Bob Craton

Biography

Fantasy & Sci-Fi Fans:

I actually would rather have people enjoy my stories than make money. That is why I write. Therefore, you can get "The High Duties of Pacia," "A Princess of Fae," and "Jesika's Angel" all for 'reader sets the price.' Naturally, I would love reviews but you have no obligation to write one if you don't want to.

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When he was a child, Bob Craton’s teachers often remarked (not always favorably) about his day-dreaming. He spent much of his time lost in his own imagination, often creating elaborate elementary school tall-tales, and the habit never went away as he grew up. Coming of age in the 1960s filled his head with dreams of saving the world and having a career in academia. Then the real world closed in. With a family to support, he took a job at the corporate grindstone, just temporarily until he could get back to grad school and earn the PhD he desired. Somehow ‘temporarily’ turned into thirty-three years of stress and boredom but he kept entertaining himself by creating stories inside his head. Interestingly (well, he hopes it’s interesting anyway), his best ideas came to him while he was stuck in rush-hour traffic during his daily commute.

At age fifty-seven, he retired early (a euphemism for ‘got laid off) and had time to put his tales on ‘paper’ (an ancient product now replaced by digital electronics). The ideas in his head were all visual, like scenes from a movie, and as he began writing, he learned to translate visual into verbal and improve his skills. Or at least, that’s what he says. He admits that sometimes minor characters – or some who weren’t included in the original plan at all – demand attention. Frequently, he agrees with them and expands their roles. Many people believe he is bonkers for believing that fictional characters talk to him, but he calls it creativity and remains unrepentant.

Where to find Bob Craton online


Books

The High Duties of Pacia: The Complete Saga
You set the price! Words: 220,270. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(4.33)
In a land threatened by evil, four special people (man, woman, boy, and girl) unite. Each has a unique power but all are committed to a millennia-old tradition of peace. How can such gentle survive and prevail against vicious brutality?
Pentagonal: A Guide to Geometry for Students of Wizardry
Price: Free! Words: 1,360. Language: English. Published: August 10, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(5.00)
Why should geometry be an important subject at a school for wizards? Pentagon, pentagram, what's the difference?
A Princess of Fae
You set the price! Words: 29,210. Language: English. Published: October 1, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
(5.00)
"If Douglas Adams had a love-child with J.R.R. Tolkien, and the child was raised by the creators of Monty Python...you'd end up with 'A Princess of Fae'," wrote a reviewer on Goodreads.
And the Young Shall Lead You Home: Part III of The High Duties of Pacia
You set the price! Words: 79,080. Language: English. Published: April 26, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(4.80)
{Note: This volume is now included in "The High Duties of Pacia: The Complete Saga" which is currently available for 'Reader Sets the Price' so download that for free if you like.}
Return of the High Protector: Part II of The High Duties of Pacia
You set the price! Words: 65,210. Language: English. Published: April 25, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(4.67)
{Note: This volume is now included in "The High Duties of Pacia: The Complete Saga" which is currently available for 'Reader Sets the Price' so download that for free if you like.}
Journey To Light: Part I of the High Duties of Pacia
Price: Free! Words: 77,730. Language: English. Published: April 24, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(4.30)
{Note: This volume is now included in "The High Duties of Pacia: The Complete Saga" which is currently available for 'Reader Sets the Price' so download that for free if you like.}
Jesika's Angel
You set the price! Words: 68,570. Language: English. Published: April 10, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
(4.40)
Ages ago, an apocalypse isolated a remote world from the rest of the galaxy. Now nations and cities are re-building, growing, and re-discovering technology. Except, that is, in a fringe area where people live happily and peacefully despite poverty. There,a little girl is protected by her 'guardian angel,' a man with super-human abilities, lost memory, and a deep dark secret.

