Book Review: Seeds of Calamity by Joseph Dooley

 

The blurb:


Calamity rides on the back of an asteroid...

In 2216, a natural disaster on Mars destroys a remote steelworker settlement, killing thousands.

Four asteroid miners who’ve fallen on hard times go to work for a man they don’t trust.

A Customs agent uncovers a human trafficking ring, but the real crime is more terrible than she could have imagined.


Felton wrangles asteroids for a living. With his brother Levi and shipmates Blake and Castor, he scours the Asteroid Belt for valuable minerals on a space cruiser dubbed the Marillion.

When the Marillion crew lose financial backing, they’re left to fend for themselves in the dog-eat-dog depths of space. They enter an uneasy partnership with the smuggler Keegan, who’s delivering sensitive cargo for a secretive client.

Joined by Customs agent Greta Holtz, they descend on Mars, where men’s unchecked ambition violently collides with the power of an alien lifeform. Tossed about by forces far greater than himself, it’s all Felton can do to survive, let alone avert a calamity that threatens everything he holds dear...

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Joseph Dooley has crafted a smart, hard sci-fi space thriller that put me constantly in mind of a film adaptation. The twists are constant, predictability is low, and the suspense drives the plot harder than an asteroid miner’s drill.


Plot:


I had the distinct sense of being trapped in a tin can spaceship with our heroes, only loosely aware of events outside the long, tense journey toward supposed safety. This suspense and feeling of being cut off came in large part from the plot being mostly unpredictable, especially if you forgot parts of the synopsis while digging into the book…


It’s easy to believe that Felton and crew will make it to each of their momentary goals, and a true surprise when obstacles and villains crop up to hinder them.


It was also really satisfying to read a competent bit of hard SF after having been immersed in lots of fantasy and other genres for quite a while.


Character:


Every member of the crew, and most of our side characters, are unique and memorable, with clear voices and understandable motives. It’s almost too easy to root for Felton, with his adventurer’s heart and blatant disregard for authority, even that of his own brother. Even when his decisions land him and others in trouble, we can’t help but cheer for him to get a win and keep being himself.


The villains are believably villainous, their deeds touching on issues pertinent to our current society. 


The only character that left me wanting was Regan, the young steelworker girl featured in the story’s prologue. It wasn’t because she was poorly done - quite the contrary - but instead because of our attachment and investment in her safety after discovering her fate.


Because of the tight Felton-POV we weren’t able to spend as much ‘screen time’ with the pitiable orphan girl as I’d have liked. But I have a penchant for pitiable orphans so…


In any case that’s a function of the plot and structure, and had to be as it was.




Craft:


The prose is solid and visceral, with a clear understanding of the hard sci-fi elements that exceeds my own. I like that in fiction because I can learn and experience new things while also having fun.


This is also one of the better-edited indie books I’ve read, from development and structure down to individual lines.


If I could ask for anything more from this author, it would be a little more shades of purple prose - tastefully done of course - here and there. It’s not dry by any means, but I had the sense that he could pull off more ‘beauty’ and would like to see it. Naturally this is just a notion of my personal taste, so your mileage may vary.


Critique:


A few of my comments above could also fall under this heading, which as always is based on my own tastes and current experience. 


I beat my brain with a spanner to find something else to say in this vein… but nothing comes.


This is a solid book with constant suspense and wonderful payoffs, nestled in the gritty hull of a spaceship just barely holding off the cold death of space. Read it!


Book Review: Nightland Racer by Fenton Wood

 

The blurb:

Reynard "The Fox" Douglas is an outlaw racecar driver who despises the government that jailed him, drafted him, and seized his money.

He's also the only man who can pilot an experimental nuclear-powered supercar into the Zone, a realm of mists and monsters where nobody gets out alive.

The Zone is expanding...and eventually it will engulf the entire world. At the heart of the Zone is a singularity, a portal into other times and other places.

Transported into the distant future of Earth, Douglas has to fight his way across a landscape of alien cultures and bizarre life forms, in search of an ancient superweapon that can stop a sentient black hole from devouring the Earth.

