Sadie S. Forsythe
on Sep. 16, 2013 :
This was a bittersweet telling of WIlliam's loss of Drew and the creation of the person known as Joshua Andrew Caine. As with all of Baldwin's work that I've read so far, it's wonderfully written. The characters have a tendency to find purchase in your heart. I honestly adore them.
While the story does a wonderful job of showing what happened prior to Joshua Andrew Caine's emergence, it stops short of addressing how Andrew and Joshua learned to live with their predicament or how William figured out how to live with the situation. Which is what I felt was promised in the description.
Still a great read though.
(reviewed 7 months after purchase)
on July 21, 2013 :
Interesting sci-fi short
(reviewed 17 days after purchase)
on March 28, 2013 :
Free book for review. I found the story itself and characters good. Two seperate people with two seperate bodies as well as two minds merged to become one person with both characteristics. In other words one body being two people. I do feel it could of been took further though. A good read.
(reviewed 26 days after purchase)
on March 27, 2013 :
Shorn From The Dead
When William Harrington, Director of Security for the Community on an arid planetary colony, shows up at the research lab of his husband Andrew Caine, he's not a happy cowboy. He's come with a cease and desist order to shut down Drew's lab. Drew has been making Ronningers, Artificial Lifeforms (ALs), by fusing human bodies with nonhuman brains, and the means by which the cadavers are harvested has created a rift between the spouses.
Drew's delight at reuniting with Will after a long, chaste absence, plus the fact that they've known each other for over two hundred years,cuts no ice with William. The man he once loved has become, in his eyes, a murderer, a killer in vitro.
Drew, whose freckled face and copper-colored hair contrasts with William's tanned features, long dark hair and dapper clothing and who is excited to tell Will about his Ronninger design, is thrown by his husband's stern accusion. Drew claims his corpses are defective humans who as Ronningers will labor usefully for the colony, their unthinking, unfeeling bodies performing basic tasks.
William wants to replace the Ronningers with Proctors: living, brainwashed people of his and Drew's design, and the conflict between Drew and himself is not mitigated by Drew claiming Stafar Baghendi, the Colony Administrator, approves of his Ronninger project.
The story develops through moments of tenderness, bigotry, crisis, danger and agonizing hope, culminating in an amazing combination of the best of all the main characters in a dazzling finale.
Friday Baldwin's story of life, death and resurrection under the auspices of science will spark in you the desire to continue exploring the Phoenician world and learn of its terrors and wonders. A truly mind-blowing experience.
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
on March 12, 2013 :
I was fortunate to be offered this ebook by the author for review. Thank you, Friday! The excerpt at the end of When Minds Collide really piqued my interest. I plan to read it soon!
This review is for: When Minds Collide. My critiques are that the short story doesn't answer the questions presented in the blurb. It got close but left me hanging and wanting to know more. I wanted to know what happened next. To me the story had just finished setting up for the real deal. Even so, I did love the story and the writing was excellent.
I have been on a quest for the last few years to find more books, mostly sci-fi or fantasy, that aren't male dominant. So I eased into this story, knowing it would be. The refreshing part was that women weren't sex objects. In fact, the few women in the story were more or less witnesses of what was happening and maybe not needed as the story is about three main characters who happen to be male. That is all the spoiler I am giving.
Needless to say, I loved the characters, the world, the author's mission. I think a lot of people would like this story. The read was quite pleasant and left me questioning. Those are the kinds of stories I like the best: those that make me think!
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)
on March 5, 2013 :
This book was gifted to me by the author for an honest review. Thank You!
William's husband Andrew is creating a new life by killing another one. He is creating Ronningers from Proctors and William has to stop him. Humanity has left Earth and gone to the Phoenician planet. Scherrer is a brilliant homophobic scientist designing Artificial Intelligence while Andrew creates Artificial Lifeforms. The two men die in a crash but their consciousnesses are brought back in one body making a Joshua Scherrer-Andrew Caine hybrid. This is a very well-written science fiction story. I am interested to read more about this world.
(reviewed 53 days after purchase)
on Aug. 18, 2012 :
A very solid novella introducing The Phoenician Series, although without having read Conditioned Response I can say this works well as a standalone work. A fast-paced read that will keep your attention. It has an interesting appeal as Baldwin seamlessly blends space opera/space colonization style with some romance and with bio-engineering, along with age old questions like What does it mean to be human addressed with both a sci-fi way and reminiscent of a literary fiction way as well.
My only complaint is there was enough here that could have been expanded upon to make a full novel, and it leaves the reader wanting more (which is part of the point, to get you into the Phoenician Series which you will likely gain interest in after reading this)
(review of free book)
Julie B. Gonzalez
on Aug. 5, 2012 :
"When Minds Collide" is a wonderful, very descriptive, well written short story, (with no grammatical or spelling errors for an eBook!) and the prequel to "Conditioned Response", which, is set in the future on an alien planet.
