Hannes Birnbacher

Biography

Remark: In case you wish to contact me, write to "morpheusNN@kabelmail.de". Please change NN against "13". It is a means of anti-spam. This address will be read more often and is more reliable.

My SF Experiences
I have read SF since about 1960 or earlier. In 1972 I participated in a Workshop with the late Dieter Hasselblatt, then managing editor at "Deutschlandfunk" for radio drama. At the end our group wrote our own SF radio drama, which was broadcasted approximately three times in the following years, which earned good money for the author collective considering that we were no professional authors.
Dr. Hasselblatt did employ me from time to time to write an approximately 2-page review of scripts for SF radio drama, so he could choose some of them to broadcast in Deutschlandfunk.

My Reviews
Authors are welcome to contact me, for example, if I am doing their book wrong or they changed a book so my review has ceased to be applicable. I do not believe to be that important, but I consider myself a committed critic and if I am aware that I could improve my view of a book, I will be happy to share the new findings with the readers. (My reviews, however, are *not* for sale).

How do I chose the Books I would like to read?
1. Read the plot, klicking on "more". Is it religious? Does it include magicians? Is it the 1-zillionth "after atomic war" Story? Then it must sound very interesting. In 99 of 100 cases, I would go to the next E-Book.
2. read "about" the author and, if any, the interview? Does he have a scientific education? Is he an experienced author? I will never sort out an author because he's not a pro (imagine, to have ignored the first book Crichton, or Franson, or Brin has ever written, offered for free?!) and the fun of reading e-books is that they are actual. I certainly do not wish to restrict my reading adventures to books from authors who are on the market since 100 or since 20 years, even if Verne or Clarke have been masters ... of their century). But if he is a pro, I will read more sample pages, if I do not like the first two of them.
3. read online, starting with two sample pages, e.g. 10 and 100 (in reality I chose other ones). If an author does not have any scientific or technical education and there are three pages from him explaining gravity or astronomy which everybody learns at school - next book, please. If style is boring - same, for example if there are no dialogues. Even if there are dialogues and the hero explains half a page to his co-pilot why you do not hear sound in vacuum or how huge a distance a lightyear is - thanks for uploading your book to smashwords, next one, please.
4. I never pay for a book from an author I do not yet know. Quite frequently, I purchase the sequels and other books of an author I like, if the price is not beyond what I consider appropiately to my living conditions, maybe two or three Euros, same as I paid in earlier years for used books at flea markets or Amazon.

Normally I do not award stars in my reviews, unless very few cases where I feel I should warn other readers not to waste their time on a really bad book. For me, five stars are reserved for the best authors of all times (e.G. Michael Crichton, whose Story "Jurassic Parc" I read many years before Spielberg made his Blockbuster film from it) or those SF Authors who have formed our culture, e.G. George Orwell. Everybody else gives five stars if he enjoyed reading so I find me decreasing the average review ratings of those Authors I liked most, even if I do award three stars (= worth paying money for) or four stars (= among the best and most enticing SF I ever read) to them.
Regrettably, I am quite backwards with publishing reviews of the SF stories I have read.

I have very much respect for people who write a book and offer it on platforms like smashwords (even if I don't like the result at all). Every one of them must have invested months, and the hope of a life, to do so.
I seek to pay back something for what the author gave away for free, by taking down notes about the mistakes which are to be found in any E-Book and sending them to authors. I do not doubt that the authors do everything to have errors corrected from their side, but inevitable, there still remain some which show up in the published version. I herefore use the "store remarks" function of my E-Reader and edit my file by global search and replace.
It started as a list I wanted to have for proof if I write a review in Smashwords.com, but I realized mentioning an error count in a review would not improve the books or the Indie SF scene; notifying the authors of any mistakes could.

Where to find Hannes Birnbacher online


Books

This member has not published any books.

Hannes Birnbacher's favorite authors on Smashwords


Smashwords book reviews by Hannes Birnbacher

  • The DrearGyre on Nov. 05, 2013

    As there was not yet a more experienced and natural english reader for a review, this will become my first review on Smashwords. I did not know the "Star Treck" Universe before. The story is quite trivial, but I downloaded it for entertaining me and I did very much enjoy to read it. It is no great literature or unheard-of ideas like Crichton or Franson, but more the Larry-Niven-and-Jerry-Pournelle-class (old universe, new wars), it's quality one or two points better than mass-produced Perry Rhodan or similar. It was fun to read and it tells perhaps as much about the author (much from a female point of view) as about the plot. Furthermore, it was a gift, free for a full-length book, so as I was forced to chose between three and four stars, I happily chose four stars!
  • The Last Roman (The Praetorian Series - Book I) on Dec. 01, 2013

    This is a great book, very entertaining. Thank you that it is free. It is full-size (almost 400 pages), and it is not a sample ending in a thrilling moment, but at the end. The same, btw., is valid for the little sample of the second book of the series, so it is pure pleasure to read the free first book as well as the samples, because they are fair. I am considering to purchase the second book also, as soon as I have found a way to pay for it. The sample shows the authors is developing his skill further, there playing with different views, alternating between the hero and it's girl friend, very amusing.
  • To Crown a Caesar (The Praetorian Series - Book II) on Dec. 09, 2013

    Okay, hundreds more legionaires killed and the girlfriend of the hero ist more lovely than ever. Sisters and lovers are always bashing their beloved if they are emotoinally upset. (Now what does this tell us about the author, I wonder???). I would have probably clinked out the 2.99 Dollars for this second Book just for the entertainment, but there is more in it. Watch the author in future. He plays around with history with very much knowledge and imagination, supported by superior scientific knowledge. (Sorry for my bad command of the english language in this review, I hope you understand what I really wish to point out). If he describes how it feels to spend a quiet evening at Cesarea, you really wish to be there, and I am grateful to have been lead to this experience. Even though the persons in Volume I started to be sketched black-and-white, the Author in this second book develops them into more shades. Some of the scenes are worth the 2.99 Dollars alone he asks for, for one page only (grin). Watch this author. I just acquired volume III of the series, after having enjoyed the 20% sample of it.
  • A Hunter and His Legion (The Praetorian Series - Book III) on Dec. 13, 2013

    So I am the first to dare write a review?! Smashworld is not even in my mother language and the subject deserve precise understanding of what I am feeling. Finish with the indians-and-trappers, oh, sorry, SEALS and pretorians slaughters. The book is not SF either, if you understand "SF" as building a story around an existing and exciting Science perception. It's fantasy, and I never was very interested in hard-core fantasy. (Now why did I purchase the Praetorien Series? Because it is fun to reading it, anyway). But I was not able to stop reading until the end, except sleeping times, eat, work etc. I just could not stop. Remark: the praetorien series is not written for the youth. I found myself looking up lots of words, and learning more of them which are not explained in the dictionaries (biggrin). So what is different with volume III? It is dealing with the person, Soul, destiny and responsible, self-reliant action. Let me guess that the author progressed from writing something for entertainment to writing something to express his life experience. And he does ist with always better artisan skill. As I had stated above, I could not stop reading. For me personally, this series was quite fateful. I am part of a community of persons impaired in communication (Asperger Syndrome). What came into my sense after reading Vol. III, was, that I could point out to somebody with big problems, that the problems are ALL and ANY within himself, his personality, and that God or whoever gave him the capability to overcome his problems. I believe the author communicated a tiny bit of his experience in life and it came very conveniently to fill in a gap in what I sought for a solution :-) . Hope, the last Volume (as the author is promising vor IV) will be available soon :-) . Watch the author.
  • Spinward Fringe Broadcast 0: Origins on June 07, 2014

    Could not stop reading it. Quality for me is between Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. Furthermore the size of the book "Origins", consisting of three novels, which with other aothors would be the first and only free volume each, and offered free, is very generous. Will purchase the others, too, and be gratefully for the good entertainment. Critics? Okay, women are somewhat ... faceless, the relationships quite simply put. That's good for us readers, because else Origins would have it made into the bestsellers worldwide and cost plenty of money .
  • AMP Messenger on March 21, 2015

    Gewaltige Space Opera, unterhaltsam und amüsant.
  • Breaking Gravity on March 21, 2015

    I liked this one. It is amusing and a thrilling "what would happen if..." story.
  • Tsar Wars: Agents of ISIS, Book 1 on March 21, 2015

    No, thanks. It looks like a Space Opera but is even less than that - a story of treason and revolution, but with the names of planets instead of countries. Novels playing in real history are more enthralling for me. It is not as bad as really bad Ebooks, but I just did not like it. Probably I did not understand what the author wanted to say.
  • Rescue Mission to the Stars on March 21, 2015

    boring, naive, stereotypes.
  • Few Are Chosen, K'Barthan Series: Part 1 on March 23, 2015

    Oh no. In my opinion, style is boring, plot is boring, story is boring.
  • Bypass Gemini on March 23, 2015

    Very amusing and entertaining. Must-have!
  • The Book of Deacon on March 23, 2015

    I loved it. Do not miss that one!
  • The Life, Death and Life of Amelia Hollow on March 23, 2015

    I tound the style not very elaborated, maybe a beginner's work? The plot was not interesting for me.
  • The Empty Door on March 23, 2015

    Good plot and very entertaining.
  • Geisterschiff on March 26, 2015

    Schön kurze Sätze. Leicht zu verstehen, das Buch. Und ganz neue Ideen, Raumschlachten und so.
  • The Siege Of Apuao Grande on March 26, 2015

    Extremely thrilling, very differentiated view of the varieties of political opinion and character.
  • The Colonisation of Mars on March 26, 2015

    Epic, witty, entertaining novel. Somewhat daunting: the story is even realistic, as a view into the future. Definitively more interesting than the naive Heinlein or Bradbury stories of a past age.
  • Beyond Uranus on April 19, 2015

    This is a most entertaining and amusing book. Who says that real Science Fiction must not be funny written? The Novel mirrors human society and types of individuals in the description of a space station and the actions of it's population, be they human or alien. Everything is there what makes a great Space Opera: love, combat, spaceships, hierarchy - and sarcastic Computers. There is a table of content with real chapter headings, not only "Chapter 1", "Chapter 2" etc. The word count is not filled up with a preview of the sequel, like I have seen in other books, and "Beyond Uranus" is a self-contained story; the beginning of "The Rings of Uranus" does continue the story, but "Beyond Uranus" can be read alone. I would have given the six stars which this author merits, but I lost a beautiful sunny spring day, on which I could have done much work, because I just stayed in bed and read the book, therefore only five stars. But I purchased the two sequels so in the end, it might come to fifteen stars.
  • The Rings of Uranus on April 23, 2015

    Let me say it so: I am grateful that with "Beyond Uranus" the Author gave away his best book for free. But I would have been unhappy if I did not have the sequel "The Rings of Uranus" with more fun. Space Opera, dirty speak, getting drunk, aliens which you could find in any pub, beautiful daughters, romance - it is all there, again.
  • Inside Uranus on April 23, 2015

