#BlogTour #Review The Lights of Time by Paul Ian Cross @tyrannopaulus @rararesources

Today I’m excited to bring you my review of The Lights of Time and a fantastic giveaway to win a signed copy of the novel and a kindle (UK only. See bottom of post for more details). First a little about the book:

The Lights of Time - eBook cover - High Res

Title: The Lights of Time by Paul Ian Cross

Date Published: 27th November 2018

Genre: Middle Grade Science Fiction

Description:

Engella Rhys is alone, adrift and on the run. Pursued by a secret agency, known only as the Hunters, she must stay ahead to stay alive.

As she travels through space-time using dangerously experimental technology, she only has one wish: to be reunited with her lost parents. After a close shave with a Hunter on the streets of New Shanghai, Engella escapes to find herself on a deserted beach. When she meets a kind stranger, who offers her food and shelter, Engella feels safe and protected for the first time in years.

But who is this woman? And why did their paths cross at the most convenient of times?

Engella soon discovers their lives are intertwined in more ways than she could ever imagine.

Purchase Link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lights-Time-Chronicles-Engella-Rhys-ebook/dp/B07KCZ3GGG

https://www.amazon.com/Lights-Time-Chronicles-Engella-Rhys-ebook/dp/B07KCZ3GGG

Review:

Engella has been on the run from Hunters since she was eight years old, travelling through space and time. The only thing she wants is to find her parents, the only clue is a cryptic message left by her father.

After a particularly close call Engella ends up on the Isle of Skye in Scotland back in 1998. See meets a woman by the name of Annys who offers her a safe place for the night.

After another close call she and Annys find themselves on the run. Who is this woman and how does she know so much?

Now there was a little confusion on what category this book was, is it Middle Grade or Young Adult? For me it was definitely within the Middle Grade age range which I have to be honest I don’t usually read this type of book but I’m glad I took a chance on it!

What a rip roaring Sci-fi adventure this was! Not only do you travel through time but across the world from Scotland to the US even to Asia!

I really could see this being turned into a children’s animated adventure series or film.

Engella and Annys are a really good, strong female characters, something I always felt was missing in fiction I read as a child. Engella has been through so much but she’s still got a kind heart and tries her best to help people. I liked the little mystery surrounding Annys but boy when you find out who she really is…well you’ll just have to read it to find out yourself!

I also liked Eric, a teenager obsessed with the paranormal who sees lights in the sky, which he thinks are aliens but instead accidentally stumbles across Engella and the Hunters.

The Sci-fi aspect was well done, new technology was explained well without being over complicated or confusing even for someone like me who never really got the hang of science at school.

I did feel there were a few plot holes but with a character travelling through time, it’s probably quite hard to keep track of everything.

Overall The Lights of Time is a fast paced, fun, sci-fi adventure perfect for science fiction lovers of all ages.

The Lights of Time Full Tour Banner

About The Author –

Paul Ian Cross is a multi-award-winning children’s author and scientist from London, UK.

Paul works in clinical research (developing new medicines) and he’s also involved in sciencePaul Ian Cross communication; presenting science to non-scientists. He enjoys his science career but he also has a real passion for writing stories! He likes introducing children to the wonders of science, especially reluctant readers. By introducing science creatively, he aims to spark their interest; allowing them to gain confidence with their reading. As a previous reluctant reader himself, he understands how hard it can be. But it’s all about making reading fun and interesting!

Paul’s nephew Hayden influenced his decision to become a writer. He loved seeing Hayden’s reaction when his sister Michelle first read one of Paul’s stories to him!

In his spare time, Paul likes to visit new and exciting places. One of his favourite places is Scotland, especially the Isle of Skye.

Paul’s debut picture book, Praxx and the Ringing Robot, won second prize in the ‘Picture Books 5 and Younger’ category at the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards 2017. The book trailer also won first place in the ‘book trailer’ category at the Royal Dragonfly Book Awards later that year.

Paul’s second book, Planet Scrabbage and the Vegerons, won an honourable mention in both the ‘Picture Books 6 and Over’ and ‘Health’ categories at the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards 2018.

