Guest Blog Post: Do you have to be a nerd to read science fiction? by Author Clive Fleury

What do Leonard diCaprio, Nicolas Cage, Mila Kunis, Megan Fox, and Ben Stiller have in common? Yes, I know they all movie stars but besides that? They are all devotees, lovers of science fiction books and movies, in fact, everything science fiction. And yet none of them lack social skills, and they don’t seem the type to be boringly studious. I wouldn’t describe any of them as losers either. So what the heck are they doing liking sci-fi!

What do Leonard diCaprio, Nicolas Cage, Mila Kunis, Megan Fox, and Ben Stiller have in common? Yes, I know they all movie stars but besides that? They are all devotees, lovers of science fiction books and movies, in fact, everything science fiction. And yet none of them lack social skills, and they don’t seem the type to be boringly studious. I wouldn’t describe any of them as losers either. So what the heck are they doing liking sci-fi!

Some see science fiction and nerds as being like salt and pepper, bacon and eggs, and tables and chairs – twin words that are inseparable. And yet are they? Sure, some nerds like sci-fi. There’s no denying that. But just because some nerds enjoy drinking milk, that doesn’t mean that everyone who drinks milk is a nerd, does it? Of course not… except if you are French! They argue ‘Milk is for babies’. So, if you are not a baby and drink milk they presumably consider you beyond the pale—a nerd in fact. But then doesn’t that say more about France and the French than anything else? After all it’s a nation whose people seem to spend an inordinate amount of time carrying around baguettes, wearing berets, and eating cheese as a desert. Weird!

But back to nerds. And before anyone raises any PC objections let me say straight out—no I don’t have it in for nerds. I could say that ‘some of my best friends are nerds,’ but that would raise all kinds of warning signals. I’ll leave it at: I like nerds. In fact, should some maniac drop a nuclear bomb to wipe out all of humanity, I know nerds would suddenly become everyone’s best friends. Then the ability to ask a girl to dance, or wear skinny jeans wouldn’t be such a high priority. Instead, we’d look to nerds to supply answers to questions like- If most of the world has just become one giant barbecue what do we do next?

Actually, that’s the type of question that’s asked in a few science fiction books, including my own—Kill Code: A Science Fiction Dystopian Novel. (Sorry, I had to get the plugin.) Seeking answers in an entertaining form to these dilemmas is one of the attractions of science fiction. I mean have you ever thought about what life would be like on a neutron star? Well, author Robert Forward did, in his book ‘Dragon’s Egg’ and though Nerdish—Mark 4 on the Nerd scale—it reminds us that life can take many forms. And have you ever considered what it would be like if a pod of whales came to Earth dressed up as people? No? Well, Captain Kirk did in one more bizarre than usual Star Trek episode.  

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And on the subject of things taking different forms, I’ve read that Dr. Jane Goodall, the UN Messenger of Peace, and primatologist, believes ‘The Story of Doctor Dolittle’ and ‘Tarzan of the Apes’ are science fiction novels. Before you shout: ‘But that’s not science fiction,’ maybe you didn’t know many consider the Harry Potter books science fiction too. See, that’s the beauty of the genre, it traverses everything from life on Mars, to a world run by apes and magicians, and everyone has the freedom to define what exactly they think science fiction is.  

But, ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder,’ and sci-fi is not for everyone. It produces some aggressive reactions. Someone once spat at me that she ‘detested science fiction books,’ and she is not alone. But what can you do with these haters? Burn them at the stake? I don’t think so! For all those who love the genre, don’t even bother to ask the obvious question—have you read any science fiction? You would be wasting your time. Sci-fi is like prunes, Brussels sprouts, and olives—something you either love or loathe.

So what are we to conclude from all this? Some nerds like science fiction books and movies. There’s no denying that. But so to do movie stars, scientists, fashionistas, politicians and on and on—actually a fairly large slice of the world. True, not as many as like romantic novels. Sci-fi books are country cousins to that tribe. But science fiction lovers still occupy a fair swathe of the population, of which nerds are just a sliver. So you definitely need not be a nerd to enjoy sci-fi!

