Birdie Down

Rated 4.22/5 based on 9 reviews
The Outer-Rim rebellion stumbles into its second day - and in the wrong direction. Can it survive a third? More
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About Jim Graham

Jim was born in Bushey, Middlesex, England and grew up in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. He passed selection for the 21st Special Air Service Regiment at age 17 and was later commissioned into the 3rd Battalion, The Queen’s Regiment as a Second Lieutenant. He spent several years in Northern Ireland during the late 70s and early 80s. Since leaving the army in 1986, he has worked in Malaysia, South Africa, Belgium, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Jim started writing scifi in September 2010 and has since published SCAT and BIRDIE DOWN, both based on events in Scat’s Universe. ARMY of SOULS, the sequel to SCAT is also available from Amazon and Smashwords. SCAT is a big 'what if'. ARMY of SOULS is more of a 'what now'. Both are space operas, which question political systems, economic dependency, compromised regulators, and too big to fail businesses, and go on to question conflict between knowledge and faith. BIRDIE DOWN and the up-coming PHARMA are rebellion 'shoot 'em ups'.

Jim now lives with Vivien, his Malaysian-born wife, two East Asian street dogs and four pampered cats in Asia’s World City, Hong Kong. It is the company-run city which inspired Go Down City and the Lynthax Corporation in Scat’s Universe.

Learn more about Jim Graham

Also by This Author


Jennifer Lewis reviewed on March 16, 2013

I really enjoyed reading this book. Well written, touch of humour, couldn't put it down.
(review of free book)
Sarah Baethge reviewed on Jan. 15, 2013

Birdie Down by Jim Graham is an interesting side story that takes place in Graham’s Scat universe. In 2210, rebels led by Sebastian Scatkiewicz (known as ‘Scat’) are protesting the corporate rule of space. As his team is reaching out to cause trouble on one of the worlds owned by the enemy Lynthax corporation, a ship containing the rebel and former police officer Andrew Goosen (known as ‘Birdie’) goes down and must be abandoned for the good of the rebellion.

Birdie now has the enjoyment of trying to run with/rescue a friend and college (Tillier Bing) who was hurt so that he doesn’t remember knowing Birdie, the entire rebellion he was fighting for, or even what he had claimed was his own name. If that wasn’t enough, the two of them are stuck in a swamp swarming with giant lizards and horrible spider-rat creatures so sickening that you wouldn’t even leave a hated enemy to fend with them.

For everyone who loved the first one, this book is not to be missed. As the story is slightly set aside from it’s predecessor, it should stand alone well enough, but as the two works fit together into an elaborate, well put together tail, there is no real reason to miss either one. I hear Jim has a third story in the works; I am eagerly awaiting getting the chance to read it
(review of free book)
Thomas Cotterill reviewed on July 7, 2012

Birdie Down is Jim Graham’s second novel and a science fiction version of what Rudyard Kipling would have called a "ripping good yarn." What we have here is high adventure of the best kind with a motley collection of crashed revolutionaries and hostages struggling to survive on a jungle planet rife with bad weather, deadly creatures, and hostile enemy forces. The odd dose of rank treachery adds even more spice to the rich mix.

The book opens with some solid foundation-laying. Birdie Down is an episode within the greater story told in Graham’s first novel, Scat (see my review), and early chapters provide the tie-in. We soon reach the story’s heart.

Andrew “Birdie” Goosen, the Birdie of the book’s title, is flying a shuttle on a critical mission only days into a revolt against an oppressive corporate entity that dominates planets on the “outer rim,” the region of known space farthest from Earth. At the start, he has only one small problem: he does not know how to fly. This soon becomes apparent and government fighters shoot his craft out of the sky. In the process, they also down a shuttle filled with former hostages.

Birdie (and company) survives, only now he has a whole lot of big problems. Bad weather keeps the enemy temporarily at bay, but torrential rain brings on the planet's feeding season, a frenzy reminiscent of the one on the much drier world in Vin Diesel's, “Pitch Black.” The story unfolds as the crash survivors try to reach safe-haven located miles away through a flooding jungle erupting with ravenous fanged fish and swarming man-eating vermin. This is definitely not a tale for the squeamish.

The jungle journey is a thrill in itself, yet there is more to come as the scene shifts to a flooding riverbank where huge monsters and enemy agents await the unwary. It all climaxes in a final shootout between rebel rescuers and corporate forces. However, as so often happens in Graham’s work, the story takes a number of unexpected turns and some things are not what they appear to be.

Besides the suspenseful adventure, what makes this novel work so well is Birdie. He is an extremely likable character and comes across as the decent human being caught up in a nasty situation not of his making. He tries so hard to do the right thing that you cannot help but respect and admire him. Other characters are well drawn, interesting, and effective.