    Okay ... with Jazz, dirty words, aliens who are too human in their bureaucracy, lots of fun and lots of lager there is still enough stuff for a third, funny and entertaining space opera. I like this one, too.
  • A (Not So) Healthy Dose of Chaos: A New World on April 25, 2015

    Aliens have shown up on earth some years ago. A human decides to become landlord for a bunch of female humanoids from various cultures. Great stuff about cultural differences, communication etc., and Edo-chan is the man to master it. This is so sweet. One of them is a really tiny elf, and he serves coffee to them all. For the tiny one he considers some cups and then goes looking for a thimble. You can't avoid snickering when you are reading the book. It is 69.000 words but it is free (the sequel only 1.99USD for another 60.000, which is fair). There table of contents has meaningful captions so you easily can find again a chapter.
  • The Yeomen of England on May 08, 2015

    At first it seemed to me to be nothing more than the story of a huge war between man-eating aliens and humanity, mixed with some weakly described love stories. It could have been placed in prehistoric times between Neandertals and Homo Sapiens, or in the wild west between white man and Indians, or in WWII, or ... . But is it really nothing more? On the homepage of the author (chrishanger . net) I found lots of older books, most of them about "what-if" or alternative timelines. I now understood that it is a concern of the author to change one parameter in history ("what if an alien race does threaten to destroy Earth", "what if modern Britain was sent back to 1940 for a second chance in WWII") and find out how history would have developed, SF at it's best. I converted all the rtf's with Calibre into .epub, because my E-Reader will not understand rtf. I had to set the general conversion parameters to "heuristic" or Calibre would not read Chris' rtf format. "The Yeomen of Engeland" also is a parable for war, agression and bravity, some reincarnation of H.G. Wells martian wars, and more. It is incredible enthralling, better than the lesser stories of Jerry Pournelle, those which seemed to come from a fabrication line, in my opinion. Don't miss it! If you like the Posleen Universe, read another story from Chris' Homepage: "HOLY WAR". Furthermore, he does point his fans to more free Posleen Books from John Ringo and other authors on his Homepage. His download links in that section are no longer valid, but you can download all in one if you do a Google search for "baen cd eye of the storm", download and un-zip the CD file - and you will find there a wealth of other free CD, enough ebooks for years.
  • Fort Falling: Comments on a Life in Orbital Decay on Feb. 07, 2016

    This is, in my opinion, one of the greatest SF Novel ever written, equal to a Crichton or David Brin. It is amusing. It is written in blog form, and very exciting. It has new ideas, and it is SF at it's best: Projecting from the present into the future the scientific and social developments from today. Furthermore, anything I ever liked is there - Space Battles (mostly without victims, and still 100% victory), kittens, power women ... Don't miss it!
  • A Depraved Blessing on Feb. 10, 2016

    I regretted reading the book to the end. I waited for something to happen, but it did'nt. On the last page there is a hint that a sequel could be purchased. I waited for some science fiction idea to show up, but it did'nt. There was no projection of actual social or technical developments in the future. The book makes believe it is SF by playing on an other planet but that one is just like Earth, complete with towns, trucks, oceans, ships, deserts and nuclear bombs. Life consists of breakfasts, grandpas, sons and daughters, jobs and love. Some of the inhabitants of this earth II can exercise sorcery, which saves them to use bulldozers or explosives. This is not meant cynical; it is all what the concept of sorcery is used for in this book. What happens anyway? The action consists of biological warfare by a mothership and smaller spaceships from unknown invaders, spread by invisible monsters, but the microbes are nanoparticles which cause some type of rabies, changing human beings into zombies. This is the whole plot, thinned out to 272 pages. There is a little hint in the last sentence on the last pages that' s more to it, and you can learn about it if you pay 0,99 Dollars for the sequel. Remark: there is some action in the novel, the author may have some writing talent. What's missing, in my opinion (I never gave only one star in my reviews before, I believe), is any trace of an idea or an interesting plot.
  • The Last Immortal : Book One of Seeds of a Fallen Empire on March 07, 2016
    (no rating)
    I found it boring, bad SF, written unprofessional. I was so happy to have found a Space Opera with six big volumes for free, but I did not bother to read the following ones. Galactic empires, Immortals, space wars ... nothing new here.
  • The Prophecy on March 11, 2016

    This is not Science Fiction, as I expected, but fantasy pure, right with talking dragons, castles, kings, griffons and dwarf's forges. So I am free of the quite strict rules I do apply in reviewing Science Fiction. Normally I do not read fantasy books. They seem to be all alike, and the most of them are poorly written. Reading this one, however, forced a big grin onto my face which did not go away until the end of the story. It is written by a gifted author, never boring, never illogical (within the magic universe of this book), full of action, very exciting and with a fine humor. Furthermore, I started reading in bed, lying there with a bad ulcer or worse, and I am grateful to the author because I just forgot the pain. It has been a long time since I have been so completely drawn into the spell of a story. From me four stars, which means in my system: "buy everything from this author you can afford to". Fortunately, I then discovered that the bakkian stories are available all together in "The Bakkian Chronicles Omnibus" so I have them all.
  • Bakkian Chronicles Omnibus on March 21, 2016

    Oh, this is The Baccian Chronicles all in one place, for small money. I have read the first of the four books contained (see my review of Book I) and enjoyed it very much. Don't miss it! (Edit: in the meantime, I have read and enjoyed the three novels and the short stories contained in the "Bus". Too bad I am not allowed to post my detailed Reviews under the titles contained in the "Bus". It's too much to paste them here).
  • Lost City on March 21, 2016

    More dragons, more dwarfs, more ideas. Then you will be delighted that this, the fifth book of the Lentari Universe, is as intriguing, funny, entertaining, exciting, going to heart as the four before it. Okay, the idea is, eh, very ... video. I am not sure if the author maybe did have in mind to base a video adventure on it later. If so, I might be curious to see it...
  • The Bright Black Sea on April 08, 2016

    This is big SF, enthralling to read, sometimes very amusing (I like the scene with the spaceship pets, specially bred dogs not at all different to our contemporary ones which "inevitable end up as frantically flaying derelicts barking for a tow" when losing contact with the floor, lacking gravity), containing three (!) volumes, 840 pages, a typical Space Opera of the year 40.000. People are drawn literary credible, unlike lots of SF where you have difficulties to distinguish the women and partners from each other. It contains interesting theories and continues social and technical developments logically into the future, so I do not hesitate to give it five stars, the same rating I would grant to a novel of Crichton for "Jurassic Parc" or Larry Niven for "Ringworld".
  • The Trilisk Ruins on April 22, 2016

    Could not stop reading, extremely exciting, lots of action, interesting science fiction (extrapolation of today's technology. Four stars only because five stars, in my system, are reserved for the best fiction of all ages, e.g. Orwell "1984".
  • A Summer in Amber on April 22, 2016

