I’m a writer from Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud, better known as New Zealand. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. My first work, aged two, was written in red crayon on the kitchen wall. It wasn’t well-received. Since then I have been working on my craft to better please my readers, because without a reader, an author is nothing.
Writing has been a great journey. When I started, I thought I was destined to be a science fiction and fantasy writer. I love these genres but the more I write, the more I’ve discovered I like to tell all sorts of stories. I hope you enjoy reading them!
Where to find Michael online
Where to buy in print
Michael's favorite authors on Smashwords
Published February 22, 2017.
(4.00 from 3 reviews)
Smashwords book reviews by Michael
on May 20, 2014
This is a clever short story with a beauty of a twist. At just shy of 3000 words, David Rose has managed to pack in a lot of material. A good read, especially if you're a gamer. Actually it's still a good read even if you aren't.
- Living on the Knife's Edge
on June 21, 2014
Powerful emotional realism
I'm going to resist talking about 'the story' in this review. It unfolds beautifully, and as you read, hoping for a happy ending, David Rose keeps you on edge, aware it could just as easily finish in tragedy. The ending is superb.
All I'm going to say about 'the story' is that it is a wonderfully crafted bit of realism, very emotional and moving. You know you've read something really good when it takes you on an emotional journey. Read it yourself and find out why.
Having also read Dragonfire, which is a very different story altogether, I think David Rose is a writer to look out for.
- Gathering Clouds...
on July 26, 2014
Trevor Cloud invents an indestructible flying saucer. Good timing, because there are a bunch of giant alien insects stealing water from Earth. Aided by his brother, Russell, a martial arts expert, they take the ship into space to confront the Mantis. Piece of cake, right? No. The Mantis show them they’re in for a fight and our hero brothers end up on the opposite side of the Universe, in a spaceship junkyard, the victims of the ruthless Mantis.
James Field is a most entertaining writer. In style, Gathering Clouds reminds me of Douglas Adams without the unnecessary meandering plot, or a Terry Pratchett novel with structure and without the random rambling bits. This is epic space opera, highly imaginative, funny and dramatic. Look out for weapons systems that fire “concentrated beams of extinction”, mind control, and action aplenty.
- Pink Water
on Sep. 07, 2014
Pink Water is an intriguing second episode in the Cloud Brothers saga. As the second book in the series, I’d liken it to The Empire Strikes Back in mood, style and maturity. It’s a dark, character driven interlude between two epic space engagements with the dreaded Mantis. Don’t think for a moment the Mantis are having a book off though, they’ve simply learnt to be more ruthless and cunning in this episode, and our hero Cloud Brothers are tested to their limits.
Pink Water takes a more serious and sombre look at humanity, love, hate and the difficult road to personal enlightenment – a predicament faced by every character trapped in the Mantis’ mischievous time warp trap – the trap itself preventing Earth from being healed, post the events of the first novel, Gathering Clouds.
Have no fear though, there’s plenty of James Field’s trademark humour throughout, with laugh out loud lines like: The captain waddled down to the waters edge as happy as a pensioner after a good bowel movement.
New characters are introduced, the parents of Trevor and Russell, damaged souls Leroy and Timmy, and a host of others. Holding together an ensemble cast so that each character remains memorable and distinct is difficult in a mid-length novel, but James Field does it with ease. And without adding spoilers, Pink Water has the most original, and entertaining interpretation of a biblical character I have read in a very long time.
A terrific read, the series just gets better and better.
- The Bell Tower Suite
on Dec. 02, 2014
While reading this chiller and I was reminded of being a young lad again, sitting around a campfire, wondering what lurked in the darkness, while James Field told his ghoulish tale. It’s a classic ghost story with a knockout twist. Even though the characters come from the Cloud Brothers series, it comfortably stands alone. Read it if you want a decent scare. Read it if you want a good laugh. There’s plenty of both on offer.
- Mouse Moonwalk
on Dec. 15, 2014
It’s refreshing to read a children’s morality tale that isn’t afraid to raise a few questions, and deliver them wrapped in a good story, rather than ramming them down your throat. Is fame and fortune really all it’s cracked up to be? Is success the path to personal liberation, or a prison? What do you value more, celebrity status or friendship? These are the challenges facing Rolo, a theatre mouse, when he learns how to moonwalk.
Wilde Blue Sky’s writing is nicely measured and balanced for a younger audience, and avoids the pitfall of being cute and cuddly, so there’s plenty to appeal to a range of readers. Stylistically it sits more on the darker side of children’s stories, like Brothers Grimm, or the Pied Piper of Hamelin, but with a modern handling. A solid read. Five stars.
