Tag Archives: sci-fi book

Kwelengsen Dawn: Logan’s World Book Two by David M. Kelly Review

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

After losing his world, one man must fight his way off of Earth and venture forth into the unknown to save those left behind in author David M. Kelly’s “Kwelengsen Dawn”, the second book in the Logan’s World Series.

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The Synopsis

When you lose everything you love, the whole world becomes the enemy.

After his planet was invaded by ruthless Corporate forces, engineer Logan Twofeathers is trapped on Earth by the authorities, who are more afraid of starting a war than helping their people. He may be safe, but many others are still missing.

When security tries to arrest him on trumped-up charges, he must find his own way to return to Kwelengsen. His only option is to seek out someone from his past–a borderline psychotic, who might just be crazy enough to help.

Now, he must draw on all his strength and resilience as he undertakes a precarious and violent journey into the unknown, with enemies lurking in every shadow. The outlook is bleak, and all he has is his grit and sense of honor. Will that be enough?

The battle is over. But the war is about to begin.

The Review

This was such a brilliant spectacle and action-packed sci-fi story. The gritty nature of the world the author has built and the brutality for which the action takes the cast of characters made this story so visceral and really highlighted the author’s use of imagery in his writing. With the shocking betrayal of Earth’s security and the settings that Earth’s streets take the reader felt alive on the page.

The development of the mythos and characters in this book were the heart of the narrative. The desperation and heartbreak that the protagonist exudes as he seeks to find his love and the fight he takes to make it a reality is something that speaks to the humanity of the protagonist, and is something readers will identify with immediately. Exploring Earth and the hierarchy of the security forces was also interesting, exploring how this world’s version of Earth has evolved over time.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, exhilarating, and adrenaline-fueled, author David M. Kelly’s “Kwelengsen Dawn” is the upcoming must-read sci-fi novel of 2022 and the perfect next book in the Logan’s World Series. The brilliant storytelling the author utilizes here and engaging world-building will draw readers in, and the shocking twist on the final pages of this novel will have readers anxious to learn more about a must-have third book in this series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to preorder your copy today or grab your copy on June 7th, 2022!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

David M. Kelly writes fast-paced, near-future sci-fi thrillers with engaging characters, cynical humor, and (mostly!) plausible science. He is the author of the Joe Ballen series (Mathematics of Eternity, Perimeter, Transformation Protocol, and Intersection), the Logan’s World series, and the Hyperia Jones sci-fi humor series.
David’s interest in science and technology began early. At the age of six his parents allowed him to stay up late into the night to watch the television broadcast of Neil Armstrong stepping on to the surface of the moon. From that day he was hooked on everything related to science and space.

An avid reader, he worked his way through the contents of the mobile library that visited his street, progressing through YA titles (or ‘juveniles’ as they were known back then) on to the classics of Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Harry Harrison.
David worked for many years in project management and software development. Along the way his interests have included IPSC combat (target) pistol shooting, crew chief on a drag racing team, and several years as bass player/vocalist in a heavy rock band. He also managed to fit in some real work in manual jobs from digging ditches and work on production lines to loading trucks in a haulage company.

Originally from the wild and woolly region of Yorkshire, England, David emigrated to Canada in 2005 and settled in Northern Ontario with his patient and supportive wife, Hilary. Foot surgery in 2014 temporarily curtailed many of his favourite activities – hiking, camping, piloting his own personal starfighter (otherwise known as a Corvette ZR-1). But on the plus side, it meant a transition from the world of IT into life as a full-time writer—an opportunity he grasped enthusiastically.

David is passionate about science, especially astronomy and physics, and is a rabid science news follower. Never short of an opinion, David writes about science and technology on his blog davidmkelly.net. He has supported various charity projects such as the Smithsonian’s Reboot The Suit and the Lowell Observatory Pluto Telescope Restoration. He also contributes to citizen science projects such as SETI@home.

https://davidmkelly.net/

Spark by Pat Daily 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 searching for answers finds himself searching a virtual world for gamers that harbor a dark secret beneath the surface in author Pat Daily’s “Spark”.

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The Synopsis

In his mother’s last letter, she wrote, “Find me. Save me.” And Will Kwan had heard those words before. He’d heard them in a video game.

Solar Prime Augmented Reality Park, or SPARK, is a theme park for gamers: a sprawling virtual reality complex with quests and games that appeal to all ages. But beneath the surface, SPARK harbors many a secret.

When sixteen-year-old Will has to escape the foster system, SPARK, is his destination. “Find me. Save me.” What had his mother meant? At SPARK, he runs headlong into the force of nature known as Feral Daughter, another runaway who has chosen to make SPARK her home and her life. As their friendship grows, Will beigins to walk a path that will unveil not only the secrets of SPARK, but also a whole new perception of his world.