And that brings us to now… Paul is currently working on several new books. Paul’s debut upper middle grade novel will be published in 2018. The Lights of Time is the first novel in a brand-new series: The Chronicles of Engella Rhys.

Paul hopes you enjoy reading his stories as much as he enjoyed writing them!

Social Media Links –

http://www.pauliancross.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pauliancrossauthor

https://www.instagram.com/pauliancross.author/

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pauliancross/

https://www.youtube.com/pauliancrossauthor

https://twitter.com/tyrannopaulus

Giveaway – Win a Kindle HD Fire 7” and a signed copy of The Lights of Time (UK Only)

The Lights of Time - Giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Click the link to enter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494168/?

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#BookSpotlight Q&A Universe: Awakening by D. Ellis Overttun #Scifi

Today I’m excited to bring you a Q&A with author D. Ellis Overttun. Originally David contacted me over a year ago to review Universe: Awakening but decided it need more work, now I’m here with an interview to celebrate the re-publishing. Without further ado, a little about the book:

Title: Universe: Awakening by D. Ellis Overttun

Date Re-Published: 7th October 2018

Genre: Science Fiction

Description:

The year — 526,780. A probe is deployed from ISV Intrepid at the outer edge of the universe. It is the last of a complement of twelve that is part of the Deep Exploration of Uncharted Space or DEUS. Its mission: collect data on the redshift of light and spatial distortions. Time horizon: 1,000 years.

Before ISV Intrepid can return to base, something goes wrong. There is an accident. The ship is later salvaged but its pilot is missing, its copilot in a coma.

The probes collect their data with uneventful regularity.

Fast forward to 526,880. A sole surviving probe still sits in the darkness at the outer edge of the universe. Now, unseen to the naked eye, the space around the probe begins to stretch and distend. Then, the probe disappears, engulfed by an energy of unknown origin and unknown composition. However, it manages to transmit one final message.

CD3C has monitored the disappearance of each probe over the last three years. While the interpretation of the data remains a mystery, speculation is that something has invaded the universe and is moving a superluminal velocity. Its effects could be manifested in as little as the next thousand years. To the Celesti, this is one lifetime.

What can be done?

The one person who might be able to solve this problem is the copilot of ISV Intrepid. He has been lying in stasis suffering from mental trauma. He has been this way for the past century, the longest recorded case in medical history. His unchanging condition has been a convenient solution to stall any inquiry into the accident that put him there.

This threat changes everything. Now, he is needed.

Is it possible to unlock his mind?

The task falls to Auberon, a career nobody inhabiting the lower level of the hierarchy of the Ministry of Science. Can something be awakened in him to allow someone ordinary do something extraordinary?

Universe: Awakening answers this question. In the process, it explores the world of the Celesti, a highly evolved humanoid species with advanced technology, physiology and a unique way of procreation. It blends science and political intrigue to reveal the interplay of storyline and character development that forms the staging ground for the Terra Nova Series.

universe a

Q&A with David Ellis Overttun

Can you tell me a little bit about Universe: Awakening?

Universe (Book 1) is a story about how people react to bad news: in this case, the end of the universe. Just like the threats to our own planet, there are those who accept the threat, the deniers and those who think we still have time. It draws attention to the premise that in many cases facts don’t matter. It is narrative consistency that counts and that generally means we do tomorrow what we did today.

Notwithstanding, what holds this and any story together are the relationships among its characters. One theme is how friendships are formed from adversity. Another is how self interest affects our interactions. Finally, there is love: the love between parent and child, the beginnings of love and how love endures over time.

This is the second edition of the book. Essentially, it is a major rewrite of the first third of the original version because of constructive comments I received from reviewers who noted there was more tell than show. My bad — I have a background in technical writing and can be somewhat pedantic. (Book 2, Genesis: Vision of the New World, cured me of that affliction.) So, I ripped out those sections and replaced it with dialogue to emphasize character development and relationships.

Also, LJ, you were the one who told me in a very nice way the original cover was blah. So, I let my wife do this one.

Where did the inspiration for your book come from?

