Byron Paul


I like soccer and auto-racing, and science fiction (especially dystopias, cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic, philip k dick) and post-modern fiction

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Smashwords book reviews by Byron Paul

  • I-O [Input-Output] on Dec. 23, 2011

    Logan is an exciting and refreshing new voice. Building from cyberpunk groundwork, Logan delivers new visions and dystopias in what is being termed as industrial-punk or dieselpunk. The collection starts and ends on strong notes, with some work that is a little raw and lacking direction, but overall very exciting and a writer I'm eager to read more from. I also like the inability to tie these works down to a decade, often feeling a blend of Great Depression, WW2-era, and Cold War misery juxtaposed into an unknown dark future dystopian culture. Cyberpunk needs the invention of computers and the internet, Steampunk needs Victorian era steam-powered machines, but Logan isn't limited, and the reader is stuck in a future-past void
  • Smaller Than Most on Jan. 17, 2012

    This is a collection of flash fiction containing the fantastic, surreal, and dark humor. It is the whims of an intriguing mind. This reads less like a true work and more like an introduction to a writer's mind and style. Nothing here really caught my attention specifically, but was intriguing enough for me to want to seek out more works from this author. This is one of the better short reads I've found on smashwords
  • Origins of Atlans on Jan. 17, 2012

    this sets up the Atlans myth for future works. The idea is better than the execution though.
  • When Minds Collide (Phoenician Short #0.1) on Aug. 18, 2012

    A very solid novella introducing The Phoenician Series, although without having read Conditioned Response I can say this works well as a standalone work. A fast-paced read that will keep your attention. It has an interesting appeal as Baldwin seamlessly blends space opera/space colonization style with some romance and with bio-engineering, along with age old questions like What does it mean to be human addressed with both a sci-fi way and reminiscent of a literary fiction way as well. My only complaint is there was enough here that could have been expanded upon to make a full novel, and it leaves the reader wanting more (which is part of the point, to get you into the Phoenician Series which you will likely gain interest in after reading this)
  • Seedlings on the Solar Winds and other stories on Sep. 23, 2012

    An excellent collection of stories from J Alan Erwine. It's been 3 years since I've read this, so I can't give details on the individual stories, but it led me to buy more story collections from Erwine and this title is on my to-read-again list.
  • Sloughing Off the Rot on April 30, 2013

    What is Sloughing Off the Rot like? Take 2 cups of Stephen King's The Gunslinger and mix in 1 cup of each of the following 3 films: Alejandro Jodorowsky's El Topo, Lance Mungia's Six-String Samurai, and George Englund's Zachariah
  • Smashed, Squashed, Splattered, Chewed, Chunked and Spewed on Sep. 16, 2014

    odd, grotesque, and perverse at times, but not overly - Carbuncle does a great job mixing the bizarre with a classic folk road trip tale to come up with a very humorous and entertaining novel. Genre-wise this sits on the edqe of Bizarro sub-genre of speculative fiction and general comedy, if bizarro interests you I recommend Carbuncle's Sloughing Off the Rot published a few years ofter this one - it's a true bizarro classic.
  • Linehan's Trip on Oct. 28, 2014

    Interesting dystopian short tale merging the politics of football/soccer with that of real life - being the world's sport, it has always intertwined the most of all sports with politics, borders, religion, and war. Set in the future it echoes the dystopian feel of the past in terms of politics meeting sport. As a standalone piece, this is perhaps a little short and underdeveloped, but works really well as an introduction into Murphy's Linehan character and Padania state leaving the reader curious of these two entities