Tag Archives: clifi

My Porridge & Cream read: Lisa Devaney

Today I’m delighted to welcome clifi novelist Lisa Devaney who will share her ‘Porridge & Cream’ read.

“As winter pends, and the leaves are turning beautifully vibrant colours, before they die off of the trees here in London, UK, I like the idea of turning to a comfort book, that can see me through the days that turn dark early and warm me up in the cold nights. When Sandra Danby invited me to blog about my ‘Porridge & Cream’ favourite book, I had a hard time, at first, picking just one that would qualify as the way she describes it as “It’s the book you turn to when you need a familiar read, when you are tired, ill, or out-of-sorts, where you know the story and love it.”

Lisa Devaney“Some on my selection list included a non-fiction title of Rachel Carson’s The Sea Around Us, and the collected stories of Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man, but ultimately, I feel I turn most often to the book, that bred the movie that I watch most often as a comfort film. Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep wins my pick for being my ‘Porridge & Cream’ novel. Published first in 1968, this post-apocalyptic near future fictional account is weird and scary enough to keep me turning the pages. The book inspired Ridley Scott’s film classic Blade Runner, which I have watched again and again, as well as reading the book.

“In Dick’s future world, de-constructed by a world nuclear war, we find a robot bounty hunter who is tasked with killing off six defected models – and his hunt of them compels us to question the meaning of life for them and ourselves. Bounty hunter Rick Deckard is fascinated by live animals, as most have been made endangered or extinct in the war, and wants to own one.

“I was first recommended this book by a dear friend who is a science-fiction fan. It was in the late 1990s, and both of us were working hard in the intensity of the dot com boom in New York City’s Silicon Alley. It was all feeling very sci-fi in daily life, as many of the technologies we were working with were shaping the future of things to come – and in fact, many did just that! So I picked up Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and it felt, at that time, all too real that our futures could be filled with human-like robots, and other strange technologies that feature in the book. At the same time, I was also going around the city performing as my alter-ego cartoon self I called (((Futuregirl))) and sharing my odd SLAM-style poetry. Blade Runner fashion gave me inspiration in styling my (((Futuregirl))) costume [below].

I’d say now, especially when the winter sets in, I turn to the book, and the film, once or twice a year, when I want to step back in time and put myself back to that memory of being in the height of the dot com madness, living in an exciting and crazy city like New York and using my imagination to flash-forward a few decades and dream of what might be coming our way.”

About In Ark: A Promise of Survival by Lisa Devaney
Lisa DevaneyIn Ark is set in the year 2044, in New York City, Mya Brand is working as a digital archivist, trying to save the life stories of every human on the planet before climate change makes Earth unliveable.

Keeping laser-focused on her mission is helping her escape the emotional pain she feels from a failed first marriage. Along with support from her actress best friend and bartender buddy, she is rebuilding her life and trying to heal her hard shell. Fraught with daily hardships of survival in the face of climate change, she struggles on to get food, maintain power and protect her delicate skin from the harmful rays of the sun. With little funding for her digital archiving project, she keeps going but dreams of how much more she could do with more resources. Then, one day, she is abducted by an eco-survivalist community that calls itself Ark and promises to make her dreams come true. But is Ark the solution to climate change or the problem?

Read my review of In Ark.

Lisa Devaney’s Bio
Whether it was writing and illustrating her own comic books as a child, creating cartoon-inspired websites in the 90s, taking to the stage in New York City to perform in SLAM-poetry style as her make-believe online character (((Futuregirl))) or even spinning a publicity campaign for a business client, Lisa has been enthralled by storytelling and the mediums that can be used to tell her stories. Her imagination has now led her to writing and self-publishing books, with her debut novel In Ark: A Promise of Survival earning 5* ratings and reviews. But the story isn’t just on pages, follow the hashtag #InArk on Twitter, Instagram  and Facebook to find the transmedia layer of Lisa’s newest storytelling adventure.

Lisa Devaney’s links
Website and blog
Follow Lisa Devaney on Twitter and Facebook



What is a ‘Porridge & Cream’ book? It’s the book you turn to when you need a familiar read, when you are tired, ill, or out-of-sorts, where you know the story and love it. Where reading it is like slipping on your oldest, scruffiest slippers after walking for miles. Where does the name ‘Porridge & Cream’ come from? Cat Deerborn is a character in Susan Hill’s ‘Simon Serrailler’ detective series. Cat is a hard-worked GP, a widow with two children and she struggles from day-to-day. One night, after a particularly difficult day, she needs something familiar to read. From her bookshelf she selects ‘Love in A Cold Climate’ by Nancy Mitford. Do you have a favourite read which you return to again and again? If so, please send me a message via the contact form here.


Discover the ‘Porridge & Cream’ books of these authors:-
Rosie Dean
Rachel Dove
Judith Field

Lisa Devaney



‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ by Philip K Dick [UK: Gollancz]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why does author @lisadevaney love DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP by Philip K Dick? #books via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1OS

Book review: In Ark

In Ark by lisa devaney 18-6-14It is 2044 and New Yorkers are living through The Change. The food they eat is mostly artificial or fresh and prohibitively expensive, a cab costs $600 and they cannot go outside in summer without protective clothing. This is the life Mya Brand leads, until she is abducted and taken to The Ark, an eco-survivalist commune. Once there, she must face the demons of her past life and make a difficult decision about her future. Should she stay and be safe, but not see her family and friends ever again? Or should she walk away from the commune and risk a difficult life and an early death as the climate worsens?

In Ark is part of a newish genre called cli-fi, or climate fiction, featuring titles such as Solar by Ian McEwan and State of Fear by Michael Crichton. This is the first of three cli-fi novels about The Ark planned by new American indie author Lisa Devaney [below]. Lisa Devaney 23-5-14The context is fascinating and I can see it working well as a movie. Devaney writes with precision about climate change and the effect this has on day-to-day life, as well as on society as a whole. It is clear that Devaney is an enthusiast for her genre. I would have liked The Ark to be more sinister, perhaps that will come in Book Two. It reminded me a little of the world created by Veronica Roth in Divergent, though I must point out that In Ark is most definitely an adult book rather than YA. There are a couple of vividly-written drug-fuelled sex scenes which are the sort that teenage readers would read and re-read, and some adults too.

Overall the concept of the trilogy is very different from anything else I have read, the plotting did seem a trifle slow but that is partly because the society needs to be explained so the story in Book Two and Book Three can progress.

If you like science fiction, fantasy or dystopian fiction, then cli-fi is for you.

To read a Huffington Post article explaining the cli-fi genre, click here.
To visit Lisa Devaney’s website, click here.
To order In Ark at Amazon, click here.

‘In Ark’ A Promise of Survival’ by Lisa Devaney [available on Kindle now]