I have always been struck by the difference between religion and science, between faith and fact. Oddly enough, this has translated into two enduring interests of mine: biblical scholarship and physics. Full disclosure: These are only interests. I have absolutely no skill in either area. I do not speak or read Greek, Hebrew or any of the other languages that might help give me direct access to an ancient text. (I am still trying to master English.) I also do not have the requisite math skills to even begin to investigate physics. However, I am very good at arithmetic.

The result is a sci-fi series with Judeo-Christian themes. The references are everywhere. For example: the names of some of the characters (“el” means “god”), Guardians that can form wings and fly, auras (aka halos), the mark of Cain, etc. What it is not is an opinion about science and religion or the importance of one over the other.

If you could describe your book in one sentence what would it be?

Sci-fi sprinkled with the Old Testament.

What is a typical writing day like for you?

I only have a very general direction of where the story is going, that I have to end up in a certain place. In that sense, I’m very much like the reader waiting to see what comes next. It’s the thing that gets me excited.

I write like a songwriter. They will typically start out with a riff and see where it leads. I do the same. I have a premise for the day’s segment but I look for that opening riff. Ideas come to me just before I fall asleep at night or when I’m just about to wake in the morning. I try to empty my head ASAP. Once the ideas are “on paper”, I go back and refine later in the day. The next morning, the process repeats itself.

When I am in writing mode, I write somewhere between 1,500 and 2,500 words a day. So, it takes me about 2 months to get to a first draft. Then, the real work begins: editing, copyediting and getting rid of stupid stuff.

If you could recommend just one book to read what would it be and why?

Without hesitation, if I could only recommend just one book to read (and not one of mine in shameless self promotion), it would have to be Antifragile by Nassim Taleb. For me, it has crystalized my view of risk and how to deal with it. I am not just talking about financial risk. I am also talking about the kinds of risk you see in the TV series The Science of Stupid. I have found that people only become aware of risk when bad things happen. Antifragile defines and describes risk in a way that has influenced the way that I view the world.

Who are your favourite authors?

I mostly read things that my wife gives me for Christmas which tends to focus on interesting perspectives (eg. The Upside of Down or An Illustrated Short History of Progress). Having said that, my favorite author has to be Nassim Taleb. I love the irreverent way he describes how the world works and admonishes the powers that be. Next on my list would be Niall Ferguson for the unique way he sees things.

Tell me something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!)

I played piano in some bars around town one year to help put myself through university. Talent wise, I was and am just below a mediocre musician — cover your ears on my worst day and you can listen to maybe one song on my best. However, that background has helped me to pen the lyrics to 3 songs in Universe:“Girl-Wind”, an untitled piece and “Wanderer”.

Author Bio:

I grew up in a town in the Midwest, my mother was a bookkeeper for a small HVAC company and my father was a draftsman. At university, I studied chemistry. However, when I graduated, I did not (or could not) pursue that vocation because I was terrible in the lab.

I have been a storyteller ever since I can remember. It started as a way to get out of trouble and evolved as a way to entertain those around me. My first recollection of writing prose was in elementary school when I had to write a short essay about a picture from a magazine. (Mine was a freshly baked loaf of bread.) In grade 7, I penned two short stories for a school writing competition. One was entitled “My Funny Cousin”, a descriptive piece about a relative (a little older than me) who stayed with us one summer. My mother very quickly killed that story. At the time, it didn’t make sense to me because she told me she thought it was very funny. It was only later that I figured out that I could have replaced “Funny” with “Flamboyant” in the title. So, it was back to the drawing board. My second attempt was a collection of anecdotes about the life of my maternal grandfather titled “The Hilarious Things My Grandfather Did”. That one went on to win.

My first complete novel was a story about a soldier of fortune in the age of horse and bow. At the time, I had contact with people in the entertainment business in California. The feedback I got was that I should take one of the chapters and expand it into a novel. That made no sense to me. What the heck did that mean? How could you expand something so small into something big? So, I never pursued it. However, the comment stuck with me. It was only much later that I figured out that it meant that I should never rush the telling of a story.