So, when terrorists threaten his new home and new friend, Will cannot stand idly by. Can Will finally get his closure? Or will SPARK be destroyed, along with the new life he has built?

The Review

If you were to combine West World, Ready Player One and Peter Pan’s Never Land into one story, it would be author Pat Daily’s “Spark”. The expertly woven narrative does an incredible job of balancing out the themes of finding family and the hero’s journey to find one’s place in the world with the action and suspense of the narrative. The imagery and detailed deep dive into this futuristic technology and the near-future really did a great job of giving readers a clear picture of the story unfolding.

The thing that stood out to me was the depth of character development that the author was able to flesh out throughout this narrative. In such a grand and tech-heavy narrative, the balance that was struck between the action and the personal histories and emotions these characters evoke made this a wonderful story. In particular, Will’s story is so heartbreaking and engaging, and even the history of the second Korean War that the author introduces and how it impacts everyone involved felt like a much-needed call-back to the aftermath of the first Korean War around the world. 

The Verdict

Brilliant, captivating, and engaging, author Pat Daily’s “Spark” is a must-read sci-fi narrative. The heart-pounding action and shocking twists and turns in the story will keep readers on the edge of their seats, while the emotional character growth each character faces will have readers emotionally invested throughout. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Pat Daily is an engineer and former Air Force test pilot who worked at NASA’s Johnson Space Center on both the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs. 

When not writing or trying to bring new airplane designs to life, Pat can be found gaming online. He is a fan of role-playing games—particularly, open worlds with engaging storylines where actions have consequences. 

Pat and his wife spent twenty years in Houston before moving to Central Washington. 

https://feraldaughters.wordpress.com/

Mixed Realities: 7 Stories That Will Make You Question the Universe by Naomi Augustine Review

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

In a reality in which reality itself is proven to be a simulation and parallel worlds coexist with one another in the “system”, author Naomi Augustine explores the most puzzling, challenging, and captivating sci-fi and true scientific theories of our time in the book “Mixed Realities: 7 Stories That Will Make You Question the Universe.” 

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The Synopsis

Get ready for a mind-bending thriller that will make you question reality as you know it. “Mixed Realities” is a collection of stories that poke at the squishy parts of our universe, human understanding, and our relationship with technology. Illustrated QR codes are embedded throughout the book to let you listen to the soundtrack on the fly.

Don’t trust your senses. Don’t even trust your measuring equipment. Reality is not what it seems.

Physicists were right. It turns out we live in a giant computer simulation and our world isn’t the only one. There are many others. In one world, climate change threatens humanity. A 10-year old refugee befriends an artificial intelligence in a city full of holograms and works together to solve the crisis. In another, an anti-social college student becomes suspicious of the existence of parallel worlds and figures out how to cross over. With the help of his new online friends, they set out to unravel the mystery behind the simulation and its mischievous architect. The perfect book for readers of science-fiction, “Mixed Realities” will challenge and entertain readers with each page.

The Review

What a powerful and moving collection of sci-fi short stories. The blend of technological marvels and themes of what it means to be human, the importance of real connections, and the definition of reality, all come together in a beautifully woven collection that spans over the course of a mind-bending narrative landscape. The characters are the perfect way of infusing humanity, hope, and emotion into the story as well, as each short story finds the right harmonious chord between the theme and the emotional connection the reader has to the people within these stories. 

The ideas and concepts that this narrative explores are not only unique but scientific theories and concepts that have fascinated me in particular for years. From the real-world impact, AR and AI technologies are already having on our modern world, to the idea behind the Multiverse and how it relates to our understanding of the universe as a whole, these themes are not only interesting but thought-provoking in their approach to the genre.

The Verdict

A beautiful and captivating road filled with hope, tragedy, and endless possibilities, author Naomi Augustine’s “Mixed Realities” is a must-read collection of short stories. The perfect balance of character development and theoretical exploration, this twisty navigation of the possibilities that exist within the confines of the sci-fi genre makes this collection just so entertaining to read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Naomi Augustine grew up in Japan and has a bachelor’s in physics from the University of California, Berkeley. She has spent the last 15 years as a physicist, game producer, and Augmented Reality R&D Lead at companies such as Raytheon, Riot Games, and Magic Leap. There she led the research, envisioning, and design of city-scaled use cases of AR. Her work has been deployed in areas of urban planning and climate change in partnership with the United Nations Development Program. She is currently the co-founder of QXR Studios, specializing in augmented and extended reality (AR/XR) storytelling in Los Angeles.

https://www.naomiaugustine.com/mixedrealities

12 Planets of the Intergalactic Map: Travelers From Schyllus by Derek Mailhiot Review

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

One of the 12 planets housing the children of “The Maker” discovers an ancient device that allows for instantaneous travel between the 12 worlds, including Earth, but after Travelers arrive on Earth from that other world, the fate of Earth comes into question as another entity begins its mission to destroy all life related to The Maker in author Derek Mailhiot’s “12 Planets of the Intergalactic Map: Travelers From Schyllus”. 

