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Ben Winston (1965 - ?) was born in Iowa and grew up in Minnesota on the family dairy farm. Upon reaching adulthood, he joined the United States Army as a communications technician. Before getting out of the military, he decided to go to school for computer electronics.
Shortly after getting out of the military, and after getting a new job with an over-seas company, he was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. A month after beginning the new job, he was laid off due to budget over-runs on the project he was hired for. Upon returning to the United States, he had difficulty maintaining employment because of the chronic illness.
He began writing as a form of stress release, from being home bound and not being able to work, and found he liked writing erotica. Ben wrote a trilogy called the Talosian Chronicles (Currently in rewrite to remove the graphic sex and finalized his vision of the story). The first book, Star Dancer, won awards and was nominated for many others by the online communities where it was posted.
Ben Winston returned to school for literature, after completion, he began writing professionally. Being an avid fan of science fiction he focused on this genre. He was, and still is, influenced and inspired by Gene Roddenberry, Anne McCaffery, David Weber, Isaac Asimov, and Ray Bradbury. Some of his favorite movies and TV shows are; Battlestar Galactica (both versions), Andromeda, Star Trek, Firefly, Star Wars, and many of the B-rated movies that were actually box-office bombs.
on Nov. 26, 2014 :
I have enjoyed Ben Winston's writings for many years and purchased this ebook primarily to support his efforts. His books tend to center around special humans that either have to protect earth from galactic invaders, or they have to venture away from earth to join in the fight against a threat. This book follows that same path. If you enjoy science fiction and don't mind sub-plots with pluralist marriages, you will probably enjoy this and his other stories.
If you are going to buy a book in the Tides of Mars series, you should go ahead and get this Omnibus version. It will save you some money and won't be left hanging by only reading one of them.
While I enjoyed this story, I do feel the ending was too rushed. Everything gets resolved too quickly and neatly on Earth, while the mess that is the rest of the Empire is hardly touched upon. It was an enjoyable 265 PDF pages, but it felt like this story had more to tell.
I wish I could give half-stars in the ranking because three seems low, but it didn't reach the level of four stars. If you haven't tried this author before, I would recommend you try his Chronicles of Atlantis series first. That series felt more fleshed out, although its second book will leaving you hanging with a "to be continued."
(reviewed long after purchase)