The Becalmer By Nick Wilford – Goddess Fish Promotions

The Becalmer

by Nick Wilford





Harica is gifted with the ability to defuse conflicts using her mind. When she is recruited to assist in resolving a war via an arranged marriage, she discovers that the reluctant bride-to-be has similar powers. Princess Jasmila doesn’t use her powers for good and when Harica arrives to help with the marriage arrangements, she fights back and sends Harica into a coma.

It is through this comatose state that Harica discovers a mysterious liminal space populated by others who share her gift. In this new realm, she learns to do things she never believed possible, but soon things spiral out of control.

In the face of a terrifying and seemingly unstoppable adversary, Harica wrestles with the decision to come to terms with the dark side of her gift.

Will she take ownership of it or turn her back on it forever?



I tried to get a handle on the energy and interplay between the two minds. Jasmila’s was, as I’d expected, much stronger, practically drowning out Narbert’s signals by sheer force, but that didn’t put me off. There would be something I could latch onto, a vulnerable side, even if it was buried deep. Obviously, I would have to concentrate on Jasmila first.

The princess’s complacency was what I was counting on. If she already thought she had me beat, hopefully her guard would be down.

Subtlety wouldn’t be the watchword here. I didn’t want to give her time to sense her own plan hadn’t worked because then she would fight back all the more. I charged like a battering ram but quickly realized this wasn’t going to work. Pulling off something like this was a delicate operation that needed both parties to play along. The “bull in a china shop” approach wasn’t going to cut it. Although there was a bit of give from Jasmila at first, once she rumbled my attack, her mind turned into a brick wall that I bounced off like a tennis ball. I tried to come back for more, attempting a more measured approach, looking for a crack somewhere, even a hairline one, but it was hopeless. It was like trying to tunnel under a mountain with my bare hands. Somewhere in the vicinity I sensed Narbert, bobbing haplessly about, buffeted by the slipstream caused by the battle between me and Jasmila. I couldn’t help him. And we were both caught up in her orbit now, spinning helplessly.


Why I Write Speculative Fiction

Guest Post By Nick Wilford

Today I’m going to talk a bit about what speculative fiction is – at least in my view – and why I love writing it. When I started on this writing journey, I never set out to restrict myself to any one genre. So why label myself as a speculative fiction writer? But I don’t think of spec fic as a genre, more as a way of looking at the world – or other worlds. Of course, it can hold a whole gamut of genres inside it – including science fiction, fantasy, horror, steampunk, even romance (anyone want to read about the love between an android and an abandoned server?) – so as far as I can see, the field is wide open.

For me, writing is about the imagination – what can’t be seen or doesn’t exist (as yet). I’m not that interested in writing about the contemporary world. When I did, with my novella A Change of Mind, I introduced the sci-fi-ish element of surgery to alter one’s personality – so it was contemporary with a speculative twist. Calling yourself a speculative author is liberating rather than restricting, I think. The story possibilities out there are endless. I also think what we read can have a big influence on what we write, more than we sometimes realize. When I first started writing, I was reading a lot of real-world thrillers, so that became the kind of story I wanted to tell. However, I didn’t really pull it off effectively – that kind of book requires a certain rhythm and intensity to work and be, well, thrilling. I then started blogging and discovered a whole gamut of authors working in more speculative realms, and it definitely had an influence.

Although I’ve said I don’t write much about contemporary society, I’ve found as time has gone on that one thing I do enjoy is taking aspects of our society and extrapolating on where they could go in a few years’ time – which can lead me to some scary places, considering in the last few years the world seems to be getting crazier all the time – pandemics, AI, extreme weather events. It seems like unbelievably dramatic events have become commonplace, and are we going to start taking living with extremes for granted? Some say we already are. That process of accepting things, assimilating them, is fascinating to me – and it’s only when something goes wrong that people step back and think “hey, wait a minute, maybe we should interrogate this before we let it into our lives to this extent.” For example, in my current work in progress I’m exploring VR, which is obviously going hand-in-hand with AI these days, to write about an immersive experience where people can visit the world of their favorite TV show, kind of like a virtual tour crossed with a theme park – which is all wonderful until the AI turns malevolent and won’t let someone back out. Or with The Becalmer, conflict mediation is obviously increasingly popular these days, so it would be great if it could be fast-tracked and made guaranteed to work by going into people’s minds and intervening at root – but mind manipulation is never going to be a path that runs smooth. All in, speculative fiction is not necessarily complete invention. It’s shining a light on issues that are already among us and perhaps giving a warning about what could happen if they get out of control. For me, it’s just a way of trying to process an increasingly bewildering world.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Nick Wilford is originally from Brighton, England and now lives in a quiet town in Scotland with his wife, three daughters and six rescue dogs. Wanting to make a career from writing, he trained in journalism, but soon realized that the fictional realm was where his true passion lay. He enjoys writing speculative fiction, exploring the things that cannot be seen and “making the impossible reality.” Nick is the author of the Black & White YA dystopian series and has also published a collection of shorter fiction as well as curating, editing and publishing a fundraising anthology featuring a diverse array of talent. By day, he works as a freelance editor, and he also enjoys traveling to inspiring locations with his family, listening to music and helping unwanted dogs find loving homes.

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8 thoughts on “The Becalmer By Nick Wilford – Goddess Fish Promotions

  1. Thanks for featuring The Becalmer on the blog today! It’s great to be here. Readers, do you have a subgenre of spec fic you particularly enjoy? If you don’t read spec fic, does this post intrigue you to look more into it?

  2. That’s the great thing about speculative fiction – we can take things and events in our world and place them in a safe environment where we can better deal with them and understand them.

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