The Synopsis

What happens when 12 civilizations from different planets meet for the very first time? Will their common origin unite them into a mighty Intergalactic Empire? Or will they destroy each other?

The people of the planet Schyllus in the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy possess the “Intergalactic Map” which plots 12 planets in the Local Group of galaxies colonized by the children of the “Maker” called the “First Ones.” Schyllus is one of the planets. Earth is another. There are 10 more.

Scientists on Schyllus discover that the Maker has created a device in deep space—the Gryben Anomaly—that allows them to instantaneously travel between the 12 Planets.

The first planet they travel to is Earth. All they know is that Earth was colonized by the First Ones thousands of years ago—just like Schyllus was—but otherwise they know nothing about it.

What happens when 196,418 Travelers from Schyllus arrive on an unsuspecting and unprepared Earth? The Travelers are peaceful explorers, yet their arrival results in billions of human deaths from the chaos that ensues. Will their arrival on Earth be the demise of the human race?

Or will mankind join the Travelers in expeditions to the other planets—Thijar, Hyperios, Kikrit, Freytus, Acfarr, Vaagon, Minyos, Ozkozania, Dagomere, and Pluvikerr. These planets were all colonized by the First Ones thousands of years ago, but have evolved into vastly different civilizations.

And unbeknownst to the humanoids inhabiting the 12 Planets, a malevolent entity known as Torajii has vowed to exterminate all humanoids from the universe.

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The Review

The author did such a great job of finding the natural balance between sci-fi mythology and world-building and personal character growth. The exploration of mankind’s origins and our plan amongst the stars so to speak has been a goal of our civilization’s since we first landed on the moon, and yet the way the author reversed the concept on its head and instead explored how we would react if another, more advanced civilization arrived on our doorstep not as part of an invasion force, but as visitors on a mission of peace and exploration. 

The story is so grand and so deep-seated in mythos and world-building that the author’s ability to ground the narrative with relatable and engaging human characters early on in the novel was fantastic to see on display here. It was also fascinating to see the similarities and differences between the Travelers and humanity here, as good and “evil” could be found on both sides, and each side had its own roots in violent behavior, highlighting the theme of mankind’s capability of self-destruction and to wage war upon itself. Yet the ability of these select “few” from both sides to come together to find a means of bonding with each other and hoping to do so with other worlds was a hopeful message that through cooperation and trust, anything could be possible.

The Verdict

A memorable, entertaining, and thought-provoking sci-fi novel, author Derek Mailhiot’s “12 Planets of the Intergalactic Map: Travelers From Schyllus” is a must-read story! The world-building alone is so imaginative and creative to behold, and the character-driven and grand mythos of this universe the author has created will keep readers on the edge of their seats, eager for another chapter in this universe. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab our copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Derek lives on beautiful Vancouver Island with his two children, Hannah and Daniel. With one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, combined with breathtaking scenery, Vancouver Island truly is the quintessential place for an author to live and write.

Derek studied economics at the University of Victoria and religious studies at the University of British Columbia. He is very entrepreneurial, starting an Internet company called InterWeb Connections Inc in 1995 and a software development company called Wireheads Labs Inc in 2002.

In 2011, Derek invented an alternative energy device that is radically innovative and truly disruptive. He filed a Patent in 2011 and started a company to develop a prototype, in order to commercialize this exciting technology.

As an independent investigative journalist, Derek deeply investigates topics to discover the truth, and shine a light on stories that are not always told. As a devout evangelical Christian who holds a modern scientific worldview, many of his books are on topics that intersect science and religion, such as creation and evolution. Other books are on topics that have been plagued by pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, and Fake News.

As a teenager, Derek read The High Frontier by Gerard K. O’Neill and has been fascinated by space colonies, and anything space related, ever since. Also a huge fan of science fiction movies and books, Derek has taken up writing a 7-book science fiction series called 12 Planets of the Intergalactic Map.

When he’s not writing (or reading), Derek can be found hiking on one of the many trails on Vancouver Island.

The Left Hand of Dog by Si Clarke Review

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

An innocent hiking trip takes a strange and dramatic turn when strangely adorable aliens aboard a teapot ship abduct Lem, leading to a bizarre race to discover why they were taken and must face alien worlds, space stations and more in author Si Clarke’s “The Left Hand of Dog”. 

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The Synopsis

Escaping intergalactic kidnappers has never been quite so ridiculous.

When Lem and her faithful dog, Spock, retreat from the city for a few days of hiking in Algonquin Park, the last thing they expect is to be kidnapped by aliens. No, scratch that. The last thing they expect is to be kidnapped by a bunch of strangely adorable intergalactic bounty hunters aboard a ship called the Teapot.

