Richard Bunning


I am currently a writer of speculative Science Fiction.
Thank you to all who read my books.
I review other peoples works in many genres, specialising in helping promote self published and small publishers authors. My main reviews site is at

Smashwords Interview

What motivated you to become an indie author?
My biggest motivation to become an indie author was that I could become an indie author. Technology has freed us all to write if we so wish and to then go out and market to the world. The best is that we don't even have to leave our kitchen table, garden lounger, the bus stop, or wherever we happen to be. We are all free to publish when we want and with a few constraints, what we want.
I did try with traditional publishers, for a short while, but they found me to be trying and I found them to be indifferent and arrogant. I eventually became seriously concerned about the health of agents and publishing juniors having to murder so many "rubbish" manuscripts every tedious day. Opinionated seniors only ever seemed prepared to read the work of writers who were in their golf clubs, their own families or already in the public eye. Things are changing now, as the traditional publishers try to catch up with the new technological world, but at the time I was trying to get a deal the industry was basically closed to new writers and new ideas.
Will I, will others, continue to seek traditional deals? Yes of course, and traditional publishing will reinvent itself where necessary. Personally, I like the freedom of self- publishing. One still has to be disciplined, listening to advice and particularly to our editors, but as self-publishers we are free to write whatever we wish to, when we wish to, however we wish to, and we keep control right into our readers hands.
My view is that readers benefit. There are now more books, so more choices, than there have ever been. A percentage are good and a percentage are bad, according to whatever criteria we chose to apply. This has always been the case, and always will be.
I do what I can to help readers find indie books of a good standard, by reviewing for various organizations and according to my own volition. Obviously, my reviews are biased towards the sort of books I like, though, I do try a review across genres and between them. Even if you chose not to read my own writing I hope that you will seek out some of the authors I have reviewed on Smashwords and elsewhere.
If I have reviewed a book it will in my opinion be good. I am only arrogant enough to say that what I like is good, not that what I don't is bad. I don't like liquorice, that doesn't mean it isn't nice.
Who are your favorite authors?
Nearly all my reading is directed at my support for self-published and independent authors. My main web site is dedicated to promoting my reading discoveries, as much as it is to shouting out about myself.

My favourite author is usually the one whose book I am currently reading. A good book draws one too deep into the moment to have outside views. This may sound trite, but it is true.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Richard Bunning online

Where to buy in print


Fifty Egg Timer Stories
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 42,660. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2014. Category: Fiction » Mashups
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
Fifty Egg Timer Stories is a collection of 50 shot stories of between 600 and 1000 words. The stories are by one author and are of mixed genre. Some of these stories are flippant and/or amusing whilst others touch on serious topics. The common theme, if one can be found at all, is the provision of short bursts of entertainment. I hope that all readers find some stories to their individual liking.
Another Space in Time, Returns
Price: $3.00 USD. Words: 133,500. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2012. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
When the Captain of the local police persuades Rodwell to help pursue the Earth Trash Terminators his life is thrown into turmoil. Standing in for his twin brother, Rodwell is thrown into the terrorists’ world. Can he fight dirty enough to survive, even when his new family is threatened? What will happen in this parallel earth-like world? This is the standalone sequel to Another Space in Time.
Another Space in Time
Price: $3.00 USD. Words: 138,050. Language: English. Published: August 30, 2011. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
(4.00 from 3 reviews)
The adventure in another time in space of Rodwell Richards who, when murdered on Earth, finds himself pursued on Goranas as a terrorist killer. This earth-like parallel world, to which Rodwell must quickly adapt, is just perhaps the kind of place that any of us could one day visit. Enter this speculative world of human drama, and observe the pursuit through Rodwell's eyes.

