Tag Archives: science fiction novel

Dusk Upon Elysium by Tamel Wino Review

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

A researcher for a trailblazing VR program hoping to perfect the system gets lost in the darkest recesses of the system itself and must confront his past and the darkness humanity has been plunged into in the real world in author Tamel Wino’s “Dusk Upon Elysium”. 

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The Synopsis

From the award-winning creator of Ékleipsis comes a dystopian narrative of affliction and obsession.

The world as we know it is forever lost. A deadly virus has scourged the planet and ravaged billions. Under the harsh ruling regime, survivors were “cleansed” and confined to isolated units, perpetually tormented by hunger, desolation, and desperation.

Among them is Geoff, a researcher for the trailblazing Paradiso, an authority-regulated virtual-reality program that allows users to momentarily escape their waking lives via implanted chips. He is devoted to perfecting the system—a vessel to preserve future hopes and dreams, where immense worlds prevail, brimming with vast possibilities.

But before long Geoff finds himself thrusted into the darkest recesses of these alternate realities, where he must confront not only his past but persevere against the unknown, fighting for his very existence.

Is all this magnificence just a grandiose illusion? Could there ever be salvation from the living hell into which mankind has plummeted?

The Review

This was a truly engaging novel. The author does an amazing job of capturing the grittiness of this world the author has created. The vivid imagery the author employed here did an excellent job of capturing the rich juxtaposition of the shocking dystopian reality of the real world with the atmospheric and beautiful scenery within Paradiso, bringing this sci-fi epic to life expertly.

The heart of this narrative had to be the dynamic character development and the stellar world-building that the author crafted. The emotional core of Owen’s past meeting the present day and the psychological effect of being so immersed into this virtual world help build upon the mythos of this illness-ravaged world that has left humanity on the brink of extinction and a powerful military keeping the survivors “in check”, mirroring some of our own fears in the heights of the recent global pandemic we all endured.

The Verdict

Thought-provoking, entertaining, and haunting in its delivery, author Tamel Wino’s “Dusk Upon Elysium” is a must-read sci-fi dystopian novel of 2022. A great way to end the year for fans of these genres, the balance the author found between the mind-bending genres and the emotional core of these characters and their arcs made this story truly shine. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Tamel Wino is a horror/thriller short fiction writer from the resplendent British Columbia whose works focus largely on madness and human morality. He attended the University of Western Ontario, majoring in health sciences and psychology which only furthered his interest in human nature.

With inspirations including Alice Munro, Joe Hill, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood and Edgar Allan Poe; Tamel’s expositions are strongly grounded in traditions of dark fiction. Yet, with his bold, evocative narrative voice and incisive plot construction, Wino is paving a new movement within the space.


When he’s not reading or scribbling away on his laptop, Tamel loves listening to jazz, rewatching good ol’ classic movies and travelling.

Augment Nation by Scott Overton Review

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

In a world where mega-corporations begin to conspire together as brain augmentations replace smartphones, a young man who was one of the first to gain such an implant years before it became popular may be humanity’s only hope to raise a rebellion against these corporations in author Scott Overton’s “Augment Nation”.

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The Synopsis

Since the age of fourteen Damon Leiter has had a brain-computer interface implanted beneath his skull to correct a neurological disorder. As a teenager, it branded him as an outcast—as an adult it endows him with extraordinary abilities. He may represent the next step in human evolution.

When computerized brain augments replace smartphones as the must-have status item, mega-corporations and governments conspire together and marketing becomes mind control. Damon is uniquely equipped to lead a worldwide resistance. But Damon can’t be sure he isn’t playing into the hands of the rich and powerful.

They might even be right:

Maybe the real threat to humanity is Damon himself. 

The Review

This was an absolutely captivating,  near-future sci-fi thriller! The author did an incredible job of really layering this world with vivid imagery that brought this near-futuristic world to life. The juxtaposition of the coldness of the corporations and their machinations against the warmth and beauty of the character’s perseverance really highlighted the theme of technology and its influence on humanity overall.