After Lem falls in with an unlikely group of allies – including a talking horse, a sarcastic robot, an overly anxious giant parrot, and a cloud of sentient glitter gas – the gang must devise a cunning plan to escape their captors and make it back home safely.

But things won’t be as easy as they first seem. Lost in deep space and running out of fuel, this chaotic crew are faced with the daunting task of navigating an alien planet, breaking into a space station, and discovering the real reason they’re all there…

Packed with preposterous scenarios, quirky characters, and oodles of humour, The Left Hand of Dog tackles complex subjects such as gender, the need to belong, and the importance of honest communication. Perfect for fans of Charlie Jane Anders’ Victories Greater than Death – especially ones who enjoy endless references to Red DwarfStar Trek, and Doctor Who. This book will show you that the universe is a very strange place indeed.

The Review

The author has crafted a truly brilliant and expertly crafted sci-fi story for the ages. The novel takes the humor and wit of sci-fi sagas like Doctor Who and The Orville, and the mind-bending galactic storytelling of Star Wars and Star Trek. The author found the right balance of homages to classic sci-fi storytelling while still incorporating modern-day storytelling that highlights LGBTQ themes and character developments.

Lem was a brilliant protagonist, showing the complexities of their personality and inner struggles with their identity while also stepping up to the plate to become a new sci-fi hero who readers could root for. The author’s ability to craft such an incredible juxtaposition of identity struggles and the hardships of the outsider with the more silly or obscure sci-fi tones the genre is known for is just amazing and really drew me in as a reader.

The Verdict

A gripping, fun, and reflective sci-fi and LGBTQ-driven narrative, author Si Clarke’s “The Left Hand of Dog” is a must-read novel of 2021. The engaging way the author connects the reader with the themes of the narrative without sacrificing any of the humor or character growth really helped this story to shine brightly and should be read by any and all fans of classic and modern sci-fi storytelling. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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The Left Hand of Dog - SI Clarke

SI Clarke has a new quirky queer sci-fi book out (ace/aro/agender): The Left Hand of Dog. And there’s a giveaway!

Escaping intergalactic kidnappers has never been quite so ridiculous.

When Lem and her faithful dog, Spock, retreat from the city for a few days of hiking in Algonquin Park, the last thing they expect is to be kidnapped by aliens. No, scratch that. The last thing they expect is to be kidnapped by a bunch of strangely adorable intergalactic bounty hunters aboard a ship called the Teapot.

Falling in with an unlikely group of allies – including a talking horse, a sarcastic robot, an overly anxious giant parrot, and a cloud of sentient glitter gas – Lem and the gang must devise a cunning plan to escape their captors and make it back home safely.

But things won’t be as easy as they first seem. Lost in deep space and running out of fuel, this chaotic crew are faced with the daunting task of navigating an alien planet, breaking into a space station, and discovering the real reason they’re all there…

Packed with preposterous scenarios, quirky characters, and oodles of humour, The Left Hand of Dog tackles complex subjects such as gender, the need to belong, and the importance of honest communication. Perfect for fans of Charlie Jane Anders’ Victories Greater than Death – especially ones who enjoy endless references to Red Dwarf, Star Trek, and Doctor Who. This book will show you that the universe is a very strange place indeed.

Warnings: anaphylactic shock, minor injury to a dog, this book is not for TERFs.

Publisher | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Universal Buy Link | Goodreads


Giveaway

SI Clarke eBooks giveaway

SI Clarke is giving away four eBooks with this blog tour:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47201/?


Excerpt

MEME4 - The Left Hand of Dog

Copyright © 2021 by SI CLARKE – All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

Startled by the sound of movement behind me, I whirled around to face three … they had to be children in bunny costumes. ‘What?’ That’s what they had to be, right? I mean, they weren’t actually rabbits. Definitely not. For one thing, they stood upright. Real bunnies don’t normally do that, do they? For another, they were about the size of Spock.

But the costumes looked real in that no skin showed through – not even on their faces – and I couldn’t see any zips. Also, I was pretty sure rabbits didn’t come in pastel rainbow colours. Actually, they reminded me of a toy I’d had as a child. Bunnyboo, I’d called it. Four-year-old me was terribly inventive.

‘Check out your floopy-floppy ears! How adorable are you?’ Nervous sarcasm still intact then.

I was nauseated enough that shaking my head seemed like a bad idea. ‘It was beer I had last night, right? Not, like, psychedelic mushrooms? Maybe some natural tree spore that makes a person have trippy visions?’ No one answered me. Or even looked at me.