Richard Bunning’s tag cloud

Smashwords book reviews by Richard Bunning

  • Who Else is There? on Jan. 12, 2012

    If you like a whodunit, and are prepared for brutal accurate description of murder and general physical and sexual violence then you will love this book. Let me be clear that when the plot requires these pictures to be brutally accurate they certainly are. Generally though graphic description of murder and sexual and physical violence is avoided, or rather left to the deprivations of our own imagination. When we the plot requires that we see every tear or drop of blood we do. The main characters are very well rounded and believable, but personally I found it hard to keep up with the entire cast. This was more my fault than Philip Catshill's. The first requirement of any whodunit is to keep up. My reading was too broken to allow this. When reading Agatha Christie as a youngster I always used to write a key word or two on each character on a rough piece of paper. Unless you can read this book in a couple of close sessions I would consider doing the same here. Those who have the opportunity to read this book quickly will obviously not have this problem. The book certainly has the power to keep one going provided the real world doesn't intervene. The main characters, all as flawed as any real people, and all add real dimension to the story. We soon have a deep understanding of what makes them tick as individuals, with always a little held back for an appropriate moment of revelation. This is an adult book, which brings out many dark emotions as it explores some of the extreme aspects of human behaviour. Both mental and physical sicknesses are described very believably, as are so many of the raw emotions associated with these conditions. Perhaps by chance I did second guess the murderer, but never with anything like a freedom of doubt that could have spoilt the story. And although I can't be certain, because as I have said I didn't always keep up with all the nuances of every character, I certainly didn't see any flaws in the plot. Generally speaking the reading was very easy, though I was rather irritated by being told by the author what certain medical words he had just used meant. I would have preferred that the word was explained, if really necessary, in a more natural flow of the story, or an old fashioned use of the asterisk had been employed. I rather felt as though a pedantic editor had meddled. I look forward to reading more from this author. I don't except in very rare cases give five stars to any book. For those who like this crude device and regret that I have broken the full sets of previous reviews, let me say that I am inclined to five for plot, and five for the complex psychologically and mostly very believable characters. I can't think of any aspects of the book that failed to score well.
  • Puppet Parade on Nov. 16, 2012

    This beautifully written book is full of inventiveness, emotion, and clever re-examinations of a host of fantasy ideas. This is a modern adult fairy story, which draws on so many classic themes and cultural tales that it is difficult to guess which ones were originally uppermost in Alayan's mind. It is not that we need to de-construct to enjoy the story; it is simply that as a writer I cannot stop myself wondering from where the spark came. What we do need to do, if cynical adults, is to re-construct some aspects of our childish selves. After all, this is a fairy story in which wooden puppets can talk. Remember back to when Pinocchio seemed plausible. Now get on with finding your own way onto the train with Oliver and Sophie. Alayan enables us to see a complex world through the eyes of the variably innocent and naïve, whilst at the same time she avoids creating a childish story. Her fairy tale grows out of what is already a fantasy world, one a dimension away from our own, and takes us into fantasy inside fantasy, and even a fantasy inside that, like a sort of giant layer cake. It is as though the Brothers Grimm had taken five or six folk tales, stripped each to its core, and then rebuilt their own complex dark fantasy from the result. The whole book is all the cleverer as it is written through two pairs of childish eyes, one pair that hid from facing an outside world and one that were hidden from it. Actually, the pictures are so well drawn that it is easy to become submerged. For the times I took to read this work the Parade really existed, strings really did control the humans, and not the puppets, and if Alayan had asked me to see water flowing uphill I would have done so. As with any fantasy that starts to have a solid quality some structure needs to become predictable. Some stops on the train did little more than draw us a little further into understanding, but the length of the description and the multiple stops were necessary. Modern fantasies are often written far too short. Alayan's generosity of quantity, as well as undeniable quality, made the conclusions so much more complete. This is a longish book, because it needs to be long enough to draw us into the Parade, long enough for the reader to be "absorbed" and for the principle characters to grow. I don't want to read a sequel. This is a completed fairy tale that needs no revisiting. It has its own encapsulated magic, which would only be damaged by reopening. However, I absolutely will be looking out for new works by Zeinab Alayan, just to see whether she can pull off such a feast again.
  • Daimones on Jan. 19, 2013

