Bitten by the writing bug in my early teens, I finally started writing again in 1995 after a lifetime of plausible excuses. Since 2007 I have been writing full time. I'm working on my fourth novel. I live in Ireland under a magnificent copper beech tree with my wife and youngest son.
Ten short Sci-Fi stories full of fun and satire.
What would happen if humans started reproducing by laying eggs? Read about some tricky First Contact situations here and in distant parts of the Galaxy. And discover how we all started off on the wrong foot when those in the Firmament bungled their jobs.
Bill Owen's short story The Clone Trial is set in the not-too-distant future when human reproduction has hit a wall, and cloning has taken its place. Laws have been put in place to limit these activities. Also clones are prohibited from reproducing. This is where I had my biggest problem with the premise of the story, as I couldn't understand how the human race was supposed to survive under these restraints. Anyway, the story concerns itself with a human who is accused of murdering one of his clones.
The jury is made up of an assortment of beings from around the Galaxy, including a shape-shifter and a being who can mesmerize others into telling the truth. It occurred to me that this last ability could have been used by the authorities to get to the bottom of the matter at hand entirely without the aid of a jury. Indeed, I would have thought the whole justice system could have had a makeover based on this ability alone.
The whole thing takes place in the jury room as they consider their verdict. Notwithstanding the occasional flashes from the Cloning Commission to help explain the laws and regulations, and a couple of glaring info-dumps, this is a fun read - a sort of 12 Angry Men with aliens. I particularly liked the wonderful talking bird who seemed to suffer from Tourette's Syndrome.
I think Bill could have made more of the story. It could have been as much as 100% longer, allowing more time and space to feed the background information to the reader in a more digestible form, and maybe exploring some of the alternative plot lines.
An engaging romp through Dublin (mostly) in the company of a young(-ish) man called Ger Mayes with the morals of a stray pooch and a serious drink habit. Forced to commit an unspeakable crime, he is soon in thrall to a community of blackmailers. He turns to an old, rich friend for help. Unfortunately, his friend’s moral compass is even more askew than his own and the two of them get deeper and deeper into the mire as they attempt to extricate themselves and line their pockets, while the body count rises.
Ruby Barnes writes with a fresh, distinctive voice. His characters are fascinating even if the motivations behind their actions are sometimes a little hard to figure out. I’m looking forward to more from this young author.
I don't usually read paranormal ya. I like ya books, but I try to steer clear of the paranormal ones. I'm glad I read this one, though. When it started, I thought Nali's mom was just off her head; I couldn't see how this aspect of the story was going to end up anywhere good. (I have a friend who hoards newspapers and his house is just the way Nali's is). The explanation and the other paranormal elements were more than a tad wacky, I thought, but the drama and romance came through. Good job, Misty.