Good Things Come In Threes

Don’t have a whole lotta time to post, but wanted to get this out while interest was high:

First GOOD thing, got a GREAT review from Carol Kean over at the fantastic sci-fi web-zine Perihelion Science Fiction. She’s been chatting with me on Twitter for months (and is part of the oppressive Hashtagocracy, along with me), introducing me to fabulous new indie authors and Twitterati.  Plus she expressed an intense interest in ASID.  That finally culminated with this month’s issue of Perihelion, and, I gotta say, I owe her one.  It is a really good review, critical yet effusive, and even though she admits that military sci-fi is not her thing (she tends to skim the hard science and tactics passages), she is definitely in the fan column.  I’ll take a 4 out of 5 stars from Carol any day!  So check it out, and also their new fiction and the other reviews of Edge of Tomorrow and Will McIntosh’s latest book from Orbit.

Second GOOD thing, Will Perez and kick-ass narrator Liam from Sci-Fi Publishing have completed the audiofiles for the ASID audiobook!  Just a few things to put away and tidy up and then you can LISTEN to awesome hard science, military sci-fi, space opera, technothriller goodness at home, during your workout, or on the commute to and from work!  On sale soon, but here’s a little taste:

Tee-hee!!!

Third GOOD thing, I have been eliminated from the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2014!  Hmmm.  Why is that good news, you ask?  Well, it is and it isn’t.  I would have LOVED to have been a semi-finalist, and — of course — I’d have loved to have won one of the $15,000 advances or the $50,000 grand prize, but I never really expected too.  ASID is, at best, a good pulp adventure.  When people take off marks for its limited character development, I gotta shrug and say, “Well, yeah.”  It is not an introspective tale.  There is very little deep catharsis.  Besides Nathan getting past the sinking incident and learning to lead again, and besides Kris’s strained relationship with the father that abandoned her, my characters are pretty middle of the road.  They evolve and express themselves in relation to the plot.  No one is going to make a Lifetime movie out of ASID, but it would make the best SyFy Channel movie EVER, not to mention a pretty damn good blockbuster at the multiplex.  The Fault In Our Stars, it ain’t.  So, I’m out, but I’m still proud of my book, and now I can move on to other opportunities.  Besides, all the REALLY cool people I’ve met in relation to ABNA 2014 got kicked out too, so I’m among friends.

Following this is ABNA:  Full Disclosure, with my two Amazon Vine reviews of my excerpt, and the Publisher’s Weekly Review of the whole book.  I gots nothing to hide!

And, REMEMBER, only a couple of days left on the ASID and REMO 99¢ sales!

Toodles!

ABNA Expert Reviewer

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

Generally, the excerpt is well-structured and flows well. The writing is characterized by some excellent descriptions: “You’re an idle-rich tech wizard with an over-funded amateur astronomy bug, so some eccentricity has to be expected, I guess. In the dusking skies of evening above USS Rivero , the sharp boundary of the eastern horizon had already merged with the night, while to the west a wash of orange and red still set the water afire. These descriptions are not only well-written, they enable the reader to visualize the scene or setting more clearly. Another strength of the excerpt is the pacing. The story flows well and smoothly at a steady pace. I expect the story to be action-packed based on these preliminary chapters, which should make for an engaging read.

What aspect needs the most work?

More careful editing is needed. Avoid cliched descriptions, for example: Everyone heard the familiar dissonance of screeching brakes, squealing tires, blaring horns, and one final movement of crunching metal. The first two chapters appear to be cluttered with technical descriptions. Some of these descriptions are obviously integral to the plot and in driving the narrative forward, but at times, the technical aspects engulf and overwhelm the story, making me feel like I was reading some sort of technical manual and losing sight of the story itself. This might be an area you wish to focus on and improve. I’d like to see the main characters developed more over the course of the narrative. Characterization should not be sacrificed at the narrative’s expense, and I’d like to see how both Gordon Lee and Nathan Kelley are developed.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

For the most part, the excerpt is well-organized and flows well. The protagonist Gordon Lee appears to be a rather eccentric character but one chapter alone does not make for compelling characterization. I would hope that the main characters get developed as the narrative moves forward, including the Navy man, Nathan Kelley. The premise sounds interesting and although sci-fi thrillers are not my cup of tea, I admit my curiosity has been piqued by this engaging excerpt.

ABNA Expert Reviewer

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

The science of this fiction was well done even though some of the terms I read I had no idea if they were real or not. The frustration of Gordon was well written as well as his interaction with Lydia. How it ties in to chapter 2 would keep me reading into chapter 3, although chapter 2 was a bit weaker than the first.

What aspect needs the most work?

Chapter two on the boat gave no reference on why we were firing into North Korea, maybe explained later. The banter for firing nukes was unrealistic as I would think anyone given instructions for firing a weapon that could kill hundreds of thousands could be so cavalier makes no sense, however based on the pitch and the submarine the smugness is probably short lived.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

I thought the pitch of the book was interesting and the author writing does lend an authoritative tone to what I read which is important in a sci-fi book. Would def read on because of the premise and what I have read so far. Send me a copy!

ABNA Publishers Weekly Reviewer

Visionary Gordon Lee sees something that no one else, not even NASA, sees, or at least is willing to see. What initially appears as a rogue comet turns out to be something much more. It’s an alien craft of some sort, on a long haul to Earth from a star twenty light years away. With no way to ascertain the aliens’ motives, Lee resolves to prepare for a worst case scenario: hostile invasion. To that end, he recruits ex-Navy sailor Nathan Kelley, and turns the full force of his fortune and private tech company, Windward Technologies, to developing means to combat the presumed threat. With few allies in government, Lee and Kelley are left to prepare as best they can, recruiting a motley crew, including the brilliant and erratic engineer Kristene Munoz, to lead the civilian defense of Earth. Fortunately, the laws of physics ensure that the ship will take several years to arrive. This manuscript is fairly standard military science fiction. The strongest area is the conceptual technology, which starts out very firmly rooted in present day scientific reality. Unfortunately, this, combined with the drive toward confronting the alien force, leaves little room for character development. The action is well paced, and the reasoning behind both the aliens and their motivations is very well thought out, making this a solid read.

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