Inspired by William Hope Hodgson's classic THE NIGHT LAND (1912), NIGHTLAND RACER is an exciting and inventive tale, using Fenton Wood's trademark combination of mythology and hard SF.

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Very much an Idea story, Nightland Racer is a journey into the bizarre unknown that manages at once to be adventurous, full of action, and deeply philosophical. You've likely never read a book like this.

It harkens back to an older style of story in many ways, shaking off modern mores while remaining accessible to modern readers.

Plot:

The atompunk style setup introduces us to an 80s/90s-esque 'roped back into it' protagonist - the Racer - who ends up embracing his role at the center of the government's secret mission - to infiltrate the Nightland (at that point called the Zone) and destroy the anomaly at its heart.

Now a typical 90s movie plot would have this play out straightforward, with any twists likely being of a personal nature. Instead, the author repeatedly takes us to the edge of the unknown, then plunges deeper.

Without spoiling anything, I'll say that the path forward is graced by characters, factions, creatures and events that you've probably never imagined, but may once have dreamed. Intentionally and admittedly riding the line between hard sci-fi and gonzo future dreamscape, Wood draws us from the beginning to an end you'd never guess but your heart will certainly recognize.

Character:

The protagonist and his supporting cast are simple enough people on the surface, with subtly deep backstories to undergird their skills and motivations. The primary appeal in Wood's characters lies in their willingness to be epic. 

Whenever something unimaginable or impossible is required to move forward, they try their best to perform, and this makes them likeable. We are along for their ride in much the same way we follow Frodo and Sam, or one of Conan's more unusual adventures. 

While the Racer himself is not the character I imagined from Wood's descriptions of the book when it was a work in progress, I ended up liking him just for what he was - a man underprepared and yet pressed into saving the world.

Craft:

The writing is excellent, at times evoking a classic, slightly pulpy style (see the author's inspiration in the blurb). Wood conjures vivid depictions of the strange, wondrous, and occasionally horrific with good polish and poetic flourish in the places it belongs. 

The structure is right on point for this kind of story - introducing us to all the major elements before leveraging everything to support the finale. It's not exactly standard and while some readers may feel the formula they're used to being bent, for me it's a welcome departure from the norm. That's not to say it's any kind of experimental thing - those not tuned into structure much likely won't notice, in part due to the quick pace and modest page count.

I had heard prior to reading this that Wood knows what he's doing, and this book proved it.

Critique:

These are not things that could rightfully be called detractors but only bits and bobs that poked my sensibilities.

All the characters at times swing into detailed exposition about the history and fate of the Nightland. It's not particularly natural and yet I would say it's the best way that the book's necessary details be communicated. There is one character in particular whose author-given gift is nearly complete knowledge of the world, which both educates the reader and provides the Racer potential solutions to his problems. This creates a slightly rough texture to the story for me, but ensures that the full vision of the story sees light.

I probably would have banged my head against a wall trying to figure out how to exposit smoother and may very well have failed, but this gets the job done, and does it efficiently. It's all so dense, juicy and interesting enough that most readers may not mind or notice this technical or maybe stylistic choice.

There's really nothing else to say in this section because I simply loved the book.

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If you're thirsty for something epic and strange that will stick with you for days or weeks and beyond (distant future anyone?), with deep ideas, rich lore and a clear sense of joy and amusement in its skeleton, Nightland Racer is your next read.

Book Review: Chalk by N.R. LaPoint

 


The blurb:


Catholic schoolgirl Raven Mistcreek has no memory. Her family is missing, her home is gone, and she is being hunted by monsters. Why do demonic forces want her dead?Is her family still alive? And why do her chalk drawings become real? Across the Qualitative Continuum, levels of reality are sinking lower. A colossal terror lies sleeping. Waiting.


-----------------

This book is an entertaining mix of whimsy and horror that both channels and goes beyond its apparent influences. It’s like a Catholic anime version of Alice and Wonderland, with the benefit of the dreamlike, insane lower realities making sense in the story’s context rather than coming off as purely nonsensical for the sake of it.