Spock sat neatly and dropped her brain in my lap. She lifted a paw towards the nearest of the bunnyboos – for want of a better word. The creature’s mint green fur matched the emerald hue of its humongous Disney princess eyes. ‘Yip,’ said Spock in her smallest, most polite voice.

This is not happening. I must be dreaming. Or hallucinating. Something.

Pulling a device from a holster like a carpenter’s apron, the bunnyboo pointed it at Spock. Or maybe it was merely reading what was on the screen – if it even had a screen. Who was I kidding? I had no idea what they were doing.

Another, slightly taller bunnyboo – this one periwinkle blue with eyes like Wedgewood plates – stepped forwards and ‘spoke’ to Spock as well. That is, its mouth moved and Spock’s full attention was on it. But no sound emerged. Spock yipped again in response to whatever it was I couldn’t hear.

Spock pointed at me with her long, sable nose then looked back at the bunnyboos and emitted a low noise, not quite a growl.

‘Would someone please tell me what the bollocking pufferfish is going on here?’ I demanded. Okay, not demanded. Requested. Well, pleaded. Whined, maybe. Whatever verb it was I verbed, no one paid me any heed.

The bunnyboos of my strange hallucination were too deeply engrossed in their silent conversation with my very real dog to spare me any of their attention. It was like watching a TV on mute – except I could hear movements and breathing and the sound of my heart beating a drum on the inside of my chest.

After a few further moments of this bizarre fever dream, Spock leapt down out of the coffin and turned to face me. She sat on her haunches and looked me in the eye. Then she lifted one paw at me in a clear imitation of the ‘stay’ command I used with her.

A bunnyboo with heather purple fur lowered a rope lead over Spock’s head. Spock stood and followed them from the room.

‘Where are you taking my dog, you fluffy bastards?’ I clambered out of the coffin-bed and scrabbled after them as fast as my besocked feet would carry me. But the thick metal door slid shut seconds before I got to it.

I pounded impotently on the door, screaming, ‘Spock! Come back. Don’t let those fuzzy arseholes hurt you.’ Unable to find a door knob or control panel or anything, I leant against the wall next to the door and slid down until I landed on my arse. I shivered and hugged my knees to my chest.

Why can’t I wake up? Letting my head fall forwards, I cried for a bit, whimpering Spock’s name periodically.


Author Bio

SI Clarke

SI CLARKE is a Canadian misanthrope who lives in Deptford, sarf ees London. She shares her home with her partner and an assortment of waifs and strays. When not writing convoluted, inefficient stories, she spends her time telling financial services firms to behave more efficiently. When not doing either of those things, she can be found in the pub or shouting at people online – occasionally practising efficiency by doing both at once. 
As someone who’s neurodivergent, an immigrant, and the proud owner of an invisible disability, she strives to present a diverse array of characters in her stories.

Author Website: https://whitehartfiction.co.uk

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/clacksee

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/clacksee

Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/32693/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/SI-CLARKE/e/B082GXW66G/

Other Worlds Ink logo

Artifact Space by Miles Cameron Review

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

A young woman seeking a new life in space finds the scandals and problems of her past following her into new and untold danger in author Miles Cameron’s “Artifact Space”.

The Synopsis

With their vast cargo holds and a crew that could fill a city, the Greatships are the lifeblood of human-occupied space, transporting an unimaginable volume – and value – of goods from City, the greatest human orbital, all the way to Tradepoint at the other, to trade for xenoglas with an unknowable alien species.

It has always been Marca Nbaro’s dream to achieve the near-impossible: escape her upbringing and venture into space.

All it took, to make her way onto the crew of the Greatship Athens was thousands of hours in simulators, dedication, and pawning or selling every scrap of her old life in order to forge a new one. But though she’s made her way onboard with faked papers, leaving her old life – and scandals – behind isn’t so easy.

She may have just combined all the dangers of her former life, with all the perils of the new . . . 

The Review

This was a truly engaging and mature sci-fi adventure. The action begins immediately, highlighting the danger and elevated storytelling the author has employed here that feels like a blend of Star Trek: The Next Generation meets Firefly. The horrors of the danger Marca faces and the wonder of the grand, planet-sized cities and spacecraft that she finds herself in really draw the reader into the narrative.

The hook for this narrative really came during the balancing act the author performed between incredible character interactions and a fully realized mythology to this sci-fi epic. The complexity with which the author develops protagonist Marca was enthralling, weaving her complex and haunting past into her action-packed and earnest attempts at building a new life for herself. Combine this with a unique mythos that sees a business conglomerate kind of take control of a large city-ship, and incorporate elements of Grecian culture and legend into the overall world, and readers will be hard-pressed not to be invested in this story.