Now that’s settled, please excuse me. I want to get back to reading Selin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft. I’m just getting to an exciting part.

About the Author

Clive Fleury is an award-winning writer of books and screenplays, and a TV and film director and producer.  He has worked for major broadcasters and studios on a wide variety of successful projects in the US, UK, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East. Clive lives in Miami with his wife, his teenage daughter, and a cat called Louis.

© Clive Fleury 2019

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Interview with Author Clive Fleury

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

My love for writing began at school. My English teacher often said that I should write a book, but I didn’t know what to write about. So I dismissed her encouragement as a fanciful dream. When I left University, I decided that maybe I should combine my love of music with writing and become a music journalist. Being naïve I didn’t really think about how hard that would be, and after countless attempts to get a job gave up and joined a market research company. Three months in, and hating the work, someone called me from one magazine I had applied for and said they had made a mistake and would like to hire me! I’ve no idea why that happened, but I didn’t hesitate. From there, after a series of lucky coincides I moved from journalism to researching TV documentaries, to directing documentaries, and then onto writing, directing and producing TV drama and feature films.

What inspired you to write your book?

Writing my book Kill Code was down to my pride. I always considered completing a book as being far too hard but had nurtured an idea for a novel for five years ago. I found countless excuses why I couldn’t start it, but finally, someone dared me to stop talking about it and just do it.

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

In one sense Kill Code is a pessimistic novel.  The world it describes is one of the extremes of wealth and poverty, and of terrifying climate change.  But it is also about men and women’s resilience, courage and moral certitude. So I hope readers take away the message you should always listen to your heart and your conscience and go with them, whatever the consequences.

What drew you into this particular genre?

One of the interesting facets of the science fiction genre is that it is an ideal platform to explore ‘big themes’ while still allowing the author to tell an entertaining and exciting story.

If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

Actually, I would like to talk with not one but two characters in Kill Code—the main protagonists Hogan Duran and Ruby Mason. They opt to reject a life of luxury for beliefs based on equality, liberty, and fraternity. I’m not convinced most people would make this choice, and I’d like to ask them how they had the strength to walk away from what looked like such an easy life.

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Blogs, like this blog, are the lifeblood of authors.  We rely on passionate reviewers and reviews to encourage readers to take a chance on our books. Twitter too is important as it’s a platform used by many who are avid readers.

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

There are many, many reasons not to write a book. You fear starting. You believe you don’t have the ability. You think you’ll never find a publisher or an agent. I could go on and on. The first thing to ask yourself though is: “Do I really, really want to do this.” A true writer will not be put off by fear and rejection.  That will simply make you stronger. The fact is writers have no choice but to write. It’s something you crave and have to do. So start typing, ignore the naysayers and just do it!

What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

Benjamin Franklin once said that the only certainties in life are death and taxes. So, the future definitely holds those in store for me! But that aside, I am currently completing the second book in the ‘Code’ trilogy, and I have my fingers crossed that all you readers out there will buy it and enjoy it.

About the Author

Clive Fleury is an award-winning writer of books and screenplays, and a TV and film director and producer.  He has worked for major broadcasters and studios on a wide variety of successful projects in the US, UK, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East. Clive lives in Miami with his wife, his teenage daughter, and a cat called Louis.

Code: Revelation (The Emporion Chronicles #1) by Boris Sanders Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young man living in a futuristic society stumbles upon one of humanity’s greatest known secrets in author Boris Sander’s “Code: Revelation”, the first in the Emporion Chronicles. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

An alternative cover edition for this ASIN can be found here.

Introverted computer scientist Maximilian Gutenberg had no intention of acquiring a crystal with a being trapped inside, especially not one with the power to save — or destroy — humanity. 

Her name is Lucy, and she cannot escape her prison until her mission is complete. A mission she keeps secret from everyone, even Max.

But she needs his help.

To gain his trust, she offers to get rid of his abusive boss in one week, and get him that promotion he always wanted. She’ll make him the hero of his own life, a man worthy of recognition, in exchange for helping her complete her mission.