Plot:

A descent into the mysteries of Raven’s extraordinarily odd situation, weaving intuition and mysterious memory hexes to push Raven deeper into trouble. We ride a wave of increasing familiarity with the world and events right alongside Raven, culminating in an intense and satisfying finale that makes great use of all the elements established during Raven’s descent.


I appreciated that the plot felt concise and direct, and I think this book very much benefitted from its length, where another author could have easily tried to extend it by cramming in every crazy riff on the faery and horror elements they could think of.


Character:

Raven comes off as a manic pixie type, with the welcome differentiation that she’s pure-hearted. This actually figures into the plot as well, and may even be a cheeky justification for the encoding of her plot armor into an in-story object. I won’t spoil what that is.

Quick note on the notion of plot armor - I don’t say this pejoratively. All main characters have plot armor - selling it is the author’s job.

Raven is funny, energetic, and heroic - everything needed for a fun romp through hell.

The supporting cast is likewise enjoyable and every character is distinct. The image of a floating, gentlemanly cuttlefish is especially sticky in my brain. 

The banter between Raven and her fox-maiden friend goes a long way toward characterizing each of them and bringing levity to the horrific setting. I’ll have a short note on that banter in Critique.


Craft:

The writing is good and the overall structure works perfectly at this length, as I’ve already mentioned. There are moments of great prose in describing beauties and horrors, which is exactly where I feel an author should go a little purple.

I didn’t see anything awkward or lackluster, which I think speaks to the book's efficiency again.

If I was to pick Mr. LaPoint’s greatest writing strength besides active imagination, I’d choose the dialog. It’s witty and amusing, again bringing light into the story’s darkness.


Critique:

Once again I find myself satisfied with the author’s art and there’s nothing huge I could nitpick to my own tastes.

If anything I might say the bantering tangents in conversations, especially between Raven and Kasumi, occasionally went on a few lines too long, simply because I wanted to get back to the unravelling intrigue of the evil plot ahead. I sometimes use that kind of humor myself, and so I did appreciate it for what it was.


This was a very enjoyable book, my favorite element of which was the pitting of goodness, humor and light against evil in all its banal horrors. Get yourself a copy today!


Giveaway! A very merry unBirthday to you!

New release - $1.99!
$Free
$Free
$Free

Enjoy this very generous unBirthday gift!

All I ask is that you consider grabbing a copy of Life City, and make sure to leave a review of any books you read!



But act fast - the sale's only running today!
 

New Release - Life City, a novella


I've been really excited about this one and I hope you all enjoy it too.

The blurb:

THE LAMB LIFTED THEM UP...

...BUT THE BEAST WANTS TO TEAR THEM DOWN.

The uplifted animals of Life City are used to destructive alien incursions from above. Everyone knows how to fight back.

Heroic rock band Magikrash makes a living playing music and fighting invaders, but there are some threats they may not be prepared for...

When a new and disturbing trend pops up in Life City, punk singer Saqi and her bear bassist Barley must discover how to save their brainwashed friends, and the city.

Vibes of classic Saturday Morning cartoons, punk rock and metal, synthwave, and fast-paced adventure combine for an uplifting read with the Lamb at its heart.

--------------------

I was in between working on a space opera series and sequels to CTP and HBTS when this idea popped into my head. I'll do another post or video about it if anyone seems interested in the story (I think it's interesting), but ultimately I'd call this my first fully CF (Christian fiction) piece.

It is not what you'd normally find on the CF shelf.

But it's fun, accessible, and a quick read! Get your copy today.

More Hero's Metal is coming up next!


Book Review: The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin by L. Jagi Lamplighter

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The Blurb:

Roanoke Academy for the Sorcerous Arts – A magic school like no other!

Nestled amidst the beauty of New York’s Hudson Highlands and hidden from the eyes of the Unwary, Roanoke Academy is a place of magic and wonder. It offers everything a young sorceress could desire—enchantments, flying brooms, and the promise of new friendships.

