Science Fiction

Spiderworld

Spiderworld
Publisher:
Published: June 15, 2015
Author's Twitter: @RichardBunning
Not even the time-lord, Orlando Oversight, knows everything. But speculation can turn into a real future, and the Lush Star system, where spider-like beings treat humans as we do animals, isn't so very far in the future. Do Jack Baker, the self-styled 'Spartacus', and his followers have a chance to become more than meat and slaves? Will Athalie have the life she hopes for with her hero? And will the 'spider' Boklung hold his business together while funding and organising the Arcraft's voyage across the Milky Way? Spiderworld is another of Richard Bunning’s quirky, speculative, science fictions. Other sentient life forms are out there, planning their own strategies for survival. Other sentient species also run short of space and time.

The Awesome Indies Seal of Excellence for Outstanding Independent Literature has been awarded to Spiderworld by Richard Bunning! Read a brand new review of Spiderworld below!

In Spiderworld, a quirky sci-fi novel by Richard Bunning, Orlando Oversight, a time-lord, space historian, and adventurer, using Bunning as a vehicle, tells us of a future that is yet to happen. In Orlando’s version of the future, Earth has been invaded by an octopedal species, the Aranian ungolian, who have transported most of the planet’s humans to their home planet as slaves—and a food supply.

Through the author, Orlando tells how an escaped breeding yeng, which is the Aranian word for the human slaves, Jack Baker, manages to maintain his freedom against the physically superior spiders. Central to the story is Bokung, an Aranian slave breeder, who is maneuvering to get a special project launched, a project that has the potential to change the destinies of homo sapien and octoped alike.

The author does a masterful job of describing an eerie alien environment in which humans must struggle against aliens and each other. As fanciful as it is, it also paints a fairly accurate picture of what happens when a relatively unsophisticated race encounters a technologically advanced group.

Spiderworld has a bit of everything: religion, slavery, romance, greed, and advanced technology, along with the interpersonal and social dynamics that exists between different groups. Despite some gory descriptions of Aranian eating habits, it also has a touch of humor, so you have here a story that should appeal to a broad range of reading tastes. That’s shorthand for, you’ll like this book.

 

 

The Light Of Reason

The Light Of Reason
Published: November 26, 2016
Author's Twitter: @davidlitwack
A new grand vicar, known as the usurper, has taken over the keep and is using its knowledge to reinforce his hold on power. Despite their good intentions, the seekers find themselves leading an army, and for the first time in a millennium, their world experiences the horror of war. But the keepmasters’ science is no match for the dreamers, leaving Orah and Nathaniel their cruelest choice—face bloody defeat and the death of their enlightenment, or use the genius of the dreamers to tread the slippery slope back to the darkness.

Assessed 

5 Stars

The Light of Reason is the third book in David Litwack’s The Seekers series, (The Children of Darkness and The Stuff of Stars being the first two) and it continues the series’ trend of well-written, dystopian science fiction with wonderfully-developed characters and a unique mood.

We re-join our heroes, Orah and Nathaniel, as they return from their adventure across the ocean. The childhood friends immediately notice that their home is not how they left it. They learn that the Vicars have broken the truce and are rallying against technology and The Keep, threatening the stability and viability of their homeland. With Orah and Nathaniel having just returned from the realm of the Technos and the Greenies with machines and hoping to broker an alliance, they find their plans substantially set back. With an old friend missing and some new friends in tow, Orah and Nathaniel set out to once again set things right in their homeland and to (hopefully) bring an end to the darkness once and for all. Twists and turns abound in this dramatic third act, and without giving away too much, the ending will more than satisfy long-time fans of the series.

The dark mood from the first books returns, and while the protagonists’ victories are at-times short-lived, they never become uninteresting or demoralizing. The characters that are developed throughout these three novels live in a melancholy world, but ultimately persevere despite it. The depth of characterization, the beautiful phrasing & word choices and the dramatic action mix together to form a truly unforgettable experience. The pacing is appropriate and the author handles action and dialogue with skilled precision. The conflicts of man vs. man and man vs. machine are well developed, and the dichotomy of values ascribed to technology and the lack thereof from the first two books remains intact.

