Tag Archives: science fiction books

Glowgems For Profit by Bruce C. Davis

Review: Book One of “The Profit Logbook” is a type of science fiction novel for lovers of hard or classic space sci-fi in the sense that it has a “hero” or central character, who is presented with difficulties he needs to overcome with plenty of complications in the process and a hint of romance all set against the background of space. Danger, double-crossing, shoot-outs, lots of action, tech, and in this case, tech of the kind that’s not overly complicated with extensive descriptions.

I had the strong feeling this was an author who absolutely loved the genre themself. They were not just writing for an audience. They were writing a story they had completely imagined then wished to share with others. It was curious, but I felt respect from the author for me as a reader, that I would know some things about space flight and space without him having to explain it to the most minute detail. That kept the story flowing, and the pace enjoyable.

Personally, Zack Mbele wouldn’t be listed as a favorite character type of mine, in his position I just felt he would have been somewhat tougher at times, but it’s the first in the series so there’s certainly room for character development and expansion so a reader like myself could more readily empathize.  Reading “Glowgems For Profit” was like watching a really good sci-fi movie that half way through, you already know you want to see it again. An excellent choice for lovers of the genre.

Description: “The first in the new science fiction series, The Profit Logbook, by award winning author, Bruce Davis.

Zack Mbele, captain of the independent freighter Profit, needs cash fast. There’s a loan payment due on the ship, not to mention a bogus Customs duty imposed by a crooked official. They’ll seize his ship if he doesn’t pay up and he has few prospects. So, when an old friend calls with a lead on a job, Zack isn’t too picky about obeying the letter of the law. All he has to do is smuggle someone out of Highpoint, a huge space station orbiting between the Earth and the Moon.

But it’s not all that easy, as a beautiful assassin and the Red Dragons gang complicate things. Suddenly Zack is involved in a maze of double-cross and murder as he races the Dragons and a shadowy paramilitary army for the greatest prize of all.”

  • Published: October 5, 2011
  • Publisher: AKW Books
  • Available at the AKW website and Amazon.
  • Source: Publisher

Author Bio:

Award-winning author, Bruce C. Davis, is a general and trauma surgeon in the Phoenix area. After fourteen years in the Navy, including duty on Guam and with the Marines, he settled in Mesa, Arizona. Writing has been a passion that he has pursued for many years. He has had short stories appear in several electronic and small press magazines.

That Which is Human is his first novel which won an award as the best new eBook of 2009. When not working or writing, he has been known to try his hand at woodworking, sailing, and computer gaming (World of Warcraft was once a serious addiction).

Bruce’s Website
Facebook: Bruce C Davis

My review of  That Which Is Human.

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Vallar by Cindy Borgne

Review: Sentence structure and grammar could have been clearer, as some descriptions were difficult to determine and seemed rather odd to me, along with areas of the dialogue. Possibly this is also a first person POV issue, which is increasingly become a mode I’m exasperated by, as too often when not used as expansively as possible, it lends a one-dimensional quality to the work. Repetitive phrasing of the main character’s thoughts also exacerbated this feeling.

Since the main character is a sixteen year old, perhaps that’s whyI found the details to be limited in depth or of a kind I found difficult to visualize. Characterization tended towards “types.” For example, you have Ian, young, misused, sensitive and longing after girl he saw in a vision, in contrast to Beacon, the evil abuser and callous leader of Marscorp. The secondary character Nate was more believeable and likeable when compared to Ian.

I wanted to believe, I wanted to be excited, I wanted to like Ian and empathize with him, but the delivery just didn’t provide it for me. I felt there were a lot of good ideas in Vallar, and the planetscape of Mars is definitely a exotic territory I enjoy being explored in science fiction, but I felt editing and characterization issues held this book back from what it could have been.

Description: Ian Connors struggles to save the girl of his dreams and escape the corruption surrounding him – otherwise there is no future for either of them. He must take charge of his life or he will remain a pawn and forever separated from those he loves.

The story takes place in the future about a hundred years after the people of Earth decided to abandon the colonies of Mars. This happened due to Earth’s population problems and a dwindling of their own resources. Over time, the scientific colonies evolved into military factions. The leaders of Marscorp believe that by conquering smaller organizations they will be able to gain enough power to force their way back to Earth. They seek to use Ian for his psychic ability in order to complete their mission.
Published: April 14, 2011

Vallar is available at Amazon in Kindle format and paperback.
It’s also at Smashwords in several e-formats.

An extended free preview is available at the author’s website: http://www.cindyborgne.com/(less)

Source: Author

Author Bio:

 

Cindy Borgne lives in Michigan with her two kids and one stubborn, yet somehow lovable basset hound. She has written mostly science fiction, but is considering branching out into fantasy and historical. Cindy likes to read a wide variety of books. Her favorites include Orson Scott Card, Frank Herbert, Connie Willis, Julia Cameron and Wilbur Smith.

