Hannes Birnbacher

Biography

Remark: In case you wish to contact me, you could search for my name on facebook or use hannes.birnbacher@arcor.de.
(Unfortunately, I got one Message on my arcor account which I could not read, in the first few days of February 2017, but normally this should not happen and I am not certain if it was not a spam or a trojan).
Or "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).

I try to write a review about ALL E-books I downloaded from Smashwords.com - not (only) to do the world a favour, but to mark those books I already had from them. So, not every review is important for you. Which leads me to the following:
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.

I do not award stars in my reviews. 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

C. Litka
Latest book: The Lost Star's Sea. Published July 13, 2017. (5.00 from 2 reviews)
Gary J. Davies
Latest book: Genie. Published September 10, 2017. (5.00 from 2 reviews)
Kassandra Alvarado
Latest book: Liberté. Published December 1, 2016.
Maxine Millar
Latest book: Alien Checkmate. Published January 28, 2017.

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.
  • Burden of Sisyphus (Brink of Distinction book #1) on March 23, 2015

    (Yawn) another war-in-space story. Short sentences, easy-to-read for children. Maybe the plot or style is interesting for them?
  • 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. The Alex Cave Series. Book 1. 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!
  • SODIUM:1 Harbinger on June 02, 2016
    (no rating)
    f there exist Aliens and their spacecraft lands on Earth, what would they do? How Humans would react? Stephen Arseneault composed an extremely suspenseful story out of it, showing also the development of the protagonist, encountering the danger the aliens present to him ... and to mankind. I think you will not lay aside the story if you have a chance to read it all at once. This E-Book is good for three stars in my system ("considering purchasing sequel") but of Product Placement - there is not mentioned the manufacturer of the trousers, shirts, pens, eyeglasses, toilet drains, weapons of the heroes, but the aliens are forced to run because of the Hillerich and Bradsby S44 baseball bat of the Hero, therefore downgraded to 1 star. Download it anyway. I already purchased the sequel, "Sodium 2: Acopalypse", which has a very fair price. 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.
  • Alien Alliance on Feb. 09, 2017
    (no rating)
    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. I use the note function of my Ebook-Reader to note down errors. Originally, this was for having a proof if I mentioned errors in a review but I decided not to publish the errors, but to send the file to the authors. In this case, I was not able to contact the author. As an experiment, I paste the list hereafter, meant as a temporary file. Certainly the author will see this review sooner or later and notify me, so I can remove the list. I even got one E-Mail recently, after publishing the first version of this review, containing "review" in the header but I cold not read it; please send again if it was connected with this review. In the following list, the corrected part is in the first line after the Page Nr., the original one in the immediately following line. Page 21: Either. "she" or "Sarah". "she Sarah" Page 22: There are three sentences in a row starting with "Sarah". How about mixing with "she"? "Sarah" Page 39: Brought "bought" REMARK Page 41: This analysis of a politician (any politician) is so funny ... and so true! "Mathew s annoying air of superiority" Page 54: Propably "brought" was meant. "bought" Page 57: Brought "bought" Page 62: The word "now" is used twice in this sentence. "ar now meant the whole planet, everything on it and all resources now" Page 71: Brought "bought" Page 78: Brought "bought" Page 78: Comma missing after "said". "it said annoyed it had not thought to ask" Page 78: Missing space after the comma. "Treaties,they" Page 81: How they solved problems. "how they problem solved" Page 94: Compatible "compatable" Page 384: No capital letters, no underscore. This is an individuum, not a race, so it's not a new heading. "sjidakawi, Chief Medical Officer" Page 126: No capital letter with "queried", as it is not the beginning of a new sentence! "Queried" Page 126: Comma after "were" "were" Page 148: New quote mark before "They" "said Sarah. They re dead!" Page 154: Closing quotes missing "us?" Page 160: Dairy farmers "diary" Page 165: Brought "bought " Page 170: Alliances "allaiances" Page 174: Better: "in case they" " even" Page 205: The second "but" is wrong. " But very few albino-looking but with blue eye" Page 211: Some quotation marks missing. This are two persons speaking,one is describing the "hot bed" and the other one asking what a bed is. "Oh. Well for us it s luxury to have a bed. What s a bed? A place to sleep?" Page 224: One "on" too much! "And that is on just on your one planet" Page 246: "No", not "so". "Another thing so self respecting Niseyen adult would do" REMARK Page 256: Nice psychology of the persons in this novel. "Stella. Kelly (...)" REMARK Page 256: ROTFL very funny "Brr it s getting cold, she said and snuggled up next to a delighted Kaz who, so invited, promptly put his arm around her. Kelly glared" Page 261: None of us is "And we had better hope that not one of is outside when they do scan! " Page 261: Scan and "scanand" Page 270: No "but" here. The next sentence starts with "but" also. "But" REMARK Page 282: Sweet scene. Sweet story. "English" Page 298: As Bella thought. Or: as she thought. "a she Bella thought" Page 364: People will run the infrastructure, or: people can run the infrastructure. "People will can run the infrastructure" Page 368: Makes no sense. Could have been: "Appears to be the motivation?" "the problem appears to the motivation of those who draw up the treaties."
  • 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".
  • Gunship: Ghost Planet 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.
  • The Outer Worlds: Book One of the Epherian Chronicles on June 06, 2017

    This space opera is unbelievably exciting. It is not among the best of all literature or even of SF only, but has big action and is fun reading. No TOC, no chapter headers, still better than most of the free or cheap SF Novels. The author avoids bland, long explanations of the plot from a voice coming form the OFF like so many beginners. Some scenes are really funny, but not too much. Some lack imagination (why are the monsters in all SF either ants or spiders? Why do people who have THE POWER send sparks out of their fingers?). But it was free, anyhow. Rating downgraded because unlike other Smashwords SF Novels, this one does not feature a finished plot, you can not read it by itself. On the last page, Captain Michael and his crew is taken prisoner by the most evil enemy in the universe, he has a dreadful death before him and humanity is lost, end of E-Book, please go purchase the sequel.
  • 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.
  • The atlantis project on July 25, 2017

    Certainly one of the best SF Novels I have ever read, exciting and enticing beyond any expectation I had, treating with sensitivity the topic of disabled persons, among else. "The Atlantis Project" is good, and it is free. Get it! The sequel, at the moment, regrettably is available in french language only, but even if I am not so fluent in french as I am in english (which is not my mother language, either), it is well worth to start reading the series.
  • 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.