MB Reed

Author and mathematician


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The Pentacle Papers newsletter - September 2020


Thank you for opening this latest newsletter, which is a sounding-board for my writings, principally my novel The Hammond Conjecture. If you haven’t yet done so, please request a free Review Copy.

A delayed and brief newsletter this time, as Ive been spending the days enjoying the last gasp of summer here. Now the weather has turned cold and damp, and we are heading for another lockdown, so the next newsletter should be meatier.

You can read the first chapter of The Events at

Sequel or Prequel?

The news about my sequel The Hammond Catastrophe is that… I’ve stopped writing it. Partly due to writer’s block, partly because of enjoying the last gasp of summer, but mainly that there’s little motivation to produce a sequel to Conjecture while that novel has had such a small - but highly intelligent and discerning - readership. Instead, I’ve started a prequel: a stand-alone novel set in my alternate universe - where Britain signed a peace treaty with Hitler in 1941, during the tumultuous events of 1968, before Hugh Hammond arrived in London and Conjecture started. If you’ve read Conjecture, you’ll know that none of the characters will talk to him about that time. This prequel shows what happened to them during those months of revolution and repression. You can read the first chapter of The Events

As ever, I’d love to hear what you think. This is a first draft, so all critiques will influence the final version. Is Chapter 1 sufficiently interest-grabbing? Do you then want to find out what happens to Tommy - Hugh’s younger brother - and Iona? Is it worth my continuing?

Background to The Hammond Conjecture, part 2

To be continued next month

2001 doors

I recently re-watched 2001: A Space Odyssey. Noticed that among all the convincing details of life on a luxury space station hotel, there’s one fail. Whenever the futuristic doors slide open and a space stewardess or whoever passes through, she always needs to turn back and balance her in-flight meal tray while pressing the button to close the door behind her. Was the concept of a door which closes automatically behind you, a leap of imagination too far for Kubrick?


Speculative fiction and non-fiction books involving philosophy, AI, Consciousness, minds. I can recommend Gareth Southwell’s thought-provoking ‘Descartes’s Dog: Animals, Machines, and the Problem of Other Minds’:
click here