During his first visit he discovered the awful fact that in 1551 pirates abducted the entire population of the island of Gozo, selling most as slaves, throwing the sick and elderly over the sides of the galleys and forcing some into harems in Constantinople and Tripoli. Their spirits called for revenge and hence was conceived XAGHRA’S REVENGE.
The Maltese islands on which Xaghra’s Revenge is based is faring well in these COVID-19 times. My friends there tell me tourism between Gozo and Malta has reopened so that will help to stimulate their economy. Of course in the main they need overseas tourists but I know several folk living on the main island of Malta who have holiday lets on Gozo, who until this week have not been able to travel there. I miss the gorgeous scenery and history there so much. So lucky that I was able to visit Malta and Gozo before the lockdown. Today, June 9th 2020, Malta had less than 700 confirmed cases, sadly 9 deaths but nearly 600 recovered.
Ironically, in 1551, the island of Gozo had lockdown procedures as did many islands in the Mediterranean. Were they preparing for epidemics like they’d had in plague years? In a way, only the plagues were in the form of Ottoman and mercenary pirates. When the citadel bell rang on that fateful day in August 1551 all the inhabitants had, by decree, to get inside the city walls. Not all did, such as Stepjan and Lidia in Xaghra’s Revenge. Even those that did were captured because the bailiff saw that with 150 ships with well-armed janissaries and crew, they were not going to win a siege.
It’s certainly true that when pirates arrived, life changed on Gozo for ever.
As we speak you can sign up for Kindle Unlimited for free and download pages for free during this pandemic. Not sure for how long so if you want free reads do it soon.
Xaghra’s Revenge is set in Malta Libya, a harem in Constantinople and in France.
Review of Xaghra’s Revenge here in the Times! (Times of Malta) 
It’s a romance, thriller and historical fiction and fantasy published by Solstice Publishing
Other Nelder news
I was an April Featured Writer in The Horror Zine with my COTARD short story set in Venice. I’m honoured also because the Bram Stoker Award winner Elisabeth Massie is in there too.
Cotard is a real syndrome where people think they are already dead – what a theme for a short story, I couldn’t resist it. FREE for those of you who fancy a mild horror tale to escape the more grim real life horror out there.

A list of my publications in this last 17 years

2003 first short of the decade was called 2020 Vision (ironic)
2003-05 ESCAPING REALITY: a humorous thriller
2005-08 EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEE: sci fi
2009  HOT AIR: literary thriller
2009-12 ARIA LEFT LUGGAGE: sci fi pandemic apocalypse
2018 INCREMENTAL: 25 short, surreal stories
2019 SUPPOSE WE: scifi
2019 FALLING UP: scifi

Geoff’s Bio

Geoff lives in England with his physicist wife and after many decades as a teacher is now a writer, editor and competition judge.


  1. Geoff Nelder's website is at
    tweets at @geoffnelder
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