The harmonious way the author brought together the character dynamics with the gripping thriller atmosphere of the narrative. The complex story behind the protagonist and his connections to both sides of this “war” was so enthralling to get lost in, as it really made his arc so much more thought-provoking. The earnestness with which he pursues his goals and the more extensive overarching nature of the antagonists and their goals kept the murky, shadowy nature of the genre alive as the story continued to evolve. Having the protagonist develop a connection with Valerie also gave him a human connection.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, engaging, and adrenaline-fueled, author Scott Overton’s “Augment Nation” is a must-read sci-fi novel. The twists and turns in the narrative and the complex nature of these characters and the mythos of this world the author has created built up the emotionally charged and shocking final chapters and the revelations of this narrative, making this story readers won’t be able to put down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

With a long career as a radio morning show host, Scott’s always had a way with words. But his lifelong devotion to science fiction was destined to lead to a second career as a writer. Although his first novel, the mystery/thriller Dead Air was set in the radio world (and shortlisted for a Northern Lit Award in Ontario, Canada) all of his writing since has taken the reader to even stranger places, including the human bloodstream in his SF novel debut The Primus Labyrinth, a science fiction thriller that readers compare to Michael Crichton and Dan Brown. His most recent novel Naïda chronicles a reluctant hero with an alien being living inside him. Scott strongly believes that science fiction should involve compelling themes and important issues, along with memorable characters.

His short fiction has been published in magazines such as On Spec, AEscifi, Neo-opsis, Penumbra and anthologies including Future Visions 3, Casserole Diplomacy: The On Spec 25th Anniversary Anthology, Canadian Tales of the Fantastic, In Poe’s Shadow, and Tesseracts Sixteen: Parnassus Unbound. Fifteen of his SF/fantasy short stories have been gathered in the collection BEYOND: Stories Beyond Time, Technology, and the Stars. Many more SF novels are on the way. Scott’s distractions from writing include scuba diving, music, and collector cars. He lives with his wife on a private island in Northern Ontario.

http://www.scottoverton.ca/

The Tangled Stars by Edward Willett Review

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

Over a century after the collapse of the network that allowed space-time travel to occur, a thief and conman seeking to escape his debts discovers a possible tunnel that has reawakened and gives him the chance to travel to a new part of the universe in author Edward Willett’s “The Tangled Stars”.

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The Synopsis

This new novel from an Aurora Award-winning author presents a sci-fi caper of high-stakes interstellar travel.

More than a century ago, the network of MASTTs, the space-time tunnels that made interstellar travel possible, violently collapsed, the backlash destroying a lot of the solar system’s space-based infrastructure. Cooper “Coop” Douglas, a thief and conman is in serious debt to outer-system crime-lord Eric Galioto. While trying to salvage a valuable chunk of a space station destroyed by the backlash, Coop makes a startling discovery: MASTT Primus, the tunnel that used to lead to New Earth, is open again. That raises an intriguing possibility: Coop could flee the solar system and his debt to Galioto and make a new life—and possibly fortune—around another star.

Accompanied by his first mate, the wisecracking, AI-uplifted, genetically modified cat Thibauld, Coop sets out to “liberate” the solar system’s only remaining functioning starship from an Earthside museum, enlisting the help of Laysa Grey, a former-lover-turned-cop on Luna. Along the way, he is pursued by Galioto and dogged by law enforcement and thugs.

And beyond MASTT Primus, the tangled stars await . . . 

The Review

This was a fantastic, action-packed, and dynamic reading experience for longtime sci-fi fans. The author did an incredible job of capturing the rich atmosphere that honed in on the heist dynamics that the narrative promises while also hitting the witty charm that great sci-fi thieves who are thrust into the role of a “hero” are known for. The author’s attention to detail on the technical aspects of the laws and physics of this narrative’s space travel and sciences was engaging to get lost in and added to the mythos that the author established early on in this read.

The story found a perfect balance between thoughtful character development and world-building. The dynamics between the protagonist and his allies, including an AI-minded cat, added a human element to the overall narrative, while the multiple POVs between the protagonist and the antagonist gave a well-rounded, three-dimensional view of the characters and their motivations. Yet it was the rich mythology and universe-spanning story that the author brought to life that kept me invested in the book, as its use of imagery brought this story to life perfectly. 

The Verdict

Harrowing, thought-provoking, and highly entertaining, author Edward Willett’s “The Tangled Stars” is a fantastic epic sci-fi novel of 2022. The grand scale of the universe the author has created and the dynamic cast of characters will have readers fully invested in this world, and the cliffhanger ending will have readers clamoring to get their hands on the next saga of this makeshift crew of misfits and heroes. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Edward Willett is an award-winning author of science fiction, fantasy and non-fiction for both children and adults.