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The Verdict

An entertaining, mythological, and exhilarating read, author Miles Cameron’s “Artifact Space” is a must-read epic sci-fi novel. The intense and well-rounded character development really did an amazing job of drawing the reader into what one only hopes can be the beginning of a truly epic new sci-fi series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Miles Cameron is an author, a re-enactor, an outdoors expert and a weapons specialist. He lives, works and writes in Toronto, where he lives with his family. This is his debut fantasy novel.

https://christiancameronauthor.com/book-author/miles-cameron/

https://www.bookbub.com/books/artifact-space-by-miles-cameron

Power Challenges (Jake Ross #4) by Ben Bova Review

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

Space Advisor Jake Ross takes on the challenge of his life when he decides to send humanity out to the stars and put America back on the map by establishing a permanent moon base in author Ben Bova’s final novel, “Power Challenges”, the fourth book in the Jake Ross series. 

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The Synopsis

Sadly, this is the last book Ben Bova left us before his untimely death due to COVID-19 related causes on November 29, 2020.

“Far-thinking ideas and the characters’ determination to grab the last hope are characteristic. Fans won’t want to miss this coda to Bova’s prolific literary life.”―Publishers Weekly

It is time to start the colonizing the solar system. Ex-astronaut, current space advisor, and all-out trouble shooter for the President, Jake Ross, is determined to make it happen.

And what better way to return to America’s glory than by returning to the moon and setting up a permanent moon-base which can then serve as the launching pad for Mars and beyond.

But as usual, political intrigue and conflicting priorities are threatening the whole program. Add to that a President who is about to die, a strong contingent in the legislative body which thinks that money spent on a moon-base is money wasted and the general apathy of the public, and you have an almost impossible task.

Even NASA, natural enthusiasts of a project like this, are dragging their feet because they have lost control of the top spot in the project.

However, none of those opposing forces have contended with the resolve and the skill of Jake Ross. He will create the base on the moon. He will send humans out to many worlds.

The Review

While it is heartbreaking to lose a truly powerful voice within the science fiction community, this final novel from the author is the perfect example of why Ben Bova always had one hand on the pulse of this exhilarating genre. For the majority of this novel, the author took great detail in outlining the politics and struggles that someone trying to build a permanent presence in space would face in the future. From the divide in party lines in the United States to the economic and ecological struggles that would occur and so much more, this novel does an excellent job of creating not only a realistic setting but a perfect tone that highlights the real hurdles once may face in future space exploration and colonization.

The pacing of the novel was engaging, to say the least, slowly building the political thriller aspect of this sci-fi novel. The novel is perfect for both new and returning fans of this series, as newcomers like myself get the opportunity to get to know the protagonist and the supporting characters perfectly, while longtime fans will be thrilled to see the evolution of the protagonist as the story progresses. The balance of the story’s narrative with the incredible and realistic character development made this heavy sci-fi read truly memorable. 

The Verdict

Entertaining, thought-provoking, and incredibly detailed, author Ben Bova’s “Power Challenges” is the perfect sci-fi read and an incredible final chapter in a great sci-fi author’s journey. With a shocking political betrayal and the epic battle that will determine the fate of a nation, the author shocks readers and creates a memorable end to this series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Ben Bova was born on November 8, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1953, while attending Temple University, he married Rosa Cucinotta, they had a son and a daughter. He would later divorce Rosa in 1974. In that same year he married Barbara Berson Rose.

Bova is an avid fencer and organized Avco Everett’s fencing club. He is an environmentalist, but rejects Luddism.

Bova was a technical writer for Project Vanguard and later for Avco Everett in the 1960s when they did research in lasers and fluid dynamics. It was there that he met Arthur R. Kantrowitz later of the Foresight Institute.

In 1971 he became editor of Analog Science Fiction after John W. Campbell’s death. After leaving Analog, he went on to edit Omni during 1978-1982.

In 1974 he wrote the screenplay for an episode of the children’s science fiction television series Land of the Lost entitled “The Search”.

Bova was the science advisor for the failed television series The Starlost, leaving in disgust after the airing of the first episode. His novel The Starcrossed was loosely based on his experiences and featured a thinly veiled characterization of his friend and colleague Harlan Ellison. He dedicated the novel to “Cordwainer Bird”, the pen name Harlan Ellison uses when he does not want to be associated with a television or film project.

Bova is the President Emeritus of the National Space Society and a past President of Science-fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

Bova went back to school in the 1980s, earning an M.A. in communications in 1987 and a Ph.D. in 1996.

Bova has drawn on these meetings and experiences to create fact and fiction writings rich with references to spaceflight, lasers, artificial hearts, nanotechnology, environmentalism, fencing and martial arts, photography and artists.

Bova is the author of over a hundred and fifteen books, non-fiction as well as science fiction. In 2000, he was the Author Guest of Honor at the 58th World Science Fiction Convention (Chicon 2000).

