Novella

SO… I wrote one a couple years ago and it’s been siting in a figurative drawer collecting metaphorical dust since then because I hated it so much I couldn’t bear to look at it.

Well, I read it through recently, and it’s actually not horrible! Strange how cruel our internal editors can be in the moment… So I’m fixing it up and am going to publish it.

I’m working through it now and hopefully it will be ready in a couple months. The working title is Ghost’s Machine, and it’s a sci fi story about a shape-shifting assassin who is hired to kidnap a strange target. I’ll probably post an excerpt from it here in the coming weeks.

Also, I’m planing to release another story on Kindle, this time it will be one of my rare forays into fantasy! Look forward to a sneak peek at that here soon also.

Time for some editing!

Shadow of the Torturer, by Gene Wolfe

I listened to this recently on Audible, and it was not what I expected.

Though this is marketed as a sci-fi, the setting is really more of a medieval/fantasy type world. The prose is also very dramatic, dark and flowery, which seems more fit to a fantasy novel.

The main character being a torturer who lives in a citadel and wears robes and performs rituals is another example how unusual this is for a sci fi novel.

The world, though, is very interesting. You get little hints here and there about what kind of world it might be, and figure out pretty early on that the ‘ancients’ used to fly between the stars and left behind strange devices none of which anyone understands.

It’s such a perfectly balanced handing out of clues and nuggets that I didn’t even realize how interested I was until the book ended, and my main driver for wanting to read the sequel was not curiosity about what happens to any of the characters, but to learn more about the world.

For anyone squeamish about the title, as I was, there is little actual torture in the book–and what there is is not overly descriptive. There are, though, many dark themes and thoughts on death.

Though some of the descriptions and dialogue seemed over-indulgent, it all added to the unique atmosphere of the book. This one is highly recommended by many, and now I can see it is with good reason. The only issue I had with it is that it ended right in the middle of a scene! So go into it knowing your’re going to have to read three books instead of one. Thankfully they are all available already.

Sci-fi and fantasy fans both will want to give this one a look.

It’s out!

My story In the Water, which I posted a preview of a couple weeks ago, is now available on Kindle! Follow the link here.

You can get it this weekend, starting tomorrow, for the special price of FREE, Saturday and Sunday only. (regularly .99)

Check it out!

Flight of the Silvers

I just finished this novel by Daniel Price, and for the first time since my childhood, I listened to it on audiobook.

I’ve been doing a lot of driving lately, so have picked up an Audible subscription.

This book was very entertaining and gave me lots of ideas to steal. It begins with the end of the world, from which a few people are saved at the last moment, pulled through a portal to an alternate universe. Once there, they all start getting strange, time related powers.

Though the plot was very engaging and the action heart-pounding and the ideas interesting, where this one really nails it is the characters. They are all unique and realistic, in that each of them irritated me in some way. Just the way people in real life do, all the characters had their problems and disagreements and dumb ideas and their own bad sides. The bickering and bantering between them felt genuine, and made them feel all the more like real people. That the narrator had a different accent / cadence / tone for each one of them might have  helped too.

Though I enjoyed this immensely and am waiting eagerly for the next in the series, I did have some problems with the storytelling.

 

SPOILERS AHEAD!

 

A main part of the story-line is the characters’ curiosity about and interactions with Isis and Azrel (not sure if I’m spelling this right, as I said, only had the audio version) these are two god-like characters with seemingly no end to their powers. And… they keep saving the characters. Every time they get in trouble, oh, they are saved just in time by Isis or Azrel. Every time they are about to have to make a hard choice, Isis or Azrel show up and make it for them. They are constantly being hand held or saved by this deus ex machina duo. The author does hide it a bit by having the characters be terrified/angry at the two throughout, but it sort of puts a damper on any danger they get in when presto, Isis appears to save the day. It would have been infinitely more satisfying to just have the damn characters solve a problem for themselves for once. Hopefully this is just due to it being the first book and the characters being sort of lost and floundering in their new world. I  hope in the next books they are more proactive.

 

 

END SPOILERS!

 

Anyway, it was a five star book for sure, and I’d recommend it to anyone. It has drama, believable characters, action, a bit of romance, and a really great sci fi element with a pack of interesting ideas that I’m going to steal for some of my shorts.

Check it out!

Repossession

My story from earlier this year is now free to read on Fireside Fiction website!

Check it out here!