Graham Downs was born in Alberton, in Gauteng, South Africa. He now lives in Germiston with his wife. He is a computer programmer in Rivonia, who has always had a passion for writing.
The stories he writes are not constrained by genre, length, or time period. They are the stories that are burning to be told, and unleashed onto the world.
Notable works include A Petition to Magic, a fantasy short story, and Heritage of Deceit, a thrilling novelette.
Where to find Graham Downs online
Where to buy in print
Heritage of Deceit
by Graham Downs
Approx. 9,390 words.
English (South African dialect).
Published on December 1, 2013.
While surfing the Internet, Lloyd believes he's found a relic from an old genocide. If he's right, the artefact would be worth a ton of money, and it will give lots of people closure when they find out what really happened to their families.
But it won't be easy to find out.
Graham Downs’s tag cloud
Smashwords book reviews by Graham Downs
on Aug. 23, 2012
I just couldn't get into it, from the second sentence when I wondered who Tom was. I gave up. Sorry.
- If These Walls Could Scream
on Sep. 24, 2012
Very well written, and very vivid. This is the story of a haunted house, once used for ritual sacrifice and serial killings. The story is told from the perspective of the house itself. It's very moving, and there's not a single dull or unimportant word.
Short, at 2300 words, I would consider it more of a poem than a story, though, and I could just imagine it being read on a stage. Awesome!
- Lunara: Seth and Chloe
on Oct. 07, 2012
I found this book through @FreeBookDude on Twitter. When I first read the title, I thought it would be some kind of deep space young adult romance, and I was about to discount it because of that. But I must confess, I judged a book by its cover, and it intrigued me. I like Sci-Fi, but I'd never read one written in my lifetime, and the description on Amazon looked interesting, so I picked it up.
The world that Davenport has created is very well fleshed out and impressive, and the story he has imagined in this book is perfectly believable. Lunara is a mining colony on Earth's moon, under the auspices of a dual-government on man's new home, Mars - since Earth is no longer inhabitable. There's plenty of political intrigue in the story as Lunara is invaded and captured and the lead characters need to find out who is behind the invasion, and why.
It's mostly the characters that let the book down, though. They're kind of bland and uninteresting, and there's not enough to differentiate them. For the most part, they all seem to speak in exactly the same way, and act in exactly the same way. They also seem to all be rather arrogant and easily embarrassed: they "smirk" often, in situations which hardly call for humour, much less arrogant, condescending humour. They're also frequently chagrined - I guess that's a common thing about over-arrogant people; they're easily humiliated. But they don't seem to take anything seriously, and often have time to have long dialogues when the story wants us to believe they could die at any moment.
And then there are the characters' names: Seth and Chloe (obviously), Parker, Jan, Eammon. These are all characters I would expect to find in a typical American college soap-opera. I'm sure this was by design, of course, since I think the book is targeted at American young adults. Still, I found it difficult to take them seriously. And "Jan" was even worse! This is obviously not the author's fault (how would he know?), but where I come from, "Jan" is a man's name, and quite a common one at that! In the story, Jan is wife to Lunara's commander, Ty, and especially in the early stages of the book, I couldn't help but picturing her as a gay Afrikaner! ;-)
The book also contains a noticeable amount of typo's, missing quotation marks, and grammatical errors. These get more numerous towards the end; it's almost as if the author found it difficult to contain his excitement at the prospect of finishing the book!
It wasn't a bad read, though, and I enjoy the setting Davenport has created, so I'll be picking up the next instalment in the series to see if it gets any better.
on Oct. 14, 2012
This short (~ 6000 words) is an interesting take on an all too familiar story. I geeky spacer kid (someone who has been born in space) is bullied by a rough-and-tough jock type, and dies. He returns as a revenant, swearing death and destruction on everyone and everything on the station.
It's well written, beautifully paced, and quite entertaining. There are some errors here and there, but not enough to detract from the story. One of the problems with short stories is that they can often feel too sparse, as if there is more the author should've said. This one doesn't suffer from that problem: Ms Brown jumps in, says everything she needs to say, and leaves.
The ending isn't really to my taste, but I still can't say the story left me wanting anything. All loose ends are tied up nicely; any more would've been too much.
- Spiders & Demons
on Dec. 28, 2012
A story of a someone with a perpetual itch. He's stuck in his own hell, in the middle of a war between hundreds of spiders which crawl all over his body, and his own personal demon which lives in a tattoo on his back.
While I can't agree with the author's interpretation of what's happening to him, I admire him for having the courage to write it down and share it with the world!
