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  • Tonight the last chapter of my on-line serial will be published. It's been ongoing for almost a year, at the rate of 1 chapter every week.
    Some Cowbirders have taken to it, and have indeed told me how much they liked it. I can remind those of you who did not find the opportunity (or inclination) to read it that it will be available for some time. You can check it out at:
    http://magnetitebook.com/
    It is free but I won't reject a modest contribution to meet the small cost of production.
    As I have written before, it is a story of immigration across the 7 continents and 4 centuries: Slavery, Transportation, Scottish Highlanders' near forcible expulsion to America and Canada, Indian emigration to the British colonies etc. My own ancestors came to Mauritius on the Startled Fawn in the 1840's from India. I have sometimes had to travel around to acquire material, geographical as well as historical. Wikipedia has been invaluable. I wouldn't have done it without Mr Whale's help.
    An important facet of the book is its presentation. Is this going to be the shape of fiction in the future? Even if you do not feel inclined to read a 650 page tome, you might find the structure interesting. It will be an education. My son Hakim who is a professional programmer working at the BBC designed it, and has been dutifully putting one chapter in every week.
    Magnetite is a small membrane embedded in the brains of migrating birds which enable them to direct themselves. Appropriately, my main characters are bird scientists studying bird migration. And this is the story of their ancestors, comprising of starving Indian peasants, African slaves, Highland Scotsmen, Australian convict transportees, Italian and Ukranian brick workers and their war brides...
    The bird in the picture is the godwit, the real champion migrator.
    The "cover" picture was designed by my friend Enrico Harvey, a BAFTA Film-making Award Winner, who also designed the covers of all my other books: (The Irene Adler Trilogy, Sherlock Holmes V Irene Adler, and Sarah Bernhardt: My Erotic Life. (all available at Amazon.com/ Amazon.uk etc...)
    A big thank you to those of you who have been lavish with encouragement.
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