There are some minor indie glitches here and there, but none that impairs the pleasing classic-sci-fi feel this entertaining novel so consistently presents. If you enjoy desperate struggles to survive against long odds, this one is a winner.
(review of free book)
Angelya reviewed on May 23, 2012

Birdie Down is a guns-blazing tale of a group of rebels in the Outer Rim, taking on the Lynthax Corporation. Scatkiewicz (or “Scat”) and his crew have hijacked a ship and attacked Corporation facilities on two worlds and are chased to a third. A group of rebels, led by Andrew “Birdie” Goosen, has crash landed a shuttle into the swampy jungle on the planet below. They must not only survive the Corporation forces searching for them, but also all the nasties that an alien world can throw at them.

Apparently this book was written for fun in only five weeks – if that is the case then Jim Graham has done a great job in a very short time. The start of the story thrusts the reader right into the action and there’s little time for character descriptions, but as the story moves on we get to know the crew better. Once the attack begins on Constitution, the action is exciting and non-stop, with plenty of alien creatures and gory bits.

This story is perfect for lovers of gritty sci-fi and fans of space opera will love it.
(review of free book)
Peter Johnstone reviewed on April 25, 2012

have to admit, wasn't keen on the first chapter or so. Bit too much tell rather than show for my taste, trying to keep up a fast pace. It settles down, we get to know the main characters and it's worth sticking with it. Read this book and watch this author.

5 weeks? i Hate you Jim :-)
(review of free book)
Kevin Long reviewed on April 20, 2012

I enjoyed it. I really did. It renewed my faith in the online self-publishing concept as a whole, and better still, within fifteen pages I *knew* that it would. It gave me something no other E-book has given me thus far: I had a good feeling about it by the end of the second scene! I’m so impressed by this that I’m going to pick up his first book, and review that ASAP. That’s something I’ve never done before.

Highly Recommended.

Full review at
(review of free book)
David J. Avila reviewed on April 6, 2012

For a book written in five weeks, it ain't half bad. It has all the elements a sci fi story requires, lasers, star ships and rebels. It reminds me of a space opera than anything else. The characters are not developed to a point for me to invest myself in them. They seem to be very stereo-typical.

Graham should be congratulated on writing and publishing this book in record time. I would hope he can keep up the pace and should have a large collection of work in no time. I was not particularly impressed by this story. It did not find it very interesting to me. At some points, I found it very annoying. Within the story is a laser rifle the author calls a PIKL. It stands for Pulsed Impulsive Kill Laser. In the entire story, the term PIKL is overly used. I would hope that in that vast universe there would be other types of firearms.

The story line is done well and resolves in a way that will allowing the characters to continues in other books. I believe a sequel is in the works. I can say that Birdie Down is not a must read but it's not something to avoid. Graham shows potential and talent and will only get better at his craft.
(review of free book)
Melanie Adkins reviewed on March 24, 2012

The year is 2210, and things are just a bit different now. Earth has several planets and they are under corporate rule. The corporation then reports back to Earth. Lynthax is that company. As with many companies, Lynthax believe themselves to be above the law. They downsize and rearrange peoples lives in a careless way. Many found fault with Lynthax and decided to fight back. The rebellion is new and still unorganized, but willing to fight to the death to expose the ways of Lynthax. The rebels are looking for independence from Earth and they'll do anything to get it. They promised land to those who would join the rebellion and help them gain the independence. The first to join were ex-cops. They'd been fired from their jobs by Lynthax. Andrew "Birdie" Goosen is one of them. During one mission to shut down Lynthax information storage facilities, Birdie's shuttle is shot down. Now what? Read the book to find out more.

I am a geek fan if ever there was one for books such as this. I love 'seeing' into the future as to what others feel our world might include. Jim Graham didn't disappoint. His vision of Earth in 2210 seems to be right in line with where we are today. The story is age old, the oppressed fighting the oppressor. It's always been my habit to support the underdog and I'm no different in this instance. Birdie Down is a well crafted tale and action filled. You'll enjoy the way this story unfolds with no apology for what the rebels do in an effort to win freedom. It offers all the things a scifi fan would look for and includes some, to me at least, gory, horror film stuff too. Not over the top, just fits with the story.

I am delighted to say, there were no issues.

I gave this on 4 out of 5 books just because of the horror film quality in part of it (not a fan).
(review of free book)
Shain Knowles reviewed on Feb. 20, 2012

If you like SF this is a fantastic read. Great Pace and a wonderful story line.
(review of free book)
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