This brings us to the present and the Terra Nova Series. (Book 2 has just been published and Book 3 is in progress.) I write for an audience of one: my wife. She loves the stories. Now, all I have to do is get 99,999 more like her and I’ll have a hit!

You Can Buy A Copy of Universe: Awakening here:

United Kingdom: http://amzn.eu/d/8oJJRzd

United States: http://a.co/d/dVj3Yrb

Oceania: http://dld.bz/hdy42

Canada: http://a.co/d/3QJnsrT

France: http://amzn.eu/d/dvDHJUC

Germany: http://dld.bz/hdy58

Italy: http://amzn.eu/d/8TOajZM

Spain: http://amzn.eu/d/5D7AVrb

India: http://amzn.in/d/7NSinuD

Brazil: http://a.co/d/ipKxHmO

Mexico: http://a.co/d/fvkkYLG

#BlogTour #GuestPost Catching Love When It Falls by Deryn Pittar

Title: Catching Love When It Falls by Deryn Pittar

Publisher: Junction Publishing

Date Published: 12th June 2018

Genre: Sci-fi, Romance

Description:

William and Belinda, both genetically altered, meet years after leaving the government-rearing nursery. Their late development allowed them to escape a life devoted to the government’s defence departments. If their skills are now discovered they will be conscripted and never be free again.

William’s talent is to move through space between locations in the blink of an eye. Belinda can lift objects of great weight with her mind. Their relationship creates a raft of problems both struggle to overcome.

‘Catching Love When it Falls’ explores an alternative reality and discovers the one thing neither Belinda nor William can control – love. 

BLOG TOUR Banner - Catching Love

Guest Post – About Character

I developed William from the premise that I needed a character who could disappear from one location and reappear in another in the blink of an eye. To ‘jump’ as William puts it. It was an integral part of the plot I had running around in my head. What genes would he need to do this? I had no idea and decided it wasn’t my problem to identify his gene pool. If he had been given a cocktail of genes while he was an egg in a petri-dish then who knows why he could do it. He simply accepts that he can; a bit like being born with red hair, or an extra toe – it is what it is. The prologue portrays an incident when he first discovers he has this talent.

Once I’d accepted I didn’t have to explain why then William came to life very quickly. He needed an occupation that would keep him away from the Defense Department’s notice so I put him indoors, and decided he could be an IT specialist – a computer hacker. This meant he could then hack into the Defense files and track down other g-alters who had been adopted out.

There’s no fun in writing about poor, struggling heroes. They need a bit of cash to ease life along. Part of the rationale of this series is that the genetically altered children are adopted to financially secure, infertile couples, who by reason are a little older than most parents. In William’s case his adoptive parents are dead as the result of a car accident. Therefore he hates cars and as it’s in the future I gave cars a driverless option – but he still avoids using a car if he can possibly help it. Why bother when he can jump anywhere he wants to go? He’s mastered how to leave and arrive at locations without causing suspicion but you will have to read the books to learn how he does this.

He’s a kind fellow and a bit lonely. I had to find a lady for him, and I created Belinda.

Catching Love when it Falls 2

Catching Love When It Falls Is The First in the Future Movers series, and is being republished by Junction Publishing. Below are the release dates for the rest of the series:

Love’s Bright Star -19th June

Love’s Red Heart – 26th June

A Stellar Affair – 3rd July

Romancing the Memory Collector – 10th July

5 book box set – 7th August

THE FUTURE MOVERS SERIES

AUTHOR BIO – Deryn Pittar

I write futuristic and fantasy fiction, spiced with romance and adventure. This allows my imagination to run free, to create interesting characters caught in unusual circumstances and events. Sometimes I have the pleasure of watching science and technology catch up with my imagination.

I also write Young Adult, short stories and flash fiction; articles on writing and I am published in these genre. I self-published a children’s rhyming book and once won a prize for a short screen script.

I’m a published poet and I endeavour to put my poetry skills into my fiction writing to enhance the word pictures I create.

I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand which lives up to its name. I belong to the Romance Writers of N.Z., Tauranga Writers, and Spec.Fic.NZ (speculative fictionNZ).

