The Publication of Beyond Enkription
Beyond Enkription is the first stand-alone book in a series of six autobiographical espionage novels called The Burlington Files mainly based on Bill Fairclough's life in 1974. Part of the core plot is centred on the misspelling of “encryption”.
At circa 180,000 words it is believed to be the longest spy novel published in the 21st century or was so at the time of publication. It took circa 10,000 hours to write and research. For most people working in the UK that is equivalent to more than five years’ work and that is for just one book in the series.
Beyond Enkription was self-published as an eBook and paperback in 2014. The official date of publication marked the fiftieth anniversary of the opening chapter in Beyond Enkription and was “coincidentally” on purpose the same day as Bill Fairclough's father’s birthday. In August 2015 a hardback version was published by Dolman Scott. All versions of the book are available worldwide.
Bill Fairclough was named as the author of Beyond Enkription for legal reasons. The copyright for The Burlington Files is owned by The Burlington Files Limited which is controlled by Bill Fairclough.
Beyond Enkription was “written for film”: i.e. it was not published to make profits as a book per se but was written solely with screen adaptation in mind. As an autobiographical journal it reads like a sophisticated version of The Diary of Anne Frank. It is not a film script but can be readily adapted into such. That is why Beyond Enkription is referred to as a “Novelog” on The Burlington Files website. Endorsements and reviews of the book are available via The Burlington Files website.
The book is not like a normal Le Carré concoction adorned with flowery diction and it's not about a Fleming flowerpot who saves the world at the end of each book in the series. It’s about down to earth realistic “warts and all” espionage.
It has not been marketed like a traditional spy novel would be having been “offered” to the film industry. Accordingly, the book has to date not hit the charts other than in obtuse ways in China and old Soviet Bloc countries such as the Ukraine and Bulgaria. It is estimated that in aggregate over 60,000 copies were sold through illegitimate eBook libraries within a year or so of its publication on Kindle.
History of Beyond Enkription
Bill Fairclough started writing Beyond Enkription in 1975 while in an isolation ward in a UK hospital suffering from what was eventually diagnosed as cytomegalovirus. However, it was only in 2009 that work on the project began in earnest. According to Bill Fairclough, the rationale for putting pen to paper was to create a TV series or films to show the world just how much it had been duped by those illustrious civil servants, Ian Fleming and David Cornwell (John le Carré).
In July 2009 Bill Fairclough was approached again to try to make some films loosely based on his experiences. At the time he was still heavily involved with Faire Sans Dire and acting as a director for various property and finance companies. Through intermediaries he contacted two well-known film production companies to assess their appetite for making films comprising a pot pourri of unusual concepts and experiences based on his somewhat unconventional and maverick dual existence.
Despite all their initial enthusiasm, the negotiations with those companies’ executives came to nothing. Both film production companies advised Bill that he must first present his material in book and/or film script format. Sadly, his approach to one US corporation eventually landed on stony ground when MGM, which produced many of the James Bond films, filed for bankruptcy. (MGM has since recovered.) The other household name film production company approached was based in the UK but had a full production agenda for many years ahead and still has.
Accordingly, The Burlington Files series was born and Beyond Enkription written and published. Now you can even go on an up-market tour based on just a few months of Bill Fairclough's life in London in 1974 as depicted in Beyond Enkription and explained in the news about Beyond Enkription.
Synopsis of Beyond Enkription
Beyond Enkription is a stand-alone novel set in 1974 in the heart of the disco fevered seventies, the (First) Cold War and the escalating Irish Troubles in the purportedly united British Isles. It is about a wayward accountant, Edward Burlington aka Bill Fairclough who unwittingly ends up working as an agent for MI6 by night whilst auditing beans during the day.
His parents, Roger and Sara Burlington have been involved in espionage since 1939. While Roger is still a member of the Joint Intelligence Committee, Sara’s address book appears to be more like a Who's Who of NATO's intelligence services than a housewife’s little black book. Both Roger and Sara desperately wanted their sons, Hugh and Edward, to follow in their footsteps but things didn’t go to plan given Edward’s rebellious nature.
Consequently, Edward unintentionally wrecked their plans for him and unwittingly ends up working as an MI6 asset. Early in 1974 he is nearly killed not once, but four times. Indirectly it is all MI6's fault ... so far as his parents are concerned. Sara decides someone high up in MI6 must pay and persuades Roger to exact revenge. Meanwhile Edward is underhandedly despatched to supposed safety from London to Nassau in the Bahamas to continue his career as an accountant only to face more death defying scenarios in the Bahamas, Brazil and Haiti before the year’s end.
However, the CIA has a representative on the Joint Intelligence Committee and is therefore already aware of Edward’s exploits and capabilities. They turn him into their asset within 48 hours of his landing in Nassau.
Meanwhile Edward’s family are sucked inexorably into the perfidious mess and intrigue surrounding his double life. Simultaneously, Hugh’s involvement with MI6 becomes increasingly intriguing as the entangled plots and layered webs of deceit, betrayal and revenge reverberate from Kinshasa to Islamabad via Washington and Westminster and back while NATO's espionage apparatus is exposed as being as incompetent as Philby proved it was.