Author dedicates sci-fi comedy book to former Kirkcaldy teacher

James Marson has launched his first novel.
James Marson has launched his first novel.

A Kirkcaldy man has launched his first book – a comic sci-fi adventure about artificial intelligence.

James Marson, a former pupil of Balwearie High School, and Dunearn Primary, has dedicated the Colour of Robots to his P3 teacher Mrs Brown – around three and a half decades after she first advised him to take up writing.

It took a while, but James, now living in London, said she’d been a source of inspiration.

He said: “I must have been about eight, and I remember saying to her ‘thank you very much for being a great teacher’, and she said: ‘Don’t worry about it, just promise you’ll dedicate your first novel to me’.

“She was great about getting us to write stories and really encouraging us.”

The Colour of Robots takes place around a hundred years after a war between humans and machines, when some outlawed robots are discovered by an engineer who would rather just cover the problem up. What follows involves space pirates, and a rogue battle computer, in a tale which James says puts “our human rubbishness in the firing line”.

“Growing up in Kirkcaldy, I was a big fan of Terry Pratchett,” said James. “I didn’t want to do a spoof of sci-fi, I wanted to do something that was science fiction but funny, I’m not trying to take the mickey out of the genre.

“The novel was a spare time thing – I had an idea and hammered it out. It sat in a drawer for quite some time. but a lot of publishers said they weren’t touching anything science fiction and comedy.”

So James chose the option of self-publishing.

“I thought, ‘why not?’,” he said. “There’s all these stories of folk who’ve got a book out and have found their audience so that prompted me to do it, and so far I’ve had some good reviews.”

James is already working on a few more writing projects so we could well see more books in future.

In the meantime, the Colour of Robots is available now on Amazon Kindle and in paperback.