    A great romance, playing in the near future, very interesting, very touching! I love the humour of the author, too! Some reviewers do mention the typos. They were not annoying in my March 2016 Download, so I think some have been corrected; the problem seems to be with the author being a perfectionist, not so much in the text being faulty; there are much worse among the smaswords books. English is not my mother language, but by considering what would be the sound of a word and which other words sound the same (e.g. "there" and "their"), I was able to understand what was the sense immediately.
  • Some Day Days on April 23, 2016
    (no rating)
    "Some day days" ist lots of romance, little of science fiction. I am very fond of the style and the humour of C.Litka, which made it worthwile reading this book. This is the first of the three (at the moment) books of C.Litka available at Smashwords. The topic: man loves girl but girl seems to wish him only as a friend, however, they are talking endlessly about this problem. I prefer dialogues for action, not for explaining feelings and problems to the reader; it is not plausible that two people do talk about their love problem all day long. In the same universe, post-apocalypse Great Britain, plays "A Summer in Amber", which includes a similar relationship and is written much more sophisticated. I consider that one a masterpiece of the author. I am submitting this review of "Some day days" without a rating, therefore, but it is still fun to read.
  • Saving John on April 24, 2016
    (no rating)
    I could not force myself to read on after the first third of the book and stay awake, for lack of suspense, of interesting details or new ideas. For heavens sake, why should I read 292 pages of logorrhoe like this: "Fear began to grip Donny’s mind as childhood movies of monsters in space ran across his thoughts. And then a comforting thought: his lighter. He always carried a lighter, a nice slim Zippo that Chris and Jake had gotten him as a gift. A nice gift for their smoker friend. He reached down into his pocket, (...)" ? This is not my thing, therefore no ranking.
  • Gathering Clouds... on June 01, 2016
    (no rating)
    Do you like Space Operas with huge and fast spaceships, merciless aliens and epic space battles? You will find them here. Do you have a faible for comics? You will meet the clever mickey mouse here, but he is called Trevor in this novel and invented the ultimate flying saucer; Goofy is Alf, and Minnies name, very housewife but strong and intelligent, is Sam in this story. What SF did you read, if any, when you were 16 or 18? Maybe it was Heinlein. The Heroes of this novel are around 18, still fearing the wrath of their teacher (Professor Masterson). This does not mean that "Gathering Clouds" is a book for adolescents. If you like the aforementioned novels, you will love this one. It changes quickly between phantasy and extremely thrilling action. You can't press it in a scheme, maybe not even in one genre. Most evil aliens in SF are either reptiles or insects, which with some other authors points to a regrettable lack of phantasy. Really new beings, let aside with a credible story why they are what they are, are extremely seldom, like Niven's puppeteers or Van Vogt's Coeurl. The bad guys of James Field are oversized Mantis, in all respects similar to the earth ones. The analogy goes so far that the heroes deduct the traits of them from the hunting methods of the terrestrial variant! Luckily the author is not deadly serious with the universe he creates for our amusement so we can take the Mantis as another comic character, like Micky Mouse, standing for a principle. The Short Stories of the authors prove that he also does master serious subjects, like in "the professors conundrum". "Gathering Clouds" does contain some intellectually stimulating insights, too, but it is made up such as we readers like it - for suspense and fun. So, this novel is 169 pages of inventive and exciting lecture for us SF Fans, and it's free. It does not end with a cliffhanger, there is just a suggestion that not all problems for mankind are solved with the last page, so it was inevitable that I could not resist downloading the follow-up (Pink Water). Three stars from me, which means in my system: "Enjoy, store, and clink out money to read more from this author". (reviewed long after purchase) Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, maybe Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of those authors I like best! So I decided to change my reviews, step by step, thereby deleting my smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • Yoikes on June 01, 2016
    (no rating)
    Nice to read, very funny, a clever time travel story. Three stars for a good idea and excellent entertainment! Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of those authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, step by step, thereby deleting my smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • Ally Oop Through the Ulysses Trees on June 01, 2016
    (no rating)
    Great book with a very fine humour. I liked it, three stars from me! Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of those authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, step by step, thereby deleting my smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • First Strike on June 01, 2016
    (no rating)
    Exciting story, but has nothing to do with Science Fiction. It is just a trapper and injuns story placed in deep space. There is faster-than-light travel (Van Vogt 1950ties), Cobra Maneuvre (Suchoi SU-27), 30mm Cannon on fighter plane (Nazi ME-262), the good are American Marines, the bad are reptiles (walking upright on two feet, praying to their god, anti-christian), etc. Two stars, still particularly recommended for reading. Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of those authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, step by step, thereby deleting my smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • Goliath on June 01, 2016
    (no rating)
    I love reading, and books like this are the reason. There is action on every page. The author is an experienced writer. He makes me drive a car in a storm in Alaska myself, and share a Coffee in a tent in the Sahara. He remembers me of the Myriad of Stars I have seen in North Africa far away from human settlements. I am shure that he has been himself to the places in his books. Of course, there is routine to be seen in "Goliath". The good are the Americans, ex-army, police or at least employed in American enterprises, the bad have Far-East or Russian names, preferably North Koreans. And there are no trifling or measly circumstances. The weapons are military grade up to the biggest, the politics do concern the biggest nations and the oldest conflicts. Is the plot plausible? err ... hmm ... honestly, the author has a far above average knowledge of physics, geology or weapons, but I hesitate to say yes. O yeah, what did I expect from an action story which could have been written by Beagley or Cussler ... People are describe somewhat like in comics. This is no Gottfried Keller or John Steinbeck in understanding and characterizing human beings. Still, if you seek an epic love story, you will find it here. And from where did I know that a German Sheperd Dog would play a role also in this novel from Richard Turner ... I considered lifting my rating by one star for this only but Turner decided to let the dog die ... Three stars, please do not hesitate to download or purchase all you can get your hands on. Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of those authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, step by step, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • White Noise on June 01, 2016
    (no rating)
    "White Noise" is quite intriguing and takes surprising turns; it shows the expertise of it's author, as expected from his other short stories I read. Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of those authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • The Professor's Conundrum on June 01, 2016
    (no rating)
    The story is quite intelligent and does show the expertise of the author at it's best. Three stars for a good short story. Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of those authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • Doomsday Diary on June 01, 2016
    (no rating)
    The story is quite intelligent and intriguing and shows, als expected, the high professional skills of the author. I had fun reading it. Three stars, in my system. Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of those authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • John Gone on June 01, 2016
    (no rating)
    Okay, it's a Novel around crime and punishment, responsability and moral, the wrong girlfriend and true love. But is'nt it set a little bit too high? For heavens sake, there is sort of a re-born aegyptic pharao giving philosophical advices! Science Fiction as the evolution of todays developments is rather weak. Yeah, there exist commercial enterprises who would imprison or kill employees for more profit, that's the social aspect. Okay, there is a funny wrist watch which can do tricks, but that's all what is "scientific". Last not least, the book is part one of a trilogy and not complete by itself; it ends like it has begun, the hero is still trying to regain his freedom, which is, like in the whole book, incredible difficult. Two stars in my system is: enjoy, don't keep, don't buy more... Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • Other Worlds Than These on June 01, 2016
    (no rating)
    The first part of the story is a quite boring Space Opera with familiar cliches. I did not like this one. It's our contemporary terrestrial marine shifted into outer space. From where did I know that the aliens would be reptiles with horns and crests like in every unprofessional Space Opera I know? Creatures who have developed on an utterly strange planet in an alien environment still walk on two feet, have a spine, have a head, eyes and mouth, long rows of sharp teeth, feet and hands with digits. These ones, however, have two tails (no clue given why a species should have one spine, but from the lower end splitted into two, or what two tails are good for). The first combat, for heavens sake, ist described as a boxing match between the hero and the foremost monster, after the human spaceship has been boarded by an attack with spurs, piercing the ship like was the case 2000 years ago with roman warships. Other authors create suspense by using dialogues, and if they are gifted, they paint scenes and emotions with word. This author, in numerous places, simply describes a situation and the reader can not forget that he is reading a rather absurd plot somebody else made up. There does nothing happen which could make the reader identify with the hero or feel curious about what happens next. Here is the most dramatic moment of the whole book, where the mighty human spaceship is attacked by horrible monsters: " Her eyes slowly opened as the lights in her small cabin came on dim, steadily getting brighter. She slept like most of the crew, in a gel pod that was vertical on the wall. With no gravity, once stuck inside the oxygenated chamber, it was easy to imagine you were ‘laying down’ rather than pinned to a wall. The door opened and Jane climbed out. She wicked away most of the gel, which inevitably stuck to her light colored skin. She then entered a small shower recess (...)". Furthermore the book has by far the most and sincerest spelling errors I ever met on Smashwords, so I think the author depends heavily on his spell correction software. As English is not my mother language, it helped to imagine what the sound of the word would be which obviously did not make sense, and which words had the same sound, and which of them would make sense. Tails are written "tales", a bubble tinted aqua is "tented". Up to part IV of the book the author seems to be practice writing a book. Hold on to the story, in the second half the plot (and maybe the skill of the author) developes, revealing an age-old mystery, showing more action as well as some ideas which are not taken from the mainstream of SF trash, some alternate human societies and how they would influence each other, shows some surprising developments looking back on the first half, too and introduces some more credible personalities. I _did_ come back to the book and edited this review, adding one star. Two stars in my system means: it's free; read and enjoy, then forget it. Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • Broken Soldier (Book One) on June 01, 2016
    (no rating)
    Quite amusing and entertaining. Oh yeah, the american way of solving problems is the best (in this novel). It's a bit of trapper and injuns. The good aliens do have two arms and two legs and a head, they smile amused and laugh about jokes, the bad ones are similar to walking crocodiles. Not that original, and why do I remember "last flight for Craggy" when reading about the old general Max (no, it' s not copied from there, just a similar person) ;) . Hmm, yes, it's real Science Fiction, extrapolating what would happen if you could enhance human beings for becoming better warriors, or some idea of the evolution of computers in the future. So I will give it three stars, which is very high in my system (two = worth reading, four = buy all of the author). Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • Arrow Of Time on June 01, 2016
    (no rating)
    In this story, time travel is effected by time machines which are very well camouflaged but very bad designed: as coins which have to be flipped for activation. They always get lost in a gutter, an unsuspecting finder flips it and is stranded out of time or somebody steals it to make a nice necklace for his granddaughter. For travelling, I would prefer a gauntlet instead but that's an other story from an other author ;) . The heroes are around 16 years, living in rural U.S.A. so I felt reminded of Heinlein or Simak novels. O yeah, so I missed that it's rubricated under "young adult or teen". Now, who does not love Heinlein's "The Star Beast" regardless of his age?! What are the dogs in Simak stories are big green lizards in this one, a little dumb but helpful and likeable. I enjoyed reading "Arrow Of Time" anyway. The second category is "hard sci-fi". Now, the sci-fi is not that hard ... no explanation whatsoever of time travel, it is just invented and done, and and yes, there are parallel universes in this story but only to enable one of the acting persons to effect a seemingly impossible escape. It still is SF as I understand it - make an assumption and extrapolate it's moral, technical and social impacts in future times. And in the best tradition of stories of juveniles, it points out how the heroes reach adulthood. Three stars from me for "good SF, better than many others". Maybe it shows my appreciation that I downloaded more Novels from this author! Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • Jak Phoenix on June 01, 2016
    (no rating)
    Okay, another one anti-hero space pilot. I loved reading it. Dragons, gangsters, at the end the hero saves the world. It's no literature of any kind, but I enjoyed every page! Two stars for "worth reading, I had fun". Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • OMEGA Exile on June 01, 2016
    (no rating)
    "Exile" reminds me a little bit at "The Planet Inspector" from Murray Leinster, maybe to some extent a crossbreed with Isaac Asimov's "Foundation". This is Arseneault at his best, lots of action, exciting, enthralling and with a dry sense of humour. His persons in all his books are somewhat stereotypical - they are all heroes, invincible in the midst of hundreds of enemies, "Exile" has 84.800 Words, again somewhat less than other SF Ebooks I know, and approximately five Percent at the end are a preview of "Omega 2", the non-free sequel. Like the other Ebooks from Arsenault, the table of contents has no chapter headins - it's just capitel 1, capitel 2 etc. Most free Ebooks which I know are self-contained. This is not the case with "Exile" - the reader finds himself with open ends all over. The partner has disappeared, his fate not known, the revolution has not won but is not terminated either etc. The sequel ("Guardian") has a good starting point, but "Exile" has no end. I would had given three or four stars for it but for this reason, it's two stars for "recommended to read". Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • The Ferrymen on June 01, 2016
    (no rating)
    Scott zeigt seine Meisterschaft in dieser kurzen, schicksalhaften Skizze eines Plots, der wohl für einen ganzen Roman gut wäre. Die Story umfasst aber nur 26 der downgeloadeten 45 Seiten; der Rest ist ein Preview von "The Tribes of the Hakahei", Band 1. Das Buch "The Ferryman" entwickelt sich und macht neugierig auf die nächste Wendung. Es ist eher anspruchsvoll als unterhaltend. Mir hat es nicht gefallen, aber aus den obigen Gründen drei Sterne (das ist viel, ich schreibe keine Jubelbewertungen) von mir. Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • The Forever Man - Book 1: Pulse on June 01, 2016
    (no rating)
    Unterhaltsame Endzeitstory. Ein American Marine (schon per Definition ein Supermann) mutiert zum Übermenschen, wegen Strahlung und so. Two stars from me, meaning: "worth reading". Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • The Malthus Pandemic on June 01, 2016
    (no rating)
    A fantastic plot it is. A little boring it is, too. Or at least no light entertainment. Three stars from me, meaning "good SF". Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • The Glass Hummingbird on June 01, 2016
    (no rating)
    Much love, much feeling, mystical dreams of monks. Quite entertaining story. Two stars from me, meaning: "worth reading". Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • The Virtual Dead on June 01, 2016
    (no rating)
    I liked this novel. Three Stars for "good SF". Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • Fatal Boarding on June 02, 2016
    (no rating)
    Great entertainment. I like the Books from this author. Three stars for "very good SF". Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • Deep Crossing on June 02, 2016
    (no rating)
    Fun to read. Download it! Three stars from me for "very good SF". Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • Mission Beyond The Stars: Book #1 of "Saga Of The Lost Worlds" by Neely and Dobbs on June 02, 2016
    (no rating)
    Not that entertaining ... still worth downloading, two stars from me! Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • The Aurora City on June 02, 2016
    (no rating)
    I liked this one. Style is quite well and there are new Ideas. Three stars for good SF! Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • Shoot the Humans First on June 02, 2016
    (no rating)
    Well worth reading. Three stars for "good SF". Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • The Battle of Hollow Jimmy on June 02, 2016
    (no rating)
    Download it, it's free. Two stars for good, professional entertainment. Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • Dead Energy on June 02, 2016
    (no rating)
    I liked this one. Lots of action! Three stars for good SF. Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • The Astoundingly True Tale of José Fabuloso on June 02, 2016
    (no rating)
    Well written, don' t miss it. Three stars for good SF! Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • Spinning Diamonds on June 02, 2016
    (no rating)
    it's quite entertaining. Well written. Not very original, - the old game of trappers and injuns. Two stars for "worth reading". Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • To The Stars on June 02, 2016
    (no rating)
    Some horror story deployed into space. Could barely will me to read it to the end. Two stars for "worth reading". Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • Said To Contain on June 02, 2016
    (no rating)
    Well written and entertaining, but a horribly incredible Plot - Godzilla was for intellectuals compared to this one. Ok, I promised to chose the better of two possible on my scale, so I gave two stars for "worth reading". Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • Lacuna on June 02, 2016
    (no rating)
    No important literature ... but quite entertaining. Three stars from me for good SF.
  • Hevun's Rebel on June 02, 2016
    (no rating)
    (Yawn) another one of those "terrible enslavement-in-the-future" stories ... two stars for "worth reading" anyway. Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • The Children of Roswell (Book One) The Swift Chronicle on June 02, 2016
    (no rating)
    Hmm ... the spirits of dead extraterrestrial pilots somehow are in the wreck of their crashed spaceship ... he who has so much imagination to accept such a plot, gets to read an exciting and original story. I award an extra star for the beautiful and historically coherent echoes of the aircraft and weapons development of the early 50s. Makes three stars, "good SF". Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • Flying the Storm on June 02, 2016
    (no rating)
    War, soldiers, and big big dirigibles, a parallel earth somewhere between WW I and the computer age. An unpretentious story, meant to entertain, but I did not read the second half. Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • The Final Battle on June 02, 2016
    (no rating)
    Half of the 16 pages is an excerpt from "The Brightest Light". The other eigth pages are a short flashlight of a war situation, maybe part of an idea for a bigger novel. It's very atmospheric. The author shows that he is a master of writing, but I did not find it very entertaining - the end comes before I was drawn into the story. Two stars for "worth downloading". Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • The Honour of the Knights (First Edition) (The Battle for the Solar System) on June 02, 2016
    (no rating)
    Admirals. Pilots. Big Space Ships. Fighter escorts. Civil war. Imperium. Young pilot, strict father. Now where have I read this before? Oh yes, I remember. Hundreds of well written books with, then, new ideas from Heinlein and many others. I am afraid this one is not really a page-turner, no exciting ideas, no witty asides (remember Heinlein's "The Star Beast"?), no intelligent analysis of today's society and projection into the future. Still, the author manages to make a lot of action out of the few ideas (a super fast fighter airplane, horrible soldiers clad in black with red eyes - now where might I have seen *that* picture already?) after the reader has overcome the somewhat wearysome first parts. No table of contents (there are two capitels only), no extras like some table of persons, ships or star maps. Two points in my system is "It was free, I had fun reading, but won't spend money to read more". Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • Chance of a Lifetime (Chances Are #1) on June 02, 2016
    (no rating)
    Okay, in reading Fiction there is an an agreement to accept the paradigms on which the author does base the plot While in "Escaping Earth" from the same author (the title has been changed to "Sea Sheperd" in the meantime) there are a provocative lot of nonsense like, the backside of the moon is always dark and there is no gravity on the moon, only on the planets, it's okay for me that in "Chance of a lifetime" one injection of DNA can change a dead, mid-aged policeman into a very lively girlie of 18, even though I always believed DNA will form the next generation, not the actual specimen. The implementation at first resulted in a sweet story. You can not help grinning when the girl, Ex-Policeman, frequently is on the brink of breaking out in tears, develops a strong urge to purchase shoes and always worries about her weight. But to keep the interest of the reader and the suspense, the author takes refuge to lots of sex scenes, which I think are not needed to form a picture of the characters (who somehow are all alike anyhow. the policemen reborn as 18yo girl; the daughter of the policeman; the daughter of the other policeman; the gangsters who differ from each other mostly by the time of their demise etc.). and, worse, to ever more violence. Still worse, the book ends in mid-action, as was the case with "Escaping Earth". There the last page was that the cruel space monsters were under way to kill all beings on Earth, in "Chance of a lifetime" the scientists find a way to reconvert the hero from a young girl to an adult man and then the story stops. I have downloaded a lot of books from smashwords and purchased some follow-ups from the good authors and interesting series but all of them were faire enough to write a completed novel, not leaving all open ends so the reader should spend the money to find out how the story ends. One star, a very personal rating from me (= no recommendation). Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven. This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
  • Just Cause Wrong Target on June 09, 2016