Bob Craton's tag cloud

Bob Craton's favorite authors on Smashwords


Smashwords book reviews by Bob Craton

  • The Hunt on May 04, 2012
    (no rating)
    Excellent. Makes a real impact in relatively few words.
  • Gravity, Restraint, and the Reason Icarus Fell on May 04, 2012

    Intriguing story - and well written.
  • The Hunt on May 14, 2012

    I'm not sure why my rating did not show on my comment below. Hopefully, this will correct that.
  • The Incarnator on May 14, 2012

    Excellent - original and very well written.
  • Squatter's Rights on May 28, 2012

    Some people may complain that this story doesn't have enough 'action' but I'm not one of them. I like the pacing, characters, and details -- and the excellent ending.
  • We Stand at the Gate on May 28, 2012

    This feels like the beginning of a novel that could be quite good. I'm not a real fan of the 'Lovecraft genre' but this is well written and very effective.
  • The War of Civlar on May 28, 2012

    This story has some interesting and thought-provoking ideas although the ending seemed incomplete to me. There are some typos and grammar errors, and the frequent change of verb tense (from past tense to present and back again)is distracting. Still this could be a good start towards a longer work with more character development and plot clarity.
  • The Pluck of O'Reilly on May 28, 2012

    Clever and funny.
  • Captain Cee's Last Stand on May 29, 2012

    Very good. Packs a lot of character and emotion in a short package.
  • x0 on June 03, 2012

    This book is a marvelous mixture of real life and fantasy for adults. The 'magical realism' approach is intriguing. I highly recommend it.
  • Jolly Roger on June 21, 2012

    Calling this a sci-fi comedy is no lie. It is FUNNY. Time-travelling special agents (one of them transformed into the body of a parrot), a villain, drunken pirates, and a pretty girl who kicks ass. Sounds like the recipe for a Hollywood blockbuster. This is a very entertaining little story.
  • Ruin on June 21, 2012

    I like this book a lot. I agree completely with the positive comments made in earlier reviews regarding the author's creation of characters. The transition of the protagonist, Paula, from terrified girl to capable young women is exceptional. I recommend the book highly.
  • Heibai and Huckleberry on June 24, 2012

    When I read this, I realized it had a back-story and thought it could easily be expanded into a novel. Then I discovered this is a sequel to at least one other of the author's stories, Captain Cee's Last Stand, which I also liked. Although far from young myself, I've created some young characters in my own writing and I especially appreciate Hannah/Huckleberry in this story.
  • The Jester and Other Stories on July 11, 2012

    The author calls these miniatures 'prose poems' rather than short stories and it is an accurate name. Very well written, they invoke a mood, a feeling, or an idea in very few words.
  • Space Crazy on July 18, 2012

    It's nice to find a good sci-fi story after the inundation of the fantasy genre by teenage vampire and angel/demon schlock. Fans of Star Trek should enjoy this.
  • THE EYE OF THE LION -GENESIS- on July 18, 2012

    Something of a high-tech version of The Da Vinci Code or Angels & Demons but with a more stunning conclusion.
  • Metamor City: The Sentinel on July 24, 2012

    This isn't really a short story but one chapter in a longer work. Rather than starting at the beginning, it seems to start in the middle and ends, well, a little later in the middle. I presume this is offered as a free tidbit to entice readers to buy other segments of the story. As such, it does an excellent job since it is very well written and quite interesting. The wraith in the opening pages sounds annoyingly like Gollum, but other than that minor criticism, I enjoyed this. I recommend that fans of this genre download this and then decide how much of the rest of the story they want to read.
  • Beautiful Deception on Sep. 07, 2012

    This is eloquently written. Very impressive.
  • Pre-TerraFae on Sep. 07, 2012

    This isn't actually a short story but a tidbit offered as encouragement to buy the author's book. It should work very well because this is intriguing, well written, clever, and a lot of other favorable adjectives.
  • All Souls on Sep. 10, 2012

    An entertaining story with demonic elemental powers running amok. I admit being a little confused at the end but this is well written with nice touches of humor. I recommend it.
  • Gnome Jelly on Sep. 10, 2012

    I hope the word charming has not gone out of favor as a descriptive term because this story is exactly that. Well written and amusing.
  • The Roxolan Princess on Sep. 10, 2012

