Indie Author Thomas C. Stone developed a fascination for science fiction early in life, reading most of the modern-day masters by fourteen years of age. As a student, Stone studied writing, classical literature, philosophy, linguistics, and computer science. To support his writing, he has worked as a teacher, technical writer, systems analyst, martial arts instructor, and various other odd jobs. Additionally, Stone has completed a dozen novels primarily in the science fiction genre and, by his own admission, is more interested in the depiction of characters under stressful and extraordinary settings. Stone’s take on the world can be observed in his blog, http://northtexasdrifter.blogspot.com.
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In the second book of the trilogy, Harry Irons, Galactic Survey Mission Commander for the Braithwaite Corporation, stumbles upon a mission to recover an new and powerful energy source on a newly discovered planet thousands of light-years from Earth. The expedition is filled with peril as the team races against time and an assortment of foes both alien and human.
To The Stars
TO THE STARS is the first book in a trilogy concerning an intrepid group of space explorers in 2107. Harry Irons dreams of escaping an over-crowded Earth by working for one of the giant corporations. He gets his wish and soon enough finds himself struggling to survive on an alien world.
Song of the Elowai
Song of the Elowai takes place in a future fifty years distant as an over-populated Earth searches for resources among the solar system. A space-traveling, alien species is discovered; unfortunately, one whose sole purpose is the annihilation of the human race.
The Gender Wars
A hundred years into the future, American society is controlled by women who have enslaved their male counterparts except for those few who have fled to the wilderness. Men are losing ground in the ensuing guerrilla war but who's to say what can happen when soldiers from opposite sides meet and fall in love.
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Smashwords book reviews by Thomas Stone
on Dec. 22, 2009
RETURNING by Pat Whitaker, 233 pp.
Review by Thomas C. Stone
New Zealand author Pat Whitaker creates a spellbinding science fiction story in RETURNING, delivering an alternative historical narrative based on thought-provoking scenarios. With an intriguing premise, Whitaker takes us from the tundra of Siberia to war torn Europe in a pursuit of rocket technology and Nazi political manipulations. The central character is Arthys, an intelligent alien parasite capable of attaching to any biological lifeform. Arthys is from an advanced civilization and has been banished to Earth for unspecified crimes. The impetus for the story arises in Arthys’ efforts to make his way back to his home-world.
RETURNING gives Whitaker the opportunity to explore several topics – animal consciousness, the depravity of war, human morality and motivation, and not least, the power of human love to lend meaning to life. The reader is treated to private discussions between the leaders of the Nazi hierarchy as Arthys travels from one host to another. Whitaker handles the transitions gracefully with a thorough knowledge of all the players. Indeed, so thorough was the historical accuracy, I found myself thumbing through Bullock’s HITLER: A STUDY IN TYRANNY to check the facts. Included is a fairly detailed exposition of the Nazi rocket program at Peenemunde that is also historically accurate.
The science fiction of RETURNING does not end with the parasite Arthys and his impact on history, but additionally we are treated to a clear and fascinating look at interstellar travel by an alien civilization thousands of years in advance of our own. As usual, Whitaker is scientifically up-to-date in his speculations.
RETURNING is a thoughtful read with enough intrigue to satisfy any reader. Whitaker’s prose style is straightforward and accessible, a great relief from some current authors whose works might leave you pondering as to the intent of their stories. Whether one is a connoisseur of science fiction or simply a casual reader, RETURNING is a must-read.
Available in hard-copy or ebook. whitakerbooks.wordpress.com
- Time Out
on July 30, 2010
TIME OUT is a great read for scifi fans and mystery fans alike. Whitaker plays with the idea of a popular urban myth in a compelling and entertaining way by creating believable characters and offering a satisfying ending. The story is suitable for a general audience and highly recommended. Oh, and Whitaker is a nominee for the prestigious Sir Julius Vogel Award, so you know you're getting quality work by a quality writer.
- Bad Blood
on Sep. 19, 2010
BAD BLOOD by Pat Whitaker
Review by Thomas Stone
BAD BLOOD is one of author Pat Whitaker's first efforts in the fiction realm. It is an outstanding mystery story in that it artfully weaves diverse characters and sub-plots into a cohesive whole that delivers an altogether entertaining reading experience. Additionally, BAD BLOOD is about vampires -- and who doesn't love a good vampire story? Especially when it offers an alternative view of what being a vampire is all about.
The story kicks off with a series of murders in Manchester, England, where victims are found drained of blood with those two tell-tale marks upon the side of their necks. The chief investigator is a bloke named Detective Inspector Paul Stringer who, by the way, shows up in some of Whitaker's other stories, making him (at least for me) sort of a Carl Kolchak character. For the uninformed, that's Kolchak from the old Night Stalker television series, circa 1974. While Stringer is not as hard-boiled as Kolchak, he is definitely more personable and professional. Stringer's female counterpart in the story is played by Doctor Katherine Platte, a psychologist called into the investigation to help profile the killer, or, as we soon learn, killers. But don't be misled here, Platte and Stringer are not destined for romance. Stringer is far too professional, at least in this particular tale, and the good Dr. Platte becomes involved with another, far more mysterious character by the name of Hugh Montecrief. Hugh has connections to the murders and secrets that, well, are best kept secret.
Without giving too much away, I can say BAD BLOOD follows the investigation of a suspected serial killer that branches into a search for motives among diverse suspects while speculating on the possibility that real-life vampires just may be out here among us.
Whitaker draws his characters in delightful fashion with honesty and good humor. Stringer is the kind of cop you hope will be around to help should trouble arise. Dr. Platte is a well-educated professional with a woman's sensibilities. The bad guys are troubled souls who have their reasons for who and what they do, but it doesn't make them any less evil.
BAD BLOOD, like Whitaker's other books, is a short read, intended for one or two long sittings. The story is engaging enough to accomplish exactly that. Five Stars and a bloody good time.
BAD BLOOD can be found in either print or ebook versions.