    "Just Cause - Wrong Target" is one of the most exciting books that I ever have read. As I read "The Siege of Apuao Grande" before, I already knew the Hero as well as the historical and political background of the plot. It is unmistakable that John Muir is a friend of the philippine people. At first I would not believe that there possibly was so much violence and injustice in colonial times and during foreign occupation, but looking up the history of the Philippines in Wikipedia proved that the author gave an accurate detailing in this matter. Afterwards I detected an informative summary of the Philippine's history and politics at the end of the book. This does not mean it is a political book. The author, however, shows a deep understanding of life circumstances of the Philippine people, which contributes to the interest with which one reads the novel. Street children were portrayed not as an unpleasant encounter for the tourists seeking the beauties of the landscape, but within all the action scenes, there has been enough room to mention things like, that the Philippine populace has under catholic influence exploded from around 18 to 95 million people, where many abandoned children turned to "street urchins". Scenes of pure suspense alternate with descriptions from the perspective of a fisherman as he works hard to expand base for the livelihood of his family. The author, as well as his hero "T.A." is from New Zealand. To all abundance he proves a deep knowledge of the southeast pacific. Who else could have described by what tricks the intruders in the rural philippine barrio were able to bring the dogs to silence ... little scenes like this one make one smile during the exciting lecture. From me without reserves the highest rating!
  • John Smith, World Jumper Book One: Portal to Adventure on June 13, 2016
    (no rating)
    It's a quite intelligent parallel world novel. Written in the first person, it is not too dramatic; the hero just describes the author's ideas, which is not too exciting. In my pesonal rating system, two stars for "worth reading".
  • HADRON Dark Matter on June 23, 2016
    (no rating)
    Oh, great, a new Arseneault! Arseneault is the specialist for exciting fiction (have purchased a lot from him of the former series), and he does not disappoint in this novel. There is action, action, action. The science part in "science fiction" in HADRON Dark Matter (considered by itself, without consideration of the following books of the series), however, is a fake. There is a world-wide power blackout, which is somehow attributed to an experiment at Swiss CERN. Without further explanation, this brings the spontaneous lineup of criminals tied with it and furthermore, government, military and police immediately cease all their activities. The book lives from it's action, it's dialogues and people are portrayed credibly. There is, however, a bit too much violence for my taste. The good boys shoot the bad ones by dozends at one time, having thankfully just an armored mobile home with huge inventories of weapons and ammunition at hand, and for heavens sake, at one point stack the dead bodies in heaps of ten each at the roadside, for the coroner. "Hadron" would get a rating of three from me, which is very high in my system (four and five being reserved for the best contemporary SF respective best literature of all ages) but for this excess of violence, therefore it's two stars noted in my computer. (For SF, I almost never give ratings in smashwords, because everybody else will give five stars for the pretty good authors and I found myself actually decreasing the average for those authors I liked best). The last approx. ten pages are a sample of Hadron II, which is not too much (I had books where the actual text was a short story one tenth only, the rest always the same preview). Furthermore, the preview does not end with a cliffhanger, but does explain what Science Fiction plot the reader can at last expect from the series. Thank you, Stephen.
  • Guardian Angel Trilogy on Sep. 22, 2016
    (no rating)
    Okay, it gets better!!! After "The Fleet" (Omnibus) was, if possible, in my opinion worse than the "Gunship" Omnibus, the "Guardian Angel" Trilogy is written more plausible, does not have almost every page a new race of monsters equally to the last one presented, and does not have as much typos (where a wrong word is used, but written correctly so the spelling checker would not find it) as the other ones. Furthermore, it is clear that the author does learn to write better with every year. While in previous novels, the heroes do have girl friends which are all described basically identic (big ass, round breasts) and the men develop "true love" within the first two pages after the girls are presented, in "Guardian Angel" the multiple courses of life and the military carreer of the male heroes are interwoven with their love story in a significant and interesting manner. "You set the price" - I got hundreds of pages for free and I do respect that the Guardian Angel Trilogy surely does represent months of the work life of the author. Thank you, John! Remark: I never give Stars for SF Stories, because five stars are, in my opinion, reserved for the best literature of all times and four stars for not more than ten super SF novels, e.G. "1984" from George Orwell, so if I gave three stars for super entertaining SF, I found that I actually spoilt the total rating of authors, because everybody else gives five stars for every story, good or not. In the case of "Guardian Angel", this saves me a problem how to rate such a big literary work with so much action strands parts of different quality.
  • The Edge on Oct. 07, 2016
    (no rating)
    An exciting Space Opera with exceptional phantasy and many surprising turns. I enjoyed reading it very much and purchased the sequel, "The Wound" immediately. I do not award ratings in SF because five stars are, in my system, reserved for the best authors of all genres and times and to give less lowers the average from authors I consider the best SF I' ve ever read.
  • The Wound on Oct. 07, 2016
    (no rating)
    I just had to have "The Wound", the sequel to "The Edge", and did not regret buying it. The author, however, somewhat lost me towards the end of the story. This is the third novel of Leslie Lee which focuses on a real power woman and I enjoyed all three of them very much. It is very interesting and even touching how the author, for example, does master the topic of interspecies love (not sex). Lee even makes superhuman power plausible in the central female figure but to concentrate on the capability to form spaceships out of asteroids and rocks overstrained my goodwill to follow the story a little bit. If I would award ratings to SF novels (which I don't), I would have deducted approximately a half one.
  • Alien Alliance; Stolen on Jan. 25, 2017

