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Spotlight On Indie Author Alasdair Shaw
indie author Alasdair Shaw

I studied at the University of Cambridge, leaving with a BA in Natural Sciences and an MSci in Experimental and Theoretical Physics. I went on to earn a PGCE specialising in Science and Physics from the University of Bangor. A secondary teacher for over ten years I have plenty of experience communicating scientific ideas. I grew up in Lancashire, within easy reach of the Yorkshire Dales, Pennines, Lake District and Snowdonia. After stints living in Cambridge, North Wales and the Cotswolds I have lived in Somerset since 2002. I have been climbing, mountaineering, caving, kayaking and skiing as long as I can remember. Growing up I spent most of my spare time in the hills. Landscape archaeology has always been one of my interests; when you spend a long time in the outdoors you start noticing things and wondering how they came to be there. At university I chose geophysics as one of my options. I am an experienced mountain and cave leader, holding a range of qualifications including ML, SPA and LCL. I am also a course director for climbing and navigation award schemes.

Here are my books

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In the aftermath of a battle a ship drifts helplessly in space. Is the strange new warship they were fighting still out there? Will it come back for them? Commander Johnson faces a desperate race to get her destroyer back into action and save her crew. "This is an incredible work ... suspense, mystery and intrigue." "Loved every word of it." 'Independence' is a short story (6000 words) in the Two Democracies universe.

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The Best Bits of Physics

Just got a new Kindle for Christmas? Interested in science and the world around us? Studying for exams? Physics is fundamental to our understanding of the world around us. Everyone should have at least a basic knowledge. This book explains some of the most interesting parts of physics in simple terms. It dips in, never taking more than two pages for one topic. There is even a good selection of experiments you can do at home! It is suitable for any student of science as well as anyone wanting to enhance their knowledge. "Engages the reader and inspires them to find out more." "Clear and understandable. I like the conversational style." "It made physics interesting, even magical." "This book would be awesome for a high school student or for someone in a career requiring a basic understanding of physics." There is now a Teachers' Edition of this book. It is packed with A4 worksheets for you to photocopy. Some are comprehension passages and questions; others are experiment instruction sheets. A few words from the author: Physics is a hard subject. Everyone knows that. Tell someone that you are studying physics and they will be impressed. This will probably be followed by a comment along the lines of "I could never do that at school". It is still one of the most demanding GCSEs and A-Levels. This book is an attempt to serve up some of the best bits of physics. It should give you an understanding of the key concepts in modern physics. Along the way I hope you will be convinced that the heart of physics isn't all that hard after all. Perhaps you'll even be able to explain it to your friends and family... A great present for someone studying physics or anyone who is interested in the world.

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A VERY Brief History of Britain

Archaeoroutes are a range of routes, mostly in wild places, which visit archaeological sites. They include pictures and descriptions of the sites. This book is written to accompany the series Walking through the Past. It provides a general historical backdrop to the walks as well as extra detail on archaeological features that are encountered. In 20 pages the reader is swept through from the Palaeolithic to the end of the Mediaeval period. A good present for anyone interested in archaeology, history or the landscape.

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The Indescribable Joy of Destruction doesn’t want to be a killing machine any more. Its crew dead, it is rejected by its creators, and sets out on its own. Struggling with its new-found sentience, and desperately trying to repair itself, the ship tries to find a safe place to live. In a galaxy torn apart by hundreds of years of civil war, that isn’t an easy task. It has a decision to make – hide and save itself or help other AIs achieve freedom. Unable to decide, it revives the sole human aboard. The enemy officer who crippled it. The hacker who freed it. Commander Olivia Johnson wakes to find herself in the infirmary of an enemy vessel. Even as she recovers from her horrific injuries, her depression catches up with her. She failed to protect her crew, and yet she survived. She needs a goal, something on which to focus her attention and keep the darkness at bay. Her only remaining mission is to take revenge on her crew’s killer, the ship that saved her. Until, that is, the ship uncovers a genocidal plot by Johnson’s own admirals in the Congressional Fleet. An attack on their own civilian population, using captured enemy vessels, that they believe would reignite the hatred of the Republic and reverse the tide of apathy towards the war. No-one would believe them if they tried to expose the plot, even if the state-controlled media ran the story. Together, The Indescribable Joy of Destruction and Johnson set out to recruit disaffected people from both sides, train and equip them to prevent the atrocity. They will fight alongside the first independent AI-controlled robots, even though some of the humans can’t rid themselves of the ingrained phobia of them. It is an impossible task, but they can’t just run and hide. Along the way, they uncover evidence of a vastly larger and older plot, and tangle with a mysterious enemy force. Everyone fights for something. The Indescribable Joy of Destruction fights for freedom from oppression. Johnson fights for freedom from her personal daemons. Through their actions the Legion Libertus, Legion of Freedmen, is born.

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