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On The Table Read, “The Best Book Reader Magazine in the UK“, Hugh Ashton shares his new book. On the Other Side of the Sky brings together real historical figures such as Doctor Erasmus Darwin, Josiah Wedgwood, and Benjamin Franklin.

West Midlands Lunar Society

A novel that draws you in as it features famous historical characters who in real life were members of the West Midlands-based Lunar Society, and others including Benjamin Franklin, and with historical settings, On the Other Side of the Sky is a genre-defying and transfixing novel.

On The Other Side Of The Sky by Hugh Ashton on The Table Read
On The Other Side Of The Sky

Fast-paced, it focusses on the strangely gifted Jane Machin, and her growing awareness of her true identity. As fans of Hugh Ashton’s work will attest, his forensic attention to detail jumps from the page. In this instance, through the real life characters he’s borrowed (the author’s focus is literally close to home, as he has intimate knowledge of the house of one of the major characters, Dr Erasmus Darwin, now a museum), as well as through his plot and created world.

More Clout Than The Da Vinci Code

Pulling on the traditions of Renaissance German-Swiss physician Paracelsus and the Rosicrucians, a worldwide brotherhood whose members claimed to possess secret wisdom handed down from ancient times, alchemists and Kabbalists. Ashton’s novel is as much an education as a compelling novel.

From an author whose works encompass a range of genres including thrillers, historical science fiction and children’s books, On the Other Side of the Sky is a literary triumph. It has all the clout and more of The Da Vinci Code and deserves to be at the top of the bestsellers list.

On The Other Side Of The Sky

Towards the end of the eighteenth century, a group of learned men in the English Midlands, the Lunar Society, works to bring science and reason to the world. In America, the colonists are starting to break away from Britain in the War of Independence. In France, relations between the King and the people are worsening, which will eventually result in the bloodshed of the Revolution.

And in a farmhouse not far from Birmingham, a young girl hears a frightening prophecy about her future from one who comes from the other side of the sky.

Orphan Jane Machin, exiled from her native Staffordshire as a child on account of the uncanny events of which she appears to be the focus, and living a lonely life in Zürich, sets out on a journey to discover her true nature. On the way she discovers strange affinities: with Otto, mesmerist, conjuror and alchemist, and with Thomas FitzAlan, former soldier in the American War and English secret agent. Travelling through Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium, she arrives in Revolutionary France at the height of the Terror.

As she discovers her hidden powers and her control over creatures she had previously regarded as fabulous, the desire for revenge against the being who calls himself her father builds inside her.

Hugh Ashton, On The Other Side Of The Sky on The Table Read
Hugh Ashton

She returns to England to join forces with a secretive group who are determined to see the end of the malignant forces of chaos who come from the other side of the sky and appear ready to take over our world.

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About Hugh Ashton

Hugh Ashton graduated from Cambridge University and after several jobs in technology, concurrent with co-founding and managing a record label and playing in a local band (played on John Peel’s Radio 1 programme), moved to Japan as a technical writer.

After 28 years of life there, Hugh Ashton returned in 2016 with his wife Yoshiko to Staffordshire, where he had grown up. Living in the city of Lichfield, he found himself fascinated by the history of the place, which was a centre of English intellectual life in the 18th century.

While living in Japan, he started writing and publishing fiction. His many Sherlock Holmes pastiches are judged to be in the top rank of this genre, and he has diversified into other areas, including thrillers, what he describes as “medieval science fiction”, and during lockdown, a series of pastiches of the E.F. Benson “Mapp & Lucia” books. The Mapp & Lucia novels formed his specialist subject in the 2019/20 Mastermind series in which he reached the semi-final stage.

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Find more from Hugh Ashton now:

Published by j-views Publishing, On the Other Side of the Sky (ISBN: 1912605759) is available in paperback and e-book format from the following retailers:



W H Smith


Kobo UK

Apple Books UK


Amazon: (change to your local Amazon outside the UK)

Twitter: @hughashton


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