- The Happy-Unhappy Bridegroom: a ghost story
on Feb. 23, 2013
A cute little story about a hen-pecked husband. The "ghost story" bit doesn't become apparent until quite late in the tale, and although its well written, the ending is a little abrupt and disappointing.
- The Backward Approach to Ebook Success
on April 13, 2013
While reading this ebook, I had in the back of my mind the fact that I was going to give it a two-star rating. It contained some useful information, but nothing I didn't already know. I felt that the author had a bit of a chip on his shoulder while writing it, and I didn't understand the title.
It got better! Basically, he is saying that you need to build your brand first, offer up some stuff for free, get people to know you, and then only consider publishing your first book for a fee. It's got some useful links to surveys and the terms and conditions of the various online ebook retailer sites, with explanations of how to interpret them.
Ted Summerfield speaks candidly about his experiences with publishing and selling his ebooks, and building his brand. He sets expectations for aspiring authors looking to make their millions overnight, and offers a fine introduction into the world in which we're all still exploring.
It's not a great read, but it's not terrible either. I have to say, I liked it!
- The Court of the Spider Queen
on April 21, 2013
The Court of the Spider Queen is a sweet little adventure story. The humour is quite dry, and while it made me smile from time to time, it's not THAT funny. I did really enjoy the story, though, and I love the way the author vaults you straight into the action! I'll be looking out for the next instalment.
- The Key to Erebus
on June 09, 2013
This book was okay. The language was distracting, and it was tough to read at times. I was tempted to abandon it a few times, but the story was just good enough that I really wanted to see how it turned out. There's a bit of a surprising twist at the end, but not enough to detract from the otherwise quite predictable tale.
It's set in France, in modern times. That was cute, but I feel much of the French wasn't adequately explained. The narrative is also very melodramatic - it's written in the first person, but I honestly feel that's no excuse for the excessive editorialising that goes on. And it's not even consistent, either. This is supposed to be a world where the characters still believe in the old gods, yet these same characters often invoke the various names of the one Christian God in vain. Totally unnecessary, I felt.
As to the punctuation, there are missing commas all over the place, and not a semicolon in sight. There are plenty of places where I think they are sorely missed!
All in all, an okay story, but not one I'd recommend. There's apparently a second book coming in the series, but I don't think I'll be reading it.
- Secrets to a Great Author Biography
on July 11, 2013
This howto certainly jumps straight into it! There's no introduction to what you're about to learn, or why it's important. It's an information dump: "this is what you need to do." Period. There are very few non-obvious things to think about, but mostly it's a wall of text that culminates in an advertisement for Fireblade Publishing, and that advertisement is as long as the content leading up to it!
- The Prince and the Singularity - A Circular Tale
on July 20, 2013
For the past couple of days, I've been trying to decide how best to write a review of this book. As the synopsis implies, it's rather difficult to define exactly what it's about, but I'm going to give it a try:
It's about the creation of the Universe, and everything in it. Then it's about the people in that Universe, their actions, and how they affect (or fail to affect) everything else in it. Then it's about how everything starts all over again.
As a work of fiction, it's pretty good! But in parts, it's very theological - quite blatantly so. Contrast this with Terry Pratchett, one of my favourite fantasy authors of all time. Pratchett is a true atheist, and his philosophies definitely come through in his stories. But they're so subtle that a reader could very easily ignore them, as I choose to do, and still enjoy fantastic stories.
With The Prince and the Singularity, there's no ignoring them, and it often feels as though you're being lectured to. I personally don't subscribe to Pedro Barrento's philosophies about the meaning of life (although I deeply respect his right to hold them), and I really shouldn't need to, to enjoy what's otherwise a decent story!
- Dangerous Voices
on Sep. 04, 2013
This is a really entertaining little story about a man who is a "music mage" (makes magic with his song). He's been imprisoned for a really long time, and doesn't sing for fear of his guards killing him (a not unfounded fear).
It took a couple pages to really get into the story, to figure out what was going on, but once that happened I became truly and deeply invested in his fate, and the fate of a companion that he acquires early on.
The writing is awesome, and the ending is stunning. If you can spare thirty minutes or so to read it, do!
on Nov. 14, 2013
An interesting story about a man who goes skydiving at the behest of his wife. Things (naturally) don't go according to plan, and the ending was satisfying.
It took a long time to get to that ending though, during which time the narrative droned on and on. The story could have been told in a lot fewer words!
- Five Rows Back: A Short Story
on Nov. 21, 2013
I really enjoyed this little story of a girl who suffers from (presumably) OCD. She is obsessed with, and consequently stalks, a man on a bus, and everything she does has to be in a number divisible by five.
Why she's stalking the man is surprising, and the ending is very good. This is a well written book that really gave me pause and made me think.