Science Fiction novel | The Box of Tricks by Alistair Potter

home  novels  short stories  poetry  bio



The Box of Tricks, hang on tight! Multiverse spanning action and adventure, with eye-popping special effects (requires reader input). To prevent catastrophe Earth needs the ultimate eco-warrior, but is mild-mannered Edinburgh taxi driver Tom Mathers up to the challenge? Exploring questions of ethics, resource management, and caring for our planet, this hilarious, yet sobering journey through the multiverse hides deep philosophical questions beneath a veneer of joviality and witty sarcasm. An SF adventure with action, humour and a touch of romance.

" of the best books ever to include the word ‘Potter’ on the cover, that’s a formidable rival to more celebrated work by the likes of Rob Grant and Doug Naylor..."

Read an excerpt on Amazon by following these links;


The Box of Tricks

can be bought as a Kindle eBook or paperback;


 Amazon UK


Amazon US


"The Box of Tricks has the mind-boggling technology one expects in a sci-fi book, along with the battle between good and evil. But under all the expected sci-fi trappings, Alistair Potter still delivers well-developed characters and even a message to his readers, all wrapped in humor and wit. Pacing is also excellent. The author moves steadily through challenges revealed, skirmishes waged, and alliances formed, saving a few unexpected twists for the end.


The aptness of the pacing is also apparent in Potter’s treatment of his social message about our stewardship of the planet. It would be easy for that message to become overbearing…but it doesn’t. The author maintains a velocity that keeps us engrossed and entertained. I wouldn’t say the book is a laugh-a-minute tome – what American reader would say that about British humor? But it does have a tongue-in-cheek witticism that was very appealing. If you want to take the possible end of planet earth completely seriously, you may need to look elsewhere. Overall, The Book of Tricks felt like storytelling at its best, with solid characters, good pacing, a touch of humor, and a broader message. It’s well worth the read. - - BmP in StL - Amazon / Goodreads

"I think I’ve found a gem of the British humour style here, a gallivanting and smartly entertaining roam through time and space with likeable characters, courteous threats and a temporal twist that leaks the occasional hint that it’s all under the control of a well-prepared story telling mind. The Box of Tricks is a memorable milestone in Scottish science fiction and it should be recognised and noted as such. More people should be talking about it and there should be sequels in the same tone because it’s a wide Universe out there and he’s opened a door in time and space that can jump around his vision of it with smooth contempt for the physical laws.


The author seems to be writing fantasy elsewhere but someone needs to tell him this is where it’s at, science fiction. I haven’t read any of his other books but I recommend this one as an introduction to a creator who provides entertainment value and surprising ideas, all set out in an uncomplicated, easy sailing way that is accessible to anybody, whether casual nomadic browsers across genres or time-travel fiction freaks. This book is good. Good. Good. Sorry, that was a time loop. Carry on, Fanshawe. - BookBloggers - Amazon / Goodreads

"Alistair Potter plunges us into this world with a style that, though one couldn't exactly call it witty, it invites the reader to not take things too seriously. He pulls us straight into the story, and doesn't let us stop unless we really have to fix dinner, or get some sleep. It's great storytelling." - Robby Charters - Amazon / Goodreads

"The Box Of Tricks is the best science fiction book I have read for a very long time. It reminded me very much of the works of the late Douglas Adams. Well-structured in short punchy sections, the narrative moves along at a brisk pace, taking us through a series of strange but believable planets and thrilling encounters. Alistair Potter writes with a light hand, the plot contains a serious message but no point is laboured and there is a good deal of humour along the way. I strongly recommend this book, written in the best tradition of British science fiction, and urge you to read it. Personally, I will be sampling more of Mr Potter’s published works very soon." -  Charles Remington for Readers’ Favorite

"I thoroughly enjoyed The Box of Tricks. While the concept of alternate universes isn't new, Alistair Potter gives it a spin that makes this world unique, even to regular readers of sci-fi. This new take on an old concept gives a breath of fresh air to the sci-fi genre by taking us from the dystopian views of Earth to a wider perspective of the universe and of life. The plot has some slow parts, but they fit in to provide the perfect pace to this larger tale that could potentially become complicated if you aren't paying attention. It's filled with honest characters that you'll like, and adventure that you'll find fascinating and thrilling. All in all, this is a great sci-fi book, and I highly recommend it." - Sherri Fulmer Moorer for Readers’ Favorite

"Alistair Potter’s The Box of Tricks is a hilarious, yet sobering journey through the multiverse. There are deep philosophical questions hidden beneath a veneer of joviality and witty sarcasm. Questions of ethics, resource management, and caring for our planet. I cannot recommend this book enough. It was an enjoyable, engaging read. I love the witty humour, but then, I'm partial to British writers. This book is what you would get if you mixed Warehouse 13 with Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and tossed in a pinch of Section 31 from Star Trek. This was a fresh take on 'aliens’ for me." - J. Aislynn d Merricksson for Readers’ Favorite

"Full of a unique cast of characters, a driving narrative filled with action not to mention a few double and triple crosses as in, not everyone is as they appear. With an underlying environmentalist theme, The Box of Tricks by Alistair Potter sees Tom grow from a mild-mannered shrinking violet to a self assured, if occasionally bumbling planetary traveler and hero. I really enjoyed reading The Box of Tricks by Alistair Potter, it's a unique unexpected read, with a sort of dry humor liberally dispersed throughout the action. While I did wish that the world building was a little more diverse (most of the planets seemed very similar) The Box of Tricks gave me a distinct Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy vibe that I really liked. A light science fiction read that works as a great introduction to the genre and Potter's work at large." Kayti Reat on Goodreads

"Tom Mathers, the protagonist of The Box of Tricks by Alistair Potter, gives up his job as a taxi driver when he comes into possession of a card-sized piece of advanced technology from his deceased uncle. The card transfers him into a different world where he gets a very tempting job offer: point a gun-like item at an object that was lost in transit and receive unusual payment in return (will not spoil it here with more detail). However, his new boss is not honest with him and Tom is soon drawn into some rather dodgy situations. He stumbles from adventure to adventure and learns that his version of Earth has a dire outlook in the future, considering the rate of environmental pollution. But can he do something about it?


The Box of Tricks by Alistair Potter has a rather unusual plot. It was an enjoyable read and is a rather fast-paced story. The reader might sometimes be just as confused - or even more so - as Tom himself. It is interesting to not be in the know for a change. The reader has to be patient if he/she wants answers. You don't get everything served on a plate right away, so you'll be kept wondering for quite a while. I would recommend this book to people who like stories about a universe that has multiple versions of our planet, and other planets, too." - Kim Anisi for Readers’ Favorite

All novels © Alistair Potter.


GoodReads logo  amazon button  facebook logo  Readers' Favorite