- The Rollerboard
on Dec. 20, 2014
I can’t remember the last second-person story I read, it’s such a rare writing mode. Nevertheless, A.E. Hodge pulls it off well. This short story is rich with detail, nicely written and paints a fresh picture of a post apocalyptic world. I saw the ending coming, but that didn’t diminish the reading pleasure or satisfaction in the slightest.
- Fast Down
on Jan. 14, 2015
Don’t be fooled by the innocent premise. What starts out as a seaside family holiday in an old hotel turns into a rather scary tale with an almost poetic finish. Not recommended for people who are afraid of riding in elevators! Especially old elevators in a state of disrepair! For everyone else, this is a thoroughly enjoyable short story with a tasty twist.
- Fearsome Creatures
on Jan. 17, 2015
Fearsome Creatures is four courses of dastardly alien monsters dished up in four quite different stories. For a short collection, it has an admirable body count.
What’s most pleasing about all four stories is Ross never resorts to the tired motif of the dreaded monster tearing hapless victims limb from limb. Each space nasty takes an unexpected form, or deals out death in an imaginative way.
Evocative, vivid writing carries you through each encounter, from the longer, down and dirty opening story Breakdown, through the tech-driven Avalanche, onto the organic nasty Elysium, to the final story Sunset, which has a primal setting and style. Hard to pick a favourite, they’re all quite different. If I had to pick one, I think Sunset certainly gave me the shivers and kept me flipping pages.
A highly recommended read for science fiction fans.
If I have one criticism, it would be: More please.
- Outgrowth of the Brain
on Jan. 17, 2015
This is a nice off-beat short story in the Cloud Brothers series, not jam packed with action, but still delivers James Field’s trademark humour, and fleshes out some key characters and relationships.
Poor old Bert can’t cope with his security duties without Alf, who has a nasty migraine. So Bert calls in the Cloud Brothers to help. As you’d expect, their solution is far from conventional. A quick fun read and an important episode in Cloud Brothers folklore.
- White Noise
on Jan. 17, 2015
I really enjoyed this short story about Professor Maurice Masterton. Even though he’s a key character in the Cloud Brothers saga, this is a great stand alone story. The Professor is in charge of investigating extraterrestrial and supernatural phenomenon, and also happens to be a most irritable, skeptical, and short tempered man. So, as you can imagine, when a trans-dimensional alien shows up to ask for his help to repair the Universe with no more than a yellow floor sponge, the Professor needs some convincing. Great fun, witty, and with a clever plot and a twist.
- Litter Thugs
on Jan. 18, 2015
Armed with newly developed consciences, x-ray vision, and a matter transportation device, Alf and Bert decide to clear up dumped garbage. As you’d expect from Alf and Bert, a simple clean-up exercise erupts into an all out war. Lots of chuckles in this story as it descends into a satisfying dose of Alf and Bert chaos, with an ‘untidy’ twist.
- The Professor's Conundrum
on Jan. 19, 2015
When Professor Maurice Masterson is unleashed onto a group of physics students, he gets himself all in a tangle over the origin of the Universe. This story is a nice change of pace if you’re following the Cloud Brothers series. What it lacks in action and laughs, it more than makes up for in thought-provoking ideas. And after reading, you’ll inherit the Professor’s Conundrum. Don’t say you weren't warned!
- Gypsy Spell
on Jan. 19, 2015
A new housekeeper, unwanted gypsies, and a crystal ball take Alf and Bert on a magical adventure. In typical Alf and Bert style, everything goes pear-shaped fast, as they’re forced to create a little magic of their own as they go toe to toe with the Gypsy King. Another fast and funny story brandishing James Field’s unique sense of humour.
- The Second Coming
on Jan. 21, 2015
Even though it only takes ten minutes to read, this is a great bit of seething satirical social commentary. I won’t write a long review. Your time is better spent reading the book.
- I'm Sorry
on Jan. 22, 2015
David Reynolds can write. He may not write long stories, but he can write. I don't want to say a thing about this story because it's a moment captured in time, wonderfully told, and anything said about the plot would be a spoiler. One to read again just to pick up the subtleties.
- Teacher's Pet
on Feb. 05, 2015
I can’t say that I ‘enjoyed’ this short story. It’s a lurid tale wrapped up in the guise of a young adult romance. The subject matter is unpleasant, but it has been executed cleverly and convincingly. This extreme blend of genres is hard to do well, but David Rose has pulled it off. I went into the read and review with my eyes open, but this story still managed to shock me. That’s as much as I’ll say to avoid spoilers.
David Rose has a knack for telling rather creepy stories in choice few words, as demonstrated by the flash fiction nasty Predator featured in Pocket-sized Yarns. All in all, I may not have ‘liked’ Teacher’s Pet, it made my skin crawl, but that’s the mark of good writing, and good writing deserves stars.