On her first day of school, Rachel Griffin discovers her perfect memory gives her an unexpected advantage. With it, she can see through the spell sorcerers use to hide their secrets. Very soon, she discovers that there is a far-vaster secret world hiding from the Wise, precisely the same way that the magical folk hide from the mundane folk.

When someone tries to kill a fellow student, she investigates. Rushing forward where others fear to tread, Rachel bravely faces wraiths, embarrassing magical pranks, mysterious older boys, a Raven that brings the doom of worlds, and at least one fire-breathing teacher.

Described by fans as: “Lovecraft meets Narnia at Hogwarts”, The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin is a tale of wonder and danger, romance and heartbreak, and, most of all, of magic and of a girl who refuses to be daunted.

Curiosity may kill a cat, but nothing stops Rachel Griffin!

______________
The first, delightful installment in Rachel's series of academy misadventures.
There are some fairly obvious surface comparisons to certain other magical student novels that can be made with this story but I assure you, they do not go deep enough to describe what you're really getting.

Plot:
The novel is tight, a spaghetti bowl of plots and subplots that all come together for a satisfying conclusion, with just enough loose threads to draw us into the next episode. 
Every elements serves a function here, with no words wasted, drawing a wider world around Rachel that will be expanded upon in the following books.
There's action, drama, suspense, and even elements of horror. And even in spots where the action slows down for conversations and Rachel's thought life (it is primarily targeted at teen girls after all), there's always some riddle at the fore and something new to figure out, which of course is the young sorceress's forte.

Character:
Rachel herself is certainly competent in multiple areas, but she is no paragon or Mary Sue. She struggles with everything a teen girl should, even one who's used to generally being obedient. All of her weaknesses are attacked and her strengths are put to the test.
Through every scene, Rachel's general goodness, and her curiosity, carry us through to the next big beat.
There are a lot, and I mean a lot of other characters. It makes perfect sense that through Rachel's eyes we see and learn details about each of them, even if they don't have huge parts to play in the main plot. It's a school, there's a lot of people!
In some stories the huge supporting cast could tax the memory, but everyone is drawn with a strong silhouette and Lamplighter does an excellent job of using Rachel's perfect memory to jog our own wherever it's needed.
As could probably be expected from a male reading the story, my favorite character is the 'dragon slaying' orphan Siegfried, with his unflappable nature, reckless courage, and cute dragon familiar.

Craft:
Other authors (including mainstream ones) wish their books were written this strong. The plot structure worked out perfectly, with an extended action set piece to bring all the clues and surprises together. I found nothing out of place and everything to taste. The editing was clean and thorough. 
More importantly, Lamplighter is simply talented. There's whimsy where it's needed and seriousness where it's called for. The voice of Rachel's POV is strong, pulling us deep into her head for the duration.

Critique:
If I nitpicked, maybe I could possibly find something to critique, but likely it would have to do more with my personal taste and position outside the demographic for this novel than any technical issues. It's a very good book.
In a saner world, Lamplighter would have a shelf in every Barnes and Noble and fans of hers and the Hairy Porter would be duking it out in online forums to bestow the ultimate title of Best Magical Academy Series. Jagi would have my vote.

Get your copy at Silver Empire today!

Serial novel now available on Kindle Vella!

 I just couldn't resist jumping in the pool on the ground floor of this bandwagon...

Aw come on, you know it makes sense.

Anyway, check out my latest, Children of Asha, in Kindle Vella now!


I tag this one as academy, survival, sci-fantasy, slightly dystopian (you'll see) and melancholy (at least compared to my other novels so far).

What's it about?

Rattan, like all second-born children of the nation of Asha, must report to a military academy/finishing school for training before serving the country in her tour of duty. She's always assumed, as most of us do, that the people in charge have her best interests at heart. Spoiler alert: they don't.

I sincerely tried to do something different with this one and I hope you enjoy it, along with the rest of Vella!