    Important to read, even if you are not an author yourself. Also helps to understand why authors may become paranoid with personal data and contact informations.
  • The Fleet: Graveyard on Feb. 11, 2017
    (no rating)
    Okay, "The Fleet" or "Gunship" series will never become another "Foundation" from Asimov but it's big fun to read them. Stories are so rich that I found it difficult to simply keep track of the various monsters, which are all man-eating, lots of them vampires. The latest one are the krall, some sort of talking and walking werewolves. But I also found it difficult to keep track of the monsters in Van Vogt's "Voyage of the Space beagle", be it coeurl, ixtl or The Annabis, which all have a unfortunately tendency to destroy mankind all over the universe - as is the case with Davis' monsters, too. Van Vogt's monsters, however, are defeated by the use of brains and insights in alien psychology, Davis' by revolvers and swords, carried by space cowboys and warriors. Maybe that is the exciting aspect in his stories of never-ending wars. In any case, I like the entertainment abundantly available in his novels. During the past few years, the stories or at least some stories from this authors have improved from stereotype shootings and true love, persons which somehow are all alike, to more subtile topics: what type of person is this, why is he/she acting as he/she does, what made the person what he/she is. It is my expectation that we will have to expect always more refined and differentiated stories in the future. Remark: I never give ratings. This author would, in my system, be a little bit better than "may be worth paying money for" and not so good as "immediately buy anything from this author at any price".
  • Ghost Planet (Gunship VIII) on Feb. 12, 2017
    (no rating)
    Okay, so here are they again, our space cowboys (or better, their descendants) with their honest esteem for whisky, revolvers and beautiful women (if available; else the others will do). I always thought I would favor high literature in the field of Science Fiction but much to my surprise I found myself not able to lay this book aside before I had finished it. Read it, it's exciting and humorous. The author is on a good way. Best read the Fleet and Gunship "Omnibus" editions before, if you did not so, already. I am a little bit confused but "The Fleet" Series 1-8 come first, then "The Fleet: Graveyard", then "Gunship: Ghost Planet" and the latest, to this date, is "Skyfall: Gunship IX". It's all the same universe and the same whisky, however. Remark: I do not give ratings in stars, for reasons see my profile.
  • Connor's Gambit on March 26, 2017
    (no rating)
    This books starts quiet. A normal man with a family, who wonders if it really was an UFO he saw. From this not too exciting starting point there develops a story which draws the reader more and more the spell of these events. The prophecies of future technology are intelligent and very interesting. Space ships print out what is needed under way, live and computer viruses endanger human beings with standard man/machine interfaces to their brain. The story shows tender love as well as dramatic space battles. I am glad I found it and look forward to the follow-up. Remark: I never give stars.
  • Ephialtes on April 07, 2017
    (no rating)
    Review by: Hannes Birnbacher on Nov. 11, 2016 : (no rating) (Remove) So there is a colony on mars longing to be free of earth ruling, and earth has a spaceship which is soooo big and mighty, and Mars has soldiers which are sooo bold and daring. How does the author deal with this age-old topic? An experienced and gifted author would work out the charakters in action and dialoge, in "Ephialtes" the reader fight's his way through long pages of mere descriptions about the acting persons, the good, the bad and the ugly. But do not give up too early on the author - it is his first novel I see on smashwords, and he is getting better during the work. First the very good news: there is a meaningful table of contents, no "Chapter 1, chapter 2, ... chapter 47" like in so much other Novels on Smashwords, and there are almost no errors or mistakes, wrong use of words etc. which are so irritating in many other Ebooks. You will find the story will get exciting in some parts and there are scenes (like the secret agent who is hired when he just wanted to get boozed and make trouble in the bar, or the reporter trying every trick to get her interview) which make you smile if you want or not. So stay at it. Ephialtes is the first work of the author I found on smashwords and he is improving during writing. Personally, what is interesting for me is the "Science" part in "Science Fiction". The SF part presents an uneven picture. The "Deuterium" mentioned in the first version of Part 1 is not what I know as Deuterium, probably a typo throughout the whole book. Maybe the Author had "Deutronium" from Star Wars in mind, or Neuterium, target of some scientific speculation in the 1930s ? Another key part of the story is how the big carrier spaceships, built for Earth orbit, are enabled to reach mars within a few months. The author is somewhat vague about the atomic motors fitted to it, but remember (or google) the forgotten "project pluto", an atomic ramjet which was built and successfully tested (!) even in the 1950ties by the U.S., so that's realistic. For me, SF is defined somehow like "projecting the influence of today's science on future social developments". Here at last, the author shows he is indeed mastering the genre, be it war lead by drones and Artificial Intelligences, be it the influence of streams on global networks to politics. Finally, I was quite glad that I forced myself to read further on than the first 7% the previous reviewer managed to do. The novel improves "on the run". Characters still are somewhat pale but you can see that the author gets better to show their personalities, and the story gets more exciting as it develops. Hope I will be able to download the next part of the trilogy soon. Remark: I never give ratings with stars in my reviews. "Ephialtes" still is, in my opinion and having re-read it and some short stories of the author, in the upper half of SF, maybe on the way to the best ten percent.
  • Hindsight (Daedalus Book 1) on April 30, 2017
    (no rating)
    Hindsight is a novel about honesty (in the first place, vs your spouse), responsability, guilt and conscience. And a little bit about politics, corruption and greed. And a very small bit Science Fiction. I don't know if the author already had access to the research finding about negative mass (https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.155301) , because they have been published only recently here, but they even make his wild plot about time loops plausible. Sort of. In any case it was one of the most exciting Sf E-Books I ever read. Download it, even though the sequel is not available for us non-kindle users! Remark: I never award stars in my reviews.
  • Burning Suns: Conflagration (Book One) on July 09, 2017

    "Burning Suns" is a very exciting Novel. It has not really to do with Science Fiction, as it is just a Trapper-and-Indians story with spaceships for the horses and aliens for the indians, not anything like a projection of todays technical or social state into the future. The various Aliens with a beek or tentacles etc. do weep (at least the female) and go to classes in universities - this is not really a SF novel as from Haldeman or Larry Niven. It still is a really entertaining novel. That was the good news, but it is not up to Smashword Standards or, as I believe, regulatins. The book has no ending. The hero, Keela, is pursued by unscrupulous assassins, without any means to escape. The torturers are cited to say to each other: "If you find that human bitch, anything goes, as long as she's still breathing". The last thought of the victim is: "what do I do now?". End of book, please clink out the money and pay for the sequel. Do not mis-understand me, every time I start reading a free book and love it, I buy the follow-up or even the whole series, as I did with the Pretorian Series, Spinward Fringe and a lot of others. But their authors are fair. I do not think this author is fair - he wants to trick me into buying more from him. I do not support that, so I will read something else, Smashwords has such a big selection even of free SF books - most of them fair ones, which are contained by themselves, leaving it up to the free decision of the reader if he likes the author and thus will pay for more of him.
  • The Hidden Treasure of Darfor on July 24, 2017
    (no rating)
    This is not sensational Science Fiction with a big "Science" (all aliens seem to be alike, they have the usual Faster-Than-Light ships, they have laser guns etc. - it's the usual Trapper-and-Injuns Universe), but it has action, action, action. I could not stop reading it. There was always a surprising turn in the story, and there was just the right amount of humour, too. Get it for good entertainment! I normaly do not give ratings in my reviews. This one would be within the upper ten percents of SF books I like, just because it is so exciting.
  • Solitude's End (Book 1 of Echo's Way)' on Aug. 07, 2017
    (no rating)
    Great Novel, touching and exciting from the first to the last page. Not big science ideas, just "Supergirl meets Superman", very entertaining. Get it. I just purchased the sequel (Dark World), at 99 cents fair enough. Remark: Normally I do not give ratings with stars.
  • Salvage-5 on Oct. 06, 2017
    (no rating)
    Salvage-5 is a quite entertaining SF Novel, and it's free. The authors shows much humour, and the action is exciting. I liked reading it. There are no gross scientific errors (but it is more the action type Novel, not the sensational or philosophical ideas). It is well written, the author is gifted or trained in writing. No boring explanations of absurd scientific theories or social conditions from the "Off" like what I have read from so much beginners on Smashwords. Download it, if you like Space Operas. Remarks: The table of contents shows "Chapter 1" through "Chapter 16", but no more information. "Salvage-5" is contained in itself, it does not end with a "cliffhanger" to trick the reader into buying a follow-up. There is added a 14 page preview on the follow-up "Salvage-5 The Next Mission". Hint: AMP-5 plays in the same universe, with the same persons, so it is a sort of free follow-up. I never award ratings (stars) on Smashwords, read the review instead. Considering that I would give to George Orwell or Michael Crichton the maximum five stars, three or four stars would be a very good rating in my opinion but everybody else gives five stars to everybody - so I found I actually was decreasing the average rating of authors I liked best on Smashwords.
  • The Centauri Conspiracy on Oct. 10, 2017
    (no rating)
    There is a chronist of the fourth Millennium writing down some Utopia of the author ... 49 of 50 states are evacuated and used for growing food, 1 state is for the citizens ... they live in skyscrapers ... their height is fixed from 20 to 33 stories by law ... people are allowed one child only ... no action, no dialogue, no humour, always more pages with just the just the enumeration of all these achievements ... then there are thirteen pages reporting the arrest of somebody ... three policemen, they enter, they collect evidence, they lead the suspect out of the building ... still no action, no dialogues above a few words where to find lists and files ... "On the thirteenth level three blue uniformed policemen step out of an opened elevator door and walk past the building security station in the foyer without pausing" ... how exciting! Yep, I am sure this has some hidden sense, to arouse the curiosity of the reader or so - sorry, I did not make it beyond the first few chapters, and I give up very, very seldom.
  • Planet Secrets on Oct. 12, 2017

    This is an intriguing and exciting crime novel of the far future, unique and very original ideas, and well worth downloading and reading. It does, however, also contain some Errors. There is only one scientific (the distance between galaxies is never so small as eight lightyears only), but some grammar mistakes ("there were worst things to keep in your bathroom", "could'nt let that happened") and often "their", "they'r" or "there" mixed up like in "they're purchases wolud impress the ladies" or "they're liknesses changed". I can live with that but this free book ends with a classic "cliffhanger" - the hero of the novel lies helplessly on the ground and a hand grenade rolls in his direction, end of book, please go buy the follow-up if you want to learn what follows or where he does awake, if at all. Normally on Smashwords, they have a rule that each book is completed in his own, therefore I can't rate the book with more than one star.
  • Ham Taylor: Lost In Time! on Dec. 13, 2017

    J.P. Jackson knows how to write a very exciting style. There is action throughout the novel. On the other hand, his characters and their fate are not plausible. Twice in my life I broke a collarbone and it lasted years until I could use that shoulder for work. Twice my nose was broken and I still can't breathe freely and never will. The heroes of that story have to endure such injuries, also loss of a finger etc. practically every day and continue figthing, flying (clambered to the outside of a space shuttle to where there is no oxygen they could breathe) and other nonsense. If you love excessive violence, this book is for you. On a day-to-day-basis, there are heads crushed and the brains flying out of the ears, the hero is eaten by huge worms and coming out undamaged, tongues are ripped out at a mass basis etc. The author is gifted and able to write a exciting story. He's not so able to write correct spelling. It's always somethin like "most of the ghouls where startled" instead of "were", "as he past Taylor a glass of scotch" instead of "passed", "The straining priests pushed sacks passed Bull's woman" instead of "past", "The general senses a lack of disrespect" (instead either "lack of respect" or "senses disrespect"), "in a cue of slaves" instead of "queue", "General Apophis ... wants you to bare witness to the death of everyone" ("bear witness"), so some parts are not understandable unless the reader is able to imagine what is the sound of the wrong written word and which words sound alike and make sense. Knowing one's own mother language is a matter of quality for an author who wants to sell his work.
  • Victory on the Veldt on Dec. 18, 2017