    The comment in the previous review is apt. Succinct and to the point, this story makes a real impact on a reader. Good job.
  • The Troll under the Eighth Street Bridge on Sep. 10, 2012

    This is clever and entertaining. Although I'm far from being a young adult, I enjoyed this.
  • Dimension Shifter on Oct. 02, 2012

    I found this book because a reader who was good enough to review one of mine also liked it. I'm glad I did and spent all day reading it. The beginning contained a little more explanatory dialogue than I like; a short prologue covering Kyrin's escape at age 11 as 'live action' rather than narration might be nice. But that's just my opinion and then I moved on the chapter 2 and found the marvelous dialog sequence between Kyrin and Alric, which does a great job of defining the characters. I did have some critiques, especially the use of modern phrases in dialog, but I don't want to detract from the overall positive response I had to the book. This is a type of story I like, a long complex fantasy. I don't mind trilogy-length stories, especially if they release details about the characters and plot gradually. I disagree with an earlier comment about the 'lack of an ending' because this is clearly the first volume of three and I'm patient.
  • Dimension Shifter on Oct. 02, 2012
    (no rating)
    An added comment to my review below - Regarding remarks made earlier about Kyrin's failure to adapt quickly to the pleasant environment of Paragoy, it seems to me that her psychiatric condition was an expected result of her earlier life. Anyone who suffered that much abuse would be traumatized to the point of insanity, and it would take years before she could trust anyone or even believe the good things she sees with her own eyes. I haven't gotten to volume 2 yet so I don't know if Kyrin's condition improves then, but I agree with the author that at the end of volume 1, Kyrin's mental state should be just as it's written.
  • [I][Froxxe's Plummet] on Oct. 03, 2012

    Clearly, this is the beginning of a longer story. It's nicely written and entertaining.
  • y1 on June 05, 2013

    Having read Ms. Cronin's previous novel x0, I had high expectations for this book and I was not disappointed. This is a marvelously complex tale combining a credible murder mystery with South Seas romance and corporate intrigue. Filled with a cast of real and likeable characters, plus a few bad ones too, it tackles major social and ethical issues without being preachy and it's all wrapped up in a highly entertaining story that grabs your attention and keeps it. Plus, I love books with multiple intertwined story lines which all merge together before the end. Ms. Cronin clearly does a great deal of research to ensure that the realism part of her magical realism is in fact accurate, and the fantasy elements are very well done. I don't want to give spoilers so just take my word for it - this book is excellent. No wait; don't take my word for it. Read it yourself.
  • z2 on June 05, 2013
    (no rating)
    I'm a big fan of this author's first two books, 'x0' and 'y1', so it is no surprise that I love this third volume of the series. Once again she has put together a marvelous tale. I don't know of anyone doing better in the genre of magical realism than she does. All of the books involve the fictional Zeitman family with a different member featured in each volume -- Lola (wife/mother) in the first, Zane (son) in the second, and now Alex (husband/father). Each character is a very real and believable person who just happens to have a special ability. The author is unafraid of tackling serious social problems, in this case racism, and she does so without being preachy. She also does a lot of research so the facts in the 'realism' part of magical realism are always accurate. (That makes those of us who just make stuff up as we go along feel lazy.) I don't give spoilers so all I will say about the story is that there are two subplots, each with its own set of characters, and that the story-lines merge and the characters meet each other. As before, the ending is very upbeat and optimistic. As a skeptic, I would not expect such happy endings in the real world. In the Zeitman family's world, however, the conclusion shows the way things could be -- and should be. I find this approach very encouraging. Note: Each book is a stand-alone story, but 'z2' makes enough references to events in 'x0' and 'y1' that it would help if they are read in order. Believe me, all three volumes are definitely worth reading.
  • Imperfect on Aug. 16, 2013