This is another fantastic book from David Litwack and is a tremendous addition to an already amazing series. The Light Of Reason is easily a 5-Star read.

 

 

Once Humans

Once Humans
Category:
Publisher:
Published: January 17, 2014
Author's Twitter: @Massim0Marin1
The rebirth of the race of man is closely watched, and the Selected, the transgenic humans created by the Moîrai, guide and care for the wellbeing of the remaining humans in their various Communities around the planet. Peace and security are suddenly shattered with acts of sabotage disrupting the fragile equilibrium of the growing society. Betrayal, fear, and a cosmic conspiracy risk sending the planet to the brink of self-destruction. Will Dan Amenta be able to come to terms with the logic of alien minds? Who is behind the sabotage and why? Death and blind violence walk in the secret alleys and in the depths of the planet, from the coldest lands to the bottom of the oceans; someone is at work with an evil agenda dictated by greed and lust for power. Ancient aliens, a galactic struggle, the control of a unique resource, meld to dictate the fate of humankind.

Assessed by Awesome Indies

February 20, 2017

4 Stars

Once Humans is worthy of Awesome Indies approval. The plot involves surprising revelations, double crosses and unexpected events which make for a good story, and the character of Dan grows as the book progresses. Though I found Marino’s style of leaving a lot unsaid unsatisfying – whole scenes sometimes appear to be missing from the story – the book has enough action and interest in the plot to make up for the short fall. There are a few cumbersome sentences and some copy errors but not enough to be of real concern.  4 stars.

 

 

 

 

 

The 12 Nights of Jeremy Sunson

The 12 Nights of Jeremy Sunson
Category:
Author:
Published: September 1, 2016
Author's Twitter: @MHSnowy_Dreamer
Hidden inside the most unlikely person can be the most extraordinary hero ... Jeremy Sunson is surrounded by crazy. Mrs Abercrombie, upstairs, is widowed because her husband glued feathers to his arms, jumped off the building and tried to fly. His neighbour, Strykland, has gone mad since his wife died in a freak car accident--his only thread to reality the doomsday machine he's building and his daughter ... and, of course, spacemen invade Jeremy's living room. Every night, in glorious Technicolour, there's a battle royal between two high-tech assassins who continually blast Jeremy's apartment to shreds. Each man has one mission: Red wants to kill Jeremy, Bronze wants to save him! Though his therapist insists he's just having bad dreams--Jeremy knows better. It's time to fight. He's sick and tired of being sick, scared and tired! Armed with rare confidence and a baseball bat, this night, Jeremy fights like the crazy man he isn't! But how can he ever imagine when he's won the battle, the war is only just beginning ... over and over and over again? The 12 Nights of Jeremy Sunson--ride a wave of laughter, fun, and sci-fi fantasy all the way to Armageddon!

Assessed by Awesome Indies

4 Stars

In The 12 Nights of Jeremy Sunson, MH Snowy takes the reader on a cross-temporal rollercoaster ride through the first adventures of an unlikely hero and his many extra-dimensional counterparts, The Jeres, who are tasked with saving the worlds of the multiverse and hunting down powerful assassins through the back alleys of the time space continuum. There is a lot going on here, and while the work itself isn’t very long, the author does a good job of keeping the reader laughing and engaged while moving the sci-fi action elements forward at a breakneck pace. If you’re looking for a quick, light-hearted, science fiction drama with human elements as well as the highest stakes imaginable, the end of the world, The 12 Nights of Jeremy Sunson might be perfect for you.

The book is well written and well edited, and while it is a short work, it sets the stage for many future stories. It’s hard to not give away too much of the plot, but the crux of this first outting is that the titular Jeremy Sunson and the many versions of him from the many extra-dimensional Earths work together in certain adventurous capacities to protect life as we know it. The history of a “new” Jeremy is established in this first book, giving the reader all of the necessary exposition while also providing a glimpse of the greater machinations going on behind the scenes. The universe here is truly limitless, as there are infinite timelines, infinite dimensions and near-infinite Jeres to go around. While being broad in scope, the author takes time to humanize even the secondary characters, particularly a brilliant father, whose hubris and eccentricity might unintentionally unmake existence as we know it – and his daughter, who provides a momentary change of pace for a story that is otherwise mostly full-throttle from beginning to end.