Her stories are character driven and somewhat fast paced. Readers may notice that her characters evolve throughout her stories. Prior to Vallar being published, Cindy has participated extensively for years in many critique groups. She also has a novelette out called “TransShifter” published by Melange books. In 2006, she won an honorable mention for short fiction from Writer’s Digest. Her short story “ThunderSnow” was chosen as an editor’s pick at Eloquent Stories. Cindy also participates in a book review site called “Good Book Alert”.

Currently, she is working on the sequel to “Vallar”

http://www.cindyborgne.com/

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Globe Hurler by Robinson Mason

Review: The story of “Globe Hurler” is engaging, and the settings and landscapes are very imaginative and realized as the author presented a strong vision of their world creation, Hadanum. It’s fairly fast moving, action packed and detailed as we follow Balon, a young watchware searching for his exiled father sensing that the self-serving and overbearing judgements of the hierarchs wrongly sent him and others away to their likely deaths.

The hierarchs supposedly guard the tribe of Jana people by regulating all aspects of their lives including marriage and procreation, but they have a secret they are struggling to contain, which if revealed, will tear the fabric of their society apart and end their rule. Balon and his friends are the very ones trying to find out what mystery their leaders are hiding so the people can be free to love, live and survive as they can.

I did have some issues with the characterization, as I always like to find someone I can really believe in and root for. Sometimes I felt that for Balon, but other times his errors and outbursts, like his friends, were so exasperating, I felt they deserved the punishment they received. The characters felt more like some modern day young adults in their aims and occasionally petulant behaviors than survivors who’d grown up on a harsh planet and should have instinctively developed certain skills of survival, both social and environment.

Overall, I thought Globe Hurler was a good sci-fi/fantasy read, as it combines elements of both, though I thought the prologue and epilogue could simply have been included in the main narrative for they were part of the story anyway. It ended in such a way, by giving the reason for the title later in the book and introducing a certain character, suggesting it might have a sequel, which I would be quite interested to read, if so. Quite ambitious in a good way, Globe Hurler is a worthy read.

Description: On the savage planet of Hadanum, the last reengineered remnants of humanity struggle for survival. Thallsen, home to the Jana, is surrounded by massive megas, organisms that cover the land and sea, hosts to smaller, but no less terrible creatures.

The Jana have relied on ancient machines from Dead Earth to protect themselves for generations, but their dependence is about to be tested. In search of his father, Watchware Balon has instead found something that will send the Jana hurtling into a conflict for which they are not prepared. On a journey that takes him far from the security of home, he will discover that his people can and must find the strength within themselves to throw off the shackles of their past, or be wiped out forever.

Published: April 3, 2011

ISBN13: 2940011273872

Source: Author

Available at Smashwords, Amazon Kindle, Sony EReader StoreDiesel,

and in print at Blurb.com.

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A Disruptive Invention by Peter W. Shackle

Review: “A Disruptive Invention” is what might be called “serious” science fiction as obviously the author is well knowledgeable about his topic and this is evidenced throughout by lengthy passages of technical details or one character imparting paragraphs of information. I did find the many secondary characters introduced with extended background information rather distracting, especially in that I had a greater interest in the settings themselves.

I looked forward to the views of Redstone Arsenal for example, as I used to live and work there with a certain level of security clearance. Some statistics seemed a little off regarding Alabama and its population (but only someone who’s lived there might know), but there were other items I knew well, such as the munition testing that sounds periodically and the Biergarten café. I personally know the family that owned and managed, for they are long-time friends of mine.

“A Disruptive Invention” had a great story premise and I found it intriguing from the very first and the author imparted great enthusiasm in his work, but the descriptive attempts at interpersonal behaviors, skills and/or relationships between characters were sometimes a little too stereotypically “geeky” or genderized for me. For example, the woman on the John’s team, Judy seemed to be thinking about men all the time and/or how she looked or having a relationship. When this occurred in the narrative or dialogue, it “stuttered” the story for me, but never stopped my forward motion because of the strength of the central plot.

Those looking for a strong sci-fi story with lots of detail and historical background included would find “A Disruptive Invention” of interest. It really makes you think about what would happen to the world if such technology became widely available.

Description: John Sykes, an inventive young engineer, accidentally discovers the long predicted “Fifth Force” of physics, which allows levitation against gravity. Follow his encounters with the world of venture capital, the patent office, foreign spies and the air force as he forms a company to make a UFO like vehicle that could reshape the global balance of power. John’s adventures take him from his home in Long Beach CA, to the security of the Redstone Arsenal in AL and then on to the ultra secret Area 51. Experience the mystery when the first mission shows that they are not alone in space!

Publication Date:  17 January 2011

Publisher: Peter W. Shackle via Smashwords

Genre: Science Fiction

Format: Ebook and Kindle

Purchase Link/Excerpt

Source: Author

Author Bio:

Peter W. Shackle is a professional engineer and inventor living in Palos Verdes California. He has a Ph.D. in physics from Trinity College, Cambridge in the UK. A life senior member of the IEEE, he has authored 53 United States patents.

Website: http://adisruptiveinvention.com

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