#BlogTour The Phoenix Cycle: The Best Shall Rise by Bob Collopy. @BobCollopy @shanannigans81 #Excerpt #Giveaway #BookPromo

Book Cover

Title: The Phoenix Cycle: The Best Shall Rise by Bob Collopy

Publication Date: 23rd June 2017

Published By: The Department of Smoke

Genre: Dystopian/ YA/ Sci-Fi

Description:

New San Francisco is the last city standing on a world ravaged by storms of ash and debris. The city survived by putting the ideals of the American dream on steroids and inspiring its people to persevere, though they have become ruthless in the process. Its citizens are ruled by the General, who has made sure that his people understand that gentleness and pity have become weaknesses that nature no longer tolerates.

Now Steve and Leslie must choose whether they will apply for the General’s once in a lifetime opportunity to “Rise from the Ashes” and join the Inner Circle that rules the city. If they don’t, they will be damned to spend the rest of their lives in the ghettos of Edinburg, a place where virtual reality has become a government-subsidized addiction.

For Steve, the choice is easy. His loyalties lie with the IRA, a revolutionary army led by a voice only known as “Mom.” They are trying to overthrow the General and free the people of New San Francisco from the cruelties of the City Guard. Steve’s mission is to broadcast a recording of a speech that a famous philosopher died to tell. Many thousands have and will perish to get this message out, but is anyone willing to listen?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35148208-the-phoenix-cycle?ac=1&from_search=true

Excerpt

Every wrist in the stadium beeped. Every boy and girl glanced down at the face of their watch. “00:10” then “:09” then “:08.” Everyone turned their heads to the west. There it was. Right on time, as always. The nightly storm. A wall of blackness had lurched up into the sky, swallowing the setting sun. The hairs on Steve’s neck stood up, urging him to get the hell out of there.

Instead he grabbed Leslie’s hand, who sat quietly quivering next to him, instinctively pressing her bow into her head for comfort. Steve knew her shaking wasn’t coming from Line’s yelling, the storm, or even the tank pointing at them. Her quivers never came from the barrel of a gun, no, the ragging agony she held within her was the very same thing that pushed him back into the sheets when the sun finally rose—are we going to lose each other?

Leslie’s mind pushed the feeling away for at least another moment. “It’ll be all right,” she whispered. Her brown eyes guided him to the dozens of mortar tubes pointing upward and outward on the vibrant green field and then to the perfect line of churning ash that approached the stands.

Unity can only be achieved and be maintained when it is the STRONG who come together and fly under one flag! We, like no other in the world, have created a unity that has never broken, has never FLINCHED! When the rest of the world saw THAT—” Line’s long arm pointed at the coming avalanche of black— “They all fell to pieces!”

The earth began to quake as the wall rose over them. Someone screamed. The mortars on the field fired as one at the roiling sky. The blackness spilled over the stadium, then slid over the perimeter of the frizzing wall of static that had encapsulated the field. No Phoenix Cycler had seen—only heard rumors from past Cycle Pref parties—this blackness that was sliding over and them whispering their deaths.

– The Phoenix Cycle: The Best Shall Rise

Link to Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/JVm1R6nUVjE (Please include trailer in your post)

Embed:

Purchase Link:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Phoenix-Cycle-Best-Shall-Rise-ebook/dp/B071DSM3VT
About the Author:

Bob is pretty dope. Firstly, his name is Bob, so…yea. Second, have you seen him rock that suitAuthor Pic while in a maximum security prison? Epic.

Yea. That’s Bob. No psychological scarring with that author. Nope. Totally fine.

Gosh he looks good in suits.

Hey Have you read The Phoenix Cycle? He wrote that.

One suggestion before you read it and become one of those fans that leaves him roses by his doormat. Read her slowly. This book is not Twilight. She’s deeper than that. Take your time with her. Show the book you care. Cradle it and make it feel loved. If you do, she’ll be good to you. Go too fast and you’ll have no idea why she’s acting so crazy.

Website: http://www.philosophiesdead.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bob.collopy.75

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bobcollopy

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4198544.Bob_Collopy

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtmeA77INaD43DMYdLcKZ8w
Giveaway!!!