This could be the opportunity of Max’s life, but he can’t help but wonder if Lucy is as good as she seems… And exactly what mission she must complete to regain her freedom.

Set in a dystopian, futuristic city built miles into the sky, “CODE: Revelation” is a powerful, psychological thrill ride that calls into question the nature of good and evil, and the importance of taking control of your own destiny.

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The Review

This sci-fi techno thriller is truly one of a kind. The characters instantly draw you in, from protagonist Max who finds himself thrust into an adventure like no other, to girlfriend Julia and her mission to discover the truth, and the mysterious Lucy and the history spanning mission she has been on since the dawn of time. 

This novel’s strongest aspect has to be the world building. The setting is incredibly vivid as the author creates a futuristic society based on clear cut class systems, state of the art technology and a massive city surrounded by a dome and cut off from the outside world. The story blends technology and suspense expertly, and the author’s command of the genre instantly draws readers into this massive story.

The Verdict

This is a fantastic sci-fi novel that deserves to be read. The first in a series, this story delves into themes such as greed, power, and humanity’s reliance on technology. A fast read of only a little over 200 pages, this story packs quite a punch and will leave readers anxious to read the next novel in the series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “Code: Revelation” by Boris Sanders today!

Rating: 8/10

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About the Author

Boris Sanders started to write at a very early age, in fact, so much so that, for his mother’s surprise, the doctor who delivered him insisted to have seen some marks that resembled words inside her womb. His intellect is quite advantaged, having learned 37 languages by the age of 14, of which 35 were created by him, don’t have a writing form, and only he can speak and understand them. In addition, he has a photographic memory, as long as an actual photo was taken during the occasion. 

In his spare time Boris likes to swim in waterless pools and investigate the mysteries of the universe, while sitting on his comfortable couch, effectively doing nothing. He has a particular taste for olives of any kind.

Book

Book trailer: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AjZg8_7n9Ym4kqcdOFbQE79fw9ZSRA

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L3TPH43

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43521844-code

Author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BorisSanders1

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BorisSandersAuthor

Website: http://www.borissanders.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18672762.Boris_Sanders

Beyond the Tolbooth: A short story of Human Resilience by Stephen Parkes Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Stephen Parkes once again takes readers on a journey through one of the strangest 18th century cases you’ll ever read about in the short story, “Beyond the Tolbooth”. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

A short story of human resilience. 18th-century Margaret Dickson hangs for her crimes and lives to tell about it.

The Review

What fascinated me about this story was the way the author delved into the tricky notion that not all history is set in stone. Exploring Margaret’s story, readers will instantly see the way rumors and half-truths led to the tragic circumstances of Margaret being sent to prison and later executed for them, only to survive the ordeal. It’s really a telling story, as back then a woman could be imprisoned and even executed for something as simple as concealing a pregnancy. The truth behind her story is not fully realized, and the author pinpoints these inaccuracies and allows readers to come to their own determination about who Margaret was and whether or not she truly was guilty.

The Verdict

A unique story of fighting for the truth, pinpointing historical fact from assumption, and the shocking reality that nothing is foolproof in the criminal justice system, and Margaret is one of the few people to have ever survived the most popular form of execution, a public hanging. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of Beyond the Tolbooth by Stephen Parkes today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Stephen Parkes (1960 – ) was born in Detroit, Michigan. Stephen earned a Juris Doctorate from Mississippi College School of law and a Ranger tab from the U.S. Army. He is a former Weapons platoon leader with the 2d Ranger battalion. He is one of very few individuals to experience a long-drop hanging (in his case more than eight feet) and live to tell about it. He was twice convicted of robbery with a deadly weapon, a knife, and spent four and one-half years in federal prison and county lock-ups. Stephen was certified by the State of Florida as a habitual violent felony offender in 2008. These days, Stephen is an honorable man and husband. These days, Stephen lives free and prospers.

https://amzn.to/2TXQFtx

Louisiana Latte by Rebecca Henry Review

Two sisters on a business trip find themselves reminiscing about their lives and discovering who the other truly is in author Rebecca Henry’s self-described chick-lit comedy, “Louisiana Latte”.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Two sisters on a business trip find themselves reminiscing about their lives and discovering who the other truly is in author Rebecca Henry’s self-described chick-lit comedy, “Louisiana Latte”. Here is the synopsis:

The Synopsis

Deb hadn’t flown in over 20 years. In 1989, at the age of 22, Deb was enrolled at Griffiss Airforce Base to become a commercial pilot. Somewhere between dating her yuppie fiancé and planning their wedding in Chicago, Deb developed claustrophobia—a fear of enclosed spaces. I blame the yuppie. Deb couldn’t get on a plane for love that day, but she could do it 20 years later for money. Money was worth dying for.

The Review

If you are looking for a humorous, quick-witted whirlwind story, then this is the book for you. The story follows Deb and her sister Becky, who travel to a business conference in Louisiana. Twenty years earlier, Deb found her career as a pilot over as claustrophobia took over. Now in the present, Deb is a self-described diva with an all consuming need for the finer things in life, even forgoing paying bills in order to have the latest handbag or jewelry. Meanwhile her sister Becky juggles being in awe of her confident and good spirited sister and the responsibility of running a business together and being a full time mother and wife as well. 

The story does a marvelous job of infusing humor into Deb’s incredible outgoing personality while showing the intimate moments from both fo the sister’s lives that define not only their relationship, but each other as well. Along the way Becky finds herself discovering exactly why her sister is the diva that she is, and finds a woman with more heart than anyone could have imagined.

The Verdict

This short read is a must buy book. A funny and feel good chick-lit comedy like no other, the story flows smoothly and creates a unique bond between Becky and Deb that is rarely felt in novels, and yet will feel real and familiar to many families out there. If you enjoy a hilarious and quick witted comedy, then be sure to grab your copy of “Louisiana Latte” by Rebecca Henry on February 28th, 2019. 

Rating: 8/10

https://rebeccahenryauthor.blogspot.com/

About the Author

I am a newly published author with one novel released and another book coming out for publication, in February 2019. I am also a world traveller, living abroad. I have many interests and hobbies in life, besides my greatest passion of all, my family. I am also a vegan, gardener, crafter, and I practice yoga regularly.

Author Interview with Jonas Salzgeber

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I started reading voraciously as a young adult. I really enjoyed reading about things and improving myself as a person. I wanted to get better. My brother Nils was very similar in that aspect and at some point we decided to start a blog. So I began writing articles. People enjoyed it and we continued.

What inspired you to write your book?

I was hooked with Stoic philosophy. It was intriguing how your mindset can help you in daily life. I was struggling with destructive feelings and Stoicism helped me immensely. I devoured countless books on the subject and felt there’s something missing. A book that simply explains this wonderful philosophy. I knew the topic, had an idea for a book, and started doing more research explicitly for the book.

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

There are simple strategies that can help you deal more effectively with life’s challenges. Whatever life throws at you, you have the power within to make the best with it. You just need to bring in the necessary awareness to observe your thoughts, the willingness to reflect upon your actions, and the decisiveness to choose to change what’s not helpful.

What drew you into this particular genre?

I read mainly nonfiction. I want to learn and get better every day. So, that’s what I write about. Sure, I like to sprinkle some storytelling for the taste.

You spent some time in your book exploring some of the early philosophers who brought Stoicism to life. Of those philosophers, which would you want to speak with if given the opportunity and what would you ask them if given the chance?

Marcus Aurelius. I’d ask him about being a Stoic in heart and at the same time being Roman Emperor leading wars where thousands of innocent people die.

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Probably Facebook. But we’re not big into social media. What helped us most getting readers was organic search traffic that grew over time. And word of mouth.

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

The inner resistance that’s holding you back is something all creators experience. Everybody needs to go through this fight between your ears. There’s no way around. “What is to give light, must endure burning.” This quote by Viktor Frankl has helped me in countless moments of darkness. It’s supposed to be hard.

What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

Haha. I don’t know what the future holds in store for me. Sure, we have projects lined up. The next book? I don’t know yet. Maybe something with my brother about powerful mindsets to adopt for a calmer and more resilient life. But that’s really just a fleeting idea.