Hollywood has started to take an interest in Bova’s works once again, in addition to his wealth of knowledge about science and what the future may look like. In 2007, he was hired as a consultant by both Stuber/Parent Productions to provide insight into what the world is to look like in the near future for their upcoming film “Repossession Mambo” (released as “Repo Men”) starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker and by Silver Pictures in which he provided consulting services on the feature adaptation of Richard Morgan’s “Altered Carbon”.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/benbova

http://benbova.com/

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ben-bova

Déjà Doomed by Edward M. Lerner Review

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

The discovery of an alien installation underneath the lunar surface leads both the American and Russian moon teams on a race against time to unearth the secrets hidden under the moon’s surface, but neither realize the ancient evil they are set to awaken in author Edward M. Lerner’s “Déjà Doomed”. 

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The Synopsis

On the Moon’s far side, shielded from Earth’s radio cacophony, Americans are building a radio-astronomy observatory. Russians sift the dust of a lunar “sea” for helium-3 to run future fusion reactors. Commercial robots, remotely operated from Earth, roam the Moon’s near side in a hunt for mineral wealth. Why chase distant asteroids for precious metals? Onetime asteroids must lie close beneath the much-bombarded lunar surface.

Then a prospecting robot encounters a desiccated, spacesuited figure. An alien figure ….

Americans from the lunar observatory investigate. Near the original find, underground, they discover an alien installation. Lunar Russians, realizing that the Americans are up to something clandestine, send their own small team. Each group distrusts the other … even before the fatal “accidents” begin. By the time anyone suspects what ancient evil they have awakened, it may be too late―

For everyone on Earth, too. 

The Review

This was a fantastic blend of Cold War-era espionage and thriller storytelling with a twist of sci-fi and fantasy that readers of both genres will love. The pacing and atmosphere are apparent within the book’s first chapters, highlighting the awe-inspiring nature of exploring space while also highlighting the isolation and tension surrounding the pioneer of space exploration. 

What really stands out to readers is the incredible attention to detail that hardcore sci-fi fans will absolutely love. The story is rife with haunting atmospheres and engaging characters as the two teams of explorers highlight the growing tension between the nations they represent. The attention to detail the author shows even with the technology that the teams use to navigate and survive on the lunar surface is incredible to behold and delves into the sci-fi genre at full throttle.

The Verdict

A gripping, entertaining, and thought-provoking sci-fi thriller, author Edward M. Lerner’s “Déjà Doomed” is a must-read novel of 2021. A fantastic blend of character growth and haunting atmospheric storytelling, the pacing of the story and the tension that mounts not only in the teams as they search for what remains hidden but the suspense and action that takes place really elevates the story and highlights how powerful of a writer the author is. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

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About the Author

I’m a physicist and computer scientist (among other things). After thirty years in industry, working at every level from individual technical contributor to senior vice president, I now write full-time. Mostly I write science fiction and techno-thrillers, now and again throwing in a straight science or technology article.

https://www.facebook.com/EdwardMLerner/

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/edward-m-lerner

Blackacre Rising (Ivy Spires #2) by John C. Adams Review

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

Loyalties will be tested and lines will be crossed as the fight for humanity wages on in author John C. Adams’ latest entry in the Ivy Spires dystopian series, “Blackacre Rising”. 

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The Synopsis

From Horror Tree reviewer and double Aeon Award Longlister John C Adams comes a disturbing tale of scientific experimentation and sadistic cruelty. The sequel to ‘Souls For The Master’, ‘Blackacre Rising’ features a stunning cover by Fiona Jayde Media.

Leaving the chaos erupting in the Metropolis behind, Gerald speeds north to his cousin Brett Flint’s farmhouse, Blackacre. He is certain that their vehicle is being followed, but returning to the capital with Don and Ivy is simply too risky now that Janus Fidens has taken over the Resistance and declared the pair to be outlaws who have betrayed the Revolution. Arriving at Blackacre, Gerald begs Brett and his wife Radclyffe to shelter Ivy and Don under their roof without asking too many questions about why his young companions have had to flee to the sparsely populated uplands and need their presence there kept secret.

Distraught at saying goodbye to Gerald, Ivy admits how much she has come to care for him since they have been battling the authorities together. They snatch a few moments alone together to say a private farewell before Gerald drives back to the capital, hoping to persuade Janus to drop his pursuit of Ivy and Don. En route, Gerald is followed by the same car that tailed them northwards. Lured into stopping to assist at the site of a road traffic accident, the trainee surgeon is captured and transported to a shadowy underground scientific research facility, where he is disturbed to discover that Sinister Tungsten, sister to his arch nemesis Hendra, awaits him.

In the Blackacre library, Don is welcomed by the Seven. This mysterious group includes the Master he fought to defeat down in the Metropolis, five other strange figures with bizarre powers and, of course, the malignant farmhouse itself. Brett, Radclyffe and their twin baby sons reside in the oddest place Don has ever encountered. He reluctantly agrees to become involved in the Seven’s project to assassinate Dr Luther Honigbaum, who funds the facility where Gerald is being held prisoner and runs the asylum in Austria which supplies its young female test subjects.