The author is giving away 10 print copies (That’s right 10) and 5 Digital copies of his book so make sure you enter as the odds are definitely in you favor! (Giveaway will run from May 21st to May 30th)

Embed: <a class=”rcptr” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f36/&#8221; rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”0e7c6a8f36″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_z5f4kpdw”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

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Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f36/?

Blog Tour Schedule:

May 21st

Reads & Reels (Kick-Off Promo) http://ww.readsandreels.com

Just for My Books (Excerpt) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

The Lit Cottage (Review) http://shellybajwa.wordpress.com/

Adventures Thu Wonderland (Review) http://adventuresthruwonderland.blogspot.com/

The Midwest Ladies Who Lit (Excerpt) http://mwladieswholit.wordpress.com/

May 22nd

IAMAGEEKINGGINGER (Review) http://iamageekingginger.wordpress.com

Tranquil Dreams (Review) http://klling.wordpress.com

On the Shelf Reviews (Excerpt) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

May 23rd

Didi Oviatt (Excerpt) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

The Genre Minx (Excerpt) http://www.thegenreminx.com/

The Cozy Pages (Excerpt) http://thecozypages.wordpress.com/

Valerie’s Musings (Excerpt) http://valeriesmusings76.wordpress.com

The YA Book Divas (Interview) http://www.yabookdivas.com/

May 24th

J Bronder Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Interview) http://bansheeirishhorrorblog.com/

Bri’s Book Nook (Review) http://brisbooknook.wordpress.com

The Cozy Pages (Excerpt) http://thecozypages.wordpress.com/

Wicked Good Reads (Review) http://www.wickedgoodreads.com

May 25th

Afire Pages (Excerpt) http://www.afirepages.wordpress.com

Port Jerricho (Excerpt) http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com

Touch My Spine Book Reviews (Review) https://touchmyspinebookreviews.com

Life at 17 (Review) https://lifeat17.wordpress.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&amp;RButto200x200

http://www.rrbooktours.com


Bedtime Book Review: Electric Dreams by Philip K. Dick #BookReview #Classic #SciFi

I have problems getting to sleep (like most of us) and I spotted a post on Instagram a week or so ago about putting all my electronic devices away (including my kindle) and picking up a good old book at bedtime to help you sleep.  I have to be honest I don’t think it’s helped me sleep any better but it gave me an idea for a blog post.  So here’s the first of my Bedtime Book Reviews: 

Title: Electric Dreams by Philip K Dick.

Publisher: Gollancz

Date Published: 14th September 2017

Genre: Sci-fi, Short story anthology

Description:

FROM VISIONARY WRITER WHO INSPIRED BLADE RUNNER, TOTAL RECALL, THE MAN IN HIGH CASTLE, MINORITY REPORT AND A SCANNER DARKLY COMES A COLLECTION OF TEN STORIES TO REPROGRAM YOUR MIND.

From tales of a wife who suspects her husband may no longer be the same man after a trip to deep space, to a government agent seeking the source behind a recent wave of illegal, telepathy-inhibiting ‘hoods’, these stories investigate what it means to be human in a changing world.

These ten stories inspired the ten episodes of Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, the hit TV series from Channel 4 and Sony Pictures Television. Each story also has an exclusive introduction by the writers who adapted it for the series, including Ronald D. Moore, Matthew Graham, Jessica Mecklenburg, Tony Grisoni and Jack Thorne.

Review:

So before the TV series Electric Dreams was broadcast I’d never really heard of Philip K Dick (seriously every time I type that name I giggle, yes I’m like a five year old) but having enjoyed a couple of episodes of the show I thought I’d read the original stories. That was about six months ago and I have finally got round to reading them.

The stories in this collection are, Exhibit Piece, The Commuter, The Impossible Planet, The Hanging Stranger, Sales Pitch, The Father Ting, The Hood Maker, Foster, You’re Dead, Human Is and Autofac.

There is so much crammed into these short stories, aliens, telepaths, dystopian futures, space travel, body snatchers I could go on!