    This is certainly one of the most exciting and interesting books I have ever read in the last sixty years. There is a lot of action on every page, human relations, as well as a surprisingly complete and historically exact description of the second boer war. I believe the description of the characters on the Boer and the British side, which is an analysis of the reasons for the war also, is realistic. Read it! Remark: I normally do not give ratings, see my profile. To help readers like me to find the gems on smashwords, I chose to give five stars (which normally should be reserved to the greatest novels of all history) for this author.
  • The Legacy of Solomon on Dec. 24, 2017
    (no rating)
    I found out quite early that this book is way boring, but the topic was very interesting for me, so I read on. A writer searched for a new topic for his next book and met a scientist who has explored the Temple of Jerusalem ten years long. Jewish culture and rituals were thoroughly explained in the book. I only made it to page 51. There were pages and pages full of "He shall slay the young bull before the Lord; and Aaron's sons the priests shall offer up the blood and sprinkle the blood around on the altar that is at the doorway of the tent of meeting. He shall then skin the burnt offering and cut it into its pieces. The sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire". It still was historical fiction I wanted to read for good entertainment and not ever longer passages out of the thora, even though (or precisely because) they were necessary to understand the plot. Normally, I do not award ratings for the type of books I read (see my profile).
  • Posse on Jan. 04, 2018

    i like the "campfire stories" of Jay Greenstein, as they are extremely exciting and at the same time contain interesting twists and surprises. Typical for Greenstein, "Posse" is about a man who needs to become a hero just to survive. Another scheme on which it is based we do know from classical westerns: a man and a beautiful, strong woman live together on a farm. They are not (not yet) married and they bring up a child, but they never are it's biological parents. This review is difficult and I am sure it was difficult to write the Novel, too. One important character of it is a 14-year-old girl which acts sexually agressive. Child porn? Much to the contrary, there is not any description of her appearance, let aside of any acts done to her. This part of the story is about child abuse and what damage it does to the soul of a child, and I really don't know any novel which deals with that problem even roughly comparable in sensitivity and affection. Normally I don't award ratings but for this ohne four stars from me so the title note is overlooked by other readers.
  • Necessity on Jan. 04, 2018
    (no rating)
    Another "campfire tale" which I could not stop reading. Okay, the terrorists are very horrible terrorists and the tender love is very passionate, and there is no lack of bombs, dead bodies and explosives, but that's what we all love and what Dan Browne or Jack Higgins could not have managed better. To the contrary, Greenstein knows how to sensitively describe psychological processes. I do almost never award a rating/ranking. Just download and enjoy this E-Book!
  • Samantha and the Bear on Jan. 07, 2018
    (no rating)
    „Samantha and the Bear“ is another story of Jay Greenstein following the scheme of the classic western: a man and a woman on a ranch farm, with a child, but it‘s not their common offspring. Again, the hero(ine) of the story is in deadly danger and has to develop almost superhuman skills and capabilities in order to survive. The evil persons are really evil, their motives indicated faintly only. We are allready accustomed to this in Jay‘s plots. There are some Science Fiction aspects, call it interdimensional or call it time travel, but it‘s acceptable and the main plot, like always, is psychological, not SF. I could have done without a corporeal goddess, however; the plot is exciting and coherent enough without that mystical effect, though I am sure it‘s a symbol for something the author wanted to make clear to us. Once again, one of the main topics is multiple personalities, like I already know of an other story of Greensteins. But man, how versatile the plots of this author are! It is in no way a copy of his other novel. It reminds me a little bit of „Cabu“ by John Robert Russel, but it is neither similar to that one, too. The story is tightly woven and, as in any Greenstein, exciting beyond all limits. Chances are good that, if you plan to start reading a few pages before going to sleep, you will not put out the light before you have read it to the last page. Usually I do not award ratings, finding that there is no way to make them fair. One-dimensional, maximal five stars for anything between a pupil who does not know to use his mother language correctly to Tolstoi and any authors I like between that? Does‘nt work for me. For this book, a strong recommendation from me!
  • The Edenix Cycle: Acrimony Arising on Feb. 16, 2018
    (no rating)
    The author proves he is quite gifted and able to write vivid descriptions and exciting scenes. You feel like you have been on board of the spaceship during the crash, and you feel you have known all the characters in real life. In this novel there aren't those faceless people, figures that lack all individuality except being beautiful women or merciless fighters. That was the good news but there are lengthy passages with nothing but descriptions of the plot. Readers must fight their way through many pages of how more men than women died and how the community decided that a man can have more than one woman and somebody even had five wifes instead of four like the maximum agreed upon etc. I think an author should keep the boring outline of his plot (with no action, no dialogues) to himself and then write a story according to his plot, not just type his draft as something a voice from the "Off" is stating. This polygyny could have been explained in one sentence, describing how five spouses started a domestic fight or how the many sons helped to manage and enlarge the farm. Furthermore, if you love to read those religious tracts pious people impose to you at your door, you made the right choice with this book. The author does not conceal his deep religious belief, so you will have lots of devotional paragraphs like starting with: "Creator, give us protection, she asked in her heart" or "Lord, help me find those girls (...) Dirk grumbled out his prayer". It is part of the plot, the controversy between piety and the need to kill evil people to save good ones, but you still must be able to tolerate those undertones. Remark: I usually do not award ratings because in SF, it is too difficult do justice to a book. There is no reason to warn readers with a low rating; it is quite entertaining and You Set The Price, so you can decide if you wish to purchase the sequels.
  • Don't Poke the Bear! on March 06, 2018

    This is a very funny book and at the same time extremely exciting. I loved reading it, and it was free. But it is not complete. It ends in a cliffhanger. The hero has taken a mighty blow, lying in the wood, his enemies (indians, Confederate soldiers, Union soldiers) all out to kill him, he does'nt know if his wife has survived, End Of Book, please buy the next one. This is not fair to the readers, and I seem to remember that it is not in accordance with Smashwords conditions either.
  • Promise You Won't Tell? on March 09, 2018

    Whoever put this book about sexual abuse and blackmail into the category "young adult or teen" must have a peculiar humour. This said, it is not what I expected and loved from John Locke. It is very funny but your heart will miss some beats with horror sooner or later. It is about sweet young girls (remember his "Goodbye, Enorma", the sexy 14-years-old?) but these ones are hard and witty. No pets this time as in "don't poke the bear", no funny drunk bantering among men relaxing in the pub. But man, how exciting and tricky the plot does develop! It is a crime story more complicated as those from Agatha Christie. But what I love with E-Books, it plays in our time. There are no carriages and no wood-fired stoves, there are smartphones and computersoftware for secure deleting files. This author knows his business. It's even free. Read it. Remark: Usually, I do NOT award ratings. As I recently dissed the author's "Don't poke the bear" with one star only, for a very good reason, I do rate this one anyway, to accomplish a sort of compensation, in honor of his proficiency.
  • Promise You Won't Tell? on March 09, 2018

    Don't know why this book about sexual abuse and vengeance also exists in the category "young adult or teen" so I posted this review in both categories. This said, it is not what I expected and loved from John Locke. It is very funny but your heart will miss some beats with horror sooner or later. It is about sweet young girls (remember his "Goodbye, Enorma", the sexy 14-years-old?) but these ones are hard and witty. No pets this time as in "don't poke the bear", no funny drunk bantering among men relaxing in the pub. But man, how exciting and tricky the plot does develop! It is a crime story more complicated as those from Agatha Christie. But what I love with E-Books, it plays in our time. There are no carriages and no wood-fired stoves, there are smartphones and computersoftware for secure deleting files. This author knows his business. It's even free. Read it. Remark: Usually, I do NOT award ratings. As I recently dissed the author's "Don't poke the bear" with one star only, for a very good reason, I do rate this one anyway, to accomplish a sort of compensation, in honor of his proficiency.
  • Destination Havana on March 17, 2018

    No, thanks, even if it is free. I did not read through the end. It seemed not that exciting, not the entertainment I was looking for, but that was not the reason. I do not give up easily, but it was too difficult to read because of the errors and typos every few lines, like "he was beingshoved", "tried everythingpossible","the mechanicpointing at a small fissure" (that was in three contiguous lines). Furthermore there is no table of contents and the font on my E-Book-Reader is wrong - the default size is much too small and the letters of the different lines touch each other.
  • Alien Alliance on March 20, 2018

    I loved this book. In electronic gadgets, I am always very distrustful if they promise all-in-one function. "Alien Alliance" is all in one, Space Opera, love story, coming-of-age-novel, discreetly hidden social criticism ... I could not stop reading and most urgently purchased the sequel on the morning after I had read "alien Alliance" to the end.
  • Quagmire's Gate on April 18, 2018
    (no rating)
    Allan E. Petersen has a wide range of topics. Almost all of them have a strong woman as the main person, and almost all of them have a humorous side in addition to being very exciting and entertaining. That's real suspension. This title I found in the SF section and I am happy not only to have read it, but to detect this author, who is so much better than many others who are trying to write SF. In some scenes I could not stop laughing (e.g. the going-alone-to-toilet one). Throughout the book, I barely could stop reading! I almost never award ratings. I strongly recommend downloading and reading "Quagmire's Gate".
  • And the Humans Wrote on April 18, 2018
    (no rating)
    I liked all the books of Allan E. Petersen I have read - except this one. Maybe there is a message in it which I don't have an antenna for, a warning about what we humans are and where we are going. It is the Bible, Old Testament, re-told. It presupposes that God is Universal Energy, that he has created other Humans in other dimensions, and it continues to re-write the Bible right from Adam and Eve. I respect the author to sacrifice to us a considerable part of lifetime to convey his message to us readers - and I have yet to see that he does make money with any of his books. Being no religious person in the sense of church or creationism, however, this is not a book for me. I normally don't award ratings in my reviews. If you are as deeply and intelligent interested in the field of religion and worldview as the author, read it by any means.
  • Hercules Down on April 18, 2018

    This is Petersen at it's best. Strong women, heroes, a subtle relationship, lots of humour (written with sensitivity as to the relationship and communication between man and woman), extreme surprises where the plot is going (as we are accustomed from all of Petersen's books), exciting and entertaining - you will not be able to lay the book aside before you are through to the end. I do not award ratings to SF Books, but better forget the SF part here anyway. Petersen, at the time he wrote it, seemed to believe that a geostationary satellite would fly barely over the surface of the earth (in reality, 3 times as high as the diameter of the whole planet), and that they could land at will (due to celestial mechanics, they are a hundert times more sincerely fixed in their orbit as if they would have been if welded to the point of the Eiffel tower in Paris). But this is an unimportant detail in a mystery and adventure book and certainly one of the best I have read.
  • High Tide Treasure on April 18, 2018

    Whow! I found Allan E. Petersen in search of SF books, but this is a adventure, action, historical thriller which immediately captured me and held me throughout the last page. As we are accustomed to, Peterson shows humour, deep compassion, and absolute mastership as an author. It's no SF, it just *could* have happened, so I do not hesitate to award my rating (which I don't dare in SF). Read it.
  • The Factory on April 18, 2018
    (no rating)
    This is a mixture of mystery and Science Fiction (not really...), written with humour, compassion and it is extremely thrilling. I do not regret to have taken the time to read it. It is partly SF and usually, I do not award ratings to SF (I do not dare to compare actual Indie Authors to Arthur C. Clarke or George Orwell, for example...), so I do recommand you download it. You will have a good time reading ist.
  • The Ratsenburg Curse on April 18, 2018