Born in Silver City, New Mexico, Willett lived in Bayard, New Mexico and Lubbock and Tulia, Texas, before moving to Weyburn, Saskatchewan with his family when he was eight years old.

He studied journalism at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, then returned to Weyburn as a reporter/photographer for the weekly Weyburn Review, eventually becoming news editor. In 1988 he moved to Regina, Saskatchewan, as communications officer for the Saskatchewan Science Centre, and in 1993 he became a fulltime freelance writer. He still resides in Regina.

Willett is now the author or co-author of more than 60 books, ranging from computer books and other nonfiction titles for both children and adults, to science fiction and fantasy for all ages.

His science fiction novel Marseguro (DAW Books) won the 2009 Aurora Award for best English-language science fiction or fantasy book by a Canadian author. He has also won a Saskatchewan Book Award for his YA fantasy Spirit Singer. He has been shortlisted for the Aurora Award and Saskatchewan Book Awards multiple times.

His most recent novels include Worldshaper and Master of the World, the first two books in his new series Worldshapers, and The Cityborn, a stand-alone science fiction novel from DAW Books; the Masks of Aygrima trilogy, YA/adult crossover novels published by DAW and written as E.C. Blake; the five-book YA fantasy series The Shards of Excalibur, published by Coteau Books; and the stand-alone YA fantasy Flames of Nevyana (Rebelight Publishing). He’s also the author of the Peregrine Rising duology for Bundoran Press (Right to Know and Falcon’s Egg).

Other novels include SF novel Lost in Translation (DAW Books), Terra Insegura (sequel to Marseguro, DAW Books), Magebane (DAW Books, written as Lee Arthur Chane), YA SF novels Andy Nebula: Interstellar Rock Star, Andy Nebula: Double Trouble, and The Chosen; and YA ghost story The Haunted Horn.

Shadowpaw Press recently released his short story collection Paths to the Stars and re-released Spirit Singer, a YA fantasy that won a Saskatchewan Book Award and other awards.

His non-fiction titles run the gamut from science books for children on topics as diverse as Ebola Virus and the Milky Way to local history books like Historic Walks of Regina and Moose Jaw for Red Deer Press, awarded a Municipal Heritage Award by the City of Regina in the education category and A Safe and Prosperous Future: 100 years of engineering and geoscience achievements in Saskatchewan, published by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan (APEGS). He’s also written biographies for children of Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Andy Warhol, Orson Scott Card, J.R.R. Tolkien and the Ayatollah Khomeini.

You can find Ed online at www.edwardwillett.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter @ewillett.

His is represented by literary agent Ethan Ellenberg (www.ethanellenberg.com).

Besides being a writer, Willett is a professional actor and singer who has performed in dozens of plays, musicals and operas in and around Saskatchewan, hosted local television programs, and emceed numerous public events.

He’s married to a telecommunications engineer and has one daughter.

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The Free World War by Matthew William Frend Review

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

An alternative future of enlightened people uses simulations to witness how events in history could have been much different than what we know of history if something had just changed, and in so doing showcase how sacrifice in the face of tyranny is how the age of freedom is truly won in author Matthew William Frend’s “The Free World War”, the first in a planned series.

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The Synopsis

The year is 2265 and Earth is a utopia populated by enlightened and contented people.

During this time virtual reality simulations of past events can be generated using unlimited computing power. One such project stems from the events surrounding a car accident in 1945 involving General George S. Patton. The simulation is used to see what an alternative world would look like without the General, who was killed in the accident.

The simulation shows the utopians our world, where humanity has continued along the same path of destruction it has taken for millennia and the Cold War dominates the latter half of the 20th century.

General Patton understood that communism preached world domination and the U.S.S.R. under Stalin would spread its tyranny throughout the post-war world. He wanted to defeat the Soviets while the time was right. Patton proposed a continuation of the war in Europe and said he could make it look like the Soviets had started it.

The simulation’s revelations reveal that contrary to popular belief, it had taken the sacrifices of a war against tyranny for a perfect world to exist.

The Review

This was such a thought-provoking and engaging alt-history sci-fi novel. The intrigue and volumes of world-building that the author deploys here are truly phenomenal. The attention to detail the author provided when exploring history as a whole brought a nice and smooth cohesion between the historical aspects of the story with the more futuristic, sci-fi elements of the grander story being told. 