Like with most collections there were a few standouts. My favourites were The Hanging Stranger, Sales Pitch and Human Is.

The Hanging Stranger is about a man called Ed Loyce who after spending the morning in his basement, goes to work to find a strange man hanging in the town square. Nobody notices but him. He feels like he’s going mad, is it real or is there something more sinister at work? This for me had the best ending in the entire book and out of the stories which had the theme of is this real or am I losing my mind, it just captured my imagination.

Sales Pitch is about a world gone mad from advertising (sometimes it feels like that now, doesn’t it?), you can’t go anywhere without adverts or sales bots haunting your every move. When Ed Morris (another Ed, I know) comes home he wants to escape until a robot turns up and refuses to leave, so he takes it with him to the planet Proxima in a bid to escape it all.

Then there’s Human Is, about Jill who’s husband suddenly changes, from a cold hearted bully to the husband she’s always wanted after a trip to deep space. Again even though this is science fiction, this one is a real character based story that would appeal to anyone. I mean how often have we thought you wouldn’t mind changing your other half?

These stories were written back in the 1950’s, in the shadow of the Cold War, so there were a few outdated stereotypes and language but the stories so original and unique that will appeal to most modern readers. I can also so see why so many of his stories get adapted into films, the majority of them have ambiguous or open ending just begging someone to finish or expand the stories.

Also I could have done without the introductions on each story but that’s personal preference rather than anything else.

Overall a must for Science fiction fans and lovers of dystopian fiction.

Rating: 4/5

About The Author:

Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American writer, whosePhilipDick published works mainly belong to the genre of science fiction. Dick explored philosophical, sociological and political themes in novels with plots dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states of consciousness. In his later works, Dick’s thematic focus tended to reflect his personal interest in metaphysics and theology.

He often drew upon his life experiences in addressing the nature of drug abuse, paranoia, schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences in novels such as A Scanner Darkly and VALIS. Later in life, he wrote non-fiction on philosophy, theology, the nature of reality, and science. This material was published posthumously as The Exegesis.

The novel The Man in the High Castle bridged the genres of alternate history and science fiction, earning Dick a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1963. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, a novel about a celebrity who awakens one day to find that he is unknown, won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel in 1975. “”I want to write about people I love, and put them into a fictional world spun out of my own mind, not the world we actually have, because the world we actually have does not meet my standards,”” Dick wrote of these stories. “”In my writing I even question the universe; I wonder out loud if it is real, and I wonder out loud if all of us are real.””

In addition to 44 published novels, Dick wrote approximately 121 short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime. Although Dick spent most of his career as a writer in near-poverty, eleven popular films based on his works have been produced, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report, Paycheck, Next, Screamers, The Adjustment Bureau and Impostor. In 2005, Time magazine named Ubik one of the hundred greatest English-language novels published since 1923. In 2007, Dick became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series.

Up next on Bedtime Book Reviews (whenever I finish it that is) : Evil Games by Angela Marsons.

#FlashFicitonFriday Waiting by LJ Cassidy #amwriting #writerslife

Olivia settled back into a comfy chair in the living room, opening up a book. With every noise outside, her eyes travelled from the page to the window overlooking the street. After ten minutes of reading the same sentence over and over, she threw the book down.

She hated waiting for things.

Getting up, she checked herself in the mirror over the fireplace. The blonde bob framed her heart shape face nicely, glad she’d decided on a quick haircut the day before. She smoothed the lines of her flowered dress, not her outfit of choice but she had to look good today.

There was a huge slam that reverberated through the house.

Rushing to the window, she saw the familiar sight of a grey van. It looked a little like a delivery truck, except this one had steel reinforced sides and bullet proof windows.

There was a heavy knock on the door, she almost thought it was going to come off its hinges.

Walking out into the hall, she took a deep calming breath before opening the door.

Olivia was faced with someone distinctly male looking, dressed head to toe in bulletproof armour topped off with a helmet.

The helmet’s black tinted visor was down so Olivia couldn’t make out a face.

He was carrying a long cardboard box under one arm.