    Haha, normally, when I find out that I bought a Ghost story, religious, mystery, horror e.g. at a flea market, it would be thrown into the garbage with a curse more horrible than most authors ever used in their books. Knowing Petersen, this is none of them. It's the first book of this genre which fully captivated me within the shortest possible time. As usually Petersen demonstrates his mastery as an author, with an exciting plot and his usual, humorous and extremely exciting style. And as always, male heroes, vulnerable kids and strong women play the main part.
  • Graves of the Past on April 18, 2018

    Yeah, it's horror and I never before bought or downloaded horror and mystery books knowingly. This is one I did, knowing I could expect best entertainment from Petersen, and was not disappointed. Hours of reading an extremely exciting plot, written with compassion and humour are waiting for you. And as usually, there is a strong woman, a vulnerable kid and a heroic but human policeman (in this book), masterfully described over a big span of years, in this book.
  • An Angel in the Shadows on April 28, 2018
    (no rating)
    Smashwords states that "An Angel of the Shadows" is the first book, but the title shows it is the third and indeed, there are mentioned two previous ones in the book. So, I went through the titles and the order is: Background: And the Humans wrote 1 missing 2 missing 3 An Angle in The Shadows 4 The Alien Code 5 The Second Creation 6 The Sentinal Satellite 7 Earth Before Man 8 The Noah Satellite. The plot is not appreciated by me personally. I have been educated in a society of christian values. This book, however, is very pious. On P. 297 Maria says: "I love my faith, my God and Jesus Christ". The dramatics are based not on the bible but on the Catholic Church. Angels, the Pope, the Devil, Heaven and Hell are taken literally and the story weaves around them. It is important to prove that the DNA of a bone is from an angel or at least of somebody created by the same God as human beings and not from an alien, because the latter could weaken the faith of Catholics all over the world (other religions do not exist in this book anyway). So, please before reading take a sheet of paper and write: "I herewith abstain from any critics on the religious contents of the plot", date and sign it. Then start enjoying Petersens excellent literary quality in creating suspense and writing a plot where you never know who is friend and who is foe, up to the last page, garnished by a lot of interesting SF ideas. I normally never award ratings to SF Books, because it's impossible to do them justice in all the dimensions of this part of literature, and boy, in this case I am glad that I don't. If you were honestly able to sign the previously mentioned (imaginary) paper, download and read the book, you are good for hours of excellent entertainment.
  • First Fury on May 14, 2018

    Being not a member of any church, I never read religious literature but I am happy to have come across this book, which has religious elements included in the plot. The female hero, a scepticist, is convinced by sort of a lay preacher on the ship to doubt her own motives for vengeance and brought within long months to acknowledge she is master of her own fate. As this has been true for all her life, her dire situation must be a consequence of her own, past behaviour. During this process she learns to master her emotions and shape her own future. This plot is unobtrusive and I, completely areligious, gained very much insight from the book. As if that were not enough, there is underlying a very tactful and tender love story within the inner world of the main person. Furthermore, it's style is written masterfully and exciting, and I learned lots of 19th century maritime navigation and whaling. In this it remembers me of Kassandra Alvarado's "The white passage", another masterfully book about a woman aboard a big sailing vessel. I strongly advise you to not let deter you from reading "First Fury" because of it's christian elements, it is one of the best and most exciting books I have ever read.
  • The Craft II on May 16, 2018
    (no rating)
    I have the highest respect towards the authors who sacrifice a part of their lifetime to write entertaining books for us readers, and I have to thank Joe Bob Newman to have given this one to us for free. Alas, not always is the result of their work what a specific reader expected in the book. The Craft II is said to be Science Fiction, which in lucky cases is written exciting and touching, showing an extrapolation of social development or technical technical trends. This book is none of that, it is the story of a war between two rocker bands complete with beautiful girls (from an alien planet, fo course...), pepped up with buzzwords like laser, warp speed etc. The main person sits in his super flying saucer near saturn and points his laser to the pluto orbit until he hits the hostile spaceship by this method. Could be a good satire but I found no hints that it was to understand this way. Okay, what with the acting persons, is the story interesting and touching? Don't know, found no persons. Okay, the author needed a wife for his hero. He called her Loretta and she is sceptic about his space adventures, as well as religious. What is she feeling, how does she look, what ist her background, what are his feelings towards her? It's a name, nothing more. Author also needs three children of them. They have names, two are male, one is female. What is their relation to the parents or to their spouse, are all of them thinking the same, are some of them emotional and others rational, do they try to do the right thing before their god or not? There is the alien, Walter, who recruited Larry for the Alien Federation. Walter, like almost all the Aliens (9 races), is very similar to humans. One of the races has a pig snout. Some have movable ears, others none at all, like a dolphin. All are bipeds, all communicate with sounds. One race is smaller, about three feet high. Again, that's all - it is still a cross between a rocker war and a computer game, nothing but a technical narrative. At least on the first 33 pages. At page 31 it was clear to me I never was curious what would follow on the next page, at 33 I felt I was not willing to continue reading. I normally do not rate SF books, and I am happy that I am not force to chose how many stars "The Craft II" should have.
  • Traveler in the Dark on May 26, 2018
    (no rating)
    This is basically an environment SF Story, by a gifted author. Earth is no more base for human beings, all spoilt and poisoned, and they built a huge generation ship for 50.000 persons, which has searched for a new planet. After 1600 years they found one. It is very exciting how they investigated the new planet and found out which beings live there, and lived before. So far, so good, and I very much enjoyed the first part. But then the author let his persons start absurd quarrels about, if humanity was had the right to spread to this planet (which was empty of conscious beings, except a friendly, giant metal ant built by the former inhabitants), the spacefarers starting to murder each other. Even this might be good for an exciting reading, but the ratio of lines, where people are discussing absurd things vs. where there is SOME action is huge. At least 75% is filled with dialogues like "We kill our host planet, wring it dry and then move on", and even the simple act of hurting one person and then allowing her to draw out a spear from her eye-socket herself is taking a discussion of fifteen lines of discussion, from "Please", Alice moaned to "Don’t do anything except pull the stick out.” At this stage of the book the fun had disappeared completely for me. I am grateful for any free E-Book, knowing that the Autor has given away quite a part of his lifetime, but this one simply was 'nt for me. Remark: in SF, I almost never award ratings in stars or numbers. This is a skilled, experienced author with a good writing style, I found the plot interesting, the plot was not imitated following other SF stories; and I did not like it.
  • 365 Days Alone on July 10, 2018
    (no rating)
    Nice, a book about human society. The author chose a society consisting of only girls from 7-17. It's all there, horror, extreme tension, the good against the evil, it is comparable to animal farm form George Orwell. Even though there is no scientific background at all (it simply happened that all men and all adults disappeared suddenly), I do apply my habit to not award ratings for SF - it's too difficult to apply justice to all authors. But it is a page-turner so download this one!
  • The Hand of God on July 26, 2018

    This is one of the most exciting alternative reality novel I have ever read. What if the confederates in the American citizen war detected nuclear power 75 years before WWII? Understandably the author does not go into much details how an almost pre-industrial society could accomplish this, there are just a few hints. At one time there is mentioned element 90, which is thorium and under some circumstances might enable a small nation to produce fissionable material. Elsewhere there is mentioned, however, that Isotope 238 of the material called "Luciferium" has been reduced, Isotope 235 enriched by ultracentrifuges, which is the way Uranium (element 92) is used for nuclear power. If the author knew a way how this could be done in an age where horse carts meet the first steam engines, it is a good decision not to describe the procedure in more detail anyway. With this background the author develops the war plausibly and with much human interest. He went to great efforts to really show how the technology of 1865 would develop, considered an inexhaustible power source could be installed in houses with gas light, in carts previously drawn by horses or powered by coal-feed steam engines and flying devices borne by hydrogen or helium. I normally do not award ratings to SF but for this, and for a good reading experience, I am happy to give five stars. I am eagerly waiting for the follow-up "New Dominion".
  • To My Readers on Aug. 01, 2018
    (no rating)
    I do. Read my opinion on that in my profile. I do it instead of payment. Or to trick authors giving me proofread copies earlier than to anybody else, and for free, too ;) . But sometimes there is a backlog, or I am ill for some time or so. Sometimes even, I do an author a favour not to publish my real opinion (does not concern you), or for lack of another five negative stars ;) . And I feel unable to award ratings for SF anyway. I might really like a very entertaining novel which deserves three stars, but everybody else awards five to all and any SF he ever reads. How can I give the maximum rating and still be fair to the one masterpiece of an author who managed to write the best book of his life, exceeding most of the novels on the market, too?
  • Texas Roads on Aug. 09, 2018
    (no rating)
    This starts enticing and from the first page, it shows that the author is very gifted. I liked the fine humour and the feelings shown of the acting persons. Then it changed to the religious topic and got ultimately unbearable. Every second word seemed either "faith" or "God". I am sorry I wasted my time to read through the first third. I don't award a rating because I am aware that this impression is subjective and emotional. I am aware that I downloaded a free book and that this is a gift of life time spent by the author on doing the best she can. But nothing prepared me to expect something similar to the religious tracts which are distributed by Jehovah's witnesses at the door. I had fruitful and peaceful talks with those at the door, but I did not wish their tracts either...
  • 2120 Titus on Aug. 14, 2018