Learning how to transport herself from one location to another shocks Ivy. Unlike Don, who has wielded great power his whole life, her skills as an assassin are more practical in nature, and she worries that having shifted safely to Austria she’ll be unable to return safely. Finally, she is ready to undertake her mission to kill the evil man behind the gruesome experiments that serve no purpose other than to gratify the rampant cruelty of Honigbaum and his acolytes.

Meanwhile, the Seven show Don another facility, this time in Antarctica, where equally cruel experiments take place upon men. When the Seven tell him he is too young to witness exactly what it taking place, he uses his unique powers to advance his age by three years so that he is now eighteen. He gladly sacrifices a part of his natural life to rescue the men kept prisoner there and tormented by sadistic experiments with no scientific value whatsoever.

Arriving in Austria, Ivy is horrified to discover that her cover is already blown and Honigbaum lies in waiting for her. He has a sinister agenda of his own and will stop at nothing to eliminate anyone who resists both his sadistically cruel medical research and his repulsive sexual advances. When Brett Flint’s cousin Henry turns up at Ubersneller, Honigbaum locks him up in one of his asylums high up in the mountains to ensure his silence. He has particularly dark designs on Ivy, and is determined that her close friendship with Don will enable him to reach out to his estranged son. Drugged and forced to comply, Ivy is young enough to provide the ageing Honigbaum with everything he wishes. Gerald’s imprisonment ends when Sinistra’s elder sister Hendra returns and the authorities brutally re-establish law and order, but he is no safer with her than with her sibling.

The Review

A truly gripping, intense, and engaging dystopian sci-fi read. The author does a brilliant job of creating a large mythos in this dystopian world rich with a multitude of main and side characters that readers will be able to both loathe and root for. 

Although I had not read the first book in the series, the author writes in a way that allows readers both new and established to be able to delve into this new narrative, as the central characters find themselves split up and fighting brutal battles all on their own. Each finds their path fraught with horrifying trials and monstrous adversaries, all while their own abilities grow and develop over time. 

The story really benefits from a strong character arc for the central protagonists and antagonists. This lengthy read delves into the hardships and struggles each character undertakes in this world divided by class and exposed to horrors unlike anything seen before. In the midst of powers and action, the author really brings about complex characters that readers can identify and support throughout this narrative.

The Verdict

A must-read dystopian sci-fi thriller, author John C. Adams’ “Blackacre Rising” is a fantastic sequel in the Ivy Spires series. Emotionally driven character arcs and action-packed scenes all come together under strong mythology and ends on a cliffhanger that will leave readers wanting more. Be sure to preorder your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

I’m a non-binary author and critic of fantasy and horror.

I review for Schlock! Webzine, the British Fantasy Society and Horror Tree, as well as placing reviews and articles across a wide range of blogs and magazines.

I have a Postgraduate Certificate in Creative Writing from Newcastle University. I’ve been a Contributing Editor for Albedo One Magazine and the Aeon Award since 2016. Before that, I was a Submissions Reader with them.

My debut horror novel, ‘Souls for the Master’, is 99c on Smashwords retailers and 99p on Kindle. Likewise, my debut fantasy novel, ‘Aspatria’, is 99c on Smashwords retailers and 99p on Kindle. The sequel to ‘Aspatria’, ‘Dagmar of the Northlands’, is out now on Kindle and Smashwords retailers.

Although I write mostly long fiction, since 2015 I have had stories published in anthologies from Horrified Press, Lycan Valley Press, Fantasia Divinity and Jersey Pines Ink. My short stories have also been published in the Horror Zine, Swords & Sorcery, Sirens Call, Blood Moon Rising, Lovecraftiana and various other magazines.

Every emerging writer needs plenty of encouragement right at the start, and entering lots of competitions early on made a real difference to my confidence to press on with writing longer fiction and think about submitting short fiction to magazines and anthologies in due course. In 2012, I was longlisted for the International Aeon Award Short Fiction Contest for ‘The Visitors’ and again in 2013 for ‘We Can Finish Your Baby’s Brain For You’. My writing was also recognised by the Enrico Charles Literary Award (runner up in 2012) and by the University of Winchester Writers’ Conference in both 2012 and 2013, including a Commendation in the First Three Pages of a Novel category, and other nominations in poetry and short fiction.

I read PPE at Somerville College, and I am a non-practising solicitor. I live in rural Northumberland, UK, and I combine my career as an author and critic with raising my kids and caring for a severely disabled relative. I’m always busy!

http://johncadams.wix.com/johnadamssf

Twitter: johncadamssf