Asha is fully written and thus I'll update it every day until all 24 episodes are out. Check it out, and a thousand thanks should you deign to drop a fave on it.

Book Review: Unmasked by Kai Wai Cheah

 

Unmasked, Song of Karma Book 2, Heroes Unleashed Book 7, By Kai Wai Cheah & Thomas Plutarch

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The blurb:

If you take the king’s shilling, you do the king’s killing.

Problems are stacking up for former police officer Adam Song. His court case for killing a drug lord’s son in the line of duty approaches, and it feels like all of Chinatown…and superherodom… are on trial too. The city is a powder keg, and Adam might just be the fire that sets it off.

He has to keep his head low and pay his bills until the entire circus is over. An old spook friend from his military days has a tempting offer for him, but Adam isn’t sure he wants to go back to that life. Government favors come with strings, and Adam is tired of being a puppet.

When his old friend, the abbot of Bright Moon Temple, is threatened from abroad, Adam takes the job to defend him. He needs the money even if the temple can only pay half the normal rate.

What should have been a simple bodyguard job spirals out of control. Even more bodies stack up on Adam’s watch, each one feeding the coals of anger in Halo City.

Can Adam save the Abbot and keep Halo City from burning itself to the ground? And do it all without calling in a favor that will turn him into a shady black-ops weapon?

And who is the shadowy supervillian from Serenity City fanning the flames? Read Unmasked today to find out!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is our second outing with Adam Song, aka Amp, in a tense and tightly plotted story with thriller and procedural elements. He’s a no-nonsense kind of hero, willing to use maximum force to defend the innocent, much like the Punisher, but without a hint of the Marvel hero’s anger and possible psychopathy.

Plot:

As you can see from the blurb, and if you’ve read book one, Unmasked comes fully armed with multiple sources of tension, primarily the threat of Adam’s conviction for excessive force. Movement from one plot point to the next is smooth and efficient, no time wasted.

If a scene’s not action packed, it’s setting up a mystery. If not mystery, then intrigue, and just as an answer is revealed, Adam is forced to lay the smack down on his foes. Truly engaging and enjoyable.

Character:

Adam himself is developed further from book one, as his nearly supernatural focus and patience are stress-tested intensely. 

Side characters are distinct and get their jobs done. Foremost among them is Adam’s abbot friend, who gets developed further from our brief interactions with him in book one. I really enjoyed this one, especially the interplay between his religious beliefs, martial practice and Prime power (unlimited stamina).

My second favorite side hero was Bloodhound, whose special powers you can perhaps guess from his name. We don’t necessarily go too deep with him, but he was still fun to have around.

Craft:

Cheah’s got good chops. If you follow him on his blog or Twitter, you know the man writes like a beast, and it shows. Keywords for his prose could be lean, efficient, yet detailed (where it counts).

In particular he’s got an aptitude for fight sequences, so if you enjoy getting really crunch with the punches and bullets, this is the author for you.

Critique:

Cheah’s writing often comes off slightly dry to me, apart from occasional bits of humor. And yet the author’s voice feels strong, pointed, direct and not wasteful of words. I never feel the temptation to skip or skim, because the things he’s describing matter to the story and the characters.

If I could wish for anything more from Cheah’s prose it would be a slight loosening, allowing a little more humor through onto the page. My brain always places him on my Neal Stephenson shelf, so that may account for this opinion to some degree.

No matter what he does next I’m happy to follow this author through his next million words and see what comes about!


Don't settle for Perpetual Disappointment

It's E3 time - an avalanche of trailers and teasers and a weird mix of forced and real excitement while tubers and commentators drum up their content.

If you've spared any moments to watch the livestreams or breakdowns, you've probably seen and felt the primary vibe - disappointment.

We've heard a lot about games no one asked for, remakes most people never craved (but will still probably buy) and various games we've known were coming, sometimes for years. See Starfield and Halo: Infinite. All in all, few surprises.

And as has been the case for the last couple of years with E3 especially, people are looking to Nintendo for redemption of the event (later today).