    Asperger Autists are people who are not ill but, to a degree, handicapped. They suffer from "stimulus filter weakness" and might be, for example, unable to work if there is a fluorescent lamp flickering in their office, or unable to follow a conversation if there are other persons speaking near them. They might get into panic, not able to move or speak because of troublesome factors such as noise, or even get driven to violent(but never planned, of course) action. Furthermore, they do not fit into the social expectations of the majority. For example, chimpanzees maintain eye contact in communications, gorillas avoid eye contact. Normal people ("NT", neural typic) maintain eye contact, Aspergers avoid it. NT's interpret this as lying and bad conscience. Facial expression is less vivid, and lots of Aspergers have another handicap, Prosopagnosis - they do not recognize known people, even their partners or children they know instinctively, but only by their appearance. Let their wife come from the hairdresser and they are'nt sure who it is. 120 Titus is a story about an Asperger Autist. Obviously, the author searched for a topic about death, devil, hell and terror. Burning of witches is out, lynching for racial hatred forbidden since long, but hey! There are Autists. Hear of mass murder and you can be sure to read in the news the word "Asperger". So, the Asperger in "120 Titus" is a scientist planfully shooting 47 students, to study a first-hand experience of mass murder. "To him they were no better than lab rats or a Rhesus monkey. All in the name of science". It is not explained; the author equates Autists and mass murderers and that's it. The Asperger autist, in the end, seems to fall in some curious scientific hell of a superior race who plays god on earth (one of those stories which leave open who is the god of *that* race). The authors, at the end of the book, offers lots of links for evidence like the Huffington Post. Everybody knows that this is a premium scientific paper... I might have awarded two stars because style and story shows the author is quite gifted, the book is, although utterly nonsens with his god-devil-conflict etc., exciting and humorous. But alas, there are lots of mistakes and errors. He has a problem with his word processor, resulting in something like, for example: "He his doctorate was in Astrophysics". He too lacks a full command of his mother language. Some samples about were, where, we're are: "Is that were you belong?" (correct = where), or "I mean, we're there dinosaurs on the ark?" (correct = were), "supplies to cathethers where jammend into the four by six by two foot area" (correct = were). So, sorry, one star from me because you can't award zero in Smashwords.
  • A Robot Named Clunk on Aug. 14, 2018
    (no rating)
    Pure Nonsens. Pure Slapstick, so funny. Re-Read it and ordered the first "Omnibus", it's a bargain. I never award ratings to SF. Download this one, if you just want to have fun while reading!
  • Hal Spacejock Omnibus One on Aug. 19, 2018
    (no rating)
    We readers know our Hal Spacejock from Book 1 (which is free) and the story continues to be exciting and funny in book 2 and 3, which are contained in the "Omnibus" also. It is all there, SpaceOpera, tolerance against sentient machines which are living together with the hero and doing everything better - not failing to point out how much better (why do I have the feeling the author is married?!), computers and talking doors which all the time try to sell something to Hal and delaying him, and the most stupid computers are so similar to some of the employees of the offices and authorities which I hate most to visit. "Omnibus one" is a bargain, compared to the prise if you buy the books separately. Furthermore, it's quality work. As I read lots of e-books from hobby authors or even beginners, even I (english is not my mother language) do find lots of errors in them, but I don't remember a single one here so the author has either invested thousands of dollars in proofreading or lots of time to eliminate them. Remark: I do not award ratings to SF books, because they are beyond comparitily, to my opinion.
  • Save Our Souls on Sep. 03, 2018
    (no rating)
    This is one of the most exciting SF books I have ever read, a real page turner. It's no cheap Space Opera like so many others - it is extrapolating today's social parameters in a far future, and the persons are real, touching people, not all identical. Warning: part of it is pure horror, and the happy end is not so happy either. If you have a garden overrun with goatweed and vetches like mine, you are at least prepared to a small amount of the horror already . Quality is quite well also. Spelling is 99,99% correct. Table of contents is not that luxurious ("Contents: one, two, ... eleven") but I can live with that. Remark: Normally I do not award ratings to SF, see my Profile for reasons.
  • Sliding Void (Book 1 of the Sliding Void science fiction series) on Sep. 11, 2018

    Sliding void could be an adventure novel of the colonial age, with the captain of a cargo sailing ship, dealing with local kings who fight among them, with a cargo cult (read in wikipedia about it) taking the european traders and adventurers for magicians, and an exciting story weaved around them. For us science fans, stephen hunt transferred the plot to outer space and eloquently describes the power of sailing the monsoon, eh, the artificial wormholes leading through hyperspace, the black powder cannons, er, the multiple nukes which are shot at said trading vessel, making a very inspiring story of the inhabitant of an pre-technological planet, which has been forced by circumstances to become a crew member of a 40th century space ship. This is enticing to read, and the quality of the book is good - no or almost no typos and errors, and there even is a TOC with real chapter titles. Characters are a little bit on the cardboard side, the female captain being, of course, an attractive woman, the mail hero a real one, witty and battle tested, the slaves, sorry, androids are loyal and more intelligent than they want their owners to know, and said owners discussing if it is wise to teach the slaves to read, eh, sorry again, to enable real awareness in their androids. So why the lowest possible rating from me? I normally do not award a rating at SF at all (reason see my profile). I write the reviews to help readers find good SF and authors find readers. Very seldom I do rate a SF book to warn readers, and that is the case here. I thougth Smashwords had a rule that the E-Books at their portal have to be a complete story and this one is'nt. From the 86 pages (measly enough, if you want to know my opinion), the last one, titled with "Chapter six", is advertising, "join the free ... group", and the plot does not begin before page 8, the previous pages filled with "for links to all these books, visit...", "Also by Stephen Hunt", "Praise for Stephen Hunt's Fiction" (three screens for scrolling with my Ebook-Reader" etc., making 77 real pages for reading. The story is not finished, it ends with the spaceship fleeing, being under deadly attack by a dangerous pursuer, and his previous ally on the planet overpowered, arrested and tortured, end of book, go clink out 2,99 Dollar for the sequel or register on the author's homepage with your precious e-mail-address for more promotion, pardon, "newsletters". Want at least to have a look into the sequel before buying? The predominant .epub format from the first, free "book" (I would rather call it appetiser...) is not offered for the 20% sample of the sequel, only the amazon proprietary .mobi format. Go buy a kindle, Stephen Hunt has dozends of books on sale at amazon.com, not only the seven visible on Smashwords. It is a pity. The "appetizer" was fun to read and the website of Stephen Hunt is interesting and entertaining, too.
  • Alien Extortion on Sep. 22, 2018
    (no rating)
    When I detected, some years ago, "Alien Alliance" on Smashwords, I was delighted and downloaded all sequels as they came. Maxine Millar has her own style and her contribution to SF is unique, doubtlessly because of her professional background as a nurse and probably a solid knowledge on biology. What if there exist an intelligent race of egg-laying beings similar to porcupines with hands? Nobody else than MM could have written the scene where a female one with their special variant of PMS keeps away the males in her space station, as this race has quills to punish attackers - and undesirable overtures as well. The books of MM do show a fine humour, als is the case in this scene. SF is not developed out of today's technology. They have space ships with faster-than-light drives, which are not further explained. But Alien Extortion is a logical evolution of today's society on earth, as well as a logical development of other races. What if there are intelligent fishes, similar to dolphins, which are really grateful that human beings settled on their planet able and willing to rid them of extremely nasty vermin, similar to ticks or barnacles? Again, it's MM's special biological knowledge which enables her to include that story. As we are accustomed already, there is lots of human (and alien!) feelings in "Alien Extortion", and women (as well as alien females) play a most important role. The creation of a better society among humans from terra, as well as a respectful relationship to alien races is a prevailing concern of the author. This, however, leads to a sugary portrait of the created society. Quality is medium to high. The Table of Contents consists of "Chapter One" through "Chapter Twenty-Four", which is standard in Smashword E-Books but there are authors wo give speaking names to the Chapters. There is, however, a really good introduction to the previous Books of the "Niseyen Galaxy" series, and there follows a very useful "Index of Charakters, Races and Planets". I was not too happy with the placement of that one at the end; I would have liked to refer to that one throughout reading the book but then I would have to jump at the last pages and the software of my ebook-reader would not remember which was the last page I was reading of the text itself. Errors are not beyond bearable but they exist, especially in the second half of the book. It is a pity that this author does not allow any contact to her or her proofreader or editor. I have made a habit of mentioning the good sides of the story, criticising the SF aspects or style if there is anything to criticise in my public reviews, and prefer to point out the errors to the authors. This is not possible here. There are few errors but they do exist, like P. 173 "Those bloody concealer devices which made it impossible to identify them by facial recognition but he knew who they were and we identified almost all of them" (one "which" too many...), P. 130: "ordered it to be dumped it on a prison Island" (one "it" too many), P. 95: "Was that comfortable for you? Wear you able to breathe, did you feel safe?" (= "were"). or P. 13: " 13: "Leave the table with drinks on it and the one with fruit and desert stuff" (it's "dessert", not "desert"). I habitually marked them in my ebook-reader and would gladly have sent a list of approximately 20 to the author. Remark: I almost never award a rating to SF Books. For the reason please see my profile. By all means, download and enjoy "Alien Extortion"!
  • Beneath the Lanterns on Sep. 29, 2018
    (no rating)
    One definition for Science Fiction is extrapolation of today's real conditions (social, technical) into the future, or to ask "how would it be" if one parameter is changed, for example life on an other star like "Dragon's Egg" from Robert L. Forward, or a mutation within the human genome, like "Slan" from Van Vogt. Other novels, which aren't "hard" SF and often called fantasy, just try to entertain the reader by an exciting plot, with some future, alternative or astronomical names mixed into it so the authors need not to follow our strict scientific and historic environment, or they are using distant places or times as a stage for a romantic love story, which could have happened in today's real world either. But alas, not all authors are equally gifted in writing an interesting and scientifically correct plot with touching, individual characters. Chris Aylott in an review on "Dragons Egg" titled "The Humans Were Flat but the Cheela Were Charming in 'Dragon's Egg'" brought it to the point: "The same can't be said for the human characters. They're perfect representatives of the cardboard scientists typical of hard SF". Rhetorical question: What do you remember from Asimov's "Foundation"? The human characters or Hari Seldon's Thousand-Years-Plan? Not so C. Litka. Other authors clink out a new novel about their man-eating space crocodiles every month (and I devoured all of them as they came), Litka works on his latest idea for years until he has it all correct - and he writes great romance as well. I can not imagine that his early work, "A Summer in Amber", a beautiful romance playing in a meticulously worked out future Great Britain, will be surpassed by any future SF Author. With "Beneath the Lanterns" he has done it again, but of course, in a completely different time and based on a new plot. It starts unsuspiciously. Okay, the times of day seem to have changed from 24hrs to something like quarters of the day, and the first, second etc. hour of the quarter, but that's the freedom SF Writers have. Going along the plot, which is love and combat, unsuspicious as well, the reader becomes fascinated with the world Litka has developed. WTF are the "Lanterns"? Is it spring, summer, autumn, winter? There are more and more little differences. I think Litka has set up a riddle for readers and has fun imagining how they, bit by bit, solve the riddle or at least try to do so, unless they are fully distracted by the romance developing over the time. Unlike some other SF novels, the background proves inventive and consistent. "Beneath the Lanterns" could have been written by a physicist or an astronomer, and still has a beautiful balance between the "Science" and the "Fiction", exciting and touching at the same time. Of course Litka did not forget to include those unforgettable, subtile humouristic events, little gems we readers have become accustomed to find in his novels! Remark: I almost never award a rating to the books I am reviewing. Please see my profile for the reason. Download this one. It's fun, it is exciting, and I myself estimate C. Litka to be in the best 10 percent of authors.
  • The Trouble with Rescuing Zoe on Oct. 10, 2018
    (no rating)
    A Story about building trust into oneself and the partners, a story about love and the will to live. So far, so good. The novel begins with somebody giving somebody else a message for another person. Suspense is created by not letting the reader know what was in the message until the end of the novel. This is as spurious as the persons are cardboard characters - elder man, young woman, young man, mother-in-law, aunt, and the plot is sometimes quite ridiculous (elder man goes into the forest and comes back with a stone axe he has fabricated himself in half a day, history of mankind finding flint deposits, forming the cutting edge and making it resistant to the considerable force an axe has to apply forgotten...). This were the bad news. The good news is: - The story has a message. This is important, like a steering wheel for a car is important - else it makes noise which is fun for the kids, but it will arrive nowhere. - The author understands to create immense suspense, dangerous surprises and an exciting plot from the first to the last page. Quality is between average and good. The Table of Contents is "Chapter 1, Chapter 2, ... Chapter 8" like in most E-Books. Errors are few, even less than average, and not irritating. I almost never award ratings, as is explained in my profile. I strongly advise to download and read this novel, some intriguing reading hours are waiting for you!