Yet as with most alt-history books, the defining aspects of this narrative fell to the rich character dynamics found within its pages and the captivating historical action the narrative found as well. The way both fictional and historical figures came to life on the page and became such a defining force in these simulations added to the depth of information the author managed to fit into such a short amount of pages, making this such a thrilling sci-fi read.

The Verdict

Thought-provoking, action-packed, and entertaining, author Matthew W. Frend’s “The Free World War” is a great first entry into this brand-new series and a must-read sci-fi novel. The twists and turns in the narrative and the exploration in-depth of what the Cold War could have looked like not only brought a cinematic quality to the writing style but allowed for a deeper look into how sacrifice and adversity in the face of hardship are crucial to the advancement of our society as we know it. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Matthew W. Frend has always had a passion for writing fiction. Drawing on his diverse background in information technology and military strategy, he created the Free World War series. He lives by the Benjamin Franklin credo of “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

Following his time in the Australian Army, Matthew spent over twenty years as a computer programmer, and has lived in Australia, USA and Scotland. He has also been involved with equestrian sports at the grass roots level.

https://mwfrendauthor.wixsite.com/author

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Distant Fantasy: The Return (Book One) by Anthony C. Wray Review

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

A soldier in the Iraq war finds himself and his team responsible for the defense of a planet on the other side of a wormhole as the life he once knew begins to bleed into this new reality in author Anthony C. Wray’s “Distant Fantasy: The Return”, the first book in this new sci-fi and fantasy series!

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The Synopsis

One minute, Colonel John Locklear was in an ambush in Iraq, and the next he was home and his entire team was MIA. In his dreams, he’s drawn into another world where past, present, and future are all happening at once. There are high-seas pirates negotiating with sentient robots and people who feed off of nature’s light energy. Natasha is a leader in this other world and she keeps calling John by the name “Zac.” Then, it isn’t a dream anymore and John becomes Zac, accepting that he—and his team—have a role to play in Lunia, the world on the other side of a black hole, the world Zac needs to save.

The Review

The world-building and storytelling in this book are superb. The engaging story and atmosphere the author builds both in our world and the world of Lunia are spectacular to behold, as the imagery the author uses in his writing allowed the reader to feel the wonder and emotions the characters were feeling during the events of the book.

What really stood out to me was the way the author honed in on themes of PTSD in soldiers returning from or back to war, family, and how trauma impacts us all. The backstory of John’s character and how his experiences shape his world and mission as “Zac” are so raw and emotional, and to see this reflected in his teammates added depth to the lore and mythos of this world. Combine that with a beautiful inclusion of Native American culture and language and readers are treated to a one-of-a-kind story.

The Verdict

Captivating, mesmerizing, and impactful, author Anthony C. Wray’s “Distant Fantasy: The Return” is a fantastic entry into a brand new series and a must-read sci-fi and fantasy novel! The twists and turns of the story are enthralling, and the balance of world-building and meaningful storytelling made this one book I couldn’t put down. If you haven’t already be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Anthony Wray’s writing began with stories about other worlds, but a high school writing exercise challenged him to tap into his emotions. He began writing emotional narratives that became psychological thrillers. He now dives into speculative fiction, combining it with psychological thrillers to blend reality and imagination into tales that balance the two worlds.

After military service, Anthony reintegrated into society using imagination to process deep emotion and believes it may present opportunities for those suffering from PTSD. Anthony has a BFA in Creative Writing and lives in Texas where he writes the Distant Fantasy series.

Stay up to date with Anthony at www.anthonycwray.net and on Facebook @AnthonyC.Wray and Twitter @Anthony_C_Wray.

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Inertia by Mark Everglade Review

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

After discovering a conspiracy involving the increased speed of rotation for humanity’s last remaining colonial planet, a woman must seek help from her father, who never knew he had a daughter, and stop the geological effects on their planet before it plunged into darkness forever in author Mark Everglade’s “Inertia”.

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The Synopsis

Gliese 581g is the last remaining colony of the human race, located twenty light years from Earth. The planet was once tidal locked to its sun, with one side draped in darkness and the other half always bright. This changed after a radical group called O.A.K. increased the planet’s rotation to bring daylight cycles to all in the name of equality. All was not well, however, as decades passed, and new generations dealt with continual floods as the newfound sunlight melted the icecaps. Entire neighborhoods went aquatic from rising sea levels.

