Review: Dark Intelligence by Neal Asher

One of the Space Opera grandees that I have so far failed to entertain I finally decided to arrange a dinner date.

Great story; great characters; nice tech; excellent construction of a universe. Not as deep or as intense Iain M Banks nor as wittily dry as Peter Hamilton but I still enjoyed this first book in the Transformation series and have already started the second.

I particularly enjoyed the description and  manifestation of Penny Royal, both in the abstract and in the minds and narratives of the other characters, to the point where it became almost as terrifying as Hyperion’s most challenging resident: the Shrike.

Recommended.

Fleecy Moss, author of the Folio 55 series (writing as Nia Sinjorina), End of a Girl, Undon , and 4659 now available on Amazon.

 

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My Week of Writing

An extract from writing this week,  from Folio 55: The Conqueror, currently at page 18.

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Of course that was when my brain chose to finish processing my sensory input and outputted the results: I was standing ten metres or so above the ground with no discernible means of staying there. So I didn’t.

Luckily my graceless impact with the interior was cushioned not just by the vaguely wet tapestry of a crystalline blue forest displaying three stars in the sky but also by the structure itself. Not really an impact: despite my worst fears I simply pushed into the material and it yielded before me, spongiform, the curved surface deforming into a cup that accepted my violation; I was grateful for its tender hold.

“Are you okay?” Words from a concerned, almost worried Ch-Ai-Sa as she walked down nothing to stand next to me, followed by a more demonstrative Ab.

“What are you doing? Stop messing around otherwise …” and she turned around, her body tensing as fears were confirmed. “… Shit!” I looked in the same direction to see that my antics had dislodged the two boys who’d been engaged in the game. A head snapped back. “Say nothing!”

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If you have enjoyed this excerpt then start the journey at the beginning, with End of a Girl, book 1 in the Folio 55 series. Click here to buy it on Amazon.

Review: The Broken Earth series by N.K.Jemisin

I heard about these books when reading an article relating to the Hugo Awards and the rise of female written Scifi: each book in the series had won (2016, 2017, 2018) which is an impressive achievement irrespective of gender. Reviews convinced me and I have to admit I was more than intrigued by what made a “female” book different.

Having read and really enjoyed The Fifth Season I have to say that there are only differences if are you used to reading Scifi full of two dimensional characters engaged in adventures heavy on action and with relationship ‘bits’ thrown in as filler. Neal Stephenson and Adrian Tchaikovsky to name but two excel in the development of rich characters and complex relationships to the equal of this author. In fact the only time I thought I detected any gender specific content was in a sentence within a short paragraph describing a copulation and a few internal character monologues relating to a mother and her child – insightful yes but hardly a revolution in writing.

Moving onto the series I found it engaging and intriguing with an occasional raised eyebrow caused by timing: there was one passage where I am sure more time should have passed but it didn’t interfere with the overall flow. The universe so offered is revealed in a well paced manner that makes you ask lots of questions which are then slowly answered even as more are generated.  I am intrigued to see if it goes where I think it might. Characters were excellent, well described, differentiated, and with complex and well-maintained back stories.

Oddly I kept having flashbacks to other books I had read and it took a few days before I realised which: The Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. I am not sure whether it is the world itself – dust everywhere, eruptions, a planet dying, characters with unusual skills – but there as a definition feeling of deja-vu.

The first book is a wonderful introduction to the universe and you certainly shape the complex characters relatively easily in your mind. The second book carries the story forward well and begins to flesh out the world, both its history and its construction. Again it is relationships that stand at the front of this work and it was a pleasure to walk along in the footsteps of the characters. Entering the final book the details of the past are brought into focus and the two strands of  current and previous are woven together. I particularly enjoyed the discussions of the older civilisation, in much the same way as I enjoyed the discussion of the Dragon city in Robin Hobb’s Rain Wild Chronicles. Sadly, in the same way, I found that what I really wanted to explore was the history of those great civilisations. Perhaps in a future book or series?

I thought the climax and ending section to be satisfying – an area that is often a disappointment no matter how good the main tale has been.

Highly recommended

Fleecy Moss, author of the Folio 55 series (writing as Nia Sinjorina), End of a Girl, Undon , and 4659 now available on Amazon.

Review: Fallen Dragon by Peter Hamilton

When I was lost in decent Scifi Limbo after I finished The Hydrogen Sonata, and then Iain M Banks died, it was Peter Hamilton that offered me a route back into the light. Not as hard, not as dark, not as funny but with the same love of science, character, and plot, his novels have been a constant source of joy to me for the past few years.

Fallen Dragon is a one-off story as opposed to the usual Hamiltonian cycle and what you get is what you expect: well developed characters with an exploration of their reason for being and action; an exploration of the universe and the reason for its being; a plotline that dips and dives all over the place, paralleling bigger issues of affirmation, morality, and species development.

My only criticism, and maybe it’s because I’ve read a lot of Hamilton in the past year or two, is that it had a comfortable, almost familiar feeling to it. There is nothing wrong with that of course and I suppose it is what marks us out as writers. If I want different I can go read Neal Stephenson or Peter Tchaikovsky or N.K.Jemisin or Neal Asher.

Recommended.

 

Fleecy Moss, author of the Folio 55 series (writing as Nia Sinjorina), End of a Girl & Undon now available on Amazon.

Free ebook Giveaway

With book 3 finally finished after 4 years I thought I’d celebrate by giving away Folio 55: End of a Girl, the first book in the series.

This Saturday only, why not download a free copy of End of a Girl, the first book in the Folio 55 series. Enjoy the beginnings of an epic adventure with three Cumbrian girls desperate to escape the backwater Lake District town of Egremont. Told by a narrator ten years in the future, as humanity teeters on the brink of an undefined apocalypse, walk hand in hand with Molly, Beth, and Hannah as their lives tell the story of the one called “Our Lady”.

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Click here to download your free kindle ebook and start the journey!

Book Three is done!

Finally, after 2 years, 580 pages of writing, and 6 months of editing,  the third book is finished. Now all I have to do is wrap up Kay  in a white sheet, dump her near an old looking church door, take some pictures without being arrested, GIMP the cover, and it will be ready for upload.

Folio 55: 4659 will be on Amazon by the end of next week!