The 12 Nights of Jeremy Sunson makes for a fun, quick read that fans of pulp science fiction tales will really enjoy. 4 stars.

The Misadventures of Martin Hathaway

The Misadventures of Martin Hathaway
Published: December 20, 2016
Author's Twitter: @KathrynCGlen
In this lighthearted adventure, hapless history teacher Martin Hathaway falls through Space and Time to land upon Airship Captain Daisy Fitzgerald McNamara’s coffee table and into the middle of an adventure larger than he could ever dream.   In the first installment of the Misadventures Trilogy, hapless history teacher Martin Hathaway falls through Space and Time to land upon Airship Captain Daisy Fitzgerald McNamara’s coffee table and into the middle of an adventure larger than he could ever dream. Martin Hathaway awakens to discover that he is the center of a battle between the Free People of the Lost Valley and the Clockwork Men of Anatamenwar. Together with the eccentric crew of the A.S. Nephthys, Martin must explore the world of Arnica to discover his origins and ultimate destiny, all while reminding himself not to fall in love with the beautiful but deadly Captain McNamara. His journey is a lighthearted, humorous romp through time-honored fantasy conventions, proving that nothing, drama included, should be taken too seriously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow Is A Long Time

Tomorrow Is A Long Time
Author:
Published: November 23, 2014
Author's Twitter: @TabithaVohn
Tomorrow Is A Long Time is an intertwining of two stories, both exploring the boundaries of romantic love and the consequences of pushing those boundaries. It tests preconceived notions of age, fidelity, and sacrifices made for love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Stuff of Stars

The Stuff of Stars
Published: November 28, 2015
Author's Twitter: @davidlitwack
Book two of The Seekers dystopian trilogy. Against all odds, Orah and Nathaniel have found the keep and revealed the truth about the darkness, initiating what they hoped would be a new age of enlightenment. But the people were more set in their ways than anticipated, and a faction of vicars whispered in their ears, urging a return to traditional ways. Desperate to keep their movement alive, the two cross the ocean to seek the descendants of the keepmasters’ kin. Those they find on the distant shore are both more and less advanced than expected. The seekers become caught between two sides, and face the challenge of bringing them together to make a better world. The prize: a chance to bring home miracles and a more promising future for their people. But if they fail this time, they risk not a stoning but being lost in a never-ending dream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rarity from the Hollow

Rarity from the Hollow
Category:
Published: June 16, 2012
Author's Twitter: @roberteggleton1
Lacy Dawn's father relives the Gulf War, her mother's teeth are rotting out,and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in the hollow is hard. She has one advantage -- an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It's up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn't mind saving the universe, but her family and friends come first. Will Lacy's predisposition, education, and magic be enough for her to save the Universe, Earth, and, most importantly, protect her own family? Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy,comedy and satire. It is a children's story for adults, not for the prudish, faint of heart, or easily offended.

Awesome Indies Reviews  

December 1, 2015

 
Lacy Dawn Hickman is a young girl who lives in an isolated community in the Hollow. She is part of a dysfunctional family; Jenny, a mother who has sacrificed her dreams for her family, and Duane, a father suffering from combat-related PTSD. Lacy’s only friend, Faith, was killed by her abusive father, and her spirit now inhabits trees and rocks around Lacy’s house; trees by the way, that Lacy can communicate with. As you might have surmised at this point, Lacy Dawn is a ‘special’ child. She not only talks to trees, but she communicates with her dog, and has a guardian, a naked alien known only as DotCom, whose mission is to guard and guide Lacy to her destiny—saving the universe.

Rarity From the Hollow by Robert Eggleton is a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, only instead of the earth being destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass, Lacy Dawn must save DotCom’s home planet from in infestation of sentient roaches. At the same time, she must cure her dysfunctional family so that she and her mother no longer have to suffer Duane’s switchings, and no more girls like Faith are bludgeoned to death.