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Short author blurb:

Jonas Salzgeber is the author of The Little Book of Stoicism and blogs for a small army of remarkable people at njlifehacks.com. He’s an expert in Stoic philosophy and passionate about self-made dark chocolate and buttered coffee with collagen.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NJlifehacks/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NJlifehacks

Website: https://njlifehacks.com/the-little-book-of-stoicism/


Thad Saves the Galaxy: An Epic Space Adventure by C.T. Fleck Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A carefree young man seeking adventure and purpose in life finds his world turned upside down when an alien woman named Zinka draws him into a galactic battle like no other in author C.T. Fleck’s novel Thad Saves the Galaxy: An Epic Space Adventure. Here is the synopsis. 

The Synopsis

When adventure calls, sometimes it’s best to send it to voicemail 

If Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy meets Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure with a bit of Dude, Where’s My Car? sprinkled in sounds like a good time, you’ll love Thad Saves the Galaxy!

When an alien named Zinka drops into Thaddeus Kinglsey’s life, he finally gets the adventure he’s been waiting for. Zinka is an exiled Aldinian who is being pursued across the galaxy by the evil tyrant Derask. She crashed on Earth and needs help repairing her ship. Thad jumps at the chance to do something extraordinary and begins an adventure he will never forget. Unfortunately, Derask learns of Thad’s involvement and destroys the Earth to punish him.

With the Earth a smoldering cloud of dust, Thad and Zinka begin a quest across the galaxy to put an end to Derask’s tyranny. This dynamic twosome recruits a colorful cast of characters to their cause: Tik, a mighty Tauran with a penchant for mind altering substances, Pangaea, a sarcastic humanoid who is more then she seems, Danny, the only other Earthling left who happens to be a dreadlocked pot dealer, Leonidas, a lovesick Voltan hero, and Preet, the shapeshifting Queen of the Mercenaries. But they need more than a gang of friends to defeat Derask. They need ships, and lots of them.

Can this oddball team find a way to take down the galaxy’s most powerful dictator? Does ‘winging it’ ever really work? Can you find love on a planet full of mercenaries? These questions and more are answered in this whimsical romp across the Milky Way.

Thad Saves the Galaxy is a humorous galactic adventure with a vibrant cast of human and alien characters, space battles, and outrageous fun.

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The Review

This hilarious dark comedy and sci-fi parody is brilliantly executed. The author does a fantastic job of world building and creating a mythology that readers can instantly get sucked into. Awakening the hero within this week smoking, carefree and comical young man, Thad becomes the hero nobody asked for, or quite frankly wanted. Yet his odd way of looking at life and humor amazingly compliment the more tragic and emotional story elements introduced throughout the novel.

The twists and turns this story take will certainly keep readers on the edge of their seat as they explore the Milky Way Galaxy in a whole new light. A more adult take on the classic sci-fi and space epic adventure genre, readers will laugh and cry as they follow Thad as he tackles themes of racism, homophobia, gender equality and the inherent battle of good vs evil, all the while he smokes weed and finds new and hilarious ways of getting into trouble. 

The Verdict

This is a must read sci-fi adventure and dark comedy like no other. A humor filled adventure that blends elements of Seth MacFarlane’s recent space epic show The Orville with George Lucas’s world building in the Star Wars universe and the humor of a Seth Rogen film. You are not going to want a single second of this hilarious book, so be sure to pick up your copy of Thad Saves the Universe by C.T. Fleck today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

C.T. Fleck is the pen name of Corey Hofecker. After dropping out of college, for the second time, he discovered the joys that are inherent in both reading and writing, and that his previous distaste of said subjects was just a lack of freedom to read and write what he truly wanted. Being a firm believer that there is beauty in the absurd, he quickly became obsessed with the sci-fi genre. In it he saw the vast possibilities and the probability of how weird our universe can get. Corey lives in rural West Virginia where he occupies his time with reading, writing, video games, and tabletop RPGs. He is an unashamed feminist of sorts and an avid supporter of LGBTQ+ rights.