Soon, the planet was spinning out of control, with sunrises occurring every few hours.

Ash Rivenshear works as a geophysicist at Geosturm, a company contracted by the New Order to monitor the geological crisis. As she investigates the planet’s increasing rotation, she uncovers classified data indicating that someone is intentionally manipulating it to their own ends. An attack on her life is made to cover up the intel. After surviving, she contacts her estranged father for help, Severum Rivenshear. Having no idea he had a daughter, Severum agrees to help, but the tension of his absence throughout her life builds as he works to build a relationship with her.

Ash and her father discover a research lab where Severum uncovers a connection between Geosturm and the Old Guard, a scion of the now defunct Government of Evig Natt led by Eduardo Culptos. The Old Guard seek to restore their power over the hemisphere by accelerating the planet’s rotation at breakneck speed, exacerbating the negative ecological effects, as they convince the public that the planet was better off in darkness. They’re motivated by the wealth they obtained back when light was scarce and commodified, and seek a restoration of their influence. Severum catches glimpse of a scientist being held captive at the lab during his reconnaissance, but he’s forced to back down due to being outnumbered, and unable at the age of sixty-nine to fight efficiently due to his war injuries.

Severum approaches K.O.A., an offshoot of O.A.K., for help at their commune where he obtains equipment, and cybernetic upgrades to offset the effects of aging. Eventually, he learns that most of those effects were in his mind and not actual limitations.

The Review

This was such a thoughtful and captivating sci-fi read. The author does an incredible job of balancing the larger-than-life climate and the geological crisis of this fictional planet with the much more intimate personal crisis between a father and his daughter. The imagery the author conjures up in this book really emphasizes the crisis itself, as the opening pages highlight the damage done to this world with a mixture of flood and trash hitting the protagonist as she makes her way to work. The atmosphere and tension continuously ratchet up as the mixture of atmospheric suspense and action thriller bleed into this epic sci-fi narrative. 

Yet to me, this was a narrative that was only as engaging as it was thanks to the infusion of such a profoundly meaningful character direction for both protagonists. The heartbreak as Ash struggles to connect with her absentee father while Severum tries to be there for the daughter he never knew existed was incredible to read, as it added the human element that sci-fi reads of this caliber need. The themes of family, our own mortality, and how parents are compelled to protect their children are felt so profoundly in this novel.

The Verdict

Harrowing, thought-provoking, and entertaining, author Mark Everglade’s “Inertia” is a brilliant sci-fi novel and a great followup to the author’s book “Hemispheres”. The twists and turns that this narrative takes to mirror the life or death stakes perfectly of this global dilemma, and the personal story of this father and daughter duo will have readers invested until the book’s final pages. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

I was born a simple boy, simpler than the complex people around me. I studied them to reduce all that complexity, becoming more complex myself in the process, but I didn’t so much as gain a sense of myself, as lose my own nature. Today I know myself by what I am not. I blend idea and form, the negative and the positive, the conceptual and the real, as a master spice blender creates a hot curry, grinding and grinding in proper order, always looking for balance between volatile ingredients.

Philosophers say meaning is just consistency and agreement. But I am not consistent. I am not agreeable. I reach out. My arms draw lines extending into space. Everything that extends is composed of smaller parts that also extend. At the end of all that extension there is still more extension. When I reach the end of all I reach for, I will still reach, I will still desire, because I am a fool. But I know that fool is to savant as zero is to one, each meaningless without the other, each undeserving of reverence or criticism. I accept myself, even as this paper pushes back at my pen with equal force, even as the environment pushes back at the force of my thoughts. For I can push much, much harder.

As a child, I loved sci-fi, but felt that many books had no great impact on the world. At the age of 11 I began writing alternate endings to everything from The Legend of Zelda to X-Men episodes, tiny fingers flurrying over an ancient typewriter while blaring Bach on synth. Now I have published 13 short stories in competitive arenas, including one to be published in an anthology alongside cyberpunk legends Cory Doctorow and Walter Jon Williams, and have contracted three novels with traditional-model publishers.