The author describes beautifully, two of the main characters- Andrew Caine and Joshua Scherrer who dislike each other intensely; so much so, that Andrew would have left Joshua behind on Earth but, his resourceful mind is needed if the human race is to continue to survive on this horrid planet, with creatures that will fry you with their eyes! So it's no surprise when Joshua grabs a ride with Andrew that "sparks will fly"! Sadly, they both perish in a horrid car accident and their ingenious minds are gone forever-- or maybe not?
A third character, William, is devastated with the news and can't accept that the love of his life may be gone forever. The author describes William with such emotion that you can't help but feel his sorrow.
Fourth character named Stafar, in my opinion, he's borders on being a little bit of a "mad scientist" and gives you that creepy feeling when you realize what he's about to do. I don't want to say anything more because you really should read this book for yourself. I will say that Friday does a fabulous job bringing her characters to life; she describes beautifully the feelings of love, sorrow and regret and she had me in tears the entire last chapter.
On a final note, you should also read "Conditioned Response" to really get the bigger picture here. I suspect there is still lots of material and story still left to be told and I'm looking forward for the next book in this series
(review of free book)
on Aug. 4, 2012 :
When Minds Collide is a free short story from the author of Conditioned Response which is set in a future where mankind has left Earth for an alien planet. I mentioned in my review of Conditioned Response that I am no major fan of any gritty style of writing but I very much appreciated this short story. I found it provided the extra detail and information I personally found lacking in Conditioned Response and the tone and characters appealed to me on a more personal level. I particularly liked the irony of one character calling another an 'intolerant ass'. Little touches like that provided the sense that these characters were not air-headed caricatures but more flesh and blood symbols. They were more realistically grounded in terms of their personalities.
This is a fast paced and short story but when combined with Conditioned Response a reader can see the bigger picture of the grand setting. This is one thing I did find lacking in Conditioned Response despite it being perhaps the better story in terms of depth and plot. I am quite intrigued to say the least to see how Marjorie Baldwin is gradually drawing her world together through the various books and short stories centred around this world. In fact I think that it is great. On its own one book provides a decent story and some interesting sci-fi ideas but when that book is combined with this short story you gain something far greater as a reader.
In terms of the plot this short story follows human settlers and their reactions to the new Phoenician world. It introduces the reader to the alien people and animals while also revealing the background of certain characters in Conditioned Response. The one reason I did not give this a five star rating is merely personal preference and due to the fact that I would have liked for it to be slightly longer. However as a result of the developments shown in this short story I am certainly interested in reading the next book that comes out to see whether the style of this short story can be adopted to make a great full-length sci-fi novel.
In summary I would recommend that anyone interested in checking out a new e-book sci-fi series go check this short story out for free. It will provide you with a taste of the tone and style of the longer Conditioned Response. I also think that anyone who likes this story will want to go on and read Conditioned Response that they will find it a very well-written and gritty sci-fi novel indeed.
(review of free book)
on Aug. 2, 2012 :
When Minds Collide (A Phoenician Series Short Story)
by Marjorie F. Baldwin
Published August 1, 2012
Available Format: ebook
My Rating: ★★★★★
When Minds Collide is a bit of a short story preview into the world of the Phoenician Series and Conditioned Response. Not only do we get a little intro to the planet where Earth's inhabitants are now living, we get a peek at the Phoenicians and their creatures, and a major look into the lives of William Harrington and Andrew Caine right when their lives truly changed forever.
Having already read Conditioned Response (find my review and an interview with Friday HERE), I really enjoyed getting to go back and get the more in depth story of Will and Drew and Joshua Scherrer—basically where it all began. It really makes me curious how things play out between this story and the beginning of book two. Of course, I would love for the story to be longer (though Friday admits it is really a short novella instead of a short story ☺), but it is a great little taste of the series for anyone who might not be sure if this will be their cup of tea.
As always, Friday's writing style is easy and she is fantastic with the details that really make a story shine. Readers are immediately drawn in and find themselves fully invested in the lives of the characters. The pacing is perfect and the sci-fi/fantasy aspect is completely believable from start to finish.
You can snag this story FREE on Smashwords right now, so you have no excuse not to give this series a try! https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/209623
While you're there, go ahead and purchase Conditioned Response, because if you haven't read it already, you will definitely want to when you finish When Minds Collide! https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/150558
(review of free book)
on July 31, 2012 :
I really enjoyed this short story, although I wish it had been longer. The author developed the personalities of the main characters beautifully and really showed their relationships with each other. I had already read "Conditioned Response" and had some unanswered questions I didn't even know I had. This prequel helped me understand and care more about some of the characters. With the insight I have from this book, I plan on really enjoying my second reading of "Conditioned Response".
(reviewed the day of purchase)