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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A review of Somewhither by John C. Wright

I give this book five stars (on Amazon) only because I'm not allowed to give it ten stars. This book has everything. If you like adventure, you will like this book. If you like horror, you will like this book. If you like fantasy, if you like science fiction, you will like this book. If you like romance, there's even some of that around the 80% mark. There is Wizard of Oz. There is Star Trek. There is mythology, language, physics, theology, and magic. Think of a word, it's probably somewhere in the book. Well, maybe not everything. I don't remember any Aztecs. They'll likely be in the next book.

At any rate, what the book is mostly full of is love: love of goodness, family, home, Earth, freedom, and truth. The main character, Ilya, is so delightful that whenever he thought about his mother (whose disappearance turns out not to be from death) I would think about how I would love to add him to my already adorable set of sons. If you like Odd Thomas, you will like Ilya. Like Odd, Ilya does a lot of thinking, ranging from the mundane to the deep to the hilarious to the bizarre. I laughed a lot. I cringed a lot.

Even thought the novel is crammed with riches, it is not a blob or a mess. All the details are polished and pointed. What the book does not have is an ending. Now I have to wait for the next book. That's irritating in one way, and comforting in another. I will have another chance to read about Ilya.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

a review of Shatterworld, by Denise Ellyson

:Shatterworld is a YA, Faith based, Sci-fi which was a great read outside my normal taste. I’ve not read a lot of YA but I enjoyed it. It was a cross between the 100 TV show and Divergent the movie with a pinch of Exodus. I loved the story of a twelve year old straining at trying to be what her family needs and what she desires. The Faith cult that pushes her to fit into their mold and the way she see God work in her to help save their colony. This is a great faith based read without being preachy. I didn’t feel like the beliefs expressed were to initiate me but to show where the internal struggles came from. I really enjoyed it. If I had any critics its that I want to know more.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Review of Amish Zombies From Space by Kerry Nietz

Kerry Nietz did it again. He took a horror trope and turned in into a science fiction premise that works while simultaneously talking about how people cope with change, community, and family. I did not get the book for free, I paid full price and feel like I got a good deal. In some ways, this is not great literature, in that the writing is not lyrical by any means, which a five star book must usually have for me to rate it so highly, but the story-telling is clear and intelligent. I would have preferred more technical details of how this all works, but Nietz wisely neglected to write a manual to please me, and chose to tell a rollicking tale that at the end made me cry and will please everybody who likes stories of endurance, family, and the big questions of life. I can't look at the cover because it's so icky, but I have grown to trust the author despite his choice of shlocky titles and the occasional unsettling art. This book can be easily read as a stand-alone, though reading the previous Amish Vampires from Space will surely help. There is an indication at the end that there be a sequel to AZfS, and if there is I will buy it. I just hope I won't take so long to get around to it, as I did this, because, you know, zombies, yuck. If you haven't read any of his previous books, such as A Star Curiously Singing, I would like to recommend his other books as well. Do yourself a favor and read at least samples of his novels and see if you would like to go for his rides.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The End on the Kruliss novel

I reached the end of the Kruliss novel on the plane flying home from Florida and the visit with grandchildren there. Yesterday I typed in what I wrote in long hand in the notebook on my lap where I sat next to a window with a view of clouds. I was beginning to feel the Yay! of finishing a book when I remembered I need to insert about ten more flashbacks. And someday I've got to come up with a title for book number nine in the Tales of Talifar series.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Two places you can buy Shatterworld

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Tuning Station by Chris Crawford


There have been plenty of debates between a Christian and an atheist in fiction. But only rarely are both characters as compelling as they are in The Tuning Station, in which we are offered what is arguably the most original approach to this scenario. What if you could have such a debate with a person from whom you could hide very little - because that person is you from a parallel universe? Finding themselves in a mysterious station which allows them to revisit scenes from their lives, the two set about trying to figure out where their lives diverged from one another. What follows is quite literally a journey of self-discovery, as the two iterations discover what they share, what distinguishes them, and what each gained and lost by following the path they did. The story that Crawford tells is deeply moving and powerful, and it works well not just as science fiction, but as a profound and poignant dramatic exploration of religious questions. I highly recommend it. 

Dr. James F. McGrath
Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language & Literature
Department of Philosophy and Religion, Butler University

I went to Amazon to copy my review and paste it here, but my review had disappeared. I liked the book.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Feeling a bit twitterpated

Two days ago I received an email saying Shatterworld will launch on June 23. Trying to figure out how much promotion to do, and thinking I should wait until the book is physically in my hands in case something goes wrong. Finding it hard to finish up the Kruliss novel. I write a sentence, and then think about who I should contact.