Today I do not create characters. I do not tell stories nor am I an author. I never even outline books; if I knew how it was going to end I wouldn’t want to write it. I create realistic characters with realistic motivations and place them into environments rife with conflict. Then I sit back and watch as the characters come alive, as they tell me their stories. Cut their words and they will bleed. The best books let you escape reality for awhile — the best writing experiences should be the same way. All great art is psychosis.

I hold a Master’s of Science in Sociological Conflict Theory, and my ancestor invented psychology in the 19th century.

I am also a proud contributor to World Cyberpunk Day.

https://www.markeverglade.com/

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Dominion by John L. Ford Review

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

A man frustrated by the arrogance of academia pushes to curate a legacy for himself in the world of physics, and discovers something truly profound in author John L. Ford’s “Dominion”.

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The Synopsis

Where the corrosive power of time failed, Dominion begins. Unable to wear down the chains of grief left in the wake of losing her and stuck in the quagmire of postmortem morosity, Colton is on the verge of hanging his legacy upon the gallery walls of dimmed mediocrity in the museum of unknown history. Then, it happens. A flash of insight, as though spoken from the grave, it becomes the guiding light; one desperately needed to reinvent purpose and meaning. It is so much of what she meant to him shining through, that internal voice from the past, that it strikes him with an idea so profound it could only result in the ensuing research. Is it fiction or reality? Leonardo da Vinci visualized flying machines, and the essential aspects of that ‘fiction’ became fact. And just as the genetics of his ideas evolved into man-made dragonflies and humming birds, Colton Reinholt, a physicist, with a unique mind for synthesis, drafts an idea, too. Borrowed by observation of actual physiological biology, he uses solid state physics to reconstruct a natural paradigm only ever achieved by evolution’s miracle, the human mind. Thus, what emerges in this physical and ethereal journey simply must carry more than mere soupcon of riveting plausibility. So, through accelerating technological forces on the world often charging boldly before compunction, we are compelled by our own evolution to satisfy an unstoppable desire for discovery. What is really meant by the phrase, ‘Artificial Intelligence’? This is what we adventure through experimental exploration into the energy of the mind. What begins as an innocent thought experiment, frolicsome dabbling fuses with technical know-how and its synthesis results in a fantastic gestalt. By bridging disparate scientific disciplines, it ultimately gives rise to a power that may either become benevolent or malevolent. For despite all human conceits, the answer to the question of good versus evil is not one we are capable to define.

The Review

This was a mind-blowing and thought-provoking read. The author does an incredible job of crafting a narrative that felt both complex and engaging, challenging the reader to think beyond the immediate plot and delve into the fascinating theories and structures of the world around us on a whole new level. The imagery and atmosphere the author curated really felt visceral and brought the reader into this world that felt equal parts science fiction and scientific theory.

The complex nature of the themes and narrative itself paired perfectly with the complexity of the characters and their journey, as the reader felt connected to Colton’s experiences and his pursuits while also recognizing the implications his work had on our understanding of the universe and consciousness itself as a whole. The slow-down pacing of the narrative allowed the reader to really connect with the science and theories that the author presented through this plot, making this a one-of-a-kind sci-fi read.

The Verdict

Mesmerizing, engaging, and thoughtful in its approach, author John L. Ford’s “Dominion” is a must-read sci-fi novel. The twists and turns in the narrative and the complexity of both the themes and characters will have readers fully immersed in the story, and the mindful approach to the actual science behind the sci-fi will have readers questioning their understanding of the universe themselves. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