- Orussian Quarantine
on March 04, 2015
Every now and then you meet a book that’s hard to rate on the one to five star scale. This is one of them. In the end I settled on four, because I liked the ideas the story presented. It has a solid plot and plenty of imaginative ideas. It’s like a mind-altered infusion of out-there sci-fi with a David Attenborough documentary. Examples... well, the story centres on genetically engineered ant-monkeys, breaking the bonds of slavery, in a galaxy far away... need I say more? Perhaps, but I won’t because I’m not a fan of spoilers in reviews.
But it’s brief for that volume of material. I felt like I was reading an extended synopsis. There’s a load of ‘other civilisations, planets, technologies, and associated history’ packed into ten thousand words. For my taste, big ideas need a big word count, so I felt this book could sustain being ten times the length. Ah, but in saying that, every reader is different, and I do like to get lost in a book.
- Psycho Psyche
on March 15, 2015
The professor’s latest adventure has him battling a doomsday weapon, terrorists and body hijackers. It’s a sinister, suspenseful story with a few unnerving gadget ideas that are a little too close to reality for comfort. Not many laughs in this story from James Field. It’s definitely an outing where he shows he’s equally capable of delivering a dark science fiction tale as he is a funny one. It’ll make you think twice about answering your phone the next time you get a call from an unlisted number. Get ready for some electric writing that’ll blow your cranial capacitors.
on June 04, 2015
Alf and Bert’s latest adventure involves a tumble through time. If you only need one reason to read this story, you should for their unique interpretation of ‘the butterfly effect’, which had me rolling about laughing. I enjoyed this scene so much I read it twice before carrying on with the rest of the story.
Alf and Bert are an odd duo. I guess you could think of them as the sci-fi equivalent of the two murderers from Shakespeare’s Richard III; men of ill deeds, suddenly faced with moral questions, forced the choose whether they should do the right thing or not. Without adding spoilers, they handle their predicament in a distinctly Alf and Bert manner.
With plenty of action, laughs, and trouble at every turn, this story definitely challenges for the position of the best Alf and Bert adventure yet.
on Oct. 19, 2015
I received a free copy of this story in exchange for an unbiased, non-reciprocal review.
Drive is an edgy flash fiction contemporary family life story with a dash of mystery. It’s a good example of flash fiction done well - simple plot, flawed characters in a state of change, and a conclusion that lingers in your thoughts long after you’ve read ‘The End’.
The story can be polished off in one sitting, which is ideal if you’re like me, time poor, but needing something to read every day. Read it on your commute to work, and you might look at people driving their cars in a different light.
It’s very much in the style of the modern minimalist short story, with sparse descriptions, but pulling the reader’s focus to a few well-chosen details, allowing the imagination to fill in the blanks. Jon Edgell writes this style well. After reading this story, I’ll look up more of his work.
- Doomsday Diary
on Nov. 15, 2015
What would you do if you found a diary that predicted the events of the next ten days, like the winning lottery numbers, or the death of someone you knew? This is the predicament facing Chief Inspector Dobbs, who is both a sceptic, and not partial to the man whose death has been predicted. When the diary proves accurate, he’s obliged to investigate.
James Field shows his trademark wit in this short story, which has a deceptively cunning plot that quietly twists and turns its way to a satisfying conclusion. Dobbs is a great character, an underachieving and bumbling policeman who you can’t help but like. Pitted against the curt and authoritative Professor Masterson, you’re bound to be delighted by this ‘odd couple’ science fiction short. Review over. I’m off to buy a lottery ticket…
- No Place to Lay My Head
on June 06, 2016
They say real estate is a cut-throat business. This short story gives that adage a new spin and a tasty twist. It’s an enjoyable fast read which may make you think twice about moving house!
on July 07, 2016
This very short story proves a good writer doesn’t need a lot of words to craft a powerful work. Readers who believe you need thousands upon thousands of words to be ‘invested’ in a character should try reading this emotional vignette. David Rose at his writing best.
on March 24, 2017
Pest is an entertaining addition to the Cloud Brothers short story collection. This is another Alf and Bert episode, two security guards who make up for their absence of IQ with street smarts and brawn. Here, they face off against two would-be thieves who also pack muscle and cunning. As always, James Field manages to pack in plenty of plot twists and turns, laughs, and fascinating sci-fi gadgetry. Although it’s not my favourite Alf and Bert adventure (Yoikes is outstanding IMHO), I like how this story stretches our heroes with a challenge they’ve never faced before: a romantic interest. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers. Enjoy the ride.