    It has been a long time since I was a young adult and my interest now is mostly based on a desire to write something in this genre. I am, however, very well versed in the dystopian genre. Admittedly, I am just estimating (rather than knowing) what young people like, but it seems to me that they will enjoy this book, especially those in the 12-16 category. Two things kept me turning pages, the characters and the mysteries. As other reviewers have already said, the characters are likable and I really wanted to find out what happened to them. Also, the book has lots of secrets which are revealed gradually. I like that. (I don't give spoilers so don't expect me to tell what those secrets are.) The world of the story is well-drawn. It has a nice balance of similarities and differences to our world. Overall, I believe this will do well with its target audience.
  • The Colors of Passion and Love on Jan. 19, 2014

    I like this book. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review but that fact does not affect my opinion in any way. I hate spoilers and so do not give summaries of books when I write reviews. I prefer getting straight to the things I like or dislike. First, the characters are very well drawn – and not just the two main leads. Daina and Jode are also appealing individuals who seem like real people. Second, the love story is well done. Let me mention that I am old and curmudgeonly and never ever read romance novels. This book is NOT one of those tired stereotyped stories. The wedding night scene especially is both sweet and sexy. Admittedly, this is one of those true-love-at-first-sight tales but the author gives a fresh take with an explanation of how it happened. Technically it’s a ‘scientific’ explanation within the framework of this fantasy world although we would call it magic here in the mundane real world. Other reviewers have commented about some overly detailed descriptions of the land and about a somewhat abrupt ending. I agree with them, but that does not stop this book from being an enjoyable tale worthy of praise.
  • z2 on July 24, 2014

    I'm a big fan of this author's first two books, 'x0' and 'y1', so it is no surprise that I love this third volume of the series. Once again she has put together a marvelous tale. I don't know of anyone doing better in the genre of magical realism than she does. All of the books involve the fictional Zeitman family with a different member featured in each volume -- Lola (wife/mother) in the first, Zane (son) in the second, and now Alex (husband/father). Each character is a very real and believable person who just happens to have a special ability. The author is unafraid of tackling serious social problems, in this case racism, and she does so without being preachy. She also does a lot of research so the facts in the 'realism' part of magical realism are always accurate. (That makes those of us who just make stuff up as we go along feel lazy.) I don't give spoilers so all I will say about the story is that there are two subplots, each with its own set of characters, and that the story-lines merge and the characters meet each other. As before, the ending is very upbeat and optimistic. As a skeptic, I would not expect such happy endings in the real world. In the Zeitman family's world, however, the conclusion shows the way things could be -- and should be. I find this approach very encouraging. Note: Each book is a stand-alone story, but 'z2' makes enough references to events in 'x0' and 'y1' that it would help if they are read in order. Believe me, all three volumes are definitely worth reading.
  • c3 on July 24, 2014

    I loved the first three books in Ms. Cronin's "46. Ascending" series, and if this review seems similar to those I wrote for "x0," "z1," and "y2," it should not be a surprise. Each book features one member of the fictional Zeitman family (in this case teenage daughter Teddy). The genre is 'magical realism' which isn't exactly fantasy and not exactly science fiction either. The main characters are real, believable people who just happen to have a special power. Once again the author tackles a very serious and harsh subject, in this case the sex trade. I don't give spoilers so I won't give a lot of plot details -- I suggest you read the author's summary instead. Despite certain similarities among the four books in the series, none of them are repetitive. Like the others, "c3" is a unique story. I like books with multiple plot-lines and those here are easy to follow. Some of the scenes are severe -- as I said, this is about the sex trade -- but I think anyone from the late teens to adults would benefit from reading this. Anyone who has read "x0" will understand what I mean. As are the other volumes, this is a stand-alone story but if you are new to the series, I do suggest reading "x0" first. That way, the 'sudden' appearance of Teddy's mother's special talent won't be a surprise. (It really wasn't sudden.) I remain very impressed with Ms. Cronin's talents and have thoroughly enjoyed each book. I did receive a free copy of 'C3" but was under no obligation to write a review for it. In fact, I purchased a copy on Smashwords just so I could post this review here.