John is deeply fascinated by all that is discovery, with an insatiable lust for turning the corners of life just to see what is there. From his native education and acumen in Meteorology, to the countless hours in free-time spent ogling and exploring sciences such as Geology, Biology, Astronomy, Physics, or the myriad of sub-classical disciplines therein, these pass-times also inspire his unrestrained imagination. An energy for story-telling combined with natural ability for speculation and synthesis, he often postulates on his own, only to find one day that research substantiated his own idea. This ability creates a unique visionary mind, one able to construct science-fiction fantasies that in a lot of ways seem eerily plausible. His belief is: The art of creating the believable, is not in inventing the science that proceeds it; it is using real science of the real world to invent the purposes and devices. This naturally evokes the same wonder and awe in the mind of the reader, who is thus impelled to journey further into the story. It is hoped, leaving them in a state of consternation as to what can plausibly come of this ever modernizing world; and looking toward the futures as a technologically advancing species – we are one that is apparently only limited by our own poor judgment and lack of foresight to serve as our guides. And so we live in an era that is rife with potential for mishap and unintended consequences, from incubating super pathogens, to constructing deep-field astronomy technologies that could one day attract unwanted guests, to artificial technology and war-machines that run amok and prove to possess a will that endemically comes into conflict with the creators’. These are tropes at this point. The novel intrigue is in the human cost in lacking vision, where the ingenuity of creative problem solving gives birth to unique wonders, too often in conflict with the evolution of the same force that created them. He spends a lot of his waking private thoughts in wonder, seeking answers to these very same questions. These are stories John likes to explore, spending time in blogging and sharing on science-related social media, as well as bouncing ideas of his various sphere’s of friends and love ones. These same influences have urged him through the years to put these ideas down in writing, and so we have an author that borrows from the actual, to formulate arresting questions of the ‘what if.’

Warspace by Jay Rodan Review

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

A veteran must enter a virtual world called Warspace to find the woman he loves before her psyche can be lost to the warped reality of the world’s creator in author Jay Rodan’s “Warspace”. 

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The Synopsis

James Ward, a haunted veteran of the Last War, ekes out a living as a wrestler in the flooded remains of Miami, fighting cybernetic human-insect hybrids on rooftops for cash. There, he meets and falls in love with the artist and thief, Ana dos Santos, amid the post-war debris littering the lagoon. Their happiness is short-lived. When Miami is invaded by a fanatical foreign power, Ana refuses to be forced back to a life she has left behind, and downloads her mind into a digital replica of reality, a secretive online war-game environment called Warspace. Vowing to find her, Ward volunteers for Warspace as a soldier, hoping to locate Ana’s psyche before she is lost forever in the simulation. As Ward goes deeper into this mind-bending mirror-world, he learns that it’s begun to behave according to the eccentric whims of its unstable creator, and that finding Ana – already a daunting task – has become a matter of personal, possibly global, survival.

The Review

The author did an incredible job of crafting a futuristic sci-fi noir thriller that will have readers’ hearts pumping from the outset. The imagery and atmosphere the author used in their writing allowed the reader to feel transported to both the dystopian Miami of the “real world” and the Warspace digital setting that brought the chaos and tension the author’s world needed to further the narrative.

The rich character dynamics and world-building the author captured in this narrative felt vibrant and cinematic in its delivery. The emotional connection Ward makes with Ana keeps readers invested in the narrative, and the visceral atmosphere this tech-fueled sci-fi story brings to life highlights the powerful themes of the rise of technology such as the Metaverse that both highlights the infinite possibilities that reality has to offer while also showing the dangers that follow.

The Verdict

Captivating, haunting, and entertaining, author Jay Rodan’s “Warspace” is a must-read sci-fi thriller! The twists and turns the narrative takes and the action-fueled world the characters are thrust into highlight the dangers and enemies lurking within this technological world, and the emotional bond between the protagonists will have readers invested as the final pages leave them breathless and eager for more from this talented author. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jay Rodan is a screenwriter, producer, novelist, and actor. He was born in Durban, South Africa to a Scottish father and South African mother. Their nomadic lifestyle meant he was raised in London, Edinburgh, Vancouver, including a stint in an ashram in India while following a guru. In 2006 he moved to Los Angeles, where he now lives with his wife Kayt Jones and their three daughters. He has appeared in multiple independent films with directors Kasi Lemmons, Franco Zeffirelli, Bernardo Bertolucci, and others. He starred as Marc Anthony in TNT’s Julius Ceasar opposite Christopher Walken, and on ITV’s hit soap Footballer’s Wives opposite Joan Collins. As a writer-producer he has sold TV shows to ABC, AMC, and NBC, and has written feature films for LucasFilm, Filmnation, Thunder Road, and others. He performed an uncredited rewrite of the Ghost in the Shell reboot starring Scarlett Johansson (Universal, 2017). He was nominated by the Writer’s Guild of America in 2013 and 2014 for creating and writing the multi-award-winning web series Lauren. He owns and oversees a production company that has produced extensive commercial work for a wide variety of clients, including the 2019 Webby-nominated Moncler digital campaign featuring Sophia the Robot of Hanson Robotics, the first robot given legal personhood anywhere in the world.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08LHKTBPD/ref=x_gr_w_glide_sin?caller=Goodreads&callerLink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goodreads.com%2Fbook%2Fshow%2F55774496-warspace&tag=x_gr_w_glide_sin-20

The Infinite Frontier: Book Three of The Oberlynn’s Post-Terrestrial Generations by J. Traveler Pelton Review

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

As Earth’s climate threatens to collapse and the Oberlynn family’s next generation looks to settle on Mars and beyond, an old frenemy from the family’s ancient past reemerges in author J. Traveler Pelton’s “The Infinite Frontier”, the third book in The Oberlynn’s Post-Terrestrial Generations series. 