Now there are various reasons a slowdown in the release of AAA games could be expected in the last year, and I'm certain I don't need to expound upon these. But I think it's also obvious that the rollout of truly new and innovative games has long since slowed compared to, say, the 16-bit golden age. In fact we have an example from the current batch of announcements, in Starfield, which is being specifically marketed as 'the first new Bethesda IP in 25 years'. 

Catch that - the lack of new Bethesda IP isn't just a point of trivia, it's a selling point!

I'm not here today to analyze all this or harp on it and wallow in my own disappointments (if in fact that was how I felt). No, my little quest is to draw you away from investment in the notion of new, new, new from people who aren't terribly interested in providing it.

Don't settle for the perpetual disappointment.

How, you may ask.

Well there are a few ways, and most of them have to do with adjusting our own attitudes.

Do I really need hundreds or thousands of hours worth of new games in any given year? Or is that time better spent on my writing? [Insert your creative or other endeavors here] 

Do I really want partially finished games released just to satisfy my jonesing for newness? See Cyberpunk 2077 as an example of this. I loved the game and got my money's worth out of it. In fact I think it's the best city in any game I've ever played. But there's no denying the game didn't live up to its potential, and may very well have already missed its chance to make up for that.

Not only does that system of hard release dates set us up for disappointment and result in the abuse of workers, it also feeds into the bad capitalism of game devs intentionally holding back content to sell as DLC, resulting in incomplete games sold as complete. More disappointment.

Do I really need a new game from that particular IP? Halo, Star Wars, Elder Scrolls, whatever. Am I so attached to that IP that only a game in that world, with that set of gameplay mechanics can satisfy me? Of course not! But it's easy to get wrapped up in the brand we like best. There is a slew of indie games to dive into as well, many of them taking risks that AAAs never would.

Obviously my answer to the questions above has become, 'no'. What then? I have all this free time (not really hahahahahah... *laughter trails off...*) and it needs to be full of something.

Pardon me for a moment as I run the risk of sounding like a conservative scold. Don't think I only find value in 'real hobbies' or that I believe 'fun' is a waste of time or 'childish'. Do what you want and accept the consequences. Learn and repeat. It's a little different for each of us.

But games aren't all we have. Get outside. Exercise. Make something with your hands. Play with your kids. Take your wife out on more dates. All of these things, if habitual, will not only fill up your time but introduce variety that makes your game time all the more enjoyable.

I recently picked up Resident Evil 8 after not having played much since Cyberpunk in December. It felt great! I'd gotten a new GPU before Cyberpunk and was pleasantly surprised at the graphical difference between RE8 and the last AAA game I'd played before the upgrade. (Cyberpunk looks good but it's nowhere near RE8's level)

What did I do with free time in the interim? Reading, writing, a little bit of music. And connecting to my next point, some hobbyist game dev of my own.

And that's where I want to end today's message. Just like writing or music or art, if there's a game you want to play and it doesn't exist, make it! Now I realize that's a tall order if what you like is big budget AAA with photorealistic visuals and complicated scripted level events. But, all of the elements of those games are things you can learn to do in engines like Unity or (my personal favorite) Unreal. You could have a low-poly, personalized version of Halo prototyped in a hundred hours or so. For the amount of time you've probably spent on Skyrim, Oblivion, or Morrowind, you could have something much deeper and more complete.

Not to say that's the solution for everyone, just an example. If games have been disappointing you lately, walk away for a bit and spend your time on something else. They'll be there when you return, and you'll find, much like abstaining from soda or donuts for a time, they taste even better after a break and detox, or at least with some variety mixed in.

Take your experience into your own hands, don't let the big publishers dictate how you enjoy the hobby. Don't pay them for incomplete products, and don't think that you are only capable of consuming when God made us all to be creative in one way or another.


As a novelty for you on this fine day, here's a link to the last video in which I and my bros celebrated E3 by mixing the clips with original music (by me). Oddly enough many of the games I mentioned are involved, and there's a clear message in the proceedings that our remix (inadvertently?) pulled out. Enjoy!