    I loved reading this book. Some parts of it held my attention like a vice. I can still hear the roar of roller blades, the shatter of glass, the cawing of circling crows. Some passages needed a touch more editing. However, the little stutters in the flow, the very occasional clumsy phrase, certainly didn't spoil the book. I guess it might if you happen to be the sort of grammarian that suffers pain from every linguistic deviation, but then you must often be short of reading. I had the constant nag at the back of my mind that the electricity supply for Geneva should have died, along with 99.9% of the population. Though this continuing availability was never explicitly explained the implicit assumption I eventually made tied the threads together satisfactorily. Another strand that I felt needed earlier enforcement was the childhood experience of Dan, which led to his life of chronic tinnitus. The early avoidance of these issues was I'm sure in part due to a determination to hold the surprise of the ending. I, though, like to see all the main circles of direction earlier in a plot build. We start with reports of animal population crashes that might have come from the culturally shifting writing of Rachel Carson, move through a quiet apocalypse, then delve into the individualistic process of survival. Finally, Marino pulls together an episodic and dystopian past history of mankind, and the promise of a new galactic spirituality for our species. Erich Von Däniken, Philip K Dick and Arthur C Clarke might all have been sitting around a table collectively weaving together the elements of the new start instigated by the Daimones. I can see Marino sitting at the end of the table rapidly scribbling notes. Then finally, he selected a touch of each to colour his vision. Though each of these great authors probably inspired a few sentences, I feel that there is a lot of novel speculation to come in the rest of the planned trilogy. I really found this to be a very enjoyable read. I am sure this is partly because I'm a writer of speculative science fiction of a similar nature. But also it's because this is, even with science fiction discounted, a very entertaining book. The differing psychological profiles and difficulties of the main characters are well drawn, giving very real feeling grist to Marino's speculative ideas. Not every aspect of the book deserves 5 stars, but we are required to use this crude classification. As you will have noted, I gave 5. I thank you for having taken the trouble to read my review.
  • The Inevitable on Aug. 15, 2013

    I was half-hooked on this book before I even started. I'm a fan of the speculative and philosophical in the sort of Science Fiction that this book promised to be. However, such raised expectation can so easily be dashed. Like watching a "must see" film, too much expectation can be a terrible spoiler. I wasn't disappointed, not for a moment. I also enjoy the sort of light prose that this author can produce. Humour is always bubbling away somewhere in the text, sometimes dark, sometimes, dry, or observational, or occasionally just plain funny. The ground covered, though, is serious enough. This book is entertainment with plenty of hard speculative though behind the flowing words. I actually felt at times as though I now knew what it could be like to be the artificial intelligences that are Tuck and David, I even thought I understood what it was like to be the biologically enhanced and yet emotionally autistic personality that is Maze. The story was very well structured with flashback type memories from Tuck's long-past. We actually get a sense of how this robot became the personality he most certainly is. What is it to be human, and what is it to be a technological construction, which, through experience and self-modification, has become almost human? Above all what is it like for any intelligent creature to contemplate its own mortality? I won't compare this work with that of other writers, not because this one is uniquely different, it isn't, but simply because it deserves to be judged by its creativity. Nowadays, true originality is hard to achieve in any genre; almost invariably, works can only be original to some small percentage of the individuals they touch. Perhaps I can best describe the read as being fresh, vivid, smart, rather than being full of brand new ideas. Oh! Just in case I didn't make things clear, "The Inevitable" isn't short on excitement.
  • Born a Refugee: A Novel of One Palestinian Family on Nov. 04, 2013

    This is a deep, rich, poignant and profoundly humanistic book. It is also one of the best "political" books I have ever read. The central thesis, a family that could be any one's neighbours anywhere of Earth, except that they are struggling against the crush of a "foreign" military occupation, living between Jerusalem and Ramallah, is brilliantly constructed. Whilst telling one extended family's story Hallaj very cleverly keeps the reader linked to the massive historical waves convulsing the nowadays lands of Abraham. The chosen device, the start of chapter historic, headline, quote, works very well. Hallaj is a very good reader of the mind set of others. Her characters are totally believable, and her understanding of the issues facing now stateless people walking their own ancestors' lands seems to me to be sharp and profound. Politicians who really care for the pursuit of peace should read this book, whatever side of the wicked divide birth or conviction puts them on. My only gripe is that Hallaj is far too soft on the terrors on both sides of the story. For me the time for soft kicks, for common sense to find solutions, ended with the death of Ben Gurion, a long life far too short. But then again, if ever peace is to come and it can only come through peaceful means then this book may well be a cathartic part of the build. No antagonists can justifiably claim that this read is too hurtful of their sensibilities. For those such as me, distant from the issues, this is a fiction that I feel accurately reflects a continuing truth. Whilst it is only too easy for me to say the words that this book boils in me, I fully acknowledge that if I had been born to either side I would likely be a thorn rather than a peacemaker. Only extraordinarily brave people will ever change things, but I'm sure the humanitarian values portrayed in books like this are a modest but valuable step. We all have mothers.