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The Synopsis

The Oberllyns must weather the breaking up of the family network as fully half of the worldwide family decides to immigrate to the Mars colony. While the Oberllyn Think Tank struggles to get the colony on Mars to be safe, independent of outside influence, and self-sufficient, Micah, Kai, and Sir Alex have their hands full trying to stop the imminent collapse of the earth’s climate. They find a most unexpected mind behind it all, an old frenemy of the family. How do you destroy someone who’s been dead 300 years?

The Review

This was a brilliant and incredibly powerful story. The powerful character growth that the author deploys into this narrative is well done, as the reader is treated to some shocking returns and callbacks to earlier books in this saga. The action and suspense do an amazing job of blending with the imagery in the author’s writing to paint an incredibly vivid image of the multiple worlds that this story inhabits. 

Honestly, the story sticks out amongst the rest of this trilogy for many reasons, but the main reason is the author’s use of both sci-fi and historical fiction elements in the narrative. The author shines best when these genres are mashed up, as both the history of this fictional world and real-world history play such a dynamic role in the story. The themes of classism and racism that character interactions between antagonistic characters and members of the Oberlynn family are widely felt, and the shocking inclusion of historical figures and tech made this story so brilliantly written.

The Verdict

Epic, thought-provoking, and engaging, author J. Traveler Pelton’s “The Infinite Frontier” is a haunting and mesmerizing sci-fi and historical fiction read, and the perfect third entry into The Oberlynn’s Post-Terrestrial Generations series. The twists and turns in this narrative, along with the open-ended finale that keeps the idea of expansion and new generations of Oberlynn family members reaching all new heights make this a deeply engrossing and heartfelt read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

J. Traveler Pelton was born in West Virginia in the last century. She lives on a small farm with her husband, alpaca, chickens, Pomeranians, canaries and tolerates T-Bears Siamese cats and parrot Giz. She loves to find out what all her friends are studying. She was the Nation’s Mother for her tribe for several years: she is still wife to Dan after 47 years, mother of six adults, a grandmother of eight, a great-grandma of 1, a Clinically Licensed Independent Social worker, a retired adjunct professor of social work at her local university and an avid reader. She studies science, technology, Biblical studies, and human behavior. She is quick to draw parallels between different fields of thought and weave the ideas into a cohesive ideology that is at once practical, usable, and thoughtful. Her books are the result of blending her life experiences with bureaucracy, studying science and nature, counseling, and faith. She greatly enjoys the intersection of fantasy and possibility and hopes you enjoy it as well. We will see you on the other side of the imagination tree.

Her co-author of the Clan Falconer fantasy series is her grandson T-Bear. T Bear Pelton is a self-proclaimed gamer, a Christian active in his home church, a Native American, a storyteller, and a novice blacksmith. He lives with his grandparents, his Amazon parrot, and four Siamese on a small alpaca farm while working full time and dreaming of times when magic still existed and wishes sometimes actually came true. Enjoy this fantasy with him and for just a little while, suspend daily life for a dream of dragons and wizards, beautiful ladies and knights, magic and faith. Travel then with us to another time, another place, and another dimension. Come to the future, after the War, when tech and magic combine with faith and fear.

Their farm, Springhaven Croft, is home to alpacas, dogs, Siamese cats, canaries, an eclectic group of chickens and an irascible Amazon Parrot named Gizmo. Traveler’s webpage is travelerpelton.com; she also has a FB page called Traveler Pelton. Come visit real soon!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BBKMZXWJ/ref=x_gr_w_glide_sin?caller=Goodreads&callerLink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goodreads.com%2Fbook%2Fshow%2F62212214-the-infinite-frontier&tag=x_gr_w_glide_sin-20