The author has managed to do what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse, and written about them with tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them. In fact, the rustic humor and often graphic language employed by Lacy Dawn and her compatriots only serve to highlight their desperate lives, and their essential toughness and resilience.

From the simplistic, almost primitive, art of the cover, to the rough education of the protagonists, Eggleton sucks you into the Hollow, dunks you in the creek, rolls you in the mud, and splays you in the sun to dry off. Tucked between the folds of humor are some profound observations on human nature and modern society that you have to read to appreciate.

There are only a few things to mar an otherwise perfect book. A few places where words are omitted, the fact that characters’ thoughts are not highlighted, and having every character in the Hollow using the term ‘mommy’ rather than the expected ‘ma,’ which was a bit jarring in the early chapters, but by the halfway point was funny. Other than the five or six cases of missing words or typos, it’s a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.

 

 

 

Cold Angel Days

Cold Angel Days
Series:
Publisher:
Published: January 18, 2014
Author's Twitter: @Clive_SJohnson
Prescinda's dilemma: to weigh her sister's lover against the fate of the realm An ages-old poem gives rise to the Cold Angel and a threat to the realm's future. Can Prescinda save it when doing so threatens her sister’s only love? The ancient engers knew it as a theoretical entity, one so remotely implausible that the idea only survived in an obscure verse. How could an ages-old poem give rise to the reality of the days of the Cold Angel, days that threaten the realm’s very future? And why does a woman’s determination to do right by her sister put her at the heart of a mystery, one that threatens to destroy the only love that sister has ever known? Someone’s lost memories lead her to a strange meeting with a man in an even stranger tower, one that pricked star holes in the sky until but a few days before. What of it now, though, and its keeper’s determination to put things right at all costs? How is she to deal with the painful dilemma he draws her towards – when she’s asked to weigh the love of her sister against a duty to save the realm?

June 25, 2013

Rich language in a different kind of fantasy

Cold Angel Days is set in the world of Johnson’s Dica series, a series I haven’t read, so I figured there would be things about the world that I wouldn’t understand, and there were, but nothing that stopped me enjoying the book or understanding the story. The relationship of Leiyatel, a kind of formless goddess figure, to the world of Dica appears to be a subtle one that would take reading the other books in the series to truly understand. Here it’s a bit of mystery. I think it’s a good introduction to the series actually, because it makes you curious to find out more.

As for the story; it’s very different. It’s a traditional fantasy but without a single sword or other weapon and without a single battle. There isn’t even a bad guy, and yet, Mr. Johnson kept me reading. After a journey to a tower, Falmead, loses himself. It’s as of he’s forgotten who he is, and he draws away from Geran, the woman he loved so adoringly at the beginning of the book.  Geran’s sister Prescinda decides to sort out the problem for her dear upset sister, and so begins a journey to get Falmead back to his old self.

It seems that he has become possessed by a Cold Angel whose very presence threatens the stability of Leiyatel who holds the world together somehow. Nephril, an old friend of Falmead, who the poor man no longer recognises, has dire predictions for Falmead, but events conspire to provide a more amiable solution.

The most noteworthy thing about this book is the beautiful prose. Cold Angel is written in a  richly poetic old style English, a delight to read, but probably an acquired taste. It’s the kind of book you can amble through, without wanting to speed,  just rolling the words around in your mouth and enjoying their flavour. The read is  somewhat akin to a very rich desert.

Falmead remains a shadowy figure and I didn’t feel that I got to know Geran very well, but Prescinda is the star of the book and is well fleshed out. I did enjoy Grog too. The book is well paced, but not dramatic, more like a steady journey, and comes to a satisfying and somewhat surprising conclusion.

The world of Dica is worth visiting just for the scenery, tall towers, castles, steep slopes and huge walls and of course, the usual kind of villages you see in any traditional fantasy – except that there are some basic mechanical vehicles, ones that come across as rather clunky, bad tempered and somewhat amusing.

I would recommend this to anyone who loves beautiful prose, a rich imagination and a story free of battles. I particularly enjoyed the mystical quality of the book and the descriptions of the inside of the tower. Somehow, Mr Johnson has created a solid world with an ethereal underbelly, a unique and magical world.