All posts by Xaphod

Lair of the Nerd vs Primark

Why isn’t Lair of the Nerd stuff as cheap as Primark?


Well, without the weight of a multi-million pound business behind us we can’t get thousands of garments printed all at once in some abroad place.

Not only are all LotN designs made by me, but also we use printers in the UK (or in the US & Australia for some Redbubble printed garments) to print each design on demand using the latest DTG technology giving us a very durable and high-resolution print.

This means that when you buy a Lair of the Nerd garment you’re getting something that’s a lot more unique, something that isn’t likely to be worn by every Jane, Dick or Habiib you see, and I think contributes to the extra specialness of each item. I like to think that whenever someone wears a Lair of the Nerd shirt it gives them a special hug from me.

The Synod: An Overview

This post goes into a bit of background detail about world of my upcoming Red Bargain trilogy.

When beginning work on The Red Bargain I knew I wanted it to be set in a society that was oppressive,

The Synod

Symbol for the Synod: the Lawgiver’s hand holds the Scales of Justice; thirteen stars representing the High Judges surround the Scales.

chauvinistic and theocratic, but I also recognised the need for it to be believable.  Personally  I abhor the very idea of an oppressive theocracy, but in fiction I find it can be very evocative.  (note, It is not a direct analogy for any real religion or society; while it does certainly allow for certain parallels to be drawn to the real world I leave that down to the reader and am not writing with the intent of making a political or religious statement.)

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Character Profile: Lleu Jones

Civilian expert Lleu Jones is twenty-seven, though looks much younger than his age to many people.  Most of that likely comes from the way he acts, his posture, and the way he carries himself.  In conversations he can sometimes seem distracted, even to the point that he seems to be ignoring people, but in fact he seems incapable of ignoring anything – that’s just how he is.  His mind seems to run faster than others’, but more than that he can think about many different things in parallel in a way that transcends what most people think of as multitasking.

Jones has been part of the team on board PDCI for the past three and a half years, and as such holds the record for the longest period of time spent in orbit.  In that time he has grown even more intimately familiar with the platform than before, which is saying something considering he designed a great deal of the station.  He is a true polymath, well versed in physics, mathematics and engineering, as well as being able to perform complex mathematical operations in his head.  Consequently he has been able to both assist with the platform’s scientific research as well as general maintenance and upgrading of the station systems.

Many within the Program have expressed worries about Jones, citing his personality quirks and suggesting possibilities such as mild Asperger Syndrome or other Autism spectrum disorders, though no diagnosis of such a problem has been performed.  In fact others have suggested that it is precisely Jones’ introverted personality that has made him such an ideal member of the team for so long.  Certainly any mental health issues he does possess have not been highlighted as causing any worries or issues beyond a couple of minor arguments.

Lleu Jones appears in the short story From Orbit available in ebook form here.


The short stories I’ve published thus far have all featured covers produced by me. I studied computer graphics at university, and have been working on artistic ventures to a lesser or greater extent ever since.
I think Tolkien is probably the most famous author to also illustrated their own work, with many editions of his books featuring his artwork both inside and on the cover.
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Lack of Focus

Roses are red,
Music is cool,
I’ve got ADHD,
ooh look a squirrel.

I grew up as a hyperactive child before any real proper diagnosis of ADD was ever done, and managed to some extent with a restricted diet free of many of the stupider E numbers.

So perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that I’ve struggled with focus for a long time, and perhaps not in ways that others might. My mind often flits from thing to thing before I’m finished with it… Sometimes it’s almost as if I fear finishing things, fear taking that step.

As I say, I’ve struggled with this issue for a while… So I’ve decided to see what happens if I stop struggling so much. Allow myself to drift from idea to idea, with the added proviso that I at least try to finish things when I can.

Perhaps it should be obvious that I often feel as though I have a bit if an identity crisis. I find it hard to categorise myself; am I an author, an artist, a designer, a web coder, a video game maker, or… What?

Perhaps, for now, I’ll content myself with calling me a nerd.

It begins with the sound of blaargh

I decided that now was an appropriate time to make my first short story available on e-readers. So I did.

Perhaps it isn’t surprising that rather than a sense of achievement I feel as though I’m foolish instead. Indeed, it’s not as though there is anything really to mark my work as being all that different to anyone else’s. Depression is always quick to smother any illusion of achievement or pride.

I should be proud of my work.. I am, really. I thing From Orbit is quite well written and, if bleak, I think some might find it moving.  I just find it such a struggle to be positive about it all.

I’m trying though.  This short story is just the first step in my career as an author. That’s what I’m trying to tell myself anyway.

I feel so weak.. But… Perhaps in reading this you find some measure of hope you can hold on to. Perhaps in reading this you realise that you aren’t alone.


Editing and struggling

At the moment The Harbinger Rises, as I’ve named the first book in what i hope will be considered my fantasy epic, is at the post-first-draft stage.. By which i mean i have a huge edit/partial rewrite on my hands.
I think I’m doing okay.. Though part of me cannot help but think that I’m running blind.
Part of me still thinks I’m fooling myself, even as i make more defined kickstarter plan.

Red Bargain: Onwards?

So, over the past several months I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I want to do with my life.. about what I can do with my life.  To be honest, part of me would love to be able to go and get a job and just work like a normal person.  But I’m not a normal person.

My depression has worsened over recent weeks, leading to me feeling like I’m at a bit of an impasse.  I know I want to write.  To be a writer.  That is at least a start.

Book I of my ‘fantasy epic’ is at draft stages, and I’m working through it to try and get it publishable.. I’m just a little unsure what to do then.  I am strongly considering the idea of self-publishing, possibly by using a Kickstarter to raise funds for promotion and for people to do general pre-ordering type stuff.  My thoughts here are still in their early stages

The Harbinger Rises, Book I of the Red Bargain

The Harbinger Rises, Book I of the Red Bargain

Heh, it almost looks attainable when I make a picture like that.

Adding more to the comic background.

Behind the designs 1: Adventures of a Soft Kitty

Welcome to what will be the first in a series of blog posts looking at the creation process of some of my favourite Lair of the Nerd designs: Adventures of a soft Kitty.

Adventures of a Soft Kitty: Issue One

Adventures of a Soft Kitty: Issue One

The cat is named Pippin and is the brother of Newton, the cat who appears on other Lair of the Nerd designs such as Keyboard Cat and Meow

Click through to find out more :)

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