Excitement coursed through her, she reached for the parcel but a gloved hand clamped around hers’ squeezing tightly. It felt like every bone in her fingers were going to snap.

Malcolm, let her go,” said a woman sternly, who appeared from nowhere carrying what looked like a clipboard. “Sorry about that, can’t get the robots these days. Are you Mrs Olivia Dawson?”

The robot obeyed the woman and let Olivia go.

Yes,” she replied, rubbing the feeling back into her hand.

I’m Agent Buckley.”

She turned to look at the woman, dressed in a sensible navy blue suit and white shirt. Olivia spied a black holster sitting snugly under her arm, the butt of a gun just visible.

Can we come in?”

She swallowed, her throat suddenly dry. Not trusting herself to speak, she nodded at Agent Buckley, moving out the way for them, trailing in their wake into the living room. The agent’s eyes travelled around the cosy room with large squashy sofas and bookcases lining the walls. It looked more like a library.

Where’s your wife?”

Oh, she got called into work suddenly,” Olivia said nervously. “She’s a doctor after all.”

Would they not give her the package? They wouldn’t take it away, would they? She was so close.

She frowned. “Most irregular. Anyway we just need a DNA sample to confirm your identity.”

Olivia placed a sweaty hand on the clipboard, which turned out a tablet, to give a sample.

The robot set the package on the floor.

You can leave us now,” said Buckley waving it away. The door closed after it with a mighty crash.

Can I see?” she asked excitedly.

It’s against protocol but I don’t see why not.”

Buckley pulled open the cardboard to reveal a sturdy plastic box that looked a bit like it was holding music equipment or something. She flicked open two catches and heaved up the lid.

Inside, lay the most beautiful baby Olivia had even seen.

She’s just to your specifications,” said Buckley reading from her tablet. “Blonde hair, blue eyes, rosy complexion.”

She picked up the sleeping baby gently. She was seven when natural reproduction was outlawed by the world’s governments, to curbed the swelling population.

She still remembered being wheeled into the sterile theatre and the pain in her stomach that lasted for weeks after they ripped out her womb.

Five years ago, the government told her that she wasn’t ‘stable’ enough to have a child whatever that meant. She had so much love to give, they didn’t understand.

Olivia was going to prove them wrong, she would be good for this child.

Hold on,” said Buckley frowning. “There seems to be a problem…”

Buckley went for her gun but Olivia was too quick. She pulled out the gun she’d been hiding behind the cushion on the couch. She shot the other woman in the head before she finished her sentence.

It was the same weapon she’d used to kill real Olivia and her wife earlier.

Somewhere in her brain it registered she was doing something wrong but she ignored it.

She was a mother now.

Thank you for reading!© LJ Cassidy

#CoverReveal Breachers by Anthony Thomas @FierySeasPub @anthonythomasAU #SciFi

A little extra blog post this week. I’m so happy to bring you the cover reveal for Breachers by Anthony Thomas!

Title: Breachers By Anthony Thomas

Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing

Genre: Science Fiction

Publication Date: September 2018
Description:

Jason Conners is the last person you’d expect to run into a burning building, unless of course there was something inside worth stealing. Call him what you want: criminal, thief, asshole, but hero? Absolutely not. Jason’s questionable behavior and disturbing antics can only be attributed to one secret.

He can change the future, but with great power comes great responsibility? Hell no. His ability makes him the best thief in the city, and nothing is off-limits. Until Jason’s carefree attitude gains the attention of the Rogues, and the government.

The Rogues want him to stop catastrophic events from taking place, and the government has their own agenda. When the hunt begins, Jason is caught in the crosshairs and learns that breaching is not as limitless as he thought.

Can this anti-hero give up a life of easy money and become the savior the Rogues need, or will it cost him everything—even his immortality?


And here’s the fantastic cover:

Breachers Ebook-6

About the Author:

IMG_0743Anthony Thomas settled in the city of sin, though part of him will always remain in the small farming town in Northern California. When he’s not hunched over a keyboard, Anthony enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter and two dogs. 
Social Media:

Website: http://www.anthonythomasbooks.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anthonythomasAU