And finally, have a good book!


Travel to another dimension and battle the minions of a mad posthuman!


Updates



The year continues the trend of not adhering to the plans I specifically set for it. How dare it do this to me!

But seriously, while most things are on track, they are running slower than I'd anticipated, mostly for personal reasons. So, for those interested, here is the state of things. 

Children of Asha is a sci-fi fantasy novel that starts in a military academy.

I wanted to have it out by this month, but in reviewing it myself when I sent it off to a beta reader, I discovered some broad changes I want to make, specifically concerning the characters. I'm waiting for a reader to be done so I can assess their critique too, and then will commence with the adjustments. The cover is ready, so as soon as the manuscript feels right to me, I'll get this one out!

I'd enjoyed rapid progress on the furry, punky, Christian novella Life City until my freelance queues got out of control. I've been on a slow down for a few weeks but I anticipate things speeding back up again soon. 

This little story has been really fun, and I was intrigued by the way it insinuated itself into my schedule and demanded attention. So much for plans! I recently got the art for the cover, betraying myself by buying original art rather than using stock stuff as I'd considered. The wallet hurts a little but it's pretty to look at. I'm excited to share the cover when I'm happy with the typography.

After that I've planned a deep dive into Out of the Deep, sequel to How Black the Sky. It's long since drafted but needs a good hard look so I can make sure it's doing everything it needed to. I'm still surprised by how much different it was to write something unrestrained and sometimes gonzo on command, rather than just letting it flow like the first book. It's got a lot of fun to live up to!

Beyond that, one installment of my planned space fantasy trilogy is written and waits on editing. I had planned to finish that tril during the summer, but the advent of Kindle Vella has me revisiting my schedule. I've got some ideas for that I'll cover below.

Besides my cyberpunk, archaeological adventure, and a few other stories begging to be written/finished, I want desperately to dig into Arc Legacy 2, currently titled Song of the City, so that I and those interested can find out what happens next with Jon, Bahabe and Dahm. 

On Kindle Vella:

I'm actually thinking of releasing Children of Asha in this format. I'll leave it up long enough to gauge interest, and when it seems to have run its course I'll take it off Vella and publish to Kindle.

I would also like to prepare one of two litRPG concepts I have in mind to release to Vella, but I very much want them to be complete so I don't have to worry about weekly deadlines.

What do you, dear reader, want to see from me on Vella? I'd love some comments!

All in all it's a lot to be working on, enough to be full time were I able to do so. If anyone out there is waiting on something in particular, I thank you and I pray patience! It will all manifest in due time, hopefully sooner than later.

Book Review: Somewhither by John. C. Wright




From the description on silverempire.com:

All Ilya Muromets wanted to do was save the girl. Maybe Penny would get his name right as he swooped in to rescue her from her mad scientist father’s machine. And then they’d get married and live happily ever after.

Armed with only a squirrel gun and a samurai sword, he manages to fall into another world entirely. Alone.

Without saving Penny.

Ilya is captured and brought to the Dark Tower. A place where every man knows all the failures and successes of his life. A place where every man knows the day he will die. Everything the Stars have written will happen the way they proclaim.

Ilya’s only way out is to swear fealty to the dark lord. An action the Stars claim he cannot avoid. They want his recently discovered power for their own, and they’re willing to torture Penny to make him submit.

But Ilya doesn’t believe in the destiny the Stars give him. He’ll make his own, even if he dies doing it.

And in the highest heights and deepest depths of the dark tower, Ilya must discover who he really is.

Science Fiction Grandmaster John C. Wright leads readers through a break-neck coming of age story as Ilya rushes to rescue the girl and save the world. His trademark imaginative world and over-the-top action will delight fans of his work.

Will Ilya find Penny in time to rescue her?

And can they escape the Dark Tower when the Stars know their every move?

The Mythos Project, or Conservative Retellings

  With the rise of big tech censorship and open calls to silence voices that do not agree with the zeitgeist, I’ve been slowly coming to a p...