MB Reed

Author and mathematician


Pentacle Papers newsletter - July 2020


Thank you for your interest in my novel The Hammond Conjecture. Here is the first of my occasional newsletters. By “occasional” I mean once a month at most. You can unsubscribe at any time using the link at the bottom.

In this letter:

  • The Hammond Conjecture;
  • Other writing;
  • Devs;
  • StoryOrigin promotions.

The Hammond Conjecture

While in lockdown, I have been revising Conjecture in the light of reader feedback, and republished it on 2nd July. Part of the intention of the novel is to have situations which seem far-fetched but could so easily have happened. And during the first days of Lockdown here in the UK I felt akin to Hugh in his isolation ward at the novel’s start. Working in my garden in an unseasonal heatwave, no sounds of traffic or aircraft, everything at peace. Then in the evening seeing TV news images of a dystopian outside world.

I also completed the background footnotes accompanying the novel on my website, though I now need to slightly rearrange them to the new chapter structure in the 2nd edition. These are also intended to show that the unlikely details of the novel are based on historical facts.

I also need to restart the blog.

I hope you will obtain a copy of Conjecture. For a limited time you can request a free review copy, or buy it on sale, see the StoryOrigin links below.

Other writing

Another activity which kept me relatively sane during lockdown was writing a short story called Is This It?, which I submitted to the Bath Short Story Award. Once I receive the rejection letter, I’ll make it available for you to download in the August newsletter.

I’ve also made some progress with a sequel: The Hammond Catastrophe.


I hope you watched and enjoyed the TV series Devs, in which the Many Worlds Interpretation and Heisenberg’s Block Model of Time - a.k.a. determinism - had starring roles. Devs was described by critics as “a mind-blowing concept that doesn’t entirely come together at the close, but which remains unsettling and provocative throughout”. I’d like to think that the same applies to Conjecture, though with less swearing, more science, and added jokes and “scenes of a sexual nature”.


I’ve recently joined this website - a warm welcome to all the new subscribers who have come through this portal. The site runs themed time-limited group promotions, where a group of authors come together to promote their books. These promotions can be:

  • Giveaways: you get a free book, extract or short story when you sign up to the author’s mail-list;
  • Reviews: you get a free review copy of the book in exchange for submitting a review;
  • Sales: books at reduced prices

I think this is a great way of attracting an audience for Conjecture. For July I have joined the promotions listed below. To be accepted onto future promotions I need to show that I have an active mail-list, of subscribers who are interested in the genre, so it would be really helpful to me if you could click on some or all of the promotion links below, and see if there are any other books there which take your fancy.

  • July Dystopian Giveaway, 17th July to 1st August https://storyoriginapp.com/to/1tGph4c
  • SCI-FI NEST Giveaway, 16th July to 14th August https://storyoriginapp.com/to/4j7GOQS
  • Cyber Summer Book Fair Giveaway, 16th July to 9th Sept https://storyoriginapp.com/to/IrU9wt2
  • Dark, Zombie, Dystopia Giveaway, 15th July to 13th August https://storyoriginapp.com/to/CZ8LICc
  • Sci-fi and Fantasy for Reviews, 16th July to 1st August https://storyoriginapp.com/to/uwm31Ic
  • Time Travel Adventures Sale, 21st July to 31st July https://storyoriginapp.com/to/K4FYHpi

For the period of the Reviews promotion you can request a free review copy. And for the period of the Time Travel sale, I’ve reduced the price of Conjecture on Amazon to 99p, normally 2.49. Follow the links above to get it.

If you have reached this far, thank you for reading my first newsletter. Please email me with comments and suggestions, and also what you thought about the short story The Final Patient which you received when you signed up. Comments about my website and any technical problems with downloading, formatting etc will also be very helpful. And of course I would love to hear your views on Conjecture, and see your review on Amazon or Goodreads. I promise to personally reply to all emails.

In next month’s letter I’ll say something about the motivations and influences behind writing Conjecture, as well as a link to that new short story. I hope that you are staying safe and well,

Martin Reed